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Old April 12, 2008, 09:08 AM   #1
djonathang
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Marlin Lever 39A - Worth the Price?

Hello All,

I had my checkbook out, and I was ready to order a new Marlin 39A. My dealer then said, "Geez, that's a lot to pay for a .22 caliber rifle." I tucked my checkbook away.

My situation is that I shoot left handed, so I'm somewhat limited in my selection of appropriate rifles. I shoot a Browning BPS shotgun with bottom eject, and a Browning A-Bolt left handed .270. I thought the Browning 39A would be a good choice.

I just wanted to check with all of you. When you can pickup other rifles such as a Ruger 10/22 (automatic) in the mid $200's, is the 39A worth it at $500?

Thanks for your thoughts.

DG
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Old April 12, 2008, 09:37 AM   #2
Dean C
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The Marlin 39A is, in my estimation, the finest 22 lever action. They are worth a premium but, $500 is a bit steep. Do some checking around.
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Old April 12, 2008, 09:47 AM   #3
djonathang
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Thanks Dean,

My dealer is bare bones, but I'll keep checking.

DG
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Old April 12, 2008, 09:50 AM   #4
Pahoo
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We bought one just two weeks ago and paid $375.00 and wondered if that might have been just a little high ....

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Old April 12, 2008, 09:59 AM   #5
Hafoc
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I never owned one myself, but I've read about them for a LONG time. You're talking a rifle that's way overbuilt for the .22 LR cartridge, that shouldn't ever give you any trouble. It's a rifle made of walnut and forged steel. It's legendary for accuracy-- it's the rifle Annie Oakley used, for pete's sake! If I didn't like to shoot from a bench rest, where a bolt is easy to work but a lever is awkward, it's what I'd be shooting.

Yeah, like any other gun, it's worth the price if it's worth it to you. But it's a good one.
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Old April 12, 2008, 10:09 AM   #6
El Paso Joe
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I've had two 39's. One that was my dads that I gave to my nephew and another I bought because I missed the first one. I REALLY like the gun. The current one was made in 1947, is drilled for a tang sight (might work for aging eyes), and has a few dings in the stock. I picked it up on a private sale for $200 - and the price seemed fair.

I am not sure what is going on with gun prices these days. I think that $500 is steep for a M39 but if it is something that you just gotta have, it may be worth it to you. Maybe not now, but 30 years down the road...
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Old April 12, 2008, 10:17 AM   #7
Slopemeno
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Keep in mind it'll see a ton of use. Your actual cost per use is actually going to be very, very low.

Great guns, by the way, and really accurate.
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Old April 12, 2008, 11:01 AM   #8
chuckles
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I think thats about what new ones cost. As others have said, I would buy one again in a heartbeat, even at $500. I have a couple and they are a bargain in this day and age. Forged and machined steel, cut checkered Walnut, "man-sized" heft. Still a best buy. Used ones will be found for less but I've never seen a used, older one that was any nicer or better built than a new one. YMMV
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Old April 12, 2008, 11:01 AM   #9
MrBorland
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Quote:
We bought one just two weeks ago and paid $375.00 and wondered if that might have been just a little high ....
I think you got a real bargain. $500 may be a tad high, but maybe not. They're expensive guns. I bought a new one at a LGS a year and a half ago and paid around $450. Granted, I wasn't bargain shopping, but from what I saw, that was pretty much the going rate. They can be hard to find, too, at times. Budsgunshop.com is the barometer I use for decent prices, and they currently have one listed at $471.
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Old April 12, 2008, 11:36 AM   #10
CajunBass
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Yes, it's a lot of money for a 22.

On the other hand, it's a lot of 22.

I'm a big fan of the Ruger 10/22. I've got three of them, but I can tell you, they're not in the same class as a 39A.

I didn't pay but $189.00 for mine, if I remember correctly, but then I just got it in 1982, so it's still relatively new.

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Old April 12, 2008, 11:54 AM   #11
629 shooter
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Quote:
I had my checkbook out, and I was ready to order a new Marlin 39A. My dealer then said, "Geez, that's a lot to pay for a .22 caliber rifle." I tucked my checkbook away
Evidently he was not too eager to make any sales that day.

