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Marlin 1895 vs Winchester 1886
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May 5, 2023 - 3:37 pm
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Hi folks, I recently viewed a YT video on a vintage Marlin 1895 rifle sold by RIA.

They said in the video that the Marlin was considered by many people as being superior to the 1886. I know – we all hate to hear that… ūüôā

But seriously – is that true? Was it the better rifle, more accurate or better in what terms? Are there any contemporary user statements about that? AFAIK numbers of 1886s being sold were much higher than those of the Marlin 1895s….

Appreciate your help, guys!! ūüė欆

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May 5, 2023 - 4:50 pm
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Marlin brought the Model 1881, a rifle that could handle the long black powder cartridges of the time. It still had top ejection, however, like the Winchester that appeared a few years later.
It might be more appropriate to compare these two rifles.

The biggest advantage of the Marlin 1895 is the side ejection and the closed top frame. It was also a lot cheaper than the Winchester.

Both systems are in my opinion in no way inferior to each other in smoothness and quality.

Winchester definitely had the better marketing and reputation and the higher prices were gladly paid.

Steff

 

PXL_20230505_182644985_kl.jpgImage EnlargerPXL_20230505_182809796_kl.jpgImage Enlarger

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May 5, 2023 - 8:17 pm
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Steff – that’s a nice looking takedown M1895 Marlin.¬† They’re not exactly common in the takedown version.¬† As far as rough production numbers, off the top of my head, I’m thinking 160,000 M1886s to 18,000 M1895?¬† The Marlin M1895 SRC’s aren’t exactly plentiful either.¬† Another factor, if wanted a .50 caliber repeater, you weren’t going to get one in a Marlin.

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May 6, 2023 - 12:22 am
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¬†As far as rough production numbers, off the top of my head, I’m thinking 160,000 M1886s to 18,000 M1895? steve004 said

Even considering the ’86’s 10 yr head start, that’s still a very surprising difference.¬† I wonder if a corresponding difference in stocking dealers is a partial explanation.¬† Did Winchester refuse to provide their products to dealers who stocked Marlins?

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May 6, 2023 - 11:21 am
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I own examples of both rifles. The Winchester 1886’s receiver has a much more refined and aesthetically pleasing shape and design.

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May 6, 2023 - 12:50 pm
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I was aware of and familiar with the M1886 many years before I was aware of the M1895 Marlin.  In fact, even after I was aware of them, it took several years before I saw one.  

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May 6, 2023 - 1:20 pm
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steve004 said
I was aware of and familiar with the M1886 many years before I was aware of the M1895 Marlin.  In fact, even after I was aware of them, it took several years before I saw one. 

Remember the tortoise that kept on going at its own pace till it passed up the hare? 

https://www.marlinfirearms.com/s/leverAction/

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May 7, 2023 - 6:41 am
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cjs57 said
I own examples of both rifles. The Winchester 1886’s receiver has a much more refined and aesthetically pleasing shape and design.

  

Hey, Cjs, no doubt! I think the reciever of the 1886 is much more pleasing and elegantūüėć… I wonder if quality is also better than the Marlin.¬†

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May 7, 2023 - 1:04 pm
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I have a deluxe pistol grip 1895 marlin in 40 82. It’s currently my favorite rifle. Made in 1903. The problem with these is they were way obsolete when they came out. Functioned just as good as the winchester but was a late on the scene.

Mine is a one off, 24″ barrel, bubble level rear sight filler, and a climbin lyman rear peep. I have found these 40 cal Marlins to have large bores, .410 and will only take a .408 bullet, they have tight chamber necks. But if cast from 20 to 1 or softer they punch right up. If loaded with black powder.

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May 7, 2023 - 1:14 pm
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 The problem with these is they were way obsolete when they came out.Brooksy said

  

Obsolete when they’re still being manufactured in this country?

Bores larger than the chamber neck was a commonplace with all BP cartridges.

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May 7, 2023 - 1:19 pm
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clarence said

 The problem with these is they were way obsolete when they came out.Brooksy said

  

Obsolete when they’re still being manufactured in this country?

Bores larger than the chamber neck was a commonplace with all BP cartridges.

  

The “modern” marlin 1895 is a cheap knock off compared to the old ones. AND, they only make them in 45 70….BORING. AND, the pressed in checkering¬† ¬†YIKES!Cry

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May 7, 2023 - 2:48 pm
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Brooksy said

The “modern” marlin 1895 is a cheap knock off compared to the old ones. AND, they only make them in 45 70….BORING. AND, the pressed in checkering¬† ¬†YIKES!Cry¬†

Of course, what product made today is NOT cheaper than those of 100 yrs ago?¬† Compare a new M ’94 (made who knows where?) with those even as late as the ’60s.¬† But the point is that the Marlin is STILL in production in this country, & the young guys buying them have probably never seen anything except impressed checkering.

