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Old September 6, 2011, 10:48 PM   #3551
MacTech
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Just joined the 39 club tonight, found a 98% of new Original Golden 39A at KTP, it looks unfired (or at least an *extremely* low round count) and it's in great shape, trigger is nice and crisp, just a great gun, I love how solidly it's built, feels like a tank, clearly overbuilt for the little .22 cartridge, I also absofrellinglutely love the fact that I can stuff any mix of .22 cartridges down the tube and it'll eat em' all with nary a complaint, there's just something inherently cool about a .22 that can hold 19+1 .22LR, or even 26+1 Shorts (I don't plan on running Longs in it, aside from the CCI CB Longs), it can also hold 23+1 Augila Super Colibris in the tube

I did have to trade a couple rifles for it, but I was looking to thin my collection down anyway, traded a H&R .45 Colt Buffalo Classic Carbine (tended to shoot low even at 100 yards with the sight bottomed out), and my CZ 452 Scout (I already have a 452 Trainer, the Scout was just a fun gun), I probably shouldn't have traded the CZ Scout, but I really wanted the 39A

Besides, my nephew (9 years old) is now obsessed with wanting "a Winchester rifle" (basically, he wants a lever-action gun styled like his Daisy Red Ryder), so I figured since I always wanted a Marlin 39 myself, why not make the trade, and give him the opportunity to shoot a "Winchester-style" "Cowboy" gun.....

I may just drop a few hints to my sister that a really cool Christmas gift for him this year would be a Henry Lever Action (I'd love to get him his own 39, but, sadly, they're too expensive, and I'm running out of guns to trade ) the Henry would be a little lighter for him to handle as well, although the 39 doesn't seem to be *that* much heavier than the CZ Scout (5.1 LB for the CZ, 6.5 for the Marlin)

I'll get some pics later, as I like to take outdoorsy pictures, and the 39 would look far better outside than it would laying on the rug in the hall

I look forward to having some real fun plinking with this beauty, load up a tube of Remington CBee superquiet rounds and I'll bet the sound of the hammer fall and the bullet striking the spinner will be louder than the report of the gun itself
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Old September 7, 2011, 05:03 PM   #3552
cottswald
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MacTech, sounds like you made a very decent trade. Congratulations on an excellent acquisition. Look forward to the pics. My 39 also shoots anything with only minor variations. The H001 is of course no 39A, but I think it would be a great choice for the little fella!
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Old September 7, 2011, 05:41 PM   #3553
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One thing I immediately noticed when comparing the 39 to the CZ Scout when I was contemplating the trade (tough decision, but I think I made the right choice...) was the difference in feel, working the bolt on the CZ felt smooth, crisp, and precise, it had the feel of a finely crafted tool

The 39, OTOH, did feel a *TAD* rougher, but that will smooth out over time, but the 39 had something "indefinable" about it, not only did it just feel "right", well balanced, pointable, and quick, it also had a solidity and a presence that the Scout was missing, but to be fair, it's emphatically *NOT* fair to compare a youth-model firearm made to hit a certain price point to a well crafted piece of Americana, a rifle built to the same standards as their centerfire guns, but that just happens to chamber the .22LR

Basically, I felt that the Marlin had, for lack of a better term, "soul", it had a presence, a timeless feel that the Scout lacked, the Scout felt like a well crafted, precise, yet "sterile" firearm, wheras the 39 felt somehow "alive"

I noticed a similar feeling of "soul", a kind of indefinable presence, in many of my guns, my CZ-452 Military Trainer has it in spades, that long barrel, the sweeping organic curve of the buttstock, the solid weight that lets you know you're holding a *real* rifle, both the 39 and Trainer settle naturally into your shoulder, all the proportions are just right, and they work as an extension of your body

