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I am contemplating changing the direction of my collection. It has been my goal for quite a long time now to collect one of each model lever action that Marlin has made over the years. Turns out there a quite a few more than I realized when I started but I have made it up to 17 rifles now. I do have a few duplicates, but they are my 1895s. I have a 1895CLTD, a 1895M and a 1895CBA. I am really only missing the 1881, 1888, 1889, original 1894 (have a Cowboy Limited) and a original 1895.

Now if any of you have priced the rifles that I still need, you would know that a nice example is going to set you back a fair sum. I am starting to think that my goal has become unattainable for me and therefore I am thinking of redefining.

I love the square bolts and octagon or half octagon barrels the best. I am thinking of just collecting rifles that have either a square bolt or a octagon barrel or better yet, both. That would mean selling off my rifles that have neither. The 39 Golden, 308MXLR, 338MX, 336ER, 375, 444, 1895M and I think one more that I can't remember right now would be sold off to purchase something to fit the new guidelines. Maybe a nice pistol gripped 1893 or 1894 Takedown in smokeless steel that I could actually shoot.

So what say you, my fellow collectors? Is this just crazy to sell off half the collection that I have spent the last 30 years collecting? Or, does it make perfect sense to re-evaluate my goals and make the changes to head in a new direction? I'm really on the fence and would appreciate you all's thoughts.

Thanks,
-Bob George
 

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For me its all about the hunt and once I own a certain rifle or group of rifles a while I have learned to let them go and start in a new "direction". I have sold my collection many times over the last 35 years but always end up with less than I want but far more than I need. Its all about the enjoyment of owning these fine pcs of American craftsmanship for me. I say do whatever your heart can stand, there's lots of Marlins out there!
 
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A collection if to be obtained over a lifetime not is just a year or two. At One time I had over 200 marlins. At that point I found I had a hard time keeping them all oiled and a safe place for them all. I then decided to sell off all but 50 of my favorite. I am now happy with the ones I have and I now buy to better the ones I have or buy one I feel is a darn good buy. Just slow down and smell the roses. You will find a level that feels right for you and you too will slow down on buying.

I am not telling you what to do just making a suggestion and stating what I did. The point here is just have fun with collecting. Sounds like you already have a great collection.

Enjoy the Journey
444GS2
 

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Well I don't think there is anything necessarily wrong with changing your direction...after all that's what collecting is all about. The main thing though is not to sell something you may want to buy back! I've sold my 1895M and 444P, 308MX and a 35Rem RC. But the guide guns I sold to consolidate calibers more than anything.....never shot the 308MX, nor the 35Rem RC, but managed to use the money to pick up something I wanted. Don't try to categorize your buying habits...a lot of times it just comes down to who is selling something here on MO, or at a local gunshop or gunshow. Don't sell a bunch of rifles off unless you KNOW there is something you want! It's actually easier to do than you think! I've got a dozen Marlins now, the ones I have I don't think I'd sell. That's where you need to get to!
 

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Follow your passion. Which style virtually reels you in with true captivation? Carbines? Big bore? Cowboys? New or antique. You gotta feel yer gut sense and follow it. I have 20 Marlin levers. Only 2 Carbines and the rest rifles. 16 of which are octagon and one half. 2 are antiques and are fully restored with new hand made barrels. I have antique and I have late models and NO remlins. I'm JM to the bone.

I follow my gut. If what I see doesn't cause instant salivating, I pass on it.

Follow yer inner gut feelings. That's all I have to say about that!
 

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I do not have a Marlin collection like you speak of. However I did have a VERY,VERY,VERY nice WWII all correct museum quality collection which contained a M1 Garand, M1 carbine, M1903A3 and M1903.Also an all correct pristine IHC Garand and pre-ban M1A. After I got all of that together and enjoyed them for several years it was like "now what"? I wrestled with the idea of selling them for quite some time. Then decided to make it happen. Well...I sold them and began Marlin collecting. Thing is I only buy what I will shoot. I say this because I learned on some of the a fore mentioned pieces. If something broke on them they were no longer original and thus the collector value was affected.Now I only buy what I can shoot. Like Mazer said "It's actually easier to do than you think!" Best of luck.:biggrin:
 

