I'm looking for a custom shop for a Marlin 1894. Any advice?
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Thread: I'm looking for a custom shop for a Marlin 1894. Any advice?



  1. #1
    Tinhorn
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    I'm looking for a custom shop for a Marlin 1894. Any advice?

    I would love some advice on who to buy a custom Marlin from. I tried this before, and the fancy custom shop I found on my own sold me a Remlin with crooked sights (I'm obviously hoping for better results this time Haha), and I'm not too proud to ask for help.

    I will hopefully be buying a custom Marlin soon (once I get my refund from the first guy), and would like to know who, or where, you would get one from. I'm going to take my time and look around, so the more custom shops I can look at the better.

    I would like an 1894 CSBL or 1894 CST in .357 mag / .38 spl. I would like it to be slicked up, deburred, and all that stuff, but most of all I really, really, want the sights to be centered, straight and accurate. Haha. This rifle is my gift to my grandchildren. I don't actually have any yet as my daughter is only 8 years old, but I believe the California government, and maybe the federal government, will make it so old style guns are the only ones law abiding citizens will be able to own. So I am willing to invest time and money in this one. And I can't get another Remlin! I want a problem free rifle that has been looked over and worked on by a skilled gunsmith. Any advice you have that will help me find this person would be doing me, and my future generations, a great service.
    Thank you!

    jerdog3
    Last edited by Scorpiusb; 01-11-2020 at 06:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Sidewinder
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    The two models you say you would "like" will most likely lock you into a "Remlin". A standard blued Jm in .357 have become very hard to get let alone a stainless one to use for a platform to build what you want.

    Talk to a local gun store nad explain your situation. Tell them you want to order a CSBL or CST but if it arrives with crooked sights or any other issues that you are sending it back and trying again. Or attend local gun shows until you find one that is acceptable. Once you have that you than can begin your search for a gunsmith to have what you want done to it. Smoothing up a Marlins action and improving the trigger and hammer is not custom work nor does it make it a custom Marlin.

    To me a custom Marlin would be buying a JM 1894 in rough shape and sending it off for a new barrell, new wood and new finish in the caliber I wanted. Add any other bells and whistles like large loop and scout rail and sights ect... Probably require a $5k budget.

  3. #3
    Certified Gunnut
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    I would get on the hunt for a JM, may take sometime but the hunt can be enjoyable if you have the funds. I hunt even when broke, stinks when you find a jewel.

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  5. #4
    Esteemed Sharpshooter
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    What vt ^^ said !
    Team 1894 member #67 1977 44 mag.
    Team 35 member #256 1964 Sears M45
    Team 444 member #355 1981 444S
    Team 30 30 member #830
    1980 Marlin 3080 Trail Rider & Win 94 Custom Trapper

  6. #5
    GFK
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    From what I am gathering, you want a rifle without issues. I have bought 2 so far (a 2016 336W and a 2019 1894C). Both had a blemish on the forearm, and Marlin sent replacements for both. My 2016 did seem to jam at times (not sure if it was me, not cycling with purpose, or something else). Took it back to the LGS that I bought it from. It had a gunsmith look at it ($40). He did not find any thing. When I took it apart to replace the forearm (procedures found on the site and YouTube), I found a piece of hard plastic between the carrier and magazine tube follower. While I had the tube off, I went ahead and smoothed the carrier some (600 grit paper). I have not had an issue since, and I have not had any cycling issues with my 1894C, which I bought online. In both cases, I inspected the rifle. In the case of the 1894C, I cycled dummy rounds through it (after being on this site, I knew better then). Both, I am happy with.

    My advice, buy from a local gun shop (LGS), if you can. If not, use a trustworthy site. I used GrabAGun.com. In any case, inspect the rifle before accepting it. GrabAGun return policy is 15% for non-defect returns. So, the dummy rounds came in handy. If basic maintenance is done, the rifle should serve you for years. Part of the maintenance is cleaning and checking the screws. So, a gun maintenance kit (tools and cleaning supplies) will come in handy. The process is in the owner's manual and easy to follow. Therefore, it doesn't require experience to accomplish. Good luck on your search!
    Last edited by GFK; 01-11-2020 at 11:16 AM.
    "One man's rights end where another man's rights begin." Dad

  7. #6
    Gunfighter
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    "This rifle is my gift to my grandchildren. I don't actually have any yet as my daughter is only 8 years old, but I believe the California government, and maybe the federal government, will make it so old style guns are the only ones law abiding citizens will be able to own. So I am willing to invest time and money in this one. And I can't get another Remlin! I want a problem free rifle that has been looked over and worked on by a skilled gunsmith."

    Well, while I agree that the "Old Lever Gun" might be one of the last, I'm not sure that they will even be around by the time you have grandchildren old enough to have one the way things are going!

    But. If you just want a very nice Marlin (if you are not so dialed in to a specific model or patient enough to find an older one that you like), I would call the Marlin Custom Shop (S. Dakota) & have them make what you want. I have a 336 TDL 30-30 from there & it is pretty perfect!
    A little engraving & some great wood makes for a nice heirloom rifle!
    jerdog3 and Ray Newman like this.
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  8. #7
    Marlin Marksman
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    Seems to me you are hung up on getting a 'custom' Marlin.

    Just get a Marlin. One that has no issues. These rifles are so popular because they don't need any customization.
    Worry about customizing it in ten years.

    I have bought several newly manufactured Marlins in the last 3 years and none of them have any issues.
    I made sure I held them in my hands and gave them a good examination before buying. That's what you should do.

  9. #8
    Tinhorn
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    Great advice everyone. You are all totally correct. None of you are wrong. However, this reminds me of the thread I started when I was asking what "Factory New" ammo you like best, and I got hundreds of replies about hand loading. Haha.
    I totally get it. I'm an outsider. I'm not one of you. I don't have your experience, knowledge, expertise, or access to great LGS or gun shows. Whatever gun I end up with will most likely be ordered over the internet. The reason I want to go with a "Custom Shop" (even though it didn't work out the first time) is that I want an expert, someone who has worked on them for years, to put their hands on the rifle and put his reputation on it. And if there is a problem, fix it before sending it to me. Again, that didn't work out for me last time, but I wouldn't have a kid if I stopped when things didn't work out the first time. Haha.
    So, if anyone has a dumb cousin, or a dimwitted friend, that didn't rebuild their own JM Marlin from a pile of rust, could you let me know what custom shop they used if everything worked out for them? Haha.
    I'm off to an all day graphics class, so I can't wait till I get home and see 100 replies telling me to find a JM Marlin and rebuild it myself. Haha.
    So thanks for anyone with the restraint to not do that. Haha.
    Have a great Saturday all!
    jerdog3
    Gareth Holland and vt4ster like this.

  10. #9
    Marlin Marksman
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerdog3 View Post
    Whatever gun I end up with will most likely be ordered over the internet.
    Those who don't learn from the past are destined to repeat it.
    If you don't take the time to educate yourself and get some experience then you will always be at the mercy of others in whatever you pursue in life.
    Last edited by Waffletop; 01-11-2020 at 12:18 PM.

  11. #10
    Marlin Marksman
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    As my old Mum used to say, " experience is the best school, but the fees are often high "you might like to think about that one. Here's another one from my old granny" you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear"

    This is just my 2 cents from across the pond ? The first thing you need for any customisation project is a sound chassis, why not find a sound JM Marlin and then a good shop maybe via this forum and have it customised. jerdog3 I followed your other posts and share your frustration, this way you could acquire a sound gun first and have it customised as funds allow at your leisure. May I wish you the very best of luck and please keep us posted Gar.


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