Plus, I love the way the 39's ejector just *FLINGS* the empties out of the gun with such enthusiasm, it definitely adds to the already endearing "personality" of the gun, it's one of my most enthusiastic ejecting guns, right up there with my Yugo SKS, which tends to send cases flying so rapidly that they punch tiny holes in the Space/Time Continuum, never to be seen in this reality ever again (that's one of the reasons I switched over to shooting inexpensive Russian milsurp ammo like Golden Tiger and Wolf Military Classic)

Now, if it would just *STOP RAINING!* I want to try this gun out at the range and see what it likes to eat
PleaselikeBlazerPleaselikeBlazerPleaselikeBlazerPleaselikeBlazer...
Of course, with my luck, it'll be fussy and not want to dine on anything less than CCI Green Tag or something....
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Old September 7, 2011, 06:42 PM   #3554
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Although I joined another Marlin 39 club on another forum, I'd certainly like to join this one too. I have only scanned some of the posts so far; but they seem VERY informative. I have a Marlin 'Original Golden 39AS' that was manufactured in 1990. Yes, it has the safety and I can't say anything detrimental about it so far. I do not have a scope on it yet. I may or may not put one on it. I bought the gun at the LGS here about 6 weeks ago. I really like it. I don't hunt now, but I enjoy going out to the old gravel pit near here or to the outdoor shooting range which is about a 35 minute drive. Going out to the gravel pit is about a 12 to 15 minute drive. My son, grandson, and son-in-law go with me quite often. Lots of fun.
If it's ok, sign me up for this '39' club. Also, I'll try to post a picture of my 39 later.
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Old September 8, 2011, 06:39 PM   #3555
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I get it! I finally *GET* it!, I understand the appeal of the 39 series

I did some research last night, and it turns out my 39 is a relatively new model (2009 vintage), apparently built during the "Dark Times" at Marlin, when the workers were allegedly "phoning it in" as far as the build quality of their rifles, s I was a tad worried, planning for the worst, I was expecting a misfiring, jamming, unreliable gun, a gun that would surely make me regret trading in my sweet little CZ Scout, I found myself wishing that I had waited for an older-vintage gun, preferably one without the crossbar safety and rebounding hammer.....

I was setting myself up with extremely low expectations, expecting dissapointment and regret....

So, with much trepidation, I grabbed my "Plinkin' Go Bag", an old Cabelas camo fanny pack with a couple tennis balls in it (reactive targets) and a few boxes of ultraquiet ammo, Augila Super Colibris, CCI CB Longs, and Remington CBees and went out to my backyard plinking range

I loaded up a single Super Colibri, lined up the sights on my spinner target, and pulled the trigger....
"ClickSproing" (you can hear the hammer spring sproing in this rifle), no report, no spinner target motion, nothing, crap, looks like my fears were realiz....waiiit.... I forgot to disengage the safety, D'OH!, oh well, I know it works now...

I disengaged the safety and thumbed the hammer back (yet another reason to love external hammer firearms, makes second-strikes dead simple ) for a second shot...
"ClickSproing".........TINK!, the spinner rocked back and forth, registering a hit, the SC worked flawlessly, and best of all, was *completely* silent, the sound of the hammer strike and the bullet splatting against the swinger were the only sounds, it was even quieter than my Benjamin 392 .22 pump-up air rifle on *one* pump, a Marlin 39A shooting Super Colibri is effectively a naturally silenced rifle

I then loaded up four more rounds in the tube, making sure each one exited the barrel, they did, and they seemed to group pretty darned well at around 15 yards or so, not bad for such an anemically underpowered round being shot from a 24" barrel....

