New Marlin 39A


October 6, 2006, 09:22 AM
Couldn't help myself. My dealer had this one new, and I had a couple rifles that I wasn't shooting at all. Seemed reasonable to move them out and this in. Simmons Red Dot is fun.

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October 6, 2006, 10:05 AM
That's a purty rifle, fer shure. :D

I want one as it is, and your picture didn't help matters any... ;) :D

October 6, 2006, 10:30 AM
Very nice. I love Marlin lever actions. My first gun when I was a kid was a 336. Enjoy it! SC

October 6, 2006, 05:05 PM
What you got there, my friend, is a lifetime of enjoyment. And I see you have started the enjoyment already. Congrats! :) NailGun

The Deer Hunter
October 6, 2006, 05:15 PM
what calibre is that?

October 6, 2006, 05:30 PM
.22 holds 26 Short, 21 Long or 19 Long Rifle Cartridges.

from Marlin's website

The incomparable Marlin Golden 39A represents the oldest shoulder firearm design still being made anywhere in the world. In fact, the 39's great grandfather, the Model 1891, was the first repeating rifle to be chambered for the 22 Long Rifle cartridge. And over the years, Marlin 22's have become legendary among people who know rifles. The fact is, the Model 39 is still the standard by which all other 22 sporting rifles are judged. Understandable when you consider the clean, flat, solid top receiver, and an action machined from solid steel forgings, which are then heat-treated for greater strength. The Model 39A also features a rebounding hammer, a hammer block safety, and it disassembles in seconds with only a coin. And the stock is crafted from genuine American black walnut and features fine cut-checkering. Thanks to Micro-GrooveŽ rifling, a special process that produces less bullet distortion and a better gas seal, the 39A gives you the kind of accuracy most other 22's can't touch.

October 6, 2006, 08:05 PM
Great. I thought I had my addiction to the 39A licked, and then you go posting pictures of it :fire: .

Nice rifle. It should provide you, your kids, their kids, and their kids' kids many years of enjoyment.

October 6, 2006, 09:14 PM
Ok , I think you made a great choice in the Marlin and the red dot is likely lots of fun but....
Lever action just screams out to me for a nice peep sight. Very fast to use and accuracy is surpriseingly good . Consider it .

October 6, 2006, 09:21 PM
Nice rifle. Just may have to get one.

It sure looks funny to see a 39A with .223 empties all over the bench!


October 6, 2006, 11:24 PM
Great gun. Mine is an older one sans scope, and I put at least 50 rounds through it weekly.

You might want to try a box of that Aguila SSS through it. Mine is the only .22 I own that keeps these rounds from keyholing, and they are very accurate and hard hitting.

December 22, 2006, 10:38 PM
Bumpin' this one up on a Friday night.

Well, I gots ta' say, Robctwo, that's one fine looking rifle.

Went out looking for one today, but ... alas, haven't found one in this town yet. I'll keep looking. May have to drive somewhere else to handle one.

See, last year, I bought a CZ 452 Style. Fine gun. Freekin' tack driver, it is. Love that part. Feels good to hold, carries nicely, solid quality construction. I have no doubt it would survive an ice age (or any similar huge climate change event) with grace and integrity.

Only one problem: I can't warm up to the bolt. It's those four distinct movements in two different planes that one needs to accomplish to get the next rnd ready that I just can't warm up to. The 452 is my first bolt ever; I've always been a pump and lever guy. I like "front - back: back - front" (or the reverse in a lever): two moves in the same plane and the next rnd is ready, quickly. No fuss, no muss.

And, for some reason, in .22's, the bolt seems a tighter than in a CF bolt gun, at least in the CZs (they're all that way; don't know about other .22 bolts). I know, I know: higher pressures need a tighter seal, and higher pressure --> tack driver. I understand. But I'm not a competitive paper puncher. I want to shoot rabbits and squirrels at relatively modest distances. Yes, to a scope.

So, I'm thinking seriously about selling this little 452 jewel and replacing it with a lever .22. (I've owned a semi-auto .22 before (Rem Nylon 66 as a teen; loved it), but a semi-auto doesn't feel quite right for this gun. I'm hunting, not plinking.)

So yeah, I'm having 39A pangs. Not sure I'll buy one yet. Browning BL-22 and Henry are still in the mix, too.

