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Old April 27, 2010, 03:36 PM   #2751
Nematocyst
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Daizee and dstates, welcome to the club.

Sorry for my delayed welcome. Busy week and got caught up in some knife threads.

Both of you have already added nicely to the club with your first posts.

Daizee, what an awesomely beautiful rifle. We'd love more pics and a range report when you shoot it.

dstates, thanks much for your kind words about the club. And yep, coming up on 3 years. Time flies. I might have a few random thoughts about break in for rifles, but I'll leave that question to more knowledgeable folks. I'm still a grasshoppa here.

But to answer your last question, yes, got the 39 back, and he said it checked out. Nothing wrong with the firing pin in his opinion, but was an ammo problem. He claims that it was the CCI ammo I was shooting, and that I should stick to Remington and Winchester.

With all due respect to him, because he's a great gunsmith, I don't fully believe that. I think there are issues with the pin, and some advice I got on another site may help resolve it ... if I can get any time to deal with it.

Speaking of time, I've decided to close my business - it's been suffering since the economic downturn 1.5 years ago - and move onto my next project. This transition is pretty well thought out, but it's going to be time consuming, and I'll be traveling a lot for the next six months.

So there will no doubt be times when I disappear from the club.

It's not a lack of interest, just trying to earn a living.

Nem
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Old April 27, 2010, 06:08 PM   #2752
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dstates - you don't want us to ruin the ending of Nem's quest for 39 perfection do you?

Glad to have you on board with us. If you keep reading it'll only deepen the addiction, er I mean appreciation... I'm betting this thread has sold a large passel of 39's.
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Old April 27, 2010, 08:06 PM   #2753
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^ < laughter > ^
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Old April 27, 2010, 11:33 PM   #2754
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I have certainly enjoyed the pages of posts on the good ol' 39a.
My late friend left home just out of high school bound for the Sand Hills Of Neb to be a cowboy. He returned some years later with a new wife and a 39a with a sling made from an old roping rein.
He and I unloaded lots of bricks of .22's over the next several years, He with his marlin and me with a Browning BL-22. Squirrels, rabbits, beer cans, rocks, floating sticks, empty ammo boxes, you name it. We even had rifle scabbards on our saddles and would inevitably turn a horseback ride into a shootin' match. That 39a was the straightest shooting rifle I was ever around.
Jim had a siezure one day, that was the first hint he had of his brain tumor. A couple of years later, his wife called to see if I would help her get Jim into bed. That was the last time I saw Jim on this earth.
Jim's 39a hangs on a rack collecting dust, but still ready to dispatch a varmint that wanders up too close to the farmhouse.
Sometime Ill find a 39a with just the right amount of blue worn off, and a few dings in the stock...and I'll add it to my collection of lever actions. I'll probably dig around and find an old rein to make a sling for it too.
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Old April 27, 2010, 11:39 PM   #2755
Nematocyst
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Beautiful story, KB.

Welcome to the club.

Pics of that gun would be welcome if you know someone
with a camera, but certainly not necessary.

Nem
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Old April 28, 2010, 02:46 AM   #2756
Daizee
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Nem, I took it to the range today for the first time this afternoon.

I loaded up 5 Federal 36gr bulk rounds and fired offhand at a 50ft pistol bullseye target at about 20yds. Walked down range to see a nice 1" group at the right edge of the black. Hm, not bad.

Then I set up the sandbag to see what it would do.
3 rounds, got up and walked: Woah. One hole, clearly three rounds. Total diameter about .35". Also at the right edge of the black.

Turns out when my eyes get tired I start to get vertical stringing with the buckhorn and bead. I really hate that style of sight with no definitive vertical alignment. However the rifle shot wonderfully. The action is still stiff, but ok. No failures of any kind, and damn is it consistent! The trigger is heavy, but reasonably crisp.

So I couldn't manage to knock the rear sight further left to center the group. I tried with the back of a screwdriver, then at home with both brass and then steel punches. Hm. The PO had clearly tried too. I think perhaps the male portion of the dovetail is not square. That's a mild irritation. If I can knock it off the gun to the right I can replace it. I'm considering going with a Skinner rear peep and a straight front blade, either XS or Skinner. I may save the XS plan for when I join the 336 club.

The butt stock screw needed a little tightening. I was pleased to discover that it's a through-bolt. The rifle feels wonderful in my hands. I ran the steel targets for kicks and even managed to knock a couple poppers down by nailing the top of the head.

I had several instance of shots landing right on top of one another. The spreads were mostly due to my eyes getting tired. The darkening clouds probably helped wreck the contrast anyway as my hour went on.

All in all I'm pleased.

-Daizee
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Old April 28, 2010, 03:17 AM   #2757
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Great report, Daizee.

I understand the trouble with those stock rear sites.

They're why I put a scope on mine,
but would at least want some Skinners.
(Which may well replace the scope on mine.)

