Once Again, I am delving into the Dankness that is the Office of the CEO… This time, in the new office of MARLIN FIREARMS as now owned by RUGER. The big question is what is to be done with Marlin now?
The short answer, and the first answer… Is to keep doing what is being done. And that includes Existing manufacturing processes. Quality Control Must Not and Can Not Slip. Period. The last time Marlin was acquired – it was a disaster. That can not happen again. Better to ship Late than to Ship Shoddy.
Now, Ruger acquiring Marlin offers Marlin some good opportunities. Such as rapid prototyping of new products and manufacturing of new lines for future products. While keeping the traditions of Marlin’s history and style in current product lines. This gives Ruger the opportunity to keep all of the Modern Cowboy Action under one roof. Because Ruger has made lever actions in the past – and few if any remember them fondly. This is going to take some of the Cowboy Steam away from Cimmaron and back to US Made.
Doubling Down on the Cowboy Action genre is going to be important not just because of historic political reaction trends… But because the Western Genre is always cool and popularity surges happen.
So let’s talk about the Western Expansion plan. The CB line needs to be expanded first and foremost.
The CB line offers the handsome straight stock configuration and a long octagonal barrel to give the rifle that distinctly old west and mesquite smoke flavor to the .45-70. But this is something that needs to be spread out across the line. I’d like to see a 39CB… A CB version of the 39A – which is pretty much the finest .22LR lever action rifle in the history of mankind.
The next CB’s that needs to happen is a longer barrel version of the 1894CB series. Currently limited to 20″. Which is a length that makes ballistic sense… But it just doesn’t have the look or feel. It’s also only available in .357 Magnum. Which is great. But I want to see it in .44 Magnum as well. And while we’re at it… Where is the option for .45 Colt? A gun that can handle .45 Colt loads, as well as .454 Casull. Because right now, anyone wanting a .454 Leve Action is going to have to go either Brazilian or Italian. And that just isn’t right.
While we’re at it… Let’s talk about the hottest thing happening in Lever Actions right now… Midwest Industries forends. Like them or not – they are popular like Sports Cars with Automatic Transmissions. Why, Marlin, are making customers go to the Aftermarket to supply what they want? That needs to be fixed. Why can we not buy this out of the box, directly from the manufacturer? Through an FFL of course. The Tactical Lever Action is here. And for that – You Are Welcome, Sirs. I was one of the few pushing this before anyone else was thinking about it. Two guys pushed it actually… Myself, and Gabe Suarez. And now the concept has taken root. Proving the Inception Principle… the most dangerous thing is an idea.
Let’s get into maybe what Magpul could contribute… A version of their shotgun stock not only looks good – but allows for some adjustability in length of pull to make sure the rifle fits the owner. And thanks to a suggestion, what a different forend might look like. Combined with a Big Loop… This is going in a good direction. Hmm… I don’t like the position of the Red Dot. Let’s move it forward.
There we go. That’s better.
There are two Lever Action Users out there. The Traditionalists, and the Modernists. The Traditionalists are the Cowboy guys and the Collector guys. They need to be satisfied. And a Cowboy Action Shooter guy is going to want his lever action in .45 Colt. Why not offer something for them? And that brings me to another product line… A Marlin 1892. That Winchester 92 pattern rifle is the most elegant designed lever action ever produced. Overseas reproductions corner the market. Here’s where Ruger’s manufacturing can come into play. With some design changes to incorporate greater safety, and enhanced accuracy.
The Marlin Product Line as a whole needs to be streamlined. Because it’s rather confusing to the Casual Observer. I’d kill off the .444 as it’s own line and just include that caliber into the 1895 Line. I would also add the .460 and .500 Magnum chamberings into the line somewhere. These would be great in a Trapper type carbine or a Co-Pilot.
I’d ax the Bolt actions the 795’s and the XT series completely. A big question surrounds the Model 60. Should it stay, or should it go? Personally, I’d hate to see it go. They always sold well, and many of us have fond memories of them and we probably still have one or two in the collections at home. So the options are, leave the line as it is… Expand the line to match the planned spread like the rest of the brand… Or we kill the line completely. Killing the Model 60 would be wrong. So we’re going to have to expand it.
So what are your thought and what would you do? And don’t say bring back the Levermatic. For the Love Of All That Is Holy…