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Old March 5, 2013, 06:29 PM   #1
603Country
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My 22 lever guns - accuracy

I finished all my centerfire reloading and shooting and put all the stuff away. Then I got bored, so I decided to sight in both my lever guns (39A and 9422) at 50 yards. I had them sighted in at about 30 yards, but decided 50 yards would be better. Scopes on both are old Leupold 2-7, but both work fine. Both rifles shot real well, though I was more into sighting them in than measuring groups. I think the 39A will shoot 1 inch or less at 50 yards, but I don't think the 9422 will. The diff might be the triggers, since the 9422 trigger isn't as crisp, or it could be an ammo preference. Anyway, they both are fine rifles, and the skunk I missed last night had better be reallllly careful tonight.
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Old March 5, 2013, 07:55 PM   #2
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A Marlin 39-A should easily out shoot the Winchester due to the longer, heavier and higher quality Marlin barrel.

Marlin's Micro-groove barrels are famous for better accuracy, and the much longer barrel contributes.
There are Marlin owners who can get 1 inch groups at 100 yards with selected ammo.
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Old March 5, 2013, 09:55 PM   #3
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Kinda disappointed at your results with the 9422. I have wanted one of those for years.

I have a 39a and that gun shoots pretty darn good at 50 yards. I have had a trigger job done on it and it does not "rap" your finger like the stock one did.

I have a K6 Weaver on it and that is probably more scope than it needs.

I think I am going to swap that out for a K4.

I have not measured groups with mine but just eyeballing them, I am pleased.

I also shoot a CZ452 Trainer that WILL shoot small groups at 50 yards. That rifle really impresses.

Just from previous experience shooting skunks: Upwind is good. Downwind not so much.
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Old March 5, 2013, 10:18 PM   #4
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geetarman, I just buy bulk 22 ammo and shoot it. I imagine if I bought a few types of 22 ammo I'd find one that the 9422 loved and shot really great. I like both rifles and both are quite accurate. I head shoot squirrels out of my bird feeders with the 9422, and I haven't hit the feeder yet. The 39A is heavier, and sometimes I just would rather have the lighter 9422. I'm just happy to have both (I bought the 9422 a couple of years ago from a gunsmith for $80, can ya believe it?). I saw a new one in a gun shop the other day, and I swear they were asking $800 for it. That can't be the new in the box price these days, can it?

As for scopes, I had 4 power Weavers on both until I was able to get the two Leupold 2-7's. I like the variables, but wouldn't mind something new and shiny. The bad news about Leupold scopes like the ones I have on the lever guns is that you can't say that "it broke, so I'll have to buy a new one". Heck, they'll just fix it and send it back to ya. If a fella has a Leupold, I guess he'd have to sell it to get rid of it. That's good and that's bad.

I wish you'd have given me the skunk advice a couple of years ago. I shot one 40 yards west of the house, and I blasted him with the 223. He let go a huge cloud of spray into a slow breeze out of the WEST. I heard about that from the wife for months.
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Old March 6, 2013, 06:23 AM   #5
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I saw a new one in a gun shop the other day, and I swear they were asking $800 for it. That can't be the new in the box price these days, can it?
If you saw one for that price NIB, you should have bought it. I would have jumped all over that.

Check out some of the prices on Gunbroker for a NIB 9422 and it will shock you.

Quote:
I wish you'd have given me the skunk advice a couple of years ago. I shot one 40 yards west of the house, and I blasted him with the 223. He let go a huge cloud of spray into a slow breeze out of the WEST. I heard about that from the wife for months.
How do you suppose I acquired that sage advice?

I was in the edge of a bean field looking for groundhogs and I was downwind.

