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Old July 15, 2008, 08:40 PM   #1576
SternoVT
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When I was five years old I was introduced to .22 rifles by my grandfather. It was an Ithaca M-49 single shot rolling block lever action. My sister and I learned to shoot it at our family camp in northern Vermont, carefully taking aim at empty coke cans on a hillside. It remains one of my most cherished memories of family. My father, his father, and my sister all sharing a moment in time.
To this day the smell of that first .22 cartridge being touched off brings memories flooding back, something I could never fully articulate.
In the years that followed I put thousands of rounds through that little gun, but it was not truly mine. When I was twelve I had a Christmas morning reminiscent of the famous 'Christmas Story' scene. I hassled my father every day for at least two months for a Ruger 10/22, and on Christmas I worked my way so very quickly through my presents, and to my dissappointment there was no gun to be found. My father knew exactly how to play it, to the extent of likely practicing his carefully delivered line of "whats that one there behind the desk?" Not even half an hour later I put my first rounds down range in negative ten degree weather, and again, it is something I can never possibly forget.
After I had my own rifle I immediately had new status with my grandfather in terms of heading out to the range together and being on the same playing field. It was a rite of passage, and while it was never spoken it was clearly a new era. We would shoot hundreds of rounds without hardly a word, just big grins.
It was during one of these sessions that I was first introduced to the Marlin 39AS. He produced it from a padded case with a grin that said so much. It was his pride and joy. My grandfather was never a man of means, and now that I know what these rifles cost in terms of what he had at his disposal, I can only imagine how long he planned, how long he saved.
I was immensely impressed with its quality, its simplicity and accuracy. He could easily outshoot me and my 10/22. Of course some of this owed to my youthful 'spray and pray' mentality, but once I became familiar with that rifle my whole outlook on firearms changed forever. I started to take my time, to place my rounds carefully. He was a purist too; a seven year old cowboy as I have seen it put on these very forums. He had a little single-six to match it, and when we were out in the woods with that pair time seemed to slow just a little.
He moved to Arizona when I was 16 and left most of his guns with my uncle where they were locked away. My teen years saw me less and less at the range, and without him around it just wasn't the same when I did go.
More time passed, and the winter before I turned 21 I got a phone call from him. After some small talk he got very solemn and serious. I was to go pick up the Marlin from my uncle. Not a word was said as to why, but now that I look back we both knew. Not even two months later he passed away after fighting with his health for a number of years.
For me, the grieving began that day in late winter, holding that beloved rifle and knowing what it entailed. Having to look my uncle in the eye and promise I would never sell it to anyone but him. There was never any question, I will never part with this gun for any amount of money.

I found this site after a experienced a few FTF at the range on Saturday, and after three days of reading, here I am 63 pages later. At first I was amazed that so many others had such an attachment to this rifle and its variations. Then after about twenty pages it dawned on me just how sentimental this gun was for me. I understand that my experience is different than some, but I have also read some stories on here that sound remarkably similar. This is a gun that will be passed on to my kids one day, a long time from now.

I'm 23, and what I lack in experience and know-how, I came here to learn. I find myself wishing that my grandfather could have experienced a community of people like yourselves who shared a love for this rifle. I intend to give you seasoned gentlemen (and ladies!) a run for your money in the next index card challenge, and I thank you all for coming together and starting this club.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading
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Old July 15, 2008, 09:00 PM   #1577
Fast Frank
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Man, do you belong here or what?

Welcome to the club. I look forward to shooting with you in the postal matches.
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Old July 15, 2008, 09:11 PM   #1578
SternoVT
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Thumbs up

Thanks Frank!

Hey are you the guy I need to talk to about attaching my scope? I have my duct tape and a Leupold on order
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Old July 15, 2008, 09:20 PM   #1579
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Up north where it gets cold ya need bailin wire,
duct tape will loose its zero after freezing.
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Old July 15, 2008, 10:13 PM   #1580
tubeshooter
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That was a great post and an excellent read, SternoVT! Thanks for sharing that with us. I guess these 64 pages have done a lot for many of us as well. I'm glad to have been a part of it, and I hope the thread will continue to flourish.


