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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening folks,

I just wanted to get some educated opinions on Marlin pump shotguns. Which models were/are the best? I am building my Marlin lifetime wish list and have zero experience with Marlin shotguns. Any advice or comments are welcome.

Thanks,

Joe
 

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I sure hope you get some good info on your question .

I have had an ole Win. Ranger 20 Ga. for the last 25 or so years as my only shotgun. Its a dandy but I have been thinking why dont I have a Marlin pump 20Ga. too . I know squat about shotguns and even less about Marlin shotguns .

So like you I would like to know what is best G.P. shotgun Marlin blessed us with?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I must say I'm disappointed. It's been a week and no additional posts or info. Was this a dumb question or are there just no other members who know much on the subject? Oh well, no biggie....thanks for the supportive reply, kerr , as well as the additional question.

Best regards,

Joe
 

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O , give er a little time and someone will trip across your thread and offer up some info . Being spring time and all , folks are busy planting and such . I have tons to do myself but the M.D. has me on house arrest , blood pres. threw the roof. :(
Never smoked and never was a hand at drinking , just lucky I guess. ;)
 
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Joe:

Here's my .25 worth of wisdom (2 cents plus inflation).

I really like older Marlin pumps (hammer) and used one in cowboy shooting for a number of years until they were outlawed. My 1905 made Model 1898 was faster and smoother that any 1897 Winchester. I also had and used a 30G (20ga). Over the last 5 years I have sold all except a Model 1898 with a 2 digit serial number, in original condition.

I do have a hammerless Model 42 made in the 1930s that I found for 25 bucks in a yard sale. It's a duck gun with 28" full choke barrel; my middle son has this one now and uses it for trap/skeet. He loves it.

There are newer Marlin pumps out there but, sadly, relatively little interest even tho they are excellent SGs.

Read this forum and you'll learn alot.

I hope this helps,
Doc
 
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Brophy, in his book, Marlin Firearmes, The Guns and the Company That Made Them, published in 1989 by Stackpole Books, devoted over 60 pages to Marlin shotguns. The book is out of print but I bought one on eBay. Prior to getting my own copy, I was able to get one to read through enter-library loan.

Sears guns made by Marlin would have Ranger 103.xxx prior to WWII and J. C. Higgins 103.xxx after WWII.on on the barrel. Much later Marlin-made guns may have have been sold under the Ted Williams brand.
 

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My BIL has a Marlin pump shotgun, and it's the only one I have ever seen. It's a model 120 12 ga with a 28" modified barrel. Nice gun, but when he tells people it's a Marlin, they think he meant Mossberg.
 
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I don't know too much about them except they are not alowed in cowboy shoots anymore. Marlin suggests you do not fire any hammer Marlin shotguns anymore. All hammer SG's nicknamed the Widowmakers because the bolt could blow back into your face. There is a site out there...can't remember the name, but people still do shoot them. Making sure the locking lug is in perfect working condition is key for saftey! If I could find one in nice condition I would snap it up in a second. To me the model 42's are one sharp lookin hammer 12 ga!

Modern high velocity ammo is a no no! Federal makes some good stuff in the low 1100 fps velocity!

Here's a good read for you!
http://marauder.homestead.com/files/Marlin98s.htm
 

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I own a Marlin/Glenfield Mod 778 12 guage pump but don't know didilly about any other Marlin pump shotguns. I know the 778 that I have has the
best trigger pull on a shotgun I've ever felt. My tuned triggers on my rifles hardly compare to the trigger pull on that 778. It has a vent rib, 3" chamber and it's heavy as all get out. If we ever go to shotgun only for deer hunting here where I live in NE PA, it's going to be my deer gun. It
belonged to my late FIL and I received it after his passing. He maybe fired 10 shots out of it after he purchased it. My best friend who is the senior Pennsylvania Sporting Clays Champ in 2010 tried the trigger and could not believe how crisp, clean, and light the trigger is. I'm gonna have
to try my trigger pull guage on it some day. The model 778 is discontinued for some time now so I hope I never need any parts for it!
358 Win
 
