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Hello All,

I'm a first-time Marlin lever gun owner but a lifelong shooter and firearms enthusiast. I've just purchased a factory-new Model 1895SBL for backcountry bear and large predator defense. I appreciate the opportunity to join this forum to share information, ideas and perspectives. Before I purchased this rifle I tried to research it thoroughly online in order to learn as much as I could, and I thought that potential owners and longtime owners alike might be interested in my initial perspectives now that the rifle is in my possession. Bear in mind with these comments that I just picked up the rifle from the transfer dealer two days ago and I haven't even had a chance to fire it yet. That being said, I thought that a few initial impressions and thoughts may still be of interest and may even move some more seasoned 1895 owners to comment and even perhaps to tell me that I'm on the wrong track, which I would sincerely appreciate knowing. :wink:

  • Fit and Finish: Like so many, I had a concern about the current production quality, given the bad reports that have been circulating online recently. Bear in mind that my intended use for my 1895SBL is as a 'working rifle' to be carried with a sling for backcountry defense, not as a 'showpiece' rifle for display and occasional trips to the range. That being said, I have looked it over carefully and can find absolutely no flaws in it whatsoever. The wood of the forend as well as the stock is finished evenly and sanded nicely. No sharp edges, no misalignments and no gaps. A perfect transition from metal to wood to rubber in all areas where they meet, and the checkering is done precisely and with just the right amount of depth for a good grip. The metal parts have NO extraneous toolmarks or errant machine marks whatsoever, and the stainless steel is uniform in color throughout. As to the stiffness of the action, this is my first lever gun but it seems perfect to me...just the right balance of stiffness to render a positive feel to the action. Easy and fluid to cycle yet definite in terms of where the lever wants to stay...no wiggle or slop. Cycling the action with snap caps has been flawless, perfect ejection every time, and the trigger is crisp with no creep. I will probably have more thoughts on the trigger and the action after I've had a chance to fire it a bit.
  • Ammunition: I've purchased about a half-dozen different brands and weights of cartridges to get a better feel for the rifle and for what it likes and what I like in it. In addition to this being my first lever gun, it is also my first 45-70 and so I want to give it a good opportunity to talk to me. For backcountry trips I'll be most concerned with defense against bear, mountain lion and perhaps an unhappy elk. I've already purchased some Garret Hammerhead +P for that Garrett Cartridges Inc. but I'd appreciate any insights that more experienced users may have.
  • Sling: There are LOTS of absolutely gorgeous hand-tooled leather slings for lever guns out there, but considering my intended use of the rifle which is back country large predator defense, I'm leaning toward what I'm familiar with from other rifles which is just a simple Turner sling National Match Service Rifle All Weather Sling (AWS) - Turner Saddlery Inc
  • Sights: Considering my intended use, my first instinct is to just use the factory iron sights. However, I have been looking at the Primary Arms Red Dot Primary Arms Advanced Micro Dot with Push Buttons and up to 50K-Hour Battery Life MD-ADS because it may be faster for target acquisition but I'm thinking that by the time I put the correct riser under it, the thing will stand so far above the rifle that it would create a hazard for catching on things during a stressfire scenario.
Those are just a few of my initial thoughts and impressions, and I'd certainly appreciate any feedback or constructive criticism. Thank you for your time and attention ;D
 

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Welcome from Alabama...

Your post is a good one, but your likely to get more attention from 1895 owners in this forum...

The 45/70 Govt.
 

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Welcome to the forum from Missouri!!!
 
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Welcome from SW Ohio.

It sounds like you know what you want and what you want your 1895 to do. Nothing wrong with factory ammo, and you have picked good fodder. The 1895 will really shine with handloads. You can roll your own from mild to wild according to your needs and desires. Cast bullets will do everything that needs doing in a 45-70. Cast loads in 405 gr at 1600-1700 fps are adequate medicine for any North American creature.

Experimenting is a good part of the enjoyment.
 

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Welcome from Goldthwaite, TX! Thanks for joining us! John
 
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Great post, Welcome, and looking forward to your followup when you get to shoot it.
 
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Hey Stoat - welcome to MO and greetings from Ohio. For your stated purpose the Garrett Hammerhead +P will certainly do the job. There are several other factory options that would also stop lions and black bears that isn't as pricey as the Garrett. However, the Garrett will certainly work on lions and black bears (as well as grizzlies, Sasquatch, and any Jurassic Park escapees). :biggrin:
 

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Welcome aboard from Delaware. The SBL is one of two on my wish list. I have a 336BL and added the XS rail system along with the threaded aperture and a couple Skinner peep inserts. I also thought using a red dot was in the cards, but before I even opened the box, I decided to go with a scout scope, and purchased a Leupold 2.5X 28mm.
 

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Welcome from The Republic of Texas...
 
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I've been using one since 1980 and have tried about every combination of ammo components available. I've come to believe that the Speer, or any, 400 grain flat point with 50 grain of IMR 3031 to be the best combination. Not to stout, excellent accuracy and it kills very well. I'd look at either XS or Skinner sights. Both work wonderfully especially for close encounters of the big brown furry kind. They are also good out to about 150 yards. Instead of a sling you might want to look at Kifaru's Gun Bearer system (https://store.kifaru.net/gun-bearers-p30.aspx). With it your pack carries the weight of the rifle and it is much quicker to retrieve that with a sling. I even carry my 13 lb Sharps with it in perfect comfort. Nice thing about it is the rifle is held close to your body, quickly accessible and you can use both hands while walking or climbing. Jim
 

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WELCOME FROM A FELLOW WASHINGTONIAN FROM SOUTH OF YOU IN OLYMPIA; IN THE GREAT PACIFIC NORTHWEST - THE "ORIGINAL 444 MARLIN®" COUNTRY!
 
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