The Marlin Model 1895M is a lever-action hunting rifle chambered in .450 Marlin. The 1895M is a smaller version of the Classic Model 1895 with an 18.5″ barrel and weighing 7 pounds.
What separates it from other M1895s is its straight-grip stock, which is a more traditional style borrowed from a two-trigger shotgun design. Also, most 1895 models fire the short-range hunting round .45-70 Gov’t., but the 1895M fires the .450 Marlin, which is comparable in size. However, the rounds cannot be cross-chambered.
Otherwise the 1895M has similar features to the Classic M1895 like Marlin’s Ballard-type rifling in the barrel, which carves six deep and wide grooves in it that help improve accuracy for high-power rifles. It’s a slow process, however, almost no stress is put on the metal, so it can better absorb the violent reaction when a primer is charged. Also, it has a tubular magazine that’s non-detachable and runs along the barrel. Rounds are fed through the front of the tube and it chambers like a shotgun—a spring pushes the round down as the bolt slides the next one into place.
Marlin recommends the 1895M for hunting deer, larger game and black bear.
|Sights:||Adjustable semi-buckhorn folding rear sight and ramp front sight|
|Features:||Tubular magazine; straight-grip stock; and Ballard-type rifling|
|Stock:||American black walnut|
|Scope:||Drilled and tapped for scope mounts|
|Twist:||1 in 20"|
In spite of the name, the Marlin Model 1895 was neither designed in 1895 nor is it really a unique model, strictly speaking. The 1895 is a version of the Model 336 lever action rifle that has been tweaked to handle big bore cartridges used to hunt big critters. It is typically found chambered for either the .45-70 or the .450 Marlin. Both cartridges will deliver a piece of lead big enough to discourage any wild animal in North America.
The 1895 usually comes with decent buckhorn sights and while it is possible to scope it, this is rarely done. The gun is designed for relatively close work on very big or dangerous prey. Neither of the cartridges it is commonly chambered for are very effective beyond 150 yards, owing in large part to their rainbow-like trajectories. If it is big enough to require the punch of a .45-70 then you probably aren’t going to have much trouble hitting it with open sights at close range.
Like all of Marlin’s lever actions, the 1895 is an accurate (within its limits) and well-made rifle that is very unlikely to malfunction in the field. A favorite of Alaskan hunting guides, it has even been modified into a take-down version specifically designed to fit in the map pocket on the back of a bush pilot’s seat. The fact that so many outdoor professionals trust their lives to this rifle in bear country is a testament to its worth.
You will not find fussy craftsmanship or engraving on this rifle. What you will find on some versions of the 1895 will include stainless steel or a large finger loop on the lever, designed to be easily worked with hands wearing heavy gloves. This is a tool for protecting your life in challenging climates against big dangerous things that want to eat you or otherwise rearrange your various organs.
Even if you don’t live in brown bear country, the 1895 could make a very reasonable elk gun when shots within 150 yards are expected.
When weighing which cartridge to go with, consider that most factory .45-70 ammunition is loaded well below its potential strength. The .45-70 dates all the way back to 1873 and was originally used with black powder. Since many of those old rifles with weaker actions and ‘.45-70’ stamped on the barrel are still out there, ammunition makers don’t want to risk someone putting their product into one of those rifles and blowing themselves up. This was the rationale behind creating the .450 Marlin cartridge. The .450 Marlin is almost identical to the .45-70 in ballistic terms, but ammunition manufacturers can confidently offer full-power loads.