Welcome to the club!
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Old July 16, 2008, 09:02 AM   #1581
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SternoVT: Awesome story. Thanks for sharing. Welcome to the club.

The guy you need to talk to about Duct Tape Scope Mounting is MalH

Fast Frank is the guy you want to talk to if you want feedback on every scope mount known to fit on a 39. I think he finally settled on having Marlin custom machine a receiver that Leupold could install glass into... I think he's still waiting for a response to his email though...

We, er, well some of us are still shooting our 39's in the monthly Rimfire Postal Matches. You'll find the rules are usually stickied at the top of the Rifle Country section. You are probably right though, it is time for another all 39 Post card challenge.
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Old July 16, 2008, 04:31 PM   #1582
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Padding the lever loop

I don't know how many people have their loops digging into the back of their fingers. But after a few hundred rounds, it really starts to dig into the back of my fingers pretty bad. I tried using a glove for a while but it gets to hot here in FL and my hands start to sweat.

I thought about it for a while and I decided to try wrapping the outer portion of the loop with some paracord. It works pretty well for me so far. Shot off 500 rounds the other day witout feeling anything at all. Thought I would share in case anyone else has that problem too.


Vic

Here is a photo of it. The fob towards the end keeps any cord from loosening up and getting in the way of closing the action.
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Old July 16, 2008, 08:10 PM   #1583
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Good tip Vic
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Old July 17, 2008, 02:53 AM   #1584
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Rob, Queenslander, Vic & Sterno, welcome in.
(Hope I didn't miss any one ... )

Sterno, that's one of the best intro stories
I've read on THR in a while.

Sorry I've been out of the house for a while.
You probably know the story though.
Haven't had much time for THR lately.

I'm actually up in PDX for 10 days on business
(with a bit of time off for pleasure).

Nem
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Old July 17, 2008, 07:33 AM   #1585
SternoVT
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Thanks Tube, Mo, and Nem!

Question: How is the front sling swivel base attached? Mine is just a little loose and its something I'd like to fix, if its possible.
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Old July 19, 2008, 05:12 PM   #1586
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I should have asked this before now. In a few hours I head off to the range to use my new 39A for the first time. I have a Mossberg .17HMR that had to be thoroughly cleaned before I used it for the first time. This was a feature of the Mossberg that was well known. It came with some protective gunk on it that could interfere with its normal operation if not first cleaned. Even the bolt on my CZ 452 had to be oiled to allow smooth operation the first time.

My question - does a new 39A have to be cleaned in any way before its first ever use? I suppose I am hesitant in breaking it apart for the first time if I don't have to and the action seems to be operating smoothly at the moment.
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Old July 19, 2008, 06:03 PM   #1587
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I think if I had a wall full of these 39s I'd want another.
I have a Original Golden 39A from the 70s and recently started tuning up my Dad's 39A from 1952. Dad's 39 is "weathered" to say the least and I just got it feeding and shooting today. (See Project 39A...ugh thread).
Anyhow, when I get it operating at 100% I want to offer to buy it from him (his macular degeneration has taken away plinking) The odds are he'll just give it to me but I do not want to insult him with some stupid offer. I'm not real sure how to go about this. Thoughts?

...and if this is the wrong place for this post just let me know and I'll gladly retract it.

Thanks
Mark
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Old July 19, 2008, 06:20 PM   #1588
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Hey Mark,

I have been following your thread and thanks for keeping everyone posted on it. For your dad's rifle, I would start at 250-300. Thats because he is family. If he wasnt your dad, I might offer less because of the damage and the feeding troubles. If it werent family I would say 175-200 and less if it was in the condition you originally found it in.
Just my opinion.

