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Old February 4, 2008, 06:35 PM   #1126
Fast Frank
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I shot the Valentine's Day Massacree today.

Interesting.

It had me shooting a scoped 2002 model 39AS, and then shooting an iron sighted 1950 model 39A from the same position and at the same range, and comparing groups.

Doing this without noticing the differences would be impossible.

So here's what I noticed:

First, the balance.

The older rifle has a tapered barrel, and the new one has a straight "Bull" barrel.

My first thought was that the bull barrel would be more desirable. Fatter is stiffer and more accurate, right?

Well after today I'm not so sure about that.

The bull barrel is heavier. After just a few seconds of holding it up, I'm getting tired. I would think that having that weight out there would help me be steady, but that didn't happen either.

I found the light weight barrel easier to hold and aim, and I shot better groups with it from both positions.

Next, the trigger and rebounding hammer.

The older rifle has a lighter trigger. It's got less "Crunch" to it, too.

It just plain feels better, is easier to get a smooth release with, and I shot better groups with it.

The rebounding hammer doesn't bother me. Yes, I hear it going "Boing" right after the shot, but I believe the bullet has cleared the barrel before the rebound has a chance to move the rifle. I payed close attention to it, and I'm quite sure that I feel the recoil BEFORE I here the "Boing".

The real kicker seems to be that the rebounding hammer is responsible for the heavy, crunchy trigger.

If that's the case, then rebounding hammers suck.

Finally, the lumber.

At first glance, the new rifle appears to have it all over the old one in the wood department.

Not so.

The new rifle is prettier, and it has nice checkering, and a cool rubber butt pad, and all that.

The old rifle has plain wood with a tired finish.

But it also has the fat, flat bottomed fore stock.

It sits on the sandbags nicer, and it's more natural to hold on to when fired freehand.

The slimmer fore stock on the new one looks nicer, but it's clearly not as good when you shoot the rifle.

By now you're probably thinking that the tired old house fire rifle pretty much spanked my pretty, new, costs twice as much rifle.

OK, so that's what happened.

Am I wanting to get rid of my Marlin?

Wash your mouth out with soap, Boy, and don't EVER talk to me that way again!

No. I won't dump my 39. It's a keeper.

I WILL keep my eye out for a nice copy from back in the good old days, however.

I think I need one!
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Old February 4, 2008, 06:59 PM   #1127
DJR
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I don't have both so I can't say for certain but the trigger on my 39AS is very clean. A slight bit of creep but breaks like glass and I'm a little surprised at how light it is. Guess we'll have to wait for the results after V day.

DJR
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Old February 5, 2008, 04:16 AM   #1128
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Interesting read, Frank.

Quote:
The bull barrel is heavier. After just a few seconds of holding it up, I'm getting tired.
I would think that having that weight out there would help me be steady, but that didn't happen either.
That fits with my intuition.

I never shot a bull barrel gun.
I understand the concept,
but my sense says, why would I want one?

But then, I want an 18" barrel on my 39A
instead of the 24" because the latter doesn't as balance well.

(ymmv)
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Old February 5, 2008, 09:06 AM   #1129
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I'm beginning to think that you might be on to something, Nemo.
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Old February 5, 2008, 01:40 PM   #1130
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I tend to shoot my longer barreled Marlins better offhand. The front sights on my 26" 1895CB and my 24" 336CB seem to just hang on the target. The way I was trained was to start squeezing once the front sight was where you want it so I'm not holding the rifle for more than a few seconds.

That being said I hunt with 18.5" 1895GS and 20" 1894CB & 336. I sacrifice a little bit of accuracy but gain a much handier rifle.
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Old February 5, 2008, 02:58 PM   #1131
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I'm curious, what exactly is a rebounding hammer?
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Old February 5, 2008, 03:56 PM   #1132
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Quote:
I'm curious, what exactly is a rebounding hammer?
The hammer has a second spring that pushes it back to half cock after you fire it, so the hammer always sits in the "half-cock" position. It is blocked from dropping to the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled, so it's an effective drop-safe feature.

So, when you cock it and pull the trigger, it falls against the back of the firing pin, then "rebounds" halfway back up to half-cock, and sits there.
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Old February 5, 2008, 03:59 PM   #1133
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Ejection problems with 39A?

This was not an issue when I first got the gun, but I think I may have done something when cleaning it.

Sometimes, the extractor (bent spring steel part) doesn't grab the rim of the spent round and extract it properly. I think maybe I snagged it on a cleaning rag and tweaked the shape of the thing.

At the range, I used my trusty Victorinox to do a field fix, and it worked a lot better, but not 100%.

