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This really isn't a rant. It's just a thought on why, possibly, the perceived quality has deteriorated.

I wonder how receptive folks would be to paying some additional money (maybe $150 - $200/gun) to get a Marlin that is assembled better than what we are seeing. I'm assuming that most of the work being done now is done by machine, and we have lost the final fit and finish, by hand, that we used to get say back in the 70's. To do more of the final hand fitting, Marlins will become higher priced, say $700 - $900 for a nicely fit 336. Guess what...that's the price range of the 336 DL! But ultimately would it be worth it? Most centerfire rifles are priced at $800+ today, and many of them have plastic stocks. So the price wouldn't be out of line. And I see those new Winchesters priced in the $1200 range.

I like the fact that Marlin has kept their prices low, but it's akin to what some of the food companies are doing. Keep the price the same but sell a smaller quantity. I think with the move, it's time to get back to assembling a better product. But we are going to have to be willing to pay for it. That would certainly take some getting used to.
 

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I think I could write 10 pages on a response to this. I will say this though to make it short and sweet. They set a price on a gun that's supposed to work. This for some reason is something they are having a real hard time with! ::) I think their intent is to make a good working good looking gun at the price they set. Marlin did it! I don't think the price of their guns is the reason for the trash they send out!

Would I pay Remington $200 more for a good Marlin? NO! The old Marlin had no problem. I don't think Remingtons shoddy workmanship can be solved by raising the price. Profits can be increased by limiting the amount of defective guns being returned for a fix!
 

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Hal; Regardless of what brand of new gun I have bought in the last 40 years or so (including Marlins), I have had to do something to them to get them to function flawlessly. I have just accepted the fact that before a new gun even goes to the range, that it needs a good going over, and everything needs to be cleaned, checked out, and repaired before I shoot it. In most cases its something simple like a trigger job, gritty action, or some loose screws, but, in a number of cases it has been much more. Other than a real factory blunder (like a cross threaded barrel, a barrel with bad rifling, etc), I just bite the bullet and fix it myself and move on. In all this time, the cost has gone up, and the quality seems to be getting worse. I say to the manufacturers: keep the junk you are producing cheap and I will be your quality assurance, customer service, and repair departments....in reality it saves me time and money, I get a precision firearm, and you cant use the "cost of doing business" (because I am doing your business for you), or, the "custom shop", or "top of the line model" excuses to raise your prices. It seems to me, that the firearms manufacturers are following the same game plan that many other manufacturers have started to follow...produce as much, as fast, and as cheap as you can, and if a problem arises we can take of it "after its in the field", through recalls, customer service and repair. What really scares me about all this is, an improperly functioning firearm can be dangerous, and should be thoroughly checked out by the manufacturer before it is ever released to the customer. I worked for the largest aerospace manufacturer for a good portion of my life. When things got tough in that industry, the first group of folks to be "let go" as a "cost savings" were the inspectors, and from what I have heard about the quality of new firearms from a good number of manufacturers, they too seem to be bypassing many of the inspection processes that guarantee the customer a safe and useable product.
 

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Call me mix up but I agree with both post above. Why because the XLR and the MX are already in the BLR. price range. [XLR MSRP.$860.60 and MX $652.48] Second why should we pay more for rifles that's being made on a assembly line. It should be cheaper.

But looking at the Henry rifle 30 30 blue/walnut a hand made firearm and it's price [MSRP. $749.95] that looks to compares to the marlin 336 DL. Well all I can say is maybe Halwg is on to something.

Just my two cents.
TO NY
 

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The rifles that were being made, when Marlin owned Marlin, worked just fine, and that price point wasn't out of line. If Remington/Cerberus/Freedom Group think that the way to get more money for existing product is to turn out a crap product so that people who are wanting the same quality they got before the takeover will pay $2-300 more for the same quality they used to get for less, that strategy is going to backfire. Frankly, I have serious doubts that Marlin will ever be as good as it used to be. At this point in time, I think the Marlin Legend may be just that...a legend, reflecting on a great past that is no more.
 

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BEACON said:
The rifles that were being made, when Marlin owned Marlin, worked just fine, and that price point wasn't out of line. If Remington/Cerberus/Freedom Group think that the way to get more money for existing product is to turn out a crap product so that people who are wanting the same quality they got before the takeover will pay $2-300 more for the same quality they used to get for less, that strategy is going to backfire. Frankly, I have serious doubts that Marlin will ever be as good as it used to be. At this point in time, I think the Marlin Legend may be just that...a legend, reflecting on a great past that is no more.
I agree 100%
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Of course everyone missed my point again, which is why I don't generally post in either the rant or the asylum forums. When people have their minds set in one particular manner, they read what they want into a post.

I rest my case and won't post here again.
 

