Well I thought by older we would get a comparison between a really older gun and a new one, not that it would be fair. The smoothest slickest marlin I own is an 1894 made in 1984-- that said, I use it for CAS so its had all the internals polished, aftermarket springs, firing pin and wild west trigger and its been shot lots and lots.
Next would be the 336 Waffle top that was Dad's and is almost as smooth from the factory as a reworked cowboy gun. Dad probably only shot about 80 rounds of ammo through this as he liked to carry a 760 in 30-06 (1st year manufacture) and later a remington 600 in .308 because it was so light.
Point is there is a big difference from a 40's or 50's gun and those made today. I know the 70's - 80's guns are head and shoulders above todays--- but the 40's- 50's guns were better yet in my humble opinion.