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Old 01-30-2019, 01:27 PM

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My first real gun was a 39A,bought it in 1970's still have it.I've owned them all,52 Winchesters,39As,62As,not many I haven't had over 45 years or so.Funny thing,I'm not sure why but I've never had a Marlin pump.How are they to shoot,are they solid reliable guns?I have not seen many for sale thru the years,Im going to have to look at some to see what they are.I love my Marlins but just always think of lever when I think of Marlin.What am I missing?
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Old 01-31-2019, 02:26 PM
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As good as the old Marlin lever actions were their other vintage guns leave a lot to be desired, like their shotguns and pump 22's. The pumps 22's are nice looking (IMO) but are not as good of a design as the pumps from other major manufacturers (again IMO).

The receivers on the early hammer pumps were very thin, especially the right side, I have had three with bent receivers and have seen a number more. This show in the bottom joint of the receiver halves when the two do not fit full length - they can be straightened. The receivers were made thicker in the later hammer pumps, that change was made about ~1922~1923~ and used on the Models 29N, 37 & 47. I also have ran into some issues with broken firing pins in the early models.

The forearm screws appear to engage with less than 1 full thread so the length of any replacement is critical, to short and they won't catch, to long they bind on the magazine tube.

The early type magazine tube where the outer tube slides over a fixed inner can be a big problem too, the same problems that can happen on the early lever guns.

The receivers were made thicker in the later version of the Hammer pumps, that change was made about ~1922~1923~ and used on the Models 29N, 37 & 47.

The hammerless pumps are nice - the Model 32 & 38, one of the smoothest pump action 22's. I have seen a couple with some broken internal parts so I do not know how reliable they are.
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Old 01-31-2019, 03:09 PM
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I'll echo what Sav22 says. I would rate the slide actions from Winchester, Remington, and Savage ahead of them rated according to design and durability. I've noticed that a lot of them seem to have more bad barrels due to erosion than I see in guns like the Savages of the same period. Not sure why.....maybe just the luck of the draw on my part. I have owned several of the Model 38s, and while they are nice looking guns, I find them to tend towards mechanical issues including the adjustment mechanism for taking the slack out of the take down mechanism and with wear in the firing pin channel in the bolt face.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:04 AM
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I agree with Sav22 and Pump22s. The other major manufacturers had better designs. However, I do like the fact that the Marlin hammer pump .22s averaged about a pound lighter than the others. They were also marvels of simplicity and efficiency, thanks to L L Hepburn, who also designed the Marlin levers, except for the Levermatics. The M32 and M38, essentially the same rifle, were designed by Gus Swebilius and Hans Hanitz, and are really a bit more complex than necessary. I really like my Model 38 - it's accurate and well-made, but nowhere nearly as good a design as the Model 39, which is about as good as it gets.
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