Anyone have any thoughts about how to get it back to 100% functionality?

Bend? File? Other thoughts?

Anyone had this experience?

(I have another, old 39 to use as a model. It works perfectly, so I can compare them to do a good fix. But I thought I'd ask here first, in case there's something I didn't think of.)
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Old February 5, 2008, 04:30 PM   #1134
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Bear, go to the Marlin forum on rimfire central. I've seen several posts on there about 39a FTE.

Example: http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums...d.php?t=194816

Our very own FFrank posted pictures and a video on this thread. Huzzah to FFRank!
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Old February 5, 2008, 05:57 PM   #1135
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I shot my hearts out today also.

I wish I had an older 39 to compare, but I feel like I shot the off hand "John Wayne" group very well. I honestly believe it was due to the bull barrel and excellent balance of my 39AS. It just seemed easier to hold on target and the crisp trigger made it easy to fire when and where I wanted it to. So my experience today was just about the opposite of Frank's, at least with regards to the newer rifle he shot.

I have got to be on the lookout for an older model. After all you can never have enough 39's!
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Old February 5, 2008, 08:40 PM   #1136
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Armed bear, there is a little screw next to the ejector and you are supposed to press the ejector down and turn the screw to hold it in place during cleaning. This is specifically to keep from damaging it.

If you have to replace yours, it probably isn't expensive.
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Old February 5, 2008, 10:35 PM   #1137
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Oh, I know about that thing.

My extractor just isn't grabbing and extracting spent brass consistently.

Thanks, Slugless. Those pictures are worth 1000 words.
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Old February 6, 2008, 09:16 AM   #1138
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Very enlightening link, thanks Slugless.

Fast Frank - maybe I missed it but what ammunition did you shoot in the Heartbreaker? Is the parallax on that Leupold still set at 150?

I put a 2.5 x 8 VXIII (might have been a vari-X, can't remember now) on a Sako FinnFire some time ago that was reset at Leupold for 60 yds. which is what they recommended for rimfire shooting. Very fast service and they went completely through the scope while it was there. Highly recommend it.

I spent the better part of two years shooting every different brand/type of .22 ammunition I could locate. Generally shot at 20 yds. or 50 yds. depending on whether I was indoors or out. I did this with a friend who was using a 541T Remington and that split the cost of all the ammunition. Probably the most important thing we learned was that accuracy in either rifle was ammunition specific and it was not necessarily tied to the price or name on the box.

In the Heartbreaker I shot maybe ten different brands of ammunition and some of it my rifle didn't care for, to some it was indifferent, and some it really liked. I'm just thinking that perhaps the ammunition/barrel harmonics favored your earlier rifle and not the later one. Just thinking out loud here.

Anyway, the FinnFire is sadly and stupidly not in the inventory anymore, sold to fund another project. Just thinkin' and typin' here before the bell rings and I have to get to work.

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Old February 6, 2008, 09:34 AM   #1139
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DJR-

That's what I did last week. I took both rifles to the range and shot everything I could get my hands on.

I've noticed the same thing about .22s, they all seem to have a favorite.

My model 60 likes green tag, and I had shot my stash of those up. That's how I ran into the 18 dollar bullets I posted about earlier.

It turns out that none of the slower bullets grouped well in either rifle, so I didn't use any of the other "Target" bullets I have.

My rifle seems to like the Winchester Xpert bulk, so that's what I fed it for the match.

The borrowed rifle shot it's best groups with Mini Mag hollow points. No problem there, I shot the match with those.

And no , I haven't done anything about the parallax problem yet.

I guess the procrastination got me on that one.
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Old February 6, 2008, 09:52 AM   #1140
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I saw some questions about the rebounding hammer. There is not an extra spring, there is an extra leg. It's quite ingenious because everything else about the rifle stayed the same. The only change is an extra leg on the hammer strut. Simple, sweet, elegant, redundant safety feature. SO OBVIOUSLY I "FIXED" IT!

I posted this before but thought a picture might help. There's a guy named Gizzy that posted a fix at rimfire central. It's very easy, however proceed at your own risk:

1. Many of the marlins with rebounding hammers still have a half cock notch on the hammer. It's recommended that you only proceed with hammers that have the half cock notch.

2. Remove the hammer strut, grind off the lower leg where it Y's out, (I cut mine off with a dremel and cutting wheel) and re-install it.

When you fire the rifle you'll get a nice "snap" instead of a "boing". Some folks think it improves accuracy because you eliminate the hammer movement during firing.
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Old February 7, 2008, 05:32 AM   #1141
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So I'm cleaning all the fingerprints off of the 39, and I'm about to stick it back in the safe, right?

