1881 Marlin

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Chugwater
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1881 Marlin

Post by Chugwater » Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:21 pm

What calibers did Marlin make in the 1881 Model? Are they hard to come by and any idea of price?

Finally does anyone have one for sale (how much)?
Chug
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Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:27 pm

Chugwater;

The Marlin Model 1881 was made in 4 calibers. The first guns, were large frame guns in .40-60 Marlin and .45 Government (.45-70). The small frame guns were made in .32-40 and .38-55 Ballard calibers.
According to the factory records, there were around 21,000 of the Marlin Model 1881's made from 1881 to 1891. The records reflect that there were 6,261 made in .40 caliber, 4,769 made in .45 Government, 3,563 made in .38-55 and 1,785 made in .32-40 caliber.
Now these numbers do not add up to the 21,000 figure I gave you above, but the first 4,096 guns were not recorded in the records.
Check the internet auction sites, there are always some '81's listed. Just be careful and ask questions. If you need help, someone here will always be willing to share information and give some pointers.
Good luck.................I hope this helps.

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Post by Sure-Shot » Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:37 pm

Chugwater there were a number of special order features available, from barrel length to sights, deluxe wood and engraving. Some of these special order items sell for well over $4000 and depending on features much higher. Those types are hard to find and usually end up in auction houses from estate sales. The standard versions are more commonly seen on the market and in a huge variety of conditions. If you pick up the book Marlin Firearms, A History Of The Guns and The Company That Made Them, by Lt. Col. Wm Brophy there is an incredable amount of information and photos about Marlins including the 1881.
Last edited by Sure-Shot on Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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marlinman93
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Post by marlinman93 » Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:48 pm

Here's an example of what they are asking. You can check completed auctions to see what they actually sell for. Just type in "1881 Marlin" once you get to the site.

http://www.antiqueguns.com/auction/display.cgi
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

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Post by Chugwater » Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:48 pm

WOW! Excuse me I'm still trying to get my breath. MM have you seen the one there with Serial Number 97? I would jump right on that one but I think I'm about $3-4,000 short.

Thanks for the info guys, I've gota go lay down and regain my composure. I might bit on one of those after I ran it past you guys. No way will I spend that kind of money with out help. Thanks again………….

Chug
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Post by marlinman93 » Sat Mar 04, 2006 6:00 pm

Any 1881 Marlin with a serial number low enough to be a rebated frame, will get huge premiums! Yes, I saw that one with the low number, but I'm short too! :wink:
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Chugwater
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Post by Chugwater » Sat Mar 04, 2006 8:51 pm

MM,

Thanks much again.

I hate to sound like a dummy but whats a "rebated frame"?

I"m goning to run a picture by of a 1881 on Gun Brokers and see what you think. It's been messed with and I think he is asking to much for that reason. BB in a few minutes.

Chug
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Chugwater
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Post by Chugwater » Sat Mar 04, 2006 8:58 pm

MM,

Image

Image

GB Auction # 44568239 Ya see that black strip, the seller said he didn't know what that was, "it looks like some kind of filler" he said.
From what you can see do you think the price is in line with the condition?

What do ya think?

Chug
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Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:56 am

Chugwater;

That gun is definitely a complete refinish job. The case-colors on the buttplate are not correct for a Marlin Model 1881. The case-colors on the Model 1881 are much more muted and suttle. The black filler indicates it has the wrong buttplate too. Have him remove the buttplate to see if the serial number matches the gun number. It will not I suspect. Best stay away from this one.
I hope this helps.

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Post by Chugwater » Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:27 pm

Thank you very much. I did trash the idea. I thought it was about a $700 gun and I could afford to rework it beings it had already been messed with, but not the case.

Thanks again for helping me avoid a disaster.

Chug
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Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:17 pm

Chugwater;

Forgot to explain the "rebated receiver" to you. The earliest Model 1881's were different than the later guns. The front, bottom edge of the receiver had an undercut area, about 3/4 of an inch long, about 1/8 inch deep. This rebated area will only be found on guns with serial numbers under 600, and with current research, the total number of rebated receivers made is now down to under 300. Recently, a non-rebated receiver 1881 with a serial number under 300 was sold at auction. Guns found in the 300 range are not rebated and no guns in the 400 range are rebated. Only one gun with a serial number above 300 has been discovered with a rebated receiver. That receiver was probably laying around when it was discovered and serialized right in with the guns of the day. The known rebated receivers are rare, and deluxe versions are very scarce. There is one known factory engraved, rebated receiver. A few are known with half magazines. Most of the known rebated guns are 45 Government caliber with the standard 28 inch octagon barrel.
I hope this helps.....

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marlinman93
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Post by marlinman93 » Sun Mar 05, 2006 9:09 pm

It might be possible that the buttplate on that restored gun is an original, and maybe the stocks were for a different model Marlin, so they filled it in to make it work on the 1881. The reason the filler is so dark is they got the wrong wood, or got the grain the wrong direction.
As Regnier said, I'd steer clear of this gun, not just because it's a restoration, but because it's done wrong. A properly restored Marlin 1881 will still bring good money, but a poorly restored one wont.
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

Chugwater
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Post by Chugwater » Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:19 pm

I sure appreciate your input on education. The rebated receivers are interesting. I had never heard of the before.

Cheers, Chug
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Re: 1881 Marlin

Post by jknappent » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:00 am

can you tell me if all the 1881 marlin rifles have double triggers. Iam looking an 1881 marlin deluxe rifle does not seem to have double triggers
it was made in 1891.
Thanks
Joe

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Re: 1881 Marlin

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Tue Mar 01, 2016 1:50 pm

Joe;

Not all Marlin Model 1881's had double set triggers. Of the nearly 21,000 Model 1881's listed in the old factory records, only 2,929 are listed with double set triggers, and that includes all the different frame sizes and calibers.
The records show that only 469 Model 1881's were shipped in 1891. It was the last year of standard production for that model.
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