Latest Update: At 2:40 PM, EDT, I talked with a spokesperson from Freedom Group, which owns Marlin, and the news is better than first reported. The company is not_, I say again,_ not_, going out of business. The North Haven plant will be closed, but Marlin Firearms will be moved to a new location and will continue. Where, exactly, I don’t know. Also, I wish to eat crow publicly for assuming the general news media did a story on guns and got the facts right. I of all people should have known better.
Earlier Update: It’s not known right now whether this news report is correct. Marlin may indeed be closing, period, or it may be moving elsewhere. I have a call in to the parent company to find out what’s going on and will advise you as soon as I learn anything.
This release from ABC News says it all: Marlin Firearms, which has been in business since 1870, will close its doors next year. I have no insight into why, except for the obvious one–the company was not making enough money, and its owner saw no chance of it doing so. It’s possible that someone will buy Marlin, but the odds on that are pretty long. In the modern history of American gunmaking only one company has come back from the dead, and that is Savage.
The irony is that Marlin has always made good guns, and its most recent models–especially the RX-7–are some of the best ever. If you have a Marlin, hang onto it. If you were thinking about buying one, do so forthwith, because there ain’t gonna be no more.
And wish some luck to the men and women who will be losing their jobs. Whatever happened was no fault of theirs.