Page 6 - Auction84-Book3
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llection &
     Company. The collection is remarkably diverse, demonstrating the wide range of firearms produced by in the late 19th century and 20th century.
Mr. Turk expressed clear admiration for Marlin firearms. As he put it, while Winchester had the fame, marketing, and distribution network, Marlin had the quality, and he considers them to be gentlemen’s guns. His extensive Marlin collection absolutely speaks to the quality of their firearms and illustrates the evolution of both their firearms designs and the company itself. This extensive collection includes nine historic prototypes, one
of just three Marlins documented as engraved
for display at the World’s Fairs, and examples of
the company’s numerous models, including rare configurations and variations. As you read through the catalog, you will quickly realize that, while it may not include every variation of every Marlin model, it does come close to having at least one good representative of every model, and many models are represented in spectacular fashion.
Founded by John Mahlon Marlin in 1870, Marlin remains one of America’s most iconic firearms makers. Over more than a century and a half, the company has produced everything from single shot pocket pistols and finely engraved revolvers to highly accurate Ballard single shot target rifles to powerful machine guns for fighter aircraft. They remain particularly well-known for their lever action rifles which competed head to head with Winchester in the lever action rifle market and continue to be mainstays of the company and
While their pocket pistols and revolvers got the company going, the first Marlin firearms to truly establish the company’s reputation for excellence are arguably the iconic Marlin Ballard single shot rifles manufactured by the company from 1875
to 1891. This collection includes an extraordinary array of Ballard rifles and carbines both by Marlin and their Civil War and reconstruction era predecessors which provides a rich hunting ground for Ballard collectors looking for variations to add to their collections of the “great American single shot rifles.” The gentlemanly quality Mr. Turk spoke about is readily apparent when you look at the fine target rifle variations like the rare Creedmoor No.
7 A-1 Extra Long Range Single Shot Rifle and the panel scene engraved No. 6 1/2 Rigby Off-Hand Rifle. Other variations like the Pacific and Montana variations demonstrate Marlin’s reach out to the American West. Turk’s collection also includes
a historic prototype for a new single shot rifle originally intended to replace the Ballards as well as examples from other manufacturers that would have competed with Marlin during the golden age of the American single shot cartridge rifles.
John Marlin made his first lever action rifle and patented it in 1879. While it was never commercialized, it is one of the historical highlights of this collection. Mr. Turk found it being offered without fanfare at a gun show in Greenwich, CT. You can find pictures and descriptions of it in the first several pages of William S. Brophy's book,
In the early 1880s, Marlin introduced their first commercial lever action rifle: the Model 1881. From the beginning, Mr. Turk noted that Marlin was often a step ahead of Winchester in innovating lever action designs thanks to men like gunsmith Lewis Lobdell Hepburn (1832-1914) who he
noted as one of his favorite people from history. For example, when Marlin introduced the Model 1881 in .45-70, they were half a decade ahead of Winchester in releasing a lever action designed for the popular U.S. military cartridge. Not only does Mr. Turk have an excellent, high condition example of this historic model, he has the very first one: the historic serial number 1. After the Model 1881, Marlin also set out to compete with Winchester
in the “pistol-caliber” lever action market, and the Model 1888 was introduced in the popular .32-20, .38-40, and .44-40 cartridges also chambered in Colt’s Single Action Army and Winchester’s Model 1873. His collection has multiple examples of this very short lived Marlin model, including one of the most historic: a documented prototype. One year later, Marlin replaced the Model 1888 with
a historic improved model that will look familiar to shooters of modern Marlin lever actions: the Model 1889 featuring L.L. Hepburn’s innovative side ejection. Again, this model is represented in the collection in incredible fashion with a historic prototype for the model as well as high condition examples and rare variations. Among the many other Marlin lever action firearms available from Mr. Turk’s collection is the innovative Model
1891, the first repeater capable of interchangeably firing .22 Short, Long, or Long Rifle cartridges,
still produced today as the Model 39A. With such innovations, it is easy to see why Mr. Turk and innumerable other collectors are so drawn to Marlin firearms and why they continue to produce some of the best lever action rifles to this day based on these historic designs.
Winchester Model 1866 is introduced
Winchester Model 1873 is introduced
November 1879:
John M. Marlin is awarded U.S. patent no. 222,064 for his first prototype lever action rifle (EGM11 prototype)
Colt-Burgess rifle is introduced
Marlin Model 1891, Marlin’s first production lever action chambered for .22 cartridges, is introduced
Marlin Model 1893 is introduced
Winchester Model 1876 rifle is introduced
Winchester Model 1886 is introduced
October 1887:
L.L. Hepburn is awarded U.S. patent no. 371,455 for the Marlin Model 1888, Marlin’s second production lever action rifle (EGM14 prototype)
September 1889:
Marlin Model 1889 is introduced
April 1889:
L.L. Hepburn is awarded U.S. patent no. 400,679 for the Marlin Model 1889, the very first side ejector lever action rifle (EGM15 prototype)
Winchester Model 1892 is introduced
Marlin Model 1881, Marlin’s first production lever action rifle, is introduced (EGM12 serial no. 1)
Marlin Model 1888 is introduced
 IThe Milan J. Turk Co
n this section collectors are treated to the most American hunters to “Marlin Firearms: A History of the Guns and the
comprehensive and impressive selection of this day and are still Company That Made Them." In an understated Marlin firearms, their predecessors, and their made in America. way, he describes this find as having been very competitors ever offered by Rock Island Auction exciting.

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