But given that I'm soon going to acquire some version of a Marlin 336 in .30, and given that the 39A has a similar pistol grip stock (and neither Henry nor Browning do), I'm going to be leaning in the direction of that more 'spensive 39A. (Dang, why can't I be satisfied for less?)

The only thing I'm not so fond of in the 39A is that 24" barrel. For you guys trying to reach way out there, I can totally understand. For me, it's more of a handling, weight issue. I'd rather have a 20" barrel. (Like my 336 will ... to start at least) Henry's and Brownings are better for me in that realm.

(I'm aware of Marlin's mounty with the shorter barrel, but the used ones I've seen bring a higher price than a new 39A.)

So, to my point. It's obvious that several 39A admirers have checked in here view the 39A above, and sing their praises. I'm betting you folks are still subscribed.

But the thread has fallen quiet, so I thought I'd bump it up a bit, turn on some lights for the holidays:

Tell me, please, why you 39A fanciers think I should spend about twice as much for a 39A instead of getting a Henry for half that? I'm definitely aware that the 39A is a better gun: nicer stock, perhaps better metal, don't know yet about the accuracy. But I'm not yet sure if it's worth twice as much. Opinions?

And, any comparisions between the BL-22 v. 39A would be helpful, too. I may start another thread later about this topic, but right now, I'm surfing the archives.

Thanks in advance for any opinions and advice.

Happy holidays!


December 23, 2006, 12:18 AM
The Henry is a stamped sheet metal and aluminum modern rifle with a phony brass colored or blued receiver, and I seem to recall, the "receiver" is really a COVER that fits over the action.

The Browning is nice, but not as consistently accurate as the Marlin.

The Marlin is still made the way it was 100 years ago: From forged and milled steel and American walnut.

Due to the Marlin's heavier, longer Micro-groove barrel, it shoots more like a target rifle.
One gun writer testing the Marlin 39-A got one inch groups at 100 yards with selected ammo.

The Henry is something to shoot like a Ford of Chevy is something to drive.
The Marlin is like a Cadillac or a Rolex: It's something to shoot, treasure, and pass down to your kinds and grand kids.

The Henry is a rifle.
The Browning is a nice rifle.
The Marlin is in a class all it's own.

December 23, 2006, 12:21 AM
Wow! DF, what a great post!

That one alone could seal the deal.

December 23, 2006, 12:51 AM
I also have the Ruger 10/22 Stainless. I think that the 39A met a need that the 10/22 did not, and vice versa. Small, quick light-10/22, longer shots more substantial gun, Marlin. Also liked the nostalgia thing. Not shooting great with the new lens from the cataract surgery. Another few weeks until the Dr. will update the prescription. I'm shooting pistols in the mean time.

Merry Christmas

December 23, 2006, 01:50 AM
Earlier tonight, I wrote this:
The only thing I'm not so fond of in the 39A is that 24" barrel. For you guys trying to reach way out there, I can totally understand. For me, it's more of a handling, weight issue. I'd rather have a 20" barrel. (Like my 336 will ... to start at least)...After writing that, I continued to read the archives (becoming ever more impressed with reviews of the 39A).

I'm still reading.

I also revisited the Marlin pages about 336 and 39A, checking out the specs.

From that, I gained an interesting realization: even though it has a barrel 4" longer than the 336, the 39A is only 1.5" longer than the 336, and is actually shorter (by 0.5") than my CZ 452 with a 22" barrel.

I finally realized (DUH!) that's because the action is short for the rimfire. They add a longer barrel, but the increase in the overall length isn't that significant.

Well, now, this changes my thinking significantly. I was originally not interested in a hunting gun with a 24" barrel because I hunt in dense forests. (Temparate rainforests, where the brush and overhang is really thick.) I reasoned - perhaps incorrectly - that a longer barrel equated to a longer gun. As it turns out, it's not THAT much longer.

Hmmm. I may just have to save some extra pennies for a 39A after all.

December 23, 2006, 03:15 AM
What you will dig up on searches here and elsewhere will speak for itself. I don't even have to really say anything. Keep reading, and if you decide to buy, enjoy! :)

December 23, 2006, 12:48 PM
Now that's a nice looking rifle. I've been sort of meaning to buy a 39A ever since I got my Mountie 40-odd years ago, but I never saw one that caught my eye until now. Guess I'll have to look a little harder.


