Marlin 1895 SBL: Anybody Got One?


To me this is one of the sexiest rifles ever. Been wanting one but it kinda tops the list of “firearms I really want but can’t allow myself to buy”. Maybe one day.

I’ve had Marlin lever guns in 30-30. They were older Marlins, when Marlin was still Marlin. Had some Winchesters. Had a Rossi 45-70. I loved the Marlins and the Rossi.

My question to anyone with experience in the 1895, how’s the quality? Do they suffer from the poor QC that the newer 30-30 and similar rifles have. For $1000-ish, I would hope not.


I have one in the 45-70. I love that cartridge for some reason. It took me a long time to get mine, they told me that they were moving their factory. As far as QC, the wood on my rifle is not perfect. You would think if it took that long to get it would be perfect. As far as shooting I never had a mishap.
I hunt up-state NY and PA so it works for different state laws. I also like it for the old way of shooting (lever action).


I’ve been looking at that one too, in 357 mag. It is a great looking rifle. I still have my old Marlin in 35 rem, got it from my father when I was 16 and it was my first deer hunting gun. That was back in 1971 and it was a very well made gun, better than the Winchesters of the time. Winchester was also suffering from serious quality issues at that time. Many of us “older guys” may remember that the consensus back then was that if you wanted a good Winchester it had to be a “Pre-64”. Used it for about 35 yrs before going to a Browning BAR Safari in 300 wsm. I’m a big fan of the laminated stocks, but would be really disappointed if Marlin no longer maintained their past quality.


@ValorSolo (et al)

I have the 1895 (not 1865), both in the Guide Gun (stainless steel), and the full size 1895. Both are excellent guns (and both are 10 to 15 years old - can’t remember exactly how old, but in that range).

Neither of these use laminated stocks (which I don’t care for, anyway). You can buy these models for a bit less than the SBL model, but they only hold 4+1 rounds (whereas the SBL Guide Gun holds 6+1 rounds).


I love that rifle. I think it’s the 1895SBL. I bought a 1895GBL which is a similar rifle in carbon steel. I added a pic rail sight by Ranger Point Precision to satisfy my esthetic demands.


Also on the Marlins, always preferred the side ejection to the top ejection Winchesters. Much easier to mount a scope.


I didn’t even realize I had put 1865 (twice) until I read your post. lol
1895 was what I meant. Thanks.

Same. Never liked the top ejection.


I’ve heard their newer rifles are much better than they were right after the Cerebus/Remmington takeover in 2008. I bought a Marlin 336 .30-30 in 2014 and it’s been perfect. Cosmetically and in function. Very nice rifle. :+1:


I did a little reading after I posted here and I’m hearing the same thing. Much better quality now than the early Remlins. The Remlin reputation was what prompted me to buy the Rossi a few years ago. Now I hear terrible things about them. lol. But my Rossi Rio Grande 45-70 was awesome and I was happy to only pay $400 for it.


mine are all Winchesters Range in age from 1912 to 1964. usual I do, vernier tang sight,saddle ring, big loop “John Wayne” Lever. Guy that makes the levers for me, worked for Winchester for 29 years, for they laid him off to move overseas, hooded front sight, and foldable rear sight. I should get the receiver back soon for the 1912 1892 rifle. its a odd duck, and was in rough shape when i got it, but I sent the receiver off for a cyanide finish, after i repaired it… its in 30wcf, 26" octagon barrel, mounting a #2 Lyman tang sight, negated the requirement for me for a scope. Smallest Lever i have is a 32/20 winchester made in 1939, and thats a hot shootin lil devil.
to me, top or side eject, never mattered, if your pulled down tight and aiming, on a top eject shell goes over your head.
got 4 45/70s to date, , the contender, a Ruger #1,a NEF Handi Rifle, and a 1886 Winchester lever.
only ones that ever burned me on speed eject, the NEF. twist it sideways or down the collar it goes
all my winchester’s are closet finds, rough around the edges, with a sprinkling of rust, and the last time they was cleaned, was the last time they was shot, and that was cleaning by use of the last bullet.

