Marlin Model 39AS Golden

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  • Trapper Jim

    Rating - 100%
    19   0   0
    Dec 18, 2012
    Once upon a time there was a Marlin Model 39AS. The evolution and end of this .22 S, L & LR Rifle is an interesting journey starting with American genius and continuing craftsmen throughout it’s long life. For more information one can get the book Marlin Firearms: A history of the guns and the company that made them available here. Marlin Firearms: A History of the Guns and the Company That Made Them: USAR, William S. Brophy: 9780811708777: Books

    I respect quality made .22 guns. Sometimes I joke about so many of today’s 22’s being engineered with cheesy cheap parts. It’s like the factory is playing to the tune of a market, that for some reason says a .22 must not have the quality of a centerfire gun. Guns like the S&W Model 17, 617, and 63, or the Colt Diamondback, or even the extinct H&R Revolvers all made guns dedicated with forgings and quality components throughout even though they were just rimfires. The Winchester 9422 series and today’s Henry rimfires come close but you will find a few shortcuts in both brands.

    The Marlin model 39AS Golden is a full feature rifle that will last forever and can be handed down to generations to come. The S stands for the safety that was added and while seasoned shooters never needed a safety, it is a good solid safety that will be there should it be needed in future hands. This gun pictured is about the 6th Generation of improvements over the original Model 1891. It’s balance is the number one benefit as the rifle is right at home in the field. It’s quick. It’s smooth and it works. It eats all three Shorts, Longs, and Long Rifle cartridges. I just love shooting CCI Shorts Shop products in CCI today | CCI Ammunition ( in this rifle as the Hammer makes more noise than the report. Cool.

    Rimfire Tubular magazines rock in terms of streamlined efficiency. If one has one, there is a proper way to load tubes that it seems many of today’s shooters have missed that lesson. Be sure to teach the kids right. Not only did Marlin not take shortcuts on the Model 39, but they made it a 2 piece take down model as well. Sorry, time and INGO pic space would not allow me to photo the two pieces broken down but a short you tube stroll and you can see it. Mating the forged receiver took extra care. I was told by a factory insider that Marlin had 29 craftsmen in a corner room that was dedicated to building the Model 39.

    One gripe I have always had is with a hooded front sight. I wish all Field guns had a strong and simple post dovetailed into the barrel. The hood blocks daylight and if you remove it, the fragile sight with a brass bead becomes unprotected and enables a modern look to an old gun style. Again, a trip to ZRTS Home — ZR Tactical Solutions and presto, the hood is ventilated for light.

    By taking note in the pictures, the 39AS Golden comes with a grip cap and rubber logolized butt pad. The rear sight is a folding semi buckhorn. Very fast acquisition I might add. Instead of the cheesy scope groves found on many rimfires, the top strap is flat, soft finished for glare, and tapped for sturdy mounts for scoping.

    The American Black Walnut furniture on this gun is fit like it was custom made. I really like the scallops that they mill into the race that leads from the neck into the cheek part of the stock. Again, another feature and attention to detail.

    Looking at the inside of this receiver shows attention to metalwork and ease of getting at the ejector and chamber if needed. Cleaning this gun after a range session is almost as much fun as shooting it. There is a certain pleasure one gets when he is running the patch down the Micro-Groove Marlin Microgroove Barrels ( barrels. Then wiping it down with Break Free CLP Break Free CLP – Precision Lubricants, Cleaners, Preservatives & Solvents cleans it right up and protects the metal. Polishing the wood with a Lemon oil finish and then applying Birchwood Casey Wax Gun Stock Wax, 3 fl.oz. Bottle - Birchwood Casey brings out the ambience of a fine rifle.

    If I was to guess, I doubt that Ruger will resurrect the Model 39, or the very least, their modified version of it. Today’s market is proving that the color and character of a fine rifle is not conducive to the bottom line for today’s shooter. If you want to shoot something with some history and feel it in your hands as you work a smooth lever action and have a balance and point ability unsurpassed by today’s standards, then good luck on your search.

    Millions of shooters enjoy shooting lever action rimfires and I truly hope they have the same experience in the out-of-doors that I enjoy with this piece. I swear when I look back at the fun and the history of the Marlin Model 39AS Golden, the demise of the Model 39 seems like a sad ending to a fairy tale.

    See you on the range


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    Last edited:


    Master of useless information
    Site Supporter
    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0
    Jan 4, 2010
    New Albany
    My dad had one since he was a teenager, straight stock, instead of the pistol grip stock, loved that gun, shot it as much as we could, he left it to my brother, since he is the oldest....great review..


    Rating - 100%
    6   0   0
    Dec 5, 2009
    Madison county
    My favorite Gun. I am down to 5. (None of the a 39as) but one has a safety.

