My first post guys! I have found a Marlin 1893 in 32-40 with For Black Powder marked on the Octagon barrel.
It is marked "Model 1893" on the upper tang and the s/n (D66xx)is on the fwd trigger plate. It has the cresent butt plate, and the reciever is blued, not case colored. Barrel marking are*Marlin Fire-Arms co. New Haven. The bore is perfect! Do you think this a gun assembled during the Rockwell years from left over parts? Do you think it is rare? The D serial number with the upper tang marks are confusing me a bit. What do you think?
ulp: It is not uncommon to find a Model 1893 with a letter prefix to the serial number located
on the trigger plate near the fore-arm. The letters A,B,C and D were used. There are no records
and no other iron clad proof to know for sure but it seems that these guns were assembled during
the Marlin Arms or Marlin-Rockwell era. Not only the Model 1893 will be found with these letter
prefix's but other Models of this era will also be found with the letter prefix's also. I have a few
Model 1893 serial numbers recorded near yours with the D prefix that have a Bull's-Eye in the stock
which leads me to think maybe they were assembled after the formation of the new Marlin Firearms
Corporation . The important thing to me is that I don't think it is correct to refer to these
Marlin's as assembled from parts guns. They are merely the last run of production of the Model 1893's
before they became the Model 93. Don't think to much about the confusing issue on the Marlin serial
numbers after 1906. To say the least they are very confusing.
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Thank you for the info! It seems that this might have been a tough gun for a dealer to sell since smokeless powder had been out for nearly 20 years. This is the first black powder gun I have run across that may have been built in the teens. It does not have a bullseye. Do you think I might be wrong on the approx. build time?
Hey there ulp8 -- Most likely you have a Grade B gun. These were produced from 1905 to 1917. They had blued receivers and were in 32-40 and 38-55 caliber only. They were made in both rifle and carbine configurations. The carbines had 15 or 20 inch barrels, either round or octagonal. Hope this helps. Best regards. Wind
ulp8; Black Powder didn't just disappear overnight after the introduction of the New
Smokeless Powder it remained into the early twenty's at least. I think your gun may have
been assembled from around 1916-1920 but that's just a guess. If your gun is in good
good shape it is ok to shoot Smokeless Powder in it as long as you keep your loading
down to Black Powder levels and shoot Cast bullets. The Grade B guns were assembled
with the softer steel barrels as did the earlier Model 1893's in the original calibers.
32-40 Marlin and Ballard and the 38-55 Marlin and Ballard. Which were both Black Powder
at the time. I wouldn't call the Grade B rare but they are surely not as common as the
standard grade Model 1893 either, they are indeed interesting as a part of the Model 1893's
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The only rule we all observe is that you must post pictures. We'll just wait here.
I have two 38-55 1893s now and have owned others in the past. Wind and The Judge have, as usual, provided you with the best information.
One of my 1893s was made in 1893 in 38-55 with no designation on the barrel; all of these rifles were made for BP. Smokeless Steel barrels came along with introduction of the 30-30 into the 1893 spectrum. The 1893 barrels marked BP were made later for the Grade B rifles.
These BP barrels can be safely used with smokeless BP substitutes like 4198 or 5744. I have used 5744 in antiques for years including a Trapdoor Springfield and Ballard rifles. I don't like Triple 7 in BP firearms because it does have a somewhat stiffer pressure curve, 777 is a great BP sub in modern firearms.
Here's one of mine:
Marlin 1893 BP.jpg
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