Marlin Firearms Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Joined
·
1,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ran across a recent article from White Tail Trackers re. Marlin 2018 Quality that included links to two Big Woods Bucks videos from an Ilion, NY factory tour showing Marlin's new $7M worth of machines (I do love CNC machines), each one and which parts are made and how many per day, and discussing how things are done better in Ilion today vs. Connecticut.

Thoughts?

A walk through the factory

Marlin Rifle?s Quality Control 2018 ? Making Sure the Receivers are in Spec - Whitetail Trackers
by Mark Scheeren | Jul 25, 2018

I previously wrote an article titled An Illuminating Trip to the Marlin Firearms Factory. In my article talked about the much improved quality control standards put in place by Marlin Firearms in recent years. In the videos featured in Big Woods Bucks Video Gallery chronicling the construction of my Marlin 45/70 SBL Trapper at the Ilion, NY Marlin Rifles factory, one of the most interesting stations was the computer that makes sure all the internal and external measurements and surfaces of the CNC’d receivers are within spec. (shown in detail in the video at the end of this article) as the computer runs its “feelers” across each machined surface to ensure uniformity. It’s this level of minute measurement of tolerances that make the new Marlins have that crisp and clean feel in the hand. Every line and surface of a new generation Marlin is checked and re-checked on this computer run system. It was very interesting to watch. If it finds a discrepancy or measurement out of spec, it goes in the scrap heap. But with all the receivers now made on new CNC machines, very little makes it to the melting pot.

Improved Quality Control
What is interesting about this process is the result. On a few of the Marlin forums you sometimes hear people complain that the new Marlin’s receivers are too angular and “sharp.” In actuality, the dimensions are exactly the same as the older rifles previously made in Connecticut, but without the worn out tolerances of the old factory methods. If you compare the newest Ilion made receivers like the one on my 2018 Trapper, with a late run JM stamped Marlin made in Connecticut, you can see the distinct increase in quality on the newer CNC machined and computer measured receivers made in Ilion. People became so accustomed to the older receivers that were made in Connecticut, that the new ones created in Ilion feel extremely tight and “different.” That difference is the tighter tolerances made today. through rigorous quality control measures. When you received a late run Connecticut made Marlin, it felt “worn in” from the factory. In reality, this is not good. Instead, you want the tolerances tight, and then in time all the parts glean together. That is accomplished by making every part on computer aided machinery. While the transition years from JM to Ilion stamped rifles was a painful learning curve for the new factory, it was the investment in these measuring tools that helped make the newest Marlins some of the best ever made.
 
Joined
·
1,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
MOF does not like posting a video apparently. :-( So click on the article and they have links to the videos.

 
  • Like
Reactions: gunscrewguy

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,942 Posts
Interesting to say the least. We can all agree the design of the rifle is excellent and if they can use newer technology to get tighter specs I say good job. I have a mix of remlins and JM models and I like everyone of them. There are folks that have bad experiences and will continue to bash and rant about this or that. In the end I hope this article is correct and the production is back up to proper specifications, the market will tell you how successful they are.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,401 Posts
I sure hope things will get better at Ilon after the bankruptcy. My LGS won't order the new Remlins due to their past experiences so it will be awhile before I see a new 336/1894/1895--etc. As far as the NIB "worn in" JMs--they worked much better than my NIB 2012 308MX tight tolerance Remlin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,232 Posts
I purchased a 336 about 4 years ago and the action was good. In the store I worked the action upside down and every angle I could with out a jamb. My problem was the action was the only good thing about it. The bore was so rough it would snag cleaning patches, the for end was forced on so that it bent the end of the magazine tube and I had to remove 1/4" of wood from the back of it to fit it back on, the barrel band had unfinished edges that scratched the bluing off the barrel when I removed the the for end and now I am having trouble with the but stock not fitting at the back of the action causing my groups to spread horizontally. The action on a lever action gun can be perfect and still give you 4" groups at 50yds. I have seen the fit and Finnish on some new ones and I believe Remington still has a long way to go.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
27,407 Posts
LOL, that second paragraph should get an award for creative CYA writing, especially for the term "but without the worn out tolerances of the old factory methods" and it felt “worn in” from the factory. In reality, this is not good. Instead, you want the tolerances tight, and then in time all the parts glean together."

The authors truest statement in that creative piece was "While the transition years from JM to Ilion stamped rifles was a painful learning curve for the new factory." I'd say that is a gross understatement.

