The exposed hammer pump action shtoguns did have their own serial number range (I think the hammerless have their own range too, but I do not buy hammerless guns as I think they are ugly, and I do not buy ugly guns) , and if you check the section on Shotguns here, you will see that someone posted that they have a Model 1898, serial number 9. I have been gathering some of these old, exposed hammer shotguns for a couple of years, and decided to do a little research on them by recording serial numbers of guns I find. I have found a Model 30, Grade B with a serial number in the 143,000 range that still had the old style of "hang fire release" system. The reason that is interesting is that the Model 30 is one of the models that had both styles of release. The early, pushbutton style, (high on the right side of receiver), and the later, lever style (down on the trigger guard). The Model 24 is another model to share this system. The newer release style is first shown in the 1915 catalog, so to me, I wanted to know around what serial number that change happened. But, with that Model 30 with the old style release, in the 143,000 range shows that the serial numbers were getting close to what the 1911 catalog said, and yet, is under when the new style release is shown in the 1915 catalog.
The "A" serial numbered Models 17 and 19 you see are Marlin Arms or Marlin-Rockwell assembled guns. Apparently there must have been quite a few of those receivers left over and the new companies wanted to use them up. There are other models that have the "A" serial number prefix too. I have a M-R letter dated 1919, about the repair of a Model 17, and they state that they have exhausted their supply of parts and cannot repair the gun.
I have not spent any time on the pump action rifles as I have only owned a couple over the years. Good ones are to hard to find and without a reason or ability to follow them, I cannot spend the time on them. I suspect the pump action rifles had their own serial number range. There was someone gathering informtion on the pump rifles, but he died and I do not know what happened to the information he had put together. I know his sons and may look into it.
When Bill originaly went to write the Marlin book, it was only going to be on the lever action rifles. But, Frank Kenna, President of the Marlin Firearms Company wanted a complete book on the Marlin Firearms Company. That affected what Bill had started, and he had to go into all aspects of the company with less time to spend on what he really wanted to do from the start. He had little time to spend researching some of the earlier models that there was less information available, so there are errors and ommisions. frankly, it is surprising it is as correct as it is, but new information is always showing up to change "history".
I was not saying that Marlin could not sell lever guns, but without an expansion of the factory and manpower, something had to give to be able to produce all the newer products Marlin was offering. So, reduce the number of lever guns being made to allow machinery and manpower to devote to manufacturing shotguns and pump rifles.
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.