Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3005: Marlin Prototype Model 1895 Lever Action Takedown Rifle

Auction Date: December 5, 2021

Interesting Marlin Prototype Model 1895 Lever Action Takedown Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $4,000 - $6,000

Interesting Marlin Prototype Model 1895 Lever Action Takedown Rifle

Manufacturer: Marlin Firearms Co
Model: 1895
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 45-70
Barrel: 26 inch octagon
Finish: bright
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 594
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 14
Class: Antique

Offered here is a very interesting Marlin prototype of a Model 1895 takedown rifle. Its in the white, unpolished appearance gives all the indications that this was a tool room model rifle. The full length magazine tube and forend cap appear to be finished components and are blued. The 26 inch full octagon barrel has a 3/8 inch untrimmed muzzle and is fitted with a German silver blade front sight and an altered elevation adjustable rear sight. The sights may have been added later. The takedown configuration is Marlin's swinging lever type patented by L.L. Hepburn and the lever is marked "MOD 95." The left side of the receiver has a small cut-away towards the lower left corner to expose that the magazine follower is withdrawn for takedown, a notch at the left top front, is stamped "1st/95/TAKE/DOWN/M" and has "Model" faintly hand marked in ink. The bolt is stamped "MODEL 1895." The oiled stained straight grip buttstock still has the rough machine marks. The varnished forearm is a finished product. L.L. Hepburn was awarded U.S. patent no. 518,950, dated May 1, 1894, for his takedown design used on Marlin Models 1893, 1894 and 1895. It is likely that the purpose of this prototype was to fit and tweak Hepburn’s takedown device on the Model 1895 before incorporating it into the production line. Hepburn’s takedown design was widely successful, allowing Marlin to market the Model 1893, 1894 and 1895 takedown rifles as “strong as the regular rifle; no looseness; no danger of coming apart owing to accident or carelessness.” Once again Hepburn had a winning design for Marlin, and this prototype is a tangible link to Hepburn’s genius as a firearms engineer. The Model 1895 was Marlin's large game hunting rifle. The Model 1895 shared design and patents with the Models 1893 and 1894. These three rifles gave Marlin an impressive line of lever actions to the general public. Today's collectors consider the Model 1895 a scarce and desirable Marlin arm. Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection

Rating Definition:

Fine as an unfinished tool room model with rough machine marks and the in the white metal surfaces taking on an aged appearance. The finished magazine tube and forend cap retain 95% plus original blue with thinning to brown on the balance. The oversize, unfinished buttstock is good with material missing at the lower tang. The forearm is very good with much of the original varnish remaining. Mechanically excellent. An interesting piece of history for the serious Marlin collector.

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