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Discussion Starter #1
Bought this 1953 39A three years ago and have shot it a great deal. This fall I've been using it for sporting rifle competition, but now I have trouble getting through the three rounds of ten shots each without jamming .. cases stuck in the chamber ... taking me out.

Today for example I cleaned out the chamber using Hoppe's 9 and swabbed it dry until the Q-tips I used came out clean. As warm-up I shot twenty rounds (Remington Golden Bullets) then started with the sporting rifle, using CCI standard velocity. The format is ten shots within ten minutes, then score the target; then shoot another round. Three rounds of ten shots each are fired.

All the cases during the first ten shot round ejected well, but the second time around six of the ten shots would not extract. I had a cleaning rod handy that I used to clear the cases and I was able to get all ten shots off. However, I abandoned the shoot before going to the third round.

The cases have a blackened area extending back from the case mouth an eighth of an inch or so ... indicating to me a chamber that has grown too large.

I suspect that re-barreling a 39A is expensive if possible ... My fear is that this rifle has no use except as spare parts.

Am I correct?
 

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Don't part it out yet. I don't think I've seen a .22 chamber worn out before the barrel was worn out, but anything is possible. Have a gunsmith inspect the chamber. A little bit of crud can cause all sorts of problems. Either way you can have the barrel relined for about $150 and that will restore the barrel and the chamber to like new conditions. Almost forgot, use something better than hoppe's. It might smell good, but doesn't cut the mustard.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Did not know of the re-lining possibility. A Google search gave me this video of Larry Potterfield showing how it is done

 

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i would get it relined, a good liner and will shoot good as new. do you love the rifle? if so do you want to spend $300-$900 for another one? a relining can be done if you know someone with a lathe, buy the bit from brownells and have someone drill it out to 5/16 or 3/8(depending on the liner you get) and epoxy/loctite the new liner in. its not a hard job at all, heck you can do it in the garage if you use a self piloting drill bit(tip of it follows the bore taking alittle off then a bigger part comes in afterwards and removes the rest of the metal and keeps centered and drill one half then drill the other dont go all the way through in one go) liners are under 20$ before shipping. the drill bit costs but if you used it with care im sure you could resell it and after that end up relining it for maybe 40$ in cost. the rifle is worth getting it relined, a marlin 60 not so much.

the cheapest liner i have seen is from numrich gun parts(gunpartscorp.com) and if you epoxy it use devcon 24hr epoxy the slower it cures the tougher it is. for locktite you want to use a sleeve retaining version as its much different than the thread stuff. its usually used to hold cylinder liners in engines so good enough for a .22

also note you will need to chamber the barrel, however with a .22 its easy. reamers are $35-$45 and you can resell them with ease.i would use a bentz chamber, its tigher then universal LR chambers(what most companies use) but that means higher accuracy and for a lever gun, will work fantastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've been cleaning it and found it fires for a while ... than problems again. Using a cleaning rod to push out the case I've found a lot of resistance ... This level of resistance plus my cleaning work has made me think it is not an extractor issue. However, I will take it to a gunsmith for a professional opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Love? I like it.

Have found during this morning's coffee break that a local gunsmith does regularly do re-lining. Someone had re-blued this rifle poorly and that kept the price down. If I can get it to shoot well I'll have it re-blued and re-finished. After all I know what I've got. Maybe we'll fall in love then? Not the case if I buy a different one. And if I buy another it will not be new as I don't want a Remington Marlin.
 

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I've never done a chamber casting of a 22, but maybe that is something you could look at doing before paying out $50 an hour to troubleshoot.

Have you ever polished out the bore/barrel with JB to see if that helps?
 

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i just dont see how the chamber is bad, usually with .22's its usually rust which kills everything. hoppes does not work on rust which could be your issue. use some 0000 steel wool wrapped around a trashed bore brush with hoppes on it. and can attatch the rod to a drill and use that. could just be crud. if the black marks are streaks than its gas blow by which yeah is a trashed chamber. my guess is the rifle was not properly taken care of or it could have used a bunch of shorts. when you use shorts in lr chambers it can foul up the chamber making lr's hard to extract. if you was close i would work on this for you free of charge. or if you can get the barrel off mail it to me i can work on it to figure out the main issue. if it needs a reline we can go from there. would be much cheaper than a gun smith. of course upfront cost might be more(for tooling) but as i said before you can sell it off after one use and make your money back...

and when i was talking about buying another marlin 39, i was not talking about a brand new one. im talking a quality used vintage one. a new one i would not buy due to the horrible remington quality.

edit below:

also you said you use remington golden bullets, i know for a fact from building my pistol and having to chamber the barrel myself that remington is usually on the smaller side of .22 case sizes. cci is usually on the larger side. so if your having issues with remington, its most likely my theory of the chamber is just crudded up from either shorts or not being cleaned.

