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Discussion Starter #1
Just purchased an older 39a with a letter L in the serial number, 1953 era, correct? The bore is clean, stock has some minor nicks, blueing is nice with some minor blemishes with no real significant wear. It has open sites that look original and is also drilled and tapped for scope mount. I picked it up from a friend for $325 who inherited it from his dad who might have purchased it new. How do I determine if it is a "golden" model and value?
 

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Here's what I found, hopefully it will answer some of your questions.

With a straight grip stock your gun would be a Mountie. They aren't marked with that designation, it's just known that way if it's straight gripped.
In 1954 there were very few Ballard rifled 39A's built! There were only 271 39A's and only 58 39AM (Ballard rifled Mounties) built that year. There were 3,814 39A's with MG rifling, and 1,162 39AM's with MG rifling.
If your gun is straight gripped, and doesn't have the Micro-Groove marked barrel, it's about as rare as a 39A can get!

(here is where I found the above info. that might be useful to you)
http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/marlin-collectors/33052-1954-39a.html
(here is some more discussion)
http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/rimfires/7109-marlin-39a-mountie.html


Marlin year of manufacture maybe determined from the following list of letter/numeral prefixs to the serial number:

1946-C
1947-D
1948-E
1949-F
1950-G
1951-H
1952-J
1953-K
1954-L
1955-M
1956-N
1957-P
1958-R
1959-S
1960-T
1961-U
1962-V
1963-W
1964-Y,-Z
1965-AA
1966-AB
1967-AC
1968-AD, -68
1969-69
1970-70
1971-71
1972-72

Starting in 1973, the year of manufacture maybe determined by subtracting the first two digits of the serial number from 100:
Example: SN 2512345 would have been made in 1975 [100 - 25 = 75].
 

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The marlin 39 is a fine rifle, in my book as good as the winchester or better. I have the 39D. and the 1970 centinial 100 year ann. which is in real good shape. The 39,s are getting hard to find. Owners are holding on to them. Keep the rifle. It is ashame the guy had to sell it being it was in the family
 

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You asked if it was a "golden"
Does it have a gold trigger?
Does it have sling swivels?
Is it a carbine?
If it has the first 2 then it is a 39a Golden.
If it has them and is a carbine then it is a golden 39a "mountie"
The Golden was made 1957-1987.
The montie was made 1953-1957.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks very much for the info, It does have a pistol type grip but not sure I saw the MG on the barrel. I will check that out when I get back home. Is it typical that they were drilled at tapped from the factory for a scope? Appreciate the response.
 

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Also, no gold trigger and now swivels but the stock has a plug where a swivel may have been.
No, that white and black (bulls eye) in the buttstock is not a plug where a swivel may have been. It's just a bulls eye that Marlin used to designate walnut stocks. And it's NOT the place to install a swivel as so many people have done over the years.

Trigger color doesn't make a "Golden". Here's a 39A Mountie made in 1957 that doesn't say "Golden" but has a gold trigger. And a "Golden 39" made in 1982 that has a blued trigger.
 
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