How to verify a 1939 39-A?

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How to verify a 1939 39-A?

Post by tlturbo » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:28 am

Hello everyone.
I bought a 39-A the other day from an elderly lady that had been oiled up (the rifle) and stored in a rifle sock for many years. Her husband had told her it was his fathers "old Musket".
It was in almost NEW condition so I bought it but when I got home, I tried to validate the manufacture date and got totally confused.
I researched all over the internet and read many great explanations especially on dating Serial #'s but that's where I got confused.
I'm hoping someone on here can figure this out.
Here is pertinent information but if more is needed just ask. I can also get pictures if needed.

Serial #' is 34XX under the lever with NO letter prefix.
The action is a gorgeous case hardened take down model.
It does NOT have a gold trigger.
The lever does NOT appear to be blued but rather a dull silver metal color (maybe it was case hardened but not much color)
Barrel is round, blued and about 23 1/2 inches long.
The interior magazine tube appears to be brass.
Front sight has a slide over hood.
There are 3 screws on the top receiver tang. 2 small and one larger at the rear.
There is 1 small screw on the receiver top at the front of the flat area.
It has a pistol grip stock with no cap or spacer and the bottom edge is not flat but the front edge is slightly curved down and the rear edge is slightly curved up. (is this what they mean by S shape?)
The fore end and butt stock are checkered in a plain solid pattern.
The butt plate is black plastic with NO MARLIN name. It has 4 horizontal lines then a space then repeats 6 more times.
The lettering on the barrel is The Marlin Firearms Co. - Model 39-A (The Marlin Firearms Co. is in a slight script.)
Under that is a left pointing arrow New Haven Conn. U.S.A. 22 S L & LR then a right pointing arrow.
The checkered stock, butt plate and the almost new condition make me wonder about it actually being an original 1939 year as the serial # would indicate. But the stock fit is exact and the finish looks factory original.

Someone suggested it was so nice it must be a reproduction but I haven't found any info on anyone making a repro.

Any help in identifying this great old rifle is greatly appreciated.

I grew up with my grandfathers old takedown octagon barrel 39-A and it was a great shooter.


Regnier (gunrunner)
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Re: How to verify a 1939 39-A?

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:19 am


What you have is an early 1st variation of the Model 39-A, made in late 1939 or early 1940. Marlin started using the letter prefix in 1940 with the letter "A". The serial number without a prefix indicates this is a very early variation of the 39-A and everything you describe except for the checking on the wood sounds correct.
Marlin did some checking on the Model 36 ADL's made about the same time as this 39-A, but I do not know if there were any 39-A's checkered at the factory at that time. Photos of the checking would help determine it is was done in a style that was being done at the time.
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Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:28 am

Re: How to verify a 1939 39-A?

Post by tlturbo » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:20 pm

Thanks a lot. I'll get some pics later this weekend.

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