I recently acquired a Marlin Model 80 DL on a straight trade for a Glenfield Model 60 and I couldn't be happier about it. I didn't really have a clue about what the 80 was other then it was a bolt action, magazine fed, 24" rifle, with an obviously walnut stock. As a gun refurbishing hobbyist, I enjoy bringing guns back from the brink of ruin, especially those manufactured from the 1930's to the early 1960's. Given that this rifle is pre-microgroove, with a walnut stock, and a plastic trigger guard, it was most likely made between 1945 and 1947. It didn't cycle when I picked it up, but it had all the parts in all the right places, except for a dinged up stock and a missing sight aperture on the receiver sight (Marlin/Lyman 12R). It turns out that with some adjustments to the magazine lips and some tinkering with the extractor, I quickly got the 80 cycling. Not only does it cycles, it cycles with a smoothness and authority that I have rarely felt in any .22lr bolt at any price. I found a gent that machines the replacement aperture for the rife (Apertures-N-More, www.aperturesnmore.com, firstname.lastname@example.org), and ordered an replacement. After a couple of days of work on the stock (much sanding, Tru-oil, and carnauba wax), the rifle was ready to go to the range. Wow. A very accurate rifle. I can't believe that these go for $100 - $175. It outshoots my CZ 452 Ultra Lux shot for shot with the same ammo. I'm sure that the 31" sight radius has something to do with it. I'm very happy with this rifle and plan on keeping it around for some time. If anyone else out there has any history with these rifles let me know what you think of your experiences.
My older brother bought a Marlin 80 back in 1947 - 1948 time frame. It was the gun I used on my very first hunt in 1951 (squirrel hunting). It was to this day the most accurate rifle I have ever shot!
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Beautiful work on that stock, Mike...nice to see someone who appreciates those old rimfires and is willing to invest the time to resurrect one. Your skills are apparent. For a "budget" firearm, they were built to a quality we seldom see today and their modest price, even now, makes them a true bargain.
Great link for replacement apertures...Thanks!
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I have the 81-DL. The only difference from yours is the mag tube I think. One of my best shooters.
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Nicely done... sweet rifle ! The work on the stock looks very nice. Congrats.
I've got a close cousin in the Glenfield 25. A tack driver for sure.
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I shoot an older 80DL with the original sights for all my RFC Fun Shoot iron sight class targets. Most accurate iron sighted 22 I have.
Nice job on the restore. Looks great and will last you a lifetime.
There is so little to go wrong with them that can`t be fixed in a minute or two and most times when you see one for sale that`s a shooter it`s a bargain at anything under $150.00
Shoot that Marlin `93, that`s what they were made for.
I have the 81 tube fed version branded JC Higgins, and it is a superb shooter. Much more accurate than I am. How do you like using the Lyman 12R sights? I have one and am not to thrilled with it. I also ordered from Apertures-N-More and they are a class outfit. Nice work on the restoration. I would like to have and 80 as well.
Thanks everyone. I'm really enjoying this .22. The Lyman 12R is OK. You really have to crank the elevation knob to hold settings, and having to use a screwdriver for windage can be a pain. Also the settings come up a bit short for high-velocity rounds (such as much of CCI lineup), however standard velocity rounds work great. The aperture is the .050 "hunting" aperture. I may pickup a .040 "target" aperture in the near future though just to see if it makes any difference.
If I wasn't interested in keeping the gun original, I would probably opt for the Lyman Model 57 aperture sight, on the Lyman 57MR base, like many recommend. I might order it later on just to do a compare and contrast. If I do, I will let you know what I think.
Can you still order the Lyman 57 with the MR base? I did not see anything on their website about it. I would pick one up as well. I have a 57 on my Marlin A1 and I noticed that it runs out of elevation before I can zero at 25 yards. Not sure it this would occur on the 80/81. Let me know what happens.
Mals9, I think you are correct about the 57mr base being out of production. I have found a few on eBay and gunbroker over the past few months, and it looks like one on eBay now that is mislabeled (http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Lyman-57...item2eadea5a86). It's a bit of a "shot-in-the-dark" but it looks like the correct sight and base to my completely untrained eye .