Re: First new rifle in...decades.
I checked with Marlin and they say it was manufactured 5 years ago. From the looks of it it has been on some gun shop rack for that 5 years.
I gave the exterior a going over with Renaissance wax and ran a patch of CLP down the barrel to get things started for a tear-down and cleaning this next weekend. After two passes the patch was only slightly discolored. This is not a dirty gun. Looking down this thing's barrel is different than other rifles: this is like looking into the maw of an 8 foot diameter storm sewer.