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View Full Version : Marlin 981T - Guidance Please


BearWhoHunts
03-31-2011, 6:30 PM
Hey there everyone!

I have been looking everywhere for a Marlin 981T. I am looking for a nice (accurate), cheap, reliable .22 that can shoot shorts, long and long rifle (My Stevens 887 does not always cycle how I would like). It is going to be mainly for pest control (ground squirrels and rabbit) and for the occasional plinking when someone is shooting the 887.

First how many of you have one of these and love/hate them? Feedback from actual users is unbeatable.

Secondly, have any of you seen them around. None of the stores in my area (Monterey Bay) have any or seem confident in getting any in stock within the foreseeable future :(:confused:.
I have handled one before and was pleased with what it could be. I found one on GunForAll but I prefer doing it locally.

Anything you have would help greatly!

Happy Hunting!

iareConfusE
03-31-2011, 6:57 PM
My friend has one of these that he bought here on CGN a little over a year ago. I wanted one so bad a while ago, but they're no longer in production. I haven't seen one anywhere at all. They'll be pretty hard to find, which sucks because I still want one.

CmpsdNoMore
04-01-2011, 5:19 AM
I've been researching these lately. I have a 10/22 that's pretty heavily modded, but I can't get it to run with anything but the 10 round Ruger mags. It's accurate at 50 yards and I can unload the mag accurately in a few seconds, but that gets old after awhile.

I want to get something that's simple, reliable and easy to clean. I don't worry about the barrel, but the receiver on my 10/22 gets nasty fast and with the green mountain barrel I usually start getting failures after a few hundred rounds. Another plus about tube fed is that they not only hold quite a few long rifle rounds, but can also fire long and short rounds. I think the 981t holds like 23 shorts!

So, I decided to look into a .22 rifle that was either bolt, pump or lever action. I like lever actions, but they're still a little complicated to take apart to clean (as opposed to a bolt). Pump actions are getting there, but most still require drifting pins and taking stuff apart. One nice thing about the pump action rifles is that you can still shoot them pretty fast. Most bolt actions can be taken apart enough to clean by just pulling the trigger and pulling the bolt out.

Anyway!
I've heard lots of good stuff about Marlin bolt guns, and especially the 98x series. The few complaints I've heard is that the bolt can be not as smooth as other bolts, though it will smooth out over time, and that the stock trigger can by heavy and have a lot of creep.

I haven't been able to get my hands on one yet, but I'm really looking forward to it.

EDIT: I forgot to mention. I've read that they're not producing the 981 (at least by that model number) anymore since Remington bought Marlin. I believe they are coming out with a different model.

MongooseV8
04-01-2011, 8:00 AM
I used to have a 981T and it is super awesome, a friend owns it now. Holds a ton of rounds and never jams and its super accurate. I would hold off from buying one right now since Marlin is going to release their new line of rifles soon with a trigger kinda like an accutrigger.

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/xt/XT22.asp

There you can browse the different models of the XT coming out. The tube rifles are on the bottom.

caldude
04-01-2011, 8:03 AM
Marlin has stopped producing the 981T. Their new model is the XT-22, which supposedly has a new trigger, probably similar to the Savage Accu-trigger. It comes with both tube and removable magazine versions. I had a 981T on my want list, but I'll be getting this eventually instead.

Link to Marlin XT-22 page: http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/xt/XT22.asp

One of the nicer looking versions:
http://www.marlinfirearms.com/images/XT/large/MFCXT-22MTSL-70855-lg.jpg

glockman19
04-01-2011, 8:08 AM
I love my Marlin 981t. Got it at Turners for $150.

I like that it ts tube fed and has a "high capacity".

It is accurate and fun. I especially enjoy the ability to shoot all types of .22 ammo, CB shorts are quieter than my friends CO2 BB gun.

Good Luck in finding one.

shy 7th
04-01-2011, 12:13 PM
I'm going to chime in and also say that I love my 981T. Although... that new XT22 linked above looks exactly the same but with a better trigger and now I'm jealous.

The fit and finish on it is leaps and bounds above the 795 and it feels like a $300-$400 gun even though it cost me half that.

