Midwest Industries Marlin 1895 Picatinny Scope Rail Review

Marlin 1895 Midwest Industries Mount01
Although known for their more modern firearm accessories, Midwest Industries also makes mounts for older guns like this Marlin 1895. IMG Jim Grant

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Last year I was inspired to ditch my AR-15 for a Marlin 1895. See, I shot a mid-sized doe with an AR-15 firing a supersonic 300blk round designed specifically for that purpose; Problem is, even with a broadside angle on the deer and shot placement behind the shoulders, the doe still managed to run 60 yards before expiring.

To be honest, I felt sick. The last thing any ethical hunter wants to do is let his prey suffer. So I decided then and there, that I’d never shoot whitetail deer with anything smaller than a .308 win. But since I’m primarily a tactical and competitive shooter, the majority of the 30-caliber weapons are precision rifles equipped with suppressors. This heft and bulk make them wholly unsuited to SC Low Country hunting, where lightweight, handy rifles rule the day because sightlines are limited to around 100 yards.

So I dug through all of my gun safes and pulled out an old favorite I had bought at a pawn shop a few years prior – a Marlin 1895 lever-action rifle chambered in the hard-hitting .45-70 Gov round. I figured the combination of massive size, and impressive ballistic energy would make short work out of anything on four legs in the South East. But I ran into another problem. The previous owner had installed an old school Weaver scope mount, and my eyesight is too crappy to confidently hunt without glass. That’s when I sent off an order to the folks at Midwest Industries.

Marlin 1895 Midwest Industries Mount Warne Rings Nikon Scope
The Midwest Industries Mount works like a charm on the Marlin 1895. IMG Jim Grant

Midwest Industries Marlin 1895 Picatinny Scope Rail

The Midwest Industries 1895 rail is very simple but rock-solid. Basically, it’s just a Picatinny rail segment with a slight curve to the bottom of it with four holes in it. These holes are for securing the rail to the Marlin 1895’s receiver with the included hex screws and hex wrench.

But I’m sure you’re thinking, “so what, who cares it’s just a Pic rail!” Fair enough, but the engineers at Midwest really had to know their stuff, since many Marlin shooters load very high-pressure 45-70 loads like the Hornady 325gr FTX I prefer. This round offers unbelievable ballistic performance and incredible expansion – fully dumping the majority of the round’s 4,000 plus joules of energy into the target. For white rail, it is honestly overkill. But shooters who want a round that can also take elk or mule dear at mid-range would also be well-served by it.

But I’m straying off topic slightly simpy to demonstrate how incredibly powerful the round is, and consequently how robust the Marlin mount must be to hold up to punishing recoil impulse. One thing to note is that if you have no intention of removing the mount, I would advise shooters to use permanent Loctite on their Marlin 1895 to ensure the rail never shakes loose during a hunt. For me, I wanted to see if it would hold up without thread-locking adhesive.

The result? Initially, I only torqued the screws until I felt moderate resistance and then turned them another half turn. But that proved inadequate as after 4 rounds fired the mount was rattling on the gun. So for the second test, I tightened these screws to one step beneath what I consider, “gorilla tight”. Or the approximate torque an enraged gorilla would put on the wrench in a fury. Don’t go that hard, but I would recommend just putting as much force as you can on the included wrench. Don’t utilize anything else to give you better leverage, as I’m sure you’ll likely strip the screws or the threaded holes.

Marlin 1895 Midwest Industries Rail Nikon BlackForce Warne Rings
While some consider optics on a lever-gun heresy, I think it makes for an attractive, handy hunting rifle. IMG Jim Grant

Since today is actually the last day of hunting season, I limited testing of the mount to 40 rounds of cowboy load .45-70 and 20 rounds of the massively powerful 325 FTX rounds. I would have done more, but with the insanity of ammo prices right now, each one of those rounds will cost me $3 to replace!

Bank account damage notwithstanding, I loaded up the Marlin with a Nikon BlackForce optic in a pair of quality Warne rings and mounted to the rail, and after the initial 40 rounds fired I saw no shift in zero or any visible play in the mount. Confident in the mounting job I did, I loaded up the artillery rounds from Hornady and knocked over every steel target on my gun range out to 150 yards. The Midwest Industries Marlin 1895 rail held up flawlessly!

Overall, the Midwest Industries Marlin 1895 Picatinny optics rail is a very solid investment for shooters looking to stretch the legs of their Marlin lever-gun by adding optics. Especially those who have their guns chambered in the hard-hitting 45-70 round and want to be absolutely sure of their zero before heading out into the bush.


Jim Grant
About Jim Grant

Jim is a freelance writer, editor, and videographer for dozens of publications who loves anything and everything guns. While partial to modern military firearms and their civilian counterparts, he holds a special place in his heart for the greatest battle implement ever devised and other WW2 rifles. When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife Kimberly, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.

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Arny
Arny
14 days ago

“But since I’m primarily a tactical and competitive shooter,” proper shot placement would be neck or head. They never take a step. And why destroy so much good meat with shoulder shots ? And with high caliber rifles ? Patience Grasshopper.

