Gun Report

Marlin Model 983S Bolt Action 22 Magnum, $320

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The Marlin offered big-rifle feel and good accuracy with everything we fed it. The only minor problems were with the loading port and the out-of-the-box trigger pull.

Marlin Model 983S Bolt Action 22 Magnum, $320

Gun Details

Model Name
Model Number
Home Defense
Caliber Plus Cartridge
Weight Unloaded
Length of Pull
Action Type
Action Finish
Barrel Finish
Trigger Pull Weight

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We were very pleased with the short-stroke bolt action necessary to eject shells and feed another round into the chamber. The action was smooth and effective (no malfunctions at all) and spent casings were ejected with authority. We would have preferred a lighter trigger pull.
The Monte Carlo comb on the stock gives the Marlin the feel of a larger center fire rifle, and we believe the style allowed for better accuracy over the other two test rifles. We liked the two-toned wood's appearance and gave the Marlin high marks on the attractiveness scale.
Because of its design, the Marlin was by far the easiest rifle in the test group to load single rounds into the chamber. Although the action was smooth and easy to use, we were disappointed in the size of the loading port on the tubular magazine (bottom). The port was slightly smaller than the 22 Magnum ammunition; on top is the port on the tubular magazine of the Henry lever gun.

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