The next tube I decided to do an experiment, I loaded 5 Super Colibris, then 5 CCI CB Longs, and finally 5 Remington CBees, so I could see how the sound level increased for each group of five

as I expected, the Super Colibris were dead silent, the hammer strike and target hit were louder, the CCI's had a small sound signature, about that of a Benjamin multipump pellet rifle on two to three pumps, and the Remington CBees were the "loudest", about as loud as the CCI CB Longs were out of the CZ Scout, about as loud as a Benji multipump on four to five pumps of air

Accuracy-wise, it shot them all pretty well, the lead splats on the swinger were all about the size of nickel or quarter, not bad for free-hand shooting with iron sights, with nearsighted/astigmatic eyes behind out-of-date lens prescription eyeglasses

Reliability-wise, the gun only had two FTF issues, and those were with the Remington CBees, the rounds did fire on the second strike, and it *ONLY* happened with the CBees, if it happened across the board, I'd think it was perhaps light hammer strikes, but since it was limited to the Remington ammo, I'll chalk those failures up to slightly out-of-spec Remington ammo (big surprise there, huh ) otherwise, the gun was 100% reliable in loading, firing, and ejecting

I then tossed out a tennis ball, and loaded up the same graduated mix, and had fun chasing the tennis ball around the plinking range, the 39A's action was nice and smooth (I put a micro-fine layer of Rig Universal Grease on the internal moving parts last night, the lever and side of the bolt that touches the edge of the reciever), and *FAST*, the fastest manual-action rifle I have shot yet, I was able to chase the tennis ball and keep it moving pretty well, I imagine once I get more comfortable with this gun I will be able to keep the spinner spinning for a good amount of the tube

I haven't had *this* much fun with a .22 in a *LONG* time, I absolutely *LOVE* this gun, and I haven't even shot it with my full power ammo yet, I must have gotten either the last of the good 2009 vintage guns before the Marlin gunsmiths started "phoning it in", or perhaps the gunsmith who built mine still had pride in his work (or more likely, the "phone it in" thing is just an unsubstantiated rumor....)

If the rifle is this quiet with ultraquiet rounds, I wonder how quiet it'd be with Target Shorts (830 FPS) or CCI Subsonics (1050 FPS, IIRC)....

I can see this rifle drastically improving my freehand shooting skills as well, with my boltguns I tend to go full-hog into benchrest-style shooting, bipod/shooting bag, high powered scope, and trying to put all the rounds through the same hole, since the 39A is more difficult to adapt to benchrest shooting, I'm not going to be tempted to scope it, slap on a bipod/put it on a shooting bag and punch tiny bugholes with it, I'm sure it could do it without a trouble, but that's not what it's forté is, it's happier as a quick-to-the-shoulder, fast loading fun gun, and is best left with either the stock iron sights or perhaps a peep sight (I'm leaning towards a peep sight)

Any hesitation or doubt as to whether I should have traded the CZ Scout towards the Marlin 39A are gone, I made the right decision, even without the Scout in the collection, I have three boltguns, my Marlin 25, my CZ 452 Trainer, and my Savage 93R17-GV, and all three are capable of tack-driving accuracy and punching tiny bugholes, and for that purpose, they're loads of fun, but for freehand shooting, they're not as much fun as a good levergun, the lever just feels so much more natural to me for freehand shooting with open sights

....of course, now the problem is that I'm actually contemplating trading some more of my guns for more Marlin 39's, this time I want a nice, classic pre-safety/rebound hammer model to go with my new vintage model

I guess what this rifle has finally made me realize is that I don't need *ALL* my rifles to be tiny-bughole-size-group shooters, I don't need *all* my guns to be benchrest guns, don't get me wrong, I love benchrest shooting, I *LOVE* shooting for the elusive One Holer, it's pretty much what I do at my Rod and Gun club when I'm not there shooting trap, but there's something to be said for the pure fun of a tube full o' cartridges, a box or two of reloads in your pocket, and just walking around in the field/woods/etc plinkin' at whatever catches your fancy (as long as the backstop is safe, that is...)

