Marlin...............The real truth
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  1. #1
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    Marlin...............The real truth

    One of the Marlin Owners Administrators has asked me to combine two of my recent posts pertaining the closure of Marlin in North Haven under the control of Cerberus and Remington.

    I thought it might be a good thing to do, because of all the MIS-information I have read on this forum.

    SO, LET ME BEGIN………….

    Firstly, none of what I say here is said to damage or injure Remington………..They have done a wonderful job of that by themselves.

    Let me first tell you all that I worked at Marlin in North Haven CT. from 2001 to 2010 as a Tool, Gage, and MFG Engineer, so I was there at the time of the initial acquisition, and I experienced all of the “changes” put in place by Remington.

    I stayed with Marlin until about 5 months before the actual closure in April of 2011, when I had finished releasing the XT series Bolt Action Rimfire rifles to production, at which time I was no longer useful to Remington.

    I had fulfilled my contractual agreement by staying on staff until I was no longer needed, and I retired out in November of 2010 with a separation package, after signing numerous non-compete, non-suit notarized legal documents.

    Some Recent Marlin History:

    When I joined Marlin in 2001, it was a family owned company with approximately 25 to 27 extended Kenna family member stock holders............Some men, some women, some young, some older, probably some minors. too...........

    At that time, Marlin employed about 265 workers at the 2000-2006 time frame.....At one time marlin employed as many as 500-600 workers.......

    Some employees had worked at Marlin for 35+ years....Whole families worked there................fathers ,mothers and their grown children.

    The owner of Marlin Firearms, Frank Kenna Sr. was very loyal to, and protective of all his employees, and would rather cut overall company hours than lay one worker off........

    He would come out into the Assembly area every morning, and a Gunsmith would show him a newly finished rifle that he was proud of building, and Frank would smile as he inspected it, hand it back and say, "Make'em all that way...

    You'll NEVER see Frank’s kind of employer loyalty, ever again..........He kept some workers on staff, 'cuz he knew they needed their job, and would have difficulty finding another job.

    I know that Frank Kenna Sr. helped some workers through personal hardships, without ever expecting any payback...

    At this time, Frank Kenna Sr. was getting up in years, with health problems.........

    About 2004/2006, the company was quietly put up for sale, because there was no one within the Kenna family that had both the desire and experience to step forward to take over the company............

    Even throughout the sale negotiations with Cerberus/Remington, Frank Kenna Sr. was very concerned about the welfare of all his employee’s.

    Frank's son, Frank Kenna Jr. was already running a successful electronic media news company called The Marlin Company.............Others in the family were all comfortably successful in other fields....

    Due to these things, the company had been up for sale and Cerberus made a low ball offer to just to get negotiations started..............the rest is history.

    The Acquisition and Closure

    I recall Joe Gross, Remington's COO when asked "Why did they buy Marlin if they were going to close it ?" saying ..............."We viewed Marlin as low hanging fruit, and we knew that if we could just squeeze it a little harder, it would yield more juice"........or something such as that....

    Well, that's exactly what Remington did............tried to squeeze all they could in the way of profits, with no regard for the product line, the Marlin name or reputation...........Quality fell by the wayside, as did the employees not only at Marlin, but at any other companies Remington acquired……….. Para, Dakota Arms, Bushmaster..........even their OWN employees!................

    At Marlin, Remington demanded the new Marlin Assembly Cells produce 1 rifle every 135 seconds, and when that time was met, they reduced the time to run even faster....................I can't even clean any of my own firearms in that time........Those in the Assembly Cell workers could not leave to go to the rest rooms until a replacement for their station could be found.

    The only failure during 2002-2006 and beyond, was Marlins inability to build enough rifles to satisfy the market demands. And that was the time frame that the XLR's, MX's and some Big Loop models were developed and released.

    2003-2006 was the era when the 308MX and the 338MX cartridges were developed. It was a time when worker moral was at it's highest. It was a time when hourly paid MFG employees had almost unlimited overtime available to them. It was a time when Marlin offered rifles in many calibers, finishes and configurations............It was the time when ONE man built the entire rifle and signed it.

    Throughout the 2000-2010 time frame, Marlin was a profitable family owned company that was never even close to bankruptcy when Remington acquired them...........The only reason Marlin was sold was because the owner and his heirs were getting older, and there was no younger family heir that wanted to take over the company.

    Since the acquisition in 2008 and closure in 2011, Remington has spent over 70 Million Dollars on the Marlin product line, with all new machinery, and they still can't really offer much more than a basic 30-30.........and many of those basic rifles don't fit or function well.

    Remington has stopped production of the Marlin Model 39 (the longest produced rimfire rifle model in the world) because they could not build them successfully.