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Go for it! I have a bunch of marlins, none newer then 1936, every model from 1881- 1936. You don't have to be afraid to shoot any! I really love the old guns, my favorite being the 1893 and 1895s
 

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Things change, and I agree that the hunt is a big part of my collecting interest over the years. I have changed collecting interest numerous times. Started out in high school collecting .22 pump rifles, as they were affordable. Then moved on to Hi Standard pistols. After that it was S&W pistols, and then early Marlin lever actions. During the Marlin collecting I picked up a Ballard, and they became an equal focus. In the years of collecting I have always kept a few of the previous interest when I moved on to the next. Could have easily kept them all if I was rich, but once I moved on I needed the funds to move forward.
I'm probably not likely to change interests again at my age, but I am still looking at, and purchasing Ballards. Since they're so inflated now, I rarely pick one up. For the last few years I haven't found one I could afford, or wanted. Then this year three have come along that I purchased.
Collecting isn't a race, and it's not cheap. I often save for months to make a purchase, and have often watched guns slip away when I was short on funds, and saw one I'd want. Never wanted to go in debt for a collection, so if I didn't have the cash, it was just tough luck. If you want to narrow down your collecting because you like a certain gun style, that's your choice. But I wouldn't stop collecting a certain theme, just because they seem out of reach. I'd simply save longer, and be patient. Eventually your savings, and the opportunity will fall in line, and you can knock another off the bucket list.
 

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People change - their interests evolve and they get more focused on what matters most to them. It sounds like, in the beginning, your answer to the question was "yes" - to all of them. Most of us don't get all of it - anything - no matter what that is. So we refocus, and spend our time on what matters more to us than a general "all of it". I think it's smart to refocus as you evolve. Don't waste your time with what is less important.

Especially since I want a shot at your 338mx.

:biggrin:

Brocky
 
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I know tastes change along the way and new interests crop up now and then. I was into mausers for a little while and now it's marlins. I have no intention of trying to get them all. Just a well rounded collection from 22 to 45-70 and I'm pretty well there. At least close enough not to feel any urges or fits or anything. Single shots are on deck now. I've been enjoying my highwall so much that it's gonna need some help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I thank you all for your inputs. Still on the fence because like Mazer says, don't sell something you might end up buying back :) Some of the rifles that I mentioned would be hard to replace such as the 336ER. That's the rifle in 356 Winchester that they only made a for a few years. Once I decide to move in the new direction they would be gone, but hopefully I would have a very nice 1893 takedown to replace them.

I see one on auction right now that is beat to hell and I wonder what it will go for. I am betting at least a grand. I also wonder what it would cost to have one refinished (CCH receiver, rest blued) the barrel re-lined, and a replacement stock. I could probably fit the stocks myself but I would want them checkered and I'd have to send them out for that.

I am cursed with having expensive taste I guess. I love pistol grip rifles and it's hard to find a 1893 or 1894 with a pistol grip. The people that have them know it and the price reflects. Finding a pistol gripped takedown is even harder.

I would be happy with the "new" model 1894 Cowboys if they came in pistol grips or if I could convert them to a pistol grip but they are not like a 336 where there were plenty of both made and parts are availible. Very few pistol grip 1894s were made and the parts just aren't there. I just modified a straight grip into a pistol grip myself and it's turning out to be a nightmare. The welding shop used a filler rod that won't take bluing. I sent it off to be blued and it came back nicely blued except where it was welded. I sent it back to them and they applied a baked on finish and it came back with a bare spot on the lever. I guess it was not cleaned well before the finish application. Oh, but I digress... Back to the topic :)

Anyways, it's a big decision. I would have to sell before I buy and most of the seven would need to go to get the dream rifle. Part of me asks "How can you sell the rifles with Marlin cartridges, the 444, 450, 308 and 338?" and other than ammo is a pita to find locally, I can't answer that... Maybe they could be the last of the seven to go. If I got enought from the first three to buy the fixer opper, it might be easier to sell these four.

I think I am over thinking this,
-Bob
 

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Bottom line bruiser, buy what makes you happy! Sell what you need to get to that "happy place", it's only money after all! :biggrin: Besides, the hunt is 75% of the fun!
 

