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Old March 25, 2007, 12:19 AM   #76
Moondancer
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39D

39D owner here. I bought it used at the big (semi) local sporting goods store back in around '72 or early '73. It, along with my Stevens bolt-action I got for my 16th or 17th birthday are the oldest guns I have.

I love my Marlin. It's going to go to my daughter when I die (as my son's wife is vehemently anti).

FWIW, I'm taking my wife shooting tomorrow for the first time (third wife... don't ask) and I'm planning on using the 39D to break her in right. As opposed to the AK in 7.62x39.
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Old March 25, 2007, 12:20 AM   #77
Nematocyst
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Quote:
...at about 20 yards I could group about a nickel-size diameter.
Hey, that's impressive.

Quote:
I left the small aperture in the sight and had absolutely no problem getting a sight picture. I think I'm really gonna like these things and they sure look better than my scope did.
May I ask, what age are your eyes, and how good are they? Do you wear reading glasses?

I'm trying to decide if I could make good use of apertures on my 39 with the only part of my body that's really not aging well: my eyes.

Scope is fine, but apertures, I'm not sure of yet...
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Old March 25, 2007, 12:22 AM   #78
Nematocyst
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Welcome in, Moon.

Quote:
third wife... don't ask
What happens in the 39A Club stays in the 39A club.
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Old March 25, 2007, 01:39 AM   #79
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Nem

I just turned 50 in Dec. I have been near sighted and wearing glasses since the age of 17. In the past few years I have put on reading glasses and wear progressives as a perscription. I have always hated wearing glasses and tried contacts about 25 years ago, but at that time I was in textiles and every fiber in the air was attracted to my lenses, so I gave that up. I wear the progressives to shoot so I can see both front and rear sights really well, while the target is a little blurry. But from everything I've heard that's the way folks with normal eyesight see a sight picture. I really think I can handle the aperture, at least for a while until my eyes get older. I can see both sights really fast. Sometimes the scope wasn't so fast. Today at the range I was wondering if I could use a smaller aperture for even more accuracy. I'm going to experiment with what I have now and maybe later get Dr. Skinner to make me a smaller one.
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Old March 25, 2007, 01:47 AM   #80
Nematocyst
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B'man, that makes sense. Thanks. I'm encouraged.

Please keep us posted about your experiences.

Nem
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Old March 25, 2007, 02:55 AM   #81
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I have an opinion

Quote:
If you'd like opinions about how bolt .22s compare with levers, just ask. You'll find them here.
My dad had a Winchester 52B Sporter (bolt-action) which is now owned by my cousin. Most accurate .22 I've ever shot, and probably the most expensive. Dad paid $240 for it in 1948.

For "fun value", the 39 beats it hands down. Dad helped me pick it out as my first rifle in 1970, and he knew what he was talking about. When he was a kid, he had a Marlin 1891 that he got from my grandad.

My 39D has been known to take down a crow at 100yds on the first shot. As the barrel warms up, what with the barrel band and pinned magazine tube, shots tend to string down vertically.

I won't pretend that It's a target rifle, but for me it's just perfect.
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Old March 25, 2007, 03:02 AM   #82
Nematocyst
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39D

Had to google that.

Found this.

Quote:
this model was produced 1971-1973, all internal parts are same as the 39a,
the 39d is basically a 20inch barreled pistol gripped 39a
Is that about accurate?
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Old March 25, 2007, 03:55 AM   #83
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Yes, that's probably accurate. I thought I got my 39D in 1970, but maybe it was in 1971. My reference (2007 Standard Catalog of Firearms) also shows them as having been made from 1971 to 1973.

Well, you made me get off my bum and check the papers in the safe. I bought it on 11/12/1971 for $68.50, brand new. I think I've gotten my money's worth, and the some!
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Old March 25, 2007, 07:00 AM   #84
Nematocyst
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Quote:
Well, you made me get off my bum and check the papers in the safe.
Oh, sorry, Moon. Didn't mean to make you do paper work on a Saturday night.

Quote:
I bought it on 11/12/1971 for $68.50, brand new.
I think I've gotten my money's worth, and the some!
Wow, that's very cool:
a new 39D w/ 20" barrel for $68.50.
And you've still got the receipt.

Now, that deserves some pics.

I can see a great set of images: at least one of the 39D
accompanied by a scanned copy of the receipt.
Lots of creative potential to be had with those in a photo editor.



PS: does the D have a pistol grip?

PSS: Just googled "Marlin 39D image".
Below is the only image that came up; it's from here.
(I looked around the site a bit, and that's the largest image of it I found.)

