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Discussion Starter #1
But, I don't think I will be able to afford a JM stamped Marlin unless I get extremely lucky. I know the Marlin/Remlin QC story. We currently have a 1997 336 and a 1971 39D in the house. 5 years or so we had an 1894 in .44mag, and while being a Remlin, it was an accurate rifle.

Out of what's sold new, here's my 2 cents:
-Rossi: I want a better rifle than that
-Winchester: I could and would get a JM for that money
-Henry: I prefer the Marlin loading gate, and hate Henry Buckhorn sights.
-Marlin: all the potential Remlin issues

Of the 4, I greatly prefer Marlin. But I don't want to spend hundreds on "a problem" gun i can't trust. I want a .357 specifically to be my "truck rifle." General purpose, all purpose, could deer hunt with it but probably won't unless I'm stalking(I'm generally a treestand bow/30-06/blackpowder hunter.) I have .38 and .357 pistols already, they can share ammo. It'll live in a case under the seat of my truck most of the time, so I don't need pristine/high value, and it might get ghost ring sights.

So. Is it stupid to buy an 1894 Remlin? Whats the best and worst years for them? Whats the most you'd spend on one?
 

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I have an 1894C and it is an Oct. 2018 manufacture... I have had zero problems with it... I was able to handle and fully inspect it before I bought it... My FFL even took it apart and let me inspect the insides...

It's good to have a relationship with your FFL...

I had a red dot on it but have since replaced it with a RPP cloverleaf peep sight...

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-Winchester: I could and would get a JM for that money
So would I and have wanted a JM .357 Marlin for some time but always a 'day' late - or the gun was too far to travel for to get.

I would avoid a Winchester .357 as they have a known problem with the cartridge lift that is difficult to resolve and can result in some really frustrating issues - such as a round dropping under the cartridge lift. I know this since I previously had a Winchester Trapper in .357.

Henry: I prefer the Marlin loading gate, and hate Henry Buckhorn sights.
Don't overlook Henry and don't get hung up on the no load gate issue for those models without it.

I bought a Big Boy .357 and discovered the load tube is an advantage with pistol caliber rounds and the buckhorns are easy to replace.

I would consider a 'Remlin' only if I could give it a thorough inspection, run a patch down the barrel and look into every nook and cranny! (much like I did with the Henry I bought - for over a half hour!)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thx Hidesert. What nooks and crannies would you focus on? For this gun, I won't be buying an heirloom. I want accurate functional, TRUSTABLE. What I dont want is something that needs gunsmithing. It doesn't need to be the prettiest either.

Scorp, that peep sight looks awesome! I'll probably wind up getting one, soon as I find a gun to put 8t on!
 

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I have a '83 Mod 1894C and a Henry BBS 357 Mag. Both are great rifles but after getting burned by a Remlin and a Freedom Group Remington--I just can't buy a new Big R product. No way would I take that chance again. Hands down its a Henry for me.
 

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Thx Hidesert. What nooks and crannies would you focus on?
Oh, I am a stickler for the 'little things' but overall as well.

First give the barrel to frame fitup a good look and make sure it is level with no 'droop' or left to right cant.

Run a patch down the barrel and use a bore light or a white piece of paper to reflect light into the barrel for a good inspection.

Cycle it with some snap caps (if possible) otherwise check lever action, ensure there are no 'hangups' and the cartridge lifter operates smoothly and a long and close inspection of finish, wood to metal fit, make sure all screws are 'proud' with no tool marks.

I read about way too many people who buy a gun only to discover something later they should have caught at the LGS when looking it over.

I would never buy a gun from somewhere that does NOT allow a close inspection or cycling of the action.
 

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My 45 Colt 1894 was made in 2017. I went over it with a fine tooth and comb before I bought it about a month ago. Shooting only cast bullets of the Keith design in it, I have no feed problems and I have been getting 1-1/2inch 5 shot groups at 75 yards with it. Fit and finish is just fine and the furniture looks pretty good too. I shoot it just about everyday from my shooting shed behind the horse barn and have had not one problem. I even bought a Ranger Point big loop lever for it since this picture. I like it that much to want to buy a $140 lever for it. I have three JM Marlins and this Remlin is just as nice. I also have a Henry in 44 magnum, also a very fine rifle. Henry has good QC and customer Service. I think Remington is gone but that didn't sway my choice to buy the Remlin. They are easy to work on and parts are readily available. A 357 mag would make a dandy truck gun.
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I have a 2018 Marlin 1894 .45 Colt with excellent fit and finish. Even the Walnut has a respectful plain grain. Operation of the action is equal to that of my several older JM Marlins. When I see this model in .357 I will buy it.
 

