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Old November 19, 2010, 10:38 PM   #3126
JustsayMo
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My Reputations PAYS off!

My local gun pusher knows I have at thing for Marlins so when he came into a collection of another Marlin enthusiast, I got a call...

Lacking the funds to fully exercise my addiction I was limited to one. The one I took home was one I've had my eye out for a while, an 1897 Cowboy. The older I get, the more I appreciate longer barrels and the rimfire Cowboy seems like jut the ticket for levergun silhouette matches.



The previous owner purchased the 1999 vintage 1897 CB new and said he figures he has 200 rounds through it. He had not fired it for years and figured it was time to find it a new home where it would get some use. I gladly signed up for the job.



Owners of these things tend to be proud of them and there haven't been many in my price range when they are available. Well, yesterday was my lucky day... and thank God I have a wife that will extend my credit line with only minimal begging...



First impressions, I love how this rifle hefts. It feels solid and stable. Looking down the barrel, aligning the sights the front bead just hangs on the target. It cycles and ejects both 22lr and 22 long rounds smoothly and easily.

Unable to leave it un-shot I took it too a shooting emporium to see what it would do. I'm not a real fan of the Marbles open sights or the HUGE bead on the front sight but it did show immediate accuracy promise both from the sitting and offhand positions. Within 10 shots I had the sights adjusted and it was printing where I pointed it.


Federal (Bulk) Champion ammo

Later I ran a few brands over the chronograph and had some interesting results.

Federal (Bulk) Champion
= 1156 fps avg
Comparatively my Century limited (20") spits this out at 1204 fps avg. The CB seems to shoot it more consistently - narrower extreme spread and lower standard deviation. This ammo seems to shoot well in all of my Marlins including this one.

Aguila SE Subsonic = 972 fps avg
This ammo generally shoots VERY well in all of my rimfire firearms. I've not seen it often lately and when I have it is more than double the price it used to be. It did show promising accuracy but it almost always took two strikes of the firing pin to set it off. This is was also true of my 39 TDS with the rebounding hammer though the ratio of first time firings was much better than it is with my new CB. I have an idea of what it might be and I will test that ASAP and let you know if the correction worked.

39 Century Ltd = 1024 fps (high 1044, low 1003)
39A average 984 (high 1000, low 937.2)
Mountie average 994 (high 1023, low 984)
TDS average 1007 fps (high 1024, low 993)

CCI CB Longs = 602 fps
I have tried this in a number of rifles and handguns with very little success. It would make a great nearly silent backyard vermin control round if it were more accurate. Unfortunately at 25 yard this round gets me a 3" group. It also prints notably higher than the Federal zero at short range. It is VERY quiet out of the 24" barrel and there is a noticeable gap in the muzzle report and the impact on the target. About 1/3 of these rounds required two strikes of the hammer to fire as well...

The 39 Century Ltd shoots these 686 fps avg, the Mountie = 675, the 39A (24" barrel too) = 677 fps, and the 16" TDS shot them at 668 (and fairly accurately too)

Winchester Xpert22 =1119 fps
This round shows some accuracy promise too in this rifle. Again, compared to the 39 Century Ltd. it shot them 100 fps SLOWER ...

Overall I am pleased. The cross bolt safety will take some getting used to, as will the checkered stocks. I believe I can correct the light strike issue to get it to fire the Aquila ammo more reliably. I'm thinking it is a keeper! More testing to come.

Last edited by JustsayMo; November 19, 2010 at 10:46 PM.
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Old November 20, 2010, 12:22 PM   #3127
Krausenstien
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I need help identifying my rifle. It is a Marlin Model 39 lever action .22 S,;L & L.R with H and a sideways stamped "S" serial number 18xxx which I looked up for the year which says it was produced in 1888. all parts have matching numbers. When I read the posts here though and histories online it says these rifles didn't say model 39 until the 1920's and 30's. I have had it appraised by different people who have given me completely different values ranging from $500 to $15k and it is giving me a headache. My grandfather bought this in the 1920's in Oklahoma where he lived for $50 that he had saved from various jobs and gave it to me when I was younger.
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Old November 20, 2010, 08:37 PM   #3128
dfariswheel
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You have a nice rifle.