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there was a post a while back about a new 336DL having the same fit and finish problems as the rest. So I guess highpricey doesnt = fixey. remlin needs to get it together or just sell to those that dont know any better.
 

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Halwg, this sounds sensible to me, but what worries me is they raise the price a couple of hundred dollars and then continue as they are now. So we could pay more for the same lower standad products.
My .02 worth.
 

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Halwg said:
Of course everyone missed my point again, which is why I don't generally post in either the rant or the asylum forums. When people have their minds set in one particular manner, they read what they want into a post.

I rest my case and won't post here again.
Oh calm down. :p

I don't think the folks missed your point Hal, I just think they were offering up a counter point. That being, why should "we" have to consider higher prices right now when the extent of the quality issues extend so far beyond fit and finish and into the realm of functionality? At least that is how I took it. I suspect folks would be more willing to entertain shelling out additional money if they had more confidence in the product and subsequent service if it is necessary.

But, to your point, I think price increases are inevitable, just as they are for all products. Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of folks out there who scoff at the idea of price increases, even when quality is not a factor. Take gasoline for example, people are still up in arms over the price per gallon. I tend to not get that worked up over it. Now, when we start seeing $4-5/gal, I'm sure I'll start getting more agitated but considering how long gas hovered in the $1.50/gal range, I can accept it was due, if not overdue. Hell, seen the price of milk lately?!

Point being, I understand, that to some extent, the price of goods must increase with the rate of inflation at least. I had a taste of Marlin sticker shock at the start of last year. It had been six or seven years since I'd looked at a new Mod60. The last one I bought was $114. I was slightly taken aback when the cheapest one I saw around here was $149. But, I had to realize, that was still a fair price on a great rifle and it was to be expected that in that time frame, prices would climb. Especially, when one considers the outright attacks on guns and gun manufacturers by governments at all levels. Just imagine what a major deal the bluing process is alone when you consider all the Federal, State, and local environmental regs!

To address the idea of paying more for quality, well, in general, that is, or at least should be a given. The trouble is in defining "quality." Take pickups for example. I know that if I want all them fancy gizmos and a pillow ride and a quad-door road sofa that happens to haul stuff, well, it's gonna quickly get into the $30k plus field. But me? I'd rather have $2k 1964 Ford Truck that will get the same job done but that I can actually work on. To me, Marlins are a lot like that old truck. They don't tend to be fancy, they are simple, and they get the job done. Sure, they have the Cowboys and DL's and LTD's and such and I expect them to cost more because the idea is, these are the finest of the fleet. But likewise, I expect more from them in trade for the higher price. But, they are still, at their heart, a pickup truck and I would have my limits before looking at something else, be it a used gun or a different gun altogether.

I suspect it has been sometime since Marlin's were truly hand fitted. Maybe some massaging here and there, but the parts all came off machines, even the stocks. No one should kid themselves, Marlin was mass producing their products. Yet it so far appears they were able to maintain a higher level quality at a decent price than the current owner/manufacturer is capable of accomplishing. Why? The dents, scratches, and poor bluing on my 1895CB aren't the result of machines or the lack of hand fitting. I believe they are clearly the result of "forcing" the product through the plant. No longer is there any time or incentive for anyone to to catch these issues let alone correct them.

As a die hard Marlin man, I have no qualms with reasonable price increases and I understand I have to pay a "premium" for the higher demand or supposedly "premium" products, but, I see zero reason why I should be asked to pay more money in an effort to achieve the same level of quality as was being offered just a couple years ago. Inflation is one thing, gouging is another.

Excepting the fact that Remington is a union facility, when you consider the fact they dramatically reduced head count and consolidated into one facility, they should be making the same product for less cost. Now, I wouldn't expect that savings to be passed on to the consumer, hey it's business, but to raise the prices and have significant, wide-spread quality issues? That is tough pill to swallow ya know?

Here's the problem with this particular product, and I think the heart of your question; what is the quality to price balance for this product? Marlin has always been a "working man's" gun. Buyers are willing to accept they aren't get the deepest bluing, prettiest wood, etc. because they know they are getting a firearm that flat works and they are getting it a price they can afford. As that price begins to climb, more and more people are likely to start looking at other alternatives. I think it has less to do with quality, than the niche the product fills.

Your point about the food is a good one, and one I've used it here a few times. I've said it several times here that Cerberus/FGI is counting on people to become conditioned to lower standards at higher prices. I still believe they are betting correctly, but the problem is, they've allowed the quality problems to swing too far, across all their products. In order for their strategy to work, they need to at least get a handle on the product.
 

