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Old 04-08-2021, 01:33 PM
drice0517
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Marlin Co. or Marlin Corp.



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What's the story on the difference and use of the Marlin Corporation and the Marlin Co. roll marks..? I have two Marlin 20A rifles with one stamped Marlin Co. and the other stamped Marlin Corporation...serial #95XX has "Marlin Corporation", #116XX has "Marlin Co. Is it just an age or cost thing, or was there a company change over or anything..? I've heard "Rockwell" mentioned from time to time and I seem to remember that marking may carry a little bit of a premium in pricing...appreciate any replies..!
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Old 04-08-2021, 03:42 PM
vepr762
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Marlin went through several bankruptcies and ownership changes post WW1. The rollstamp reflects that.
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Old 04-08-2021, 05:54 PM
WalnutBill22
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John M. Marlin began his firearms career as a pistol maker with Colt in the early 1860s. About 1873, he started his own factory, so this was the beginning of the Marlin Company. He took over manufacture of the Ballard rifle in 1875, then developed his own lever action rifle in 1879, with his first successful design being the Model 1881 lever action. Several great rifles were introduced for the next few decades.
In 1915, the Marlin Co. was approached by a syndicate to manufacture arms for the first World War. This later became the Marlin-Rockwell Company. At the end of the war, Marlin-Rockwell wanted out of the firearms business. They did continue to make a few sporting firearms, but then gave up completely. A Marlin employee by the name of John Moran tried to make a go of it, but his outfit only lasted until about 1921-22. This was the Marlin Firearms Corporation.
Finally, a New Haven Connecticut attorney named Frank Kenna bought it in 1922 for pennies on the dollar and turned it into a very successful venture. Unfortunately, it was bought out by Remington, and they never quite got the hang of making them the right way (although some of the later ones were very good).
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:31 PM
drice0517
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Thanks folks...! I forgot to ask in my initial post...when did Marlin start using the Bull's Eye in the stocks. The earlier serial number 20A I have has the Bull's Eye, but it looks a little smaller than the one in my early 70s 39A...and it also looks older than the hills and fits the "look" of the rifle..
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Old 04-10-2021, 06:20 PM
WalnutBill22
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The "bulls-eye" became a registered trademark by Marlin in 1922.
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Old 04-11-2021, 11:50 AM
drice0517
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Thanks WalnutBill...I hate to drag this thread out, and I know serial numbers may not mean much because of record keeping, fires, etc., during this period, and a barrel change could be possible, but it's odd that the 20A I have with the lower serial number has the bull eye (which looks original or at least really old), and the newer "Marlin Corporation" roll stamp. I'll attach some photos. Here some interesting comparisons between the two rifles with some shown in the photos..

- Serial #: 95XX has serial number on the upper left tang and back side of butt plate
- Serial #: 116XX has same serial number locations
- Both are stamped on the upper tang, "Marlin No 20-A"
- Serial #: 954X has the "Marlin Firearms Corporation" roll stamp on top of the barrel
- Serial #: 116XX has the "Marlin Firearms Co." roll stamp on top of barrel
- Both rifles have the ivory bead front sight, but the 95XX bead is much smaller
- Serial #: 95XX has the Marlin bulls eye, Serial #: 116XX does not
- Serial #: 95XX has only one threaded hole in the top of the receiver for the cartridge guide screw, Serial #: 116XX has three, two for the Hepburn sight, one for the cartridge guide screw.

Other than wear and tear, these are the main differences in these rifles. Luckily, both bores are in nice condition. I just got the Serial #:95XX back to shooting and operating again after installing a few new parts from Jack First (very nice folks to deal with BTW, and the parts needed no fitting). Looks like I will have to post my photos into two messages..sorry..!









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Old 04-11-2021, 11:52 AM
drice0517
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More photos of the 20-As..
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File Type: jpg IMG_3928.jpg (491.3 KB, 0 views)
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File Type: jpg IMG_3919.jpg (526.4 KB, 0 views)
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  #8  
Old 04-11-2021, 05:55 PM
WalnutBill22
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Replaced barrels are not unusual at all on these. Black powder and/or corrosive ammunition was very detrimental to early .22 rifle bores.
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