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Thread: Marlin 39A Problems?

  1. #1

    Default Marlin 39A Problems?

    I have wanted to replace my 10/22 with an accurate 22 with capability of shooting LR and shorts. I absolutely love to shoot a .22 and to me it probably the most fun gun to shoot because itís so cheap and there is no punishment from the buttshock, or to my ears.


    I really thought a Marlin 39A was going to be the gun for me and I have heard nothing but good things about the gun for a long time. But as of late I have been checking reviews of this gun new models 2007 and newer people have been posting horror stories of how this is a big piece of junk. Has the design changed or the manufacturing process has gone way down hill on Marlins? I have a Marlin 1895 45-70 and I could not be happier with it but I bought it about 6 years ago. I nervous about buying a new 39A now.


    Any Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    I did some checking on this myself not long ago. I wanted a quality lever action .22 that would last forever, to be passed on to my grandchildren someday. The folks on rimfirecentral.com were of the opinion that the Marlin 39 is the best available. They said to find one that was made before 1988 (pre-safety) for highest quality. They are not hard to find in good shape on the used market. There were also a lot of recommendations for the Winchester 9422, but prices are going up on that one.

    I still plan to buy a good 39 someday, but I was still in need of a 22 rifle, so I wound up going with a Henry H001T. It is the same as the golden boy, without the brass receiver. Octagon barrel, handles nicely, will take short, long and LR ammo. I had it out the last couple days and I'm very happy with it. If you like, you're more than welcome to come with me next time I go shooting and you can try it out.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    I did some checking on this myself not long ago. I wanted a quality lever action .22 that would last forever, to be passed on to my grandchildren someday. The folks on rimfirecentral.com were of the opinion that the Marlin 39 is the best available. They said to find one that was made before 1988 (pre-safety) for highest quality. They are not hard to find in good shape on the used market. There were also a lot of recommendations for the Winchester 9422, but prices are going up on that one.

    I still plan to buy a good 39 someday, but I was still in need of a 22 rifle, so I wound up going with a Henry H001T. It is the same as the golden boy, without the brass receiver. Octagon barrel, handles nicely, will take short, long and LR ammo. I had it out the last couple days and I'm very happy with it. If you like, you're more than welcome to come with me next time I go shooting and you can try it out.

    What are your groups like at 50 yards with the Henry?

  4. #4
    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    I haven't shot any groups with it yet. I got it mainly for plinking, but I like it so much I think I'll take it out bunny hunting today. It hit every target I aimed at out to about 50 yards or so. It doesn't seem to have any preference with ammo either.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  5. #5
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Just visit a gun show and take 500.00 bucks along with you.Look for GOOD clean 39A Marlin. I have had 3's for many years with only one with a problem and that was made in 1975 and was taken care of by the factory in rapid time on it's return with a new barrel. My favorite currently was made in 1972 Someone really loved this rifle and smoothed this action like they were mighty proud of this one. It is a39A and I do like this one do to it being so smooth. Has a wonderful trigger pull. I slapped a 2-7 Leupold scope on it when I got this rifle 10 years ago and it has done Marlin proud for accuracy. I put five boxes of WINCHESTER High velocity ammo into a quarter size group at 50 yards from a rest at Birch wood. It is a killing hunk of iron. I have a octagonal barrel 39 with a steel Lyman peep sight on it that is a true pleasure to shoot also. Buy a good used 39 and be a happy camper for the rest of your life. Everyone I've ever had put a smile on my face.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Default No flies on the ole' 39

    The Marlin 39 design in some form or another has been around since at least the 1890's, if I recall correctly. Something to be said for a track record like that. All that I have shot and or handled have been of outstanding quality, and the ones I have shot have all been very accurate. The only thing I dont care for is the pistolgrip buttstock, it is the same size as the buttstock of the 336/1895 guns, and in my opinion doesn't fit on such a small framed rifle. If I were in the market for one I would look for a 39A Mountie, which is the carbine version with the straight grip buttstock, much more pleasing to my eye and hand.

    I don't care for the feed system on the Win 9422, and think they are way overpriced for less gun than the Marlin, at higher cost usually.

    Since I don't have a Mountie, I would have to say my current favorite lever action 22 is the now discontinued Browning BL-22. My Dad has one that I used to commandeer from time to time when I was in high school, and it is super reliable and scary accurate. Oh Yeah, and it has a straight grip stock of nice walnut and an 18in barrel. Might try Gunbroker for one of those and see if you like what you see, I haven't checked in a while so I'm not sure what they bring these days.

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default Mine...

    the latest one to grace my rack is a 39 TDS, or Take Down Special. 16-inch-ish round barrel, straight grip, checkered forearm and grip. Personally, I prefer the pistol grip stock, and would love to have this barrel length with that butt configuration....
    This one had been a closet queen, and is still stiff. It'll work out sometime before one of the Grandkids ends up with it.
    Loved my BL22's. Loved my 9422's. Don't have one of either model, nor the Henry in any incarnation. Did I mention I have a 39?
    I'm gonna leave this one with irons as long as I can. Will likely put an aperture rear on it sometime soon. I did take it out with a scope on it, and it shot REALLY well, but throws the balance of the little gun way off.
    Find one, buy it, try to wear it out for the rest of your life.

