Despite its reliability, superior rate of fire (for pre-automatic weaponry) and ammo capacity, the lever action rifle never found much success in the U.S. military, for one simple: they’re a bitch to fire from the prone position. With the advent of trench warfare—invented by bullet-aversive soliders during the U.S. Civil War—levers never stood a chance (so to speak). That said, if you are standing up, looking at a Grizzly bear running towards you, you could do a lot worse than aim a Marlin 1985G lever action rifle at your ursine adversary . . .
The .45-70 caliber weapon is fully capable of blowing a hole through a full-grown Grizzly bear. Or four. Holes or bears. I know what you’re thinking: how have I lived without a Marlin 1985G (for Guide) all these years? Either that or where the hell’s my AR-10?
Mind you, you want to keep Newton’s law in mind: every big bore lever action has an equal and opposite reaction. Or, as one former Marlin 1985G owner put it, “it kicked so hard it would almost knock your pecker into your watchpocket.”
It’s also important to remember that the 1895G is a hunting gun. Use this weapon for self-defense and you’ll be facing reckless endangerment charges in several counties (if you’re in Rhode Island, at least two states). But the biggest problem with the Marlin 1895G is . . . Marlin.
The one I bought was a piece of junk! Slipshod workmanship, terrrible trigger (8 lbs) marred screw heads, buttstock had a large area filled with wood filler, asymetrical fore end, fore end and buttstock were stained a different color. Hammer fall strikes the side of the fireing pin cut at the rear of the bolt. Gun shoots high. Marlin says all is acceptable.
This kvetch from beekeeper (bees – bears – makes sense) back in ’09 reflects the lack of happy times at Marlin since the big bad wolf called Cerberus scarfed-up the company to create the failed IPO known as The Freedom Group. And closed Marlin’s storied New Haven factory, moving production to Remington’s plant in NY. Joy.
Not to worry. Grizzly Custom Guns has an answer to the questionable quality conundrum. The Montana gunsmiths can turn that rough [riders] diamond into a laser cut jewel—that can fell a moose. Send them one Marlin 1895G and some hard currency and they’ll . . .
- Shorten and re-crown barrel at 16.5″
- Shorten magazine tube if required
- Custom LPA ghost ring sight system with single post front sight
- Premium quality dovetail fill to replace factory rear sight
- Custom enlarged lever loop
- Smooth all ports, inside and out
- Modify loading gate for easier loading & unloading
- Extensive action smoothing
- Stainless steel follower
- Trigger job with DRC trigger
- Bobbed hammer
- Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad
- Custom leather butt-cuff ammunition carrier
- Custom padded “Slimline” leather sling
- Complete action dehorning
- Satin matte metal prep and bluing
And then you have one of the world’s most potent hunting rifles in a neat little package that give you plenty of chances to correct your trajectory before your trajectory corrects you (as they say in Mother Russia). Buy some Hornaday LEVERalone—I mean 325-grain LEVERevolution ammo, and you’re in hog heaven. Or send the hog to heaven. Your choice.