Originally Posted by gatling
An original Marlin, perhaps. A quick review of the Marlin forums indicates the Marlins coming out of the Remington factory are not quality items.
Actually, they aren't that bad. The ones coming out of the Marlin factory before they moved weren't very good either - that is supposedly one of the reasons why they moved. IMO the Marlins - at least the 336 design - are a superior rifle to the Winchester/Browning lever actions (92 and 94 anyway).
My '95 .45-70 was made in the Marlin factory just before they moved production and it has some of the problems that are reported lately; poor buttstock fit and the mag tube was dented. It doesn't feed well although that might be fixed with a different follower.
When I get around to it and build up my cash reserves again, I will send it off to be cut down, ported, action slicked up, maybe with a take down kit, certainly with the scout scope mount. The main thing is that it is a good action design, it is .45-70, laminated stock and it is stainless. I can work from there.
I do not care for the newer Winchester lever actions - I've had a few of them. The ones with the safety activated by the lever have a slopping action and don't feel right. I grew up with an old '94 in .30-30 (my grandfather traded some booze and cash to a Trask Indian for the rifle before I was born) with a 26" octagon barrel and I loved that rifle (my brother inherited it) but the Marling 336 type action is superior.