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  #1  
Old 01-05-2016, 03:45 PM
bobbss
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1892,1897 And Early 39 Info



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Hi,sooner or later I hope to get at least one of all three models,and I hope to get the first one really soon.I like the butt plates (crescent) better on the 1892s and 1897s,but the the rest of the 39 better.Are the 39s better shooters?On the 39s,is it really that big of a plus to have no prefix and star stamped?Would you rather have an S prefix one that was in alittle better shape than one with no prefix?Any tips on buying one would be great.Thanks for any help!
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:12 PM
vepr762
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1. They all go "bang"

2. Post 1908 Model '97's and '92's will function better than earlier ones. Post 1908 rifles had the cartridge guide and newer style ejector added.

3. It's the bore that matters. A 90% exterior condition, with a sewer pipe bore, is a waste of money if you want a shooter. Always consider the bore condition.

4. The Model 39 is nothing more than a deluxe 1897, without checkering. Production started well after the introduction of non-corrosive primers. 99 out of 100 39's will have a mint to excellent bore.

5. A Model 39, with an "HS" prefix, will allow you to shoot modern "H"igh "S"peed (HV) ammo.

6. The magazine tube assembly is the "Achilles Heel", for all 3 models. Once the tab that holds follower in place breaks it is near impossible to reliably fix or even find a replacement. Last year of production Model 39's will have the 39A style mag tube assembly.

Last edited by vepr762; 01-05-2016 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:48 PM
bobbss
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Thanks for the info.Do you know what the S prefix stands for?If you had your choice between two guns,both at 90% but one was a no prefix and star stamped,would you pay more for it?If so how much?I know of a 39 local to me that has no prefix and star stamped,but I'm also watching Gunbroker and see a few S prefix (they are star stamped) ones that look as good or maybe even better,that I could probably get for less.Most of the no prefix ones on Gunbroker don't look as good as the S prefix ones and they want more money.Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2016, 08:06 AM
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Hey bobbss, we're pert near neighbors. I live in Lonedell.
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:19 AM
Turbojet

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vepr762, I see you posted #6 about the magazine tube. I have a Z prefix (1964) 39A and my tab is wearing where my follower twists into place. It is holding for now, but it looks like it would not take much for it pop off of its notch. Can you tell me if this is considered an early model or a late model part? This is according to Numerich parts list. Thank you, and hope bobbss doesn't consider this a hijack.
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:18 PM
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Vepr762 is quite right. Bore condition is extremely important, but proper headspace and function are critical as well. However, I would have to disagree with vepr about one thing: the M39 was introduced in 1922, and noncorrosive ammo didn't make its appearance until 1927, so I would guesstimate that only 70-80 percent of M39s have really good to excellent bores.
As far as the S prefix rifles, I have one with a star mark (I think most of them from this time period had them - it was basically just a final inspector's mark to denote that the rifle passed all of the fairly critical tests), and I must say that its quality is about as good as you will find on any factory made rifle and much better than most. I'm not sure that the "S" really denotes anything, but you definitely should not fire high speed ammo in it. So, if you're considering purchasing one, you should ask the seller to guarantee that the bolt is not cracked, and that headspace is OK.
If I were you, I wouldn't pay a penny more for a non prefix model. They may be in slightly higher demand from collectors, but they certainly are not any higher in quality than an S prefix.
Any M39 or M39A (especially pre '84 or so) is a truly great rifle.
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:24 PM
bobbss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbojet View Post
Hey bobbss, we're pert near neighbors. I live in Lonedell.
Hi
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2016, 12:32 PM
bobbss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbojet View Post
vepr762, I see you posted #6 about the magazine tube. I have a Z prefix (1964) 39A and my tab is wearing where my follower twists into place. It is holding for now, but it looks like it would not take much for it pop off of its notch. Can you tell me if this is considered an early model or a late model part? This is according to Numerich parts list. Thank you, and hope bobbss doesn't consider this a hijack.
No problem,all info is good!
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2016, 01:00 PM
bobbss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalnutBill22 View Post
Vepr762 is quite right. Bore condition is extremely important, but proper headspace and function are critical as well. However, I would have to disagree with vepr about one thing: the M39 was introduced in 1922, and noncorrosive ammo didn't make its appearance until 1927, so I would guesstimate that only 70-80 percent of M39s have really good to excellent bores.
As far as the S prefix rifles, I have one with a star mark (I think most of them from this time period had them - it was basically just a final inspector's mark to denote that the rifle passed all of the fairly critical tests), and I must say that its quality is about as good as you will find on any factory made rifle and much better than most. I'm not sure that the "S" really denotes anything, but you definitely should not fire high speed ammo in it. So, if you're considering purchasing one, you should ask the seller to guarantee that the bolt is not cracked, and that headspace is OK.
If I were you, I wouldn't pay a penny more for a non prefix model. They may be in slightly higher demand from collectors, but they certainly are not any higher in quality than an S prefix.
Any M39 or M39A (especially pre '84 or so) is a truly great rifle.
Thanks for info!I like buying the oldest guns I can,and the no prefix ones would be alittle older,but I think I'll worry more about the condition on this one,since I do want to shoot it.Thanks!
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2016, 10:24 PM
vepr762
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IN all my years of collecting rimfire levers I have never seen nor experienced a headspace issue. Centerfire levers yes, but rimfires no. The pressure just wasn't that significant prior to high velocity ammo.....and thank you for the correction on HV introduction. You will still have a hard time finding a 39 with a bad bore.

