I have been a Marlin fan since the 1950s having owned dozens of them thru the years. All this yap about JM stamped, Remlins, etc. is just that. Marlins always were always will be a working man's gun that sells in the lower 1\3 price range of American made firearms. With that said the fit\finish of most mass manufacturing rifles of this price point will never nor was it ever meant to be that of hand made guns that sell for thousandS more than a Marlin.
I have never purchased any model be it 1894 or 336 pre or post Remington that was not functional. Has Remington for returns for mistakes yes they have but so did the original owner of the name.
Buy the .357 Marlin your eye likes and have fun