By: Friedrich Seiltgen

The Marlin company is celebrating its 150thanniversary by putting out some sweet new guns. One that caught my eye is the 1894 Lever Action Dark Series. Let’s face it, lever action guns are cool! From countless John Wayne westerns, to Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain in “The Rifleman,” or Steve McQueen in “Wanted Dead or Alive,” packing the chopped down “Mare’s Leg!” Fast-forward to 2020, and Marlin has put out an outstanding line of lever action rifles for hunting as well as home defense!

Marlins were known as some of the strongest, most accurate lever action guns made. The model 1881 was Marlin’s first centerfire, and the model 1891 their first rimfire model. The 1891 was accurate enough that Ms. Annie Oakley used an 1891 .22 caliber lever action to show off her shooting prowess to the masses, even shooting out a cigar from her husband’s lips! The 1894 model was originally patented in 1893 and featured a revolutionary lever-fire system with repeat fire capability. It also boasted the first flat-top, side eject receiver! Marlin continued their innovation with the Dark Series rifles. It comes equipped with a paracord sling as well as a paracord wrapped big loop lever. It also features a 10-inch picatinny scout rail that’s big enough to mount some modern optics, and a black matte Parkerized finish. The hammer has a knurled addition extending to the right of the hammer. This helps getting to the hammer when optics are in the way, or if you just want to get on it quicker!


Caliber: .357 Magnum/.38 Special & 44 Remington Magnum/ 44 Smith & Wesson Special

Weight: 7 lbs.

Length: 38”

Barrel Length:16.25” Threaded ½”X 28 for .357 and .578 X 28 for the .44 Magnum

Magazine Capacity: 8

Sights: 10” XS Brand Lever Rail with Ghost Ring

Finish: Parkerized Carbon Steel

Stock: Black- Webbed Hardwood Stock with Pachmayr Decelerator butt pad

Operating System: Lever Action

MSRP: $1,099

For those of you who need a little more horsepower, the Marlin 336, with more than three-million sold, offers the same platform in caliber 30-30 Winchester with a 5 round magazine. Need more? the 1895 Dark Series comes in caliber 45-70 Govt.

For our Gunpowder readers living in anti-constitutional states, a lever action gun looks less menacing than one of those AR-15s. We all know that rifles without pistol grips and flash suppressors are not as lethal. While lever action purists want blued steel, leather slings, and walnut stocks, they probably won’t be happy with the dark series model. The new features might bring some fresh blood to the lever action market!

Check out the Dark Series models from Marlin, you won’t be disappointed!

That’s all for now folks! Please keep sending in your questions, tips, and article ideas. And as always – “Let’s Be Careful Out There!”

Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism, Firearms, First Aid, Active Shooter Response, and Law Enforcement Vehicle Operations in Florida. His writing has appeared in The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Homeland Security Today and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International. Contact him at

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