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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two 81DL, one 80DL, and one JC Higgins 42dl. I am trying to date these 81 rifles. The 81's have been narrowed to post war (1945-1954) I believe. Plain Bullseye walnut stock, not Monte Carlo or Semi Beavertail. Ballard style rifling. One has rear 12r Peep sight, one has standard rear leaf sight. Both have the two screw hooded ramp front sight. New style safety, new style trigger, new style bolt, aluminum feed tube. I am thinking that the "New style" (specifically the curved, two screw, front ramp sight) puts them closer to the 1950 to 1954 period maybe? Is there any information available that indicates when the "new style" parts were put into production? There are 3 variations of rear leaf sights, and 3 variations of the front ramp style sight for these guns. Knowing the release dates would help to narrow that 8 year gap. I love the old ballard rifling, very accurate, and for me, the hefty solid feel of the old Marlins just can't be beat. I know that you can take a mix of parts out of a pile of these guns and put them together randomly and end up with an excellent shooter, but these 81's are a little special to me and I would like them to be as correct as possible.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
P-bass,
That actually confuses me some. My 42DL has the dovetail front ramp sight, but barrel is cut for new style band extractor. I thought the dovetail mount would be older, although the receiver is grooved for scope. Receiver may have been swapped in the past, but would not explain the larger barrel cut for band extractor. The 80 also has dovetail ramp mount, but uses smaller barrel cut for old style type extractor. Thanks for the info though. It is one more piece of the puzzle than I had before. Maybe after a few more responses it will start to make more sense?
 

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I don't think Marlin started grooving the receivers until '60.
Bear in mind that the store brand guns were often made to spec, so they may have features not found on the same year Marlin branded rifles. I see Revelations with brass dot front sight when the same year Marlin or Glenfield would have had a screw on or wrap around ramp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good point. The 42DL may date to 52, with sears spec of a grooved receiver. Can't see them going backwards by requesting the dovetail ramp mount after screw type was out. Would explain the dovetail and receiver grooves on the 80, and would put the 81's to 53-54.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow,
The receiver cut at the rear and the angled striker knob matches my 42DL. Style F trigger gaurd and plate, 8 shot clip all the same. That particular print does not show the 12R filler screws on the receiver, early model maybe. Mine has the dovetail ramp, 12R peep, and stock looks like the 42 not the Monte Carlo of the 42DL. Either a later model or result of past mods. Still, back to your original response, the new style extractor would put the 81's 52-54, 55 maybe if they were using up the ballard barrels. Narrows the gap from 8 years to possibly 3.

Thanks for your help, I really do appreciate your time. If you run across anything else (sights maybe) send it my way.
 

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And it seems your 80dl is pre '52.
The 42 dl should have the catalog number on the barrel. It is either 103.19800 or 103.19801
If you have the plain stock, it is likely 103.19800, which was based on the Model 80 while the 01 was a 80dl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, it is the 103.19800. It's a little heftier stock with the inletted trigger guard.
 

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Of the two pictured, which stock and which trigger guard does it resemble?
 

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Normally I don't like to resurrect dead threads, but the bottom stock matches that of my JC Higgins 42DL purchased in 1960/61. My father bought it for me, then when I enlisted in the USAF in 1968, it passed to my brother. I got it back in 2015 after my Mom passed away.
 
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