Weather up here is still gray and icky, not condusive to pictures that will do this rifle justice, once I get some nice weather, I'll post pics of my 39A
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Old September 10, 2011, 03:59 PM   #3556
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Finally took the 39 to the range, at 50 yards I find the stock front sight with the brass bead is not conducive to precision shooting, i tended to group around 1.5" at 50Y, but that's also shooting with just my left elbow braced on the shooting bench and no rear bag, just supporting it with my shoulder

the brass bead obscures too much of the 100 yard "crosshair" sight-in target at 50Y, and I'm still finding the ammo that it likes

for short-range plinking at my backyard range, it eats Augila Super Colibri, CCI CB Long, Remington CBee and CCI Short Target with no issues, and in the 39's long barrel, the 830 FPS CCI Short Target rounds are only marginally louder than the CBees, hearing protection is not required when shooting them in the 39A (strangely enough, the same Short Target rounds out of my CZ 452 Trainer are just loud enough that hearing protection is just barely needed), and shoots them all pretty much to POA at 15-25 yards

At the range, I tried Federal Automatch, it *HATED* them, shooting 3-3.5" "shotgun-style" patterns, the only other rounds I had with me were CCI Subsonics, those turned in 1.5" groups with the stock irons from the bench, left arm supported by the bench, no other support

Strangely enough, when I decided to stop trying to treat the 39 like a "sniper" rifle (that's what my CZ Trainer is for ) and just randomly chose a target, a piece of wood on the gravel backstop, an empty shotgun hull, a clump of weeds, etc, the gun was more or less right on target, it seems the harder I try, the more the 39 wants to "fight" me, it wants to be a nimble, light, pointable plinker, not a precise "sniper" gun

I still have to try some CCI Minimags, Blazer, and a couple of the Winchester varieties (still refuse to use Rem thunderbolt or golden bullets due to bad past experiences) to see what it likes, and no, I don't think I'm gonna feed it CCI Green Tag, because with my luck, that's what it'd like the most...

Had a couple light strikes at the range, but they were so infrequent and random that i'm chalking it up to ammo variability ATM, out of 150 rounds fired, I had maybe 5 light strikes that all fired on the second strike

I figure clean the FP channel, maybe polish it up a bit, remove any causes of drag and that should solve the light strike issue, assuming it *IS* the gun

the action is also smoothing up quite nicely, it was a tad gritty when I got it, but it's getting much smoother now
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Old September 11, 2011, 04:13 PM   #3557
CB900F
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MacTech;

Assuming that you can lay hands on it, try the Winchester RL22PP, powerpoint round. If the gun likes it, and several of mine do, you get damn near match grade accuracy coupled with very effective terminal performance. It's advertised as giving 1280 fps with a 40 grain HP bullet. Out of my CZ452 American, over an Oehler 35P, it always shows right around 1250 fps.

900F
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Old September 11, 2011, 09:54 PM   #3558
MacTech
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CB900F, thanks for the hint, I'll keep an eye out for those rounds the next time I'm in my local gunshop

I wasn't able to hit the range this afternoon, as today was already taken up with repainting the sunroom on the side of the house (a small enclosed patio, essentially), scraping off the old paint, repainting, letting the first coat dry and then putting the second coat down, picking up fallen maple branches on the lawn from Irene, cutting the larger ones up for firewood with my chainsaw, and using the chainsaw to section out a couple old juniper wood stumps (I have a nice chunk of stumpwood I'm going to try to use to make some 1911 and Ruger Blackhawk grips out of, the grain and color are exceptionally nice) and finishing off with pulling some juniper roots up to clear space for what will become Mom's new garden in front of the sunroom

Needless to say, I'm beat, but it's the "good" kind of tired.... I did have time to take the 39A out to my backyard plinking range, and my 9 year old nephew, Logan came by as well, so, of course, I had to let him try it....

I told him about the history of the Marlin 39, at how he was holding one of the longest-continuously-produced firearms in America, that the design had been largely unchanged for over 100 years, he was impressed, as he shouldered the gun to check for fit and balance, he said
"It's like holding a real piece of history! this is neat"

I told him that I had traded off the bolt-action CZ Scout towards this gun, mainly because I have promised myself that if I want a new gun, I have to sell an old one to make room for it, and also to keep it under my self-imposed budget cap, sure I *COULD* just go and buy all the guns I want without abandon, but that wouldn't be very financially responsible, especially in the current economy....

