In its original form, the Marlin 1985 was produced until 1917. After more advanced cartridges such as the 30/06 were introduced, the 45/70’s popularity dwindled. In 1972, the factory started cranking out the all-new Model 1895. It originated from Marlin’s sturdy 336 operations. The 1972 1895 Marlin was partly responsible for the revival of the 45/70 because of the superior performance of its action with heavier loads.
When Remington bought Marlin in 2007, it was a major acquisition for both companies. They were not successful with Marlin, but they did release the model 1895 SBL in.45/70 in 2009. In comparison to Marlin’s original guide gun, this one was much more well-planned. It lacked the ineffective integral muzzle brake but did have an XS Sights Lever Rail and a large loop lever. For the purpose of hunting everything from bears in Alberta to buffalo in Africa, I bought the first 1895 SBLs I could find.
The Ruger-Made Marlin 1895 SBL Specifications:
- Manufacturer: Marlin Firearms, www.marlinfirearms.com
- Model/Catalog #: 1895 SBL/70478
- Action: Stainless steel lever-action
- Finish: Polished stainless
- Chambering: .45/70 Government
- Barrel: Cold hammer-forged stainless steel, 19 inches, threaded at 11/16”x24 and capped
- Twist Rate: Righthand, 1 in 20 inches, 6 grooves
- Stock: Grey laminate hardwood
- Sights: Adjustable ghost ring rear, high visibility Tritium fiber optic front
- Weight: 7.3 pounds
- Length: 37.25 inches
- Length of Pull: 13.38 inches
- Suggested Retail: $1399.00
Even though the 2021 Ruger/Marlin 1895 SBL stays close to the 2007 design, there are a few key differences to keep in mind. The muzzle is threaded and capped, and the barrel is an inch longer. This opens the door for the addition of a suppressor or muzzle brake. In some cases, taking a break from full blast could be very welcome. For me, putting a suppressor on a fast-handling lever gun is like putting a saddle on a cat, despite the fact that 45/70 loads can deliver more than 50 foot-pounds of recoil.
This rifle features a front sight with a Tritium and fiber optic vial instead of the traditional white-striped XS Sights post. This may not be as accurate at long range, but it seems like the best option if a grumpy grizzly is nosing around your tent at night. In addition, Marlin has swapped out the Lever Rail found on the XS Sights for one of their own designs, which still features the ghost ring but can be adjusted to any desired height. The rifle’s 23-slot rail can accommodate a variety of sights, including a scout scope, a prismatic sight, a miniature reflex sight, or a more conventional riflescope.