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Today marks the one year anniversary of the North Haven plant closing and I felt I needed to reflect back to what I miss most. This is not a rant, just a way for me to remember, reflect on better times that are gone forever.

I regret that the hands that built my father’s Marlin’s and my Marlin’s will be different than those that build my children’s and grand children’s.

I regret that knowledgeable manufacturing engineers, machine operators, forklift drivers, receivers, shippers, assemblers and yes, inspectors lost an opportunity to continue in a craft they learned and loved.

I regret that we can no longer hold a MarlinOwners auction for a new, quality built beautiful 444, we have lost so much with just this one small gesture.

I regret I didn’t get back into Marlin’s earlier, when the focus was on craftsmanship and customer service.

I miss the fact that you can no longer order a Marlin lever just anytime you want.

But I feel lucky that there are so many great used Marlin’s still available for purchase, the sign of craftsmanship and caring about detail that still shows on aged guns as well.

I feel fortunate that I found this forum and some of the best friends I’ve ever had.

I feel fortunate that I own the Marlins that I do.

A thank you goes out to all of the North Haven employees, you have not been forgotten. My Marlin family continues to grow and each and every one that I’ve owned represents a fond memory of your contributions.

1895gunner
 

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And what a sad day it is too.
 

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Gun show is in the morning, maybe one of those quality built Marlins will find its forever home with me.
 

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You guys have been at this much longer than me, but I've been studying Marlin history and catching up on the transition problems following acquisition by Cerberus. As an old timer, I naturally appreciate what Marlin used to be; I appreciate the people at all levels who made Marlin a fine American manufacturing company. I'm probably less nostalgic about the company's current difficulties because I arrived on the scene so late. Gunner's words do ring true to me, however, based on what I've learned in the months since I joined MO.

The Marlins I'm interested in are seen in the rear view mirror. The rifles that capture my fancy were built in North Haven by people who were personally connected through pride and loyalty to the Marlin brand. The rifles I seek are out there in every state in the hands of private owners who acquired them for personal use or investment before everything changed. The legacy of Marlin workers in North Haven, which will endure long after Cerberus fades from the scene, is the fine rifles they built; its the rifles we own or will acquire in years ahead.

Instead of lamenting the loss of genuine Marlin manufacturing on this anniversary of the plant's closing, maybe we should celebrate what was accomplished in North Haven by many people over many years of operation. I'm still enjoying the fruits of their devoted labor and will until I'm dirt. I hope that's some consolation to the people who were the pulse of Marlin in N.H. The history they created lives on through us.

I guess Gunner already said most of these things, so I'm just agreeing with him...as usual.
 

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Well said there SwampDude! I agree, there is plenty to celebrate... Hopefully the little lady won't mind if I continue to celebrate by adopting more and more "lightly" used older Marlins.....

1895gunner
 

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Eli... that pic brought a tear to my eye.

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I don't mean to get off subject here but I've often wondered. After seeing what has become of Marlin and the employees, do you think Mr. Kenna cares? Knowing then what he knows now, would he still have sold Marlin?
 

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I don't mean to get off subject here but I've often wondered. After seeing what has become of Marlin and the employees, do you think Mr. Kenna cares? Knowing then what he knows now, would he still have sold Marlin?
I obviously am an outsider looking in but from what I've read (books, here, etc.) and seen in videos, I would have to say yes he cares but he's an old dude and for whatever reason the kids wanted out of the gun business. Maybe the fact that he sold off Marlin before he died and the business ended up being shredded by the courts is proof that he cared. Remember, they were told the plant would not be closing.
 

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I obviously am an outsider looking in but from what I've read (books, here, etc.) and seen in videos, I would have to say yes he cares but he's an old dude and for whatever reason the kids wanted out of the gun business. Maybe the fact that he sold off Marlin before he died and the business ended up being shredded by the courts is proof that he cared. Remember, they were told the plant would not be closing.
This type of business tragedy happens more than we would like to admit here in the US. I don't like buyouts, cosolidations, etc. they almost always involve the loss of jobs that were manned by skilled people for the goal of increased profits. It never works. It is a short term carpet-bag management style that I would love to make illegal somehow. These short term raiders come in and cash out the business and then disappear into the woods without any responsibility for the now huge losses due to terrible quality control and customer satisfaction problems. This is no isolated story and I hate it. I know how these BS jockeys work. Marlin, as a gunmaker, is in serious trouble. What they should do is an about face 180 degree turn and reopen the New Haven plant and hire back as many of the skilled workers as possible.
 

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I wonder if the hands that built my 36 year old 336 were still making Marlins in the end. I doubt that, somehow. They couldn't have been the same hands that made the 1894 in .218 that was my second Marlin. The first one was perfect. The second one? Far from it!

I don't really want any more Marlin-branded firearms than the "perfect in every way" 336 and equally "perfect in every way" XT-22 that I have now.

But, like Eli Chaps, I am concerned about spare parts availability. I can see Remington continuing to build Marlin-branded semi-auto and bolt action rimfires for quite some time, but I am not so sanguin about their desire to continue building the lever action products that they have had so much trouble getting right. No need to keep making parts for rifles you don't intend to keep producing. If they do keep producing lever actions, parts for new ones may or may not interchange with parts on mine.

I don't miss it yet, but I can easily forsee a time when I am going to miss being able to order a new extractor for my 336 as I can't order a new one for my Remington 721.

Hopefully, if Remington stays true to form and ceases support of discontinued product, the aftermarket will step in with quality replacement parts.

T-C
 

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I wonder if the hands that built my 36 year old 336 were still making Marlins in the end. I doubt that, somehow. They couldn't have been the same hands that made the 1894 in .218 that was my second Marlin. The first one was perfect. The second one? Far from it!

I don't really want any more Marlin-branded firearms than the "perfect in every way" 336 and equally "perfect in every way" XT-22 that I have now.

But, like Eli Chaps, I am concerned about spare parts availability. I can see Remington continuing to build Marlin-branded semi-auto and bolt action rimfires for quite some time, but I am not so sanguin about their desire to continue building the lever action products that they have had so much trouble getting right. No need to keep making parts for rifles you don't intend to keep producing. If they do keep producing lever actions, parts for new ones may or may not interchange with parts on mine.

I don't miss it yet, but I can easily forsee a time when I am going to miss being able to order a new extractor for my 336 as I can't order a new one for my Remington 721.

Hopefully, if Remington stays true to form and ceases support of discontinued product, the aftermarket will step in with quality replacement parts.

T-C
I just hope companies like Wild West Guns steps up to provide quality replacement parts. I like all the parts I have bought from them but I dont' think they make all the parts yet, right?
 
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