Enter the 177: Marlin Air Rifles

  1. Editor
    When you think Marlin Firearms, you think just that-- firearms. Well it seems that there is also a Marlin-branded air rifle on the market today for those little shooters to enjoy as well. With that in mind, we look at the Marlin Cowboy.

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    Marlin air guns?

    Over the past 130 years, Marlin has made a number of different items including shotguns, burp guns, machine guns, and handguns besides the standard list of .22 rifles, lever guns and bolt-action rigs.

    However, members ask about old Marlin pellet rifles that they remember from the 50s and 60s, and we like air guns in general. With that in mind, we went looking for Marlin pneumatics.

    Vintage guns

    Marlin as a company came and went several times over the years and absorbed several smaller operations including H&R, New England Firearms, and Hopkins and Allen. While they made numerous different gun models over that time, we just cannot find any legacy pellet or bb guns made by the company before 2010. Lt. Col. William S. Brophy USAR (Ret.), the expert that lived, ate, and slept Marlin firearms to the extent that he created the most expansive book on the subject we have ever heard of, doesn't mention any pellet guns in its expansive 704 page text.

    We checked page per page to make sure.

    That doesn't mean the company did not loan its name to other company's pellet guns. After all, in the mid-20th century Marlin was very diverse and in the habit of giving large department stores new guns custom made with 'house name' branding. Its therefore not above the possibility they sublet their name to some bb guns of the day. We just can't find them.

    Speaking of loaning names...

    The Marlin Cowboy

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    (Photo: Crosman)

    Crosman Airgun company, the classic group that dates back to 1924 and owns Benjamin Sheridan, in 2010 introduced the LAM350 Marlin Cowboy rifle. This lever action BB gun looks like an homage to Marlin's classic English-stocked cowboy guns such as the 1894. It should be because its directly licensed by Marlin and based on Marlin's historic capital of being used by Annie Oakley and others, the gun is "styled for shooters who appreciate the nostalgia of old-west Cowboy Action Shooters."

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    (Photo: Crosman)

    I have to admit that I personally haven't tried one out, but Pyramidair, one of the biggest names in the air gun game, did when it came out and they liked it for what it is-- essentially Crosman/Marlin's answer to the Winchester-inspired Daisy Red Rider.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xUpBLcHaZs
    Tabletop review by Replica Air Guns on the Marlin Cowboy

    Here's the specs:

    • Velocity: Up to 350 fps
    • Weight: 2.75 lbs.
    • Length: 35.5 in
    • Mechanism: Lever Action
    • Power Source: Spring
    • Caliber: 4.5 mm
    • Ammunition: BBs
    • BB: Reservoir 700 BBs
    • Barrel: Smooth
    • Front Sight: Fixed Blade
    • Rear Sight: Adjustable Notch
    • Safety: Cross-bolt
    • Stock: Wood

    These neat little guns run about $35-$45 (shop around) and make a good intro lever for that special kid in your life. They even export them to the UK where they run nearly $100.

    Since the 350 fps .177-caliber, power is sufficient to poke holes in paper but not passable for hunting, it's firmly in the area of a plinker and tin can assassin. There are worse things to spend under fifty bucks on-- especially if it helps prime the next generation of Marlin lovers.

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