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Old March 14, 2007, 01:17 AM   #26
Nematocyst
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Shrink, welcome in. I just added your name to the roster above.

Ah, does my heart good to hear stories of 39's being favored over semi-autos.

Ahhhhhhh.....

Now, for page 2 ...
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Old March 14, 2007, 02:50 AM   #27
Fast Frank
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Bummer! I missed out on charter member status!

I wanna be a model 39 club member anyway!

When I was a kid of about six or so, my dad let me shoot his model 39. It was the first real gun I ever fired. I remember that day like it was yesterday.

It was a GREAT rifle, and we spent some really great afternoons breaking bottles in a creek with it. (I know... but back then it was OK to do that)

When he died in 1983, I inherited that rifle. It was my most prized possession.

In about 1985 or so, my house was burglarized and I lost everything of any value at all... including eight guns... and one of them was that model 39.

Yes, I'm still mad enough to shoot somebody over that, but I don't know who.

Cut to 2005. Twenty years later...

My grand kids range from seven down to months old, and I realized that I needed to do something to repay what was given to me so many years ago.

I started the search. I found several, but they just didn't "Speak" to me.

After a while, I ran into a brand new one at a dealer here in town.

It's a little nicer than the one my dad had, and I bought it.



That scope has been moved to another rifle, and I'm debating peep sights for it.

The grand kids are shooting a Red Ryder BB gun in the yard, and doing pretty OK with that.

I hope to find a place where we can shoot down into a creek somewhere, but it's looking like I'm going to have to buy some land for that.

I really hope I can give those kids what my dad gave me. If The opportunity actually comes up, I know that this model 39 will do it's part!

Last edited by Fast Frank; March 14, 2007 at 02:59 AM. Reason: fix spelling.
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Old March 14, 2007, 02:59 AM   #28
Nematocyst
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Welcome in, Frank. I added your name to the roster.

Yeah, I remember shooting bottles in the creek, too.
Like you, I wouldn't do it now, but it felt right then.

Glad you found another 39, and joined us.
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Old March 15, 2007, 06:28 PM   #29
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As a long time 39 aficianado, I hope my application for membership will be approved. A strictly personal opinion here but I don't like scopes on almost any lever-actioned rifles (Savage 99, Winchester 88, Sako Finnwolf and, perhaps, Browning BLR excepted) as I believe the handling/appearance of the rifle is negatively impacted by topping the receiver with glass (though I'm quick to concede that my aging eyes do benefit from the use of a scope). I am a hardcore advocate of receiver sights, however, and I've always preferred the Williams "Fool-Proof" and "5D" peeps.

Nematocyst (39?), you might want to consider selling your 39 rifle and look for a used 39 carbine (there are plenty of them out there) before you lop off those offending two inches of barrel- might be cheaper in the long run and you won't end up "desecrating "an original variant. I happen to much prefer the balance afforded by the longer rifle barrel but each to their own- size can matter in either direction!
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Old March 15, 2007, 07:46 PM   #30
Nematocyst
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S'Wolf, welcome in!

(I got your name added to the roster on the last page before the edit window closed.)

Glad you're here, too. You raised some interesting points. I look forward to more discussions about sights and barrel cuts soon, but I gotta go to work for about 5 hours first.

Nem39
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Old March 16, 2007, 12:27 AM   #31
borrowedtime69
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my 39 A Golden

Heres a pic of my cowboy wanna-be collection, my long gun is my 1982 pre-safety 39A



it fits just right, lets me channel my inner John Wayne. even though it sometimes gets a feeding "hiccup" it's a great rifle i intend to pass down to my kids. -Eric
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Old March 16, 2007, 03:36 AM   #32
Nematocyst
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Time, welcome in.
You're on the roster.
Nice cowboy collection.

Wolf, back to your points.

