Marlin is ramping up production of their lever-action hunting rifles—to the glee of the company’s many fans—with the launch of its the 1895 Trapper SBL (Stainless Big Loop) for 2018.
Chambered in .45-70, the 1985 Trapper SBL utilizes the time-tested Marlin 1895 action that was built to handle powerful big-bore loads. As with 1895s that came before it, the TSBL features side-ejection, so mounting an optic is an option. But don’t discount the iron sights that come standard with this rifle; the adjustable Skinner rear peep sight and post front sight are durable and well-designed—perfect for fast shooting in dense cover and refined enough to make accurate shots are surprising distances.
The stainless steel metalwork has a matte finish and black accents on the loading and ejection ports, and the black painted stock has a textured surface that makes this a great rifle for hunting in wet conditions. The stubby 16.5-inch barrel reduces weight (the 1895 TSBL weighs just 7 pounds) and improves the handling of this rifle. With an overall length of just 35 inches, it’s also an ideal option for brush hunters who have grown weary of navigating through dense cover with a long-barreled gun.
Recent law changes that allow eastern deer hunters to use straight-wall cartridges have prompted a sort of renaissance for the .45-70 Government, which is among the finest (and most underrated) big game cartridges for North American game. The 1895 Trapper SBL is perfect for hunting deer in thick woods—either from a treestand or on the ground—and with plenty of power and a 5+1 capacity, it’s also a great choice for hog hunters.
There are few guns better-suited to bear hunting over bait, and with heavy hard-cast bullets, it would even serve as a suitable charge-stopper in grizzly country—a heavier but much more potent alternative to carrying a bore-bore sidearm.