Marlin Firearms Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello...

A few months ago i bought a used 1951 Marlin 39a. When i bought the rifle it had a little 4x weaver scope which was mounted in rings that were directly tapped into the left side of the barrel. I hated that someone had done this to such a gorgeous little rifle, but the gun still seemed to be in great overall condition so i purchased it anyways. My plan with the 39 from the get go was to bring it back to factory specs ie...iron sights, and hooded front. So i tore the scope and rings off, i plugged the horribly executed, and gnarled up tapped holes in the barrel with the appropriate hard to find and expensive to ship set screws of which there was 4. I bought a new rear blade sight, and elevator, and front hood (the rifle was lacking of these 3 parts). The rifle did have the front ramp and blade so i left those alone. The rear blade, and elevator went on easy, as did front hood. yes these are obviously easy to install parts but i mention them so you guys who might be helping can get a better history of this particular gun, as one of my issues is with sighting.

So the range:

Problem 1: Lets start with the sighting in. I decided to start at 25 yards. So with the rear elevator in it's lowest position and firing on target from rest i find that this 39 fires straight for sure, but it shoots high about 5 to 6 inches (and again that's with the elevator in it's lowest position). At it's highest it's off the target. groupings were very consistent, again just way high with seemingly no way to adjust lower?.

problem 2: Failure to Fire, this one really isn't cool. Now this isn't an every shot deal but i'd say i was getting a 7 to 9% failure rate. Ammo type you ask?...cheap remington walmart 333 cube ammo. I acknowledge this could be part of the problem. Upon examination of the ejected non fired round i notice that the rim of the cartridge is marked by a pin strike but not necessarily a nice clean hit.

Any ideas on my issues here, I'd be much obliged to hear em thanks!

chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
791 Posts
Chris.
This is what I would try.
Problem l: replace your front sight with a taller one.
Problem 2: first try a different brand of ammo. If nothing changes, remove the firing pin from the bolt and inspect for burrs or maybe it could be bent.
Clean the firing pin and the channel it rides in, then oil and put back together. This might help. If not your hammer spring could be weak.
Dave .
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,018 Posts
Hey there cmike0210 -- Can you post a picture of your rear sight? It would help. Best regards. Wind
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have a couple pictures of the rear sight here....sorry these pics are awful as i just broke my camera last week and am having to use my kids which has no focus options, and as u can see the camera was focusing behind mt targeted shot.

as for cleaning the pin and it's riding groove, i did that when i first got the rifle and broke her down, everything seemed pretty clean, but i wiped it down and oiled the groove and pin itself.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,018 Posts
Hey there again cmike0210 -- I think you just need a shorter rear leaf and you'll be good to go. They come small, medium, and large. Looks like you have a large. Here is a picture to show the difference between the small and large. Give Marlin a call and they may send you one for free (or not!). Hope this helps. Best regards. Wind
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,327 Posts
Wind has the answer for your POI issue. As to the FTF...Remington bulk packed .22 ammo is notorious for having a high rate of misfires, often as much as 10%. But if you bought a "333" pack, I believe that would be Winchester.

Either way, first try some different ammo. CCI has been extremely trouble free in a wide variety of my .22s and has become my first choice when wringing out a new firearm. Actually it's about all I buy anymore. If you experience any FTF with CCI, you can pretty much rule out the ammo.

If you still experience any FTFs, adding a thin washer or two to the hammer spring is often all that's necessary to eliminate the problem.

Roe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You were right barenjager it is the wichester ammo, i didnt have it in front of me at the time. So how does the winchester bulk ammo typically run? I will definately try some of the cci ammo next time out and hopefully that is all the problem is.

Wind...thats a great observation, my question now is can i just get the small leaf itself and will it insert into the dovetailed barrel mounted part by punching out the pin that holds it there? Or is it a whole new rear assembly i need to try and find?

Question 2 pertaining to my sights. I notice that at brownells the 39 has an old style front ramp and a current style front ramp. Being that my new rear setup is of brand new vintage and my front ramp is of old 1951 vintage, is there a chance that the newer style front ramp sits taller or lower than the old style front ramp making my older ramp and new rear leaf setup a mismatch? and if that were true maybe that would create my problem?

Thanks for ur help so far guys i think we're getting this sorted out.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,018 Posts
Hey again cmike0210 -- I don't think you need to mess with the front ramp. To change out the rear leaf is simplicity in itself. Remove the elevator. Slide a business card under the rear leaf and most of the legs to protect the barrel. Take a pair of needle nose pliers with padding on the jaws (to protect the sight - a wrap with some sort of tape will do the job) and squeeze the sights legs together just behind the leaf and at the same time lift the leaf off the leg pins. If you have the other leaf handy whilst doing the removal, just slip it over the pins and relax the plier jaws. Done. Replace the elevator and off ya go. See if Marlin will send you a short leaf. If not get back to me. Hope this helps. Best regards. Wind
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,859 Posts
I can't answer a complicated gun question but I would get some FEDERAL bulk ammunition and try that. Super Walmart has the best price from what I have seen in the past. I have not had to buy any 22LR in bulk for some time now. I want to shoot up some more boxes at a 'shooting event' and buy/rotate again a whole bunch of 22LR ammunition in stock here. His, hers and our ammo. :)

I always keep 10 boxes minimum in 22LR Federal bulk boxes for myself alone.