I am working on a deal now for a Marlin, Lever, SS guide gun in 45/70, guy is after the Old Ithica 12 Ga I got in on trade, old pre-disconnector gun. He wants me to refinish the wood on the ithica, so probably next time i head up that way to work on his track-hoe, deal will be done. probably going to tap the receiver tang on the guide gun for a tang sight as well…
this is one of the 30/30s dont as me why i always add the saddle ring, i dont know, i just always do…

need to get some updated pics…
Trivia question ::you know what gun the lever action Winchesters were originally patterned after? 1860 Henry …
winchesters up to 1969 I think were already drilled for a vernier tang sight, post 69 you have to drill and tap 1 screw…
as you can tell, I love lever guns… the original assault rifle LOLOLOL


My first rifle, given to me by my dad when I was maybe 12, was a Marlin 30-30.
I’ve had a special fondness for lever guns and Marlins ever since.

I’ve never owned or even fired a Henry. I’ve often thought about buying one.
Seems to be more of a passing thought, doesn’t linger very long.

The 917 VRX, I recently bought, is the only Marlin I haven’t yet fell in love with.
I bought it, scoped it, sighted it in and it’s been in a hard case since.
I’ll get it out eventually and start building a relationship with it.
Seems like a great rifle.


My Grail of Lever guns, if i could find one that wasn’t almost 2000, would be tha Browning BLR in either 45/70 or .358 Winchester, or even 308......... but as they are discontinued now, the chance of finding one is slim to none. that would be like finding a 1886 model browning now below 2,000, found a NIB one, old stock, never fired, 45/70 $2398… and thats just a std blue finish, grade 1 walnut furniture… browning never got the press that Winchester, Marlin, and Henry got, But the magazine fed BLR lever action, shot as tight and as slick as the come.



I used to have the Browning BLR in .30-06. It was a good shooting gun, but had a fatal flaw (in my opinion). And that was that the trigger stayed with the lever, so when I cycled the lever, the trigger went with the lever and disconnected from the main part of the rifle. This was not my preference, livable, but the connection between the trigger and the rifle was (or at least, seemed to be), a cheap plastic part - destined to fail at the worst possible time.

I had planned to get really good at shooting my BLR, meaning lots of practice. But, with that super cheap connection for the trigger, I figured it would fail before I ever got there.

I got rid of the BLR shortly after that. Never bought another, either.


@JohnB there was a fix out for that, I vaguely remember, i will dig thru my books today and find it… but it was a issue



I sure hope so! The gun cost me (with tax) about $1,000, so I took a bit of a loss on it. But, if they have fixed the connector (or, preferably left the trigger stationary with the rifle), then I might just buy another.

I really like Browning products in general and wouldn’t mind having more.


@JohnB browning started having issues with the connector assembly on the BLR when they moved production to Miroku Japan thats why 71 models and earlier manufacture(1969 first year) are fetching a higher price than the later offering (73 and later) 72 seems to have been a no mans land… they made changes in the 1981 model (minor,Magazine ect)) and again in 1995 and although the original BLR is no longer in production, the 1995 Lightning BLR is still in production, with changes made to the rack and pinion assy, as well as other mods. trigger still stays with the lever, still multi position hammer, but more robust.
what year was yours made? . still digging for the fix on 73 to 81 models…
seems like every time a firearm manufacturer moves to a Asian country, the product has short comings the original didnt have…



Thanks for all the info.

I don’t recall the exact year model, but it was somewhere in the mid to late 2000’s. Thus, from roughly 2004 to 2009, best I can recall. And, for what it is worth, it was the takedown model.

Just guessing here, but these moves to Asian countries were probably motivated by cost savings. So, most likely, the Asian makers were also motivated to save money on the manufacture of their arms, and probably went too far, at least initially. Also, they probably needed practice (perhaps a lot), to get anywhere near the quality of build that was normal in the USA. If so, then arms being built by them now may be worth considering.


Because you may need to secure your weapon with piggen strips as you gallop your steed across the open range! :grin::+1:

Like you I love levers. I like marlins for hunting (I need that scope these days!) And Winchester for PCC fun. Unfortunately my brother likes em just a bit more than I do so they are living in his gunsafe at the moment. (He is into SASS and cowboy action up to his eywbrows. Lol)


My buddy got a Browning lever 308 a few months ago. Beautiful rifle, brand new for $400+.


which model do you know? steel or alloy receiver? alloys came out in about 1996…