The Marlin Firearms Company entered into the gun market during 1870 and made a name for itself by manufacturing various useful revolvers, compact derringer pistols, shotguns and rifles. In 1894 came their Model 1894 carbine utilizing a lever-action system that provided repeat-fire capabilities at a time when widespread acceptance of semi-automatic and automatic rifles was still some time away. Its first attempt at a lever-action-based long gun came with its Model 1881 and this design was progressively evolved based on experience to produce the Model 1894 as a refinement of all of this work heading into the new millennium.
The Model 1894 was given a conventional design arrangement with an angled solid wood stock at rear (also making up the pistol grip), a wooden forend under the bulk of the rifle, and a shortened barrel with underslung tube assembly to keep the overall length of the weapon in check. The receiver was slab-sided and housed the internal working components of the gun while the hammer was visible at its upper rear and the trigger was held underneath the rectangular frame in the usual way. The trigger area included the lever-action assembly with its large, oblong cut-out port for the managing fingers of the shooting hand. This was the mechanism that proved the "heart and soul" of any lever-action rifle design - the downward motion ejected a spent shell casing from the firing chamber while a new cartridge was introduced from the underslung tube magazine. Depending on chambering (which was highly variable throughout the life of the weapon), the Model 1894 could fire between six and ten rounds from the spring-loaded tube.
Overall weight was in the six-pound range and lengths varied from 36- to 40-inches. Barrels were also variable in their available lengths - between 18.5- and 22-inches depending on model. Chamberings included .32-20 Winchester, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and .44 Magnum among others. Sighting was through an adjustable rear and ramped front iron arrangement.
Amazingly, the Model 1894 never exited production since its introduction back in 1894. However, its rights were sold off to Remington Arms in 2008 and the guns have since been manufactured under that illustrious label. The original guns came from Marlin Firearms Company of North Haven, Connecticut. Its design is attributed to John Mahlon Marlin.