The Marlin Guide Gun
Need a hard-hitting brush gun capable of taking any game in North America? Well the Marlin Guide Gun could be the answer to those needs.
Why the Guide Gun?
The brush gun has long been defined as a handy rifle with a large heavy bullet. Usually lever-actions, hinge-breaks, or short action carbines, these guns are chambered in rounds like .30-.30, .300 Savage, and .35 Remington. While suitable for white tail, wolves, and small bear, these rounds are a little light when chasing elk and grizzly. To fix this, Marlin came out with the M1895G Guide Gun. Capable of firing a 300-grain .45 caliber JHP bullet at 2,275 ft/s, yet still about the same size as your classic .30-.30, it is a game changer.
Design of the 1895G
Marlin has long been known for its solid-top lever action rifles. Its popular 336 series was introduced in 1948 and the current Model 1895 rifle is based on the final design of the 336 but enlarged and strengthened for more powerful, big bore cartridges in 1972. Initially chambered in the .444 Marlin, the 1895G Guide Gun was introduced in 1998 as a .45/70. The old round, used by the US Army for over 30 years during the Indian Wars, is absolutely devastating. The 37" overall firearm weighs only 7 lbs, making it has handy as a .30-.30 but many times as powerful. It features a straight-grip stock for fast pointing. A 4-shot tubular magazine and fast side-eject lever action make follow up shots on large dangerous game fast and effective. The 18.5" uses a meandering 1:20" right hand twist and deep-cut 6-groove Ballard-type rifling to impart accuracy to the big slug. Stock Guide guns run about $550 online, and go slightly higher in retail big box stores. However many hunters are looking past stock to something else entirely.
With the Guide gun coming scope-ready and a number of aftermarket accessories available for it, it screams for customization. Several companies specialize in turning this platform into what could be referred to as the ultimate lever-action survival arm. Wild West Guns in Anchorage is one of the better known of these providers. In what they bill as their Co-Pilot series modification, they take the stock 1895G, chop it down even smaller, port the barrel, install a 3 pound trigger kit, and finely tune it to shoot a 1-inch MOA group. Besides the standard .45/70 Government, they also offer it in .50 caliber and their proprietary .457 Wild West Magnum. Bad part is that the WWG conversions cost about $2,000 a pop. However if you are going camping in Alaska, it could very well save your life.
Therefore, whether it is the stock version or the tricked out Co-Pilot, if you need the next level of brush gun, this could be it.