Marlin Model 39-- Ammo Choices?

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Marlin Model 39-- Ammo Choices?

Postby sjpitts » Sun Nov 08, 2009 11:57 am

I am new to this forum-- this is my first post. I have had an older model 39A for a couple of years. It is nice gun, one of my favorites. So when a friend offered me his Marlin 39 for a good price, I felt compelled to get it.

The 39 has an octagon barrel and case hardened receiver. The gun is is remarkably good shape-- although there are several significant scratches on the wood. I think it is all original, except that someone put in a sling mount where the bullseye should be on the stock. And it has a sight that may not be original. It is a D.W. King sight--it is a buckhorn style, with a 1907 patent date. The gun has a serial number of 123XX. It has a "proof mark" star on the tang

From my research, I believe this is a 1922-1926 gun, as it has no prefix on the serial number. Also from my research, these older guns are not rated for "high speed" ammunition.

But I really don't know what that means. Can someone tell me what velocity ammunition I can safely shoot in this gun?

I picked up some Remington "golden bullet" 22 short at Wally World, thinking that would be ok. But when I got home I noticed the box said "high velocity". I sort of doubt that the 22 short would be too high a velocity, but it gave me pause.

So can someone help me out? What is the max velocity I can safely shoot in this 39? Are these remington "high velocity" 22 shorts going to be ok? Does anyone have a good ammo recommendation for gun? I would like to hunt some rabbits and squirrels with it.

Thanks

Jared
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Re: Marlin Model 39-- Ammo Choices?

Postby Regnier (gunrunner) » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:34 pm

Jared;

From what I can find, your .22 Short, high velocity ammunition produces less breech pressure and less muzzle velocity than the standard velocity .22 Long Rifle ammunition. This would mean it should be okay to use the .22 Short, high velocity ammunition in your Model 39.
To be safe, I would consider taking the breech bolt to a machine shop that has magniflux inspection facilities to see if your breech bolt is not cracked already. Some auto repair shops have magniflux machines to check for cracks in engine heads. If it is not cracked, you are lucky and should take care to watch the ammunition you use in it.
Goodl luck.....
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Re: Marlin Model 39-- Ammo Choices?

Postby sjpitts » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:02 pm

Thanks--

Would you really do all that before you shot it? The guy I bought it from said he never had any problems with it--- he had it since 1990, but I don't know that he knew he wasn't supposed to shoot high velocity in it.

And I guess there is always a chance that the bolt has been upgraded.

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Re: Marlin Model 39-- Ammo Choices?

Postby Regnier (gunrunner) » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:27 pm

Jared;

Magniflux inspection is a real simple process. You magnitize the breech bolt, dip it in a special solution that can be drawn into any cracks, then look at the breech bolt under a speical light to see if the solution shows any cracks. It only takes a minute or so.
If the breech bolt is cracked, then you will have to do the upgrade and then you can shoot some high speed ammunition in it safely. Just do not use the hyper speed stuff.
Due to the increasing cost of ammunition, there be no warning shot!

The growing federal deficit = generational slavery to the national debt.
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Re: Marlin Model 39-- Ammo Choices?

Postby jwmtx » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:15 pm

If it were one of the ones not made for high volicity ammo it would have a "S" prefix. Those rifles had a portion of the bolt cut out for some reason. All others should be good to go, but, it never hurts to be safe. Especially with a fire arm.
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Re: Marlin Model 39-- Ammo Choices?

Postby Hunt4em » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:03 pm

James,
The first series of the model 39 had no prefix, the "S" prefix was second and the "HS" was the last prefix before the change to the model 39A.

John
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Re: Marlin Model 39-- Ammo Choices?

Postby Bob Nap » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:22 pm

Just a note to sjpitts in answer to his question regarding his Marlin 39...I have the same rifle ser # 8950...Congratulations its a fine gun..I use a .22 long, not long rifle but a long...ccI 40 gr.710 ft/sec... these are subsonic low pressure bullets. and very stable..you can go a little higher but I havent found them in a long...only long rifle....High pressure is a supersonic bullet, that is more than 1116 ft/sec...thats about 760 mph and thus the sound barrier at sea level..also it's interesting that a supersonic bullet will wobble a bit as it slows back down through the sonic barrier making long shots a bit iffy
also just a note the difference between a long and a long rifle is that a long has a long rifle shell with a short head...most stors do not carry these because they think as most do that a long and a long rifle is the same...at least in Jersey.Good Luck.... Just a note.. that rifle originally came with an ivory inlay in the front sight
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Re: Marlin Model 39-- Ammo Choices?

Postby marlinman93 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:49 am

Not all Marlin 39's came with the ivory bead front sight. Some had the silver bead. Depends on when they were made. I would consider any .22LR ammo listed as "standard velocity" or "target" to be low enough to safely fire in a non-HS prefix 39. If you want to fire hi speed you can easily convert to a 39a breechbolt, or just sell it and buy a 39 with HS prefix.
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Re: Marlin Model 39-- Ammo Choices?

Postby teetertotter » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:53 pm

My 4 year old model with CCI Blazzer's, gives me 1.5 inch, 3 group, at 100M with Vortex Viper 6-20 X 40 w Target DOT. 60M is nickel size. I'm happy I found this low cost ammo which shoots the best in my 39a as shoot about 250+ rounds a week. I'm sure there is a HP .22lr, rd nose, that will give you 1 inch at 100m.
Anyone else have results?
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Re: Marlin Model 39-- Ammo Choices?

Postby johnsess » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:23 pm

I recently picked up a Model 39, and took it to the range today. I sool realized the thin blade in the rear "flip-up" sight had fallen out. An hour of searching proved fruitless. Does anyone know where I can get a replacement? The rifle shoots nicely and looks great. HELP!!!

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