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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I'm pretty sure what I have below is a Marlin Model 81, at least judging by what I've seen of photos on the web. My new Ruger GP100 .357 is just photo-bombing the post. :biggrin:
I can remember shooting this rifle 45 years ago when I was 14 and haven't touched it since. I know it belonged to my dad, but I have no idea how old it might be.
The top of the barrel just has the company name, New Haven, CT, and the est. date (1870) below that on the left side is 22 CAL S-L-LR --------- and a small mark. The front sight is a long (maybe 3/8"?) bead with a slight notch under the rear of the bead. There are two tapped holes at about the 10 o'clock position opposite the bolt, and two smaller holes at the 9 o'clock position just behind the tapped holes. The stock 'machining' is a bit rough in spots, as is some of the breech machining.

Sorry for all the detail, but I figure the more info I give, the more I might find out about this sentimental rifle.

Anyway, I've decided to shoot it again so I'm giving it a good cleaning since it was very 'gunky' in the action. I want to disassemble the bolt for a thorough cleaning and lube but don't know exactly how to take it apart, what precautions during disassemble to take, and where and with what to lube. I'm thinking grease between the bolt head and bolt, grease in the breech, and maybe greasing the extractor hooks (but only a bit of oil on the springs and pins).

Questions I have:
1) Does anyone know where I can find a (free?) DCA manual for this rifle?
2) Can anyone give me an idea of its age? It has no serial number, so maybe small details will help.
3) Lubrication tips on rotating head (Lee-Enfield type?) bolts. Grease makes sense to me for sliding parts and oil for parts that are easily accessible or rotate. But I'm probably wrong. Or not.
4) Does anyone know if the stock finish is shellac or varnish?

Marlin-2.jpg

I'm really looking forward to some target shooting with this old rifle, so...
Thanks in advance,

Jeff
 

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I can't tell for sure from your pictures, but that looks to have the receiver not grooved for tip off scope mount, and a semi beavertail fore end. It may be pre WWII. This thread may help you date your Marlin.

http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4605760

Disaassembly/reassembly of the bolt can be tricky and may not be necessary. Remove it to clean the receiver and soak it in mineral spirits overnight. Take a wire brush to it with attention to the bolt face and clean around the extractors. Blow out the nooks and crannies with compressed air.
 

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Welcome to the Forum, Jeff. From everything I've been able to research, the wide fore end would indeed date this rifle to pre WWII....the semi-beavertail stock did not survive when post war production resumed in 1945. The model 81 was introduced in 1937 (or '39 depending on who you choose to believe) and production had ceased by late 1941, so it's safe to say yours falls into that brief period.

I have a Model 81DL from that same time period, the only difference being the factory peep sight...





I agree with P-bass, disassembly of the bolt should only be undertaken as a last resort. Following his instructions should be all that's necessary and may save you a large measure of frustration.

I seldom use grease on rimfire actions and use a good gun oil only sparingly. I can't tell you the finish on the stock, but I can tell you what I did with mine. When I received this rifle the stock, although in excellent condition, was dirty, dull and lifeless. I first cleaned it with a mild solution of Murphy's Oil Soap, then applied a couple of coats of Johnson's Paste Wax. The results speak for themselves.

Roe
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info, P-Bass. I've included a photo of the left side of the receiver that shows the holes I mentioned in my original post. Hope that sheds some light on the matter. There are no grooves at all.

I'll try the good overnight soak before attempting the drastic. If that and a bit of oil gets rid of the grinding, great! The bore was pretty clean to start with, but it was obvious that the chamber face, bolt, extractors, etc. had never been cleaned. Black **** abounds.

Marlin-3.jpg

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome to the Forum, Jeff. From everything I've been able to research, the wide fore end would indeed date this rifle to pre WWII....the semi-beavertail stock did not survive when post war production resumed in 1945. The model 81 was introduced in 1937 (or '39 depending on who you choose to believe) and production had ceased by late 1941, so it's safe to say yours falls into that brief period.

I can't tell you the finish on the stock, but I can tell you what I did with mine. When I received this rifle the stock, although in excellent condition, was dirty, dull and lifeless. I first cleaned it with a mild solution of Murphy's Oil Soap, then applied a couple of coats of Johnson's Paste Wax. The results speak for themselves.

Roe
Thanks for the welcome, Roe, and the history info. That's very interesting to me since it could mean it belonged to my grand dad as well. Your 81 DL is a thing of beauty. Nice job there.
I will probably strip mine down to bare wood and give it a few coats of gloss spar varnish. If you look at the image I posted in my reply to P-Bass, you can see where the finish has peeled, rather than worn.

When I get this baby of mine all cleaned up I'll come back with some fresh pictures.

One last question... on the rear sight, do you know what the correlation between the notches and ranges is?

Thanks,
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Marvlin, although the manuals I found were for other models, I did find some good advice for cleaning surface rust.

Jeff
 

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One last question... on the rear sight, do you know what the correlation between the notches and ranges is?

Thanks,
Jeff
That will depend on the ammo you use. Your 81 will shoot anything form shorts to hyper velocity lr, and they will all require different elevation settings at various ranges. This will require considerable trial and error at the range until you get a feel for how the rifle will shoot. But I can think of worse ways to spend my time.
 
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