Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 3480: Marlin Prototype Open Top Slide Action 22 Caliber Rifle

Auction Date: December 5, 2021

Rare and Unique Marlin Prototype Open Top Slide Action 22 Caliber Rifle

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $7,500 - $15,000

Rare and Unique Marlin Prototype Open Top Slide Action 22 Caliber Rifle

Manufacturer: Marlin Firearms Co
Model: Pump
Type: Rifle
Gauge: 22 LR
Barrel: 24 inch octagon
Finish: blue
Stock: walnut
Item Views: 487
Item Interest: Average
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 253
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

This is a unique example of a very rare Marlin Firearms Co. prototype pump action rifle chambered in 22. This rifle is in superb condition and interestingly enough it has all the typical Marlin characteristics of their rifles however it has the slide action, "Open Top" receiver that is almost identical to the Winchester Model 62 pump action rifle. Even more interesting is that this rifle was purchased from the Olin factory collection when they sold off many of the excess rifles, 15-20 years ago. Could this rifle actually be a Marlin pump action rifle that was designed and built to compete with the highly successful Winchester Model 1890/1906/62 product line? Could this rifle have even been produced by Marlin and then Winchester purchased the rifle and design rights from the Marlin Rifle company with the intent to keep it off of the market and prevent competition between the two companies? We will never know. The rifle itself is totally unmarked except for the single digit serial number stamped on top of the breech end of the barrel. However the rifle has numerous outward/design characteristics that are very similar to the exposed hammer, Marlin rifles models, 18, 20 and 29 that were produced in the 1910-1932 time frame. Most notably is the very squared receiver profile, with the classic "split receiver" type action that was held together by a single screw. This type of action was used on various Marlin rifles even through the Model 39s, also the short pistol grip style stock and the grooved, tapered, style pump handle. Also the receiver also has the short lower tang, that is almost identical the later manufactured, Winchester Model 61 pump action rifle. The buttstock has the standard black plastic butt plate that is embossed in the center with an oval panel marked "Marlin" which someone has non-professionally tried to remove the Marlin name, however you can still see the partial "M" and "n" in the name. Provenance: The Milan J. Turk Collection

Rating Definition:

Extremely fine, 80% plus of the original blue finish overall with edge and high spot wear overall with thinning and blue loss on the upper rear area of the barrel, where you typically holding on to these types of rifles, the side of the pump handle slide, and rear areas of the action where it fits into the buttstock. The very fine stock and pump handle retain most of their original factory varnish showing minor handling marks and light pressure dent form actual use and handling. The rifle hand cycles correctly and is a complete and fully functional rifle. Certainly worth doing some additional research on with the Marlin factory. Certainly a very rare and unique early Marlin Firearms Company, Prototype slide action rifle.

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