The "star" was a marketing gimmick. It was just an inspectors stamp found somewhere on just about every Marlin, from the mid 1920's until WW2. I've seen it on the top, side of the top, and inside the tang. I've also seen it inside a receiver half.

The "S" prefix was assigned when the addition of the hold down rivet was added to the ejector assembly.

Cracked bolts I have seen, but they were major cracks that were as obvious as "lipstick on a pig".
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2016, 10:26 PM
vepr762
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbojet View Post
vepr762, I see you posted #6 about the magazine tube. I have a Z prefix (1964) 39A and my tab is wearing where my follower twists into place. It is holding for now, but it looks like it would not take much for it pop off of its notch. Can you tell me if this is considered an early model or a late model part? This is according to Numerich parts list. Thank you, and hope bobbss doesn't consider this a hijack.
Prior to the 39A the mag tube assembly had a spring loaded outer tube that you pulled forward to expose the loading port. The follower was held in place by a little tab. James "Pump22" put together a tutorial on them. https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums...d.php?t=502719
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2016, 10:28 PM
vepr762
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbss View Post
Thanks for info!I like buying the oldest guns I can,and the no prefix ones would be alittle older,but I think I'll worry more about the condition on this one,since I do want to shoot it.Thanks!
YOU DON"T WANT TO SHOOT IT!?!? They were made to be used and enjoyed. If it's serious 98% collector grade ok, but otherwise enjoy the nostalgia.
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2016, 10:57 PM
marlinguy
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The Marlin * inspector's mark was first shown in advertisements in 1924. It lasted up to the Depression years, when it and the "bullseye" were both deleted from use. The star inspector's mark never returned after the Depression, but the bullseye was reintroduced after WWII.
As mentioned, it was a final inspector's mark, and meant nothing more than the gun was checked over before shipping. But Marlin played it up big saying it meant the guns with the star were special. Every gun from 1924 to 1929 or '30 got the star stamp.
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2016, 10:24 AM
WalnutBill22 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vepr762 View Post
IN all my years of collecting rimfire levers I have never seen nor experienced a headspace issue. Centerfire levers yes, but rimfires no. The pressure just wasn't that significant prior to high velocity ammo.....and thank you for the correction on HV introduction. You will still have a hard time finding a 39 with a bad bore.

The "star" was a marketing gimmick. It was just an inspectors stamp found somewhere on just about every Marlin, from the mid 1920's until WW2. I've seen it on the top, side of the top, and inside the tang. I've also seen it inside a receiver half.

The "S" prefix was assigned when the addition of the hold down rivet was added to the ejector assembly.

Cracked bolts I have seen, but they were major cracks that were as obvious as "lipstick on a pig".
In that case, I guess I was very unlucky in that my first M39A (c. 1952) had an issue with headspace. I bought it at a local pawn shop and got a really good deal on it, because it looked like it had never been cleaned. The accumulated gunk inside the action caused the bolt to bind and, as a result the locking surfaces were worn, causing the headspace problem. I agree that rarely, if ever, is excess pressure a problem, except for some of the really old actions that have been fired with high speed ammo. However, I have seen and owned several rimfires that had excess headspace, and it was quite obvious from the bulged case heads.
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  #15  
Old 01-07-2016, 01:16 PM
Pete44ru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbss View Post

Do you know what the S prefix stands for ?
AFAIK:

The "S" prefix to the SN means that the gun should be fired with ONLY standard velocity ammunition, upon pain of bolt cracking.

Modern, hish-velocity ammo is OK for rifles with an "HS" SN prefix.


Rifles marked with a star (*) indicate they received specially-selected wood, and more care was taken in finishing wood & metal parts.

"Deluxe" rifles were hand checkered.



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