History of Marlin
To many, Marlin is to firearms as Hershey is to chocolate. There is virtually no type of firearm or related product that the name Marlin hasn’t been associated with over the many years since John M. Marlin first began producing small, single-shot, derringer-type pistols.
In 1881, Marlin introduced his first production model of a repeating lever action rifle. Appropriately named the Model 1881, it was available in several large calibers and was a favorite of sportsmen everywhere. This was just the beginning of a long and successful run of lever action rifles and shotguns. The performance of the models 1881 and 1891 are immortalized in the stories and legends surrounding Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley.
Other major firearms companies were manufacturing semi-auto .22 caliber rifles, so it was inevitable that the Marlin Co. would eventually expand its design and manufacturing facilities to include them. In 1951, Marlin introduced the Model 50 semi-auto, .22 caliber rifle, which would pave the way for many others that followed. Marlin Firearms went on to produce some of the most popular .22 caliber semi-autos in the world.
Volumes have been written about the evolution of Marlin Firearms, its association with other famous firearms inventors and manufacturers, and the innovative ideas that can be traced to the Marlin name. However, after all is said and done, the lever action rifles are most associated with the Marlin name and create one of the most vivid and romantic images in the history of firearms.