This last week at a pawn shop I was shown a Marlin 39A with the H prefix that had the barrel tapped (4 plugs) on the left side that looked like a perfect job and matched the blue. The acticon is not tapped .... at least thats OK. Did Marlin ever offer to drill / tap as an option back then?
My take is this is a gunsmith job that was tapped and reblued in the 50's. I'm not a good judge but looks to be better than 85%. There is light scratches on the receiver and no major dings on the stock.
I might try to get this one if the price is right as it was made about the same time as I was plus the serial no. also matches a specific year to me ....
Thanks .... Mike
This question came up before on Marlin Talk.... IIRC Marlin MAY have had some of the 39-A barrels factory tapped for the Weaver "N" mount. I can't remember what the exact details were- try posting on the collector's forum here on marlin owner's....
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Brophy mentions, in his book, of Marlin drilling and tapping 4 holes in the barrels of the 39A's that were sold through Sears Roebuck in the 50's. There is even a picture showing the holes, with plug screws in them, on page 290 of my copy that gives one the relationship of the holes to the receiver and rear sights. Only conflict is there is no mention of this being done before 1954 although I suspect it was.
As far as being an option during that period?! anything is possible although Marlin had pretty much dropped that aspect of their business (offering various options) when they re-organized in the early 1920's. However, I've seen some posts that say you can send a new 39A back to Marlin and they will drill and tap the two holes in the side of the receiver, at no charge, so a receiver sight can be mounted. Marlin had stopped doing this in regular production within the last few years as there did not seem to be a need for them by most people who purchased this rifle but would accommodate those that did want this done.
Hopefully others with more information will reply to your question so you have a better idea of weather or not those holes are factory or not. hope this helps
Not many people realize that Marlin did D&T the barrels for a scope mount. Sears was the one requesting it done. The best part is, not everyone knows it, except Marlin collectors. It doesn't hurt the value except to those not educated on the subject, which can save you some money at a gunshow.
My '52 Model 39A has the barrel holes, and even came with the mount. It takes the old 3/4" scopes, and the problem is that the mount is too far forward for most modern shorter 3/4" scope tubes. I managed to mount an old Weaver scope with both rings way forward - it gives very little clearance for the hammer. It worked after a fashion, but I removed it and like my Marbles tang peep sight much more.
I do need to find some filler screws for these holes though - they are rather unsightly.
The same shop I bought this rifle at later had another '52 model that did not have the barrel holes.
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