Marlin Firearms Co. Model 1889 .38-40 Winchester Lever Rifle, 1890 Antique

SOLD FOR: $1525

LSB#: 210722TS21

Make: Marlin

Model: 1889

Serial Number: 31138

Year of Manufacture: 1890

Caliber: .38 WCF (38-40)

Action Type: Lever Action Rifle w/ Full Length Mag Tube

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “MARLIN FIRE-ARMS CO. NEW HAVEN. CT. U.S.A. / PATENTED OCT. 11. 1887. APRIL. 2. 1889” and “.38-W”. The top of the receiver is marked “MARLIN SAFETY”. The serial number is found on the underside of the receiver.

Barrel Length: 24″

Sights / Optics: The gun is mounted with a dovetail set front blade and a dovetail set rear leaf and elevator sight, in the semi buckhorn pattern and with the elevator retained. The upper tang is drilled and tapped for a tang sight (not included).

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are smooth wood with a capped forearm, straight grip and comb, and a crescent steel buttplate. There is scattered finish loss and areas of darkening from age and handling. There are several scattered nicks, scratches, dings, and compressions. There are a couple of small gashes on the bottom of the forearm. There are no visible chips or cracks. The LOP measures approximately 13” from the front of the trigger to the back of the crescent steel buttplate, which shows a dark patina, oxidation, and scrapes at the heel and toe. The stocks rate in about Very Good overall condition as Antique.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is dim with scattered erosion and pitting. The rifling is defined.

Overall Condition: This gun retains about 5% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows a mottled patina throughout the metal. There is some blueing remaining in protected areas. The receiver, lever, and bottle have scattered erosion and light pitting. There is pitting at the muzzle. There are scattered nicks and dings throughout the metal. The screw heads range from sharp to slightly disfigured with strong slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this gun rates in about Good condition as Antique.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The lever safety is present and functional. The hammer has a half cock safety position but will still fall if the trigger is pulled hard enough. We did not fire this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: The Marlin Model 1889 Lever Action was the first of Marlin’s solid top, side ejection rifles. Marlin attempted to give Winchester a run for their money as a top repeating rifle producer, and all the Marlin lever rifle models that followed (1894, 1895, 39 and 336) descend from this original 1889 design. This example was produced in the first year of manufacture. This example is in functioning condition. You can feel Western history come alive when you hold this rifle in your hands and it would make a terrific addition to an Antique Marlin collection. Please see our photos and good luck!

Marlin Firearms Co. Model 1889 .38-40 Winchester Lever Rifle, 1890 Antique
Marlin Firearms Co. Model 1889 .38-40 Winchester Lever Rifle, 1890 Antique