    Will Remington ever get the Marlin product line right?............... NO, but that answer comes not from me, but from INSIDE Remington today!

    After over 70 million dollars and 10 years time, even Cerberus is getting tired of the failed product line, and the Red Ink........

    I remember well, the proponent and creator of Marlin's closure, Remington COO Joe Gross telling us at the closure announcement meeting ......." These rifles are easy to build, they can be built anywhere, by anyone".............I recall Joe got fired for his "forward thinking" in that matter.

    There has been a lot of fake information available in the media and in Gun Rags pertaining to Marlin and their problems, both then, and now...............

    All of that info has come from Remington in their attempt and need to shift the blame and elevate themselves as the saviors of the Marlin name and product line.......It just ain't true.

    Some here may doubt what I say , and why I have no regard for Remington or it's products.................but I've seen all these things and much more from the inside, that you have've only gotten the "Spoon Fed Spin" from the media, and Gun Rags, and all of that SPIN was created BY Remington, and edited BY Remington before it ever went to print..........

    Marlin, under Remington in my opinion, is a company that does NOT have the interest of their customers, or the quality of their product line at the forefront of their Mission Statement............

    Thanks for hearing me out……
    Last edited by Tomray; 11-26-2018 at 07:13 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Thank you Tom... Well said...

    Team Old Pharts, Team Marlin Express, Team 30-30, Team 45-70, Team 60, Team Henry, Team Semi-Auto, Marlin League, Team Glenfield

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  3. #3
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    And there it is folks!
    - Fran-

    Better to be thought of as an idiot,than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!

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  5. #4
    Gun Wizard
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    Thank you for the info.

  6. #5
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    Thanks Tom....

  7. #6
    Marlin Marksman
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    You have painted a sad but accurate picture of the current decline of American Industry. Cerberus is by no means alone in it’s pursuits - it’s just simply another player in the game. It’s happening across the entire US Industry. With it’s prevalence - one would think that this is a concerted effort by outsiders to break the back of the USA’s market dominance worldwide by focusing our own efforts on destroying our own companies for the benefit of outsiders and their nations.

    The business division I work for just got sold off to one of those big Capital Asset Management firms after being bled dry by our parent company for the past 10 years. We are #1 in our industry worldwide - but we are in a poor position for the future with crumbling infrastructure and no investment into intellectual property or R&D for the past 10 years. It’s really sad to see it in so many sectors of US Business that the basic focus has moved away from Operations and Sales to a focus on Finance, Legal, and tax accounting departments.

    I have friends who work in another big company and the story is the same there too. The Big Company bleeds them dry and then pawns them off on some miscellaneous capital holding company - who plans to do the same thing.

  8. #7
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    Just like blood sucking gangsters.

    Darwin will prevail in the long run. Remember the Chevy Vega? Look where GM is today.

    Last edited by gunscrewguy; 11-26-2018 at 08:05 PM.

  9. #8
    Marlin Marksman
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    Damn- I have a 2006 39a and a 2008 .308 mx. Both are flawless and never a malfunction.I would never use a gun that I even remotely thought might jam hunting mature bucks that I have spent every day of the season hunting in our CWD area if I thought it might fail.You only get one chance normally. No way I would use a Remington one.I would find a different gun.- locoman

  10. #9
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    Thanks Tomray for the breakdown. This is the downfall of America and you see it in other iconic brands: Winchester, Harley Davidson, Gibson Guitars, S&W, etc................

    It boils down to bean counters and lawyers that are not knowledgeable in the trade dictating operations and policy based on bottom line profit (which BTW does not get reinvested into the employees or the company). I saw this in the Telecommunications industry.

  11. #10
    GFK is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomray View Post
    Marlin, under Remington in my opinion, is a company that does NOT have the interest of their customers, or the quality of their product line at the forefront of their Mission Statement............

    Thanks for hearing me out……
    Thanks Tom! I think you hit the nail on the head. It seems a lot on companies are playing the short game (company's profit is priority) and not the long game (customer's satisfaction is priority). Of course, companies are in business to make money. But, how long will it last if people do not buy its product?

    I do not know much about Marlins. I bought one, because a LGS had one available. What sticks out the most to me is the quality of materials used, in particular are screws. Most seem like some type of alloyed. In general, I like the gun. I wonder at time how long will it last. I guess the idea was to keep cost down, in hope of selling more? Maybe, that is the point. If the rifles don't last as long as they once did, people may replace them more often? Anyway, I will shoot it as long as I can and go from there. Hopefully, I will be able to pass it on.
    Last edited by GFK; 11-27-2018 at 04:50 AM.
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