Ammo for 1955 Marlin 39A

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by arvidw, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. arvidw

    arvidw New Member

    Oct 22, 2010
    I just became the owner of a 1955 Marlin 39A that is in excellent condition. Is it safe to fire the hotter LR ammo in this gun?
  2. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

    I would see why not-it is strong rifle.

  3. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    I can't see why not. My question is, why would you want to?
    When it comes to .22s, faster is NOT better.
  4. millman

    millman New Member

    Sep 21, 2008
    Yeah, you can shoot whatever out of it.
  5. RJay

    RJay Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2004
    Goodyear, Arizona
    You can shoot any type of .22 Short, Long or long rifle you can load in it. How ever when using .22 shorts, don't slam the lever, work it slowly because the short round will sometimes hang up if you play " Rifleman " with it.
  6. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2004
    I have a 1948 39A that eats anything
  7. 22shot

    22shot New Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    U.S.of A.
    I agree you can shoot any .22 rimfire (No WMR; but then you know that :).
    Being that the "twist" of the rifleing is to '55 standards; I would stay away from the current crop of "Hyper Velocity" .22's if you are looking for downrange accuracy.

    Those "Micro Groves" don't have a chance to put a proper "spin" on that hyper little bit of lead comming out of the barrel without "stripping" it.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  8. FW!

    FW! New Member

    Jun 21, 2009
    Auburn Hills, MI
    I have been using Winchester Hi velocity, `1270 FPS in my 1953. Its accurate and does everything I want it to do. Great squirrel round
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    It should be older than the 'micro-groove' concept, and if so you can even shoot the stingers with good results. Although youre likely to find best accuracy with subsonic ammo. There is a reason most match ammo is just below sonic speed...
  10. Big Shrek

    Big Shrek Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    NorthWest Florida
    NONE of the above reasons are why you should avoid anything faster than Standard Velo ammo in a Pre-1968 gun.

    It's metallurgical. Those older steel frames weren't manufactured to handle the pressures that
    the High & Hyper rounds can put out. Kind of like why those original .40 pistols failed so often.
    They just weren't made to take the beating of hot reloads & +P+ ammo.

    Now, in most cases rimfires can...especially those old Marlins...but sooner or later there will be an issue.
    And what person in their right mind wants to break a beautiful old rifle unneccesarily??

    Just because you Can do something, doesn't mean that you Should...
  11. grcsat

    grcsat Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2010
    Big Shreck , JLA,

    Both of you are right and a little wrong. It's not so much the age of the 22 rifle but more a question of the barrel and bolt constrution. Most of the time there will be no damage to a rifle if the barrel ( chamber area) is flush with only a thin extractor grove cut in to it. However if you have an older rifle that has a fixed extractor on the bolt , meaning that the extractor is in a fixed position on the bolt and turns when you turn the bolt in order to load or in ready fire position , you now have a problem. In order for a fixed extractor to work on a rotating bolt a huge amount of metal is removed from the right side of the barrel making the chamber area very thin on that one side. With this hugh amount metal removed there is a loss of chamber support . Now this was never a problem with standard ammo. But when the high vel. stuff came out , two problems began to manifest. The first and most common is the blowing out of extractors.And I really mean blown clean off the bolt. The second problem is the chamber becoming oval in shape due to the lack of metal suport around the chamber. and the worst case is actully blowing off a small part of the metal at the thinest point around the chamber.

    Now this is for most older rifles and not for rifles having full chamber support and minor extractor cuts. such as the Marlin 39a. So yes you should be able to use any and all 22long ammo.

    On a personal note. Stick to the ammo it was originaly intended for.

    Please Note ...there are always exeptions.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    I was actually referring to the projectiles skidding in microgroove barrels if they are faster than 1600 fps. My wifes marlin 60 wont shoot stingers or velocitors or those aguila interceptors. but my rem 5 with cut rifling 6 groove will shoot dimes at 50 with all of them...

    Secondly, if the firearm is stamped for .22 LR it will shoot shorts, longs and long rifles of any pressure manufactured by a manufacterer under SAAMI regs, granted the action of most semi autos may not support the reliable use of shorter shells but the chamber and bolt will fire them safely. I have used shorts in my wifes marlin 60 for 'pest' control, though it effectively makes a speedy semi-suto into a clumsy single shot;)
  13. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    My original 1939 Model 39 would eat anything I put through it with superb results every time. Unfortunately it was stolen about twenty years ago while we were out of town.

    My newer 39A also has eaten successfully anything I have fed it, including stingers or velocitors, with superb results. I have had no reason to worry..... :)
  14. grcsat

    grcsat Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2010
    This is a pic of the type of barrel that should not be subjected to high vel 22 ammo. This is an old winchester single shot that was marked 22 short, long, ect. The info provided is by both my exeriance and page 56 (1980) of the winchester Gunsmith warranty and repair book .

    Attached Files:

  15. grcsat

    grcsat Well-Known Member

    Oct 2, 2010
    Sorry about the crappy pic. I'm still learning how to use a this camera.

    I am only trying to show that yes the 39a will be safe with any ammo ,however some of the OLD (not marlin) 22s can and are questionable.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
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