Nem
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Old April 28, 2010, 09:10 AM   #2758
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kbbailey, thanks for contributing that wonderful story to the club. One of the things I find most interesting about this topic is the way our 39's have weaved their way into the fabric of our lives. From the first time we put our hands on one, the first shots and all adventures that the 39 came along make the kind of memories that are the most enjoyable to ponder. At the end of my trail it'll be the days I spent as a free man, outdoors, hiking, camping, scouting, hunting and fishing that will measure the quality of my life. Those are the days I was really living.

Daizee, Glad to hear you made it to the range, thanks for the report. While the open sights are less than ideal for true precision they do work pretty well once you've gotten some practice with them. It just takes a lot of reps and what can be more fun than getting more reps while you wait for your Skinner sights to arrive...

The thing I don't like about the XS front sight is its thickness. It is easy and fast to pick up but there is so much room across the top of the blade that precision is difficult (for me) to achieve. I like a fine (thin) front post. A small bead on top of it makes it easier for me to see too.

Glad to see the club active. Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories and pictures.
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Old April 28, 2010, 10:13 AM   #2759
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Thanks for the welcomes.

I'm a bit picky when it comes to my sights anyway - I just can't figure out a good justification for a round front sight that wouldn't be better satisfied with something else. An OPEN round front sight is another story. Highly specialized, incredibly precise.

The Skinner straight front blade may be just the ticket, and it's inexpensive, so why not just get the full set? Regardless, I have to properly center that rear sight. I cannot abide a nagging issue like that if something can easily be done about it.

-Daizee
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Old April 28, 2010, 01:44 PM   #2760
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Okay, clubbers... what does your average trip to the range look like? 100 rounds through the 39, 50 rounds, 500 rounds, shoot the 39 between centerbore shots???

By the way, tonight I'm headed to the range with my new 39... I'm getting anxious...
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Old April 28, 2010, 09:05 PM   #2761
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I seldom shoot more than 150rds in a day.
But then I grew up shooting smallbore, which is like 1 shot a minute. I'm perfectly happy at that pace with a long gun. I burn pistol ammo maybe twice as fast, but that's surely slower than average.


-Daizee
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Old April 28, 2010, 11:17 PM   #2762
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I made it out to the range tongiht w/ my new 39A! I put probably 175 rounds through it and had fun shooting. The most fun was taking down some spent shotgun shells at 25 yards. They just went flying. Here is a picture of my 39A.

However, I didn't have fun trying to get some spent rounds out of the barrel (breech?). I had 7 or 8 rounds that, after firing, didn't want to come out of the barrel. I had to empty the tube and then fight to get them out. I was able to pick the first couple out, one required my cleaning rod to push it out. The others I was able to get out either by cycling the action a bunch of times or with the rifle apart I could push the bolt down tight to the receiver as it pulled the casing out of the breech.

I'm new to guns, but I'm a mechanical engineer and I have a theory. It looks to me that there is some slop in the bolt where it gets pushed away from the receiver by the ejector. You can see in one of the pictures I'm attaching that the front of the bolt is not flush w/ the receiver. I have the takedown screw as tight as I can get it by hand (and then a little tighter w/ a screwdriver).

So when the bolt isn't tight to the receiver the extractor doesn't grab the rim of the cartridge. Does this sound right? If so, what can I do to address this?

By the way, I shot about 160 rounds of Federal Value Pack and 15 rounds of Remington Subsonics.

Thanks for any help...
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Old April 28, 2010, 11:36 PM   #2763
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A couple of things I'd check. My extractors have more of an angle (to a point) than yours looks like it has in the picture. Yours looks almost like it has a slight angle in the opposite direction comparitively.

Check for a burr on the rear chamber - usually on the top.
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Old April 28, 2010, 11:47 PM   #2764
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My typical days at the range with my 39 - the one gun that goes nearly every time - varies somewhat. At the range I'm usually testing loads in centerfire rifles. I use the 39 to "cool down" and work on quality follow-through and trigger pull at the end of the session. I'd say 50 rounds would be average for that drill. If I'm shooting a 39 match I might shoot up to 100 rounds. If I'm plinking in a target rich environment, I'll shoot till I got now more to shoot... For Silhouette matches I'll generally confirm my sight setting on the chickens, turkeys and rams and then shoot 40 during the match. Hunting (Limit for Grouse is four) and Scouting I generally don't go through the magazine unless I decide to plink, then I'm generally walking back with an empty rifle...

Over the course of a year I typically put 2,000 to 5,000 rounds through it - mostly Federal Bulk.
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Old April 29, 2010, 01:05 PM   #2765
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dstates, you'll probably get more advice here on that extractor problem,
but also check out this thread on Marlin Owners Forum. In particular,
the person named Swany over there knows his stuff pretty well.

You'll see that I spend some time over there, too,
but not nearly as much as here.
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Old April 29, 2010, 06:09 PM   #2766
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Thanks, Nem. There is a bunch of good info on that over there. I actually called Marlin (Remington) today and the guy on the phone was very helpful. He offered that I could send it in right away or he could send me a new extractor to put in myself. We chatted some more and I ended up emailing him the same pictures I put on here because he wanted to see how the bolt wasn't flush. He said they have a tech that just got done writing a 39A guide for them and he was going to show the pictures to him. Hopefully I'll hear back from him tomorrow.

