Upon first inspection of the 1894c, I discovered that the stock had come away from the action slightly. I simply squeezed the stock back towards the action, in the same way you’d reinsert an errant snap-to-fit part on a kid’s toy. The action was so stiff that I looked to see if there was some kind of safety preventing it from moving. When I finally got up enough gumption to pull the lever HARD, she surrendered to my charms. Grudgingly.
When we got to the range, the Marlin was passed around. Eddie also had trouble cycling the action. He declared he wouldn’t shoot it. “I don’t shoot cheap guns.” Ouch. Charlie, one of JOE’s family members took possession of the 1894c and tried to work the lever. That’s when the stock broke.
I’ve put up some more photos of the damage on TTAG’s Facebook page. As you can clearly see this is a brand proposition of not good. Fortunately, the rifle disintegrated before it fired. Otherwise . . .
I reckon the Marlin may have been damaged in transit. My FFL dealer informs me that the Marlin arrived as a box within a box. He says there was no visible damage to the box that was over this one. (Pics later.)
The box containing the rifle shows no signs of injury. The interior packaging—one-size-fits-all featherlight styrofoam material that didn’t fit the shorter barreled gun—is also unmolested.
All that said, the message on the box is clear enough:
Remington’s PR person is on the case. She’s sending me a shipping label to return the firearm for inspection. She’s also checking with Marlin’s product managers to see if they want to respond to this post. I’ve also invited the gunmaker to use the comments’ section. Stay tuned.