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Marlin 6 + 1 45-70 Government w/18" Stainless Barrel/Black/G 
by Steven P
Date Added: Friday 06 April, 2012
I bought this gun because I wanted a rifle chambered in the classic 45-70 gov't, but able to handle all the modern loadings of that cartridge. The 1895 SBL seemed like the perfect choice- the rail, ghost ring sights, 6+1 capacity and I had read generally positive reviews about it in online forums. Sadly, this rifle has turned out to be a massive disappointment. It has not worked properly from day one. It is nearly impossible to fully chamber a round, cycling the action is almost unbelievably rough and take several attempts to close the lever. I had a friend who is an excellent machinist and gunsmith work on it and after two complete disassemblies, he was able to get the rifle to almost cycle more than one round every 45 seconds. I have come to realize that there appears to be a group of rifles made when Marlin was moving its manufacturing facilities and these rifles exhibit shoddy to nonexistant quality control. The 1895 SBL is an excellent rifle with great potential, but be very careful as you might get stuck with a lemon. None of this should be taken to reflect poorly on Bud's- they have always been a pleasure to deal with and they are certainly not responsible for Marlin's utter failure on this particular rifle. To close on a positive note, when the gun does actually cycle and fire, it does a great job of absorbing the recoil and is very accurate- I was able to achieve one inch groups at 50 yards using the open sights; it's just too bad that it took two minutes to create those three shot groups. Sorry, I tried to end on a positive, but this particular rifle leaves me incapable of optimism.