This rifle started something that I'm still dealing with which is often referred to as Marlinitis. A disease that will influence your pocket book/bank account reducing it in size because you can't get enough of them. There are many website forums that cover Marlin firearms however only one is the authority on the subject with over 66,000 members strong. The site is called MarlinOwners.com . I am a member on that forum and my user name is 1895Gunner. I am a co-captain of two teams on the site [Team 1894 & Team 450]. I'm a member of the NRA, an active sportsman and I also belong to the Central Florida Rifle and Pistol Club.
My background is made up of about thirty years of manufacturing in heavy equipment, commercial, medical and aerospace. About half of those years I was in quality assurance and the other half split between machinist, sheet metal mechanic, certified welder, supervisor, manager, senior program manager and now retired!
I have lived in California, Illinois, New Mexico, Minnesota, Florida and now Georgia where I currently reside with my lovely wife.
That's about enough about me for the time being, now onto more info about the Marlin lever action.
There are really three types of rifles in my mind when your talking about caliber. Small bore, Medium bore & finally Large bore. All of these have been made available over time in different Marlin models. I prefer the large bore (big bore) which is what I have the most of. Examples would be:
- Model 1895M which comes in the Marlin 450 caliber - .458 dia bullet
- Model 1895G which comes in the 45-70 Government - .458 dia bullet
- Model 444P which comes in the Marlin 444 caliber - .429 dia bullet
- Model 1894P which comes in 44 Magnum caliber - .429 dia bullet
The Guide Gun configuration is a straight stocked rifle with an 18.5" long barrel and a 3/4 length tubular magazine. All of mine are factory ported which were a limited offering between 1998 and 2002 for various models. The model 1895 was first introduced in 1896 in the following calibers:
- 40-70 added in 1897
- 33 WCF added in 1912
Barrel lengths made available were:
1896 - both 26" and 22"
1897 - a 15" version was made available
1915 - the last production year for the original 1895's, regardless of caliber and style......
New Model 1895 (1972-1979)
New Model 1895S (1980-1983)
New Model 1895SS (1984-2009)
1895 Century Limited (1995)
New Model 1895G (1998-to date)
New Model 1895M (2000-2010)
New Model 1895MR (2003)
New Model 1895XLR (2006-2009)
Guide Guns have been available since 1998 and continue to be available although only in 45-70 now. Marlin stopped production on the 1895M 450 last November (2010) before moving into the Remington facility.