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I'm looking for any information concerning a Marlin rifle scope. Anyone know who made them for Marlin?

It has the following lettering on top near the eyepiece:
Marlin
4x32
Centered Reticle
Fully Coated

and on the bottom:
Model 400A
Japan-A-53 II

It has simple thin crosshair and the optical quality doesn't appear to be too bad. I don't think it is worth much on the market, but I'd still like to learn something about it.

I received it on a rifle recently from my late brother-in-law. It came on a Model 30A (made in 1980) that I really don't think had ever been fired (even though it had 4 cartridges in the magazine when it was pulled out of the closet). I mean, this rifle is truly mint. I've seen more wear on factory showroom models. I think I need to take this one hunting in his honor, but those crosshairs aren't suitable for anything other than targets at the range. So I need to mount a different scope. But any info on the current scope? Thanks in advance.
 

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Glad to see that SAFETY is first around your house! Best to know she still had gas in her tank before many people admired her. You just gotta keep her clean an oiled and when you call on her she'll be waiting for ya.
Scope question: I just picked up a Wrenchhestter#255 .22mag. and has your same scope on it. Maybe one of the other fellers here got us some answers.

:D :) :lol: 8) :shock: :D
 

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Since about 1969 Marlin has used the model numbering system, as your scope has (400). Most likely your scope was built in the 1970's, but hard to tell you when in the 70's.
To my knowlledge, I have never seen or heard who the maker of these scopes was. I do know that the centerfire versions, with 1" tubes, are very well made scopes, and they do get a better used price for them, than many of the similar cheapo scopes.
Should you decide to replace the scope, in favor of another, you would be wise to keep that scope with the gun, as it was most likely on that gun when it was purchased new. A 30a isn't necessarily collectable, but someday it will be appreciated more if it has it's original scope with it.
 

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I was about to say Tasco, which was really a bottom-end company in the 60's , but when I was knocking the dust off my Marlin Micro-vue 4X scope just now, I see it's plainly marked ' Made in USA' on the bottom.

One American company that made scopes for Marlin was the Sovereign Instrument Co of Dallas, Tx. I believe Marlin made some of their own scopes in the 30's, but for some reason did not do so after WWII. I think Wollensak made scopes for Marlin, too but I don't know if that's an American company. SW
 

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Wollensak is a German company. Thier optics were considered some of the very best in the world 50 or so yrs. ago.

WB
 

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Wollensak is not a German company. Rather they were based in Rochester, NY, and made scopes from the early 1930's until around the beginning of WWII. For their time, they were an average, or slightly better quality scope, but not in the class of Lyman, Fecker, or Unertl.
Many people credit Wollensak with making the Marlin scopes, but I have not been able to establish this connection in my searchings.
Sovereign Instrument did build scopes for Marlin after WWII, until the late 60's. The Micro Vue and Micro Power marked scopes were made by Sovereign in Texas.
I suppose it's possible that any of the Japanese scope makers could have made the Marlin scopes from 1969-1978, but I just haven't gotten any info as to which did.
 

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Japanese scope makers are awfully hard to pin down. Both Bushnell and Tasco, were, and are, importers of scopes- not manufacturers. Some of Bushnell's bottom line scopes were produced in Korea in the mid 80's. Today Bushnell scopes originate pretty well any where- the Phillipines and China are both mass producers for Bushnell. The last scope I bought was a Tasco World Class- with a made in China on the box end flap- I had assumed it was a Japanese scope. I find it strange to note that on RFC, japanese scopes are now considered quality instruments. Funny how things change with the passage of time....

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 

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Yes, and although the Germans were the masters in the beginning, we hear almost nothing from them now? Things sure do change!
 

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I've done a bit of research on the Model 400A and have found it offered only in the 1977 and 1978 Marlin Catalogs. Model 400 was offered from 1968 to 1977 in Marlin's catalogs.
The older #1 and #2 Scopes, which were introduced in 1936 and 1937, according to Brophy were manufactued by Wollensak Optical.
There is apparently little known about the manufacturer of later scopes. I sure would appreciate hearing from anyone who has additional info on the later model scopes -- Micro Power models and the number models 200 thru 900.
Hope this helps.
 

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Hi Pete,
I too had read that the Marlin scopes were made by Wollensak. Sure wish Brophy had given some provenance for this. Not that I don't agree, as they look a lot alike, but I always like to see something that backs up these statements.
I'm sure if Wollensak made the Marlin #1-#2 scopes, they didn't make the mounts, as the Marlin mounts are far superior to anything Wollensak ever offered. The mounts on the Carolynn brand of scope were much more similar to Marlins, and their optics were superior to Wollensak, and closer to Marlin optics.
 

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Why did I have it in my head that they were German ?
My grandfather had a pair of Wollensak binoculars, and I always thought they were German made.
Huh.

WB
 

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I believe Wollensak was of German descent, or possibly even a first generation German immigrant. Maybe that's where it came from?
 

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I have a 1972 vintage Glenfield 30A and there was the same scope on it. It is obviously made in Japan since it is marked "JAPAN A-51 11" so I would have to say it's not German or of "German Descent":biggrin: I don't know anything about it's history but have to agree with you that the optics aren't the greatest. Good luck in your quest.
 
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