The Turnbull-Finished Marlin 1895 Reviewed

I love Winchesters, especially their lever guns. I’ve always felt that Winchester’s had a little better wood, a little better bluing, and a little better fit and finish. Despite my affinity for Winchesters, when it comes to functional lever gun design, I’ll take a Marlin. I find Marlin’s solid top and side ejection, and the ability to add a scope to be a superior design. The Marlin 1895 in all of its variations is one of Marlin’s most popular models. Recognizing this popularity, the artisans at Turnbull Restorations have created their own twist on the popular Marlin 1895 rifle. If you’re a fan of the 1895 like me, you need to consider adding the Turnbull-Finished Marlin 1895 to your collection. It is truly the Marlin 1895 in its ultimate form.

Turnbull-Finished Marlin 1895
Turnbull is renowned for its proprietary Color Case Hardening process. The results on my rifle were nothing short of striking.

Turnbull-Finished line

While a Turnbull custom reproduction may be financially out of reach for many of us, the Turnbull Finished line offers a more approachable price point. In their Turnbull-Finished line, they take historically significant, newly manufactured firearms and apply their custom finishes to greatly enhance the gun and turn it into an instant heirloom. Iconic models from Ruger, Winchester, and Marlin are among this collection. In addition to the Marlin 1895, Turnbull currently offers a variety of lever guns, pistols, and revolvers in the Turnbull-Finished line.

What is a “Turnbull-Finished” Marlin 1895?

Turnbull starts out with a stock Marlin 1895 from the factory. From there they do several things to put their version into a class by itself. First, the gun is disassembled, the finish is stripped from the stock and forend, and it is refinished by hand to match Marlin’s original red shading. I found the original reddish tint in the stain to be beautiful and distinctive.

Turnbull Marlin 1895 and a Marlin 1895GS
One of the features of the Turnbull-Finished Marlin 1895 is that the hammer safety block from the factory is removed and replaced with a switchable safety block filler, which helps transform the new 1895 to its forbear’s original spec. Note the current factory hammer safety block on the Marlin 1895GS at the bottom of the photo for comparison.

Next, the receiver, lever, hammer, and forend cap are all finished in Turnbull’s unique color case hardening using the traditional methods. The barrel and magazine retain the Marlin original factory bluing. Finally, Turnbull removes the hammer safety block and then installs a switchable safety block filler, returning the new 1895 to its forbear’s original specifications. The Turnbull Marlin 1895 rifle is chambered in .45-70 Gov’t with a 4 round tubular magazine, and the receiver is drilled and tapped to accept a scope.

Turnbull Marlin 1895 with skinner sight and Leupold scope
If you decide to add a scope your Turnbull-Finished Marlin 1895, this Skinner “EXPRESS” sight with integral scope mount with Talley Rings offers a traditional look and the flexibility to remove the scope and use the peep sight.

Turnbull-Finished Marlin 1895 Specifications

  • .45-70 Gov’t.
  • Turnbull color case hardening on the receiver, lever, hammer, and forend cap.
  • Turnbull switchable safety block filler
  • Stock and forend are hand-refinishing in Marlin’s original red shading
  • 4-shot tubular magazine
  • Lever action; side ejection; solid-top receiver; deeply blued metal surfaces
  • American black walnut pistol-grip stock with a fluted comb; cut checkering; rubber rifle butt pad; swivel studs
  • 22″ barrel with deep-cut Ballard-type rifling (6 grooves)
  • 1:20″ twist rate
  • Adjustable semi-buckhorn folding rear sight, ramp front sight with brass bead, and wide-scan hood. Solid-top receiver tapped for scope mount.
  • 40 1/2″ long
  • 13 3/8″ length of pull
  • 7 lbs. approximate weight

Options for the Turnbull Finished Marlin 1895

The Turnbull-Finished Marlin 1895 with optional full length magazine tube. – Turnbull Restoration

Turnbull Restoration is an elite custom gun maker. If you want a hand-built Winchester 1886 or a custom 1911, they are the people to call. If you want something special on your Marlin 1895, don’t worry. Turnbull can literally do whatever your imagination and budget will allow. That said, Turnbull does offer a few standard customization options that are specific to their Marlin 1895 offering. Custom options include:

Federal HammerDown ammunition
The .45-70 cartridge is versatile and more popular than ever now that many states allow it for deer hunting in slug zones. I’ll be used Federal’s new HammerDown ammo with great success on a recent whitetail hunt with my Turnbull Marlin
Turnbull Marlin 1895 with big loop lever
The Turnbull Marlin 1895 with optional big loop lever

Turnbull-Finished Marlin 1895 Final Thoughts

The Turnbull Marlin 1895 fills a great niche between a standard factory-produced rifle and a fully-custom rifle that is built from scratch. If you want an heirloom quality semi-custom gun without the custom gun price tag, the Turnbull-Finished Marlin 1895 is for you.

Turnbull-Finished Marlin 1895 – $1,550, available at Turnbull Restoration.

hunter with whitetail buck
The author with his rifle and a 11- point whitetail buck.

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Related Content: Company Profile: Turnbull Restoration