In May 2019 I reviewed the 1895 Trapper from Marlin back when Remington owned them. You can read that review by following this link. I liked that rifle fine and further reviewed the Marlin Dark in 30 WCF and the Marlin .444. The reason I mention this is to exhibit I have some experience with the Remington made Marlins.

A couple of months ago, a Ruger made Marlin 1895 Trapper was delivered for consideration. There are some noticeable improvements and some that are more subtle.

How do they compare?

The Remington built Marlin’s barrel was 16 1/2 inches long, while the new Ruger built Marlin has a 16.1 inch barrel, and Ruger had the foresight to thread the barrel at 11’16 x 24, which is the standard thread for the .45-70. The weights are the same, while the Ruger built Marlin is 3/4″ shorter without sacrificing capacity. The birch furniture was replaced with a laminate stock and a smaller laminate forend that was a bit more agreeable. All other features, such as the cross bolt safety, are the same or very similar.

Ruger opted to delete the hammer extension while adding flutes to the polished bolt. The hammer extension, in my opinion, was not needed, while the bolt flutes add a bit of clearance for fouling and contribute to the rifle’s overall aesthetics. The trigger pull was more than adequate, with a bit of take up, breaking just under five pounds with minimal overtravel. A fine trigger for a factory rifle and superior to the old Trapper. Accuracy, with like ammunition the Ruger made Marlin did edge out the Remington built Marlin by a margin. Out of the box, the Ruger action was a bit slicker than the old Marlin, and with all things considered, both were good rifles, but the new Marlin is more refined.

The Skinner sights are superb, noting the rear is adjustable for elevation and windage. The front blade has white coloration contrasting well against the rear peep.

The black peep insert can be threaded out, making the rear sight more of a ghost ring, handy for up close social work. The loading gate was easy to manipulate and could be depressed with rounds in the tubular magazine, releasing the loaded rounds one at a time, allowing the rifle to be unloaded without having to load the chamber.

 

The rifle was plenty strong to stand up to even a steady diet of the hot 405gr DoubleTap Ammunition.

Accuracy was good, with three shot groups shot from a rest at 100 yards.

We put 300 rounds of various types downrange without issue. We used two different silencers on the rifle for much of the review. The Liberty Suppressors Goliath and the Phoenix Weaponry .45-70 silencer. Both performed as expected but are different enough to discuss in another article/video. Suffice it to say both held up well to supersonic and subsonic .45-70. Did I say subsonic .45-70? I borrowed a 430gr bullet mold from 1911Tuner and developed a subsonic load using that bullet and pistol powder.

Accuracy with the subsonic was about four inches at fifty yards, but when shot at 100 yards with a 100 yard zero for supersonic ammunition, you could see the bullet strike the deck about fifteen feet in front of the target. Still, with about 950 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle, that subsonic load delivered plenty of oowee on target. Look for a full ballistic test for the .45-70 soon. With a stainless steel construction and laminate furniture, this truly is an all weather rifle. It would be an ideal guide gun as it is compact enough to wield in tight spaces and yet would still serve well as hunting even as a defense rifle, especially with a quality silencer equipped. With such a selection of .45-70 ammunition, there is enough variety to tune your ammunition to your specific need; while the .45-70 is big medicine, the new Trapper handled it all without issue and would serve you well in all areas considered. Overall, I am completely satisfied with the Ruger built Marlin and believe it is an improvement on an already proven platform.

Specifications 

Model # 70450
Caliber 45-70 Govt
Capacity 5+1
Stock Black Laminate
Material Stainless Steel
Finish Satin Stainless
Front Sight Skinner Sights Blade
Rear Sight Skinner Sights Adjustable
Weight 7.1 lbs.
Overall Length 34.25″
Length of Pull 13.38″
Barrel Length 16.10″
Thread Pattern 11/16″-24
Thread Cap Match-Polished
Barrel Cold Hammer-Forged Stainless Steel
Twist 1:20″ RH
Grooves 6
UPC 7-36676-70450-7
Suggested Retail $1,349.00

 

Acknowledgments

Ruger Firearms

Marlin Firearms

Doubletap Ammunition

Hornady Ammunition 

Defender Ammunition

Liberty Suppressors

Phoenix Weaponry

By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

6 thoughts on “New Marlin 1895 Trapper, suppressed trail howitzer”
  1. I generally agree with your reviews, but this one has me scratching my head. Suppressor on a .45-70 lever action is borderline imbecilic…. Looks like something out of a hollyweird movie and not at all in line with the purpose and functionality of the rifle.

    And at $50+++ a box of 20 rounds, with hardly any availability at the LGS, .45-70 is not what I would call a smart choice unless you handload and have primers. Havent seen a single box of .45-70 at the LGS in over two years. They wont sell marked-up inflated ammo, and the standard distribution chain has nothing.

    Kinda sounds like a Ruger-sponsored review.

    1. Not Ruger sponsored at all.
      I am not an avid hunter so this rifle is purely for fun.
      I do cast and reload and have components.
      The subsonic 45-70 on steel at 30 yards was pure fun for me
      Also, the silencer helped a great deal with the report of the supersonic loads as well as acts as a muzzle brake.
      For me it made the rifle much more fun.

  2. Thanks for the review. I’m wondering if you could cut down the Picatinny rail from the SBL to around a couple inches and mount in the dovetail slot with the two screws to use a RMR type red dot that could co-witness with the skinner sights?
    Your thoughts?

  3. Thanks for the review. I’m wondering if you could cut down the Picatinny rail from the SBL to around a couple inches and mount in the dovetail slot with the two screws to use a RMR type red dot that could co-witness with the skinner sights?
    Your thoughts?

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