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Old October 5, 2010, 05:21 PM   #1
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Another 'When was it made?" question

I've searched all over the site and some number of websites.

I have a Marlin 39 from my Dad. It is NOT a 39A. It's been well used and will continue to be used.

The serial number is 30XX. That's all. Four digits, no prefix, no suffix, no one left on base.

I've narrowed it down to being made between 1922 and 1939. Could anyone either tell me a better date or point me to a suitable source?
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Old October 5, 2010, 05:54 PM   #2
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The Marlin Collector's forum has a guest question section, where unregistered guests may post questions:

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Old October 5, 2010, 08:08 PM   #3
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From Marlin website:

How can I receive information on an antique Marlin Firearm?

Write to Marlin and give us all the information on the particular firearm, including model, serial number, caliber, barrel markings, etc. We will furnish general information on that model. If you would like specific Marlin (or L.C. Smith) serial number information, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming can research your serial number(s) for a fee (see below).
The old serial numbers are quite complete for the years 1883 to 1906 (serial numbers 4096 to 355,000), for the following models:








1889 pump shotgun (serial #s 19,601 to 67,000)

In most cases the records include the model number, date of shipment from the factory, barrel length and type (round, octagon, etc.), and whether the stock had a pistol grip. They do not include to whom the gun was shipped. Extra features, such as checkering or engraving, are seldom listed. Serial number information for models other than those listed above are not available. Records after 1906 are not available.

The L.C. Smith shotgun records of the Hunter Arms Company, and for those manufactured by Marlin are also quite complete, and include more details. (No L.C. Smith information exists for any guns manufactured in Syracuse, NY).

When corresponding with the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, be sure to furnish as much pertinent information as possible about the gun (model number, serial number, patent dates, caliber, barrel length, etc.).

Cody Firearms Museum - Att:Marlin Records
Buffalo Bill Historical Center
P.O. Box 1000
Cody, WY 82414

We are confident that your dealings with the Buffalo Bill Center will be to your satisfaction.
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Old October 6, 2010, 02:01 PM   #4
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I've narrowed it down to being made between 1922 and 1939.
The Marlin 39 was manufactured from 1922 to 1936, so you basically have it narrowed down to the whole product life cycle. After 1936, it was known as the 39A.
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Old October 6, 2010, 10:22 PM   #5
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One thing to keep in mind. If your rifle doesnt have a "HS" incorperated in the serial number then it is unsafe to fire ANY high speed ammo. Even shorts. The bolt will eventually break approximately 1/3rd the way back from the reciever. Your only choice of ammo is older standard velocity ammo. You can get away with high speeds for a short time but the bolts will break. I broke 3 bolts in my youth before I started reading. Replacement bolts are unheard of, so if it breaks a bolt then your only choice is to by a junker gun, rob the bolt and hope it wasnt shot with high velocity ammo. Few people realise that a 22 high speed ammo has a breech presure of 24,000 psi, higher than many centerfire handguns including the 38 special +p and the 45ACP+p.
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