The oldest grand daughter walks up.

"Whatcha doin'?"

"Cleaning the .22" I say.

"Oh. Can I hold it?"

Man, I live for these moments. I want this girl to be able to handle and understand guns. I strongly suspect that the world she will live in as an adult will not be a safe place. I'm not pushing it, but I REALLY want to teach her everything I know.

I want her to be able to defend herself.

I've checked the rifle for safety before I started, but I do it again and show her how to look in the chamber to verify that it's safe.

Then I hand her the 39AS.

She slowly starts sagging with the weight, and sets the butt of the rifle on the floor.

"It's heavy!" she says.

Yeah, it is. And it's got me thinking.

The 39 is specifically there for training the kids. I want to get them past the noise and fear, and teach them basic gun safety before moving on to bigger and better things.

But here's the problem:



As you can see, she's got the basic idea down. She's hitting Coke cans in the yard pretty well.

But the Red Ryder she's shooting here is too big for her.

There's no way she can deal with a model 39, and a Mountie isn't going to be any better.

I've got a little time before we start shooting .22, and I want it to be fun. I need a smaller rifle.

I looked at the Henry web site, and they have a shortened youth size rifle.

I've looked at the Cricket and the Savage Cub.

But I want to stick to Marlin.

Have any of you guys tried to shorten the stock on a Mountie so it would fit kids better?
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Old February 7, 2008, 05:54 AM   #1142
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Quote:
I strongly suspect that the world she will live in as an adult will not be a safe place.
You, sir, are prescient.

Not a lever gun, but maybe?

Check her eye dominance.
She could be left eye dominant.
Better to catch it early ...
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Old February 7, 2008, 06:21 AM   #1143
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prescient?

I remember what the world was. I see what it is. I think I can guess what it shall be. Things certainly aren't getting any BETTER.

As for the dominant eye... I've watched her shoot.

She aims with her right eye.

The weird angle of her head is because the butt of the rifle is under her arm and she can't get any kind of cheek weld.

That Marlin weighs six and a half pounds. It's going to be better than a 39 by quite a bit.

I was hoping to start the kids off with a lever, and maybe give them an 1894 in .357 when they get a little older. (You know... something they could use...)

But butchering a Mountie sure seems like a waste when we already know that they will outgrow it so quickly.

Maybe the bolt gun is a better idea.
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Old February 7, 2008, 06:33 AM   #1144
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Quote:
prescient?
Define prescient.

Knowing or anticipating
the outcome of events before they happen.

She'll grow into a lever gun.

Could be an Oakley.
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Old February 7, 2008, 08:15 AM   #1145
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If I recall correctly my 39TDS had a shorter length of pull than my other 39's. They command a premium price but they hold their value -- I actually sold mine for almost double what I paid then went out an bought another Mountie and had some change left over...

Another good option is a Handi-Rifle in 22 lr. Not a lever but does have an exposed hammer. They are usually pretty inexpensive used.
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Old February 7, 2008, 10:04 AM   #1146
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Frank - Many years ago when I was starting my son out I bought him a 20ga. Remington 870 Spl. Fld. That's the one with the 20" bbl. and an English straight stock. I had a local gunsmith cut it down. The process involved boring two holes (one high and one low) that were maybe 3/8" then he used a very thin blade to make the cut. He gave me two dowell pieces and the part that was cut off and told me that when we wanted to restore the stock just glue it back together using the dowells for alignment.

It worked out well and today you have to look very close to see the line where it was chopped. Still, if I had it to do over I would have cut down something else. If you cut down a Mountie maybe you could get one of the replacement stocks and cut that down, putting the original one back on somewhere down the road to restore it.

Here's my grandson Jakob, also with a Red Ryder. He most likely will inherit my 39 although I'm thinking he may need one of his own before I'm willing to part with this one.

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Old February 7, 2008, 02:16 PM   #1147
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I'm back again with another link to that german site I always link to, I tested looking for marlins and I found this, looks interesting, some kind of anniversary model?

http://www.egun.de/market/item.php?id=1641054

I cannot buy this as I have already gotten tha 9422, it's going to arrive any day now. Still a straight stocked 39, I have to own one someday...
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Old February 7, 2008, 05:14 PM   #1148
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HDS, I don't know the exact Euro to Dollar exchange rate, but 276 Euros seems like a good price for a Century model 39. I am going to check in at the end of the auction to see what it goes for.
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Old February 7, 2008, 09:43 PM   #1149
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Divine,

Regarding the Marlin Century, take a look at this link:

http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums...d.php?t=214675
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Old February 7, 2008, 10:09 PM   #1150
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Check it out...

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=337920
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