This is an early antique Marlin 1895 rifle in 45-90. This model was produced from 1895 to 1917 with only a mere 18,000 rifles produced. Of that small number, the 45-90 was the BIG DOG, their largest caliber offered in the company's line of lever actions during the 19th century. Serial ranges for this model start in the 131,000 range (circa 1895)...with this rifle's serial number in the 151,000 range. According to the Brophy book, it was manufactured in 1897 making it one of the few 95's that qualify as a pre-1898 antique. This rifle was found in Wyoming and has a great Western look to it and appears to have had experienced many years of honest use. It features a standard 26" octagon barrel, full magazine, and crescent rifle buttplate.
Overall condition is NRA Antique Good+. The receiver is a mixture of a light grey patina and silvery remains of faded case colors and some very light shadows of mottled colors. The barrel and magazine tube have 15% original faded blue mostly in the protected areas with the balance mostly worn to a silvery grey patina. Nice markings throughout. Upper tang marked "MODEL 1895". Top of Frame reads "MARLIN SAFETY" in script. Left side of the barrel is marked "SPECIAL SMOKELESS STEEL". Marlin Address and 1887, 1889, and 1893 patent dates on top of barrel. Caliber is marked clearly marked "45-90". Rear sight is the original long style Marlin Ballard semi-buckhorn retaining 50% of its original blue. Front sight is the original Marlin Rocky Mountain with German silver blade that has been trimmed down and rounded off at the back. The wood is in Good+ to VG condition with traces original varnish feathered across portions of both sides of the buttstock and forend. No cracks or repairs. Nice wood to metal fit overall. Bore is in Good+ condition with decent rifling and some scattered light pits. No rings or bulges.
This is a nice example of the most powerful Black Powder lever action Marlin made....this one has everything collectors want...octagon barrel, caliber 45-90, and an antique serial number. This is a very rare and desirable configuration....much scarcer than a Model 1886 Winchester with these features.