Marlin WWI Era Model 97 1897 .22 S/L/LR Takedown Lever Rifle, 1916-1919 C&R

SOLD FOR: $1550

LSB#: 220121BF001

Make: Marlin Firearms Co.

Model: 97 Takedown

Serial Number: A6709

Year of Manufacture: 1916-1919 C&R

Gauge: 22 S/L/LR

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

Markings:  The top of the barrel is marked “MARLIN FIRE-ARMS CO. NEW-HAVEN CT., U.S.A. / PAT’D NOV. 19. 1878. APRIL 2. 1889. AUG. 12. 1890. MAR.1.1892”. The upper tang is marked “MARLIN / MODEL ‘97”. The inside of the receiver is marked “PAT JUNE 8 1897”. The bottom of the receiver is marked “A6709”.

Barrel Length: 24”

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a beaded blade dovetailed to the barrel. The bead has broken off. The rear sight is a dual leaf flip up sight that is dovetailed to the barrel. One leaf is a white triangle aim reference and the other is a V-notch cut leaf. The upper tang has two drilled, tapped, and filled holes for mounting a tang sight. The top of the receiver has three drilled, tapped, and filled holes for installing an optic (not included).

Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered walnut with a capped forearm, straight grip and comb, and a checkered steel buttplate with a storage compartment gate, though there is no storage compartment. The checkering pattern does not conform to any factory checkering pattern we have seen on other Marlin Model 97’s. It is likely that the checkering was done after the rifle left the factory. There are scattered compressions, scratches, and draglines throughout the wood. Some of the more noticeable of these imperfections are two scratches on the right side of the buttstock at the rear, a compression on the right side just behind the checkering, and a scuff through the finish on the left. There is notable finish wear at the bottom rear of the forearm. There are no chips or cracks. The checkering is sharp. The wood has darkened with age and handling. The LOP measures approximately 13 1/8” from the front of the trigger to the end of the buttplate. The plate shows moderate wear with well defined checkering and lettering on the face. Overall, the stock rates in about Very Good condition as modified.

Type of Finish: Blue & Case Color

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright with faint erosion near the muzzle. The rifling is sharp.

Overall Condition:  This rifle retains about 82% of its metal finish. There is scattered light surface erosion on the receiver and lever. There is thinning around the muzzle and at the front of the magazine tube. The case coloring on the receiver is generally strong throughout, it has thinned considerably on the lever. There is very faint surface oxidation on the barrel and mag tube a light streak of finish loss on the top rear of the barrel. There are some infrequent minor nicks and dings throughout the barrel and magazine tube as well. The markings are crisp. The screws range from sharp to lightly tool marked with strong slots. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good-Plus condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The extractor and ejector are present. We have not fired this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None

Our Assessment: The success of the model 1891 and 1892 caliber .22 rifles combined with the popularity of the takedown centerfire lever action rifles inspired the development of a takedown lever action rifle, thus giving birth to the model 1897. This example was manufactured during the WWI era, some time between 1916 & 1919. The “A” serial number prefix on a Marlin Model ’97 indicates a gun that was most likely to have been assembled from parts on hand by either Marlin Arms Corporation or Marlin-Rockwell during WWI, as indicated by the buttplate with a storage compartment gate yet no storage compartment in the wood. This rifle retains about 82% of its current finish with strong mechanics and a bright bore. It is rare to find these with such strong case coloring remaining. This is a must have in a collection for the Marlin enthusiast. Please see our photos and good luck!

Marlin WWI Era Model 97 1897 .22 S/L/LR Takedown Lever Rifle, 1916-1919 C&R
Marlin WWI Era Model 97 1897 .22 S/L/LR Takedown Lever Rifle, 1916-1919 C&R