Quote:
A strictly personal opinion here but I don't like scopes on almost any lever-actioned rifles ... as I believe the handling/appearance of the rifle is negatively impacted by topping the receiver with glass (though I'm quick to concede that my aging eyes do benefit from the use of a scope).
Your latter point is most relevant for me in terms of the 39A. In terms of the handling/appearance part of the equation, I agree. But in terms of bringing squirrels down for the pot, I'll take a scope.

I grew up squirrel hunting with a Remington Nylon 66 with a scope. That rifle definitely was better handling without a scope, but with the scope, I brought home a LOT more squirrels for the frying pan.

I predict likewise for the 39A. Truth be told, I'm more interested in fried squirrel
(with extra garlic and onion) than appearance.

Quote:
I am a hardcore advocate of receiver sights, however,
and I've always preferred the Williams "Fool-Proof" and "5D" peeps.
Not ruling out those FPs yet.

Quote:
Nematocyst (39?), you might want to consider selling your 39 rifle and look for a used 39 carbine (there are plenty of them out there) before you lop off those offending two inches of barrel- might be cheaper in the long run and you won't end up "desecrating "an original variant. I happen to much prefer the balance afforded by the longer rifle barrel but each to their own- size can matter in either direction!
I hear you.

I respect those who are offended by lopping off barrels.
If it bothers you, then I think you have the right not to do it to your gun.

But for me, a heretic:

1) Ain't no way in hell I'll sell this rifle. I like it too much, and waited too long to get it.
I did look a bit for a used carbine, but didn't find one.
And I'm just too busy with other projects to spend time looking more.
This one's just fine.

2) More importantly, I see a gun as a tool in the same way that I might see a car or truck as a tool. The manufacturer makes the car, a fine tool, yet I might buy it and modify it greatly with different carbs, wheels, paint jobs. Hell, I might even chop it.

Same with my rifle. It's a fine rifle. But for my taste, it's just feeling a bit front heavy. Well, actually, it's feeling a bit heavy for a .22, period. (Remember, I grew up with that light weight Nylon 66.) And the heavy is especially prominent on the front end. The "balance" is just not feeling right to me. So, I'm thinking, best way to shed some weight is by lopping off about 4 - 6" on the front end.

After all, with .22, barrel wise, anything past 18" or so is not helping.
(Of course, they didn't know that when the rifle was designed.
Not faulting the original designers. But new information dictates new strategies.)

I've spoken with the local gun smith about this.
At first, he had the same negative reaction that you did.
But after some discussion, he admitted that it could be a good thing.
He even started talking about the better crown it would wear after he was finished.

I'm still sitting on the decision.

But, I'll bet I'm gonna do it.

And look at it this way: when I chop it, it'll be one of a kind.



Nem
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Old March 16, 2007, 04:13 AM   #33
SwampWolf
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Hey Nemo, I was in no way trying to disparage the proposed amputation of your Marlin. To each his own! But, I confess, ever since I received a Model 67 Winchester .22 from my dad back in 1957 for Christmas, guns have always meant a little more to me than mere tools. However, even though a degree of aesthetics count for me, I am not an advocate of "form before function". If it works for you-and you're certain you're not going to sell it later on-you sure don't need my blessing to break out the hacksaw.

Same for the scope vs open sights on a rifle. If I'm really hungry for a bushytail to eat, I'll opt for a scoped rifle (my little Steyr Zepher mannlicher .22 comes to mind). If I'm really, really hungry, a shotgun comes off the rack. But if I'm starving for some meat for the pot, it's off to Krogers I go!

All the best to you.
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Old March 16, 2007, 04:22 AM   #34
Nematocyst
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Hey, S'Wolf,
your comments didn't feel at all disparaging.

I felt no disrespect.
We're just expressing
a small difference of opinion.
It's all good.

One minor point of semantics:
for guns, I can never use the term "mere tools".
They are more important for me than hammers and pliers
(which are "mere tools").

As for selling this rifle, it just won't happen.
I feel really attached to it, now.
I may give it to an appreciative friend at some point,
but I'm not concerned about selling it.

