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The Ode to Marlin 39A. Here are the real reasons for your newer 39A to Fail-To-Fire (FTF) and Fail-To-Extract (FTE) and the options to “tune” your rifle or have it “tuned” for you. My 39A is now 2 years old and out of the box it's performance was dismal with any brand and level of ammo. I do not intend to use this in any high end competition, I would prefer it to do well with bulk ammo. Here were the stats with the top 3 bulk ammo sellers for each 18 rd load of LRs. For Winchester bulk I had an average of 10 FTF and 7 FTE. Remington 7 FTF and 7 FTE. Federal the best with 5 FTF and 3FTE. The problem is both FTF and FTE should be 0. Through surfing the internet and trial-and-failure of most of the suggestions I have found the two most common causes and fixes.

My first try was to shorten the bottom of the “Hammer Rebound Strut”. If you have done any searching and fixing, I’m sure you know what I am talking about. With the first two fixes I am going to suggest you will not need to do this. I am now using a new unaltered strut and every round fires with no annoying spring ping after the shot.

You can do these fixes yourself if you are handy with tools and are really careful. I always make small changes and test in order to find the stopping point. I alter the cheapest parts to replace first in any attempt to tune things. You can have a qualified gunsmith read what the problem is along with their assessment and fix, or you can send the 39A back to Marlin (Remington) with an explanation of the problem. I found that it’s a real gamble sending it back to Marlin and getting a working rifle back.

1. First thing to check and fix is the “Cartridge Guide Spring”. This is a small spring that is on the inside top of the receiver that helps guide the next round into the chamber. Problem with the spring is that it sticks down too far. First problem caused is that it blocks a spent cartridge from extracting. The second problem, one I have not seen on the internet, is that it interferes with the firing pin. This is the cause of the many FTF’s and not the “Hammer Rebound Strut”. I have read where some owners have fooled around with the mounting screw that holds this in place or have bent the spring. These fixes may help with FTE, but not with FTF. I experience two things when trying them. First the screw holding the spring is only long enough to catch 2 or 3 threads in the spring on a part of the spring that is a lip created by the hole being stamped. The lip breaks and the screw won’t hold the spring in place. Second, the spring is small and brittle…it breaks. The real problem with the spring is that the slot where it is mounted in the receiver is not deep enough. I used a Dremel tool to carefully ground a deeper channel. This fixed the FTF’s down to 0 even for the Winchester bulk.

GuideSpring.jpg

2. The next major problem causing FTE was that the bolt was not closing completely. I had about .01” gap after closing the bolt. When the round was fired this gap allowed the cartridge to bulge just above the rim, jamming it in the chamber. You can fix this by either: 1. Cold hammer the end of thefinger lever were it locks the bolt or 2. Heat up the end of the finger lever were it locks the bolt and hammer it slightly to extrude the metal out. After extruding you will probably have to use needle files to adjust it so it is not too tight. If it is too tight the“Finger Lever Screw” will break.

fingerlever.jpg


These two fixes will probably solve all the FTF’s and FTE’s. I had one more that I did that seems to assure extraction of the most stubborn of brass. I filed the end of the ramp on the barrel where the extractor sits when the bolt is in lock position. This created a slight notch in the chamber that allows the extractor to get all the way into the rim. I then filed the ramp itself to make a smooth transition for the extractor. A result of the 3 fixes above…0 FTF’s and FTE’s using any type and length of ammo.

ExtractionNotch.jpg

P.S. The Federal Bulk pack is still the best firing and cycling of the bulks.
 

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Do remember the failure to extract can also be cured with a Wisners extractor.
 

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Is this problem with all 39A's or just the newer remington/marlin rifles? I am looking for a 39A, if the rifle has New Haven, Ct. stamped on the barrel, is it a true Marlin?
Thank you
 

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SWANY; I,m thinking if you do not have this no one does. It seems every where you look weather it be YOUTUBE or right here on the forum there is no clear, precise descripition of how to re-assemble the right side (BUTT STOCK SIDE) of a 39 receiver, after it has been totally dis-assembled.(all the inner parts removed from the receiver)
Does one exist on paper?
 

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I'm looking to add a 39A to my family of Marlins. They seem to be fairly available, but should I be looking for an older one, as opposed to new? If so, what year is the cut-off?
 

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FYI, I just picked up a new 39A (after selling one and regretting it 30 yrs ago), ser# MR01091C so it is a "Remlin". Hadn't fired the thing yet and starting reading all the bad talk about the new guns and was starting to regret the purchase. The fit, finish and wood on mine were better than average "real" Marlin. I broke it down, cleaned and lubed it thoroughly, and went out and put several hundred rounds of various LR down range. Not one FTF,FTE or any other issue. Tack driving accurate without even adjusting the sights. A total winner of a rifle and brought back every bit of joy I had from the first one I owned. Hopefully this is indicative of QC issues being resolved at the new plant.
 

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Nice (and encouraging) report, Fly4. Congratulations on your purchase and reunion with a great rifle. 'Wishing you many happy hours with it in the future!
 

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I also picked up a brand new Marlin Model 39A (MR Serial# Marlin Firearms North Haven stamp) at my local gun shop, wood to metal fit and finish was good, checkering was deep and clean even the internal machining was good without any big ugly burrs. A quick polish and it was cycling like the action was on ball bearings. It's first outing at the range was promising too, no failure to fire and no failure to extract or eject with the Federal Bulk ammo. Switched to Winchester bulk and the gun started to jam, eventually getting hopelessly jammed and I had to use a cleaning rod to get a spent round out. Taking the gun apart it looked like the extractor had sheared at the bottom causing it to drop the round way before the ejector could kick it clean. After 100 rounds the gun pretty much failed to extract or eject every single time regardless of ammo brand or quality, it jammed with CCI Mini-Mags, CCI Longs, Federals and Winchester HV.

