The All-Time Classic Pack Gun: Marble's Game-Getter
February 15, 2009
In about 1908, the Marble's company of Gladstone, Michigan, came out with its Game-Getter, a versatile, foldable over/under trail gun. The top barrel was a .22, under it was a .45 bore that could handle either bullets or .410 shotshells. It had a folding wire stock and slipped into a shoulder holster. It came in a couple barrel-lengths, out to 18". It was the ultimate trail gun for the pack-basket.
If you're someone who needs a handy gun or just likes the idea of one, the Game-Getter was it.
In the mid-century it was swept up in one of the occasional ill-advised and ineffective attempts to reduce crime by banning equipment. Folding stocks were banned and the Game-Getter was lumped into the same category as the submachine-gun.
Thus a big part of the revenue for this rare, large, high quality Upper Peninsula factory was destroyed. The company soon fell and hundreds were unemployed. No company as good, it could be said, was built after that in the U.P. (Although Iverson snowshoes are still made up there!) I strongly doubt that any crime was prevented by banning the Game-Getter. It was a classic case of an opposite effect stemming from the intent of gov't action.
Anyway, the Marble's company invented and developed many other fine outdoor tools, including the pin-on compass and the safety hatchet plus a line of handmade camp knives. It was an All-American company of the highest quality. Those items can be worth hundreds of $ today. A nice Game-Getter is worth $1500 at least.
I learned about the Game-Getter as a kid. It was an ideal conceptual gun for a northwoods camper imagination. ...Handy, versatile, simple, well-made by a noble company.
Several other gun concepts spun off of the Game-Getter, a few of which are still in play today in small but tasty ways. The Savage 24 rifle over shotgun is one. OK, maybe it's the only one left. There are other multi removeable barrel kit-guns that somewhat also qualify, including the Thompson Center guns which are built around a pistol frame, as the Game-Getter was. It's illegal to turn a pistol into a rifle but I suppose it could be done with the TC guns, making a more versatile and economical gun.
And there are several knife and outdoor supply makers now back in action again in the Gladstone area, all of which are spun somehow off of the old Marble's heritage.
An old ad.
Here's a better view of the stock.
An early model with the patented Marble's folding rear tang sight, sold separately by the jillions back in the day.
An ad for the final iteration of the gun, with longer barrel and straight stock pieces and less ornate receiver.
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