Many of us grew up watching old western movies with cowboys riding around on horseback with lever-action rifles at the ready. While we'll always appreciate these classic weapons, we also recognize that times have changed. That old-school lever gun is still an effective tool, but its popularity has waned in comparison to newer black rifles and their myriad of accessories. Marlin has also recognized this trend, and unveiled a new series of rifles at the 2019 NRA Annual Meeting that blend the timeless lever gun with modern elements.

Grandpa might not like it very much, but we do.

The new Marlin Dark series includes Model 336 in .30-30 Winchester, and Model 1895 in the formidable .45-70 Government. These rifles feature black hardwood furniture and a black parkerized finish on the receiver, 16.25-inch barrel, and 5-round magazine tube. The barrel is threaded to accept a suppressor or a muzzle brake — we strongly recommend the latter if you choose the shoulder-pummeling .45-70.

Several upgrades have already been installed on these Marlin Dark series guns at the factory. Each comes with an XS lever rail and ghost ring sight, so you'll easily be able to install a red dot right or magnified optic of your choosing. A paracord sling is included, and you'll find more paracord wrapped around the big-loop lever. MSRP is $949 for either Model 336 or Model 1895.

We're hoping to get our hands on one of these Dark lever guns in the near future for a write-up, so stay tuned for more details.

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