I recently picked up a Marlin 39A at a gun show. I had been looking at lever action .22's for a while now, and didn't want to pay the price for a new Marlin. I rarely see any used 39A's for sale, so I didn't have much confidence I'd find one anytime soon. Lo and behold, the last fun show I attended, there was one 39A for sale by a vendor that deals only in used guns. I looked it over, and could tell immediately it was lightly, if ever used. The stock was perfect, and the bluing was an honest 99%. All of the screws were perfect as well, and showed no deformations from a screw driver being used on them. The wood was not checkered, and there was no cross bolt safety. The sling swivels had all of their bluing on them, so it had never been slinged for any length of time. The stock is oiled, and it was clear to me from dealing in milsurps, the finish was likely as it came from the factory. In other words, the previous owner did not put any additional coats of linseed or tung oil on the wood. You can still see the very tiny open grains of the walnut, not in a dried out bad way, but in a good well preserved lightly used way. The only sign of use is on the gold trigger. There is a very slight amount of finish wear in the spot a right handed shooter would contact the trigger. Like a lot of older rifles, this one was missing the sight hood, but the brass bead is still there, and the sight blade is perfect.
I gave the rifle a good once over, and the seller came over to talk to me. He pointed out that new ones sell for five hundred or more, and that he got this one from an estate sale. He also commented that this one doesn't have the "nice hand checkering" the new ones do, but then again, it is an older used gun. I got a little chuckle out of that statement. I put it back on the rack, and proceeded to shop the entire show. After an hour or so of walking around, I decided to take one last look at the Marlin. I had been reading up on the 39A's for a while now, so I knew this was an older gun in excellent condition, but I didn't quite know exactly what I was looking at. The gun was tagged for $449. The dealer came over, and noticed I was back again looking at same rifle. He made a joke about it being fate, and offered it up to me for $420 out the door, tax included. I told him(the truth, not a line....LOL) that I had found another rifle, and I was trying to make up my mind between the two because I couldn't afford both. He asked me what I would pay. I told him $375 out the door, tax included. He thought about it, and agreed.
I think at $375 OTD, I may have paid a tad too much, but it beats $500+ for a new one without the character this old rifle has. What do you think about the price?
Overall, I'm happy with my purchase. I'm glad I held out for a used one. The size and feel of the 39A was worth the extra money, and it's condition pleases me. The serial number is AA16XXX, which makes it a 1965 Marlin Golden 39A. All things considered, not too bad for a 43 year old rifle.
Here are the obligatory pictures.
I like the grain of the hand guard wood.
Another of the hand guard.
The crown and muzzle show no wear. The bluing at the crown also shows no wear.
Nice grain in the stock, and it looks like an undisturbed factory finish.
Another of the stock.
I cannot say if you paid to much or not but as i have also been looking for a nice used one and prefer my leverguns uncheckered i waould have done the deal in a minute at 375. That is one nice looking rifle you got yourself there
Your new found rifle looks to be all original from your photos. I don`t think you overpaid for it either. Thats a good going price for the vintage in upper grades. You will be pleased that you bought the earlier model rather than one of the newer models with the rebounding hammer and crossbolt safety. Those older ones ar built like a tank.
Shoot that Marlin `93, that`s what they were made for.
I picked up a 1964 not long ago that needed a little work on the wood. But in almost as good shape as yours. I payed $325 + tax.
You do have some beautiful wood on there. I would definitely have payed $375 for yours.
And when you take it out to shoot, you wont think you payed to much ether. So far my best group is with"Federal AutoMatch". 4 rd group the size of a dime at 50yrd.
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It's gorgeous. I didn't realize how expensive these had gotten. I got my 39 Century LTD 4 decades ago or so when I was just a kid. I think my Dad paid $125 for each of the consecutive serial numbered 39s for my brother and I.
I'm sure you got a decent deal, but a great deal for a work of gun art like that. I prefer to just "depreciate" them over the years I'll shoot them and then one of my son's will. Rationalization is one of my gifts.
M-39 Century Ltd,
I'd have paid that for it for sure!
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That's a really nice gun, I think you paid less than what they go for in this area. The gun looks very much like my 1975 model, only yours has better grain in the forend. My stock is pretty nice, but my forend is much plainer. You did a good job!
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Darn nice wood for sure. You wont be sorry.
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I think you did really well for the age and shape of the gun as you mentioned its like new and a 65 model at that...I would sleep with a smile on my face for awhile if I were you. Nice rifle, ....alright what you want to hear.... I'm envious!
MO Team 444 -- Member #179
I've seen a lot of them go for FAR more than $375!!! If it were me and he wouldn't budge on the $420 OTD price, I'd have paid that!! You did good and the wood is awesome looking!!
All in all it looks great for its age. Keep an eye out on e-bay for an original front sight hood if you're interested in finding one. They pop up there from time to time.
Steve, in Massachusetts...
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