To rebuild or not to rebuild?

Discussion in 'Marlin Rimfires' started by Dieselfume, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Dieselfume

    Dieselfume New Member

    Hey there, new member here with some questions on the best lever action rifle ever made... the 39A

    I've recently aquired a 39A from my grandfather that he bought new in 1948. He and my dad both have worn the barrel(or so they say) out shooting thousands of rabbits about 30 years ago and prior. when the gun started shooting goofy, they left it in the barn and that's where it stayed till it was recently dug out and given to me. I've looked the gun over and it's got some problems, but nothing crazy considering it spent the last 30 years in a barn.

    the buttstock is not original, and a little bit loose, the ammo fill tube was bent at one time and now has a crack where it's about to break and half. I have fired some rounds through it, but it fails to eject almost every other shell, but so far, I noticed that it shoots strait as an arrow with open sights on it. I ordered a new extractor, and a new spring for the ejector, but haven't installed them yet. I also noticed that the new extractor I bought is S shaped, and the original is a 2 piece unit.. are they interchangeable?

    I've considered ordering a new stock and maybe a new barrel if it needs it, but I'm wondering if I'm going to ruin the value of the rifle by putting on parts that aren't from that time period.

    I'd like to have another 39A around the ranch, but I'm just not sure if this rifle would be better suited to be rebuilt and used again, or shelved, or even sold so I could buy a better 39A?
    Is there any additional value to a gun this old? what would it's value be in current condition?

    I bought a 1968 model 39A off of Gun Broker last year for $450 that was in really good shape, but this year I notice that they're going for around $150 more money in the same condition? why?

    I guess I'm stuck and don't know what to do with this old gun. I'd like to say it's got family value, but nobody in my family seems to care what happens to it, so I guess I might even sell it to buy a gun that's already in good working condition.

    Any imput would be greatly appreciated. ​
  2. Shooter

    Shooter Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Do you have a pic of the gun so we can figure out how bad the damage is?

  3. axxe55

    axxe55 Well-Known Member

    there are a lot of parts available for these rifles as they were very many made for many years. if it was me, i would give some serious thought into trying to fix or restore it just from the act that it's a 1948 model. even if it had to go to a gunsmith. the older ones just have a quality about them the new ones don't. yes please post some pictures and we will try to assist you.
  4. Dieselfume

    Dieselfume New Member

    I know I need a new extractor for it, but the last place I tried didn't have the correct one in stock. (wisners). also might replace the buttstock on it. it's not factory, and a bit loose.

    I may try to get some pictures up later.

    Thanks guys!

  5. axxe55

    axxe55 Well-Known Member

    check out Numrich for gun parts, they have a lot of parts for older firearms and are one of the go to places for such parts. they are highly recommended.
  6. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

    Amen, I practically have Numrich as a second home ;)

    Um, also, about the buttstock...Boyd's has a 336 buttstock which also fits the 39/39A series.
    It does take a wee bit of hand-fitting, but its well worth it for Walnut :)
  7. Mongo

    Mongo Member

    Have you tried Wisners obsolete gun parts for the extractor you need? Maybe ApexGun Parts or Bob's Gun Parts?
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  8. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

    Dieselfume...I wouldn't be overly concerned about the collector value at this point. Collectors want guns that are original and in good condition. Your rifle sounds like parts have already been changed and I'm sure 30 years in the barn didn't do it any favors.

    If I was in your shoes I would spend as much money as you were comfortable with to make it a shooter. Of course it would be nice to stay with original parts, but sometimes they are hard to come by (and expensive) from the late 40's. No matter what direction you go you have a great find on your hands. Like axxe said the quality in these older rifles is hard to match.

    I re-worked a 1950's 336SC I bought as a parts gun. I know there isn't a collector out there who would buy my rifle, but it turned out purdy and it's 'MY' rifle. I think bringing it back to life would be a great project and a matter of pride for you. My .02 cents.....good luck.
  9. FRJ

    FRJ New Member

    Guns are tools and as such are made to be used. They are also due the care you would give any of your property. I just bought a 39A that had much rust and pitting but the bore was bright and smooth and it shot really good. I originally figured on browning it but as I progressed in the polishing I found that the pits were slowly coming out. I finally finished it with Oxpho Blue and couldnt be happier it looks at least as good as new. Does it have "collectors" value? No!!! Do I care? NO!!! Its a good shooting, good looking rifle and I'm glad I gave it new life. Hope you feel the same. FRJ