He wondered how hard it was to load it, as he still finds the cocking action on his Daisy Red Ryder to be a tad annoying, not difficult, but just annoying, so I loaded up five Super Colibris and showed him how to run the lever forward, load, fire and reload, stressing how important it was to make sure to listen for the sound of the SC bullet hitting the target (in this case, a metal swinger) and if it sounded off for any reason to *STOP* and let me check out the gun for a bore obstruction

that said, the SC shells all worked flawlessly...

So, after showing him the proper way to load, take the safety off, fire and reload, and how to verify the gun was empty with the magazine and chamber inspection holes, I loaded the 39 with 5 more SC, safed it, walked to the shooting position, and handed it over to Logan

Logan has really taken all my safety lessons to heart, he wore eye protection, hearing protection was not needed with the ultraquiet rounds, but I stressed the importance of hearing protection with full power .22 rounds, and told him that were shooting those, he *would* have to wear hearing protection or he would not be allowed to shoot, and he always kept the gun pointed safely downrange the whole time, after expending his first 5 SC rounds, he safed the rifle, handed it back to me, with a huge grin on his face, and said "that was *FUN!*, I really love this gun!"

So, which gun do you like better, the bolt action CZ Scout with the scope, or the Marlin 39A with iron sights?

"I like the Marlin better, it's so much more fun than the bolt action gun"
yeah, you're right, there's something indefinable about a good lever action
"I mean, it's a little heavier, but that's because it's a real grown-up's gun, right?"
well, yes, the CZ you used previously was designed to be a kid's gun, but grownups like using it too, and it *is* a nice gun on it's own
"yeah, but this gun just feels more fun somehow, more.........alive"
Logan, you hit the nail on the head with that observation, I noticed the same thing when I shouldered that gun in the store, it just somehow feels "right"

So after a little more discussion, I decided to let Logan try my "Graduated Load" setup, put in 5 Super Colibris, 5 CCI CB Longs, and 5 Remington CBees, telling him that each group of five was a little more powerful than the last five, and went back out to the spinner target....

He loved the Graduated Tube, as he could see from the spinner target the difference in power, SC just caused the spinner to rock gently, the CB's caused it to swing halfway around, and with a good solid hit, the CBee's caused one full revolution!

....watching his expression when he connected with the CBees was priceless

I noticed he was having a little trouble on the last two rounds keeping on target, but he wanted to try his first tube of "full power" loads before turning in, I showed him how the spinner responded to a CCI Target Short .22 Short shell, and he wanted to give it a try, *and* he wanted to try shooting a shaken up can of seltzer water to end the shooting session....

he put the seltzer can on the target stand, thought a second, and put a tennis ball on top of the can, and came back, I grabbed some Target Shorts and loaded the tube
"how many are you going to load"
I'm loading five, but seeing how accurate you are with this gun, I think you're only going to need one....
"You see the tennis ball on top of the can?"
yep
"I'm going to try to shoot the can out from under it and not hit the tennis ball"
Ahh, going for a trick shot are we? great idea
"How many shots do you think I'm going to need?"
given how well you're shooting, I'm betting you're going to hit it on the first shot...

He lined up on the firing line (this whole time he was shooting in the supported kneeling position, supporting his left elbow on his left leg, he likes to go for maximum accuracy, plus it helps him deal with the weight of the gun), loaded a Target Short (in the 39A, Target Short (830FPS) are just as quiet as Remington CBees), lined up his sights, and fired....

