Lever - I feel your pain (in more ways than one). My second outing with my 32-40 resulted in the second best target of my life time of shooting, setting a standard I seriously doubt I will ever beat again with iron sights. My wiggles and wobbles seemed to cancel each other out for once. Was a lot of fun, but sad at the same time.
I have a lot of load data to use and a lot of shooting to do, but still doubt I will ever best my 32-40 postal match target (the 19.8 grains of IMR 4198 load).
If I was as old as your rifle I wouldn't even be able to see the target, much less hit it.
Love the older Marlin's, just too rich for my wallet. For it's age and all I would say real nice shooting. Shenandoah