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It's all in the journey!

Once you reach the destination you look around and ask "what to do next?". Sounds like you've decided to change journeys and that's OK too. Sometimes we realize that a journey is just not as exciting as it once was.

Just enjoy the journey, which ever way it takes you.

Mop
 

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Bruiser- reading through the posts there seem to be common feelings amongst us.
Its normal for our intersts and passion to change, it's part of our evolution and growth.
And a lot of the pleasure is in the hunt for the next " one ". It quickens our pulse,
and like HD said, makes us salivate.
Don't be too quick to give up what you have until you have the next one in hand,
but sometimes it is time to let go and move on. Mostly just have fun and enjoy the quest.
Compared to members like MM93 I am a newbie into collecting Marlins ( not sure I would
even qualify as a collector ) but even in that time my passions have drifted. Initially I pursued
mostly modern JM rifles. Lately I have become enamored of the old ones. Holding them
and shooting them just gives me a feeling hard to put into words but which I am confident you all share.
It has been interesting reading here, and makes think it may be time for me to let some go as well and refocus.
 

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It's your collection but...remember that these Marlins are in your care for NOW. Eventually someone else will have them. Thin your herd and try to send them to others who will value them.

DD
 
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Hey Bruiser nothing wrong with the vintage Marlins. That's a sickness all it's own! You don't have to buy the $5000+ rifles. A vintage Marlin in nice shape is good for me. I look at price and condition. If all the metal is nice and the stock is trash with a good price I would go for it. You can always fit new wood. There are many in nice shape minus the case coloring which is usually faded and original sights are a plus. Pick up some vintage tangs and other sight goodies from ebay (another sickness) and you have yourself a diamond.

The 88 is hard to find especially in decent shape. The 81's are out there and most want too much for them. Reloading is a must with these old Marlins! WARNING these rifles will attract a crowd at the range!:biggrin:

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Lever addict,

That's a nice group of rifles you have there.

It seems that to get one with a decent bore, you either have to pay the money for a "prime" example or be prepared to have a liner installed which is in itself pretty pricey. Seems like a "pay me now or pay me later" kind of thing. Oh an there is always the option of a new barrel if you've got that kind of moeny to part with :)

I have a 1893, probably a first year (not stamped 1893) that I bought when I first started collecting. It's pistol grip in 32-40. Of course it has the original trigger plate without the center support screw and a barrel suitable for black powder only. The bore is rough, the trigger pull is very light, the hammer won't stay in the half cock postion, the forearm has shrunk and hte butt stock is not numbered to the rifle. I frankly don't know what to do with it because I want a shooter menaning that I want a rifle that looks nice and will shot a respectable group. I don't know if I could get this gun to that level without throwing as much money into it as I would spend on a "prime" example.

-Bob
 

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Bruiser, that is part of the hunt! Of course it is also the part where you (as the buyer) needs to know his stuff about these older rifles to avoid exactly what you are talking about, OR going in with "eyes wide open" and purchasing a rifle knowing full well you will need to have some professional work done on it. I don't know enough about the older rifles to even attempt purchasing one....especially if I planned on shooting it! Looks like a WHOLE "nother ballgame looking at the "vintage" rifles vs purchasing a modern Marlin! Good luck with your decision! Fortunately for me, I'm not there yet! I just like the 'newer' cowboys and they hit the bankroll hard enough!
 

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Bruiser many bores are oversize and badly fouled but after a good bore scrubbing you would be surprised at how well some not to good looking bores will shoot with proper size bullets! Some look down a barrel and see hardly any rifling, but after a good scrubbing it's probably there and will shoot well, If not pure lead bullets and BP will most likely get you there! As far as the black powder barrel goes, most of us with the special smokeless steel barrels only shoot them at black powder velocity any way! If you reload you can get past a liner many times but it will take some work. Many will reline if there rifle cant chamber the proper size bullet but you can ream the chamber to a certain point. Theres lots of things to try before resorting to a reline.

Heres some good reading on getting past a reline with the pistol caliber rifles and poly shot buffer!

http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/marlin-collectors/145457-1894-1st-yr-prod-38wcf.html
http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/marlin-collectors/91027-marlin-1894-44-40-a.html
 
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