The Marlin Machine Guns
Most Marlin owners know of their long legacy of lever action rifles, .22 rimfire guns, and others. However, what most donÂ’t know is that the company was one of the largest manufacturers of machine guns in World War One.
In 1915, during World War I, a New York syndicate bought the company from the sons of John Marlin, the company’s founder, and renamed it the Marlin Rockwell Corporation (MRC). In that same year, MRC obtained license to the 1895 Colt Light Machine Gun. Colt had been manufacturing their ‘potato-digger’ machine gun for twenty years and the weapon had been made in a half dozen calibers not only for the US Army and Navy but also for Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, and Imperial Russia. With World War I becoming a boom for Colt and other firearms manufacturers producing weapons for Western European clients, the company was anxious to rid itself of the old Model 1895. Colt sold all of the rights, tooling, plans, and patents to MRC and washed their hands of the old potato digger.
The rest in my column at Marlin