I skunk came out and started moving toward me. I shot him about 35 yards away with a 22-250. I got educated in a hurry and am therefore well versed in what NOT to do.
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Old March 6, 2013, 06:29 AM   #6
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I have a 39A with a Williams receiver sight that will put 5 shots of Super X 36 gr hp's in less than a 1/2" at 50 yds.
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Old March 6, 2013, 07:13 AM   #7
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I have Marlins, Winchesters and Henry's and have never found the micro-groove rifling to be any more accurate than the others. The main advantage of the 39A is the longer sight radius. I have an older 39A with Ballard rifling and two short 39's (a Mountie and a 39D) and it will easily outshoot the Mountie that has a microgroove barrel. I haven't really had a chance to try out the 39D, but it has a microgroove barrel too. The Winchesters and Henry's shoot just as well as or better than the Marlins. As was stated above, with 22's it's all about finding the brand of ammo they like. it can make a world of difference. Another thing about 22's is that they are all individuals and will not necessarily shoot alike simply because they're the same make and model.
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Old March 6, 2013, 07:26 AM   #8
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One thing that several folks have mentioned is that they're using scopes made for centerfire rifles, including Weaver K4s, Leupold 2-7s, etc. Those scopes have parallax adjusted at 100 to 150 yards, so they won't shoot as accurately as rimfire (50 yard parallax adjusted) scopes at shorter ranges.

To check parallax, set the rifle in a rest, with a target centered, 50 yards away. Move your eye left and right and up and down and see whether the reticle moves away from the original target center. If it moves much, it can't be as accurate as a scope that's parallax-adjusted for 50 yards.

The good news is that some scope companies will adjust the parallax to 50 yards, or whatever you wish, at little or no cost.
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Old March 6, 2013, 12:41 PM   #9
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Yes, probably parallax is a minor issue with the 22 rifles, but not enough to matter to me. The old Leupolds 2-7's are the old friction adjustments and I'm not going to send em back to Leupold for any sort of work unless they break. If I was going to buy new for the rifles, I'd probably go with the Nikon variable for rimfires, and they have the BDC dots (or lines or circles).

One thing that probably mattered to accuracy is that I just reached in the bulk box and got a handful of ammo. I know for a fact that it's mixed ammo from leftovers of other bulk boxes, and some of it is pretty old (Federal, Winchester, and Remington), so pinpoint accuracy was something that I really wasn't expecting. And the older scope on the 9422 was not quite as clear as the newer (but still old) scope on the 39A. I was pleased with the 39A accuracy with the polyglot ammo. Maybe I could've done better with the 9422, but it was cold, the wind was blowing hard, light was fading, and my wife was saying "come get supper". HMMM, that last sentence sounds like what I say when I miss a deer or coyote.
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Old March 7, 2013, 08:09 AM   #10
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Another problem with some centerfire scopes with large objectives and power over, say 6X, is that they need to be focused for closer shooting. The smaller the objective, the less light-gathering power, but the greater the need for focusing at short range.

I have several scopes on rimfires in the 4-14X power range, which have adjustable objectives, but they're big and heavy and need to be focused more than scopes with lower power and smaller objectives. When walking around with them, I keep the power to a minimum and set the objective to about 30-40 yards, so if I see a rabbit or other small game, it will be in focus.

In the past, I've used a trick to minimize focus and parallax problems on centerfire scopes used for target shooting. It involves cutting a "donut" of thin black cardboard, with the outside diameter the size of the objective lens and the hole about 2/3 rds the size of the objective. A little electrical tape holds the disk in place.

Because light rays don't need to bend as much nearer the center, there's less need for precise focus and parallax correction. There is some loss of brightness, but that doesn't matter much on the shooting range. Try it, you might like it.
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Old March 7, 2013, 08:16 AM   #11
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Leupold has a 2-7 that is set up for rimfires... Great optics.

I'm thinking about purchasing a Browning BL-22 and putting one of those on top of it.

Last edited by PVL; March 7, 2013 at 01:08 PM.
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Old March 7, 2013, 09:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
A Marlin 39-A should easily out shoot the Winchester due to the longer, heavier and higher quality Marlin barrel.
I've never seen one that was vastly more accurate than my Winchester... Some 9422s shoot quite well with sub-sonic ammo and a competent shooter behind it... Mine sure will....
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Old March 7, 2013, 11:05 AM   #13
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I think 300 Mag is right. I had the 39A from back in the early 80's and didn't really need a 9422. But, my Dad had a 9422 and when I'd go visit the parents, he'd put me on armadillo/skunk/squirrel patrol with his scoped 9422. Didn't take long for me to really get fond of the rifle, so when I saw one cheaply priced, I was all over it.