Matt in Oklahoma
Matt in Oklahoma
14 days ago

You can smoke the heart lungs and even the shoulder out and they will run that far. It’s the reason to respect them as they are tough and have strong survival instincts.
You can kill deer with a 22 so your caliber isn’t the issue. The issue is unreasonable expectations from lack of experience which you’ll gain as you hunt more.

Duane
Duane
15 days ago

Having shot deer with every thing from 22 hornet to 40 plus caliber DGR rounds.

Having killed a couple of hundred of them and been involved in recovering a another few hundred.

Having a chest shot deer travel 60 yards is fairly normal.

My two 45-70s have 1.5×4 leupolds on them.

Whiteknight13 (whiteasingoodvsevilnotracistyouquacks)
Whiteknight13 (whiteasingoodvsevilnotracistyouquacks)
3 months ago

While I congratulate you on a successful hunt, otherwise you are a useless tool. There are basic torque specs available to anyone who can use a search function that they may review for scopes , rails, and mounts. I recommend you go to a basic armory course before publicizing such foolishness. All the calibers you used are suitable for ethical hunting. Don’t misrepresent their efficacy. Get a clue before submitting such drivel.

Whiteknight13 (whiteasingoodvsevilnotracistyouquacks)
Whiteknight13 (whiteasingoodvsevilnotracistyouquacks)
3 months ago

Sorry, that was harsh. I shouldn’t have expressed myself in that manner. The brunt of what I wanted to say was that torque specs are available and everyone should be careful to tighten these items properly, and of course the calibers are considered ethical at certain ranges. Please forgive my obtuse comment.

Docduracoat
Docduracoat
3 months ago

The rifle is a nice looking, traditional, cowboy lever action.
The scope is way too big and looks terrible on it.

A deer running 60 yards is normal even if shot thru the heart.

ras52
ras52
3 months ago

It`s not uncommon for a whitetail to run 60 yds. when heart shot or through both lungs, with any caliber.

Last edited 3 months ago by ras52
Sisu
Sisu
3 months ago

I am not an experienced hunter; though over my years I have attempt to prepare and make time (and have some practice). That said, there was still not too long ago “rating systems”, e.g., Winchester CXP, … I seem to recall a 45-70 is “overkill” for whitetail deer. Ethical killing also includes not wasting the usable meat. … I recommend, an article discussing one or more of these points.

RetUSAF
RetUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Sisu

I totally agree with you. My favorite deer rifle for the past 50 years has been my classic .300 Savage Model 99 with a fixed 4X Leupold Alaskan scope. I have always have had one shot kills with this rifle and minimum meat damage. What in the heck is that monster scope on the Marlin 1895 shown? Looks like a high powered tactical scope that belongs on a .338 Lapua sniper rifle. I consider a scope like that total waste on a lever action of any caliber. I think a fixed 4X, 1X6 or 2X7 with small objective, are more… Read more »

PavePusher
PavePusher
15 days ago
Reply to  RetUSAF

He said “SUPERsonic” ammo…..

And maybe it was just a scope he had available, that fit.

Variety and freedom of choice are great things, celebrate them instead of being a dick to someone you don’t even know.

Grigori
Grigori
3 months ago

For a humane kill, ever hear of a thing called head shots?

Grigori
Grigori
3 months ago
Reply to  Grigori

I guess a couple on here either never heard of them or lack the skill to make them.

Grigori
Grigori
3 months ago
Reply to  Grigori

I guess at least a̶ c̶o̶u̶p̶l̶e̶ o̶n̶ h̶e̶r̶e̶ four on here never heard of them or lack the skill to make one, as well as the courage to defend themselves or their lack of shooting skills.

Last edited 3 months ago by Grigori
Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  Grigori

Use the brain to tan the hide.
Arm up and carry on

RoyD
RoyD
3 months ago

My NEF 45-70 has had over 2000 rounds through it and the factory supplied rail hasn’t budged in all that recoil. Most were “warm” loads with a few “hot” and some light. Of course the buttstock through bolt hole is filled with lead shot so it weighs about 12 pounds. It is a fun and capable round to play with.

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
3 months ago

The last elk I invited to dinner had a three finger wide entrance hole and no exit. Ran a good fifty yds. Tasted fine. The higher the scope is mounted the more torque it goes through when you launch a round. On a 223 it’s neglegable, on a 4570 it’s significant. Mounting screws are torque rated for steel and aluminum. Call Midway, they have tools. Get that scope as low as possible. There is nothing on the face of the earth that can’t be taken with a 4570 useing proper bullets and bullet placement. Elk, bear, moose, semi truck, helicopter… Read more »

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
3 months ago

Learn something new every day. I didn’t learn about the 4570 until a few years ago when a man asked me to shoot his to make sure it was sighted in right. Wish I would have known about this round when I was hunting on horseback. I bought a 3030 because I thought that was the only lever action caliber out there besides the 22lr. I shot a deer and put two rounds in him. He went down very slow in that spot. About ten minuets later he stood up again. Had to put another two into him. Not one… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by musicman44mag