I can see it's a pistol grip with a shorter barrel than a 39A (Mikey likes it),
but I can't see much other detail other than some kind of short scope.

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Old March 25, 2007, 09:59 AM   #85
Bentonville
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Well, no one has the rear sight or the rear sight elevator. I was hoping someone here had mounted a different type of sight and wouldn't mind letting me buy the rear sight or elevator not being used anymore. I think the last step on the original is very thin, more so than those bought as replacements. Anyway, the gun is accurate without it so I guess I need to just relax and continue enjoying my beautiful .22. Thanks for the input, all.
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Old March 26, 2007, 01:21 PM   #86
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Add me to the club

Owner of a 1952 Marlin Model 39.
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Old March 26, 2007, 05:01 PM   #87
Nematocyst
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Welcome in, Shane. You'll now find your name on the roster on page 3.

The age of your 39 leads me to a question out of curiousity:
who in here owns the oldest 39 (or predecessor of 39) amongst us?

And speaking of older 39 predecessors, does any one know where Annie Oakley's first (or other) Marlin rifles are housed? Museum? Private collection? Marlin headquarters maybe?

Quote:
The lever action 22 repeater (now Model 39) even became the favorite of many exhibition shooters, including the great Annie Oakley ... A special Model 1889 was made for her.
(Source: The History of Marlin Firearms)
Quote:
Annie Oakley holding Marlin 1890 over right shoulder and mirror in left hand, ca. 1890. (Source: here)
Quote:
Using a .22 caliber rifle at 90 feet (27 m), Oakley could split a playing card edge-on
and put five or six more holes in it before it touched the ground. (Source: Wikipedia)
Yeah, I was doing that just the other day, too. It's easy with a 39A.

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Old March 26, 2007, 05:18 PM   #88
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Dad bought me mine when I was in second grade in 1952. It looks better than most new models. Also have one of the "cowboy" models of a few years back. Have not fired it. I installed a tang sight so it's a nice companion to my 1894 cowboy.
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Old March 26, 2007, 05:24 PM   #89
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Nematocyst

Quote:
And speaking of older 39 predecessors, does any one know where Annie Oakley's first (or other) Marlin rifles are housed? Museum? Private collection? Marlin headquarters maybe?
If memory serves Annies guns, most of them, are housed and displayed in Cody Wyoming, Buffalo Bill Historical Center. link:http://www.bbhc.org/home/index.cfm

They have several areas in the huge building that deal with artifacts, paintings, etc. However, they have an Enormous section that is dedicated to firearms of all typs , ages, and makes. they have a wonderful collection of guns from the old west as well as makes of the very first firearms made over the world to ones that are made in moderen day. my wife and parents had to finally drag me out LOL. -Eric
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Old March 26, 2007, 05:41 PM   #90
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Jkingrph, welcome. Can we call you "J"? Or "King"?

Quote:
If memory serves Annies guns, most of them, are housed and displayed in Cody Wyoming,
Buffalo Bill Historical Center. link:http://www.bbhc.org/home/index.cfm
B'Time, that looks like a fantastic facility. Hope to go there someday.

I'm a relative of Jim Bridger (via my mom's side of the family). Men in our family even look like him (as compared to photos of him in later years). Looks like they've got a fair amount there about him, too.

I just sent them a query from their "contact us" page asking if any of Oakley's .22 lever guns are there. I'll let you all know.
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Old March 26, 2007, 06:45 PM   #91
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Whatever you wish, it is J. King, RPh( pharmacist)
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Old March 26, 2007, 06:55 PM   #92
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J'King works well.

Pharmacist, eh? Cool.

I'm a biologist teaching college-level classes in biology, including cell molecular stuff. I'm one of those teachers that you had to tolerate on your way to pharmacy school, you know, the ones that made you understand the citric acid cycle and chemiosmosis and write essay questions about them?
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Old March 26, 2007, 07:04 PM   #93
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Yeah, endured all that, remember a little about the Krebs cycle. Most of that was foundation for future courses and did help in understanding, especially pharmacology. Sorry to say so many years have past that I have forgotten much of it. You tend to remember what you need and use routeinly.
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Old March 28, 2007, 01:24 PM   #94
JustsayMo
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Skinner Sights, first impression

Just got my Skinner peep sight for my 39A Mountie.

Delivery was quick, the product quality is excellent. Installation was easy.

Mini Range Report: Indoors, 10 meters, sitting and standing positions.

The sight picture looks to be perfect for field use. I prefer a little smaller apeture for targets but this is just seems just right for all-purpose use.

