I've been intrigued by these guns for a while and after reading a very enthusiastic post over on the 16 ga site I went ahead and bought a pair of marlin model 90 shotguns.
The one I have in hand is a 30" 12 ga "G" prefix (1950 mfg) and the one I'm waiting on is a 28" 20 ga "F" prefix (1949 mfg). Both are choked Full over Mod and the barrels have no rib in between. they have 2 triggers and plain extractors. The 12 is a well balanced 7lbs 14 oz and the 20 is supposed to weigh 6lbs 4oz.
I had a chance to shoot one quick round of skeet with the 12 ga and so far I am very impressed. This gun locks up very tight and the stock fits me great. They actually look similar to a remington 32 (OK the 32's ugly sister) but still classic.
I think these guns may be a real sleeper in the collector market. A real American manufactured OU manufactured and they can be bought at bargain prices.
Any other model 90 fans out there?
the 90 is on my "wish" list.
Cathy, You need to grab one, or two while they are still affordable.
I saw one of these a few years ago and realized it was the gun my father used when I was a kid (long gone). His was a Sears (J.C. Higgins) branded one. I had to have it- a 12 ga 30" barrel, 2 trigger version with the solid rib. Then I found a 16 ga, 28", 2 trigger solid rib one. They are great- I really like the 16 gauge Marlin 90. I even like the purple hue of the receiver, it being malleable iron and not able to be blued. I really want to find one of the combo, rifle/shotgun combo versions of the Marlin 90- they are pretty rare. Being a turkey hunter- I think a 16ga X 22 hornet would be neat. The double trigger versions are definitely better than the single trigger versions as you can select your choke for the first shot. I personally prefer the look of the ribbed barrel ones better than the separated barrel later model ones, though I appreciate the benefits of the latter separated barrels.
mbyoh, Theres a 410 I'd love to have on one of the Auction sites, but it's going to go for big bucks.
The 20 Ga that I bought off of GB arrived last week and it is sweet.
I have really come to appreciate the double triggers just in the last few years. Now that I'm a convert, I don't know why I avoided them for so long. I just had it in my head that it would somehow be clumsy, and now I realize that not only is it not clumsy, but the instant choice of barrels and the simplicity and durability of the design are great advantages.
Numrich has some 20ga / 30-30 combo barrels at a decent price, and I may buy one of those and have it fitted.
Thought I'd post a range report. I've put 1500 or more rounds through the 12 ga and about 750 through the 20 gauge without the slightest hint of a problem. I've mostly been shooting skeet and 5 stand and since I had the 12 opened up to SK and IC it busts clays as good as any gun I've owned.
I bought a set of the Seminole chambermates that allow you to shoot 20ga shells in the 12 ga and they work great. I break just as many skeet with the 12/20 as shooting the 12 and The recoil is very mild.
I also picked up another 12 ga last week: a pre war Ranger. Manufactured for Sears by Marlin in 1935. It has the solid rib between the barrels.
Finally found a 16 Ga model 90 at a reasonable price. This is one of the Sears Ranger guns made prior to WWII with the Solid rib between the 28" barrels. Chokes seem to be IC and Mod which makes me very happy. The serial number is A373 which predates the serial number range in my reference books but it must be prior to 1941 as the gun does not have any marlin markings. It weighs 6lbs 9oz.
Everything about this gun is a tight as it left the factory and I can't wait to shoot some 5 stand and skeet with it tomorrow.
Latest range update. I'm way past 10,000 rounds through the 12 ga model 90 with zero problems and the lockup shows no wear at all. The 20 and 16 ga don't get shot as much, but they also have functioned perfect. I have had a few failures to fire (maybe 1 per 50) from the 16 ga gun, but only with the cheap remington game loads.
If you are a marlin collector you need a model 90 in the house.
Awesome looking shotguns for sure..
"Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness." --George Washington
Sure wish you hadn't posted about the M-90's. While the forum was down, got one in that I found in the northeast. Built the same year as I was and at 75% might be in better shape! The forearm is a little loose, looks like the stock has been refinished plus the bullseye if missing. Have the bullseye on order.
The lever is about where a 7 would be on the clock face when locked up. There is no play or gap when locked up either. It has the 30 inch full 'n mod tubes with gap (H prefix).
Are the 20, 410's etc. built on the 12 gauge frame? Have not shot it ... tested out ok with snap caps. Wonder how hard it would be to have locking block tightened up / replaced. Think I'll only shoot targed and light game loads through it.
It's a nice addition to the marlinitis collection. mike