Also , never could understand his kind of reasoning , like a 22lr built to the same standard as a centerfire should cost less because it is a 22lr?

Bought my 39 new in 1997 and thought it was a little too expensive at around $329 but I liked the wood and with something like a 39 I won't buy sight unseen because of variations in wood grain and sometimes not too good of a match between stock and fore end.

My main gripe with my 39 was the fact that the 7.5lb trigger pull was totally useless for hitting what you were aiming at. The good news was it was not difficult to achieve a pull that was exceptionally good. Now it is the best of all my rimfire rifles.

The 39s are not going to get any less expensive so if you want one I would suggest picking one up now. Years from now the price you paid will be of little consequence. It will be all the fun range/ plinking sessions or hunts that you will remember most.
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Old April 12, 2008, 11:59 AM   #12
htshot
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39a

Just read the new edition of Gun Test Magazine and they recemend the Henery Golden Boy over the Marlin 39a. I have a older 39 and it works fine , maybe Marlin is getting sloppy with their work as Winchester did.
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Old April 12, 2008, 12:59 PM   #13
Pahoo
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Gitmo Bay

Back in 62, that's 1962, we pulled into Gitmo Bay and the base gun store was featuring a shotgun and rifle special of the month. I paid $51 for my first 39A and they shipped it back home for $3.00. Did not see it for another six months and we are still hunting squirrels. Wonder if that store is still there???

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Old April 12, 2008, 01:44 PM   #14
zebulonsmith
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That's about the right price for one brand new, but I'd look around and find a nice used piece. This little cutie cost me $300 a couple of years ago. It's a 1955 production. The wood on the new Marlin's I've seen just isn't as nice as their older rifles. Either way, I want to hear how well that Henry holds up after 60 years with its zinc alloy ( I got in trouble for calling it "pot metal") receiver. The 39a is a proven design made out of steel and walnut, like a lever gun should be.

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Old April 12, 2008, 07:42 PM   #15
Hawg
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Now that 55 model is a Marlin I could go for. I had a 39A and wish I hadn't gotten rid of it now. My main dislikes about the 39 is the pistol grip and big ol ugly take down screw. I'm also a Henry fan........Well GB fan anyway. I'm sure the finish won't hold up well after 60 years but I have no doubts the gun itself will. I've got a couple of Zinc framed .22's made back in the 70's and other than chipped paint they're just as good now as they were then. I gave my daughter an Ithaca 49 I could cut cards with.
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Old April 13, 2008, 06:18 AM   #16
phil mcwilliam
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The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten. The marlin is a gun that you can hang onto for a lifetime. In twenty years time when youre still shooting your marlin the extra you paid now wont seem significant.
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Old April 13, 2008, 06:52 AM   #17
22-rimfire
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Marlin 39a's aren't cheap. They are truly a classic. If you want one, they are worth the money and have always an fairly expensive 22 rifle.

Only time I ever heard the old "...that's a lot for a 22..." in a gun shop was when I had a NIB Colt Courier 22 in the box shipped to them for dealer transfer to me. This was pre-online auction days.
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Old April 13, 2008, 08:25 AM   #18
Wuchak
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In a word YES. When I was looking for one four years ago Walmart had the lowest price. At the time their retail price was less than my local dealer's wholesale one. My friend just bought one at Walmart a couple of months ago for $469. If your local dealer has it for $500 I'd buy from them.

I wouldn't use GunTests to decide which toilet paper to buy let alone a gun. They don't have a good rep for having a clue as to what they are doing. A few years back they reviewed the Rohrbaugh. After reading the letter Rohrbaugh sent and published in response it's obvious the guys are Guntest are not of the caliber I would expect for those with their job. The letter is worth reading just for the humor. The author, one of the Rohrbaugh VP's, rips GT a new one in a humorous way but he points out some glaring problems with GT's integrity, ability to shoot, and literacy.

http://www.rohrbaughforum.com/YaBB.c...num=1091220026

Excerpt:
" Fact 1: I have been a subscriber for approximately one year, and I do read your magazine from cover to cover. Of interest, is your statement in which you categorically claim that you purchase all firearms so “as not to be beholden to anyone”. I am assuming that this is your magazine’s claim to fame and subsequently has been repeated in the industry. Yet, the R9S you reviewed was sent to you from the factory as a testing and evaluation piece. I should know, since I am the one who sent it to you. Subsequently, you returned the piece after your evaluation. Nowhere, at any time did you purchase the firearm. I would think, since your reputation is such that you purchase firearms, you would have had a disclaimer in the article that you did not purchase the piece and clarify your position.