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BarkeyVA said:
Brophy, in his book, Marlin Firearmes, The Guns and the Company That Made Them, published in 1989 by Stackpole Books, devoted over 60 pages to Marlin shotguns.
I need to clarify my previous statement. Brophy devoted 85 pages pages to Marlin Shotguns with 60 pages just on Marlin Pump shotguns. According to Brophy, a total of 34,941 Marlin/Glenfield 778 shotguns were sold between 1979 and 1984. Retail price in 1979 was $150 and $244.95 in 1983. According to Brophy, the 778 has all of the features of their Model 120, except the 778 generally used walnut stained hardwood (birch) instead of walnut for the stock and forearm.

According to Brophy, the Model 42 and 42A with an exposed hammer were sold from 1922-1933 in 5 different grades. The Model 43A hammerless takedown pump gun was only offered from 1922-1930. He called it the new version of the old model 28. They also sold a 20g. model 44A and 44S from 1922-1933.

Brophy has 3 pages on the 12 ga. model 120 magnum (1971-1985), that he described as "the finest shotgun Marlin ever made." It was chambered for 2-3/4 and 3" shells, and 48,651 were sold.

The Model 1898 exposed hammer pump was offered from 1898 to 1905. Other exposed hammer shotguns were the model 16, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 30, 42 and 49.
 

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BarkeyVA,
Thanks for the info on my Glenfield 778. Did not know any statistics on mfg dates or number produced. Good to know.
358 Win
 

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I've used a lot of pump shotguns over the past 43 years, but in my very humble opinion there are two standouts for _ME_. First is the Marlin 120, bought new in 77 and used hard for years for both birds and bucks. The slug barrel is outstanding with Brenekke's. It's all steel, and what's not steel is walnut. Great gun. The other is my shooting slump gun, an old early 60's Ithaca 37. But this is about Marlins, and the 120/778 gets my vote for the best, period.
 

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I use my 31-20 for small game and skeet. Great little shotgun. Can shoot my best skeet rounds with it.
I had a Model 42, had 90% original blue. I also used it for skeet. I, like and idiot,sold it because someone had chopped the barrel.
At the time I could have bought a replacement from Numrich.

Here is a picture of my 31-20 made 1914-15
 

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Blklightj , 8) Told ya. ;) Thanks fellas.
 
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The Marlin 120 was the last pump shotgun that Marlin made. They also produced a less expensive model of it called the 778. The 120 combined the best features of the Win. model 12 and the Remington 870. It is made of steel and walnut. No plastic, mim, or aluminum parts at first. They later changed the trigger guard to aluminum. This is a very well made shotgun, although a bit heavy compared to todays pumps. It was offered with plain or vent rib or slug barrels in difrerent lenghts and chokes. They can still be found at very reasonable prices.
 

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Interesting about the alum trigger group. Never saw one like that but will take your word for it. The steel trigger group is a big heavy lump of milled steel and is prob the reason the gun is SO heavy. I remember paying about $151 for my first 120 in western Kansas about 1972, after I saw the new Marlin catalog. Later sold it because I no longer duck hunted much. About 5 years ago I found a duplicate of that first 120 at an estate sale, absolutely mint condition, and got it for $125, actually cheaper than the first time! Both 30 in vent ribs. Not letting this one go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks to all you guys for the great info. I appreciate the detailed responses and ask forgiveness for my impatience.

Best regards,

Joe
 

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Hey guys,
Came upon an old Marlin 30G with ser# A 34140 in 16ga but having trouble finding a manf. date on this. Any help? Thanks in advance
 

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I inherited my dad's Model 43 pump. Don't know when he bought it, but he had it as far back as the 1950's, about when I was old enough that I could remember things. LOL
 

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I have a Marlin Model 44 (No S, No A) 4 digit Serial # 2xxx. Can any of you out there tell me any thing about it?
Happy Trails, God Bless. John
 
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