The little known Marlin Model 200 crack barrel shotgun

  1. Editor
    It a fit of growth before being acquired by Remington, in 2000 Marlin purchased the assets of H&R 1871, a Massachusetts-based firearms maker who had likewise made guns under the moniker of NEF for generations. This company, the largest manufacturer of single shot shotguns and rifles in the world, even made a Marlin branded shotgun for a brief period.

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    Marlin's single shot background

    Known primarily for their rifles, Marlin Firearms of New Haven, Connecticut also sold a line of shotguns for nearly a century that we have covered extensively on these pages. One of these was a single shot break action breechloader, the Model 60. A rare 12-gauge with a 30 or 32-inch barrel, this gun was only made in 1923 and in small numbers. As far as I can tell, they did not make another Marlin-branded single shot until H&R was bought over 75 years later.

    Harrington & Richardson

    Dating back to an 1871 collaboration between Gilbert H. Harrington and William A. Richardson H&R started making guns in Worcester, Massachusetts, concentrating primarily on small pistols and revolvers before expanding to double-barreled shotguns. In 1900, they produced their first single-shot 12 gauge and by 1943 had introduced their classic Topper series single barrel. These simple hammerless guns, which used a hinge-break action and contained less than 40 parts when you count every screw, became the staple of the company, which later morphed into the Pardner series.

    Out of business in 1986, H&R 1871 was founded a few years later which picked up where the previous company left off, making the same shotguns under the historic H&R, Wesson & Harrington, and New England Firearms (NEF) names until 2000 when Marlin bought them out. This leads us to the...

    Marlin 200

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    Made by H&R for their new company (and roll-marked Marlin Firearms Co, North Haven CT) this short-lived series of shotguns were a special run for big box store K-Mart (back when they sold guns). Introduced in the year 2000 (hence the 200 model number), all serials for these guns start with KM to designate the end-seller.

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    At the time, H&R made shotguns with a non-Schnabel style forend while NEF marked guns had a casehardened finish.

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    On the Marlins, these two features were combined to give a truly unique offering. These guns were made in 12, 20, and .410 all with a 3-inch chamber, modified choke, and gold front sight BB-style bead. Barrel lengths varied between 25 inches for the .410s to 27.5 for the larger calibers.

    Getting your own

    In January 2008, Remington acquired Marlin as well as their H&R 1871 and New England Firearms (NEF) subsidiaries. It is believed that production of the Model 200 ended sometime before then as K-Mart had scaled back its gun sales to eliminate all but air rifles and pellet guns which it still carries today.

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    As the Marlin 200 is essentially an H&R single shot which has been largely unchanged since 1987, most replacement parts for those series will interchange. Typical prices on these odd birds run from $75-$175 which is about the same as most single barrels.

    Still, if you see a casehardened Marlin single shot out there for a good price, it might make a good addition to the collection.

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