It's become a project now, along with my 336, it's big brother.

As for the shotgun for squirrels, yeah, been there, too.

But there's just something about .22 for squirrel meat.
Don't have to pick out all that #7 shot while you chew.

Glad you're here, S'Wolf.
We're going to have fun in this thread,
and learn a lot, eh?

Best,

Nem
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Old March 16, 2007, 09:25 AM   #35
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I've been following Nem's venture with great interest. Marlin Leveractions are my favorite firearms and the 39 is probably is the last one they'll pry out of my fingers in the end... I'm intrigued by his 39 PG carbine project and I am looking forward to the performance reports.

While I think the 39A is excellent as is I would like to see Marlin offer a carbine length with the pistol grip. I currently have two 39A Mounties that are as perfect as I can imagine but the PG carbine would be quite the looker IMHO.

I will respectfully disagree with Nem's "After all, with .22, barrel wise, anything past 18" or so is not helping." statement. In my testing of my Model 39 variations TDS (16"), Mountie (20") and 39A (24") the 24" barrel produced the highest velocity with most of the ammo I tested. The only exception was the Aguilla and Remington Subsonic. I also believe it is generally true that most shooters will shoot the longer barrel better given the longer sight radius and balance (off hand with iron sights) it affords. Another benefit of the longer barrel is the reduction is report. CB longs are VERY quiet in the 24" barrel with most of the noise produced by the bullet striking the backstop. The Subsonic's report is mild enough that I have on occassion forgotten that I wasn't wearing ear protection.

That being said I prefer the 20" barrel length. It carries well in the field and I'm capable of potting game with it at rimfire ranges. It is long enough to get 95+% of the performance hi-velocity ammo and reduce the report of subsonic ammo enough if noise is a consideration. In shorter barrels it is still loud.
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Old March 16, 2007, 01:13 PM   #36
laloremus
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Marlin 39A and flying targets.

I own a 39-A rifle that an uncle buy in México in 1971 for $1,500.00 pesos, that was a good amount in that time. After that about two months, all the gunshops stop selling guns, all were collected by the army, since then only the army controlls the new guns market. I buy the rifle from my aunt, when my uncle died for about $400 dollars, its still 95% condition and I had fired about 20,000 rounds in it.
Try shooting going away standar clays, it's really fun and with a litle practice you can hit them easilly. Also you can try crossing rabbit clays. Just be carefull about where the bullets will stop.
Great rifle, great fun and time with it. Very acurate and reliable with all kind of ammo.
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Old March 16, 2007, 05:45 PM   #37
Nematocyst
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Laloremus (Lalo), welcome in. Wow, that's some challenge with the clays! I'm impressed. You must share some genes with Annie Oakley.

J'Mo, thanks for reminding me of your data on .22 in different barrel lengths. I do remember it now from this thread where we discussing velocity as a function of barrel length. Mal had some corroborative input as well.

Quote:
Ooh, ooh, Mr. Cotter! I just had an idea! If Nematocyst-870 does go ahead with his barrel cutting project, he can chrono the 39A before and after using the same batch of a standard velocity ammo. If there is any truth to the shorter=faster conjecture, he will be able to tell. If the bullet velocity goes down (as I fully expect it to), then we can call it a myth. That is unless someone here thinks a miracle is going to happen and the bullet would speed up to a velocity greater than in the first test if an additional 2 to 4 inches was cut off the barrel over the 4 to 6 he plans to cut off.
Hmm, I need to go back and reread that thread again.

In the end, I think it's going to be a trade off between balance and feel v. velocity. I'm not really worried too much about losing a couple of dozen fps. I'm most interested in finding the balance for the gun that feels best for me in terms of carrying and fast pointing. This longer one just feels draggy to me. Mal recommended (in that other thread) that I just try carrying the gun in the woods some to see what the balance felt like, before going to extremes. Point taken.

