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Old August 26, 2012, 09:31 PM   #1
Chowder
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Marlin model 81DL

I just had a marlin model 81DL follow me home from the the FFL and was hoping to find out some information on it. I was only stopping at the local shop to get some cleaning supplies but this Marlin caught my eye. I have been wanting a bolt action .22 for a while now and loved the peep sights on this 81 and the price was very nice.

I found some information on the DL and if i am correct it would have been produced from 1940 to 1963. Since this rifle does not have a serial number from the factory is there another way of finding out its date of production? It is in pretty good shape other than a broken butt plate that i already found a replacement for and a chip on the front sight. Any information I can get on this old rifle would be appreciated, thanks in advance!






Last edited by Chowder; August 26, 2012 at 09:37 PM.
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Old August 28, 2012, 08:59 PM   #2
Romeo 33 Delta
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I'll tell you this much, my Dad bought me one for my 10th Christmas in '55 and I'm still shooting it today. It's a great rifle and a great shooter. If I were you, I'd keep an eye out on Ebay for a factory peep sight asssembly. It will be the last of my guns to leave my possession.
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Old August 29, 2012, 10:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
I'll tell you this much, my Dad bought me one for my 10th Christmas in '55 and I'm still shooting it today. It's a great rifle and a great shooter. If I were you, I'd keep an eye out on Ebay for a factory peep sight asssembly. It will be the last of my guns to leave my possession.
It has a factory peep sight . All I need to get is the aperture, which is on order. I stripped the stock this weekend and am working on getting rid of some nicks and dents but it is looking really good. Broke the bolt assembly down to clean out 50+ years of grime and thick grease and its as smooth as butter now. This is my first "project gun" and am pumped to get the parts I'm waiting for to finish it.
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Old August 29, 2012, 12:22 PM   #4
Romeo 33 Delta
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Took another look ... yep! As I said, you have a sweet rifle there. Not flashy like a M39 ... but I never had a complaint over the tens of thousands of rounds fired in her. Marlin sure did know how to build a rifle; that's for sure.
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Old August 31, 2012, 08:34 PM   #5
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Basically they're just good workhorse rifles, pretty darn accurate, and can last centuries with proper care

If you need new wood, look to Boyd's Riflestocks...they've got a Walnut for the 81C (same thing) which fits with a little minor inlet work...
http://www.boydsgunstocks.com/MARLIN...-p/300-240.htm

The 81C was the plainer version...made from 1940-1970,
while the DL was a bit more pimped w/ Walnut stock, target-peep rear, hooded front, & swivels, made from 1940-1965.
(Stoeger shows the Discontinue Date to be 1965)
They were an improved version of the 81/81E (1937-1940), and were replaced by the 781 (better trigger, improved bolt & checkered stock) in 1971

Probably the only thing it'll need is new springs...and you can use modern tube-mag springs cut/made to the same length...
same for the FP spring/etc...

Numrich has a lot of the parts you may need...
http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/...spx?catid=4090

Front Sight...they've got the insert, but not the base...pics don't show the sight, what's the issue??


Hope that helps
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Last edited by Big Shrek; August 31, 2012 at 08:41 PM.
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Old August 31, 2012, 08:49 PM   #6
Chowder
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Well I ordered this butt plate for the rifle http://www.gungrip.com/detail_B342__...buttplate.html, But turned out it doesn't fit. The butt plate that came on the rifle doesn't have marlin written on it and should be smaller than the one that this website says is for the model 81.

Here is a picture of the butt plate that came on the rifle.

[QUOTE]

This looks like it should be the model 44 butt plate. Before I order another I would greatly appreciate impute from anyone who owns one of these rifles.
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Old August 31, 2012, 08:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Front Sight...they've got the insert, but not the base...pics don't show the sight, what's the issue??
Sory I didnt post a pic of the front sight. I would only need the post as it is chipped. The base is perfectly intact.

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Old August 31, 2012, 09:02 PM   #8
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On older rifles, they would often make the replacement pads Larger so they could be hand-fitted to the particular rifle,
as all riflestocks made prior to CNC are NOT alike...and many today aren't perfectly the same either...
they're just closer in tolerances than the old ones...as they still have to go with the contour & grain of the wood...
Laminate stocks resolve that issue nearly completely...they minimize variation & provide a hardy stock that can last for decades with proper care...

