Marlin Firearm Company
Country of Origin

United States


New Haven, Connecticut (US)


John M. Marlin

Year of Founding


Owner(s)/Parent Company

Freedom Group


H&R Firearms

Weapon Types


Notable Products

Marlin Model 1891

Area(s) served


The Marlin Firearm Company, more commonly known simply as Marlin, is a manufacturer of various types of firearms including rifles and shotguns. Since 2007 Marlin have been part of the Freedom Group following their purchase by Remington Arms.


Marlin Firearms began in 1870, founded by John M. Marlin in New Haven, Connecticut. John M. Marlin had previously worked for Colt during the American Civil War and at the age of 34 set up Marlin Firearms, attracting some of America's most outstanding inventors. Marlin came to the fore in 1891 when the Marlin Model 1891 (and later Model 1893) rifles entered the market. These two remain in production to this day (branded as the Model 39 and Model 336 respectively). 

Marlin Model 1894C

The Marlin Model 1894C rifle, chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge

Following John Marlin's death in 1901 Marlin's two sons ran the company. At this time the company became one of the largest machine gun manufacturers in the US, producing the M1895 Colt-Browning machine gun and an exclusive variant: The Marlin gun. In 1915 Marlin was bought and renamed as the Marlin Rockwell Corporation, with the New York based owners buying out Hopkins & Allen in 1917 in order to expand the Marlin brand to focus on sporting firearms, rather than military products. After several years on instability Marlin were put up for auction in 1923.

The auction process ended in 1924 with Frank Kenna (a lawyer) whom payed just $100 for the company (admittedly with a $100,000 mortgage). Since then the Marlin Firearms Company has been run by the Kenna family, with the Kenna's sitting as the company's President or Chairman since 1924. Frank Kenna Sr (the Company's first president) ran Marlin from 1924 until his death in 1947, reintroducing several of Marlin's pre-war designs and expanding the company to include the razor blades.

Marlin Model 336

The Marlin Model 336, one of their more popular designs.

From 1947 to 1959 Roger Kenna (son of Frank Kenna) took control of Marlin, an era which saw Marlin steadily grow and return to its roots as a pioneering company, designing some significant developments in firearm design. Since then Marlin has continued to produce firearms for sporting purposes, while the Marlin razor blade business was phased out. In the 1990's Marlin finally overtook Winchester (with whom they had been in direct competition since Marlin's creation) as the world's most prominant lever-action rifle producer, a position it has held ever since. 

In the last decade and a half, Marlin has been moved from it's original New Haven base, following the 2007 purchase by Remington (whom in 2010 decided to incorporate Marlin's production into their own production) while it has also become one of the prominant members of the Freedom Group. In 2000 Marlin bought H&R Firearms to expand its production. When Remington purchased Marlin, H&R were also gathered into the Freedom Group.


Marlin MicroGroove Rifling

An image of Marlin's innovative MicroGroove Rifling pattern.

Marlin has been renowned for helping the general development of firearms. Marlin's first contribution to the world came in the form of the "Marlin Safety". The "Marlin Safety" was the world's first side ejecting, solid-top receiver and meant that Marlin rifles were significantly easier to add aftermarket scopes and sights to then it was to mount them on the rifles produced by Marlin's more established competitor, Winchester.

Marlin's next major innovation came in the 1950s. In 1953 Marlin were granted US Patent No. 3,100,358 for MicroGroove Rifling a design which was intended to speed up the production of barrels. The patent outlined MicroGroove rifling as being five 0.1in deep grooves with each land being "tangentially disposed" in order to prevent/reduce fouling. This innovation first appeared in the Marlin catalogue in 1954 across a range of rifles within it. 

One other significant development by Marlin was the T-900 Fire Control System designed for bolt-action, rimfire, rifles in 2004. As with virtually all other Marlin innovations this improvement appears across a variety of Marlin's creations.


Marlin have been producing rifles since the 1870's. Since then Marlin's production has extended from its infamous lever-action rifle range to include shotguns and even revolvers. Marlin have also become a leading manufacturer of large calibre rifles, using cartridges such as the .44 Magnum and the .45-70 Government making their rifles excellent counterparts to similar calibre revolvers and pistols.

As mentioned earlier, Marlin had been known to produce machine guns in large numbers (even designing their own, the Marlin gun). Yet they also manufactured a little known prototype of a submachine gun, the M2 Hyde. This submachine gun was submitted for trials during the Second World War and, despite never entering full production, was considered as the reserve alternative to the US' standard submachine gun at the time.

ResourcesEdit - Rifling image - Model 1894C Image origin