Last week Marlin Firearms released their new 2015 catalog and in its short 12-pages are somethings new, somethings old, somethings borrowed, and somethings blue. With that in mind, we broke it down to see just what is in store for the coming year.
George Kollitides Marlin 2015 Catalog Intro
While many manufacturers such (Ruger anyone?) seem to introduce a new gun every week, it seems that Marlin, in the spirit of their cautious rebooting are taking things slow. As mentioned by Chairman and CEO of Freedom Group (the monolithic group who owns Remington, Marlin, Bushmaster, DPMS and others) George Kollitides mentions in the above video, just two big entries seem on tap for 2015.
New big loop 1895 GSBL in .45-70
There are a whole lot of characters in the model name of Marlin's new rifle.
The "G" is an ode to the fact that the gun, with its 18.5-inch 1:20RH twist barrel with 6-groove deep-cut Ballard-type rifling is the same length as in the Guide series rifles.
The "S" is stainless, and don't get us wrong, even though the gun looks blued, its actually has much greater corrosion resistance as all major metal parts are machined from stainless steel that has been FNC (ferric nitrocarburizing) treated to be a nice dark color.
"B" is for the big-loop finger lever while "L" denotes the full-length tubular magazine and laminated stock. This gives the gun a 6+1 magazine capacity over the more standard Guide guns that only carry 4 rounds. If you are moose or bear hunting, or even for that matter going after hogs in the Pearl River of Mississippi like I do, it's nice to have a few extra rounds that aren't in your pocket. In short, the gun is an improvement on the 1895GBL in the fact that it is stainless.
We covered this gun in more detail last November and are glad to see its in the lineup officially.
A limited edition model of the classic 1895 rifle to include a 24-inch octagon barrel with a full-length magazine tube looks as if it stepped right off the train from the last days of the Old West.
However, it definitely has some more modern swag to include a stylized Marlin horse and rider logo in gold (24 karat) as well as an elk inlay. No mention as to the cost of these but they will be limited to 1,500 numbered guns. Overall, a nice return to the old collector's short run guns of the Connecticut days. Last year the company offered a very handsome 336CLE that had similar but more muted styling.
The Model 39A, long a Marlin staple, is not included in their newest catalog. We do not have any confirmation that the company is striking the long favorite rimfire lever gun and the model is in fact mentioned briefly on page three of the catalog ("...the Model 39A, still in production today as the oldest continually produced rifle in the world.") and the gun's page is still housed at the official website so we hope that it is just overlooked in the catalog. Maybe this classic is so good it does not need to be advertised. We hope anyway.
Also missing from the catalog is the entire line of centerfire bolt-action rifles. Now the company has always had a weird on-again/off-again relationship with bolt-action deer guns but they just introduced a new series of (the X7) last year and it seems very premature to abandon it after just a few months of actually getting guns in the hands of shooters.
However, like the M39A, Marlin still has these guns on their website so possibly it's an omission. If so, they need to fire their catalog guy.
Also visitors to Marlin's Facebook page were quick to point out that the Model 1894 does not appear to have any mention of being chambered in .44 Magnum, long a favorite in that gun.
Say it's not so Marlin!
Anyway, we'll keep you informed as soon as we get any clarification either way.