The actual Model 39 was made from 1922 to 1938.
Only those rifles that have an "HS" prefix to the serial number were built to use modern type high speed ammunition. The older non-HS rifles bolts will break if used with high speed ammo.

The standard "HS" prefix rifles had the H and S stamped upright. Possibly the sideways "S" means that this is both a rifle made for high speed ammo AND a "S" fancy grade rifle.
The "S" marked rifles were built with superior workmanship and finish. These often came with 2X or 3X fancy wood.
You'll need a Marlin expert to tell you if this is both a high speed ammo rifle AND a rare "S" grade.

How much yours is worth depends on the grade of wood and actual condition.
A standard Model 39 of the 20's tops out around $1500 to $1600 for one in 95% original condition, but this doesn't include an "S" number fancy rifle.

You'll have to get on one of the Marlin forums on a site like rimfire.com to get an expert to give you a value and what the sideways "S" means.

Last edited by dfariswheel; November 20, 2010 at 08:48 PM.
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Old November 21, 2010, 10:04 PM   #3129
fastfreddie
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Justsaymo, that Cowboy is a beauty!

First post here on THR! A lot of great pics and info here. I had planned on reading the entire 39 club thread before posting, but I got to p.17, and thought, "this will probably take a while!" I've been interested in the 39 for a long time. I've always wanted a lever gun, and my little Marlin Model 60 has been such a great gun, I just knew I wanted a Model 39. I have two uncles that own the 39A, but I've never fired either of them.

Well, I finally found a deal on one of our local forums. There were blurry pics and a pretty generic description in the ad. I had to drive an hour and a half to meet the seller. Everything seemed wrong about it, but I just couldn't quit thinking about it. I gave my wife the sales pitch anyway about why I HAD to check it out, and decided to go meet him.

What I found was a 1947 Model 39A for $300 that looks to be around 85% condition. Not sure if this is a great value, but I don't care because I am THRILLED with it.

The serial # begins with D12***, and it looks similar to other pics I've seen of the late 40's rifles. I'll post pics as soon as I get her cleaned up.

A few things I'm wondering:
The action is VERY STIFF, even after a generous lubrication with RemOil. Is this normal? I guess I will try something thicker like SuperLube.

When the hammer is cocked, there is a stamped "M" visible in the receiver. Does this mean anything?

The top of the receiver only has one hole drilled and tapped, and filled with a factory screw. Is this normal? I noticed many folks mention two holes.

Thanks for any help. I can't wait to get some pics up!

Freddie
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Old November 22, 2010, 05:06 PM   #3130
fastfreddie
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I couldn't wait until next time I get to the range, so I shot a few magazines of CB Longs in my warehouse today. The rifle made a quick kill on a handful of tin cans. What a blast. It's not shooting to POA yet, but I'll get that worked out soon enough.

I'm already in love with this rifle.
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Old November 22, 2010, 05:33 PM   #3131
JustsayMo
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fastfreddie: Dude, you're already doomed to a life of unexplainable (to non-39 owners) silly grins, and a never ending search for ammo to feed that hungry 39. You must have handled an especially contagious Marlin. I predict it won't be your last.

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Old November 22, 2010, 05:58 PM   #3132
fastfreddie
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Good Lord Mo! That is quite a collection of levers.

