02 November 2023

The Marlin Dark Series Is Back!

The Re-released Marlin Dark 1895 (Image from Marlin's Website)

While the original Dark series wasn't my cup of tea exactly, I appreciate what it was. Well, Ruger announced they're back. To be honest, I think the new version is better. 

You can find the release on Marlin's Website

The first two things I see differently are the stock and forend. The new butt stocks look like the old Ruger All Weather with a riser while the forend is a modernized M-LOK rail with QD pockets. The stock also have M-LOK slots in it likely for cartridge holders. While I've said in the past, I'm not a big fan of the new  M-LOK rails, this one works well. They also have a muzzle break threaded on the barrel. You can replace with a suppressor as you want.

They again started with the 1895 version in .45-70 and say that a .30-30 336 followed by a .44 Magnum 1894 next year will be available. All versions are likely to be 16 inch barrels. 

Honestly, I think this decision makes a ton a sense. They're starting with the most preferred versions then came out with a model that basically pre-built custom gun. Ruger is known for taking features that would otherwise been third-party or custom features and incorporating them into a production product. The Ruger Blackhawk comes to mind with the Flattop style frame and the beefy strength. If you look at what people like Elmer Keith were doing, see the Number 5 revolver, Bill Ruger incorporated many of those features into the Blackhawk. I think Ruger did the same thing with a stock like what Ranger Point Precision did then added an  M-LOK rail like what Midwest Industries and RPP have. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, just because you put on the right parts, doesn't mean it looks good. I've seen plenty of lever guns with RPP and MI parts that look just awful. Well, I think the new Dark Series came out just fine and I think they are going to sell very well. I still want a Classic Series or Guide Gun Series threaded .30-30 so I will be holding off. 

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