December 30, 2006, 12:16 AM
I've pretty much decided to sell my CZ bolt gun and replace it with a 39A.

I want to have an option to scope the 39A, even though I will try the irons, and maybe a receiver sight first. (The eyes aren't as good as they once were, but irons may still work OK for the distances I have in mind.)

Here's my question. What type of scope base(s) will fit the contemporary 39A (knowing me, I'll probably buy a new one)? 3/8" dovetail? Weaver? Other?

I've searched about a dozen THR threads looking for an answer. I find several threads on 39A with scopes, but none of them talk about bases. Likewise with several non)THR pages (including the Simmons Red Dot page; what base for it?)

I have a set of rings for my CZ that fits it's 3/8" dovetail, but don't know whether to keep them for the 39A or let them go with the CZ.

Advice appreciated.


December 30, 2006, 01:44 PM
For many years, new Marlins come from the factory with a factory scope mount base.
Like most, this is an aluminum rail that attach's to the receiver with the two top screws.
If you mount a scope, you may also want the hammer extension.
This is a piece that attach's to the hammer spur and has a checkered or grooved extension that extends sideways to allow working the hammer without interference from the scope.

Apparently the latest Marlins with the rebounding hammer and cross-bolt safety are NOT drilled and tapped for a receiver sight.
However, Williams makes their best quality peep rear receiver sight in a version that that attach's to the scope mount hole on the receiver top.

My suggestion: Shop around for a good older Marlin.
Often, these cost MORE than a brand new one, but they're set up for receiver sights, and don't have the new safety and rebounding hammer.

My eyes are getting older too, but I've always preferred receiver sights, and by buying accessory smaller aperture peeps for the Williams sights, you can get a very good sight picture even with bad eyes.

I also personally prefer plain blade front sights with no beads or inserts.
This too seems to give a better sight picture.
I'm currently restoring a 1950 Marlin 39-A and for a front sight I bought a blade sight blank from Brownell's and fitted it to a ramp.

I bought the narrower .065" which is about perfect for the Marlin. Fitting the blank to the base's standard 3/8" dovetail was mostly a matter of carefully removing metal from the bottom of the blade's dovetail until it fit the ramp.

There's just SOMETHING about a Marlin 39-A that few other rifles have, great accuracy and high quality aside.

December 30, 2006, 03:28 PM
Don't think you'll ever regret this trade. I've had my little Marlin 39M (same action, 18" bbl, straight-grip stock) for almost thirty years now and it just keeps getting better with age and use. I wouldn't trade it for diamonds.

I'd second the rec for anyone interested in getting an M-39 to look around on the used market first. While I may just be showing my age, I still prefer to do without the cross-bolt safety and rebounding hammer. I also prefer to have my receiver sight mounted in the conventional manner as it seldom requires installation of a taller front on an M-39. The top-mounted models like the Williams "Guide" nearly always will, and they're more succeptible to incidental damage, IMO. That higher front will make the hood unusable in most cases, so the vulnerability extends to both ends.

December 30, 2006, 05:24 PM
dfaris and mainmech, thanks for the useful info, especially about the receiver sights and their attachment. I appreciate it and will definitely consider it.

However, I'm still unclear about the answer to this question from my previous post:
What type of scope base(s) will fit the contemporary 39A? 3/8" dovetail? Weaver? Other?

And is that likely to be different for an older one than a new one?

I'm asking because if a scope base for a 39A will accept dovetail type rings (at least I think they're dovetail, like the ones that fit my CZ 452), then I'd like to keep the rings. Otherwise, I'll let them go with the CZ.

I'll confess, also, that I'm not terribly knowledgeable about scope bases of different types, so I may not even be asking the right question in a way that makes sense to those of you with a better understanding.


Seven High
December 30, 2006, 06:43 PM
I am curious to know how 22 shorts and longs work in your new 39A. Have you tried them yet? I read an article about the Remington 552 which also allows the use of shorts and longs. It was not very accurate with shorts or longs, but did o.k. with the long rifles.

December 30, 2006, 07:05 PM
The Marlin factory scope mount base is a standard 3/8" dovetail type.