Another thing I noticed was that these sights are easy on the eyes. My mid-forties eyes tire quickly using the stock open irons. With the Skinner sights my eyes did NOT strain to find the front post and target. The apeture frames and sharpens the front sight bead making alignment on the target effortless.

I can not speak to ease of adjustment as the first 30 rounds all printed point of aim. It looks far mor simple to adjust than my Williams 5D sight (which I will now sell to buy more Skinner sights), and far more precise than adjusting (drifting) the stock open sights.

The sights improved my groups, especially the groups at the end of my shooting session. My best groups are usually the first few as my eyes are 'fresh' and my concentration the best. The last two groups of the session were equal to or better than the previous. I had less flyers.

I did purchase the optional ($5) front sight but did NOT install it. The stock front bead (1965) worked fine.

Aesthetically this is the most "organic" or natural looking peepsight I have seen for the Marlin 39A (in my opinion). I will give it an enthusiastic two thumbs up and will be ordering another set for my 1895GS.

Posted before but worth checking out http://skinnersights.com/

Last edited by JustsayMo; March 28, 2007 at 01:26 PM. Reason: add link
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Old March 28, 2007, 04:14 PM   #95
Dean C
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Got my first 39A in 1981 to have a match for the 336A. I can't even begin to guess how many rounds I've put through that rifle. I replaced the firing pin a couple of years ago but that's all I've had to do with it. Just love it.
Well, the other day I was at my favorite gun store. Lo and behold, there was an old 39A that just got put in for sale. It's a 1951 and they wanted way too much for it. I talked and talked and finally got them to just budge a little and I caved in. Payed too much but just had to have it. I'll be restoreing it to original condition. Not really too much to do though.
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Old March 29, 2007, 01:08 AM   #96
Nematocyst
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Failure to fire

Dean, welcome in. Congrats on the new one. Please post pics when you get some.

J'mo, glad to hear the skinners are working out so well. I may have to try a set eventually, although I confess I'm enjoying my Leupold Rimfire 2X - 7X on mine (even though I respect that a lot of you think I'm a heretic for putting it on a 39A. What would Annie Oakley say?)

I've still got some work to do. Still learning how to pilot it. Even with a nice rest, I'm still barely getting consistent 1"+ groups at 25 yds. My sense is so far, no tack driver, but still very decent. I'm sure my groups will improve with practice and experience.

{Added by edit: I just got out my ruler and measured the groups. Not as bad as I thought. Most of the 25 groups were well under an inch, in the 3/4" realm. Only 4 of them extended out to 1" territory and beyond. So, I feel better about that.}

I'm finding the trigger to be a little heavy, and I haven't learned how to relax with it yet. I need some instruction I think with trigger control.
______

OK, now for some bad news.

A while back, in another thread, I reported that during my first trip to the range with my then new (NIB) 39A, I got several (~ 5 or 6) failure to fires. They were ammo independent. That is, it happened with both American Eagle and CCI Minimags.

(Most of the participants in that short thread are here now, so I'll discuss the issue here instead.)

The recommendations before were that it was most likely either: 1) a broken firing pin or, 2) light strikes caused perhaps by too much oil and gunk in it.

So, I took it down and - with help from Salty and others - examined the firing pin. It appeared fine. No sign of breakage.

I did notice that it was pretty gunky with a bit too much oil. (I had cleaned it right out of the box before going to the range the first time, but left too much oil in the action.)

So, I cleaned it out real well, and added only the lightest, thinnest coat of oil, extremely sparingly. I felt surely that would cure the problem.

Got it to the range to day, and within the first magazine load, started getting FTF again. Today, I fired around 75 rnds, with 4 FTFs: 2 with AE, two with CCI.

I reloaded the first two, and they fired fine. I did not reload the second two.

I brought about 15 home cases, including the two unfired ones and only one of the ones that fired the second time (the other one got away from me in a pile of cases), for a closer look with a magnifying glass.

Only one of the "fired twice" cases has a clear, unequivocal "light strike signature": one of the two imprints is noticeably less deep than the other.

Neither of the unfired ones has a "dent" that looks substantially different from those that fired. They do not appear to be light strikes in a recognizable, obvious way (says the amateur who really doesn't have any experience with this up until now).

So, I'm at a loss. This is not what I wanted to experience with a brand new rifle, of course.

Any suggestions? Take it down and clean it again?

I think tomorrow, I'll call Marlin and discuss it with their customer service department. I may also call my local gunsmith and discuss it.

But I'm very open to suggestions from you folks.

I'll keep you posted, of course.

Thanks.