Marlin (Or rather Gravel Agency the Canadian Gun Service Company they contract to up North) is sending a new paper clip extractor in the mail. I would say Remington has a better grasp on how to make these guns than some of the horror stories I've heard but you do still have to know what you're getting into with one of these guns. Being fussy and finicky until they get some tweaks and adjustments seems to be a fairly common state for them.

My hunting buddy is picking up the other 39A the shop had so we'll see if his has the same teething problems mine does.
 

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Thanks for the encouragement Fly4 I am looking to buy a 39A as well and I have read nothing but bad reviews about the new guns.... Then I realized the posts were between 2008-2010 I couldn't find anyone who had purchased a NEW rifle. I almost gave up and bought an automatic thank god there is hope because I LOVE lever's!!

Kleff
 

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Received my Golden 39A as a Christmas gift in 1965. Have been on many rabbit hunts as well a target practice and have never had one problem.
No way that I will ever part with it !
 

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lever screw

I have a question about the lever finger extrusion you are talking about. On my 39A the lever seems to be extremely sloppy on the screw that holds it in place. Instead of hammering out the lever finger, could it be that it just needs a screw with shoulders that fit the hole in the lever? I am including a couple of pictures to show you the slop of my lever. If you compare the two pictures you will see the space between the screw and wall of the hole in the lever from one side to the other. Any knowledge from anyone out there would be a big help.

Phil DSC_2192.JPG DSC_2193.JPG
 

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I have been thinking of a Golden 39A and am currently looking for the best price online as local dealers near me (No.VA) don't seem to have any in stock. Any leads on where to look for a good price online (will need to ship to local dealer for pickup)?

I like my Marlin 336 so I decided to spend the extra cash for the 39A over the Henrys, hope this will be a wise move for me. The 39A looks like such a solid piece though I am apprehensive about it performing out of the box based on some other posts.
 

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It just might be my pure luck but I have a 1989 Marlin 39AWL and a 1996 Marlin 39A (scope and Skinner Sights were swapped after this picture) and I have never had one single failure of Fail To Feed, Fail To Fire, or Fail To Eject. Now I know the 39AWL was brand new out of the box and never fired so I know that one is 100% factory. I bought the 39A used so I can not say it was modified prior to me buying it. I did do a trigger job on both so they are both pulling about 2.5 pounds on the trigger.

Marlin 39AWL 1989 and 39A 1996.jpg


GB45
 

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My 39M is now the most reliable action I ever had.

I would add, check the brass Ejector Base itself is racked down below flush by tightening the 2 screws good. Mine had at some stage, been reassembled with 2 of the wrong screws ( I think that happens a lot )

I tried a new Ejector assembly, I was amazed at the amount of wear showing on mine versus a new one - they DO wear down. Heck, it's good to get a new Ejector, Extractor, screws etc to keep as SHTF spares anyway just on principle.

Mine now extracts and ejects them all a clean 6 feet, best 22 ever made imho
 

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Five years ago when I bought my new 39as, out of the box, it was FTF & FTE. Took it back to the gunsmith 2 times in a month. I still had intermittent FTF. I put it away for 3 years and got it back out couple weeks ago, 2 years later. I learned of a club member, who I met this past Saturday, and is a gunsmith. I went back home and came back with my rifle for him to fix the FTF. Today, three days later, I get a call that it is fixed. He demonstrated in his basement that the shell casing has now a nice solid repetitive indent on the casings.

He determined that the push button safety mechanism was the problem hindering the hammer from going fully forward to make a solid strike. The hammer was stopping ever so short. With his modification, in order for me to engage the safety, I have to pull back ever so slightly on the hammer and push/slide the safety button. He commented how cheap some of the innards are compared to the old. I plan to buy some replacement extraction parts, just to have on standby mode.

It is nice to have a fully operational 39as to use every so often. Just an added note: I have found very good accuracy using Aquila Match Rifle ammo out to 100m in my Marlin. Their SV, 1080fps, is not far behind with consistency too.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Older 39A's do not have this problem. It started when Freedom Group (Remington'sparent group) acquired Marlin around 2008-10 which you can look up on theinternet. Around the same time the Fed'srequired the rifles to have safety’s which change the design enough to have an effect. The fix will work, as far as I know, on allnewer 39A's. The rifles build fromaround 2010 or 2011 on - are manufactured in Llion, NY were Remington moved theMarlin Mfg. equipment. The barrels canstill have New Haven, Ct. stamped on them. Check out a new 39A carefully as the fit and finish can be a bit shakyon them and some of the sights have been reported as too far off true. When you find a good one and incorporate thefixes to you will have a great, accurate rifle that is hard to put down as theyare that much fun to fire. If you canfind an older one that has been taken care of you can't go wrong. I personally like the furniture (stalks) onthe newer rifles though.
 

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I purchased a 39A recently (11-15-13)second hand as a NIB deal. The serial # is 91301xxx. I have no problems with FTE, but it FTF more than not. I have only tried to put 60 LR through it. but more than half FTF. Very small dent in all cases. Should I have to oil the firing pin? I'm a little apprehensive taking a Dremel to the receiver. Any suggestions other than Bensite's fix above?
 
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