Marlin 1878 Pistol

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Granny
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Marlin 1878 Pistol

Post by Granny » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:57 pm

My son-in-law acquired a Marlin pistol and wanted to know more about it.

The barrel is marked "J M Marlin, New Haven, Conn July 1, 1878" on the underside and " .38 Standard" on the side of the barrel. It is a bottom break, hinged top single action 5 shot "pocket" revolver, without a trigger guard. Serial number on the bottom of the grip is 240. It looks to be nickel plated. The black checkered grips have JMM in a raised circle about 1" diameter near the top.

What bullet would this shoot? I cannot find a .38 Standard anywhere but did find .38 S&W introduced 1877 by Smith & Wesson. Is that what it shoots?

And How may were made, and what would be the value of this firearm. It appears to have all its parts, breaks for loading, cocks, rotates and fires. Finish is slightly tarnished and cylinder appears to fit a little loose.

Thanks for any info

Granny

Regnier (gunrunner)
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Re: Marlin 1878 Pistol

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:23 pm

Granny;

The Marlin 38 Standard of 1878 was made from 1878 to 1887, with about 9,000 guns of that model produced during the production run. The 38 Standard is a .38 Smith & Wesson caliber. Standard finish was full nickel plate with a case-colored hammer. The hard rubber grips were standard with either ivory or mother of pearl grips optional. Factory engraving was also an option available at extra cost as well. Guns made prior to 1881 had the JMM signet hard rubber grips, while guns made after 1881 had MFACo grips monogram grips.
The patent date on the side of the barrel is July 1, 1873, not 1878. That is the Marlin patent utilized on all of the Marlin Standard revolvers.
Value is hard to say without actually seeing the piece in question. Prices generally range from $200.00 to $450.00 depending upon the overall condition. There have been a few nearly new, appearing to be unfired bring more when they show up. The loose cylinder may be a result of a loose cylinder pin. The pin screws into the frame with left hand threads and may just need to screwed in tight.
I hope this helps.
Due to the increasing cost of ammunition, there be no warning shot!

The growing federal deficit = generational slavery to the national debt.

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Granny
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Re: Marlin 1878 Pistol

Post by Granny » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:57 pm

Thanks for the reply.

I based the post title "Marlin 1878 Pistol" on the patent date on the barrell. Was this pistol actually made in 1878? Does the "240" stamped on the bottom of the pistol frame indicate it's actual serial number or is part of a serial number that is hidden somewhere else?

Regnier (gunrunner)
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Re: Marlin 1878 Pistol

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:19 pm

Granny;

The 240 you mention is in fact, the entire serial number of that particular revolver. With a serial number that low (which happens to be the lowest serial number I have recorded for this model) it would have been a first year production gun.
The Model 38 Standard of 1878 will have the serial number stamped on the bottom of the grip, the back of the barrel, back of the cylinder and on the barrel locking latch.
I hope this helps.
Due to the increasing cost of ammunition, there be no warning shot!

The growing federal deficit = generational slavery to the national debt.

If the world was perfect.......it wouldn't be.

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Road King
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Re: Marlin 1878 Pistol

Post by Road King » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:09 pm

I think we would all like to see a photo of this pistol. :D
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steveinvermont
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Re: Marlin 1878 Pistol

Post by steveinvermont » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:00 pm

I too have a pistol as described It is a bit "Rusty"? on the barrel, but the body is pretty good for the age. the barrel is a bit loose, but it looks like it's loose in the screw "hinge" area. I have pictures of mine, and If I can figure how to upload them I will. if anyone is interested in selling it, too.

Regnier (gunrunner)
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Re: Marlin 1878 Pistol

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:30 pm

Steveinvermont;

To post pictures on this site, some very good instructions are in the "GUEST" section of the message board. Go to the "GUEST" section and look for a post titled "Old Marlin in New Zealand". Scroll down through the post to the instructions posted by Road King.
In most cases, a loose barrel can be tightened up simply by tightening the hinge screw. But be careful and do not overtighten and strip the screw. If it acts like it is still loose with the screw fairly tight, you might have to "squeeze" the hinge parts on the frame together a little. Again, being careful not to go to far. It really should not take much either way.
Looking forward to seeing your pistole!
Due to the increasing cost of ammunition, there be no warning shot!

The growing federal deficit = generational slavery to the national debt.

If the world was perfect.......it wouldn't be.

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Road King
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Re: Marlin 1878 Pistol

Post by Road King » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:36 pm

Here are the photos of steveinvermont's 1878 Pistol

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" More guns then I need, but not as many as I want."

Regnier (gunrunner)
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Re: Marlin 1878 Pistol

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:51 pm

Steveinvermont;

You do not have a Model 38 Standard of 1878, you have a No. 32 Standard of 1875. The .32 Standard was a .32 rim fire caliber gun. It was made in both long and short cylinders for the long and short cartridge. I think your gun is a .32 short from the pictures. It is a little hard to tell.
The .32 Standard was made from 1875 to 1887. Your gun has the MFACo. hard rubber grips, indicating it was made after 1881. Hard rubber grips prior to 1881 had a "star" in the same area as the script on your gun.
I hope this helps.
Due to the increasing cost of ammunition, there be no warning shot!

The growing federal deficit = generational slavery to the national debt.

If the world was perfect.......it wouldn't be.

steveinvermont
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Re: Marlin 1878 Pistol

Post by steveinvermont » Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:12 pm

Thanks so much for the info, does this pistol have much value?? I am narrowing my collection, and would like to pass this one along to someone who would appreciate it.

Regnier (gunrunner)
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Re: Marlin 1878 Pistol

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:16 pm

Steveinvermont;

The No. 32 Standard is a collectors item with some value, of course depending upon the overall condition. Your gun is in pretty good shape except for the "spots" on the barrel, which might clean up with a little effort and some Flitz. Value in the present condition would be in the $250.00 range, and maybe a little higher if the "spots" look like they can be cleaned up.
Due to the increasing cost of ammunition, there be no warning shot!

The growing federal deficit = generational slavery to the national debt.

If the world was perfect.......it wouldn't be.

steveinvermont
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Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:51 pm

Re: Marlin 1878 Pistol

Post by steveinvermont » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:01 pm

I certainly would be willing to part with my 32. if anyone is interested, shoot me an offer.

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