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I copied and pasted this from an add on GB. I've never read what this person is claiming and wondered how much of it is true. Thoughts?

Marlin
39
.22 CAL
24"BBL
Ser# S7122
This firearm is in good condition for its age, the bore is pristine as photos will show. To the best of my knowledge this firearm was produced in 1929(that date was ascertained using Marlins dating method of 100 minus the first two numbers in the serial). The "S" prefix indicates standard velocity as apposed to the later models with "HS" prefix which would indicate "high speed". "S" prefixed models are noted for their superior workmanship and fine finish. Some of the tangs were also marked with a * which indicated that the gun was as near perfect as it could be, when it has a star stamped on the end of the upper tang, it means the factory gunsmithing inspector determined the rifle to be of higher grade manufacturing than the standard.
 

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the part about dating based on serial number is complete BS; the S prefix model about "superior workmanship" is also BS (it DOES indicate standard velocity only, just as no prefix does), the star marking was a gimmick that Marlin used for marketing in those times... caveat emptor or buyer beware :)
 

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All Marlins of that era had the * on the tang. It simply meant that the rifle had passed the inspectors inspection and was as near perfect as Marlin could make. In reality all Marlins got this stamp, once they met the final inspection.

I don't think the "S" prefix means standard velocity only but Marlin did have a problem with bolts cracking when high velocity ammo came along so they corrected the problem, then started stamping the gun with HS representing High Speed, usually on the barrel. Seems odd they would stamp the serial number with "S" for standard velocity when no high velocity ammo existed.
 

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It's comical, because all the info he listed can be found online, it's just not all accurate to his rifle. But wait, they can't put anything on the internet that's not true. :)
 

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the part about dating based on serial number is complete BS
No it's not.....starting in 1973, subtracting the first two numbers would give the year of manufacture. Example: SN 2512345 would have been made in 1975 [100 - 25 = 75] and SN 94365295 would have been made in 2006 [ 100 - 94 = 06 (2006). From 1946 to 1972 a letter code was used. Example: a letter "S" prefix in the serial number would indicate the year 1959. Prior to to 1946 Marlins serial numbers were all over the place and sometimes duplicate and sometimes even without a serial number.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies! I realized the part about the date was incorrect but was unsure about the rest of it though (was to lazy to open my Brophy book). Gohon made a good point about the standard ammo and the "S" stamp.
 

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My Thanks to everyone who responded. I did not know all the information that pored in on this thread. It was nice to read the great input. Thanks one and all.

Great Thread, Thanks

Enjoy the Journey
444GS2
 

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The auction number to the rifle toad is talking about is 430308944 if anyone wants to give it a look. Looking at the pictures it looks to be older than a 1959 for sure.
 

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My 39 starts with a "M". Does that stand for magnificent? :hmmmm:
 
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No it's not.....starting in 1973, subtracting the first two numbers would give the year of manufacture. Example: SN 2512345 would have been made in 1975 [100 - 25 = 75] and SN 94365295 would have been made in 2006 [ 100 - 94 = 06 (2006). From 1946 to 1972 a letter code was used. Example: a letter "S" prefix in the serial number would indicate the year 1959. Prior to to 1946 Marlins serial numbers were all over the place and sometimes duplicate and sometimes even without a serial number.
you are correct, but this formula DOES NOT APPLY to the Marlin Model 39, nor that era encompassing 1922-1939. Additionally, when Marlin did redesign the bolt to handle the pressure of high speed .22 ammo, it is well documented that they changed the serial prefix to "HS". I can accept that stands for high speed, but maybe you have other options? Year was 1932.
 

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It's actually auction 429829077



P prefix? Is yours a 39 or 39A?
You are correct. The one I posted the seller using the almost exact words but in a confusing manner does state the star means nothing and the S something different but then kind of back tracks. I thought someone had told him he was incorrect and he had tried to fix his original post. The auction you posted is the correct one that Toad seemed to be talking about and a rifle someone on here had posted asking about the serial number.
 

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but this formula DOES NOT APPLY to the Marlin Model 39, nor that era encompassing 1922-1939
That is true and I pointed that out as to when the first two numbers can indeed be used to determine the date of manufacture, but I took it when you said "the part about dating based on serial number is complete BS" as a blanket statement which is not correct. Nothing personal intended. Truth is, it seems almost impossible to determine the actual manufacturing date of a Marlin made prior to 1946. They just didn't have any set sequence to them.

I looked at the pictures on GB to try and get a look at the loading tube which would say a lot if it was a true model 39 or not but it was just to fuzzy when blown up. That "S" serial number looks awful cheezy the way it is stamped but maybe that's they way they did it back then.
 
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