Make: Marlin Firearms Co.
Model: Model 1897
Serial Number: 380452
Year of Manufacture: 1907-1915 (The presence of five screws on the left side of the receiver identifies this rifle as a final variation model, which was introduced in 1907)
Caliber: .22 Short, Long and Long Rifle
Action Type: Lever Action with Tubular Magazine
Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “Marlin Firearms Co. NEW-HAVEN, CT. U.S.A. / PAT’D NOV. 19, 1878. APRIL 2, 1889. AUG. 12, 1890. MARCH 1, 1892.” The top tang is marked “Marlin / MODEL /97”. The underside of the receiver is marked “380452”.
Barrel Length: 24” Octagonal with Full Length Magazine Tube
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a white beaded blue blade dovetailed to the barrel and the rear sight is a “V” notch buckhorn elevator leaf dovetail set to the barrel adjustable for elevation. Three tapped and filled holes are present on the top of the receiver.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The two piece smooth straight grip stocks feature a blue forend tip. A small, deep mark is visible on the forend, with a light dusting of shallow marks. One notable mark in the wood can be seen on the right side of the butt stock, otherwise a cluster of marks is present on the comb and at the toe. The forend tip retains about 60% of its metal finish and exhibits spots of oxidation and handling marks. The LOP measures 13 ¼”” from the front of the trigger to the back of the hard rubber shotgun style buttplate which displays a Marlin logo and a checkered rear surface. Clusters of mark can be seen at the heel and toe with a dusting of small marks present around the outside edge. The buttplate is in Fine overall condition. The stocks rate in about Very Good to Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue with Case Colored Receiver
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling is dull. There is erosion throughout the bore.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 75% of its metal finish. Finish thinning appears around the muzzle and along the corners of the barrel. A cluster of compression marks can be seen on either side of the barrel just forward of the forend. Multiple handling marks and spots of oxidation are evident along the barrel. Numerous handling marks and finish thinning are evident on the magazine tube. The case coloring on the receiver is strong. A dusting of pinprick surface etching is evident on the left side of the receiver and patches of oxidation are visible on the right side. A dense patch of oxidation is apparent on the underside of the receiver forward of the lever. The screw heads are mildly deformed. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: The Marlin 1897 remains a versatile .22 Short, Long and Long Rifle lever gun. A modification included from 1899 on allows the Model 97 to handle mixture of .22 rim fire cartridges in the magazine, which could hold (16) .22 Shorts, or (10) .22 Long Rifle rounds. This rifle has been refinished and retains around 75% of its current metal finish. The metal and wood are in Very Good condition and the case coloring on the receiver is strong and very appealing. The 97 is a takedown rifle, easy to pull apart and reassemble, allowing for ready access to the moving parts for cleaning. This is a reliable rifle, perfect for a casual day at the range or to provide young shooters a fun opportunity to shoot a Cowboy style rifle.