Which Marlin 39 is best?


March 14, 2008, 04:31 PM
The cost of ammo is pushing me to get a .22 for fun/practice. I'm pretty sure I want a Marlin model 39, but I'm not sure what's best to look for. Are the current production models as high of quality as in the past? Is there a "golden period" in the used market (like with the Winchester Model70)? What about the different barrel lengths? Finally, if new is not the best route to go, then are there any rifle specific things to look for in purchasing a used model? Any thoughts are appreciated.

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March 14, 2008, 04:45 PM
Great choice. I'm no expert, but I do have a older '64 and a newer '06, so here's my $0.02: AFAIK, there really aren't any quality issues between new and old - are fine rifles and shoot great. My '06, though, has a rebounding hammer safety, whereas the safety on the '64 is a half-cock. The '06 has nice checkered walnut, whereas the '64 is plain. The action on the '06 was fairly stiff when new, but is smoothening out, but isn't near as buttery smooth as the '64, though I suspect the '64 was fairly stiff when new. Finally, the muzzle crown on the '64 is nice and recessed, whereas on the '06, the muzzle is flat, with an ever-so-slight bevel at the crown. Still, the '06 shoots great. Maybe I'm paranoid, but if I were to have some work done on it, I'd probably re-crown it - for nothing other than to help protect the crown a bit more.

The version that seems to be very desired, and from my experience, pretty rare, is the Mountie carbine. Even though I already have 2 39s (and several CZ452s), I'd buy a Mountie in a heartbeat if I came upon one.

March 14, 2008, 04:52 PM
I prefer the carbines. I've got two, a Mountie and a beautiful Century Limited (like a Mountie, but with an octagonal barrel and some brass fripperies).

March 14, 2008, 05:10 PM
This is like asking which is the "best" Ferrari.

My opinion is, the tops in quality was from the late 1940's post-war guns to the 1980's models.
I find the rebounding hammer and cross-bolt safety a useful safety setup for shooters unfamiliar with the half-cock traditional safety, but personally find it as repugnant as huge safety warning stamps on barrels and safeties on other lever guns.

The actual material of the Marlin haven't changed since the design was first made in 1891....solid milled steel and American walnut.

So, this comes down to your personal preference of having a brand new rifle or a used rifle that usually has better wood to metal fit and bluing.

I've had 1980's Marlin's that were really nice, but I much prefer the well used 1950 model that I restored.

March 14, 2008, 05:24 PM
Doesn't matter which model you get, you'll burn the cost difference in ammo the first two trip to the range.

March 14, 2008, 05:34 PM
Thanks, so far. In addition, I have a few questions about price: what is the street price of a new one (not MSRP) and what range should I expect on used.

I'm headed to a big show tomorrow and plan to keep an eye out for one there.

March 14, 2008, 05:42 PM
I paid $400.00 for a 1959 issue Golden 39 last fall. Bought it from a private seller at a gun show.

March 14, 2008, 10:19 PM
Any one I own!!!
TaKe CaRe

March 14, 2008, 11:48 PM
I've owned em' in 24", 20" and 16". Liked em all. For all around use I like the 20" Mountie. To me it combines the aesthetics, utility and accuracy I want. Dern near perfect, thats why I have two...

Fast Frank
March 14, 2008, 11:50 PM
If you want to know about model 39s...

Start reading here>> http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=261635

M1 Shooter
March 15, 2008, 12:11 AM
I wish Marlin would bring back the nifty little 39TDS. It was a 16" barreled take down carbine(although all 39's have the take down feature) that came with a padded case. I remember seeing one years ago, and I wanted it badly, but I was only 15 and broke at the time (wow, hard to believe that was 18 years ago!). When I finally did have the money for one, I couldn't find one anywhere, and I found out they had been discontinued. I've still never owned a 39, but I've fired a few, and they are great guns.
I just really liked the way that little 39TDS looked and felt. Maybe I'll find a good used one for a decent price someday.

March 15, 2008, 11:59 PM
there is a Century Limited for sale in my home city right now, in as new condition and priced at $699. Does that sound like a decent price for a 1970 unfired commemorative? If I bought it I would want to shoot it. I know....I strayed from the question but this seemed to fit in.

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