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May 7, 2023 - 3:03 pm
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clarence said

Brooksy said

The “modern” marlin 1895 is a cheap knock off compared to the old ones. AND, they only make them in 45 70….BORING. AND, the pressed in checkering¬† ¬†YIKES!Cry¬†

Of course, what product made today is NOT cheaper than those of 100 yrs ago?¬† Compare a new M ’94 (made who knows where?) with those even as late as the ’60s.¬† But the point is that the Marlin is STILL in production in this country, & the young guys buying them have probably never seen anything except impressed checkering.

  

And laminated stocks. I would think their sales would be stronger if they made a more traditional gun with a 26″ barrel and a few calibers to choose from. But probably not. I’m stuck on the nostalgia setting.Cool¬† ¬†I’d think even the young guys would rapidly tire of the recoil on those guns.

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May 7, 2023 - 5:13 pm
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Brooksy said

clarence said

Brooksy said

The “modern” marlin 1895 is a cheap knock off compared to the old ones. AND, they only make them in 45 70….BORING. AND, the pressed in checkering¬† ¬†YIKES!Cry¬†

Of course, what product made today is NOT cheaper than those of 100 yrs ago?¬† Compare a new M ’94 (made who knows where?) with those even as late as the ’60s.¬† But the point is that the Marlin is STILL in production in this country, & the young guys buying them have probably never seen anything except impressed checkering.

  

And laminated stocks. I would think their sales would be stronger if they made a more traditional gun with a 26″ barrel and a few calibers to choose from. But probably not. I’m stuck on the nostalgia setting.Cool¬† ¬†I’d think even the young guys would rapidly tire of the recoil on those guns.

  

Marlin could bring back the .33!  Here are two of mine (bottom two, the top one is a .38-56):

https://i.imgur.com/lfWxt0H.jpgImage Enlarger

Even though I have rarely pursued modern guns for decades, if Marlin brought the .33 back in their 1895 I’d consider it.¬† But not in laminated stocks!¬† Hand checkering would be nice too.¬† If they brought back the .38/56, that would catch my attention, but not much temptation.

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May 7, 2023 - 5:20 pm
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Brooksy said
I have a deluxe pistol grip 1895 marlin in 40 82. It’s currently my favorite rifle. Made in 1903. The problem with these is they were way obsolete when they came out. Functioned just as good as the winchester but was a late on the scene.

Mine is a one off, 24″ barrel, bubble level rear sight filler, and a climbin lyman rear peep. I have found these 40 cal Marlins to have large bores, .410 and will only take a .408 bullet, they have tight chamber necks. But if cast from 20 to 1 or softer they punch right up. If loaded with black powder.

  

That sounds like a very cool Marlin. Several great features.¬† I love the climbin’ Lyman on most any rifle (or better yet carbine), but finding them on a Marlin or a Savage 1899 is a special treat.¬† They are rarely encountered, more so on a Savage.¬† Here’s one on a .303 I have:

https://i.imgur.com/LVTE9TZ.jpgImage Enlarger

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May 7, 2023 - 5:56 pm
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steve004 said

Even though I have rarely pursued modern guns for decades, if Marlin brought the .33 back in their 1895 I’d consider it.¬† But not in laminated stocks!¬† Hand checkering would be nice too.¬† If they brought back the .38/56, that would catch my attention, but not much temptation.

Build guns for obsolete cartridges?¬† Can’t imagine why the idea hasn’t occurred to Marlin!¬† There’s a reason why any antique gun in .45-70 commands a premium over every other BP cartridge.

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May 7, 2023 - 7:41 pm
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clarence said

steve004 said

Even though I have rarely pursued modern guns for decades, if Marlin brought the .33 back in their 1895 I’d consider it.¬† But not in laminated stocks!¬† Hand checkering would be nice too.¬† If they brought back the .38/56, that would catch my attention, but not much temptation.

Build guns for obsolete cartridges?¬† Can’t imagine why the idea hasn’t occurred to Marlin!¬† There’s a reason why any antique gun in .45-70 commands a premium over every other BP cartridge.