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I rest my case and won't post here again

Well at least us backwards folk won't be confused by them trick questions of yours! ;D

Jeesh cut us a break. I reread your question again and still don't see the problem with my answer. I guess thats the only input I can give. I only made it to the 12th grade! :D
 

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Eli Chaps said:
Oh calm down. :p

I don't think the folks missed your point Hal, I just think they were offering up a counter point. That being, why should "we" have to consider higher prices right now when the extent of the quality issues extend so far beyond fit and finish and into the realm of functionality? At least that is how I took it. I suspect folks would be more willing to entertain shelling out additional money if they had more confidence in the product and subsequent service if it is necessary.

But, to your point, I think price increases are inevitable, just as they are for all products. Unfortunately, there are a whole lot of folks out there who scoff at the idea of price increases, even when quality is not a factor. Take gasoline for example, people are still up in arms over the price per gallon. I tend to not get that worked up over it. Now, when we start seeing $4-5/gal, I'm sure I'll start getting more agitated but considering how long gas hovered in the $1.50/gal range, I can accept it was due, if not overdue. Hell, seen the price of milk lately?!

Point being, I understand, that to some extent, the price of goods must increase with the rate of inflation at least. I had a taste of Marlin sticker shock at the start of last year. It had been six or seven years since I'd looked at a new Mod60. The last one I bought was $114. I was slightly taken aback when the cheapest one I saw around here was $149. But, I had to realize, that was still a fair price on a great rifle and it was to be expected that in that time frame, prices would climb. Especially, when one considers the outright attacks on guns and gun manufacturers by governments at all levels. Just imagine what a major deal the bluing process is alone when you consider all the Federal, State, and local environmental regs!

To address the idea of paying more for quality, well, in general, that is, or at least should be a given. The trouble is in defining "quality." Take pickups for example. I know that if I want all them fancy gizmos and a pillow ride and a quad-door road sofa that happens to haul stuff, well, it's gonna quickly get into the $30k plus field. But me? I'd rather have $2k 1964 Ford Truck that will get the same job done but that I can actually work on. To me, Marlins are a lot like that old truck. They don't tend to be fancy, they are simple, and they get the job done. Sure, they have the Cowboys and DL's and LTD's and such and I expect them to cost more because the idea is, these are the finest of the fleet. But likewise, I expect more from them in trade for the higher price. But, they are still, at their heart, a pickup truck and I would have my limits before looking at something else, be it a used gun or a different gun altogether.

I suspect it has been sometime since Marlin's were truly hand fitted. Maybe some massaging here and there, but the parts all came off machines, even the stocks. No one should kid themselves, Marlin was mass producing their products. Yet it so far appears they were able to maintain a higher level quality at a decent price than the current owner/manufacturer is capable of accomplishing. Why? The dents, scratches, and poor bluing on my 1895CB aren't the result of machines or the lack of hand fitting. I believe they are clearly the result of "forcing" the product through the plant. No longer is there any time or incentive for anyone to to catch these issues let alone correct them.

As a die hard Marlin man, I have no qualms with reasonable price increases and I understand I have to pay a "premium" for the higher demand or supposedly "premium" products, but, I see zero reason why I should be asked to pay more money in an effort to achieve the same level of quality as was being offered just a couple years ago. Inflation is one thing, gouging is another.

Excepting the fact that Remington is a union facility, when you consider the fact they dramatically reduced head count and consolidated into one facility, they should be making the same product for less cost. Now, I wouldn't expect that savings to be passed on to the consumer, hey it's business, but to raise the prices and have significant, wide-spread quality issues? That is tough pill to swallow ya know?

Here's the problem with this particular product, and I think the heart of your question; what is the quality to price balance for this product? Marlin has always been a "working man's" gun. Buyers are willing to accept they aren't get the deepest bluing, prettiest wood, etc. because they know they are getting a firearm that flat works and they are getting it a price they can afford. As that price begins to climb, more and more people are likely to start looking at other alternatives. I think it has less to do with quality, than the niche the product fills.

Your point about the food is a good one, and one I've used it here a few times. I've said it several times here that Cerberus/FGI is counting on people to become conditioned to lower standards at higher prices. I still believe they are betting correctly, but the problem is, they've allowed the quality problems to swing too far, across all their products. In order for their strategy to work, they need to at least get a handle on the product.
Well Said.................
 

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I will pay more for a fine product.
Because I don't want a "slap it together and get it out the door" product.

Here's the thing - if quality doesn't improve, then this fine product will be something other than a Marlin.
And I think that would be a shame.
 

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Hal
I would pay extra for a upgrade on a new Marlin. People did this for year's with the Winchester custom shop ( I believe Remington still has a custom shop) It would have to be a upgrade though, not just the same rifle that work's correctly. A new marlin should leave the factory functioning 100 percent correct. Fit and finish should be workable. A Marlin rifle is not a fine firearm (hiding behind my bomb and flameproof
shelter as I type this) it's a working rifle, and a very good one. I have some old Marlins and they are very nice but I also have Browning 1886 src, a Browning 1895, and a Win 1892 (all Miroku) and a browning citori and the marlins don't compare in the fit and finish department. They also cost a lot more. So yes Hal I would pay for the upgrade if it was a model that interested me.
Karl
 

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Halwg, I think I understood your question.