...And smacked the can nice and hard with his first shot!
Grinning ear to ear, he safed the gun, turned his head towards me (while keeping the rifle pointing safely downrange) and said quite simply "I got it!"
Told you you would only need one round, do you want to finish up the other four, or want me to shoot them?
"I want to finish them up, but I want to get the can first and see how destroyed it is first, can you take the gun, it's on safe and I haven't loaded the next round"
Okay, let me set it aside and make the range safe

I put the gun on the patio table, action open, and then went back to the shooting position, told Logan that the range is cold and it's safe to go downrange, he ran down, picked up his can, carrying it triumphantly back, beaming with pride at his first shot with a *real* full-power round

we then went back to the shooting position, I called hot range, and he finished the last four

and just to make sure he knows how important a clean range is, I had him gather as many of the empty shells as he could find and put them in the jar I keep fired .22 brass in

So, Logan, what do you think of the Marlin 39 then?
"I love it, it's so much fun, it's the most fun gun I have ever shot*, it is a little heavier than the little bolt action, but it's so much more fun than that one"
Logan, you do realize that you were holding up the Marlin longer than you ever did with the boltgun, right?
"No, I didn't"
that CZ Scout was only about a pound lighter than the Marlin, 5 pounds or so for the Scout, and that's without the scope I had on it, with the scope, it was almost as heavy as the Marlin, I think you did pretty darned good with the Marlin anyway, you had good form, and I really like how you've taken firearms safety to heart, you are *very* responsible with guns, and I really appreciate that

"thanks, and thanks for letting me shoot the Marlin, I really like it"
Not a problem, you did great, *ANY* time you want to go shooting, either here or at the rod and gun club, you just have to let me know, I'm proud of how safe you are, you show remarkable maturity with guns

I think we have another lever-action fan, and definitely a Marlin 39 fan in the club here





* so far, Logan has mainly shot his Daisy Red Ryder, his sister's Daisy Buck, my Benjamin .22 multipump pellet rifle, a CZ 452 Scout, a CZ 452 Trainer, the Marlin 39A, a H&R Pardner Compact 20 gauge, and Topper Deluxe Classic 20 gauge (both 20 gauges with my airsoft-pellet-loaded FunShells, he has not shot a full power 20 gauge shell yet...)
Not bad for a 9 year old....

When he went to cub scout camp this summer, all that practice time with his own Daisy Red Ryder and the CZ Scout gave him a definite unfair advantage over his fellow cub scouts on the BB gun range.... <evil grin>
....I wonder if any of his fellow cub scouts have any trigger time behind their own BB guns, or even trigger time behind .22 rifles?
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Last edited by MacTech; September 11, 2011 at 09:59 PM.
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Old September 17, 2011, 05:26 PM   #3559
Kurly
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I was curious whether any of you'lls front fore-arm sling swivels move. I inadvertently thought I could simply unscrew it to replace it with an Uncle Mike's QD set.

Turns out, I didn't need to and now the front swivel moves back and forth instead of staying set like it did before. Tried some blue loc-tite on it but won't hold.

Since I use a sling, is this anything to worry about? It does move just a tad when I shoulder it and pull it taught so would like for it to stay where it is.
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Old September 17, 2011, 07:38 PM   #3560
texasred777
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My 39AS

I asked to join a few days ago and said I would post a picture of my 39A. Here it is. It was purchases in June, 2011, at the local gun store/pawn shop. They sold it new, got it back on a trade, sold it again, and had it on consignment from the last owner. Just before I left the store, the previous owner came in and I got to meet him. The gun was manufactured in 1990, has the rebounding hammer, and the safety. I have experienced no problems with the gun and have put quite a number of rounds thru it. I really enjoy shooting it. Red
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Old September 17, 2011, 07:53 PM   #3561
cottswald
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Texas, that's a very sharp looking 39!
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Old September 17, 2011, 08:06 PM   #3562
dfariswheel
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Kurly:
The Marlin front sling swivel is usually riveted into the steel fore end cap.
It won't pull out but may rotate some or all the way.

I strongly recommend NOT removing the fore end cap. These are very notorious for cross threading the two cap screws when you try to reassemble it.
I think the factory used a special clamp device to force everything into alignment when installing the screws.
Without that, the screws seem to take a Hellish delight in cross threading.

However, if you insist, the swivel has a cross-notched stake inside the cap.
Put the head of the swivel on a bench block with some brass to protect the finish and use a flat chisel that's slightly rounded off to re-stake it.

