The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old February 18, 2013, 09:29 PM   #1
RickE
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2009
Location: Kirkland Wa.
Posts: 516
When did the Marlin quality drop?

I have my dad's 336, built in 1948. 95% new condition, limited use over 65 years. Maybe 500 rounds. I want a .444, or 45/70, but can not accept the quality of the new rifles. Spoiled? maybe, but the action, fit and finish is terrible now. How far back must one go (large bore) to get a quality Marlin?
RickE is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 10:04 PM   #2
Crotalus
Member
 
Join Date: August 22, 2007
Posts: 32
I know what you mean about the new marlins. I was just in the market or a hog busting levergun. I love Marlins, OLDER Marlins. So I went to a local gun show and was lucky enough to randomly stumble onto a rare Model 375 Marlin, in .375win.

Made in 1980 and the quality is great. A friend of mine also has a 336 in 35rem made in 81, the quality is good as well. Not sure exactly when the quality started to fall off but I think it was around the time they came out with the hammer block safety. Some people may disagree though.
Crotalus is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 11:13 PM   #3
shouldazagged
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2013
Location: Louisville, KY, USA
Posts: 273
Sorry to hear this about Marlin quality. I've owned their lever guns for many years. The only one I still have is a 40-year-old 39A (my second) which is a jewel. Had a fine 336 in .30-30 years ago, first-rate quality.

I always just thought the crossbolt safety was unnecessary, a case of lawyers dictating changes to a classic design--never a good thing, in my opinion.
__________________
"Don't let macho be your epitaph."
---Ed Lovette
shouldazagged is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 11:20 PM   #4
cdbeagle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2012
Location: Justin Texas
Posts: 288
Most people think it started when Marlin was purchased by the Freedom Group.
__________________
I comprehend how a projectile can, “lose velocity", but don't understand how a projectile can, "loose velocity".
cdbeagle is offline  
Old February 18, 2013, 11:35 PM   #5
DPris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 19, 2004
Posts: 4,800
Having owned & worked with Marlin leverguns for several years, I saw quality going downhill noticeably about a year before the old plant shut down, and well before Remington really wrapped their hands around the brand.
Denis
DPris is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 12:23 AM   #6
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 6,986
Quality took a nose dive when North Haven employees received notice that they'd all be losing their jobs (with very few given the option to transfer), when production was moved to Ilion NY and Mayfield KY. So, there was about a year's worth of low quality crap coming from disgruntled North Haven employees, and then another year's worth of low quality crap coming from Remington employees that didn't know what they were doing and machinery that hadn't been set up properly.

The current production isn't too bad.
It's just the "transition" rifles you have to watch out for. -Often not-so-fondly referred to as "Marlingtons" (disgruntled production) and "Remlins" (Remington production).
__________________
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 10:31 AM   #7
Joe Chicago
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2011
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 277
Probably when The Freedom Group acquired Marlin. That is when Remington's quality tanked. But take heart; Cyburus (Freedom Group's owner) is divesting itself of firearms manufacturers so maybe someone who actually cares about firearms will buy it and get the QC back up.
Joe Chicago is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 10:31 AM   #8
tsillik
Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2011
Location: Carter Lake Ia.
Posts: 64
So about what year did this all start? Terry
tsillik is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 10:55 AM   #9
Water-Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 23, 2008
Location: N. Georgia
Posts: 1,616
I believe Remington bought Marlin in 2008 and the Marlin plant was shut down in 2010.
__________________
Vietnam Veteran
1964 - 1965
Water-Man is offline  
Old February 19, 2013, 12:58 PM   #10
DPris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 19, 2004
Posts: 4,800
Marlin QC was already getting problematic BEFORE the workers were told about the old plant closing.
Can't lay it all on either disgruntled employees or Remington.
Denis
DPris is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 06:05 AM   #11
steveNChunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2012
Location: Southern Appalachian Mtns
Posts: 1,405
Marlin was indeed bought out by Freedom group in 2007 and they were moved from North Haven to Remington's plant in Kentucky in 2010. If a Marlin has "JM" stamped on the right side of the barrel, its a pre-Remington model made at the old North Haven plant. 2010 and newer models will have "REP" stamped on the right side of the barrel, indicating they were produced at Remington's KY plant. The quality control of the newer "Remlins" is spotty at best but you could still luck up and get a good one. I'd stick to the "JM" guns myself
__________________
"I don't understand all that I know"

