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(The photobucket link at bottom will get you to the pictures, they are in order of the steps I took to customize the rifle in the text below)

I started with an Marlin 1895G in .45-70 I won in a raffle at Sportsman's Warehouse in 2007I hunted black bear and lion with it in New Mexico. It also served as my truck and camp gun. I was unhappy with the usual Marlin issues, trigger, small and sharp-edged lever loop, sights, etc. I went the WWG way and installed their Trigger Happy Kit, Large-Loop Lever, Ghost Ring sights, aluminum mag follower and scout scope base.

This year I decided to do a full custom job. I've built several custom rifles in the past, and own a custom motorcycle fabrication business, so the rest was easy.

I started by replacing the short 4-round mag tube with an extended tube (designed for the 1895 CB: Brownell’s #550-000-051 $23.89, spring #550-401-795 $6.30).
I cut the tube so the plug sits 1/4" behind the muzzle. 2 1/2" cut off the spring makes it feed six rounds of my favorite 405 grain flat nose lead flawlessly. I cut a new dovetail for the front plug, and then made a filler for the existing dovetail.

Next I radiused the inside edges of the WWG Large-Loop lever to make it easier on the hands using a Dremel tool, and finished with 800-grit emery paper.

The cross-bolt safety is a danger in the field because it can be accidentally applied, so I cut and shaped it and tightened the set screw all the way down so it can't be used. I carry on an empty chamber unless I'm stalking game, and then use half-cock anyway.

Marlin's QC ain't great as you can see by the off-center barrel channel, so I reshaped the wide side and then stripped all stain and varnish and resprayed with truck bed liner.

I coated the rifle with Cerakote in Sniper Gray. I left the bolt heads and small parts blue for contrast (and they're a pain to coat).

I was originally using a Burris 1x handgun scope I swap with my pig gun, a Ruger Blackhawk in .41 mag. I found I shot better with the ghost ring sights than the scope, so I replaced it with a Burris 2x7 extended eye relief scope with BDC and Posi-Lok system (locks reticle in place to stop drift from heavy recoil).

As my handloads approached 1700 fps with the 405 grain bullets, recoil became harsh enough to chip teeth, so I added a recoil pad and buttstock cartridge carrier with neoprene cheek pad. Now it's fun to shoot as well as accurate and devastating out to 150 yards.

Now I have a good camp defense gun for future Alaska trips (my Remington .375 H&H will take care of filling the bear tags).

 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Welcome to the forum. Thanks for showing us your work!
 

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really nice rifle!!!

I already wanted a GG to compliment my CVA Optima 45-70, and seeing this made me reconsider my next purchase from another .308 to this instead!
 

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NIce rifle, i am finishing up customizing mine. I hear a few people complain about the sharp edges on the lever and the trigger but it never bother me. I like the trigger on my marlin actually, i'd rather have it a little stiffer then too soft, it will prevent accidental discharge if walking through tick woods and plus it's not a sniper rifle... but to each his own, i suppose you could use it for 300 or 400 yard shots if you had too, but might as well carry a bolt gun for that type of work.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Marlin trigger

Greg, I wasn't unhappy with the trigger pull on the marlin 1895, just the "annoying trigger flop" as Hans at WWG describes it. When I rode my ATV with the rifle in the front saddles, I just couldn't keep myself from watching that trigger flop back and forth instead of watching the trail. As for range, I don't think I'd take a shot over about 200 yards with an 18" barreled 45-70 although I'm an experienced long range shooter, but the scout scope does make it easy to quickly line up and adjust for range (I use the BDC with a 50 yd zero, at 1700 fps with 405s the graduations are 75, 100, 125, 150). Thanks for the input, Karl.
 

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the only problem I have with scout scopes is what the heck you gonna do when a bear or pissed off bull moose is comin at ya full speed under 100 yards... i'd rather have iron sights and a good dot sight like a 2moa aimpoint. Sort of defeats the purpose of the rifle, but that also depends on where you live and hunt of course and the task at hand. I'm currently running a millett zoom dot which has adjustable dot from 1 moa to 10 mot, thing is rugged as heck and long battery life and i have back up irons from brockman with a tritium aperture and xs ghost ring. I get the best of both worlds with the 1 moa dot i can still shoot out to 200 yards or probably 300 yards, a 1 moa dot is 2" at 200 yards, it's very tiny.
 

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the only problem I have with scout scopes is what the heck you gonna do when a bear or pissed off bull moose is comin at ya full speed under 100 yards... i'd rather have iron sights and a good dot sight like a 2moa aimpoint. Sort of defeats the purpose of the rifle, but that also depends on where you live and hunt of course and the task at hand. I'm currently running a millett zoom dot which has adjustable dot from 1 moa to 10 mot, thing is rugged as heck and long battery life and i have back up irons from brockman with a tritium aperture and xs ghost ring. I get the best of both worlds with the 1 moa dot i can still shoot out to 200 yards or probably 300 yards, a 1 moa dot is 2" at 200 yards, it's very tiny.
Scout scopes should be used with both eyes open. Pretty fast when you do it that way, but you might need some practice.
 

