Book Reviews

Marlin Firearms: A History Of The Guns & The Company That Made Them by Lt. Col. William S. Brophy USAR, Ret.

This large and heavy book is not only a tribute to the company and its many employees and fine products but to the firearms themselves. This book is the encyclopedia of Marlin firearms, and the author left no stone unturned in his efforts to make this book complete in all respects.

This book discusses Marlin firearms in all their many forms. The company made handguns, Ballard rifles, lever action rifles, semiautomatic rifles, bolt action rifles, shotguns and pump action rifles for sportsmen and target shooters. They also made barrels for automatic rifles during World War II and the Korean Conflict.

The company bearing his name was founded by John Mahlon Marlin (1836-1901), and he first began making pistols. In 1863, Marlin became known as a pistol-maker in New Haven, Conn. By 1871 he became known as a pistol manufacturer, and in 1872 he was known as a manufacturer of firearms. From that time on, Marlin’s business became known as the Marlin Fire Arms Company. It went through other name changes in the future as Marlin’s business became affiliated with other similar businesses.

The book is filled with historic photographs and patent drawings. The company manufactured machine guns for the war efforts for World War I and II, and the company made machine guns for the U. S. Navy and machine guns for air planes.

Marlin firearms were a part of my youth, and it was through advertising and dramatic drawings such as the one on the cover of this book, that provided me with the romance of this American firearm company back when I was a kid.

Marlin firearms played an important role in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and this book captures everything about this company that made it a household name during that era. This was, in true American fashion, the story of one man’s dream and how he built it into a nationally known and world recognized manufacturer of fine firearms.


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