New For 2023: Marlin 1895 Dark Series

posted on December 13, 2023
Marlin 1895 Dark 01
Images courtesy of Sturm, Ruger and Co.

Despite that the words “tactical” and “lever-action” may seem like an odd pairing, several manufacturers have proven that combining modern features with the fast handling of a lever gun is a winning combination. Ruger breathed life back into the Marlin brand with its re-introduction of the 1895 in 2022. The original SBL model, which was given a Golden Bullseye award as the “2023 Rifle of the Year,” was soon augmented by Guide Gun and Trapper models. New for 2023, Marlin is giving the 1895 the “tactical lever-action” treatment with its Dark Series.

The basic dimensions of the 1895 Dark follows that of the 1895 Trapper. The cold hammer-forged 16.17” barrel has its muzzle threaded 11/16x24 TPI and comes with a radial muzzle brake installed (a thread protector is also supplied). It has an overall length of 35.5” and weighs 7 lbs. The underbarrel magazine tube extends nearly to the muzzle and has a capacity of five .45-70 Gov't cartridges. 

Left side of the Marlin 1895 Dark Series, along with four .45-70 Government cartridges.For 2023, Marlin is giving its .45-70 1895 the Dark “tactical” treatment.

The Trapper’s stainless-steel components are replaced by carbon steel that is given a satin black finish. In place of wood furniture, the 1895 uses a nylon-reinforced polymer buttstock that has QD swivel stud sockets, a rubber recoil pad and a cheekpiece that is adjustable to optimize sight picture with optical sights. The fore-end is made of anodized aluminum and has both QD swivel sockets and M-Lok slots machined in. 

Muzzle end of the Marlin 1895 Dark Series rifle.The unique features of the 1895 Dark include an aluminum fore-end, polymer buttstock, factory-installed muzzle brake and ghost ring night sights on an extended Picatinny rail.

Like the Trapper, the 1895 Dark uses a receiver-mounted aperture rear sight, but with the Dark model this sight takes a “ghost ring” form and is mounted on an extended section of Picatinny rail that allows the mounting of optics in the conventional or forward position. The front sight post uses a fiber-optic insert with a ring of tritium for low-light conditions. 

The Marlin 1895 Dark Series has an MSRP of $1,379, and the company will be offering 336 and 1894 Dark models early next year. For more information, visit


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