View Full Version : Marlin model 1894 serial number question

November 10, 2007, 08:58 PM
I have a line on a really nice old Marlin model 1894 in 25/20. 85% case, correct wood finish, round barrel, full length mag tube, correct sights, correct barrel markings, great bore. In trying to research the DOB, I have run into problems. The serial # is D8955, clearly stamped on the bottom of the receiver just behind the forend. The problem is that any Marlin data I can find states that original 1894's did not have a letter prefix. This is clearly an original gun...nice, but worn enough so that I do not doubt the originality. Can any of you gun detectives out there figure out a date on this gun? I would greatly appreciate the input! Oh...if anyone owns or has shot a 25/20 lever gun, your comments are welcome as well!

November 10, 2007, 10:15 PM
I don't have a clue. The D code dates it as a 336 made in 47. The serial number by itself without the D dates it to 1885.

James K
November 11, 2007, 11:42 PM
According to Brophy, the original 1894 Marlin started at serial number 107678 on 7/9/1894. They were sold into 1934, but manufacturing seems to have ceased prior to WWI. I can't find a final serial or date. Brophy pictures 332947, but doesn't say when it was made. Off hand, a D prefix seems unlikely on the original guns, though.


November 12, 2007, 03:51 PM
I agree with your questioning of a D prefix on a '94. However I also do not question the authenticity of the gun....it is just too "right" in terms of wear. I have been buying and selling old guns for 30 years, and I assure you I know an altered gun when I see one. Not that you were questioning me...just that I am stumped also. This is the original number, deeply stamped on the bottom front of the frame, unaltered. Who knows why Marlin would differ so radically from the normal numbers...I sure don't. Sure would like to find out though! Thanks for your interest, and your informed posts.

James K
November 12, 2007, 08:10 PM
I don't have one to look at, but wasn't the original 1894 serial number on the bottom tang, not on the front of the receiver?


blackfoot collector
June 7, 2008, 11:00 PM
I found this as I was browsing the forums. I too have a old 25-20 with a letter prefix mine is b1121 on the front of the reciever just behind the forearm. I'm going to reline the barrel because the old one looks like a sewer pipe. I also need a bolt for it because some jackleg gunsmith did a hatchet job on it.

Ralph Allen
July 5, 2008, 10:07 PM
I have a Marlin model 94 in 32-20.
If you go to www.savage99.com
it will tell you date of manufacture by entering the serial number. Mine is an original octagon barrel. The serial # is on the bottom of the reciever just behind the forend. On the top of the back tang, it says, Marlin, Model 94. The serial # is 6 digits, no letters. Mine was made in 1904.

August 26, 2010, 10:43 AM
your alphanumeric serial belongs on a 94 not an 1894. the 94 series is 1906 and later. Like winchester, marlin adopted a policy of this century modern design by dropping the 18XX.

August 27, 2010, 04:56 PM
I believe you have a Model 94 rifle, made during the 1916-1920 era - but could have been made in the 20's.

When Marlin changed the model designation from "1894" to "94" ca.1906/07, the SN was moved to the receiver botton just to the rear of the forend wood.

Around 1916 Marlin went to the letter prefixes for their rifles, starting with "A".


February 15, 2011, 06:38 PM
I also have a marlin 25-20 lever my serial number is A2938 and all I can come up with is that it was made around 1920's maybe before