Can anyone chime in on how flush their bolt is to the receiver?

It looks like Marlin switched to this stamped extractor in the last few years and a lot of people on the Marlin Owners forum like the older one better. However, I have a gut feeling that it is the bolt travel/flushness that is my problem.

From teh
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Old April 29, 2010, 06:39 PM   #2767
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My bolt sits pretty flush.

I can see where yours is off - by at least a millimeter, maybe even a bit more. I would feel that in my hand when I'm walking around plinking, I'm sure. Don't ever recall feeling that.


I think I would send it to Marlin if it were me. Just the extractor might do the trick, but given the way the bolt isn't flush and all I doubt it. Might as well get it all the way fixed. They may even slick it up a little for your trouble; I'm pretty sure they did mine.
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Old April 29, 2010, 09:05 PM   #2768
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Disassembly?

This is a very embarrassing question.

I cannot get my Marlin 39a apart to clean it. Do have old manual downloaded.

Never had problems before, but, uh, until recently I don't believe I have shot or taken it down since the early 1960's. Recall it took down just fine then. Put hammer to half cock (this rifle was made before rebounding hammers or that nice button safety), very slightly drop the lever & strike the left side of barrel.

It just begins to come apart but is stuck on something. There is no rust on this rifle, just old bullet grease inside and some wear on the forestock. Dad got it for me about 1952, with scope.

Does not appear to be hindered by the buttstock.

It may be the forend has swollen over the decades and is interfering. Does wood swell from a half-century of Frank Hoppe's #9? The rifle has not been stored anywhere damp. Well, from 1957 thru late '60's it lived in Southern Delaware, where my shoes used to mildew on the ground floor. But since then it has been in a dryer Northern climate.

The forend. Yeah. Now how does that come off, given that something or other is probably stuck? Removed the forend tip tenon screws, forend rattles a bit. But don't know how to take the forend tip off.

I'm confident that none of this would have been a problem in, say, 1958 but something has changed. Not exactly confident in what I am doing, don't like to pound too hard on anything.

Of course, I could swallow my pride & walk down the hill to the local gun shop, run by a nice competent guy. (But since I may also have to ask him how to get the slide down on the nice new #$@&**!! SIG P232 I got there, well, that is a lot of swallowing. Did I mention how much I like S&W revolvers?)

I have shot flintlock rifles the majority of my adult years. Moving on to fixed ammunition now.
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Old April 29, 2010, 09:22 PM   #2769
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I believe the lever should be closed and the hammer at full cock
The guns with the rebounding hammer are half cock.
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Old April 29, 2010, 09:37 PM   #2770
JustsayMo
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I unscrew the takedown screw, fully cock the hammer, open the lever slightly and bump (smartly) it on my right hip, pushing inward (to the left) with my right hand and outward (to the right) with my left.
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Old April 30, 2010, 12:02 AM   #2771
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What a thread y'all have here! If you don't mind another 39 owner jumping in, I'll try and check out the posts in here from time to time.

I bought my Marlin 39 Original Golden-AS brand new in February of 1994. It was pricey at $296.00, but I had to have it. Y'all know how that is.
I was probably the only rifle buyer in the gun shop that day due to the Brady Bill on the verge of going into effect.

Anyway, back then I lived on the outskirts of town and would regularly go to the nearby abandoned sand quarry and do some shootin' with friends. Sometimes I would just strap my 39 across my back while riding my bicycle or dirt bike to get there. I was not a kid since I was 29 at the time, but I probably acted like a kid just from the fun of shootin' the 39. Now that I moved into the city, all my 39 sees is a target range.

One time I did take it on a trip just outside of Union, West Virginia for some plinking during Thanksgiving. Other than that, it has only been fired in Texas.

I still have it in my gun safe and can't imagine ever being without it.


This pic was taken in 2008 when I put on the Williams sight.
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Old April 30, 2010, 01:35 AM   #2772
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Welcome in, Chicharrones. The more the merrier here.

Great story for an intro, complete with pic! What a fine looking rifle.

Which peep sites are those?
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Old April 30, 2010, 01:43 AM   #2773
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Quote:
Check for a burr on the rear chamber - usually on the top.
if there is such a thing, I'd bet it's peening of the chamber area from dry-firing.

-Daizee
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Old April 30, 2010, 08:44 AM   #2774
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nematocyst View Post
Welcome in, Chicharrones. The more the merrier here. Which peep sites are those?
Thank you, sir! That rear sight is a Williams 5D.
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Old April 30, 2010, 02:32 PM   #2775
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Disassembly

I understand to loosen the screw, put the hammer at half-cock (so says the Manual) & rap appropriately.

That procedure used to work just fine for me, some decades ago.

But now something is stuck. The frame only opens up a small amount.

So, I guess my question would be, how to take off the forend? Given that I've already removed the two forend tip screws?
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