You might also try forcing some Red Loctite into the joint and rotate the swivel back and forth to force it into the area.
Depending on how much force you put on it, the Red Loctite might hold.
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Old September 19, 2011, 09:51 AM   #3563
texasred777
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Thanks, cottswald. I feel extremely lucky to have found this one. I've seen a few others in a lot worse shape at higher prices!
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Old September 19, 2011, 09:55 PM   #3564
lwsimon
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Just stumbled upon this thread, yet again, and find myself being drawn into it. A buddy of mine just wrote an article on the Marlin 39, and I've loved mine for years. I mostly shoot CCI CB Longs out of it, and .22 Short HPs for squirrels.
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Old September 19, 2011, 10:04 PM   #3565
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Enjoyed your post mactech.
Enjoy my 39A also.
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Old September 22, 2011, 09:35 AM   #3566
redclay
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Wow, 143 pages Lots 39A lovers outhere.
In 1978 my Dad gave me a 39A and a 336C in 30-30. I have since given the 336 to my son but he wont get the 39A till after I'm gone from this earth. It is by far my favorite 22 and I have a bunch of 'em. The 39 will shoot better from a offhand stance than any others I own. From the bench, rested on sand bags it will print 1/2 inch groups at 50 yards using CCI standard vel. loads. It does like to be cleaned often as light strikes start to show up after 100 rounds. For twenty years it had nothing but shorts shot thru it because all my kids learnd to shoot with that load. I will post some picks Soon
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Old September 22, 2011, 01:10 PM   #3567
acmax95
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Here is my membership application. Marlin Original Golden 39M w/ Skinner Black Gold sight. Mine is 1980 model.

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Old September 22, 2011, 01:32 PM   #3568
Germster
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I hung a Williams peep and globe front sight with ivory looking bead on my 39A. Knocked out the open rear sight and put in a filler. Shoots great! Mine is a 1976 gun with no safety except for the half cock which I like better than a cross bar safety. I paid $139 for the rifle brand new. Best gun buy I ever made.
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Old September 28, 2011, 04:28 AM   #3569
CharlesT
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5 shots of course



I don't know which is more fun, shooting this rifle or shooting it's slightly younger twin HAHA
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Old September 30, 2011, 01:15 PM   #3570
nydeerhunter
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New member, first post. My son is turning 12 next week, and I wanted to get him his first gun - something that would last him his lifetime and that he could pass down to his son. I was looking for a bolt action 22 with walnut stock and open sights, but no one makes one, so I looked into lever guns. Had a hard time deciding between the Browning BL-22 Grade II and the Marlin, but eventually decided the Browning was just too damn pretty for a kid to drag around the woods.

Brand new Marlin 39A golden got here today. The more research I did on the gun, the more I decided I needed my own in order to keep him company. I am a deer hunter, so I have shotguns and center fires, but no 22.

So I've been looking around, and here's the dilemma -I have identified two 39A's for potential purchase - one is a 1980 model - private seller - the stock and forearm are dinged up more than I would like for a gun that reportedly was only fired 300 times or so - just dinged, not scratched - original owner is the seller, has original scope mount on the gun, has the hood for front sight and paperwork. Blue looks in decent shape, but the wood is dinged as I said - nothing really big, just a lot of small dings. he's asking 300. Gun is WAY too far away to go and look at, so I would have to buy it sight unseen from a complete stranger.

2nd option is also a private seller WAY too far away to see the gun. It's a 1953 in pretty good shape - wood looks in better shape than the 1980. Blue is appropriately worn for a gun that age. No sling swivels on the '53, and I hate the thought of drilling into it. Seller is asking for $500. I presume this gun is not drilled and tapped for a scope, which is something I will want to add at some point, but again, I hate the thought of having holes drilled in such a beautiful gun.

I am looking for a shooter - I will be plinking with the kids and doing some squirrel hunting with them, as well as pest control around the house. As I said, I will want to add a scope at some point, and I will certainly want a sling on the gun.

