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  1. #1
    Tenderfoot
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    What is the model year of this 81-DL please?

    I have a Marlin 81-DL 22 Cal. tube-feed bolt-action with the following stamped on the barrel:

    The Marlin Firearms Co NEW HAVEN, CONN USA EST 1870
    MODEL 81-DL - 22 CAL.-S-L-LR -----*----- A

    Pictures are linked below of a few (hopefully) helpful pictures for the experts.

    I'd like to know the model year (close anyway) so that I can find some replacement parts as close to the originals as possible.

    You'll notice the missing butt plate and rear peep sight. I don't know if the front sight originally came with a removable hood or not. I'm looking to get it into decent shape for personal use, so I will be flexible but it would be nice to restore it to 'original eqipment'. I'll probably buy some advertisements once I know which ones match.

    I have some good close-ups of the trigger, safety, and feed mechanism if that would help. Just ask!

    Thanks for any and all input.


    Click this link for the large image


    Click this link for the large image


    Click this link for the large image


    Click this link for the large image
    Rob

    I plink, therefore, I blam.

  2. #2
    Site Contributor & Team 444 Co-Captain Contributing Member
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    Re: What is the model year of this 81-DL please?

    http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/i...c,89325.0.html
    the pics are the ones from Brophys book on Marlins. Mr fixit
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  3. #3
    Tenderfoot
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    Re: What is the model year of this 81-DL please?

    Mr. Fixit,

    Thank you for the link. It seems to me (based on the front sight, rear sight, trigger guard, take-down screw, and safety) that my rifle meets the picture and description of the 81BE which places it as a 1940 model (earliest, anyway).

    That raises three questions:
    • Why is it stamped "81-DL"?
    • What is the significance of the "A" after the "-----*-----" stamp?
    • What is the possibility that there were LATER models which have the same features shown by my pictures and the graphics & text shown in your link? In other words, is this definitely a 1940 rifle, or do I still have to consider that it could be a newer model?

    I greatly appreciate your input and heartily welcome anyone else's!
    Rob

    I plink, therefore, I blam.

  4. #4
    Site Contributor & Team 444 Co-Captain Contributing Member
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    Re: What is the model year of this 81-DL please?

    The DL stands for Deluxe, the rifle came with sling swivels and something else, I'll look it up when I get home from work. On the left side of the rear of the rifle you show a post...there is suppose to be a peep sight mounted there, that's why there is only a blank in the spot where a sight should be on the barrel. Look again at the BE pic, see the sight hanging off the rear? Mr fixit
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  5. #5
    Tenderfoot
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    Re: What is the model year of this 81-DL please?

    Yes, I knew it was lacking a rear peep sight... and the butt plate ... and, I think, a removable hood over the front sight (see original post). That's why I'm trying to identify the year of make, so I can get replacement parts as close to original equipment as possible.

    If you look at my larger picture of the full rifle (link directly below first pic in original post) you will see the swivels. I guess I need to find a nice strap, too!

    So, the first question I asked was, if I have a 1940 model 81BE, why is it stamped "81-DL"? Is 81BE strictly a manufacturer's reference number, or were there actual rifles stamped "81BE" and mine is not one of them? I'm unfamiliar with the book you referenced and I'm unfamiliar with the model numbers, so please bear with me if this is a simplistic question.

    The point of the third question was - assuming that the 81BE was marketed as an "81-DL" - what is the chance that the 81-DL was sold AFTER 1940 with the same defining features seen in the Brophys book? It's clear that some of the features of my rifle did not exist until 1940, but were there changes made AFTER 1940 which would be clear indications that my rifle is a 1940 model, or could it still be from a later production year? That would place me in a range of years from which to seek my replacement parts. Again, forgive my lack of knowledge here, but the only page of the Brophys book I've seen is the one you linked in your first reply.

    Thanks for your attention to detail. I just naturally gravitate to the minor details in stuff like this, so I hope I'm not drilling too deep for you.
    Rob

    I plink, therefore, I blam.

  6. #6
    Site Contributor & Team 444 Co-Captain Contributing Member
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    Re: What is the model year of this 81-DL please?

    Wish I knew more, but all I can offer is what I found in Brophys book which I linked to. As it has been said before "Marlin didn't waste much" is it possible to find something in existence that is not noted somewhere? Yes. You might want to check over at Rimfire Central and knock on the doors there, perhaps someone there can help you more. My link shows the BE being made in 1940 only, could be it was made with an 81DL barrel. Mr fixit
    TO ARMS!!
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  7. #7
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    Re: What is the model year of this 81-DL please?

    The 81DL was made from 1941-64, and Marlin was not producing sporting rifles during WWII (~1942-44). When first introduced the forearm was enlarged, yours is not the early style, so I believe it is a post 1945 rifle. If the barrel is not microgroove, it places it prior to 1960. Post 1962 would have a microgroove barrel and a 2 letter code for production month & year on the left side of the barrel near the receiver. I would trust the barrel marking, consider it an original 81DL, missing the rear target peep site (model#12) and front sight hood. It was likely produced between 1946-50, based on the "short cone" striker knob, which looks to me like style #3 (by 1952 there were 4 styles listed in the parts catalog). The trailing A on the rollstamp may signify a contracted company who supplied the die; this marking is also seen on other Marlin rollstamps, such as the model 36ADL, which was made up until 1948.

  8. #8
    Tenderfoot
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    Re: What is the model year of this 81-DL please?

    Thank you, gewehr, for the additional input. Thank you, Mr. Fixit, for all of your feedback as well. You've both been a great help.

    I'll keep my eyes open for an original rear peep sight (none seem to be available right now, unless I want a Williams 5D Economy). I can get a butt plate easily, and I don't think the front sight hood matters much to me right now. It's not as if the rifle is in pristine condition.

    If anyone cares to comment on whether a Williams 5D Economy model 962-150-081 (not the exact picture, but correct product page) works well with an 81-DL, I'd welcome the input.

    Rob

    I plink, therefore, I blam.

  9. #9
    Tenderfoot
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    Model 81-DL=22 cal-S-l-LR

    Quote Originally Posted by mr fixit View Post
    Wish I knew more, but all I can offer is what I found in Brophys book which I linked to. As it has been said before "Marlin didn't waste much" is it possible to find something in existence that is not noted somewhere? Yes. You might want to check over at Rimfire Central and knock on the doors there, perhaps someone there can help you more. My link shows the BE being made in 1940 only, could be it was made with an 81DL barrel. Mr fixit
    I own this rifle and downloaded the Owners Manual. www.marlinfirearms.com/pdfs/manuals/mfc_bolt_action_rf.pdf
    Everything you ned is right there.

    Earle


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