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I am a fan of blued steel guns with walnut stocks and have to say this is one butt ugly gun. That being said you built a fine working gun. Well thought out for the most part. If you are like me you have beautiful guns in mint condition and then you have working guns. This should give you good service while being beat around. I have never used removable scope mounts but if they do allow for return to point of aim after removal then it gets no better. I would remove the scope till ready for the shot. While most hunters have not actually carried their rifles very far, us that have can attest to the handyness of a scopeless rifle. I would build, out of PVC pipe, a small foam lined container for the scope and keep it close by. Then simply toss the old ugly brute in the bottom of the boat and let the adventures begin. The one thing I have never figured out is the large loop. It has no advantage over the standard lever that I can see. It actually slows down the relaoding process, in that the hand has to travel extra distance on both the down stroke and up stroke. I however have never used one so please explain the advantages.
 

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I am a fan of blued steel guns with walnut stocks and have to say this is one butt ugly gun. That being said you built a fine working gun. Well thought out for the most part. If you are like me you have beautiful guns in mint condition and then you have working guns. This should give you good service while being beat around. I have never used removable scope mounts but if they do allow for return to point of aim after removal then it gets no better. I would remove the scope till ready for the shot. While most hunters have not actually carried their rifles very far, us that have can attest to the handyness of a scopeless rifle. I would build, out of PVC pipe, a small foam lined container for the scope and keep it close by. Then simply toss the old ugly brute in the bottom of the boat and let the adventures begin. The one thing I have never figured out is the large loop. It has no advantage over the standard lever that I can see. It actually slows down the relaoding process, in that the hand has to travel extra distance on both the down stroke and up stroke. I however have never used one so please explain the advantages.
Ever tried working a standard GG lever with thick gloves.;)
 

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Scout scopes should be used with both eyes open. Pretty fast when you do it that way, but you might need some practice.
yea but it's still not as fast, and with a red dot with a small dot is fine for shooting out to 200 yards, unless your hunting squirrels with it. You don't really need any magnification out to 200 yards.
 

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very nice gun sorry for the criticism i'm just biased against scout scopes I think they are useless for shotting out to 200 yards, maybe if you want 300 or 400 yard shots and you have a potent round and a range finder and practice then it would be handy... but up to 200 yards you can get away with 1x is best with 2-3x being the limt. Remember when you magnify you take away field of view... good i guess for deer or hogs, but not something that is capable of killing you.. when i'm standing 200 yards away from a bear I don't want any scope on my gun I want a good reliable dot sight and iron sights. This way if the bear comes charing at 45mph I won't have to waste any time looking through a little pipe to try to find where he is
 

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Discussion Starter #15
No issues with criticism, I set this rifle up for my needs and everyone has their opinion. What I don't like is worrying about rust on those misty mornings or up in the hills during a driving rain, or having to destock to make sure I got all the metal dry. The QD bases on my rifle do reliably return the scope to zero, and I already have a soft case for the scope. The ghost ring set up is perfect for snap shots with adrenaline pumping (bear or moose coming out of trees or brush line) so I only mount the scope when I'm actually stalking game. So far I've used it on deer and hog when I'm over 100 yds out. Just adds versitality to the rifle. As for the big loop lever, I have never had issues with it slowing me down, but the stock lever loop was actually too small to comfortably get 3 fingers in and very uncomfortable with or without gloves. I think it was designed when people were smaller than they are today. If someone would just make one that was in sized between we'd have the best of both worlds.
 

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Recoilnut, That is awesome, I like all the mods. I too favor the scout scope set up especially for hog hunting here in Fl. I dont need the lar
ge loop lever get I DO see the advantages in a colder climate than we have down here. Great job!!
Joe
 

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I like that a lot. I too think the stock lever is too small. Have you seen the new larger loop that Marlin is selling now on the gg and the 1895? I wonder if it is as big as the WWG lever or is it in between?
 

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I like it! I've been considering doing something similar with an old 1893 Marlin in .38/55 that I got cheap because of bad rifeling in the muzzle area. [Been cleaned from the muzzle by the previous owner, and wore out the last two inches of rifelings.] I think I will cut it back to 20" and have it bead blasted and NP3 'd. I like the idea of truck bed liner as well, I was considering Black spray epoxy, but will now have to think about the bed liner. Sights will be Lyman side mount, with the barrel dovetail filled in and blended into the barrel.
 

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I like that a lot. I too think the stock lever is too small. Have you seen the new larger loop that Marlin is selling now on the gg and the 1895? I wonder if it is as big as the WWG lever or is it in between?
I wondered that myself. Gues sonly way to find out is to have someone who owns both to measure. I wonder if you can get the marlin levers straight from marlin as a part... it would probably be nicer then the wild west guns lever cause i heard wwg is a matte finish and also you have to punch out the existing lever parts and swap them into the WWG.
 

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Very nice! Add me to the "love scout scopes" crowd, as I've used mine in pouring-down rain to shoot deer jumped 7yds away and pigs running within spitting distance.

I shoot a Burris Scout 2.75x with both eyes open [I shoot EVERYTHING with both eyes open]. The advantage isn't magnification but a single focal plain. My useful range with my .308 Scout is 4yds to 400yds. FWIW....
 
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