¬†New rifles in antique BP cartridges are much more available than when I was younger.¬† Even modern antique cartridges are much more available.¬† Various single shot rifles have chambered .40 calibers and others.¬† Several years ago I bought a case of special run PMC .45-90 and a case of special run PMC .40-65.¬† The reproduction Model 1876’s in original chamberings such as .45-75 and .50-95 have brought back both the rifles and cartridges.¬†¬†

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May 7, 2023 - 8:59 pm
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steve004 said

Brooksy said

clarence said

Brooksy said

The “modern” marlin 1895 is a cheap knock off compared to the old ones. AND, they only make them in 45 70….BORING. AND, the pressed in checkering¬† ¬†YIKES!Cry¬†

Of course, what product made today is NOT cheaper than those of 100 yrs ago?¬† Compare a new M ’94 (made who knows where?) with those even as late as the ’60s.¬† But the point is that the Marlin is STILL in production in this country, & the young guys buying them have probably never seen anything except impressed checkering.

  

And laminated stocks. I would think their sales would be stronger if they made a more traditional gun with a 26″ barrel and a few calibers to choose from. But probably not. I’m stuck on the nostalgia setting.Cool¬† ¬†I’d think even the young guys would rapidly tire of the recoil on those guns.

  

Marlin could bring back the .33!  Here are two of mine (bottom two, the top one is a .38-56):

https://i.imgur.com/lfWxt0H.jpgImage Enlarger

Even though I have rarely pursued modern guns for decades, if Marlin brought the .33 back in their 1895 I’d consider it.¬† But not in laminated stocks!¬† Hand checkering would be nice too.¬† If they brought back the .38/56, that would catch my attention, but not much temptation.

  

Hey there Steve, the bottom rifle in your picture, what type of wood do you suppose that buttstock is. I have an 1881 Marlin with the same color of wood. I have stocked guns for a living for more than 25 years and would swear that stuff is English.

I don’t have any guns in 38 56 or .33 but I’d be glad to¬† have any of those pictured Marlins. Very Nice.

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May 7, 2023 - 9:02 pm
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clarence said

steve004 said

Even though I have rarely pursued modern guns for decades, if Marlin brought the .33 back in their 1895 I’d consider it.¬† But not in laminated stocks!¬† Hand checkering would be nice too.¬† If they brought back the .38/56, that would catch my attention, but not much temptation.

Build guns for obsolete cartridges?¬† Can’t imagine why the idea hasn’t occurred to Marlin!¬† There’s a reason why any antique gun in .45-70 commands a premium over every other BP cartridge.

  

Oddly, 45 70 is the only old cartridge I avoid. too boring. I fact, I’d pay a premium just to avoid it! …LOL!

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May 7, 2023 - 10:43 pm
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Brooksy said

steve004 said

Brooksy said

clarence said

Brooksy said

The “modern” marlin 1895 is a cheap knock off compared to the old ones. AND, they only make them in 45 70….BORING. AND, the pressed in checkering¬† ¬†YIKES!Cry¬†

Of course, what product made today is NOT cheaper than those of 100 yrs ago?¬† Compare a new M ’94 (made who knows where?) with those even as late as the ’60s.¬† But the point is that the Marlin is STILL in production in this country, & the young guys buying them have probably never seen anything except impressed checkering.

  

And laminated stocks. I would think their sales would be stronger if they made a more traditional gun with a 26″ barrel and a few calibers to choose from. But probably not. I’m stuck on the nostalgia setting.Cool¬† ¬†I’d think even the young guys would rapidly tire of the recoil on those guns.

  

Marlin could bring back the .33!  Here are two of mine (bottom two, the top one is a .38-56):

https://i.imgur.com/lfWxt0H.jpgImage Enlarger

Even though I have rarely pursued modern guns for decades, if Marlin brought the .33 back in their 1895 I’d consider it.¬† But not in laminated stocks!¬† Hand checkering would be nice too.¬† If they brought back the .38/56, that would catch my attention, but not much temptation.

  

Hey there Steve, the bottom rifle in your picture, what type of wood do you suppose that buttstock is. I have an 1881 Marlin with the same color of wood. I have stocked guns for a living for more than 25 years and would swear that stuff is English.

I don’t have any guns in 38 56 or .33 but I’d be glad to¬† have any of those pictured Marlins. Very Nice.

  

Brooksy Рit sounds like you know more about gunstock wood than I do.  All I know is I was very drawn to the wood on this rifle when I saw it.  I have seen French walnut stocks and I will say this look similar.

It works out very well that you avoid .45-70’s.¬† Other collectors and shooters pay healthy premiums for that chambering and virtually no one pays a premium for a .40-82 (or .40-65 or .38-56).¬† I recall one example (and there are others similar) where a fellow collector showed me a very nice fancy checkered pistol grip M1886.¬† As he was holding it in his hand I inquired about the chambering.¬† He literally hung his head in shame (I can still picture it) when he said, “.38-56.”¬†¬†

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