Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • My next rifle! I want one to . . .

  • I seem to recall Col. Cooper said the Marlin was a substandard copy of Jim West’s Co-Pilot. . . anyone?

  • Matt Groom

    The Colonel was always a bit overly critical of less expensive versions of good ideas. He was a bit of an elitist when it came to guns.

    The phrase that always runs through my head whenever I see one of these big bore lever guns is “Retinal Separation”.

  • balouch

    i have a 30-30 rifle. i think it was my dads . he baught it when he was a teen.it was used for deer hunting.later my grand father took it and keopt it at his ranch. i have a few bullets . which are i think atleast thirty years old but were stored in a cuboard since atleast thirty years.the rifle hasent been fired since thirty years but has been mantained and cleaned continously.
    i want to know will the gun and the bullets work.

  • waterman

    Actually, Marlin is the maker of the gun. Wild West Guns is a shop that make a customized version of the Marlin 1895.

    Jim West, owner of Wild West Guns, along with other gunsmiths had been producing different modifications of the basic 22″ barrel 1895, in the case of Wild West reducing the barrel length to 18″ (sometimes shorter) and making a takedown version. This along with the customized parts such as the lever, trigger and other gunsmithing came to be the Co-Pilot, which Cooper referred to. The Co-Pilot is in reference to Alaskan bush pilots who need a powerful takedown rifle in a very small package.

    Wild West does good work as does some other smiths that I’ve seen, Brockman, Clay, Clements and some others, as well as McPherson (whose book on gunsmithing is excellent).

    Some years ago Marlin came out with the Guide Gun, a shorter version of the old 1895. Hardly a “cheap version” of something the maker creates.

    Recently an even more modified version of the Guide Gun has come available from Marlin the SBL, which adds more enhancements.

  • chuck moylan

    A while back my wife and I saw a 1895GS .45/70 at Dick’s sporting goods store in Salt Lake. We JUST had to get and provide it with a good home. This is one fine hard hitting weapon.

    I would say the only bad experience with it was when I bought some Remington .405 grain rounds “for all rifles”. These rounds would have been better off donated to a Girl Scout camp. The Leverevolution Hornaday 325 grains shoot great. I would like to try some Garrett rounds that are made for Africa and Alaska and really make this puppy roar. However I cannot justify their price just to shoot.

    If you get one of these weapons just be prepared to fall in love with it for a lifetime… wonderful!

  • David Frederick

    I have an 1895m in 450 marlin…its an amazing rifle. Marlin did a great job in eliminating the recoil, even though its a large caliber in a short gun. Its great to carry in the brush, and i have no doubts that it’ll stop anything i need it to!

  • melody

    can anyone tell me the model number of a MARLIN 22 Mag stainless steel singel shot 20″ barrel?

  • Bob

    balouchon 28 Jun 2009 at 5:00 pm link comment

    “i have a 30-30 rifle. i think it was my dads. i have a few bullets . which are i think atleast thirty years old but were stored in a cuboard since atleast thirty years.the rifle hasent been fired since thirty years but has been mantained and cleaned continously.
    i want to know will the gun and the bullets work.”

    My brother inherited my Granddad’s octagon-barreled Marlin 30-30 in 1985. The gun was bought in the 1920’s, along with 3 boxes of ammunition. My Granddad never hunted or, I think, even fired the gun. He mostly carried it in his delivery van for protection. (He traveled all over rural Illinois, which was sometimes a lawless place in the 20’s and 30’s.)

    After checking the action, barrel and lubrication, we went out to the back 40, set up a 5-gallon bucket at 100 yards, popped the 60-year old cartridges in, and proceeded to drill the bucket every shot. There was some kind of corrosion on the lead noses of the soft-nosed bullets which we wiped off before loading. (It was a light-colored powdery stuff that was easily dislodged.) Other than that, no problems. The shots were very consistent.

    When we ran some modern ammo through it, the kick and noise were noticeably greater.

    If you do shoot the old ammo, be on the lookout for a “squib load” — i.e., a partial ignition shot that leaves the bullet in the barrel. It will sound different and of course, no bullet will leave the gun. Fire at something (a dirt bank, say) where you can see the rounds hit. Under no circumstances, fire another shot until you check the barrel for obstructions — you can blow up the gun if you fire a round with a stuck bullet down the barrel.