98F in the Shade (Marlin 39)

Discussion in 'Range Reports & Reviews' started by Scaramouche, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    Today is going to be a scorcher so instead of my early morning bicycle ride I loaded up Nelly Belly and headed up to my private shooting reserve with a gun I bought the year after I got out of the army.

    This is a Marlin 39 Century Ltd they built in 1970 with a 20" tapered octagon barrel, fancy walnut stock. Out West cause it's so dry one of the issues you have with two piece stocks is shrinkage, many older lever guns look good until you pick them up and find when you draw a bead the forearm is rattling around which can put off the sensitive shooter. I'm happy to say this particular specimen has maintained it's tight as a drum factory characteristics.
    I believe they made around 34,000 of these guns so they aren't any rarity. But at the time they were pricy, I paid $125.00, which was more than my weekly paycheck.
    The semi-buckhorn rear sight is quick to acquire when your snap shooting the long eared alien rabbits that inhabit this region. Off the bench this rifle isn't quite as accurate as my CZ 452, I usually can get three shots to cloverleaf with two straying maybe an inch away from the group. It's got a decent clean crisp trigger but I think it's the sights and the user.
    front sight is a brass bead, a little thin and getting thinner as I get older

    Marlin 39s are part of what I consider the iconic American .22 rifles, think the Winchester 1885 and Browning Semi Auto .22. All Marlin 39's are break down take apart rifles, and I've always been surprised how accurate the majority that I've met shoot.

    This little gun weighs 6 lbs. and will hold 15 LR bullets. The most common thing to go amiss with them is the extractor spring that's hidden behind the bolt in this picture. This gun is all original, never had a problem. Today I'm shooting 4" discs 25, 50, & 75 yards. Nailing the first two consistently and having to work with my old man shake to wake the 75 no where as often.
    The big screw left of the commemorative emblem is what holds the gun together. In this picture you can just make out part of the extractor.
    To load these guns you pull the spring rod out of the magazine tube and insert ammo though the port in the tube. When you see the head of the cartridge as illustrated your fully loaded & ready to wake up the neighborhood.

    I think the standard Marlin 39A is a 24" barreled rifle with additional cartridge capacity and I've often wondered if that greater sight radius would help me be more accurate with these guns. Additionally you could affix an aperture sight and do away with the buckhorn. But, like many others, I'm a slave to fashion, if it's still okay to say that.
    Since I posted the thing on shooting my CZ 452 at the shooting hole by the State Prison I got a lot of comments on where that was and how to get there, below I'm posting directions to my own private shooting preserve, though you better call me before you go cause I don't want to get surprised up there by the heavily armed and easily alarmed.
    One other thing, you shoot a repeater or semi auto out in the boonies, use a drop cloth so you can haul your crap away. Respect the earth, it's the only one we got,
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
    simonp, 1911 crazed, Dub and 29 others like this.
  2. july19

    july19 Womb? Weary? He rests. He has travelled. Supporting Addict

    Sep 16, 2013
    That’s a fine review and commentary.
    Scaramouche and Spokes like this.

  3. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    To get to my own private shooting park you need to go 15.2 miles I-95 north of Indian Springs. Use the big USAF water tower as to where to zero your trip meter and bank a left when you reach Forest Road 552
    As you go up Highway 95 you'll see signage for a forest road...keep going another 3.5 miles. As you near FR 552 there will be no signage look to your left for the power or relay station
    when you see this get in the highspeed lane for a left turn, hopefully there wont be a semi highballing down the blacktop behind you.
    this is the only signage you get for Forest Road 552. You don't need expedition equipment, just good tire and ground clearance, four wheel drive isn't necessary unless you don't drive off the pavement much. This is a 15 mph road meaning it's rocky, there are some ruts and unevenness that will beat your truck up unnecessarily if you don't take it easy and enjoy the surroundings.
    3.2 miles from the cattleguard the road splits, it's the same road, they run parallel to one another, take the right side one, it's smoother. This road was layed out around 1898. It serviced a gold & silver mine on Mt. Sterling which is the higher peak on the left of the picture.
    3.8 miles from the cattle guard you come to the "Unmarked Dirt Road" on the left, take it.
    you go up and down, just take it easy
    at 4.9 miles you'll pass this old military outpost foundation they use to monitor atom bomb testing, right after this you descend a little bench to cross a very gravelly dry stream crossing and potential place to get stuck if your smoking a joint and mixing a cocktail with whoever else is in the car talking at you so pay attention here, your almost there.

    At six miles you have arrived, today, cause it's summer I threw up my tarp cause you need water and shade out here and there aint neither. That white-ish slope out there is my 600 yard marker when you bring out long reaching guns. Here you will see I indicated the much shorter ranges to was shooting today.
    Depending on season, wild horses, wild burros, mule deer, roosevelt elk, coyote, and rarely mountain lion, and more rarely bobcat can be seen out these parts. If you took 552 all the way around the mountain the valley found there is much better for wild game. I like this spot cause I can see anybody coming my way from a good distance.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  4. Colorado Sonny

    Colorado Sonny Deo Volente Supporting Addict

    Sep 25, 2015
  5. Mike0707

    Mike0707 JMB fan

    Apr 11, 2019
    Looks like a great spot to shoot!
    Scaramouche likes this.
  6. Ethank

    Ethank Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    Always love your posts. This one may be my favorite. Beautiful gun
    Scaramouche likes this.
  7. gps man

    gps man Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2015
    Beautiful. Thanks Richard!
    Scaramouche likes this.
  8. reconciler

    reconciler Member

    Aug 31, 2019
    I'm from Northern Nevada outside of Carson City, now in Texas. I love your photos, they remind of the best times of my life. I too had my "private" shooting range about 10 minutes from my house. Fortunately heat wasn't too much of an issue, but rather the snow made it difficult to get out there at times.
    Scaramouche and River runner like this.
  9. ~JM~

    ~JM~ Wrinkled Member

    Jan 23, 2017

    Along with the drop-cloth, weights to hold it down if rocks aren't available.
    Scaramouche likes this.
  10. budroe

    budroe Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2014
    Beautiful rifle, and a beautiful shooting range!!!
    Scaramouche likes this.
  11. Raylan Givens

    Raylan Givens Never Forget

    Aug 18, 2015
  12. tac45

    tac45 What me worry ? Supporting Addict

    Mar 4, 2012
    Mouche, have you gotten any BUZZWORMS with the rifle. . ????
    Raylan Givens and Scaramouche like this.
  13. Dr Awkward

    Dr Awkward Active Member Supporting Addict

    Apr 28, 2020
    Excellent report. I do miss the western wide open...
    Scaramouche likes this.
  14. azpoolguy

    azpoolguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2013
    I love it. I can’t say I have ever taken my 39A apart. I may need to do that now.
    Scaramouche likes this.

You need 3 posts to add links to your posts! This is used to prevent spam.

Draft saved Draft deleted