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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was cleaning my old 1892 .22 today and the thought struck me that it is actually a lot simpler than the 97/39/39A family of .22's. Why didn't Marlin reintroduce it after WWI and then just evolve it into what became todays .22's? I don't think that takedown feature of the '97's and 39's is really all that important to most folks, otherwise Marlin would still make takedown centerfire guns!
 

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The reason the takedown feature was dropped is not that simple.
First was the cost of the centerfire takedown system. It involves more parts than the rimfire, and costs a lot to manufacture.
Second, the takedown system wasn't perfect. Many folks didn't understand how it worked, and went after the locking cam with various blunt instruments, in aneffort to take the rifles down. This caused ugly marks and dings, as seen on the old guns today.
Finally, because of the cost, the system was not a huge selling item. When you bought a Marlin rifle for about $13-$14 and then paid another $3.50 for the takedown system, it was a lot of money! Imagine paying $400 for one today, and another $100 to have the takedown system. I personally think it would be worth it, but I would have been in the minority back then, as now.
The 1892, with it's sidepalte, was no more costly to build than the model 1897 and it's later descendants. The sideplate involved just as much, or more to machine, and really wasn't a simpler design, but just a different design.
I like all the old Marlins, and an early model 1897 is as beautiful as the old 1892, in my opinion. Actually, with their blued receivers, the model 1892 was a bit plainer than the 1897 with it's gorgeous casehardened receiver, although the bluing on my original 1892 is drop dead gorgeous, compared to today's guns! I wish they'd bring back the old guns, built exactly as they were over 100 years ago!
 

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Yep, I like them, too!! I'd have to say the main reason is an economic one. Marlin would have to tool for the model, and it would take X units of 1892 just to break even. The perception is that an X sized market does not exist. In reality, it probably does not. You will get a lot of agreement here that it actually does, but this site is where the majority of people that appreciate such things hang out. Frequently, someone will post a question what would everyone like to see Marlin make, and it's always fun to participate in that. Sadly, though, in the end Marlin will make what they believe will sell and that can be more or less produced on existing tooling.

Marlin has experimented with a number of things over the past several years, and the most successful have been items like the guide gun and cowboy variations. The 17 cal stuff went well for them since they were able to use existing stock & receiver tooling and only invest in the barrel component. I guess 'Joe Average' shooter just ain't interested in the same stuff we are, and thus the high prices for the originals.

Our only hope is to petition Davidsons for something like that. If the 32 mag becomes reality, it could be the basis for an 1892-like firearm. Now to find out ow they conduct their market surveys and stuff the ballot box!! SW
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually, all us old Marlin lovers may have a chance to see our theory that "Marlins made as nice as they were a hundred years ago would sell today" to be tested! Rumor has it that Hartford Armory is going to tool up to make the 1889 Marlin as it is different enough from the 1894 that Marlin is now making to prevent lawsuit. However, an original flat bolt style 1893 and 1895 would also be substantially different looking than Marlin's current round bolt guns, so who knows where this could lead. Hartford Armory seems to be a company in pursuit of quality if their 1875's are any indication, so maybe we will see exact copies of old Marlins, just not from the Marlin company. Kinda sad for Marlin really, but it will prove or disprove all of us that say quality copies of the old Marlins would sell even if they were expensive. Parts for the old 1889's would sure be easier to get, as Hartford Armory would make an EXACT copy from a thread size/mechanics standpoint from what I have heard.
 

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Wonder if they'd be interested in the 1881 and 1888? I'd definitely be in for an '88 in 44-40. The originals are a bit scarce on the ground.

Willy
 
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I have a 1892 32cal that was made in 1906 ! And I just got it shooting last week after about 9 months ! Also have an 1897T which is a very nice piece but for some reason I like my 1892 a whole lot more !! Probably due to the fact that I can load and cast for it !!!
 
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