#SundayGunday: Marlin Model 1895 Dark Series

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posted on June 2, 2024

This week on #SundayGunday, were taking a look at the Model 1895 Dark Series lever action, from Marlin Firearms. Under Ruger’s ownership, Marlin has turned the 1895 Dark into a whole new beast, fully worthy of a fresh look. Chambered of course in venerated .45-70 Government, the 1895 Dark is a perfect fusion between classic lever-gun lines, and a modernized feature set. Each contribute to the overall platform, without leaving the gun stuck in the 19th century or making it look like something out of a bad Sci Fi film. Starting at it’s rear, the Model 1895 takes advantage of a nylon-reinforced polymer stock, with M-Lok attachment slots—a feature that becomes a theme of this gun—and a QD sling swivel on each side to easily attach a sling. A cheek riser better aligns the eye for magnified optics, while a thick recoil pad soaks up the often prodigious recoil of the round. A textured grip panel provides purchase for the firing hand in all weather.

Marlin Model 1895 Dark on white with Trijicon

Moving forward, the gun sports a black satin alloy steel receiver with right-side feeding and ejection. A cross-bolt safety works in tandem with a traditional half-cock hammer to keep the gun safe. Up top, an adjustable ghost ring sight sits to the rear of a stretch of Picatinny rail that runs from the receiver, to halfway up the barrel. Plenty of room for any magnified optic, red dot, or even thermal sight of the shooter’s choosing. Beneath, a standard loop lever runs fast and smooth thanks to a nitride-finished bolt, reliably feeding every .45-70 round we threw into it. A flare on the bottom makes it more comfortable when riding on the backs of the fingers than the typical width of metal found there.

Up front, a fore-end equipped with eight M-Lok slots and one QD Cup per side provides plenty of room for purchase and accessory attachment, from slings and bipods to lights and lasers. The gun’s 16.17-inch barrel sports a fiber-optic sight with a tritium outer ring, easily visible through the rear ghost ring. Its muzzle, threaded to 11/16-24 TPI, comes from the factory with a radial muzzle brake installed, though a thread protector is also included. All major components take advantage of a Graphite Black Cerakote finish for understated durability. Within the cold-hammer-forged alloy steel barrel, 6-groove, 1:20-inch righthand rifling stabilizes the rounds. The gun’s tubular magazine holds five rounds. Out on the range, the little seven-pound rifle proved amazingly maneuverable, thanks in no small part to its 13.5-inch length of pull (LOP). Its 35.5-inch overall length makes it perfect for the blind or tree stand, where space is at a premium. For more information on this 21st century lever action, which retails for $1,429, visit marlinfirearms.com.

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