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Old 12-12-2020, 05:35 PM
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End of the Marlin 39



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Thinking it over, it now seems most unlikely that one of my favorite rifles, the Marlin 39 will ever make a comeback.

Just take a Marlin 39 apart and look at it. Look at the curved takedown joints that have to fit perfectly with no edges sticking out. Getting those to fit must have been as tricky as fitting side plates to Smith and Wesson revolvers. Lots of expensive hand fitting needed here.

Look at the lever. It must butt snugly against the breech bolt lug to lock the action shut. But it must be loose enough for the lever to operate. Obviously this required precision fitting.

Look at the breech block which must fit the receiver perfectly with no overlapping edges. When Marlin went to the round bolt in their high powered rifles in 1948 it was partly to get away from the careful fitting required by those square breech blocks of the 1893/36 rifles.

Two companies, Mossberg and Henry have made inexpensive clones of the 336 for the economy market so making a 336 type of rifle economically must be possible.

But nobody has made a clone of the 39. The Chiappi rifle looks like a 39 but is quite different internally.

I think Marlin lost money on the 39 for many years. They kept the rifle because of the prestige it gave the company and subsidized it from sales of the Model 60. They also hated to discontinue it while the Winchester 9422 was in production.

Ruger will certainly keep making 336 type of rifles and should be able to put out a quality product at reasonable prices.

But if you are lucky enough to own a Marlin 39 then hang onto it because you probably won't see its likes again.
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Old 12-12-2020, 05:50 PM
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Sadly, I think that you are correct. I've read that the 39s made by the Remington custom shop were made with parts that were left over from when Marlin was in business, and when those parts were used up there would be no more. If that is correct, then the Ruger purchase of the Marlin production equipment wouldn't include any functioning tooling for manufacturing the 39. Ruger bought Remington's operating production lines, and there wasn't one for the 39.

Ruger could try to bring the 39 back, but that would take a good bit of development work. This is all speculation on our part, we'll just have to wait for Ruger to provide more information on their plans.
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Old 12-12-2020, 06:14 PM
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If William Ruger was still alive and in his prime I could find cause to argue with these posts somewhat. However, in today's Ruger company I don't anticipate them spending time and effort in resurrecting the model 39. I would love to see it and the thought that it might be made in stainless steel almost makes me giddy, but alas, don't think it's gonna happen.
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Old 12-12-2020, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by wproct View Post
If William Ruger was still alive and in his prime I could find cause to argue with these posts somewhat. However, in today's Ruger company I don't anticipate them spending time and effort in resurrecting the model 39. I would love to see it and the thought that it might be made in stainless steel almost makes me giddy, but alas, don't think it's gonna happen.
Maybe they will ask themselves "What would Bill do?"

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Old 12-12-2020, 07:05 PM
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Wow..

Ruger's press statement when they bought Marlin was "long live the lever gun"

Think they won't put that money maker back in production? Think ANYONE other than Ruger COULD build the rifle? Ruger will get it going, they are the best hope that rifle has had since 2007. Bet on it. The 60 & 795 might be gone (but I doubt it because they are money makers and have good tooling. But the 39 will come back.
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Old 12-12-2020, 07:30 PM
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If you laid all the Model 60s made since 1959 end to end they would stretch from New York to Los Angeles. And back.

If you laid all the Ruger 10/22s made since 1964 end to end they would only stretch from New to Los Angeles.

The Model 60 must be a huge money maker because it has captured the low end of the market. Surely Ruger would keep it and aim the 10/22 at a slightly more upscale audience.

I still think the profits from the Model 60 subsidized the Model 39 for some years. And it wouldn't be the first time something like that has happened. The Winchester Model 21 shotgun was always a money loser but John Olin kept it alive with the profits generated by the Model 94.

Keeping the 39 was a matter of pride to Marlin. It was not a matter of pride for Remington and likely won't be for Ruger.

Bill Ruger would have %%%%ed the torpedoes and kept the Number 1 and the Red Label shotgun in production. He might even have resurrected the Marlin 39.

But that only happens in companies where there is one strong willed owner.
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Old 12-12-2020, 07:48 PM
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Ruger dropped the 77/22 (rimfire) from production, that's a model that is easier to make than the 39A. I can't imagine that they will spend the resources to tool up production of the 39A when they won't make the 77/22.
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Old 12-12-2020, 08:14 PM
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With investment casting they should be able to make the 39A cheaper than Marlin did, and in stainless steel.
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Old 12-12-2020, 08:39 PM
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With investment casting they should be able to make the 39A cheaper than Marlin did, and in stainless steel.
I'm liking your line of thinking.
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Old 12-12-2020, 10:00 PM
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No inside information here or anything. But Ruger will not make a a Model 39A again. Even if they did I would not buy one. I am a old timer and there are plenty of good old "real" JMs in my collection now. And plenty more real ones out there to find, to last me a lifetime. Why would I want to buy a mere copy of one under any circumstances.

Does not make any sense to whatsoever. Abundance of real nice originals out there to be had. Why would anyone buy what will have to be a cheapened Ruger copy to sell at a price point that the market would pay?

Last edited by carbineone; 12-12-2020 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 12-12-2020, 10:02 PM
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I'm not a gunmaker and maybe it is just wishful thinking, but with CNC tolerances it seems to my admittedly limited knowledge that the hand matching of compatible parts and subsequent hand fitting would largely go away. What am I missing?

Jim
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Old 12-12-2020, 10:20 PM
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Many will disagree but I see no reason why the 39A ever needs to be made with a takedown feature again.
It could be made far stronger and less costly to just make the receiver out of one piece.
I, for one, would prefer it be made that way.

As far as cleaning goes, just use a pull thru style cleaner, and don't worry about a takedown action as it's not really needed.

Ruger would have no problem building the rifle that way and the stainless 39A could easily become a reality.
I still think and predict it will!
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Old 12-12-2020, 11:44 PM
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I've said this before in other threads, but if Ruger wants to capitalize on Marlin's reputation to reenter the rimfire lever-gun market they'd have to be able to compete with Henry price-wise... and they can't do that with the 39.
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Old 12-13-2020, 02:22 AM
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https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...RST&ajaxhist=0

What did Chiappa do to compete with Henry?
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Old 12-13-2020, 07:46 AM
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Anything can be made for a cost. But people often won't pay that cost. There are very few gun buyers today that look for old school designs: Marlin 39s, Colt SAAs, Sharps 1874s. So the demand is low, supply medium. Cost to manufacture, high. You end up with $1800 SAAs and $2500 Sharps. Would people buy a 39 if it was $1300? I doubt not enough to keep the production line going.

Uberti could make one, easily. It would be cheaper too.
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