Marlin Firearms: Back In The Saddle

by
posted on March 7, 2022
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From the ashes of the 2020 Remington Outdoor bankruptcy, Marlin Firearms has emerged again, but it didn’t rise without help. Another storied American firearm brand, Ruger, purchased the rights to the 152-year-old company and is currently producing new guns in its Mayodan, N.C., facility, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the guns themselves. When asked whether or not the Ruger name would appear on production guns, Ruger’s CEO Chris Killoy responded, “No, it won’t. We’re going to maintain the Marlin brand. We’re very proud of the Marlin brand and its history.”

Returning with the new Marlin lever-action rifles is the famed cowboy on a horse, a legendary icon that’s escorted the Marlin brand since the turn of the last century. The alert cowboy aiming his gun downrange first appeared in “His Last Stand,” an 1890 Frederic Sackrider Remington painting of two horsemen with dogs closing in on a grizzly bear. Company founder John Marlin liked the central figure so much that he asked Remington to produce a copy focusing on the cowboy, and that painting, “Danger Ahead”—shown above—appeared on Marlin’s 1900 catalog cover.

By 1960, the original painting commissioned by Marlin had been lost, supposedly in a fire, but original catalogs remained. For 1961, Marlin commissioned artist John Scott to recreate the iconic painting, and it again graced the cover of the Marlin catalog that year. New Marlin firearms may be emerging from a Ruger factory, but, like the horseman that’s been a part of the brand for so long, the guns are all Marlin. For an in-depth look at the latest models under the classic Marlin name, be sure to read Editor Emeritus John Zent’s feature in our March 2022 issue and Senior Executive Editor Kelly Young’s Field Test right here at americanrifleman.org.

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