My 336c retailed for $134.95 when new back in 1976. A dollar back then had the buying power of $3.86 today. So, it should be possible for Marlin to continue making 336c's to the same standard that mine was made and sell them at a retail price of $134.95 X 3.86 = $520.91. That is what a 336c should cost now.

By contrast, a Ruger M-77 retailed for $215.00 back then. That would be equal to the buying power of $829.00 of today's dollars.

Even back in 1976, there was a premium beyond the base retail price for 336 derrivatives that weren't 336c's. How much that was, I don't know. But I would expect the same to be true today. In other words, a 308 MX should retail for more than a 336c. I don't think an MSRP of $750 to 800 would be out of line at all for a 308 or 338 MX made to the same standard that my '76 vintage 336 c was made to.

If Remington CAN build them to that standard, but has to increase the price to make that happen, then so be it. I don't mind paying for a quality item. I do not want an item lacking in quality at any price.


While I'm on a roll here, I'd like to address the issue of the 336c being a "workin' man's gun." Sure, it was cheaper than a Ruger M-77. It was probably one of the cheapest "deer rifles" on the market back then. But it wasn't cheaply made. It wasn't exactly cheap to buy, either.


You can buy a number of plastic stocked turnbolt guns today for around $350.00. That is equal to $89.95 in 1976 dollars and if such things would have been available back then, they would have been the workin' man's gun of the day, perhaps. But back then, even the so-called "workin' man" had some standards for quality.

I work for living, too. This "workin' man" doesn't believe in instant gratification. In things like tools and guns, you get what you pay for. I want a quality item and I am willing to forgo the "instant" part to get the "gratification" part. The pride of ownership that I've enjoyed from my Marlin 336c for the last 35 years really doesn't have a price tag. But I'd happily pay up to $800.00 or so for a 308 MX or 338 MX made like my 336c was. It would be totally worth it to me to do so. The so called "workin' man" wanting the cheapest new deer rifle he can find has plenty of cheap turnbollts to choose from. A Marlin 336 couldn't have competed with that on price back in the day and it can't now. There is no need for it to. Remington should build them right and then charge a fair price for doing that instead of trying to build the 336 line as cheap as a plastic stocked turnbolt can be made.

T-C
 

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Tele-Caster
I believe you just wrote what a lot of people have been writing on this subject. But I believe you put it in it's perspective.
I agree with you.

TO NY
 

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Wasn't the whole point of closing the CT factory and consolidating with Remington in NY supposed to be for saving money? If anything they should be able to now produce the same guns for less, with all the newfound "efficiency". But that wasn't the point really, was it? They wanted to make the operation more efficient in order to skim more profits! Reminds me of the 7 1/4" worm drive Skillsaw. I bought one of the last "made in USA" worm drives for about $145. When the new "made in China" exact models came out the price was the exact same as the USA ones were. Those people in China, making dirt wages made those saws presumably for less, why couldn't at least SOME of the savings have been returned to the customer? Now with Marlin in trouble, we are expected to pay more now than what CT Marlins were sold for just to get what CT delivered! No thanks... Make em right first and I will see how much money I have to spend on them, but on second thought I am not all that fond of lining Cerberus's wallets after they stole from the taxpayer in the last round of bailouts.,.
Bah Humbug.
 

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Halwg said:
This really isn't a rant. It's just a thought on why, possibly, the perceived quality has deteriorated.

I wonder how receptive folks would be to paying some additional money (maybe $150 - $200/gun) to get a Marlin that is assembled better than what we are seeing. I'm assuming that most of the work being done now is done by machine, and we have lost the final fit and finish, by hand, that we used to get say back in the 70's. To do more of the final hand fitting, Marlins will become higher priced, say $700 - $900 for a nicely fit 336. Guess what...that's the price range of the 336 DL! But ultimately would it be worth it? Most centerfire rifles are priced at $800+ today, and many of them have plastic stocks. So the price wouldn't be out of line. And I see those new Winchesters priced in the $1200 range.

I like the fact that Marlin has kept their prices low, but it's akin to what some of the food companies are doing. Keep the price the same but sell a smaller quantity. I think with the move, it's time to get back to assembling a better product. But we are going to have to be willing to pay for it. That would certainly take some getting used to.
I would rather pay $1000 (about what I paid for my Marlin built SBL) for a gun that is what it is supposed to be and works like it should than pay $600 for a piece of junk. It just means you have to save your pennies a little longer but you get what you pay for.
 
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