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Thread: Marlin model 81



  1. #1
    Sidewinder
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    Marlin model 81

    I found a Marlin model 81 at a gun shop today, can anyone tell me anything about this model? it is a nice full size .22 bolt action with Ballard cut barrel, no microgroove, and no serial number, are they any good? I was looking for a model 25 but found this instead, I am thinking about going back and getting it for $125 with a J.C. higgins scope
    OK it look's like it is a model 81DL with plastic trigger guard
    Last edited by caferacer; 06-30-2012 at 06:36 PM.
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  2. #2
    Wrangler
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    The 80/81 series goes back a long way and has an excellent reputation for quality and accuracy. I believe they were replaced by the 780/781 around 1970. Yours would be much older without microgroove rifling. $125 sounds like a fair price. I know they often fetch $200 or more on GB if in good condition. Sounds like a nice piece of history.
    Dennis

    1956 Marlin model 39A
    1964 Marlin model 80DL
    1965 Marlin model 980DL
    1966 Revelation model 120 (Marlin 99 clone)
    1970 Revelation model 105M (Marlin 80 clone)
    1979 Glenfield model 15
    1981 Marlin model 780
    2014 Savage model 93R17

  3. #3
    Sidewinder
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    did a little research and it looks like it was made in the early 50's $100 for the rifle and $25 for the scope appear to be going rate
    the owner of the gun store said he had a couple of motorcycles that he wanted to get running, so perhaps we can do a deal
    Four on the floor & a fifth in my hand
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  4. #4
    Gun Wizard
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    I have a 81 and shes a very accurate 22. Mine is pre WW2. I would get it. Look in side the chamber and make sure the bullet guide at the top of chamber is not broke, you will see it in picture. Its a flat crooked metal gizzmo at tthe top .
    caferacer likes this.
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  5. #5
    Marlin Marksman
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    If its a model 81DL it should have a peep sight on the receiver. I have one and it is a great shooter with the peep sight. Here's mine-



    The one you're looking sounds like it should be a good deal and a good shooter with the scope.

    M
    I am still clinging to guns and religion.



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    1893, 1894 CS, 1894 CB, 444SS, 39A Golden, 81 DL, 80 DL, Glenfield 30 "SC", 39M Octagon, and a 922M....

  6. #6
    Sidewinder
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    cool thanks for the info
    I think I will go back and grab it next weekend if it is still there
    I have some dummy 22 rounds (like snap caps) so I can check how it feeds
    is that a common problem with this model? is it a big deal to replace that bullet guide ?
    Four on the floor & a fifth in my hand
    gonna rock&roll ya to the promised land

  7. #7
    Sidewinder
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    May I resurrect this thread?
    Just picked up a Mod. 81 in good condition. A little rough but I think it will clean up. What age would it be? Has no ser.# and no JM stamp.
    Micro-groove barrel has "AL" stamped on left side just below sight dovetail. Alloy trigger guard, gold trigger and stainless bolt. Nice pistol grip stock Marlin Bullseye and black & white caps on both grip and butt. I know it will be a great shooter but would like to know more about Mod. 81.
    Thanks, Steve

  8. #8
    Sidewinder
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    Micro-groove barrel puts it 53 or later, no serial # puts it earlier than 68. According to Brophy the white spacers were used on the bolt actions starting in 60. The gold trigger was added to the 80, 81, and 980 in 64, If the receiver is grooved, that would also put it 60 and later. He also says that in 60 the plastic trigger guards were now standard (someone may have changed your guard, or stock) . The problem (as far as aging one) with the old Marlins is that you could throw a bunch of random year parts into a pile and put together a fine rifle with whatever parts you happened to pick up. Most would interchange. Stock change is VERY common. Closest way to age is from barrel and bolt, but bolt change is common also. If you know your gun to be original configuration, I would say 64-67

  9. #9
    Sidewinder
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    Also a pic would help. Are you sure the "AL" is not a "DL" ? A "DL" with a gold trigger could put it 62-67
    myg30 likes this.

  10. #10
    Marlin Marksman
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    "AL" puts it at January '68, prior to the mandated serial numbers implemented that same year.

    Klewless likes this.
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