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Old 11-18-2010, 04:08 PM
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Default Marlin 981t

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Decided to retire my Remington 550-1 and hand it down to the 2 step son's to get them started shooting, it's what I started with at 7 years old and the old Remington will serve the 2 boy's well.

So, in looking for a replacement, I have been looking at the Marlin 981t, it is exactly what I am looking for in a .22 rifle, tube fed and bolt action with synthetic stock. I have never owned a Marlin Firearm and Marlin seems to be the only maker of a .22 rifle that has all three of these features.

Any con's to this rifle? I have not found much for info on the net for this rifle, saw something negative, without detail, to the quality of the rear sight-any insight to this?

Have not had the chance to handle one yet if that helps, working on it but closest seller that carries one is 2 1/2 hours away and would like to narrow things down a bit before making the drive to purchase. Also, this rifle will get scoped with a fixed 4x or a 2.5-7x, etc.

Thanks for the help,


PS-I do not want a Ruger 10/22
Old 11-18-2010, 04:53 PM
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If the rear sight on the 981t is the same as the Marlin 795 then you will need to buy a scope or tech sights . The rear sights on the 795 I bought are crap . When I was a kid I had a $10 BB gun that had better sights than the Marlin 795 .
Old 11-18-2010, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Woodswalker View Post
If the rear sight on the 981t is the same as the Marlin 795 then you will need to buy a scope or tech sights . The rear sights on the 795 I bought are crap . When I was a kid I had a $10 BB gun that had better sights than the Marlin 795 .

What exactly is "crap" about the rear sights? I saw a close up of the 981's rear sight and they look identical to the Rem 550-1. The only bad with Remington design is no windage adjustment, it has the step style where you lift up the wing and move the steps forward or backwards to adjust your elevation.
Old 11-19-2010, 12:53 AM
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Why no ruger? and I would get a browning 22lr they are expensive but very very nice to fire.
Old 11-20-2010, 12:54 PM
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The sights on the 981T are srvicable but not the best. They beat the hell out of not having any sights at all. I won't buy a rifle that doesn't have back up sights on it.

The 981TS is the stainless version of this gun and does have the higher grade sights. The front base is seperate from the bead so you can replace the front sight if you want. The rear sight will fold down and has a better sight picture.

A scope is almost a must on these guns not because the sights are bad but because like all Marlin rifles they are very accurate. The only way you can utilize the accuracy of these guns is with a scope. I have one and it is NOT for sale. These are as far as I can find the last of the tube fed rifles available.
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Old 11-20-2010, 09:33 PM
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I hve 2 981T marlins. Both are tack drivers. I got then roughly $150 used. Not sure what they are new. I really like mine. IT's a 22lr that feels like deer hunting rifle. This rifle is perfect to simulate a deer rifle for offhand practice. Most 22lr's are real easy to shoot offhand because their so light. Very easy to hold a light gun steady.

The same downside to the marlin 981T is the weight. That's a pretty meaty barrel. I find myself using my other 22lr's for small game hunting because of this. A heavier barrel is not needed on a 22lr. It generates little heat and vibration.

One rifle needed an aftermarket trigger. The savage mark 2 rifles have a much nicer trigger and aren't that much more than the marlin 981T's.

Compare both, if you get a good deal on a savage mark II, get it. If the price is pretty low and you like the trigger feel on the particular one your checking out, then get the marlin.

Keep in mind both need 22 dovetails to mount a scope. I highly prefer using burris rings. They seem to hold those small dovetails rather well.

Another thing I do not like about the marlin is the stock. IT's great for using a scope because it's designed to use a scope. The comb is set high. When using the iron sights, I need to dig my face down real hard to get them lined up. I wanted to put a peep sight on one of mine, but won't because the stock is to high.

My next 22lr purchase without any doubt will be a savage mark II FVT. This model comes with olypmic styled peep sight on it. Perfect for 22lr rimfire competitions.

both of the 981T's make the smae looking groups as rifle costing $500+ dollars. I like using CCI standard velocity 40gr solids. IT will drop a couple more inches at 100 yards over high velocity rounds, but the 50-75 yard groups are amazing for a 22lr. Well under 1/2" at 50 and a bit under 3/4" at 75. Past 75 things get pushed around too much by the wind.

1/2 of my rifle collection is made by marlin. They make great stuff. However, I have not bought anything since they changed hands last year.
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for all the replies all. I must say I am actually going to eat my own words from my first post and go with a Ruger 10/22. I originally did not want the Ruger due to it bring clip fed and wanted to stray from a semi-auto. I was hard-set on a tube fed for simplicity but I actually got to handle a 981t and the rear sight is horrid and the bolt action honestly looks and feels like it would be less reliable than any semi-auto's action.

I don't understand how manufacturers expect you to utilize a rear sight like the 981's with it sitting so low without mashing your face into the stock.

The new rifle will be scoped but I wanted a good set of iron's for backup and the Ruger has a pretty decent set, they seem well built and will collapse while not in use.

I also looked at the Remington 552 but it is much higher in price than the Marlin or Ruger and I do not like the idea of the handle for the action being on the left hand side of the receiver.

Thanks again all,
Old 11-24-2010, 05:39 AM
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I have both a ruger and Marlin 981t and love them both but the Marlin is still pretty much out of the box and the Ruger is plus $1,000. My Ruger anyway was highly inaccurate when I got it and took a lot of work to make it shoot well.


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