Marlin .38-W

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Papa Bear
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Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:18 am

Marlin .38-W

Post by Papa Bear » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:56 pm

I have a Marlin >38-W with an octagonal barrel. Serial number is 43588 and the barrel says "Patented Oct. 1887.April 2, 1889. It says Marlin Safety on the top and is a side eject model. I have two questions that I'm hoping someone can help me with:

1) Can someone tell me something about this piece?
2) Is there anyway for me to still safely shoot this piece? I have a thing for old guns.

Regnier (gunrunner)
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Re: Marlin .38-W

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:10 pm

Papa Bear;

You have a rather rare Model 1889. It left the Marlin Factory in New Haven, Ct. in late 1890, shipped with a 24 inch octagon barrel in .38-40 caliber, pistol grip stock and half magazine tube.
Of the nearly 55,000 Model 1889's made from 189 to 1895, 18,641 are listed in the records in the .38-40 caliber. Only 2,296 are listed with a pistol grip stock, and only 854 are listed with the half magazine tube.
The Model 1889 was Marlin's first side ejection rifle, and was made in rifle, carbine and musket styles in .32-20, 38-40 and .44-40 calibers. A very few, deluxe versions with pistol grips stocks were produced in .25.20 caliber after introduction of the Model 1894.
I hope this helps.
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Re: Marlin .38-W

Post by azhusker » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:49 pm

Regarding your second question, your gun is a black powder gun, manufactured before smokeless powder was invented. It should not be fired with the higher pressure smokeless powder ammo. "Cowboy Action" ammo is available from companies like Blackhills Ammunition. However, you should first have the gun inspected by a competent gunsmith to ensure it's safety.
Cornhusker Dave

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