Just for grins on a beautiful spring day (here at least), here's a photoshoped image of a 39A with an 18" barrel.

I'm leaning more towards 20" now - if I do it at all - but still...

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Old March 16, 2007, 07:32 PM   #38
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"I would like to see Marlin offer a carbine length with the pistol grip. I currently have two 39A Mounties that are as perfect as I can imagine but the PG carbine would be quite the looker IMHO."

Marlin DID. They mated the pistol grip stock and lever with a carbine front end.
It was called the marlin 39-D.

I do like the longer barrel of the 39-A, but I'm with Nematocyst-870 on this one.
I much prefer the rifle-type setup on the front end, but they only offered the carbine setup with the barrel band.

I gave serious thought to cutting a rifle down to a carbine length, but the 1950 39-A rifle I bought has a slightly lighter barrel that works for me.
Given that the newer Marlin's are not collectible, I wouldn't hesitate to cut one down to whatever felt right to me.

On a down note, the Marlin 1950 model I'm restoring was sent out for bluing the first of January with a projected 30 to 45 days processing time.
I called two weeks ago and was told they'd gotten behind and it'd be another 2 weeks.
I called yesterday and was told a man was out and they were swamped.
They said it would be another week.

The wood has been refinished with the super oil finish I posted about in gunsmithing a month ago, and all the other metal work and parts replacement has been done.

Once the rest of it comes back, I'll post some photos.
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Old March 16, 2007, 09:23 PM   #39
Shrinkmd
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"Correct" refinishing question

Mine has a dinged up stock, not nearly as horrible as the K31 I rescued. I am thinking about redoing my 39A. So...what is the correct finish? It is from the 70's, slightly different look than the new ones, with the little white line around the pistol grip cap and the butt plate area. I assume the wood is walnut, so should I just oil it, or is a stain required? I've read that for open figured woods a dye/pigment stain combo can be better than a straight wood dye, which can come out blotchy, may not highlight grain as well (although doesn't obscure grain...) Any favorite dyes or stain recommendations?

Anyone else read Great Wood Finishes by Jeff Jewitt? I utilized some of his techniques last time, and next time I will follow his advice to the letter. LOTS of work to refinish to perfection, as opposed to just slopping minwax stain on and then spraying polyurethane on it. If I could bill myself by the hour for stock refinishing...
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Old March 16, 2007, 09:40 PM   #40
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Every time Nem posts that picture it makes me want to do it too. That is a sharp looking carbine! D'far is right, it's better to do it to a new one.

I'm willing to throw a few bucks his way to help cover the costs of ammo before and after testing and the shortening of the barrel as long as he shares the results with us. "I gots to know." If a few more of us kicked in maybe Nem would agree to the experiement... in the name of science of course.

We'd need pictures too. Lab coats are optional.
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Old March 16, 2007, 09:59 PM   #41
f4t9r
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One of my favorite
Had one for many years
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Old March 16, 2007, 11:35 PM   #42
buckinbroncobaby
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Dating the 39-A

Hi everyone it is nice to find a place where all the info is in one place. A quick question on dating these guns I am looking for a serial number and the one I found ahs a T and then numbers so when dating it which would I use. When using the site listed previously a "T" gives me a 1960 date and putting in the numbers gives me a completly different date. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old March 17, 2007, 12:52 AM   #43
borrowedtime69
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Thumbs up thanks for adding me to roster/also, fantacy 39

my fantacy 39 A would be the following:

straight pistol grip
16 1/2" BBL
large loop lever
buckhorn rear sight and a traditional old front sight with no hood.
saddle ring
narrow forearm

what do ya think? would marlin go for it?

-Eric
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Old March 17, 2007, 01:17 AM   #44
dfariswheel
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buckinbroncobaby:
You go with the letter code.

Shrinkmd:
The 70's finish was some type of "varnish". Whether polyurethane or other I don't know.

