I want a Marlin 39. Buy it new or find it used?


March 15, 2006, 08:44 PM
Recently I've been wanting to get a nice high quality .22 rifle and since I love lever rifles that means I need a model 39. But now I'm stuck in something of a dilemma. None of my local shops (gun or pawn) have any on the rack. Thus, my options are 1)Order a new one, 2)Online auction, 3)Wait for someone to put one up for sale on one of the forums, or 4)Wait and just keep cruising the local shops.

I've never bought a gun from an online auction because I like to hold something in my hand before I buy it. I'm always afraid I'll get something with the barrel shot out of it. But if that's the only way to get one then I'll bite the bullet. How worried should I be about buying a 30 or 40 year old lever rifle?

Any suggestions?

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Brian Williams
March 15, 2006, 09:22 PM
If you find a great 39 online, it would have been very hard for someone to shoot out a 22lr. I just got a 39M this year and I have wanted one since the 70s. Keep looking you will find one soon.

March 15, 2006, 10:08 PM
I recently bought a 39A from an online auction site and I"m VERY pleased with it. Like you, I wasn't crazy about buying a rifle sight unseen, but couldn't find a used one anywhere and my preference was for an older one too. After about 6 months of searching, I finally took a chance on an auction site and placed a bid. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions if you go this route. I got lucky and found a 1967 vintage in 99% condition and man oh man is it a shooter ! I'm guessing it spent most of it's life as a safe queen. The used ones are hard to find since people don't want to sell them.....as for mine, I will have it until my son inherits it some day. Just be patient and keep looking, eventually you'll find one.

Good luck

March 15, 2006, 10:14 PM
have yet to see a decent one around here for less than $325. new about $400......at my age I often think $75 is not out of line to get something I will enjoy as well as be able to feed reasonalby....it is up to you.

March 15, 2006, 10:46 PM
Lever guns...If you are haunting the gun stores and run across a used Browning BL22, check it out. I bought one for my wife for valentines day and she loves it.

March 15, 2006, 11:23 PM
personally, i'd pay more for a decent condition used 39 than i would for a new one, for two reasons:

a: the used one is older, and old rifles are inherently cooler;

b: the new ones have safeties, and i find that mildly offensive.

March 15, 2006, 11:30 PM
You may not save too much money by buying used, but...

They've made several models with and without pistol grips and checkering, and with different barrel lengths.

A recent but discontinued variant, also, is the 1897, a cowboy 39.

So you might find a particular variant you want.

I'm kicking myself for not picking one up last year, in perfect shape, with a peep sight added. One nice little lever carbine.

If you want the 24" barrel and PG walnut stock, though, you can buy new with no regrets.

March 16, 2006, 01:00 AM
I was also afraid of buying from an on-line auction, but had an honest dealer that was selling and was very satisfied with the purchase.

If you want a new 39, check out www.thegunsource.com as they have a large inventory and extremely reasonable prices. Just find a dealer to transfer it and you are all set.

March 16, 2006, 02:51 AM
I have to agree with pauli, but will add one more criteria.

c. The newer 39's that I've fondled were nowhere nearly as smooth cycling as the older models I've handled and fired. I don't know if this is due to the added safety or not. I'm talking about excessive force required to work the lever. Also it was gritty, heavy drag, etc. I would save $100 and find an older one in good condition. Frankly, if you find a 39 with no rust and wearing it's original finish, you can rest assured that it'll work just fine.

March 16, 2006, 04:19 PM
Find a used one that doesn't have that moronic crossbolt safety and rebounding hammer. There are always a few on some of the online sales sites. And I occasionally see one come through the local shops. The last one I bought was found that way. I would rather not have one if I couldn't get an old one.

Flame away.

March 16, 2006, 05:31 PM
With Marlins and Winchesters (and the Marlin lever 22s are much nicer than the Winnys IMHO), think older is better. The older ones do not have rebounding hammers and crossbolt safeties that are not necessary. The newer Mod 39s are good guns, but the ones without the rebounding hammer and crossbolt safety get my vote.

- Brickboy240 (owner of several early Marlins and Winchesters)

March 16, 2006, 05:43 PM
How does a rebounding hammer work?

What exactly is it?

March 16, 2006, 06:55 PM
Keep looking for an older one, you might get lucky.
A couple of months ago I found a 1957 vintage 39a in pretty good shape.
Only a little loss of blueing on the tip of the barrel.
It was hanging on the wall at my local range with a price tag of 139.00
Right place at the right time.....

Tom C.
March 16, 2006, 09:44 PM
My first gun was a Marlin 39A in 1962. My most recent .22 was a Marlin 39M that I bought last March. 1969 vintage. No safety or rebounding hammer. Shot very little and in good shape. $300.

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