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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I need help identifying the model of a Marlin rifle. I called Marlin and they suggested I come here for help. The caliber is 40-65. There are very limited marking on the gun.
Thanks for your help.
MWOSMT
IMG_1199.JPG IMG_1200.jpg IMG_1201.jpg IMG_1204.JPG IMG_1206.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks graymustang, that is the conclusion I was arriving at just by looking at pictures I found via google. Would you happen to know where I would find the serial number. The only number I can find is 470 on the bottom of the action as shown in one of my pictures. The gentleman I spoke with at Marlin said that cannot be the serial number.
 

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Somebody with more knowledge then me will come along with more complete answers. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Model 1881 made in the first year of production 1882. I have a 45-70 made a few months later in the same year. This was Marlins first production lever action rifle. Prior to this, he first made pistols and then single shot rifles.
Welcome to Marlin Owners if you have anymore questions, just ask away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you very much Schtoolee. I had a feeling it was a rather special rifle and wondered if the person I spoke to at Marlin may have told me that was not the serial number due either to lack of knowledge or . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Another question. As you can see the rifle is not in the best condition. What is your opinion on having it restored? I know of a very good gunsmith/gunmaker that does reall good work.
 

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Thank you very much Schtoolee. I had a feeling it was a rather special rifle and wondered if the person I spoke to at Marlin may have told me that was not the serial number due either to lack of knowledge or . . .
Lack of knowledge, he works for Remington. But at least they are smart enough to send you this way.
 

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Very nice rifle there !

B
 

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Another question. As you can see the rifle is not in the best condition. What is your opinion on having it restored? I know of a very good gunsmith/gunmaker that does reall good work.
I cannot tell you what to do with your rifle, but if it were mine, I would leave it as is in original condition. Once restored it can never be original again.

Tim
 

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Depending on what you do, you can end up losing the collectible value of the gun. Repairing the stock and making sure it is safe to shoot is all I would do. If you actually want to restore it , the only way to keep any value, is to have it brought back to original condition. And that requires someone like Turnbull, that know what the original processes where when the gun was made. Proper blueing methods, casehardning, wood finish, and to keep the proper edges, and restore any lettering that would be removed while cleaning up the metal. All of this will cost a lot of cash. And unless the gun is realy rare, it would not be worth it. And some purest collectors still wouldn't give you anything for the gun. As is the gun is worth $2000+. I haven't checked prices lately, but I wouldn' t be surprised if you will pay another $2000 to have it probably restored, and if you lucky you could now sell the gun for $4000 . It is up to you, but if you have someone just reblue it and refinish the wood, you now have a at most $1000 gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again Schtoolee, you have been extremely helpful. I downloaded the pdf you posted in another thread and now am excited to measure the barrel. Judging by the length compared to other guns I have that I know the barrel lengths I am guessing it is 26" or less which makes it a little more unique. The anticipation is going to make this a long day, lol.
 

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There are no records for the very early guns, but I can check when I get home, to see what the distance is for the sight to the end of the barrel is, and mag tube hanger.
 

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I know next to nothing of these antique Marlins, but for information: the proper way to measure the barrel length must include the chamber, thus one must use a cleaning rod or dowel inserted from the muzzle to contact the closed bolt; mark, withdraw, and measure. Your picture shows 22" to the receiver, but not the bolt face - doesn't look like it will add 2" for one of the more common barrel lengths, but a proper measurement is needed to determine likelihood of being cut. The measurement of front sight to muzzle is also critical. By the way, the 24" barrel was not listed in the catalog until 1883 - the introduction year was listed at only 28 or 30". This is very interesting.
 

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I am at work and looking at this over my phone. I didn't blow up the picture until now. You have at least a 23" barrel, likely not original. They usually made them in 2" increments.
 

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I have a 28" barrel, but if you only measure to the receiver, it measures a bit over 27". The front sight is 21/32 back from the end of the barrel, and the mag tube mount is 3/16. The mag tube itself is 1/16.
Here is mine, it has double set triggers.
1881 4570.jpg Right click to enlarge. You can keep enlarge it, to bigger than full size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the help guys. I will have to check the gun against this new information tonight. This is all very interesting. Unfortunately it starting to look like the barrel was cut down. Not that it matters, because altered is altered but if it was shortened, whoever did it did a darn nice job. Unfortunately the gentleman my father purchased the gun from around 1950 passed a few years back and I doubt his widow or daughter will have knowledge of whether he had the barrel shortened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Measuring the barrel using a cleaning rod placed in the barrel to the face of the action in the closed position the barrel measures 22 & 7/8” so it appears the barrel has been shortened. I would like to have this rifle valued by an expert because it will become part of my father’s estate when he passes. In my research I have found a few options for having the rifle valued but would also appreciate any recommendations anyone has.
Thank you
 
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