How many guns ago did your wife leave home?
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Old November 22, 2010, 07:04 PM   #3133
JustsayMo
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Quote:
How many guns ago did your wife leave home?
That's what I'm down to... I've had seven 39's, five 336's, five 1895's, three 1894's and I might have forgotten a few others... Luckily the Wife is a mighty understanding gal. She realizes there are worse vices I could have. This one at least keeps me close to home and it puts a little meat on the table. I haven't told her about the Quigley shoot in Montana next summer though...
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Old November 25, 2010, 10:46 PM   #3134
Nematocyst
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New younger member needs help on first gun.
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Old November 25, 2010, 10:47 PM   #3135
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Quote:
Good Lord Mo! That is quite a collection of levers.
Yup.

Levers rule.
___________

<--- Approaching 10k posts.
Where should I put 10k?
Here or the 336 club?
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Old November 26, 2010, 08:57 PM   #3136
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Nice ammo advice for squirrels.
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Old November 27, 2010, 01:34 PM   #3137
flusher
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cant put the bolt back on 1961 Mountie

took my Grandsons and my 1961 Mountie to the range today.We all enjoyed ourselves.
Time to clean the gun and after three hours , I still can't install the bolt.
Seems I can't get it flat so it won't mate with the slot. I've installed it previosly on other occasions. Any suggestions
Thanks
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Old November 27, 2010, 06:31 PM   #3138
Furncliff
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Ejector installed correctly???
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Old November 27, 2010, 08:00 PM   #3139
flusher
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A 39 owner mentioned to check the ejector rivit and make sure it's not rotated.
It was, and that prevented the ejector from seating properly when pushing the bolt forward.
problem solved
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Old November 27, 2010, 09:44 PM   #3140
Nematocyst
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Glad we could help, Flusher.

Hang out with us.
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Old December 2, 2010, 01:53 AM   #3141
Nematocyst
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I'm posting 10,006 here.

Sorry I'm a bit late.
Duties called elsewhere.

On topic: I miss my 39
- stored in Oregon right now -
more than you can imagine.

Anyone got pics to help ease my pain?
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Old December 2, 2010, 08:40 AM   #3142
flusher
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1961 Mountie

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Old December 2, 2010, 09:31 AM   #3143
JustsayMo
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Flusher, that'n there's mighty purdiful.

That vintage of Mounties was the best. Dark fluted stock, rounded levers and skinny(er) fore stocks. Looks like they should.
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Old December 2, 2010, 03:57 PM   #3144
CoastieShep
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Just put another hundred or so rounds downrange today. Federal bulk pack with only 1 FTF. Hundred rounds +/- maybe a 2" spread at 50yds and a little breezy. Man I love this gun. It truly shoots everything I feed it just as accurate as the next. I got this gun new as my first gun back in 85. Countless thousands of rounds and the action is slicker than snot.
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Old December 2, 2010, 06:28 PM   #3145
dewalt-2
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Here you go Nem, '47 39A...

2008 Original Golden 39A...

I hope these ease your longing.
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Old December 2, 2010, 07:28 PM   #3146
Nematocyst
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Beautiful, guys. Thanks.

Quote:
I hope these ease your longing.
Actually made me long for it more, but still worth it.
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Old December 2, 2010, 08:59 PM   #3147
fastfreddie
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dewalt2, your 47 is a real beauty. Looks like mint condition!

Here's the 1947 I just picked up for $300. I finally got some pics loaded. I plan on treating the stock with Howard Feed-N-Wax tomorrow evening:






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Old December 2, 2010, 09:21 PM   #3148
Nematocyst
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Freddie, that's astoundingly beautiful furniture.

And the bluing still looks great, too.
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Old December 2, 2010, 09:50 PM   #3149
fastfreddie
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Thanks Nem. Needless to say I'm pleased.

Best thing about this gun..... it will fire CB's so I can shoot it at work in my warehouse!
Worst thing about this gun....it will fire CB's so I can shoot it at work in my warehouse!

Talk about a distraction. Maybe it's a good thing those CB's are $8.00 a box!! I can't afford many of them.
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Old December 2, 2010, 10:27 PM   #3150
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^ Laughing
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