SOOTCH REVIEW | Marlin Dark Series 1895 .45-70 Govt Lever-Action Rifle

In November 2023, Sturm, Ruger, & Company released the first Ruger-manufactured Marlin Dark Series 1895 .45-70 Govt Lever-Action Rifle.

“The Marlin Dark Series is the next step for Marlin,” said Ruger President and CEO, Chris Killoy. “There is a growing demand for more modern lever rifles, and the previous Dark Series rifles introduced Marlin into this space. We took a hard look at them and made several significant improvements.”

Marlin Dark Series of Rifles by Ruger

Dark Series rifles are packed with new features to provide consumers with more function and versatility. This model sports a strong, nylon-reinforced polymer stock with M-LOK® attachment slots, flush cup sockets for QD sling swivels, an included cheek riser for an optimum sight picture when using an optic, and a generous recoil pad.

The anodized aluminum handguard on the Marlin Dark Series Model 1895 Rifle also features M-LOK attachment slots and QD sockets. And, for the first time, the mid-sized finger lever has a unique flare on the bottom for more comfortable cycling. Major components of the alloy steel rifle feature a black Cerakote finish for improved durability and weather resistance. The bolt and lever have a nitride finish for superior wear protection.


Model: 70901
Caliber: 45-70 Govt
Capacity: 5+1
Stock: Nylon Reinforced Polymer
Material: Alloy Steel
Finish: Satin Black
Front Sight: Fiber Optic with Tritium Ring
Rear Sight: Adjustable Ghost Ring
Weight: 7 lb.
Overall Length: 35.50″
Length of Pull: 13.50″
Barrel Length: 16.17″
Barrel: Cold Hammer-Forged Alloy Steel
Thread Pattern: 11/16″-24
Twist: 1:20″ RH
Grooves: 6
UPC: 7-36676-70901-4
MSRP: $1,379.00

RELATED CONTENT: THE REBIRTH OF AN ICON: Meet the “New” Ruger Marlin 336 Classic!

Sootch had the chance to take the new Marlin Dark Series Model 1895 Rifle to the range for an in-depth review of this great American lever-action rifle – from barrel to buttstock, check out the Marlin Dark Series 1895!


  • Receiver, lever, and trigger guard plate are CNC-machined from alloy steel
  • Barrel is cold hammer-forged which results in ultra-precise rifling that provides exceptional accuracy and longevity
  • Threaded barrel, with factory-installed match polished radial muzzle break has an 11/16″-24 pattern to accommodate other barrel accessories. Thread protector is also included
  • Major components feature enhanced durability due to the Graphite Black Cerakote® finish
  • The bolt and lever feature a nitride finish for superior wear protection
  • Five-round, tubular magazine with a loading gate located on the receiver
  • Nylon-reinforced polymer stock with M-LOK attachment slots for mounting accessories
  • Cheek riser is included for an optimum sight picture when using an optic
  • Generous recoil pad that effectively absorbs recoil
  • Picatinny rail provides a stable mounting surface for scope rings and a variety of optics
  • Fiber optic front sight with a tritium ring for improved visibility in low light conditions
  • Anodized aluminum handguard features M-LOK® attachment slots for mounting accessories.
  • Flush cup sockets for Quick Detach (QD) sling swivels located on the buttstock and the muzzle end of the handguard allows for comfortable carry with a two-point sling
  • Mid-sized finger lever has a unique flare on the bottom for more comfortable cycling
  • Reliably feeds a wide range of .45-70 Govt factory ammunition and bullet types
  • Positive, push-button, cross-bolt manual safety, and traditional half-cock hammer

Additional models, in different calibers and configurations, are planned to be released throughout the coming year with Model 336 (chambered in 30-30 WIN) and Model 1894 (chambered in 44 Rem Mag/44 Special) expected in early 2024.

For more information on the Marlin Dark Series Model 1895 Lever-Action Rifle chambered in .40-75 Govt, visit

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