Marlin only manufactured this model in 1888 and 1889 with only an estimated 4,814 made of which 266 had round barrels (see "Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms"). These rifles saw hard use, especially on the Western frontier, and examples maintaining a high degree of original finish, like this one, are seldom encountered. Due to their low production numbers and low survivability rate, this example with its vivid case colors makes for a highly sought after Marlin arm. The accompanying factory letter confirms the 24 inch round barrel in .44 caliber and states the rifle was shipped on July 31, 1889. German silver blade and an elevation adjustable buckhorn rear sight on a barrel stamped with the two-line Marlin address/patent dates legend ahead of the rear sight and "44 W" at the breech. The receiver, hammer, lever and crescent buttplate are casehardened. The casehardened receiver is another rare feature as most receivers were blued. The barrel and full length magazine tube are blued. The smooth forearm and straight grip stock are nicely figured walnut. Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection
Exceptionally fine. The barrel retains 80% plus original blue finish and the magazine tube retains 60% original blue finish with the balance thinning to a brown. 98% vivid original case colors remain on the receiver. The hammer, lever and buttplate retain 85% plus original case colors. 90% original niter blue remains on the loading lever. The wood is fine with a tiny repaired chip om the upper tang and a number of minor dings and scratches. Mechanically excellent. This is certainly one of the finest Marlin Model 1888 Rifles we have cataloged.
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