A Guide Gun family history
1998 was a great year for the 45-70, this was when Marlin brought out their first Guide Gun that became so popular it is still being manufactured as I type this in 2012, the model 1895G. Based on its early success it was quickly followed by additional models/calibers in years to come. In 1999 the venerable Marlin 444 cartridge was offered in an "Outfitter" (Guide Gun configuration) known as the 444P. In 2000 the Marlin 450 Guide Gun configuration (1895M) was introduced and continued in production until just before Marlin closed their factory doors in North Haven, CT and moving into the Remington NY factory. The final factory available cataloged Guide Gun was the 1895GS that also premiered in 2000. This was Marlin's second stainless steel rifle made available and the first and only factory offered Guide Gun offered in such. This rifle was only made available in 45-70 and just as the 1895G it is still available from the factory.
Factory porting was made available in each of the previously mentioned Guide Guns as standard in the 444P and optional in the others from inception of each model through 2002. After that Marlin removed the option for porting.
Technical Specifications of Guide Gun / Outfitter
- Caliber: 45-70, 444, 450
- Capacity 4 + 1
- Action: Lever Action with hammer block safety
- Barrel: 18.5" with 6 groove Ballard-type rifling
- Sights: Adjustable semi buckhorn folding rear with bead front sight that is hooded
- Overall Length: 37"
- Weight: 7 lbs
- Stock: American black walnut with straight grip and recoil pad
Additional Guide Gun Offerings
A couple of specialty houses worked with Marlin to offer select/limited Guide Guns that added even more choices. Davidsons and Talo were two of them. Each offered a limited run which has made these very collectable.
1895SDG LTD .45-70, "Guide model" Stainless steel, 18.5" barrel. Grey laminate pistol grip stocks. 4+1 round cartridge capacity. Serial #'s read 95SDG000-95SDG500. 501 produced. Special run by Marlin for Davidsons.
1895STP LTD .45-70 "Guide model" Stainless steel 16.25" Ballard rifled barrel. Grey laminate pistol grip stocks. 5+1 cartridge capacity. Special run by Marlin for Davidsons.
1895GS LTD .45-70 "Guide model" Stainless steel 18.5" ballard rifled barrel. Grey laminate Straight grip stocks. 5+1 cartridge capacity. Hi-Viz sights. Special run by Marlin for Davidsons.
336D LTD .35 Rem "Guide Gun" Blued 18.5" ported barrel. Straight grip checkered walnut stocks. Made in 2000. 1001 produced. Serial # reads 336D0000-336D1000. Special run by Marlin for Davidsons.
1895GST .45-70 "Guide model" Stainless steel 18.5" ballard rifled barrel. Straight grip checkered walnut stocks. Made in 2007. 500 produced. It featured majestic and highly ornamental whitetails on one side of the receiver and the Marlin mounted cowboy logo on the other. Special run by Marlin for Talo.
Over the last several years Marlin has expanded on the "typical" Guide Gun with some variations. These include the GBL and SBL.
1895SBL - 2009: 45-70 stainless 18.5" barreled Guide Gun configuration with 6 shot tubular, full length magazine, medium sized loop lever, grey laminate stock and lever rail for scout type scope mounting, XS Ghost Ring sights with a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad.
1895GBL - 2010: 45-70 pistol gripped, brown laminate, blued 18.5" barreled Guide Gun configuration with 5 shot tubular magazine.
The Guide Gun is very popular in heavily wooded areas, especially where large game can bite & claw you! That being said, even though I live and hunt in Florida far from a grizzly - I use many of these configurations with great pride.