Marlin Firearms

Marlin Firearms Company
IndustryArms industry
Founded1870; 151 years ago (1870)
FounderJohn Mahlon Marlin
HeadquartersMadison, North Carolina, United States
ProductsFirearms, weapons
ParentSturm, Ruger & Co.

Marlin Firearms Co. is an American manufacturer of semi-automatic, lever-action and bolt-action rifles. In the past, the company made shotguns, derringers and revolvers based in Madison, North Carolina (formerly based in North Haven, Connecticut). Marlin owned the firearm manufacturer H&R Firearms. In 2007, Remington Arms, part of the Remington Outdoor Company, acquired Marlin Firearms.[1][2] Remington produced Marlin-brand firearms at its Kentucky and New York manufacturing facilities. In 2020, Sturm, Ruger & Co. bought the company from bankrupt Remington Outdoor Company.[3]


Marlin gun mounted on De Havilland airplane, 1921

Marlin Firearms was founded in the 1870s by John Marlin. Marlin produced a large assortment of firearms such as lever-action rifles, pump-action shotguns and single shot rifles. Marlin was considered the main competitor to Winchester.

In World War I Marlin became one of the largest machine gun producers in the world for the US and its Allies, building the M1895 Colt–Browning machine gun and a later variant called the "Marlin gun" optimized for aircraft use. In 1917 Marlin Rockwell bought out the Hopkins & Allen Arms Company to promote an expanded line of firearms and restore the image of the Marlin company as makers of "sporting arms".[4]

Marlin Firearms labored for a century as an underdog levergun maker to Winchester (formerly of New Haven). However, in the 1980s and 1990s, Marlin finally began to outpace its old rival. It is currently the dominant seller of lever-action rifles in North America. Its use of side ejection allows for flat-topped firearms, thereby making the mounting of scopes easier than for traditional Winchesters. This helped Marlin capture more market share as American shooters came to rely more and more on optics. Marlins are larger, stronger and heavier than most of the comparable Winchester line, allowing Marlin to use higher powered cartridges such as the .45-70. Marlin's model 1894 lever-action rifles and carbines are available in handgun calibers, including .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and .41 Magnum, making them suitable companion long guns for revolvers in those calibers.

In September 2020, Sturm, Ruger & Co. bought the Company from bankrupt Remington Outdoor Company.[5]


Marlin Model 60 .22LR rifle manufactured in 1982
Marlin Model 1894C – .357 Magnum carbine
Marlin Model 25N .22 LR rifle with aftermarket sling and scope
Marlin Model XT-17 VSLB .17 HMR with rifle scope
Marlin Model 336W lever action in .30-30 Winchester

Major models of Marlin rifles include:

Significant variations of many of these rifles have usually also been manufactured. For example, there are 6 distinctly different variations manufactured for the Marlin Model 60. Marlin has been making lever-action rifles since 1881, and in 2008, they produced their 30 millionth lever-action rifle, which was donated to the National Rifle Association.[6]

Double Barrel Shotguns:

The Marlin Model 90 Over & Under

Exposed Hammer, Pump-Action Shotguns:

Hammerless Pump-Action Shotguns:

Submachine guns include:

Revolvers include:

MicroGroove Rifling[]

Micro-Groove rifling

In 1953 Marlin Firearms was issued U.S. Patent 3,100,358 for what was named MicroGroove Rifling, which was a departure from the standard "Ballard," or cut rifling. One purpose of Microgroove rifling was to increase the speed of producing rifle barrels. Microgroove rifling is described in the patent as having 5 grooves for every 1/10 of an inch bore diameter, and that the driving side of each land would be "tangentially disposed" to prevent accumulating fouling in use.

Marlin introduced Microgroove rifling in their .22 rimfire barrels in July 1953, with 16 grooves that were .014" wide, and nominally .0015" deep. Ballard rifled barrels have grooves generally in the range of .069–.090" wide, and .0015–.003" deep. This change was marketed in the 1954 Marlin catalog, as having numerous advantages that this new form of rifling had, including better accuracy, ease of cleaning, elimination of gas leakage, higher velocities and lower chamber pressures. The catalog also claimed that Microgroove rifling did not distort the bullet jacket as deeply as Ballard rifling hence improving accuracy with jacketed bullets at standard velocity.

Designed for factory loaded ammunition, Microgroove barrels have a reputation for accuracy problems with centerfire ammunition handloaded with cast lead bullets due to the increased bore diameter generated by the shallow grooves. The use of oversized cast bullets greatly solves this problem, restoring accuracy with cast bullet handloads to levels seen from Ballard rifled barrels.[8] Early Marlin .30-30 microgroove barrels had a twist rate of 1 turn in 10 inches optimized for factory ammunition with jacketed bullets; later Marlin .30-30 microgroove barrels show a twist rate of 1 turn in 10.5 inches which improves accuracy with cartridges loaded to lower velocity than standard.


In November 2000, Marlin purchased the assets of H&R 1871, Inc., a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of shotguns and rifles (New England Firearms branded), founded in 1871, and now located in Gardner, Massachusetts. Marketing its products under the brand names of Harrington & Richardson and New England Firearms, H&R 1871 claimed to be the largest manufacturer of Single-shot shotguns and rifles in the world. In December 2007 Remington Arms Company purchased Marlin.[9] Remington announced in April 2008 that it would close the Gardner manufacturing plant by the end of 2008 affecting 200 workers.[10] In March 2010, Marlin announced that it would close its North Haven plant, and move the work to Remington plants in Ilion, New York, and Mayfield, Kentucky.[11][12]


  1. ^ "Remington to Acquire Marlin Firearms". Archived from the original on July 8, 2008.
  2. ^ S. P. Fjestad (March 1992). Blue Book of Gun Values, 13th Ed. ISBN 0-9625943-4-2.
  3. ^ "Remington Auctioned Off to Seven Bidders in Bankruptcy Court". September 28, 2020. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  4. ^ Walter, John (2006), The Guns That Won the West: Firearms on the American Frontier, 1848-1898, pp. 206–207, ISBN 978-1-85367-692-5
  5. ^ "Remington Auctioned Off to Seven Bidders in Bankruptcy Court". September 28, 2020. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  6. ^ "Marlin Donates 30,000,000th Lever Action Rifle to NRA–ILA". Archived from the original on July 8, 2008.
  7. ^ "The L.C. Smith Collectors Association".
  8. ^ Glen E. Fryxell, "Marlin's Microgroove Barrels",, source cited: William S. Brophy, "Marlin Firearms: A History of the Guns and the Company That Made Them", Stackpole Books, 1989.
  9. ^ “Gunmaker Remington to buy Marlin Firearms” USA Today, December 27, 2007
  10. ^ Arms Manufacturer Remington Closing Gardner Plant WBZTV, April 7, 2008
  11. ^ "Marlin to close North Haven plant; 265 jobs going".
  12. ^ "Marlin Firearms Closes In North Haven, Ending 141 Years Of Manufacturing In Connecticut".

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