Sold For: $1,405.00
Model: 1897 Takedown Tube Fed Rifle
Serial Number: 380452
Year of Manufacture: Marlin’s available serial number range ends at 355300 in the early 1900’s, this item was most likely made in about 1910 or 1911.
Caliber: .22 Short, Long & Long Rifle
Action Type: Lever Action Rifle With Full Length 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. MAR. 1, 1892.” The underside of the receiver is marked “380452”. The left side of the upper tang is marked “452” and the top of the wrist under the upper tang are marked with a correct serial number for the receiver. The inside of the frame is marked “PAT. JUNE 8, 1897”. The butt plate is marked “MARLIN / SAFETY / MFG. CO.”
Barrel Length: The octagonal barrel is 24” in length.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a white beaded blade, on a base that is dovetailed into the barrel by the muzzle. The rear sight is a “U” notched leaf and slide-step elevator, dovetailed onto the barrel. The top strap of the frame has three screw-filled holes for the addition of a scope mount (not included).
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are smooth walnut with a straight grip, blued forend nosecap and a blued steel crescent shaped buttplate. The stocks have nice wood grain surface texturing with natural fiber discernible by hand. The forend has a few deeper gouges found infrequently with a few lighter marks scattered throughout. The butt stock has less frequent marks than the forend and has snug fit to the metal. There are no cracks or major damages. The LOP measures 13 ¼” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The buttplate shows some dings on the middle of the monogram logo, the checkers have rubbing wear but are generally pleasant, the plate has nice fit to the stock. The buttplate is in about Fine condition. The stocks rate in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: The barrel, magazine tube, loading gate and hammer are blued and the receiver is case colored.
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright, turning slightly gray at the muzzle. The rifling is highly defined. There is light to moderate depth pin prick erosion with a few areas tending towards pitting. The bore should still be able to produce decent groups out to 75 yards.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 80% of its metal finish. The case coloring of the receiver is still highly discernible. The upper tang and underside of the lever have handling rub wear, also found on areas of the barrel; the flanks of the barrels have scattered bruises and light erosion. The edges of the octagonal corners have thinning, there is light erosion sprinkled on the muzzle and surrounding metal. Please see the picture of the lower tang, this rifle survives in brilliant condition for its age and intended use. The receiver and frame have handling rub on the under and flank portions, a few spots of darkened pin prick erosion present, with light dusting spots of frosting. The hammer checkering shows light wear. The screw heads are lightly tooled at worst and are highly serviceable. The markings are crisp and defined. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good to Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly although we have not test fired this rifle. The hammer has a half-cock safety position and the trigger breaks crisply. The hammer sear is slightly worn, and drags slightly on the underside of the bolt when the action is closed. The lever locks-up solidly, the rifle can be taken down in seconds for easy cleaning and storage. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None
Our Assessment: Marlin’s Model 1897 had such a successful production run that its overall design was continued in use under the alias of ’97’ until 1921 when the model was changed to ’39’ and then ’39A’ around 1940. The legacy of these rifles is not exaggerated by any stretch of the imagination; a light handling, high capacity take down rifle that has a well balanced full length tube magazine and 24″ octagonal barrel. This rifle’s case colored frame is still vivid in areas and most of the losses on the surfaces look to be from honest handling rub wear. With its beautiful walnut stock set and overall appeal, it will probably end up in a higher end collection and looks like it could still take targets out to 75 yards or so.