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Chance at a Marlin 39A

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by <*(((><, May 17, 2019 at 1:01 PM.

  1. <*(((><
    • Contributing Member

    <*(((>< Luke

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    Just wanted to get everyone's opinion on what I've been told is a 1953 year Marlin 39A.

    Given that year that would be a ballard rifled 39A correct? I believe the first year was 1954 for microgroove. Any feedback on the older ballard rifled Marlin 39A's?

    The seller wants $575 for it but I asked if he would take $500 for it, if I feel the condition is worth it (I haven't looked at it yet). He said he would.

    These have been going up in value and this seems to be a good deal to me, what say you?

    I'm typically a Winchester guy, but know a good design when I see one and the Marlins are great rifles. I've been on the lookout for a 39A to go along with my 9422.

    Left%20Side.jpg
     
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  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    They on!y go up in price. Even more since the Remington takeover. I'd buy it. Don't know much about them but there a great gun.
     
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  3. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Ok for collecting. Not ok for hunting. Mine changed zero every month when using the same ammo. The forarm is wedged in, not free floated.
    No good when i was trying to shoot squirrls.

    Bought a new Rem 581 back then to replace the marlin.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 5:00 PM
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  4. Clean97GTI

    Clean97GTI Member

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    Are these actually valuable rifles? I have an old Marlin 39 with an octagonal barrel I got when my grandfather died some years back.
    It's just been sitting in the locker.
     
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  5. shooter1niner

    shooter1niner Member

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    Luke,
    About midway through '53 the rifling changed to microgroove. Take a look, if it has 6 grooves it is Ballard. If the one you are looking at has very good+ bluing, very good+ wood, no "extra" holes drilled and tapped on the sides and top I would say $500 is a pretty good deal. An early '53 should only have 1 hole on top. I've seen some not so nice ones go for the same money and more. I suppose it depends on how bad you want it. I have a '56 model with a scope and it works well for me for plinking and hunting. My forearm setup is the same as yours. See if the owner has the original front sight hood and hammer spur. The proper hood will cost you $40+ and no clue on a JM marked offset hammer spur.
     
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  6. shooter1niner

    shooter1niner Member

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    Clean97GTI,
    Yep, your rifle has value. How much depends on the condition. Being your grandfathers it may have sentimental value. I have a couple 39A's, one not so nice and the other perfect. They all shoot where I point them. Target rifles they are not. I wouldn't mind having one with an octagon barrel...
     
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  7. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Looks like it is missing the sight hood. The earlier sight hoods are hard to find and usually pricey.
     
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  8. George Dickel

    George Dickel Member

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    Check out the completed sales on gunbroker, 39A's go for some good money even for rifles that have been neglected and show it. The only 39A rifles being manufactured by Marlin right now are from the custom shop and have an MSRP of $3,100. If, a very big word, Marlin starts up mass production again I doubt they will be up to the same standards as the older models considering they will be just like the cross bolt safety models made right before they stopped production. About 4 years ago I bought a 1979 manufactured model for $500 so I don't think the price asked for the one you are considering is out of line.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 5:45 PM
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  9. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    I’d give $500 to add it to the collection, but my wife has also accused me of having more money than sense a few times.
     
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  10. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    If it's in even reasonably decent shape, I would say it is worth $500.

    At least given today's market and considerations.
    This could change next year, or in 10 years.
    But I personally doubt it & wouldn't count on it...


    I would have at least looked at the gun first before I started talking about short money.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 6:16 PM
  11. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Luke

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    They are sought after where I am, and getting hard to find. I’m of the impression better get any of these older firearms sooner than later. I want some good older firearms to pass down the line in my family.
     
  12. Hookeye

    Hookeye Member

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    Buddys have old 39As. They got em back when prices reasonable. They love them. But for some reason when squirrels need killin they grab other rifles. Im not a 39A fan....think the 39M looks better. Steel and walnut.......if you like the looks of it better buy it. They hold/increase in value.....wont be cheaper down the road
     
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  13. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    I have a 1950 model 39-A.
    The quality is outstanding.
    Of the lever action .22LR rifles the Marlin is usually considered to be the best ever made. The older, the better the quality.

    Virtually every part is a forged milled part, including many of the parts that were later stamped.
    The upper cartridge guide in the roof of the receiver, the cartridge stop, and the extractor are all milled parts.

    The barrel is slightly thinner then the later heavy barrel models, but it shoots like a dream.
    Marlin fitted the buttstock by induction heating the receiver tangs and pressing the red hot metal into the walnut stock for a perfect fit. You will usually see scorched wood in the stock inletting.