FEDERAL bulk pack or American Eagle (Red box.) made by Federal.

Best wishes to you.

Catherine
A Marlin Golden 39A Lady
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
620 Posts
When did Marlin start using the folding rear leaf on the 39? Here is the rear sight on my 1961 Mountie. I dont know if this is the correct sight for your rifle or not but it is shorter that that.



+1 to what Catherine said. I only use Federal bulk ammo and CCI mini mags, never had a problem with either one of those. I cant say the same for rem or winchester rimfire ammo.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,018 Posts
Hey there BUBSDAD -- I don't know that Marlin ever did switch to the folding sight. I've always considered the early 39A's and Mountie sights (like yours) a BB gun sight. I found them hard to see (well). I've changed anything with a barrel mounted leaf sight out to the Marlin folding leaf, even my Winchesters (!!!). That little divot in the bottom makes for a consistent sight picture. I just take the original sights off and save them. They would go with the rifle if I ever sold one (not likely!!). Best regards. Wind
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey bubsdad just throwin my info in. When i bought the rear sight for my 39 from brownells, tha folding leaf was wha.t brownells had listed for the model 39a. As the correct part. I Do see how yours is lower though.

I.ve done a bit of searching for the small leaf online but havn't found anything. As suggested im calling marlin to see if they have the part.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
23,800 Posts
Prior to 1955 Marlin would drill and tap bbls on request to use the stamped steel mounts. One was high to allow use of irons, the other low would not let you.

Your sight should be the stamped steel one like in Bubs photo.

Your present sight could be filed in with a new notch, I would contact Brownells and tell them they sent you the tall rear and ask for a replacement for your gun.

Pretty sure you could get a member to send you one they have on hand, just to see that fine old timer get to shooting.

Bottom line, your gun should be tapped on the side for peeps, trade that sight back to Brownells for a peep and a blank to fill the rear dovetail.

Hope you have checked the mainspring, some of the older guns had several notches and yours may be one of them.

If your firing pin does not slide back and forth when you tilt the bolt up and down make it so it does. One other thing to check is the pin itself may be worn down from years of use and you may have to stone the inner step to allow the outer to stick out farther and strike harder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Let me start off by saying that a forum is one of the best tools anyone can have and use. Let me add that this particular forum (marlinowners) stands alone by itself against other forums, with a ton of know how, commitment, and lightning fast accurate answers.

Next let me thank Wind for your right on diagnosis and spot on advice, as advised i called Marlin, They say they are sending me the short leaf (at no charge). They also did confirm that brownells stock 39 rear sight assembly is shipping with the tall leaf. i cross my fingers that they send me the right piece and it fits. Thanks again Wind!

Hey SWANY or other member when u say that marlin was tapping barrels for a stamped mount. Do you mean the scope mount? What i took off is a stamped one piece plate? Well whoever tapped my barrel did an awful job...i will take pics someday when i get a new camera.

And no i haven't checked the mainspring yet. but i am very interested to hear more about the main spring "notches" you mention. Maybe you could help me along with that ...all i have done to this rifle thus far is a simple breakdown, simple bolt assembly cleaning including the firing pin.

I did actually notice that when i originally took my bolt out that the pin didn't have all that much slide to it and remember wondering if it would fire at all. My father bought a 1970 39a golden at the same time as i got mine. We noted how loose and free moving his pin was compared to mine...they were also totally different pins so i didn't worry to to much about that, and figured ones 1950 ones 1970.

Hard to say if the pins worn down, without an original reference for the pin, is there anyway of knowing for sure if shes worn?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
23,800 Posts
You have a base for a two piece aluminum mount, the part your missing has the scope rings made into the upper portion. The Weaver N mount, I think N3 or N2 was a two piece stamped steel mount taking either a 5/8ths or 3/4 inch scope, the 3/4 Weaver V6 rimfire scope I think is a 3/4.

I owned two Mounties that had the bbl drilled and tapped 4 holes about 3-4 inches apart. I had a new mount, and a 5/8 scope with adaptors I made to reduce the size of the 3/4 mount I had. Never put the scope on the gun but sold it instead. The Marlin 39As that were made for Sears were drilled and tapped.

But at the time you could send any Marlin including the big game cals back for scope mount drilling and tapping.

I suspect a lot of "waffle tops" 336s from the 40s and 50s were done this way when scopes started becoming affordable and some were needed because of old eyes.

Remove the buttstock and look at the spring and retainer how it fits. If it has the other notches they will be evident, if so change the retainers position to the front one. One tip when doing this have it in half after you remove the buttstock. Then the hammer will fall beyond where the bolt was making the mainspring install a lot easier.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top