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I forgot to add- if you carry one in a case in your truck take it out and wipe it down at least once a week or you'll regret it- ask me how I know!
 

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While I have a JM 1894CSS in .357 and it is gorgeous. I wouldn't steer clear of the new offerings as others have said. I avoided that era of Marlins like the plague (still don't own any) but I've read lots of new posts from happy owners who are really enjoying their rifles. So much that i wouldnt mind buying one to trick out and abuse! Otherwise, keep an eye on the 1894 market, while most can be pricey there are deals occasionally locally or on GunBroker. Now may not be the best time to look but I still keep an eye out!


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Like any firearm purchase. Inspect every last little detail. There's several iterations of Remlin. The very early ones 2010-2012 were made with real Connecticut Marlin parts moved to Ilion. From 2012-2014 Remlin tried to make their own parts on machinery they didn't understand. Some rifles are good, some bad. 2014 they began tooling up with CAD-CAM centers and some were good, some were bad. Quality has been improving, but the unskilled labor Rem/Marlin uses will never turn out consistent quality. Again, inspect carefully, there's excellent examples, and rotten ones.
 

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I guess I will add my $.02. I have a 2019 1894C, and it is a great rifle. I have only shot about 150 rounds through it (.38s and .357s), but it has cycled flawlessly. As far as accuracy, I thinking that the heavy trigger is causing me to pull to the right (or it could be me). So, I am still trying to wear it in. Fit and finish, Marlin resolved the one concern that I had with a forearm (sent me another one). All that I have done to it is replace the front post with a fiber optic. I think it is a keeper:

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I have an 1894CB in 357, manufactured 2019.01.
Fit and finish is great.
It shoots properly and hits where you aim it.
No complaints.
I only shoot SASS, but it will handle full house 357 loads just fine.

These were scarce when I ordered mine sight-unseen from a vendor on the East coast.
I got lucky, as it was not one of the problematic ones.

I also own a Henry Frontier in 22LR, cowboy gun, octagonal barrel, etc.|
Fit and finish are just as flawless as my 1894CB.
Tube loading is a PITA, but it is a 22...

Henrys are not suitable for SASS and full race operation, which is why they are not used for this.
As a hunting gun, I would take another Henry over the Marlin, due to all the financial problems of Remington.
I won't buy a Henry centerfire, until I can get both the tube + side gate loading.
 
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I like the tone of Scorpiusb post above. And I agree. Other peoples QC horror stories are not YOUR story...or MY horror story. In the end, you have to look at the very gun in front of you and in your own hands. If it's a goodun, then no amount of negative internet chatter can take away that. If you are going to listen to...and be swayed by other peoples gripes...then there's probably no point in even trying to buy a Remlin.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I already keep a Taurus Model 85 .38+p cheap snubnise revolver in the truck. I CCW a Glock 43x, but if for some "it rarely happens" reason I don't have my 43x, its there. Its actually a little better for pocket carry too. Just last month I scored one of my dream pistols, a 1987 S&W 686-1 with a 6" barrel. I absolutely love it! I'd love to add a .357 lever gun. "Enough" power, less recoil, already have ammo, more capacity.

After hours of looking online, the 30-30s are SOOOO much more common, and affordable! I could get a JM 336 tomorrow! I guess thats good, because if I can't fond an 1894, I may just get a 336. If I get a good deal, I should always be able to recoup my money and get a .357 later. I'm very familiar with the 336; my son has one hanging on my basement wall.



A 357 mag would make a dandy truck gun.
 

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Sorry I can't be much help here, I have all JM 94's in 44 mag & 357. 1 saddle ring 44 mag & several others + a couple in 357 all pre-safety.
 
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