Since you did not purchase this piece, you were sent one magazine. All Rohrbaugh pistols are sent with two magazines, one lock, an instruction manual and a lockable carrying case. You seemed distraught by the fact that only one magazine was provided and that thought was evident by the amount of verbiage that was used throughout the article.

I feel that at this point in the letter, I should point out a very salient fact (while we are at the beginning) - the pistol that was tested, by GUN TESTS, was the exact same one, Serial #R170 (see photos in the American Handgunner and the photo in GT,) that was tested approximately a month prior, by AH, and then sent to you. Ironically they seemed to have a different opinion of the function, accuracy and reliability. I might also point out that Serial #R170 was also tested by Massad Ayoob approximately one week ago at a workshop in Long Island, after you returned it to our factory. His opinion regarding the accuracy and reliability did not seem to match yours. "

It's gets kind of funny after this.


By a 39a ASAP. You will never, ever, regret it.
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Old April 13, 2008, 08:38 AM   #19
garryc
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The M39 is the top crust of the 22 lever rifles. You will not be sorry for buying it. I'd say it probably costs Marlin nearly as much to make that rifle as is does a centerfire, no reason it would be cheaper. I might offer the dealer 500 out the door, but if he passes then I'd take it anyway. Heck, you're expected to haggle a little.
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Old April 13, 2008, 09:26 AM   #20
CraigC
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Why wouldn't you spend a little more on the rifle you use the most, versus the centerfire that gets used a couple times a year?
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Old April 13, 2008, 10:16 AM   #21
zebulonsmith
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Quote:
My main dislikes about the 39 is the pistol grip and big ol ugly take down screw.
To be honest, I like the looks of a strait grip better, but when I shoulder my 336 with it's pistol grip, I can't tell the difference. As for the takedown screw, it is kinda ugly, but imagine how easy it is to clean when you can split the action in half by loosening one screw.

I don't use bore brushes on .22's as a rule, but I will run a patch down the barrel every 1000 rounds or so and it's incredibly easy with a 39a.
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Old April 13, 2008, 12:11 PM   #22
Hawg
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imagine how easy it is to clean when you can split the action in half by loosening one screw.
Oh I know how it is I had one. I wish I still had it but somebody wanted it worse than I did at the time. Still wouldn't trade my Henry GB to get it back tho.
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Old April 13, 2008, 03:58 PM   #23
the_right_reverend
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what you mean they're not $89 at WalMart any more

pitched hay bales all summer long in 1969 and earned $100 spent the whole wad at WalMart on a 39A and a brick and still had money left over
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Old April 13, 2008, 04:28 PM   #24
HOGGHEAD
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22 Rifle

The Marlin lever is one fine piece. Buy the rifle and never look back. I personally prefer the Winchester 9422. But both rifles are great. I know a lot of people like the Henry's, and they are decent rifles. But you can not compare a Henry to the Marlin or the Winnie(IMO). I personally do not care what any gun test said. Far be it for some one to be biased. Lay out all three rifles on a table, pick up and handle all three rifles. I am pretty sure which rifle you will put back first. You may pick the Henry back up if you do not have the cash to pay for the better rifle(I can understand that). But you wil not be happy about it. Tom.
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Old April 13, 2008, 08:26 PM   #25
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When you're an old, old man with a long gray beard, the other .22's will be forgotten, worn out and ratty looking old wrecks that no one much wants.

The Marlin 39-A you buy today will have your great, great grand kids bitterly fighting over who gets the family heirloom so they can continue shooting it the rest of their life too.

Unlike anything else on the market, the Marlin is still made the way it was in 1891: Forged and milled steel, with American walnut.
NO aluminum, Zamac (zinc), plastic, or pot metal.

The heavy barrel with Micro-Groove rifling turns in near-Target rifle accuracy.
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