I think that if I had to make a special shot at 50 yards or so, I'd be a little more confident making the shot with the 39A. If I had to walk the fencelines on the ranch and tote a 22 rifle, I'd go for the 9422 first.
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Old March 7, 2013, 12:10 PM   #14
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Biggest difference between the Marlin 39A and a Winchester 9422 is weight and weight distribution. I get to shoot lots of guns as part of my work, and I have seen many Winchesters that shoot great off the bench but you can't shoot well offhand because of the light weight and weight distribution. They both should shoot really well once you find what ammo they prefer, but the heavier, weight-forward Marlin is a lot easier to hold steady than the lighter, weight rearward 9422.
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Old March 9, 2013, 12:18 PM   #15
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I saw a new one in a gun shop the other day, and I swear they were asking $800 for it. That can't be the new in the box price these days, can it?
It can be still unfired today. Prices on the 9422 have really gone up in the last couple of years. I have seen one listed for $800 at a pawn shop and I asked about it. They waved a gun broker auction result in front of me. I just smiled and said "no thanks".

Parallax and focus can be a big deal when using centerfire scopes on rimfires. Like everything else, it depends on how picky you are.

1-inch groups at 50 yds is about typical with bulk ammo. The norm is that you often get about 1/2" spread with a flyer in a 5-shot group or two flyers. The precision is adequate for most needs. Your rifles should shoot better with better 22 ammo and some effort.
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Old March 9, 2013, 03:11 PM   #16
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A Marlin 39-A should easily out shoot the Winchester due to the longer, heavier and higher quality Marlin barrel.
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Old March 9, 2013, 10:20 PM   #17
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39A is the real McCoy, longest produced American made firearm currently being produced. They seem to lockup better than the 9422's, lots of forged parts.
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Old March 10, 2013, 03:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Quote:
A Marlin 39-A should easily out shoot the Winchester due to the longer, heavier and higher quality Marlin barrel.
A longer barrel might aid the shooter in shooting more accurately but length has little to do with the intrinsic accuracy of barrels.
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Old March 10, 2013, 11:50 PM   #19
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I also have both. The Marlin is definitely the more accurate of the two but both will head shot a skunk at 100 yrds with a steady hand.
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Old March 11, 2013, 10:13 PM   #20
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Well, I don't think you can say a Marlin will out shoot a Winchester any day. I have a 9422 that shoots a 1/2 inch group at 50 yds with any Winchester ammo. I also have an inexpensive Marlin Model 60 that shoots a 1/2 inch group at 50yrds, but only with Blazer 40 grn rn ammo. Other ammo opens the groups to 1 inch & more. Every 22 LR rifle I have ever owned or come across has a liking for a particular brand & type of ammo; even two rifles of the same brand & model can have a different preference. So, there you are. No one can explain it. When you get a 22 and find the ammo that it really shoots well, better keep it, no matter the brand; because no one brand will always out shoot another. 22 rifles are as individual as their owners.
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Old March 12, 2013, 04:16 PM   #21
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Yup, the ammo really matters. Still...I do think the 39A (mine) is a bit more accurate. Might because the trigger is better, which makes the accuracy a bit better. Or...maybe it's all in my head. Both rifles are great. And I'm still amazed at what they cost new these days. I only paid about $300, I think, for the 39A back in the early 80's. I paid $80 for the 9422 (used and a bit beat up) about 7 years ago (such a deal).
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Old March 13, 2013, 10:23 PM   #22
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i recently fired a friends marlin tube fed lever action and was amazed at the accuracy. that little gem made me feel like a marksmen. i would love to find one but i've been told they're rare and expensive.
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Old March 14, 2013, 07:25 AM   #23
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i recently fired a friends marlin tube fed lever action and was amazed at the accuracy. that little gem made me feel like a marksmen. i would love to find one but I've been told they're rare and expensive.
mk8tim, The 39A isn't rare at all. There are usually dozens listed on GB at any given time. There are some rare variations out there, but even they can be found with a little patience. As for expensive, right now prices are still high on most of the ones listed online. You might do better checking around gun/pawn shops than you would with online sales if you're really interested in getting one. My advise would be to look for an older model that doesn't have the crossbolt safety.
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