Since its introduction in 1972, the Marlin 1895 GBL lever-action rifle has been a touchstone among serious hunters. World-famous outdoor writer Craig Boddington once described it as “the ultimate guide gun” in the pages of American Rifleman magazine. The power and efficacy of the 1895 never wavered over the course of its 50-year history, but the financial stability of Marlin, sadly, did. Just a few short years ago it appeared that the Marlin 1895 might wind up staying a part of history instead of continuing to make it.
That was, of course, until the firearms manufacturing powerhouse Ruger took the reins of Marlin. The first order of business, clearly, has been to reintroduce Marlin’s most-loved firearms … and the 1895 Guide Gun (formerly known as the “1895 GBL,” or Guide Big Loop) is back. It’s Ruger’s first generation of the Guide Gun family of rifles and Ruger’s first introduction of an alloy steel Marlin rifle with a blued finish.
What’s a guide gun? Essentially, it’s a shorter-barreled rifle chambered in a meaty caliber designed for relatively short-range shots … the classic scenario for which it was envisioned is big, dangerous game like brown bear and moose. The 1895 is chambered in .45-70 Govt., an early caliber that makes it appropriate for what many states refer to as “primitive weapon” hunting seasons. Unlike early guide guns, however, this reintroduced rifle has a threaded barrel with a match-polished thread protector, so you can add muzzle devices if you wish.
Featuring a 19” cold hammer-forged barrel, the rifle’s overall length is 37.25” and weighs in at a surprisingly light 7.4 lbs., courtesy of the rifle’s alloy steel construction and the brown laminate stock. The gun uses a traditional fully adjustable semi-buckhorn set of iron sights. The alloy steel receiver, big loop lever, and trigger guard plate feature a non-glare, blued, satin finish. The bolt is nickel-plated for smooth cycling and durability
“The Guide Gun is our next step in the expansion of the Marlin line,” stated CEO and President, Chris Killoy. “Marlin fans should be encouraged by the growth in product offerings and know that we are going to continuously expand into other models.” MSRP $1149; MarlinFirearms.com