I do hope their 8 to 9 million buck investment pays off. But what I would like to have seen is their furniture production, checkering, finishing and fitment. Then their final assembly and QC of a finished Marlin lever.

I've handled three very recent builds and must say they are far better than anything Remington has produced. Hopefully, they can match how consistent CT was in putting out fine Marlins. Time will tell.


Jack
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
24,334 Posts
I sure hope things will get better at Ilon after the bankruptcy. My LGS won't order the new Remlins due to their past experiences so it will be awhile before I see a new 336/1894/1895--etc. As far as the NIB "worn in" JMs--they worked much better than my NIB 2012 308MX tight tolerance Remlin.

My LGS washed his hands of them several years back.
He won't even take a used one with a MR serial number.
I have no hatred of Remington personally, though I do feel
they could have and should have avoided this entire debacle.
I wouldn't mind looking at some of the newest production examples.
But the closest place I can see one is an hour and a half away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,546 Posts
"but without the worn out tolerances of the old factory methods"
How do tolerances wear out? Numbers on paper or e-file. Machines wear and when they get to the point they can no longer hold tolerances called for they need repaired or replaced.
As in the other post the author did not know what he was seeing.
I saw very little on the video to indicate what was really being made.
 
Joined
·
1,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Ho-Hum......................No Thanks, I don't want or need any more Koolaid.................

Tom
Good to see you Tomray. I was especially thinking of your insights when I saw this article and watched the video. I thought it kind of unfair that they were basically saying that the JM marlins were inferior to the new and improved quality and expensive machines that deliver to the highest tolerances. As you know, I've worked on and purchased hundreds of JM Marlins and have yet experience "tolerance" issues in the receiver or otherwise.

I DO hope they're on their way to better quality. $7M+ in the newest machinery and a factory full of workers. Seems like they should everything they need to succeed in a great comeback. I WISH we had all those great assets upon which to bring to market a top quality lever-action. :idea:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
654 Posts
I wish them success, and a recent trapper model I looked at was excellent but you have to have consistency in a product. Like the old saying goes "The tools don't make the carpenter" (or the machinist in this case).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
345 Posts
I'd call it repeatable tolerances. A CNC will duplicate little tiny dinky holes, that line up with thousands of other dinky holes, over and over. I got that from the aircraft industry. Thousands upon thousands of rivet holes, that line up with the underlying structure...…. perfectly. Eliminates the need for jigs. That'll never happened with human hand work, and least within a descent time frame. Even with jigs, airplanes were often out of whack.

As to old machinery wear, I'm certainly acquainted with that. It was those old machine shop machines, that I once repaired. Has been quite a few years though.
In the meantime, I'm working on two stocks for muzzle loaders. I will spend lots of time, filing, sanding and finishing. If it wasn't for modern techniques, these factory rifles would be far over the price point we're paying. I wish the company well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
I am a little apprehensive about jumping into this but with two of the top dogs in lever actions on this rant I can't resist. It is a question I asked in a different thread. Does the design of the Marlin lever action actually lend itself to a loose fit for most components? We all learned from the Japanese autos that loose fit designs last a heck of a lot longer and operate smoother than the German tight tolerances which go out of spec relatively quickly. Could this be what Remington doesn't understand? Could this be what I don't understand? I don't know how you justify sights going two different directions on the barrel issues that they have but could all the rest of it be too small of a tolerance target?
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
975 Posts
It seems like Marlin is looking to increase business. By happenstance, my first lever action was a new 2016 336W. So far, I have no major complaints. Also by happenstance, my second lever action was a new 2015 H009. I have been thinking about a third lever action. Marlin is the brand I have been considering. But, I thinking about a 357 in the stainless steel finish with walnut. So, I may trying something different, look for an used one or get a new or used 1894C. Not sure yet. It will probably boil down to what is available and what I am willing to pay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
I am a little apprehensive about jumping into this but with two of the top dogs in lever actions on this rant I can't resist. It is a question I asked in a different thread. Does the design of the Marlin lever action actually lend itself to a loose fit for most components? We all learned from the Japanese autos that loose fit designs last a heck of a lot longer and operate smoother than the German tight tolerances which go out of spec relatively quickly. Could this be what Remington doesn't understand? Could this be what I don't understand? I don't know how you justify sights going two different directions on the barrel issues that they have but could all the rest of it be too small of a tolerance target?
John
That seems like a pretty valid question. Almost like trying to make an AK47 work with really tight tolerances?
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top