    1947 39a
    1957 39 mountie
    1983 39
    1983 39m
    39 AWL.

    at one time I had 14. I kept the best grouping one and the 3 mint versions. The AWF has the octagon barrel And round barrel engraving and wonderful wood, it is un shot in box as it was at Walmart when I bought it in 1997. This one has the rebounding hammer safety. (not a big fan of the rebounding hammer and safety.

    A man’s 22 size wise and prefect pairng for the larger caliber marlins. Except for the AWL I believe I have less than 350 in each.


    Site Supporter
    Rating - 100%
    1   0   0
    Jan 18, 2009
    SE Indy
    Beautiful rifle, Great photos, and another fine write up.
    If Ruger ever does resurrect that fine rifle you just made me want


    Rating - 100%
    350   0   0
    Sep 22, 2010
    In the Man Cave

    My VERY first firearm, bought with Paper Route $$, in August 1968, at the ripe old age of 14, was a Marlin Golden 39A.

    I saved up the $89.95 for it, and my Dad had to buy it for me (First year of the Gun Control Act of 1968), at Sunshine Ace Hardware in Naples Florida.

    After years of dragging it through the woods, and every dump (To shoot Rats), I sent it back to Marlin Firearms Company for their "Tune Up" program=All new springs, and screws that got "Buggered Up", a new inner shot tube (That as a young lad) I had bent. I also had factory sling swivels installed (Did not come with them from the factory), a new Gold Trigger=HA, I wore the plating off of the original!! AND, a complete Factory re-blue.
    If I remember right this service was just over $120.00 at the time??
    ^^^This was over 35 years ago, and it sits now in my safe, looking like NEW.
    Last year I was "Given" a Marlin 39A by my Son-In-Law. It had belonged to His Father that had passed away.=SIL is Scared to Death of all firearms=You know-They just "Go Off" on their own- GOT to get it out of the house.
    It will be saved for His Son (My Grandson), for when He comes of age.

    This 39A does NOT have a Gold trigger=For that matter, the top of the receiver is NOT drilled and tapped for a scope base.
    According to the serial #, this 39A was born on the same year as ME...=1954...

    YES==These two FINE firearms will stay in my family for YEARS to come....

    THANKS for reading this small bit of Marlin history....Bill.
    Last edited:

    700 LTR 223

    Rating - 100%
    2   0   0
    Apr 5, 2008
    Nice well written review! I sold my bought new in 1997 39AS last year and made a good deal of money on it. Don't miss it too much as I still have a 1979 39A bought about 10 years ago.


    Rating - 100%
    6   0   0
    May 3, 2022
    I had two several years ago. They, like MANY other fine specimen, fell victim to being sold to fund flight training. I don’t regret selling the things I sold (the heli pilot thing has been a life-long dream of mine, literally since before I could talk), but I do miss them dearly…

    A Marlin 39 will be added to the safe once again in due time, as I find them to be the best lever .22 out there. I really do hope Ruger brings them back, but I’m not sure I see it happening. And if it does, they will be expensive indeed if they’re produced to the same standard as the originals!

    What bugs me a little is that, much like the Hi Power, the Marlin 39 was produced by the hundreds of thousands during the 130 or so years it was in production, yet as soon as they’re discontinued, they spike in price. I get supply/demand, but with that many out there, a 50%+ increase in price seems unjustified to me. But I don’t run the market, and when I find the right one, it will be worth the price!


    Rating - 100%
    6   0   0
    Dec 5, 2009
    Madison county
    I have been buying marlins since the 1980’s.

    as soon as a heard rumors the Remingtons parent company was interested in buying them I dipped deep into savings and bought some of the best examples I could afford and ran into.

    it has been a good investment and I have sold off several to both replace the funds invested in to make the one I have kept nearly cost free. Of course safe money was needed.period correct optics. Reloading dies and other expenses. No real profit was made as this is nothing more than a personal hobby.

    never paid more for a 39a than 350 (except the Walmart AWL version) now average to well used versions 650-850 pristine versions are 1k each. You could read the writing on the wall when remington only kept the 39a in the catalog at 3k New.

    when a new firearm hits the market you can never tell if it will be a collectable or a hammer. Like picking a stock. Well one that provides entertainment as a dividend


    Site Supporter
    Rating - 100%
    7   0   0
    Nov 8, 2016
    At the Ranch.
    I still have mine. Bought it from the K-Mart sporting goods counter with my Dad when I was 12 or 13 with hard earned green. I remember picking it up. That and a box of Mini-mags was all you needed back in the '70-80s as a teen. And maybe a couple packs of Black-cats... :)
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