Tag Archive: John Mahlon Marlin

The Marlin Machine Guns



” Most Marlin owners know of their long legacy of lever action rifles, .22 rimfire guns, and others. However, what most don’t know is that the company was one of the largest manufacturers of machine guns in World War One. 

The Marlin Machine Guns - christophereger - colt-m1895-2-7.jpg

The Colt-Marlin Light Machine Gun


” In 1915, during World War I, a New York syndicate bought the company from the sons of John Marlin, the company’s founder, and renamed it the Marlin Rockwell Corporation (MRC). In that same year, MRC obtained license to the 1895 Colt Light Machine Gun. Colt had been manufacturing their ‘potato-digger’ machine gun for twenty years and the weapon had been made in a half dozen calibers not only for the US Army and Navy but also for Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, and Imperial Russia. With World War I becoming a boom for Colt and other firearms manufacturers producing weapons for Western European clients, the company was anxious to rid itself of the old Model 1895. Colt sold all of the rights, tooling, plans, and patents to MRC and washed their hands of the old potato digger.” 

Today all of these Marlin guns are rarely encountered and when they do run over $10,000 in working condition. Not bad for a weapon that fought in two world wars.” 

Five Classic Marlin Rifles


” Marlin has been in the gun biz for going on 150-years. Founded just after the Civil War by John Mahlon Marlin, they have produced more than a hundred models of firearms in almost every caliber imaginable. Here we look at five of their timeless classics. These guns were all extremely popular standard production models that helped make the brand a household name.”

At the top of the list comes our personal favorite …

Model 1895 


Five Classic Marlin Rifles - christophereger - marlin-1895-91.jpg



” Lewis Hepburn was Marlin’s preeminent firearms designer in the 19th century. He invented a long line of lever action guns that included the M1888, 1889, and others that introduced innovative takedown actions, magazines, and trigger groups. In 1896, he produced his masterpiece, the M1895 rifle. It was the first lever action rifle that used a solid top receiver, side ejection, and Ballard barrels. Produced in standard and take down models (which could be disassembled for transport) these guns were built in hard-hitting .38-56, .40-65, .40-82, 45.-70, and .45-90. As such, they were capable of taking down anything from deer to moose to buffalo and everything in between. Not bad for an 8-pound rifle. Some 400,000 of these guns were built until 1917. After taking a break from the design for fifty years (not a lot of buffalo around these days) Marlin brought the gun back in a greatly redesigned (based on the Model 444 action) as the New Model 1895 in 1972, which is today still in production in in a four-shot .45-70.”

Can you name the other four ?