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Well, to muddy the waters a little further... I have a Marlin 375 I bought in early 1980, NIB from a gunshop, box and papers long gone, but box and papers matched, serial number 22xxxxxx. If you're correct about the serial number and year math, mine's from 1978. Either 1980 isn't the first year of production, or ????
 

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Rachethead said:
Given the serial number of this gun, and the other noted herein, pre-date 1980, my theory is that here are two examples of early serial numbered frames finished into a gun and shipped at a later date. I've studied the surviving serial number records of LC Smith shotguns (and this company was purchased and run by Marlin for 5 years); and the truth is that very few guns are finished and shipped in numerical order.
Likewise with Winchester. Mine has a Marlin rubber buttpad, whiteline spacer, black plastic grip cap with a now off-white spacer ;D and rather nicely figured walnut for a Marlin. I'll fetch the camera tomorrow and post a pic.

My theory on books is that the authors "simplify" things for our feeble minds, rather than write up the facts... those irritating little things that would probably clarify all these otherwise muddy issues, but would louse up the reading! :eek: ;D
 

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I know this'un ain't fakery, even I threw the box out long ago; (or left it in the attic of my house in CA) :eek: I stole the filler out of it for my son's Winchester when I installed a tang sight on it. The original rear sight is in my parts drawer in the shop, need to reinstall one, huh?

I'll let others argue over the authenticity... namely my heirs, cause I don't plan on sellin' it. And its only the second rifle my son has said that he wants.







 

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Another, very plausible explanation might be found in looking at when the caliber was announced by Winchester ('76 or '77 IIRC) and Marlin's decision to build it on their 336 action. It wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility that they built rifles in advance of their "introduction" in order to have them ready toenter the supply chain and immediately available for retail purchase.

Hmmm. Sounds like an inquiry is called for... Would have liked an email address but, the phone still works. Result: My call to their customer service yielded a nice gentleman that only had Brophy's book to rely on. "Marlin has no serial number records specific to the Model 375." Yes, all 1980 production guns started with "20", but... since the model wasn't a 100% production run, (all guns in model built in one run), it's more probable, than simply possible, that Marlin took 336 actions out of production and put 375 barrels on them as they became available. And, held them as testing was completed and marketing got up to speed with catalog and sales. I know I bought this rifle in the 1st quarter of 1980, in preparation of a Spring bear hunt in CA. It was already in the dealers stock.

You'll not convince me that Model 375s couldn't have an earlier serial number than 1980. Actually, it would surprise me greatly if they didn't. Yes, it's more than likely the vast majority did, but I'm sure production was very small in the beginning, in order to "feel" the market before they began any large commitment. Sure seems like a prudent business practice to me.
 
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