I've been Looking at new SBL's, Are the newest ones better than when remington first took over? What ser#'s should I be looking for? I see some have flutted bolts and some don't. I like the flutted bolt better.
I have a Remlin SBL. Mine was made early this year, 2014. Do your homework here on this site. You will find lots of posts concerning these new rifles. Look it over good, barrel on correctly? Look down the sites make sure the front site is pointing up and not canted. All of the canted ones I've run across have been to the right with rifle shouldered. Cycle it, check the inside of receiver with a bore light. If all looks and cycles well, buy and get a trusted smith to give it a once over. If the store you are looking in won't allow you to cycle and use a bore light, then set it down and walk out.
Mine has turned out to be a very sweet shooting rifle. Very pleased. Would I rather have a JM SBL? Yes, but they seem to be rare! lol
As with any gun purchase, check it out from stem to stern with a critical eye. On the SBL, common laments include sights/barrels askew (look down the bore line to make sure both front and rear sights look in allignment with each other and the receiver). Check the scope mounting holes in the top of the receiver to make sure they are centered. Look carefully at the fit and finish of the stock set, especially the butt. Look for excessive gapping between wood and metal. I have seen some that looked fine, and some that should never left the factory. I have yet to see a shop that would not allow me to work the action, but apparently it happens.
Mine is a 2013 model and it's great!
Just look over any that you want to buy closely and in person.
Also keep in mind that the last JM stamped stuff that was coming
out of Marlin very late also had some problems.
Always look guns over closely before you hand over any cash.
Doesn't matter what brand of gun either.