    These are drilled and tapped for receiver sights, but not receiver scope mounts. In those days you either drilled the top of the receiver or the left side of the barrel for mounting a scope. The single screw on the top of the receiver is the screw that secures the upper cartridge guide.

    Unless it's in bad condition $500 would be a good price.
    Check the chamber carefully. Some were shot a lot with .22 Shorts and the chamber may have a slight ring eroded in it that can cause extraction problems with .22LR.

    When disassembling or reassembling, cock the hammer all the way and open the lever just slightly.
    To clean the bore use a small screwdriver to push the ejector down and use another screwdriver to rotate the "screw" on the ejector "box" to lock the ejector down out of the way of a cleaning rod.
    Note that the "screw" is really a slotted rivet and is not removable.
    When reassembling the rifle remember to rotate the rivet to release the ejector.

    When assembling tighten the thumb screw with a quarter NOT a screwdriver. Using a screwdriver will dink up the slot.
    When tightening the thumbscrew watch the joints were the two receivers mate to make sure they are fully seated or the rifle may not function correctly or have rough operation.
    Just tighten until the two receiver halves fully mate then tighten a little tighter.
     
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  14. 357smallbore

    357smallbore Member

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    I had one and it was a 1952 "peanut". Paid $350 and sold it for $625 three months later.
     
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  15. Tentwing

    Tentwing Member

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    image.jpeg I have a 1952 model. It has Ballard rifling, and a tapered barrel which makes it lighter than my other two 39's. It is very accurate. The point of impact will change slightly with different types of ammo, but the groups remain small. If I had a chance at another one in good shape for $500 ish I would buy it. At 40 ish yards with no wind and great conditions the target over my 11 year old grand son's left shoulder was a dozen rounds. No squirrel would be safe around that boy with that rifle....
    ..
     
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  16. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Luke

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    Very nice shooting by your grandson, he looks proud. And I think you’ve found someone to pass it down to! That’s the plan with some of these heirloom type firearms I’m trying to find and purchase. I’m younger with a young family with lots of cousins as well, and I think it’ll be great giving some really nice older firearms to kids coming of age to appreciate.
     
  17. Tentwing

    Tentwing Member

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    I told him we would have to take a picture or otherwise no one would believe the grouping he managed to put together. He will tell you that the 1952 is "his" lever gun. I have had a wonderful time teaching my grandsons' how to shoot all but one is a future lever action junkie. The third has fallen for my scoped 10/22..
     
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  18. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Luke

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    Good job granddad! I’m sure they will always remember the time you spent with them shooting, it’s good to see some young shooters coming through the ranks.
     
  19. az_imuth

    az_imuth Member

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    The rifle the OP posted about appears to be a nice clean example and I would likely give $500 for it as long as the bore was good and all else checked out. I think the year that the ballard rifling was phased out was '54. I say this because I own a '54 with ballard rifling and have seen examples of both types of rifling for that particular year model. Here is my '54 at the top in this photo. It's been a great shooter and will be out at the range this afternoon with some other .22 leverguns.
    tk1lPmx.jpg
     
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  20. Picher

    Picher Member

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    Don't know much about them that old, but a weak point I've noticed in later models is the extractor. Make sure it pulls them out and they get kicked out by the ejector.
     
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  21. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    I'd maybe get one...if it were the straight stock version....and octagon barrel. Very rare...and probably more than I'd want to actually pay! XD

    As for the OP.....seems like it is in decent enough shape for that price. It's hard to tell, though. Would need more close up photos to really make that determination.
     
  22. <*(((><
    • Contributing Member

    <*(((>< Luke

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    Owner is out of town this weekend, going to meet on Tuesday and see it.

    Yes, a straight stocked version would be nice for collectibility. But my guns are for shooting not just collecting so I’m less picky on some of the finer points.
     
  23. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Your wife is being charitable. Mine says I lack both.

    It's my long-held opinion that the Marlin Model 39 is one of those historic icons that everyone who considers themselves to be an aficionado of firearms has to have at least one of. See, I just reaffirmed my wife's jaundiced assessment of my mental faculties and my financial worth. :uhoh:
     
  24. marksman13

    marksman13 Member

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    Eh, she’s never accused me of having either money or sense in any great supply. She has been pretty charitable lately though. She bought me Marlin 39TDS for my birthday a couple weeks ago. A58E60EA-F313-4026-B62B-AD50B154A76B.jpeg
     
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  25. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    If $575 feels super-steep for a gun of typical 39A-level quality, Henry makes a number of fine rimfire levergun products at a price point somewhat less than that.


    I bought one recently and I am very pleased. Considering making another purchase already.
     
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