My Siamese Mauser used to beat the fire out of me when I had a wooden butt plate on it. When I changed the stock I got a thin rubber butt pad on it and I've not noticed the recoil as much.
Of course, the Siameses maybe heavier then the Marlin. I think the Mauser weights in at 8.5 lbs and has a big wide butt on it, sort of like a comfortable saddle.
Does the stock on the Marlin fit you? I had the length of pull lengthened when I put the new stock on the Mauser, which seemed to help a bunch.
I'd like a little more length on the buttstock. I think it would help when peering throught the Ashley rear sight.
I've also been toying with the idea of trying one of those mercury filled recoil reducers you see in the Brownells catalog. They are designed for shotguns so the recoil impulse may be different. If anyone has tried these let me know what you think.
Porting would be my last resort, I just don't want a louder rifle.
Try one of the slip-on recoil pads first - that will tell you if a greater length of pull will be helpful, and give you an idea how much recoil reduction you can expect before you start modifying the gun.
I put a decelorator on my 450, what a difference, I can shoot more than 5 shots at a time now.(No, I am not a wuss, just don't like the sore shoulder the next morning.) Might also try a Kick-eez just to see if there is any difference.
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