Generally speaking, old Marlin 1895 models don’t have too many problems. In fact, their
reliability is one of the factors that contributed to the popularity of the brand. Some of the
issues came out in 2010 though. Based on buyers’ reviews and complaints, it looks like models
between 2010 and 2014 were affected.

Given the negative reviews, the new owner of Marlin back then, Remington, decided to up their
manufacturing standards. In other words, newer models are almost as reliable as their
predecessors these days, yet small issues may still arise every now and then.

Failing to load

There were quite a few reports regarding the impossibility to load a Marlin 1895 SBL. Basically,
the rim may sometimes get wedged, right around the front of the lever system and the
opening. The failure is caused by two potential issues.

First, it’s poor engineering. You can get over it by wiggling the action as you load. By
experimenting with this approach, you can successfully load, especially if your Marlin 1895 SBL
is relatively new or well looked after.

Second, the issue could be as simple as a bit of debris in the tube. This cause affects firearms
that haven’t been well looked after. Normally, moving the lever shouldn’t allow loading either.
If it does, it’s a problem with the fit.

Jamming issues

Jamming has also been reported a few times by Marlin 1895 SBL users. The problem kicks in out
of nowhere, even if the firearm has been well maintained.

If the problem affects a relatively new rifle, make sure you check the loading game retention
screw. Sometimes, it’s simply not tight enough, so you’ll need to pick a screwdriver and tighten
it yourself adequately.

In older models, the screw simply goes loose with time and all the shocks the firearm is exposed
to. Either way, the solution is usually the same. Tighten the screw, and it should be alright.

Feeding issues with certain ammo

Marlin 1895 SBL may react differently to different types of ammo. Feeding issues often arise
when owners decide to change the ammo. While going back to the previously used ammo will
usually fix the problem, it’s always worth using the firearm at its full capacity.

Sometimes, the issue could affect the lever. Some users wiggle the lever a little, but a good
shake of the gun may also be required. Once in, the lever won’t return.

Initially, the first steps include reducing the spring pressure and smoothing out its stiffness. It
works for some people, but it brings no results for others. At this point, you need to take a look
at the loading gate screw, make sure it’s tight enough.

However, it may also cause a protrusion into the actual action. Take the bolt out to see the
action better, then give it another try.

If you still have the issue, it’s usually caused by substandard manufacturing problems. In this
case, it pays off sending the Marlin 1895 SBL back, so it can get repaired in an official facility.

Precision issues

Precision and accuracy are extremely important when you get a Marlin 1895 SBL. Generally
speaking, most people would say the issue is in the scope or perhaps the way you hold the gun.
Now, real issues occur when the gun is in the exact same position and consecutive shots are
inches apart.

Those with this issue have noticed that if the gun shoots a certain way with a cold barrel, then
accuracy gets slightly better with the second one, and so on. After five or six shots, accuracy
seems to be alright. The issue has nothing to do with the scope, but with the barrel.

As the barrel heats up after a few shots, it expands a little and makes better contact with the
mag tube. That explains the precision becoming better with every new hit until it becomes
consistent. In some cases, the barrel may bend a little, too.

Bottom line, while many swear by the reliability of Marlin 1895 SBL, some models may have
light problems every now and then. Many of them can be solved without too much hassle, but
others will require a professional repair job from the manufacturer.