Marlin hasn't needed to change the design or hole spacing since they started drilling the receivers for mounts many years ago.
If the Marlin you buy has two mount holes in the receiver, the standard Marlin base and most "standard" bases will work.

Depending on your rings, you should be able to use them.

December 30, 2006, 07:17 PM
I bought my 39A Golden in the middle '90's. It has the rebounding hammer and it did come with a hammer extension and one other part. Not sure if it came with a scope base or not, but it is tapped for a scope.

They may have changed since then.

December 30, 2006, 07:49 PM
Makes perfect sense, dfaris.


December 30, 2006, 07:59 PM
If you want a shorter 39, look for the now-discontinued 1897T. These came with, I believe, twenty-inch octagonal barrels.

December 31, 2006, 12:19 AM
heres a pic of my 1981 pre-safety Marlin 39A Golden with my other cowboy toys:

it shoots CCI Mini-mag Solids along with the Ruger Single Six.
its a joy to handle and shoot, need to take it out more often though. the thing that really bothers me is its tough to find a cowboy hat that i look ok in :rolleyes: . i use my rifle, pistol, and Triple K gunbelt & holster when im trying to channel the Duke. - Eric

December 31, 2006, 10:38 AM
As dfaris said, the factory mount is for the standard 'tip-off' rings commonly used for nearly all rimfire scopes. There are mount options from B-Square, Weaver, and likely some others to use standard Weaver rings.

CZ's catalog says that the 452 'American' has the standard 3/8" dovetail, so if your rings work well on your 452 there shouldn't be any problem.

Seven High: My 39M has seen a good many shorts through it, mostly because I happened to buy a couple of cases of HPs dirt cheap at an auction several years ago. They function perfectly well and accuracy is at least on a par with most LRs out to about 25 yds. They make good pest control fodder, especially where noise might be an issue. If your rifle likes them well enough to do 1/2" groups at 25 yds, they make a superb short range squirrel hunting load. Very handy where housing developments are encroaching on your favorite wood lot. They're very quiet and much less likely to spook the other rodents or the local busybodies.

I haven't even seen any real .22 Ls in a goodly while, although the CCI Long CBs and Aguila Colibris are pretty easy to find. While they look very similar, they aren't the same thing at all. The genuine .22 L used the same 29 gr. bullet as the short at about 1180 f/s in HS loadings. The CB Longs also use a 29 gr. slug, but at much lower velocity. The Colibris use a 20 gr. bullet driven only by a priming charge. Advertised velocities are 375 f/s for the standard and 500 f/s for the 'Super'.

FYI, Aguila now recommends that both these only be used in handguns. I gather from that that there have been some problems with projectiles not exiting the barrel in rifles, but have no data on how common it might be. Personally, I'd take their advice as a 'ring' in my barrel would upset me.

I've used a few of the CCI LCBs with no problems, mostly on small pests like ground squirrels at very close range. I did kill two 'possums that got into our garage and wouldn't leave with them, but only because I was out of heavy pellets for my RWS 48 air rifle and it also has a largish target scope on it. Don't really recommend it, as one slug exited from a head shot and penetrated about 3/8" into a wall stud.

March 13, 2009, 04:22 PM
I have one of these great .22 rifle/carbines? I looked up the s/n on the Marlin Manuf. dates website. Per this site it was manuf. in 1963. I bought it used from a USN shipmate in the avionics shop in 1966. Came with a scope and a cleaning kit for $25.00. I did not know at the time anything about this great gun. I get it out to shoot about once every two or three years. Cleaned it again today. Shoots great. What is the specific differences between the the 39A and the 39? My 39 has a straight stock rather than a "pistol" grip and gold trigger.

Someone point me to the way to join the 39 club here.:D
Ed Lutz

hunting freak
June 12, 2009, 12:40 AM
Man do i want a marlin 39a. Im 13 and turning 14 in a few weeks but there just to exspensive for a 22 my dad thinks.

June 12, 2009, 03:59 AM
Man do i want a marlin 39a. Im 13 and turning 14 in a few weeks but there just to exspensive for a 22 my dad thinks.

Don't worry, in time you'll get one.

Start with whatever kind of .22 that your Dad likes, and progress from there.

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