First Year Marlin Model 1894 ’94 44 Winchester 24″ Lever Rifle, Antique
SOLD FOR: $1700
Make: Marlin Firearms Co.
Serial Number: 113795
Year of Manufacture: 1894 Antique
Caliber: .44-40 Winchester
Action Type: Lever Action Rifle with Full Length Tubular Magazine
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” in front of the rear sight and “44 W.” at the receiver. The underside of the receiver is marked “113795”. The top tang is marked “MODEL / 1894”. The top of the receiver is marked “MARLIN SAFETY”.
Barrel Length: The octagonal barrel is 24” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a silver blade slotted in a base that is dovetailed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “U”-notch semi-buckhorn elevator leaf dovetailed to the rear of the barrel. The top tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight (not included).
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two piece smooth walnut. The buttstock has a straight grip, straight comb, and a steel crescent buttplate while the forend has a steel nose cap. The wood shows several scattered compressions, dings, gashes, scratches, and draglines that have darkened with age. There is a hole in the bottom of the forearm. There are smaller gashes on either side of the buttstock. There is heavy finish loss throughout the wood. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13 1/4” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate, which shows some light pitting and finish loss throughout. The stocks rate in about Good-Plus overall condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: The barrel, magazine tube and bolt are blued. The receiver, lever and hammer are case colored.
Finish Originality: Original. There appear to be areas of cold blue treatment on the barrel and magazine tube.
Bore Condition: The bore is somewhat bright and the rifling is well defined. There is scattered light erosion with some pitting throughout the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 20% of its metal finish. The case coloring has been replaced by a mottled patina on the lever and receiver. The receiver also shows scattered erosion and pitting throughout. There is thinning at the leading edges of the barrel, most notably around the muzzle. There are small nicks, dings, and scratches throughout the metal. There is some original remaining blue in protected areas. There are some notable dings along the edges of the barrel. The screw heads range from sharp to lightly tool-marked with strong, usable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Good condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock safety. The trigger is light and crisp. We did not fire 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 Marlin 1894 model was preceded by their Models 1881, 1888 and 1889, finally resulting in a short action side ejecting rifle that was chambered in the same cartridges as Winchester’s Model 1892. The lever throw is shorter than any other stock pistol caliber lever action rifle and as smooth as they come. This first year 1894 is in Good condition, in better condition than any of us are likely to be at 127 years old. The mechanics are solid and the bore is decent with defined rifling with light erosion scattered through it. With its original stock and chambered in .44-40 cartridge, this rifle is sure to get the attention of the Marlin collectors out there. Please see our photos and good luck!