Dec 5, 2011

Monday Gun Pron: Mystery Marlin

BIG WHOLE-POST EDIT: It's a Mystery Mossberg,  RM7 variant or something close to it.

If you ever need a persistent friend trying to set you straight, I recommend  a GMA guy named John. :)  See comments.


Even before you note the Micro

 Groove rifling,  you ID it as Marlin. The utilitarian -- okay, clunky -- stock is characteristic of the fine old firm's bolt-action line. At least it's walnut.

Then there's the Marlin penchant for adding gizmos here and there. The button on the left side is a smoothly working bolt release. The one in the middle of the receiver cut retracts a cartridge feeder guide. The safety has three positions. One of the "safe" positions lets you cycle the action. The other "safe" locks the bolt closed.

Marlin has long loved Herculean locking systems. But four, count-'em, four lugs?

The mystery is the precise Marlin identity. Several net searches yield a sort of Ron Paul-in-the-MSM result. There ain't no such animal. Even searching under the private Western Auto label  -- "Revelation, Model R 270 A  ___  Cal. 30-06 Sprg." yields nothing beyond another guy who has one, lost his bolt, and is looking for a replacement.  (Rotsa ruck, Pardner.)  None of the crossover lists mentions it.

EDIT: Also note the fluted bolt.

The vendor's story is that it was a "prototype," and Marlin decided to call it a "Revelation" to protect the marque if it flopped.  I love gun show stories.

Now would be the time to own one of those high-price, limited-edition company history books so detailed as to specify the number of moles on John Marlin's back.

Meanwhile, I'm pleased to own it as a workaday rifle. The condition is superb. It's in the most noble of calibers, the one we used back when we could win wars with a certain dispatch. On a snowy Saturday, mainly checking for bangability, we kept several rounds within a minute of hillside at an estimated 400 yards.

It will make a nice place to store the old Weaver K4 and one of those nice 1903-style leather slings I've been hoarding.

I don't suppose it's necessary to mention it was loopholed quite economically -- about what desperate dealers were asking for their NIB Hi-Points.


JohnW said...

You sure that its not an R210A? Everything I've run across says that its interchangeable with a Mossberg 810, and it *does* look kinda Mossy...

Jim said...

It's definitely r270a and the action looks substantially different from the Mossy 810.

But you've set me looking again. I forgot all about Accu Groove which I've never seen in the flesh and didn't think of when considering this rifle. It may look like Micro Groove so...

Tam said...

You've got me stumped. Sporting longarms aren't really in my wheelhouse, especially if they're uncommon enough that I wouldn't have seen them cross the counter frequently.

Although I dimly remember that before the MR-7, the only Marlin ventures into centerfire bolties that were ever really marketed were relabeled joint ventures with FNH and Sako

JohnW said...

"The vendor's story is that it was a "prototype," and Marlin decided to call it a "Revelation" to protect the marque if it flopped."
Has Western Auto really been out of business that long?


J. C. Higgins

Tam said...

The first gun store I worked in, almost 20 years ago now, was in a former Western Auto building, and had been for nearly half a decade already.

(WV: "snespit". There was no working central HVAC 'til '96 or '97, and a Georgia summer would get that sheet-metal building with two glass walls so hot that you'd smell like a snespit by the end of the workday...)

Jim said...

Western Auto started dying in the 80s. Sears bought it in the late 80s and ran it the rest of the way into the ground in the 90s. Don't know when WA quit selling its Revelation guns.

John --Would you believe J.C. Higgins guns and accessories are getting collectible? A guy in South Dakota often wins the DTGCA Sioux Falls show trophy for educational displays. Nothing buy JCH's -- all mint.

Tam -- The pre- and early- MR7 hint may be getting me somewhere. And I wonder if any
of your old Knoxville colleagues might know something about this gun?

JohnW said...

I dunno - I'm still leaning towards Mossberg, especially since that model was also sold by (Gambles?) as Western Field. Except...that fluted bolt doesn't seem very "period"...

Jim said...

John, ol' buddy, thanks for sticking to your guns. I went through some sites through a "Mossberg 800 Series" search and stumbled across:

Mossberg RM7. It isn't identical to the new Camp J gun, but it's obviously close kin -- four-lugs, odd magazine assembly, et al. similarities.

Thank you!

JohnW said...

"Aw, shucks, t'warnt nuthin'."
*draws circles in the dust with his great toe*
Mebbe I ought to do this for a living, huh?

Jim said...

This gets more interesting. The Revelation/Mossberg RM7 action seems to have a somewhat high-grade Scandahoovian heritage --"Varberger" of Finland, Sweden, and maybe Norway. It's also possibly associated with"Lakelander" guns.

What little information I can find on the net suggests the design hopped from one corporate owner to another.

There's some research to be done here.

JohnW said...

Reverend Johnson: [to Bart] "Son, you're on your own."