Sold for $2075.00
Model: 1891, 1st Variation
Serial Number: 55049
Year of Manufacture: 1891
Caliber: .22 Short, Long and Long Rifle
Action Type: Lever Action Rifle with Tubular Magazine
Markings: The top of the frame is marked “MARLIN SAFETY”. The serial number is on the underside of the frame. 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.”.
Barrel Length: 24? Octagonal
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a dovetail set beaded blade and the rear sight is a dovetail set fixed U-notch.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are smooth walnut with a capped forend, straight grip, and a crescent steel buttplate. The wood has darkened considerably with age. There are several scattered nicks, scratches, gashes, draglines, and compressions throughout the wood. Some of the more notable of these imperfections can be viewed on the sides of the forearm. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13? from the front of the trigger to the back of the crescent steel plate. The plate shows scattered oxidation and thinning along the edges. The stocks rates in about Very Good-Plus overall condition as Antique.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling is worn. There is even erosion and pitting throughout the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 30% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish has turned a mottled light patina with scattered surface erosion and some light pitting on most surfaces. The remaining bluing can be viewed on the front half of the barrel flats. There are several nicks, scratches, and dings throughout the metal surfaces. The most notable dings can be viewed on the receiver side plate. The screw heads are serviceable; the nosecap screw does not appear to be original to the gun. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Good-Plus condition as Antique.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired 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: This gun eventually (and with slight changes) became the Marlin Model 39, which has the designation of the oldest continually produced gun – ever. This is obviously for a reason and while we frequently speak highly of the Marlin levers, no one could doubt the near perfection in design that this gun exhibits. After over 100 years, almost no improvements have been conceived and implemented. This gun is really where it all started and is a good example. If your collection is lacking a first year, first variation Model 1891, don’t pass up on this opportunity. Please see our photos and good luck!