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    Default Can't go wrong

    I bought a 39a at WWG a couple years ago after shooting a friends. Love the thing, I probably love shooting that rifle better than anything else in the safe. Plenty accurate also. I am just using the factory irons on it but it shoots quite well. I really like the weight that it carries with it. Makes it feel like a rifle. Only thing that I noticed on the new ones is like all the marlins the stocks are pretty plain jane not much figuring in the wood. Hope this helps.

  9. #9

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    I was kind of hoping to buy a new one, any opinions on that?


    I want to wear the rifling out all by myself haha!

  10. #10
    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie1 View Post
    I was kind of hoping to buy a new one, any opinions on that?


    I want to wear the rifling out all by myself haha!
    That's not likely to ever happen, new or old with a soft bullet at under 2000 fps. I can't remember ever hearing about a worn-out .22 LR barrel, unless it was due to rust. Buy one with a strong action and never look back. Marlin or Winchester - all others ride in second place.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  11. #11
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    Good luck with the $500 in your hunt for a Marlin 39. I took my 1960's vintage 39 for a walk yesterday. Still shoots as good as ever will make 1/2" groups at 25 yards for me. I have shot 25,000 rounds through this rifle and it is functionally like new though it shows some wear. I would much prefer an older gun and there are many for sale but prices start at $500 and go up. For good reason. They are that good. I have never heard of any marlin 39 with problems but I guess it could happen. Ask Gunbugs on Gunsmithing about them. He's seen some Marlins.

    The 39 M or Mountie is straight stocked and 20" barrel, lovely little gun. The standard 39A is 24" barrel and a little heavier.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie1 View Post
    I was kind of hoping to buy a new one, any opinions on that?


    I want to wear the rifling out all by myself haha!
    You will not live that long..
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  13. #13
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    Default New 39A

    I just purchased a new 39A in December. It is officially my favorite firearm. I've already put close to 1,000 rounds through it. I don't like the buckhorn site and plan to replace it with a skinner. Saying that, the buckhorn works and I'm only replacing the sight because I want to - I can't say the buckhorn doesn't get the job done, because it does.
    The only problem with feeding ammo occurred with Rem Viper that was at least 20 years old. Other than that it has eaten everything I've fed it - to include Stingers, Hi-Power, Blazer, CCI factory 2nds, Winchester, Lightening, Subsonic, and 22 short target and CBs.
    The Hi-Power and Lightening was pretty old stuff too, I'm not sure if it's even made anymore. I haven't shot any groups, but I've hit everything I've aimed at out to 50 yards. The lightening seems to work and shoot the best. If anyone knows of a source for the Lightening, I'd be interested!

    v/r

    salcha star road

  14. #14
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    Default Classic Mdl 39

    The older pre-war Mdl 39s with the octagon barrels and case hardened receivers are the real classics if you apprciate classics - nothing else even comes close. Finding a nice one isn't easy and will set you back $1K or so cause they are worth it. With a Lyman tang sight they are a real please to shoot and will hold their value over time - an investment you can enjoy. I forget what I paid for mine 35 plus years ago - I thought it was a lot of money at the time but I've never regreted it for a moment.

    Not sure but there must be some wear point with the breech bolts or something. I picked up a half dozen or so new ones with a bunch of other stuff in a auction. They must be hard to come by and somewhat in demand - all the gun part places were out last time I checked.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  15. #15
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    I found my Marlin 39M "Mountie" this fall and absolutely love it. I don't know why Marlin stopped making it -- the short barrel is much handier than the 39A, and I prefer the straight stock as well.

    Right now I have an ugly x4 scope on it. I'll probably replace that with an aperture sight at some point.

    The lim fac is certainly my shooting, not the rifle. It will do its part. I'm TDY with the military right now but before I left I took it out a few times and it was shooting approx 1" groups at 50 yards.

    The only things I don't like about it are:
    1) I think I paid a little too much. I certainly paid a bit over blue book value. However, "everything is worth what its purchases will pay," and I certainly wasn't too upset to find one in great condition.
    2) Its in TOO nice a condition. For a lever-action .22, I want something I can bring out in the woods for small game and generally not worry about too much. However, this rifle is in perfect condition, not even a scratch on the wood or the bluing. Whenever I take it out I'm afraid to ding it -- its like that first scratch on a new car...

    I almost would have preferred to find a "well loved" rifle for a lower price... Although getting a beaut in great condition is nothing to scoff.

    I would advise you to consider a 39M if you can find one, depending on your budget. I do not care for the 39A due to its length and pistol grip stock, but a 39M is much handier and built on the same robust design. No annoying cross-bolt safety either.

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