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FWIW, I have a Navy Arms '73 Short Rifle in .45 LC. It handles beautifuly. The action is by far the smoothest I've felt on any out of the box lever gun. The overall fit and finish is excellent.

The only complaints I have are that the trigger pull is somewhat heavy (I've never measured it), and it is very picky about ammo. My standard plinking load for my SAA is a 250 gr. RNFP over 6 gr. Titegroup and a WLP primer. In the '73 it was giving me like 6+" at 50 yards. Reducing the charge to 5.5 grs seemed to tighten things up a bit. Switching to a load using a 250 gr XTP cut groups to around 1". I haven't slugged the barrel, so I may just need to switch to a better fitting cast bullet (I'm using bullets from a local commercial caster that are sized to .452").

I've never fired a Marlin so I can't give a comparison, but I will say that the '73 is a fine rifle and I won't be trading my any time soon!
 
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