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this looks like a great place for info. on old guns. i am new to the forum. i just bought a 1881 38-55 marlin lever action rifle. i neen any info. on this gun. serial no. 12161 it has a 30 in barrell with double set triggers. all the blueing is gone but the gun is in good shape. i need front and rear sights and the screw that holds the forarm on
 

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Welcome to Marlin Owners. I can't help you much with the parts, but that serial number dates to 1886.
 

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Only suggestion for front and rear sights is watching Fleabay. Or maybe one of the gun auctions like Gunbroker or Auction Arms. The sights from later Marlins will work and look close, but only early pre 1890-91 sights have the correct little ears on them for a 1881, 1888, or 1889 Marlin.
As for the forearm screw, that's easy. Just get one for a Ballard #5 Pacific forearm. They're the exact same screw, but slightly longer. Since the head is threaded and the rest is smooth you can just trim it to length. Ballard Rifle Co. can sell you one.
Sounds like a very interesting gun! I think there were about 1250 made with DST, and most were large frames 1881's.
 
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