This was Marlins first lever action rifle with a total production of about 20,000 from 1881 to 1892. The top barrel flat ahead of the rear sight is marked with the two-line address/patent and reissue dates, and "45 Govt" at the breech. The serial number is marked on the bottom of the receiver. The 32" inch heavy barrel is equipped with a German silver blade front and adjustable rear buckhorn sights. The top rear of the bolt and upper tang are drilled and taped for sight mounting. Finished blue with casehardened lever and hammer, 3/4 magazine tube and mounted with a smooth walnut forearm and straight grip stock with an iron end cap and crescent buttplate. The accompanying Marlin letter indicates that this Model 1881 was completed at the Marlin factory in New Haven, Conn. On July 7, 1890, caliber .45-70 and 32 inch octagon barrel.
Fine. The barrel shows 20% faded original blue finish mixed with smooth plum patina. The magazine tube has a smooth mottled gray and brown patina, and a few small areas of minor pitting. The receiver retains 50% bright original thin blue finish with smooth mottled gray patina on the bottom and lower tang, scattered minor flaking and a small area of minor pitting on the upper right rear, and on the upper front portion. The lever has a dark mottled patina. The wood is fine with much of the varnish remaining, showing a number of small dings on the toe area of the stock and overall scattered minor dings and scratches. The buttplate has a mottled brownish patina with some minor spotting and pitting. The markings are clear. The action is excellent.
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