I love the look of the classic 39A's - such beautiful guns - but if I am going to own it, I am going to shoot it and hunt with it.

Anyone have any thoughts other than to buy them both?
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Old September 30, 2011, 01:22 PM   #3571
Irish Bird Dog
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NY....I'd rather have one of the older guns vs a brand new one....go to gunbroker.com or similar gun sale site and see what guns are going for that are of interest to you & see what shape they are in, most for sale sites have multiple pictures....then you can judge what is a fair value for a M39......any guns shows in your area to check out????? Good LUCK in your quest!
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Old September 30, 2011, 01:40 PM   #3572
nydeerhunter
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Irish - thanks for the reply - the new one is for my son, and is a done deal - I am trying to decide between the 1980 and the 1953 for myself. I have done some searching - there aren't a lot for sale - I know 300 for the 1980 is a pretty decent price, the 500 for the '53 in good shape is probably average. I'm not worried about the money - I just want a gun that will meet my needs - if the 53 was drilled and tapped and had sling swivels, I would buy that one in a heart beat, as I love the look of the older guns - but it isn't. Anyone care to venture a guess as to how much value is affected by drilling into these old guns?
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Old September 30, 2011, 05:25 PM   #3573
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it may be considered sacrilage to say this..........if it's your gun and you want to drill & tap it....do it....if you don't feel the need to maintain any collector price...then enjoy!....or maybe there is a scope mount that would utilize the dovetail for the rear sight.....long shot this is....
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Old September 30, 2011, 07:14 PM   #3574
dfariswheel
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This is one of those cases where there is no "right" answer.

A 1980 model isn't going to have the same quality as the 1953 model.
It will have the very accurate Micro-Groove rifling and will be drilled for a scope.
AS LONG as the seller isn't feeding you a line about the condition, it would be a great buy.
Refinishing the wood is not a tough job and in many cases a better quality wood finish than the factory job can really enhance the appearance.

The only "watch out" is that reassembling the fore end cap is a bear.
The cap screws take a hellish delight in cross-threading and it's common to see Marlin's with the screws cross-threaded and crooked.

The 1953 will not be drilled for a scope if it's original. It will be drilled for a receiver sight.
A 1953 model will probably still have the old Ballard cut rifling.
This rifling was done the old way, by cutting each rifling groove one at a time.
This too will produce superb accuracy as long as it's in good condition.
In the 1953 model, virtually every part was still made of forged steel, including most of the springs.
It will have greater value over the years, but drilling will lower it at least slightly since it will no longer be factory original.
A wood refinish will also do the same, so adding a scope mount may be a wash.

The "watch out" here is who does the drilling. Drilling and tapping for a scope mount is one of the most basic gunsmithing skills and drilling a flat topped and flat sided receiver should be a no-brainier.
However, these days too many gunsmiths seem to manage to botch this up, so take care who you allow to do it.

Bottom line: This is one of those things you'll just have to decide for yourself, taking into account ACTUAL condition is critical to the decision.
Be sure of what you're buying.
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Old September 30, 2011, 08:05 PM   #3575
PX15
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JMOfartO:

If I had a 12 year old Son, or Daughter and I wanted to buy them a 22cal. rifle for a "lifetime" I'd probably look around for a 1970 "Century Limited" vs a 39A..

I have three 39A's (50/75/96) and I love 'em all, in fact the 1975 Marlin 39A is my favorite of the bunch.. It came with a Williams peep sight and it is just so darn accurate..

But..

I also have two Century Limited's...

For a young boy/girl I think the shorter Century Limited is a better choice, and the extra "bling" over the standard Mountie is sorta neat too.. It's just a very nice looking rifle. I like octagon barrels as well... (for no particular reason).

Having said that, Century Limited or regular Mountie or 39A, you can't go wrong with any of 'em.

Just personal opinion, no offense to anyone.

Best Wishes,

Jesse





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