One thing I don't like about the later rifles is that the walnut got lighter and lighter in color.
Personally, I'd use a good walnut stain, and my choice of oil or polyurethane.

For the look the pre-WWII American rifles had, you might try something like Pilkington's Pre-64 Red:
http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/sto...p=9816&s=25383

This gives the walnut that Red-Brown color as used on older American guns that looks so classy.

For a great, waterproof oil finish that you only have to do once, check out my directions for Minwax Oil Finish:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...ghlight=minwax
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Old March 17, 2007, 02:58 AM   #45
Nematocyst
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f4t9r and Buck, welcome in.
You're both on the roster.

And Buck, welcome to THR! Greatest gun forum on the web.
How cool that we have a new member whose post here is their first.

Quote:
16 1/2" BBL
large loop lever
Time, I can definitely relate to that large lever loop.

I'm curious: why the 16.5" barrel?
Not being critical at all, just curious.
Why 16.5" v. 18"?
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Old March 17, 2007, 04:13 PM   #46
borrowedtime69
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Thumbs up my line of thinkin (could get messy LOL)

Quote:
Nematocyst-870:Time, I can definitely relate to that large lever loop.

I'm curious: why the 16.5" barrel?
Not being critical at all, just curious.
Why 16.5" v. 18"?
dont rightly know, i like smaller carbines, they are lighter and easier to pack or carry. plus, i think it'ld be funner than #@&* to be able to cock it like the rifleman! LOL. i guess 18" BBL would be ok too. i also am a big fan of (just cant afford them) those new Puma mares leg lever guns in the centerfire calibers. they are similar to what Steve Mcqueen carried in "Wanted, Dead or Alive". wish to heck someone could make a Mares leg in .22 Lr affordably.

as you can probably tell, i grew up on westerns both TV and movies so i get some of my taste in guns from those memories.

another thing i would love to have (again $$$) would be one of those old style rifle scopes that they used to put on the old lever actions. the ones that take almost all the length of the rifle but are only 1/2-3/4 of an inch diameter. i want to hunt with the 39A i have , but my eyes arent doing well. but it seems sacreligous to put a modern scope on an old looking lever gun. im not knocking those who do, someday i may need to.

thanks! i'll be looking for more posts! -Eric
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Old March 17, 2007, 11:27 PM   #47
Brassman
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I ordered some Skinner aperture sights for my 39A today. I will be anxiously waiting for them to come in sometime next week. I'll post the results of installing them as soon as possible. Temporarily, I put my Simmons 3X9 scope back on since my 50 year old eyes don't see as well as they used to. This is probably not too good, but I was getting 1/2" groups at 25 yards at the range today. That's about as accurate as I can be off-hand. I still don't like the way the scope looks on a lever action. Hopefully the aperture sights will allow at least the same acccuracy, but more speed in attaining a sight picture. We'll see. At least the price was good.
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Old March 17, 2007, 11:58 PM   #48
TCB in TN
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Quote:
a Marlin Golden 39A Mountie
Learned to shoot and grew up shooting with the same little gun. Best shooting gun I ever had my hands on. Love that little gun. It is my mom's gun, she could shoot it even better than I could. Re-finished the stock a couple years ago, it had a bunch of wear and needed some TLC. I still "borrow" it to shoot a little now and then. I have my 10/22, my pump remington, and my lever action winchester, browning, several other more expensive ones and others as well, but when its all said and done that little 39 is the "ONLY" 22 I have in my heart.
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Old March 18, 2007, 08:15 PM   #49
Henry455
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Here is my 1958/59 "S" prefix Golden 39A Mountie. I inherited this gun from my Dad who was an avid firearms collector. Do not know the history of the engraving, wish I did. With my 60 year old eyes, the 2.5X M8 Leupy is a necessity:

39A Golden Mountie

39A Golden Mountie II
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Old March 18, 2007, 08:30 PM   #50
Nematocyst
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Wow!

That's beautiful!
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