Nem

Last edited by Nematocyst; March 29, 2007 at 02:22 AM.
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Old March 29, 2007, 01:20 AM   #97
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Annie Oakley's .22's at Buffalo Bill Historical Center?

Above, I wrote this after B'Time told us that Annie's .22s are housed at the BBHC:

Quote:
I just sent them a query from their "contact us" page asking if any of Oakley's .22 lever guns are there. I'll let you all know.
I had a very pleasant and informative email exchange with the director (I think?) of the museum there.

He was very prompt, courteous and helpful, and offered a lot of information - including (kindly) correcting a mistaken impression that I had about the progenitor of the 39A. (I had thought it was an 1889. I was wrong. It was an 1891.)

Here is part of his response, posted here with his permission.

Quote:
The progenitor of your Model 39A, which was also an improved version of the Model 39, was the Model 1891 side-loading, lever action caliber .22 rifle that was invented by L. L. Hepburn. The fundamentals of the Model 1891, which was a rim fire rifle, and the first Marlin to accept the .22 Short, Long, and Long Rifle cartridges interchangeably, were carred over into the Models 39 and 39A. The 39A has been produced in 17 different models/styles, even as the Model 1891 was produced in 3 variations.

We currently hold in our collection, and have on display, twelve Annie Oakley guns. The most famous of them are: a Model 1893, chambered for the .38-55 cartridge that she donated to help with the War Bond campaign in World War I; a Model 1897 Deluxe, chambered for the .22 Rim Fire cartridge, with a half-round, half-octagon barrel; and a fabulous Model 1881, chambered for the .45-70 cartridge, was serial number 1 in the model, and made exclusively by Marlin for Oakley. One of my personal favorites is her splendid L. C. Smith Side-by-Side Shotgun. The others you will be able to see personally on your visit here.

Annie Oakley had in her possession a very large number of firearms during her illustrious career. The ones that belonged to her personally are still a matter of speculation and controversy. The ones in our collection have been extensively authenticated as hers.

I hope the above information is helpful to you. Our data is very solid because we are the only repository for the original Marlin, L. C. Smith, and Winchester production records.

Warren Newman
Cody Firearms Museum
Buffalo Bill Historical Center
Cody, Wyoming
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Old March 29, 2007, 02:32 AM   #98
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So, what's a good price for a NIB 39? Do they still make variations, or just the model on the Marlin web site??

Also, how would accuracy compare to the CZ 452 or 453 (American or Varmint models)?
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Old March 29, 2007, 02:43 AM   #99
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Grizz, I paid $475 for mine (plus about $30 in diesel fuel driving to a different city to get it because no one here had one, and couldn't get one at the time).

As far as I know, they only make the 39A Golden now.

As for comparison with CZ 452, I can tell you (because I owned a 452 until a couple of weeks ago) that, IMO, the 39A is not quite the tack driver that the 452 was for me ... at least yet. My groups with the 452 were tighter, although not by much. But the fact that I could immediately get tighter groups with it (first time I shot it) says that wasn't just a fluke.

That may change after I get used to the 39A.

In fact, I think I read earlier in this thread (or maybe another one) that someone was arguing that the Marlin is just as accurate as a CZ, so YMMV.

The CZ had a better trigger from the get go. This one feels a bit heavy for me, and I haven't figured out its nuances yet. (I wish it were possible to dry fire rimfires ... wait, didn't someone just post something about how to do that with leather or something ... ? I'll double check.)

Having said all that, I'm still glad that I bought the 39A, and I don't regret letting the CZ go. (A friend bought it.) I'm just not a bolt guy.
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Old March 29, 2007, 12:09 PM   #100
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Grizz,
I have a CZ452 American and with its prefered ammo (RWS Target) it shoots tiny little groups. 50 yard target pic http://www.grovestreet.com/jsp/onepic.jsp?id=1168549

I don't have scopes on my 39's so there is a lot of human error involved but I can still manage some pretty good groups even with the cheap ammo. 50 yard open sight target with Federal Bulk ammo can be covered by a nickle http://www.grovestreet.com/jsp/onepic.jsp?id=1114275

The advantage the 39 (or most leverguns in general) has over a bolt gun is its field utility. It carries and points like it's part of you, especially from field postions. It's lighter and thinner. Easily operated left or right handed (great back-up guns for that reason). It is more than accurate enough to take game humanely. Quicker follow-up shots are possible. Large capacity Magazine that doesn't project from the rifle and interfere with carry or handling and won't be misplaced. They are among the most reliable, least finicky firearms.

I enjoy punching targets with my CZ and Rem 700 but I hunt with my leverguns.

Outside is the venue the levergun rules supreme.

-Mo
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