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Thread: Marlin 1889 32-20

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Marlin 1889 32-20

    I have an 1889 Marlin 32-20 on hold for a week. I like to research the heck out of a gun if I can. This one was made in 1893 and appears to be in really good shape. It has a round barrel (not sure of the length).
    I have 32-20 dies and a bunch of brass already.
    Prices seem to be all over the place for this model. The store is asking $775. It's more than I want to spend but I have a gun or two to trade.
    Opinions on this rifle? Anything I should be looking for, or at?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    You'll pay that for a 1894CL, If it's got a good bore, it should be well worth that. But I'm really bias toward 32-20's
    Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post

    I have an 1889 Marlin 32-20 on hold for a week
    .
    Prices seem to be all over the place for this model.

    The store is asking $775.

    It's more than I want to spend but I have a gun or two to trade.

    Opinions on this rifle?

    Marlin 1889's in .32-20, AND in good+ condition, are hard to find (bordering on rare), and worth over $1K - you did well.

    As long as the bore's good, you should be good to go.


    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I've got a .32-20 M1889 with mint bore and original tang sight. Its a sweet shooting rifle. Thats a good price if it has a good bore.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master quail4jake's Avatar
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    send pics!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I have a week to decide to buy it or pass on it. It's about 20 miles away so I'm going back for a better look.

  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    I have one in 32-20 with a heavy round barrel that is 2" longer than standard with a cherry bore. They made less than 3600 with that barrel. Came with tang sight and the most wonderful trigger you can imagine. If no pitting & no damage to wood and an excellent bore = a deal. You will enjoy the gun & cartridge.
    Bob

  8. #8
    Boolit Master gandydancer's Avatar
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    I got a Ruger #3 custom job with a Shilin bbl in 32-20 in a trade about 5 years ago. I have never shot it as of yet. while checking it out today I found out its a 30-20 308 bore.I'm getting rid of a bunch of rifles very soon and this one will be going on GB with some other custom jobs. I'm old & all bustard up & unable to walk very well. Time to move em out. GD
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    60 day hold on a gun is for people with patience. I lasted 2 weeks.
    I haven't done anything to it yet. The bore looks really good but needs a cleaning. Lots of what looks like original finish, though it's mottled on the mag tube.
    I have a 30-30 Winchester '94 (1972) that I'm giving to my son. I completely stripped and cleaned the Winchester. Does anyone know how disassembling/assembling the Winchester compares to the 1889 Marlin?
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    Last edited by Battis; 05-31-2018 at 03:11 PM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    I have an '89 Marlin in .32-20. Came from Montana, bought from a sheep herder before I got it.

    Rough condition, octagon barrel cut down, magazine cut down, bad wood, and barrel was nasty. But for a $ 100??? I had to have it.

    New wood and a stainless liner, the old girl makes a sweet little shooter. With the upgrades I think I am in about $ 700. Yes, I know that it isn't original anymore, but it was not shootable in the condition it was in... And won't be sold anyway !

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy

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    I've got 2 1889s, one in 38-40 and a 44-40. I happily paid more than $775 for them so in my opinion you are getting it for less than what I have seen them going for.
    I had to replace the hammer spring on the 38-40 but other than that they have performed flawlessly. I've shot the 38-40 in cowboy silhouette quite a few times but I finally decided to retire it as it leads up pretty bad at 30 shots and there's no telling where the bullet may end up at that point
    In regards to your question about disassembly- they are very similar to a marlin 94.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I completely stripped it down for cleaning - it's pretty nasty inside - but there's no rust, broken springs, etc. Just gunk. It's a lot easier to disassemble/assemble than the Winchester '94.
    I've been researching powder loads and there's a lot of different opinions. I'll probably just use black powder, Red Dot or Trail Boss. Any suggestions?

  13. #13
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    Good afternoon
    For some years we have been using 3f Goex as our test load to find out what the accuracy potential for BP cartridge rifles really is. A simple cereal box wad under a 40-1 BP. Having shot those then the fun begins trying to find a smokeless load that will beat it.
    3F generally pops off with enough pressure to expand the case to the chamber so little fouling flows back. Plus it does not clog the barrel to fast.
    Mike in Peru
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Home built Matchlock similar to what an early 1600 Colonial soldier might have.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I like the FFFG Goex in my .41 Swiss Vetterli, even though it can handle certain smokeless powders. I'll probably use it in the Marlin. I spray the barrel with PAM every few shots.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check