do you have any pictures of the extracted brass? one thing you can do is use a blue sharpie, color the whole case in the sharpie and load it up in the chamber than fire or just extract it, see if any of the blue rubbed off. if you could single load rounds its good to have a mark showing what way it went into chamber. you do this to find out where the trouble spots are.

also realize. when a .22lr chamber is reamed it is a slight taper. with a sporting chamber it goes from 0.230 to 0.227 and if say the chamber got peened from dry firing and someone went about removing the burr the wrong way, they could have enlarged the start of the chamber which means the brass can expand too much as the .22lr round itself is always bigger near the base. so in simple terms, the brass expands way more than it can contract which means hard extraction. a rough chamber hinders extraction as well due to it gripping the case walls or grime making the chamber smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Not likely ammo as I've had the problem while Aguila, CCI, Remington and Federal .... I'm shooting different ammunition because with the shortage I can't get a good supply of what I'm sighted in for. I have had this problem for months, but it has clearly gotten much worse recently.

My way of doing things is to practice with various brands then shoot the CCI standard velocity during a weekly sporting rifle competition. A receiver sighted 39A is not the ideal rifle for this, but my Ruger 77/22 has been away for over three months being worked over by Clark Custom.

I will report back here if I get some definite word from a gunsmith.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Let's see if this scan of a spent .22 from my 39A shows clearly. The deepest part of the blackening goes back 0.1 inches.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Let me expound on my response to "Do you love this rifle?"

If ever I loved a rifle it would be the 39A. This is the rifle I wanted as a fourteen year old (1962), but settled for a Marlin-Glenfield 80G.

I've been shooting this 39A a great deal these last months preparing for and participating in sporting rifle competition. This shooting is very deliberate and each time I pick up the rifle memories of looking through those Marlin catalogs return. It listed for $79.95 in the 1963, but I was already saving for college, making a couple of buck for each lawn I mowed.

My first rifle was earned through selling cards. The Boy Scouts magazine "Boys Life" carried a full page ad of items one could get for various sales levels. The item I set my heart on was a Marlin 80 C, priced $35.95 in the 1963 catalog. I sold those cards and it was not easy for me to knock on doors, and I was very disappointed when that company paid me with the lower priced Genfield 80G ($30.95). Clearly the 80 C was what was represented in that add. I've always regretted that I didn't take that company on for false advertising.
 

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corgiman, you have a problem in the front of your chamber. Go back to the post suggesting OOOO Steel wool wrapped around a brass brush and drill and see if you can clean it out. There is also some issue on the rim, but I can't tell what, even by enlarging the photo. Looks like your extractor may be partially broken and pulling through, caused by the front grabbing the chamber wall.

BTW, back in the sixties a friend and I used to deal the match target shooters misery. I, with a Remington Junior target with a Redfield receiver sight and a Lyman 17A front. He, with a 39A Mountie with Lyman's receiver sight on the back and a 17A on the front. We did not win every match, but often one of us did. Their guns were supposedly superior, but we kept things interesting. One guy put a 2" bull barrel on a Ballard as an act of revenge, to no avail.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The damage on the rim is from the end of my knife blade. The gun didn't do that.

I've just returned from Walmart with M-Pro 7 gun cleaner and will work on the chamber as you suggest.
 

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I would think that the previous owner shot a lot of shorts out of it and the chamber just needs a good cleaning. Good luck I also would scrub the chamber. Maybe with a drill and over sized .25 cal bronze brush. I also would use some Kriol and soak it down good over night to let the Kriol work. I have never had to go with this extreme before but I have read a lot about it. So take what I said for what it is worth, but that is the way I would do it. But someone will chime in if I am wrong, but it seems logical and probable to me. I think like I said someone probably shot a lot of shorts out of it which will build the chamber up with lead and carbon.

Good luck and let us know how it comes out.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Remington vs Federal vs CCI

rem&fed.jpg Earlier I posted a scanned image of a CCI case fired in my rifle. The blackening was relatively evenly spread around the case mouth extending about 0.1 inch rearward. These Remington and Federal round blacken up differently. The Remington blackens more deeply but not evenly. The Federal very little.

Today I shot ten (clean well before firing) Remington Golden bullets, then some Federal High Velocity. On about the 11th Federal (30 plus rounds into my experiment) I got a jam, but was able to fire 19 more without a jam.
 

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yep looks like someone shot a lot of shorts. im betting if you take a short the case mouth will match up to the black area. i dont know much about model 39's so i dont know if you can remove the barrel with ease or even able to see the chamber easily so you can really get it clean and view the chamber. if you can view the chamber use a bright light and shove a piece of paper towel into the chamber, the white of the towel helps you see the condition better.
 
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