Marlin 1895 SBL Vs. Trapper – Main Differences

Choosing between Marlin 1895 SBL and Trapper could be a bit tricky. At a first glance, they seem to be nearly identical. However, there are a few small differences that can make or break a deal.

If this is your first .45-70, different specifications won’t really make the difference. At the end of the day, both guns are well designed and offer a top-notch performance.

However, if you’re into small details, making the wrong choice could ruin the experience for you. These being said, here are the differences between Marlin 1895 SBL and Trapper.

Finishing and style

While the overall performance is more important when buying a gun, you also want your firearms to look good. At this point, both guns are good in terms of performance, while the appearance is mainly a matter of personal preferences.

If you like long, silver and shiny guns, Marlin 1895 SBL is the best option for you. If you’re after more compact with an old school matte finish, the Trapper could be a better choice.

Performance may also have something to do with the finish. The SBL will shine more out there and may give your location away. The Trapper is more subtle and easier to hide when looking for a game.

Sizing difference

The Trapper is a couple of inches shorter than the SBL. If you’re thinking of using a muzzle brake, they’ll be pretty much the same. You won’t notice a big difference in power, accuracy, and velocity if you decide to try both upfront.

Moreover, regarding those few inches, they can make the difference if you’re shorter than average and every inch counts when swinging the gun.

Both guns will give a similar performance in close range shooting. But since the SBL is a bit longer, you’ll find more accuracy in long distance shots.

Weight difference

Given the shorter size, the Trapper is also lighter. Again, this could be a benefit for small hunters or those who are not in the best physical condition. If you spend hours on a hunting session, that light difference will be noticeable because it puts less strain on your arms.


It would make sense for a shorter gun to be better balanced, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, the center of gravity in Marlin 1895 SBL is better centered, so the gun is easier to maneuver in terms of balance.

Modern technologies

Marlin 1895 SBL is Ruger’s first Marlin gun produced since it took the brand over. This means it’s newer than the classic Trapper. As a direct consequence, it benefits from more precise engineering and better technologies.

Differences aren’t massive, though. A gun that’s well looked after will perform very well years or even decades later, but this aspect could make a difference for some people.


Talking about technologies and improvements, if you ever have the chance to try both guns, you’ll notice that the sights on Marlin 1895 SBL are slightly better. From this point of view, accuracy will be better with the SBL than with the Trapper.


Marlin 1895 SBL is newer than the Trapper. Compared to previous models, it also comes with a Picatinny rail, meaning it’s fairly simple to add accessories like optics.

Sure, Trapper could do that as well with a few adjustments, but at the end of the day, the SBL is just more convenient.

On a different note, since it’s older, Trapper has access to more compatible accessories. The market for Marlin 1895 SBL is still developing, so you may struggle to find what you’re after.

It normally depends on what accessories and upgrades you’d like to bring in, if any.


None of these guns will come cheap. But then again, Marlin 1895 SBL is newer, so the price is likely to be higher. Since the production was on and off, it’s not as easy to find, so poor availability will make it even more expensive.

As a final conclusion, making a final decision depends on what you’re after when shopping for a .45-70 gun. Both Marlin 1895 SBL and the Trapper will provide a good overall experience, but then again, small details could make a difference in the long run.​