Vic
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Old July 19, 2008, 06:48 PM   #1589
timburn
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sling mount and reassembly

SternoVT, Just dissassemled mine to check same thing. Mine is a post with a screw though it. seems strong if loose. When I reassembled after fully scrubbing every thing I noticed the main reciever screw knob stands off the reciever maybe 1/16. Don't remember if it was like this before. Can sombody look?
Thanks
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Old July 19, 2008, 08:36 PM   #1590
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thanks vicdotcom.
Through some careful cleaning it's not looking too bad and now with the action almost there I feel pretty good about it but there are some deep pits and scrapes , character marks. I've been trying to search around to get a ballpark guesstimate for value but it's pretty tough without getting a smith's assessment. Whatever the price it's worth more to me for sentimental reasons anyhow..

thanks again

timburn,
I just checked both the 39s in my locker and the large knurled screw does have daylight under it.
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Old July 19, 2008, 08:37 PM   #1591
SternoVT
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Timburn-
Thanks for looking! Approximately what vintage is yours?

As far as the takeodwn screw, I just noticed the same thing on mine. No more than maybe a 1/16th, but still something I would like a second opinion on. Can anyone weigh in on this?
Thanks
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Old July 20, 2008, 01:19 AM   #1592
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Here is a question, am i going to marlin hell for mounting a red dot on my model 39?
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Old July 20, 2008, 07:28 AM   #1593
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Well.... maybe not Hell exactly. I have a scope on one of mine and I just hide it when company comes over. LOL!
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Old July 20, 2008, 12:47 PM   #1594
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Century LTD

SternoVT,
Mine is the Century LTD (Centennial 1870-1970) Made, Guess? 1970.
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Old July 20, 2008, 02:30 PM   #1595
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiltedClaymore
Here is a question, am i going to marlin hell for mounting a red dot on my model 39?
I doubt it.

I put an EOTech on mine for a while.

It was fun, and it would most likely work excellent on running squirrels.

It looked pretty goofy.



Accuracy was about equal to iron sights, but much easier for my old eyes to deal with.

It didn't get me cast into hell, but I may have redeemed myself when I took it off.
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Old July 20, 2008, 04:04 PM   #1596
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Smile NOW I HAVE 2 39s.

I love this thread!

I have had a Mountie since I was 15, so that's more than 45 years.

I picked up the longer version at a club swap meet back in May and now I have two extremely accurate guns. The "new" one was made in 1950 and and shows some wear but still performs. I even amazed my range buddies by repeatedly hitting spent shotgun shells on the side of the berm and that's offhand with only the original sights.

It doesn't seem to matter the vintage of these guns, they're all pure shooters.

Keep up the good work on this thread! I agree with Jack O'Connor that good rifles have a romance about them. These fit that description.

Ithacaman
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Old July 21, 2008, 10:10 AM   #1597
JustsayMo
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Ithacaman, The only thing better than a Marlin 39 is two of em'. Good grab!
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Old July 22, 2008, 12:12 AM   #1598
Queenslander
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A question - never having owned a lever action before, I am wondering why does the current owner's manual for the 39A warn to "never add cartridges to a partially loaded tubular magazine"? What is likely to happen if you do so?
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Old July 22, 2008, 12:29 AM   #1599
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QL'er - that caution could have been worded a little better.

At first blush it would appear that you could never load more than one round. After loading the first round, the magazine is now partially loaded, so following the safety precaution you couldn't load another round!

What they mean is don't "top off" the magazine after you have fired a few shots. In doing so, you are dangerously close to the muzzle with a live round most likely in the chamber.

The caution should be "Only load the tubular magazine when the gun is fully empty of cartridges, and you have checked that that is the case."

If you haven't noticed them yet, there are two inspection holes on the left side of the action to check for an empty rifle. In the top one, you will see the rim of a cartridge if one is in the chamber. In the second one, you will see the brass if the magazine is loaded or the red mag follower if the mag is empty. Very handy little view ports.
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Old July 22, 2008, 12:30 AM   #1600
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Quote:
It looked pretty goofy.
Frank, for me, it doesn't look "goofy" so much as a cognitive disconnect.
It's like mounting a heat-seeking missile on a P-51 Mustang.

Ithacaman, welcome. We're glad you're here.
Lucky is the person who has owned this fine rifle for 45 years.

Queenslander, good question. I'm surprised at that instruction.
I can't understand what bad could come of topping off the tube.
Will follow the discussion of that with interest.
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