"I never said half the crap that people on the internet claim I said" - Abraham Lincoln
steveNChunter is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 06:58 AM   #12
tango1niner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Location: rural upstate NY
Posts: 126
I have a .444 SS made in 1995. Has the hammer block safety. Interestingly it has a half-cock hammer position. Quality is in the tradition of Marlin firearms with great wood, fit and finish.
tango1niner is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 08:12 AM   #13
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,550
would love to find a SS 444 Marlin... that one is a keeper for sure...
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 12:02 PM   #14
DPris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 19, 2004
Posts: 4,800
The JM is not a guaranteed indicator the entire gun was made at the old factory.
Two years ago when going through the racks of display leverguns at the Marlin booth at the SHOT Show in Vegas I was told by two different Marlin people that they continued using up existing stocks of "old factory" barrels on new guns built at the "new factory" till they were gone.
Denis
DPris is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 01:58 PM   #15
mach1.3
Member
 
Join Date: February 6, 2012
Location: Spring, Texas
Posts: 85
Here we go. I may be mistaked but I will double check when I get home.
I think my newest M60 with a SN#00xxxxxx which would be a 2000 date of manu. gun has REP encircled on the right side of the bbl. There wasn't a JM that I could see. I'll check that and get back to you. I don't have any issues with the rifle but am interested in knowing what's what.
mach1.3 is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 04:38 PM   #16
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 6,986
Quote:
The JM is not a guaranteed indicator the entire gun was made at the old factory.
Two years ago when going through the racks of display leverguns at the Marlin booth at the SHOT Show in Vegas I was told by two different Marlin people that they continued using up existing stocks of "old factory" barrels on new guns built at the "new factory" till they were gone.
What he said ^^

The "REP" and "JM" stamps are not 'proof marks', as many people seem to think.
It is simply a manufacturer's stamp for the barrel.

REP barrels were seen on some North Haven Marlins, before the move; and JM barrels were seen on some Ilion/Mayfield Marlins, after the move.

The transition from JM to REP occurred at what ever point in time the stock of JM barrels ran out. For some models, it was well before North Haven was shut down.

The serial number (year of manufacture) is far more useful than just avoiding "REP" barrels.


If you ask around, especially on the Marlin forums, you'll find that most people can't tell the difference in performance between the JM and REP barrels. Some people have even argued that the REP barrels are superior.
Regardless, that stamp only tells you who made the barrel. The rest of the parts, and its place of assembly, are more important if you want to avoid "Remlins"/"Marlingtons".
__________________
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 05:04 PM   #17
steveNChunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2012
Location: Southern Appalachian Mtns
Posts: 1,405
DPris and FrankenMauser are correct. I said the stamp on the barrel indicated where the gun was made, when it actually just indicates a time frame of when the barrel was made. Undoubtedly batches of REP barrels were sent to the old plant, and batches of old JM barrels were taken to the new plant. Guns made during the transition period around probably 2008-2011 would be nearly impossible to figure out the date and location of manufacture without looking up the serial #. Looking at the barrel stamp is something you can do quickly at a gun show or in a store for a quick reference, but its not a sure thing. But there were reports of a lack of quality control from the time Freedom Group bought Marlin in '07, so to be safe, I'd look for an older Marlin. I'm not saying there weren't any good Marlin's made after 2007, just that there might have been a few more bad ones.
__________________
"I don't understand all that I know"

"I never said half the crap that people on the internet claim I said" - Abraham Lincoln
steveNChunter is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 06:35 PM   #18
Strafer Gott
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,144
With firearms manufacturing having a banner year, it does my heart good to see Cerberus forego the massive profits and divest itself of those companies, if they actually do it. Anybody tracking share prices?
Strafer Gott is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 07:20 PM   #19
Ga Warlock
Junior Member
 
Join Date: July 14, 2009
Posts: 14
@ Mach1.3. or anyone with advice please. I have a Marlin XS7 .243. My Serial # is 91xxxxxx. It does have a JM stamp. I dont remember the exact date I purchased it but, It was one of the first years the XS7 and XL7 was available.
I know the rifle wasn't manufactured in 1991. i could always be wrong but I didnt think they existing in 91. Is there a site or any way I can tell when this was made??
Ga Warlock is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 08:25 PM   #20
DPris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 19, 2004
Posts: 4,800
Rimfire models like the 60, incidentally, are not made in the same Ilion plant as the centerfire leverguns.
And, a 2000-made Model 60 would not have an REP barrel on it.
Denis
DPris is offline  
Old February 20, 2013, 10:02 PM   #21
steveNChunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2012
Location: Southern Appalachian Mtns
Posts: 1,405
Ga Warlock, I think the first of the XL7/XS7 series rifles were sold in late '07
__________________
"I don't understand all that I know"

"I never said half the crap that people on the internet claim I said" - Abraham Lincoln
steveNChunter is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:31 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12994 seconds with 9 queries