Gun Report

Marlin Model 39A 22 LR, $702

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We loved the classic look of this classic gun. Annie Oakley had one, and we know hers worked better than ours. Although well made, nicely checkered and blued, our Marlin had many problems we could not solve.

Marlin Model 39A 22 LR, $702

Gun Details

Model Name
Model Number
Caliber Plus Cartridge
Weight Unloaded
Length of Pull
Action Type
Action Finish
Barrel Finish
Trigger Pull Weight

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The rifle was heavy. It weighed just over 7 pounds. Perhaps the weight is part of the mystery associated with this design, in that it makes the rifle “steadier” in the hands, as some have said. We found it tends to make the shooter weary to drag this much weight around all day.
The Marlin comes apart into three pieces. The bolt is the third part, here lying on top of the stock. A mounted scope will increase the length of all the rifles when they're taken apart. The Marlin could mount an aperture easily.
If you drop this in the dirt, we think you'll be cleaning it a long time. Pretty much everything of the complex mechanism was exposed with the rifle apart. We found traces of rust on the screw-joint threads, which made takedown harder than it should have been. There was also rust in the magazine, making loading very difficult. We could not easily open or close the magazine, and corrosion was the obvious reason, our testers said.
The little screw (arrow) has a notch that holds the ejector down. It has to be out of the way to avoid damage while cleaning the barrel from the breech. The ejector is locked out of the way by first pressing it down and then rotating the little screw to trap it.
Note in the second picture the screw head has been turned 90 degrees. This is fussy, but the ejector is the one item that always worked on this rifle. Empties that we cycled out with the Marlin 39A's lever were always reliably flung far and wide away from the shooter.

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