Over the years I have owned several Marlin rifles, and each and every one was a gem. I still have most of them. And then along came Remington and screwed things up completely, or so I have read on the forums and seen on You-Tube. Since then I have not looked at or handled a new Marlin and never considered a Marlin if I was in the market for a new toy. Last week I was perusing the new rifle wares at the counter of Fisherman's Marine in Tigard, and the counter guy handed me a new Marlin 1895 Guide Gun in 45-70 (lever action). This was the first time I had handled a post-Remington Marlin rifle, and here are my observations: 1. The grain on the stock was so wide and crude that I originally thought that it was a synthetic polymer material with artificial grains. The clerk assured me that it was real wood. Well, it warn't no walnut. Not sure what it was, but it was purely crap. 2. In the center of the right side of the stock was a huge knot of wood cut cross-wise, with the grain displaying in a circular pattern. Which means that the wood was cut across the grain and not with the grain. What was immediately obvious to me was that the stock was fatally weakened by using that piece of wood cut in that way, and any good shock to the stock would result in that "knot" just popping out of the stock. And this knot was several inches across at the center. 3. The fit of the stock to the rear of the receiver was horrendous. Not even close to fitted. 4. The action was so tight and rough that I could barely work the lever. It was simply not usable. I did not bother testing the trigger. I just handed it back. So I guess that the moral of this story is that the quality of Marlin firearms still sucks, despite a few whispers in other forums that the quality of Marlins is starting to come back. As for me, I am ashamed that any US domestic firearms manufacturer - especially one with illustrious names and histories like Remington and Marlin - could ship such absolute garbage. That POS Marlin 1895 made Chinese knock-off crap look good. I will now wipe all Remington and Marlin products from any consideration, in any category.