The one thing I don't like about the 981T is that the factory stock pretty much forces you into mounting a scope or some sort of optic on it (which isn't that bad because all of the marlin bolt guns come drilled and tapped from the factory). I got the non-montecarlo stock (don't know what to call it, but it's the one with the all flat comb). The comb is so high that I cannot get my eye low enough to use the factory iron sights. ...Well I can, but I have to torque my head pretty much sideways and my neck gets sore. I can't shoot it offhand because of this. It's almost like they just expect you to shoot it from a bench or prone.

When I bought my 981T it was about $150 and I was really just looking for the cheapest, non-youth, bolt gun that I could find to practice (and teach friends) some basic riflry excercises: breathing, relaxing, posture, smooth trigger, ironsights, etc. Course, finding out that I would have to invest some more money into it (either get a different stock or new scope) was a little disappointing.

CmpsdNoMore
04-01-2011, 4:44 PM
One of the nicer looking versions:
http://www.marlinfirearms.com/images/XT/large/MFCXT-22MTSL-70855-lg.jpg

Too bad that's a .22 WMR version and not LR.

I was able to hold a 981 at a local store today and thought it felt great. The bolt opened and closed nicely and I don't think I could find a reason to complain for the price.

I may see if I can find a used one tomorrow at one of the smaller stores in the area, or I'll just wait until the new version comes out.

Also, I have to agree that the stock iron sights SUCK! The rear site is like on a Red Ryder BB gun where there's notches on a slanted piece of metal you move the sight up. I would like to get a wood stock, if possible, and put some different iron sights on it. Does anyone know if the tech sights for the Marlin 60 or 795 work on this one?

BearWhoHunts
04-03-2011, 4:48 PM
Wow! Thanks. I had no idea about the new line. I just found a 981T for $205 at a gun store on the way to one of my hunting spots.....I told him to put is aside for me but after reading this I think I might just hold out for the new trigger.

Does anyone know when they will be coming out?

CmpsdNoMore
04-03-2011, 7:03 PM
I'm also waiting to see what the new model is like when it comes out. I really don't like the stock on the 981t, so hopefully the xt-22tr will be better.

Not sure when they're supposed to be out, but I would think they'd start trickling out pretty soon.

Big Shrek
04-04-2011, 4:26 PM
Hey there everyone!

I have been looking everywhere for a Marlin 981T. I am looking for a nice (accurate), cheap, reliable .22 that can shoot shorts, long and long rifle (My Stevens 887 does not always cycle how I would like). It is going to be mainly for pest control (ground squirrels and rabbit) and for the occasional plinking when someone is shooting the 887.

First how many of you have one of these and love/hate them? Feedback from actual users is unbeatable.

Secondly, have any of you seen them around. None of the stores in my area (Monterey Bay) have any or seem confident in getting any in stock within the foreseeable future :(:confused:.
I have handled one before and was pleased with what it could be. I found one on GunForAll but I prefer doing it locally.

Anything you have would help greatly!

Happy Hunting!

The Marlin 981 is no longer made...so you're relegated to NOS or used.

The Marlin XT-22 series replaces all 900-series Marlins.

And, with the new adjustable triggers, they're simply even better :D

Boyd's Stocks will do a new series of stocks for the XT-22 a few months after they've been available...if the old 900 stocks don't already work on 'em.

When it comes to Bolt-actions, I prefer .22WMR over .22lr, you aren't firing often, so ammo expenditure is minimal...
and the WMR has WAY more power & range...I do coyote at up to 150 yards with my Marlin 25MN, Dead Right There.

glockman19
04-04-2011, 4:32 PM
Here is one and the only one available on gunbroker:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=223175186

Good luck.

BearWhoHunts
04-04-2011, 4:56 PM
That gunbroker one is tempting and in my backyard!

I have decided to wait patiently till the xt-22's are out as they will have the same trigger as my XS7 .308. Hopefully they come out soon. My 887 just does not cut it. I will just have to buy a new scope for the xt and store in on my 887 till then!

Thanks for all the great replies but the same trigger does it for me!

CmpsdNoMore
04-04-2011, 6:43 PM
I'm not used to firearms with trigger safeties like that. Are they pretty easy to get used to compared to "normal" triggers?