IF the pad matches the holes, you then go thru a sanding process to get the pad to match the stock...
this is a pretty good guide to doing it, whether a foam pad or a plastic one...
http://www.shootingtimes.com/2011/01...smithing_1206/

With the Plastic pad...after you have sanded it to match your rifle,
you then apply Gun Oil to the sides of the pad to make the scratches/whitish look go away...
it will then conform to the rest of the plastic...
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Old August 31, 2012, 09:04 PM   #9
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Ah, cool, then all you have to do is get the insert, that'll save you a bundle
http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/...40A&catid=4090

Of course, you could choose to upgrade and get a Fiber Optic insert...
Measure your old one and order the same height insert, then hand-fit it in
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Old August 31, 2012, 09:09 PM   #10
Chowder
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Quote:
On older rifles, they would often make the replacement pads Larger so they could be hand-fitted to the particular rifle,
as all riflestocks made prior to CNC are NOT alike...and many today aren't perfectly the same either...
they're just closer in tolerances than the old ones...as they still have to go with the contour & grain of the wood...
Laminate stocks resolve that issue nearly completely...they minimize variation & provide a hardy stock that can last for decades with proper care...

IF the pad matches the holes, you then go thru a sanding process to get the pad to match the stock...
this is a pretty good guide to doing it, whether a foam pad or a plastic one...
http://www.shootingtimes.com/2011/01...smithing_1206/

With the Plastic pad...after you have sanded it to match your rifle,
you then apply Gun Oil to the sides of the pad to make the scratches/whitish look go away...
it will then conform to the rest of the plastic...
Thank you for the reply, my worry is not only is the plate I ordered far too large it is also completely the wrong style. I think I may give the model 44 plate a shot and see how close it is since it looks identical. And if the size is an issue I will sand it from there. Unfortunately I don't own a bench grinder but I am sure I can make due with what i have.
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Old August 31, 2012, 09:17 PM   #11
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Ah, if all else fails, get the pad from Numrich...in stock now
http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/...90C&catid=4090

Probably a good idea to grab a firing pin, FP spring & mag spring too, while yer at it
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Old August 31, 2012, 09:26 PM   #12
Chowder
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Quote:
Ah, if all else fails, get the pad from Numrich...in stock now
http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/...90C&catid=4090

Probably a good idea to grab a firing pin, FP spring & mag spring too, while yer at it
All on order, lets see how these work out haha.
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Old September 2, 2012, 08:34 PM   #13
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I also have an 81-DL that was given to me by my Dad when I was probably 10 or so. He bought from a guy back in the 50's while working a wheat harvest in Oklahoma after seeing this guy throw walnuts in the air and busting them with this rifle. It is an accurate little gun and although doesn't command a high price (often the original peep sight brings more than the gun) or have strong collector following, it's one of those hidden gems that's worthy in any collection.

As far as when it was made, this is the info I found while researching mine when trying to figure out when it was made. Mine is pre-WWII model and looking at yours, I'm inclined to believe it was made between 1945 and 1957.
Quote:
The Marlin Model 81-DL rifle was introduced in 1941 and manufactured up until the start of WWII. Model 81 production was resumed in 1945 and continued until 1964 so your rifle could have been manufactured either before or after WWII. The 81-DL was a modernized version of Marlin's earlier Model 81-B, it had a plastic trigger guard, aperture sight on the receiver and hooded bead at the muzzle. Rifles manufactured before WWII had a broad semi-beaver tail forend, post-war rifles had a standard forend and rifles made after 1957 had a walnut Monte Carlo half-stock and a new streamlined trigger guard.
Congrats on a great find that's going to bring you many years of enjoyment.
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Old September 2, 2012, 10:14 PM   #14
Chowder
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That's exactly the information I have been looking for thanks! I suppose 1945-1957 is as close to getting the exact year I will be able to get. It is good to have a shorter window of dates though.
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Old September 5, 2012, 05:41 PM   #15
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I love the one I inherited from my grandad, it brings me a lot of fond memories of he and I and all the rabbits which fell to it. I recently refinished the original stock.

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