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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got a new to me Marlin 39TDS. I believe it was made in 1998 and then did hard duty as a trunk gun. The price reflected the less than stellar appearance and I **needed** one ...

My first impression. Pretty cool little gun. At just a smidge under 5 pounds on my digital postal scale its 1.8 pounds heavier than my Papoose (3.20 lb) (unscoped). The added weight does give a feeling of quality and feels a lot less like a toy. The sights are better (no plastic) and as much as I like low maintenance, Wood, even scratched and dinged looks better than black plastic.

Papoose
-Lighter
-Easier to load
-Packs smaller
-Less expensive
-Faster Takedown
-My Papoose's favorite ammo, Remington Subsonic & Fedral Bulk pack for dime sized groups @ 25 yards with a scope.

39TDS
-Better quality
-Shoots Shorts, Longs, Long rifles without a hitch and will even feed an empty case for dry fire practice.
-More accurate with iron sights with 40+ year old eyes. I'll have to scope it to test it's potential.
-Easier to securely mount a scope on (Predrilled vs. the Papoose's dovedtail)
-Groups CCI CB Longs better than any rimfire I've tried them in.
-11+1 LR rounds vs. 10+1 for the Papoose. Perhaps larger magazines are available...

It's too early to tell what ammo it prefers. I've only tried two so far in the 39 TDS. I'll try the Aquila Subsonic & SSS, Fedral Bulk, Remington Target & Subsonic, CCI mini Mags and maybe some high(er) velocity stuff just to see what it will group.
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Wet dog,
That sounds cool.Granted. i am a die hard pappoose fan- have four-but i shoot alot of 22 cb longs, and if this lever will cycle them, that would be a real plus for me. only down side is loading and unloading a tube fed vs a mag fed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Maine,
Do you have both the wood and synthetic versions?

I've only had the synthetic versions but I'm thinking I need one of the wood versions. Can the new magazines work in the older version? I've been told the old won't work in the new but wondered if it was true both ways.

Very tough to beat the utility& handiness of the Papoose. The only thing that is handier is a handgun but the Papoose it a lot more effective at longer ranges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The 39TDS made it to the range again today for some more testing.

Fedral (wally world) bulk ammo grouped well. At 25 yards with the iron sights, front rested, every target had an elarged 4 shot hole that could be covered with a dime. The best 5 shot group measured 7/16" center to center another 5 shot group came in a 9/16". 8 of the 10 groups had one flier that could have been shooter error or the ammo. Without a scope I can't blame the ammo... Pretty darn good for the cheap stuff. Groups 1/2" higher than same sight setting at 10 meters.. I did have ONE failure to fire. The case had been struck and dented by the firing pin.

CCI Mini Mag- This is an ammo that my rimfires usually like or hate. The groups averaged ~3/4" but had more fliers (3 out of 10) and the fliers were not even close (1-2"). The POI was 1"+ over 10 meter impact. Other shooters commented that it seemed louder and harder hitting.

Aquila SSS- Best group was 7/8". Mostly clean holes but one in particular looks like the bullet struck the target sideways as rifling marks are clearly seen on the paper. There were other suspicious looking holes but I was using a printer paper target and the plywood target holder was already quite perferated. It shot a little higher than the CCI groups and 1" to the right.

I did bumble around with the sights for a while. With the shorter barrel even a little bit moves quite a bit on the target. Anyone have a good method? I tried using a pencil to give a reference but the precision of my movement left a lot to be desired.

I've only been using the Fedral bulk stuff in the Papoose lately. The average group overal was better with the Papoose with fewer fliers. Throw out the fliers and the 39 TDS did better.

LOTs more testing yet to come. I don't think you could go wrong with either of these little takedown carbines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After further testing I'm pretty certain you need both... :p

The Papoose's big advantage is its lighter weight. I find that most noticeable when inside my pack. Being Magazine fed it's also easier to load in the field. So far, with high velocity ammo, the accuracy is equal to the TDS.

I really like the TDS and don't notice the weight penalty when the gun is assemble and carried in my hands. I do notice the differnce in my pack both in size and weight. The forend of the TDS makes it very comfortable to carry when in the field assembled. It feels more comfortable to shoot because my forward hand is placed in its normal postition. The forend accomadates a variety of field rests better. The TDS is less ammo sensitive and fires subsonic and CB ammuntion very well. I have NOT scoped it yet so I'm not sure what it is really capable of yet.

The TDS firing pin did need some modification. The firing pin's travel was restricted and didn't seem to travel far enough to reliably fire some ammo, espcially Aguilla brand ammo. Some judicious filing on the firing pin ( ~.030"-.040" deeper) on the front tab it seems to have (so far) corrected the problem. I'll need to shoot 500 Aquilla's before I'll proclaim the issue solved though. I suspect that this is a design issue with the CBS era Marlin 39. My older NON CBS 39A has never had a FTF (knock on wood).

I believe these are the two fine examples of rimfire takedown carbines. The Papoose would be the better choice if I weight is a priority and quick reloads are desireable. If I'm hunting an area that requires a long hike and I'm stalking small game, I'd prefer the TDS.

Ask me to pick between the two... I don't think I could.
 
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