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 Post subject: Marlin Model 90
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:13 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:02 pm
Posts: 3
New to Shotgun World although have used the resources on this site before. I have a question about a Marlin model 90 that I inherited a few years ago. Originally I looked this gun up in a gun value book and estimated the value around $100. So I figured I'll use it as a project gun since I would like to get into restoration\gunsmithing. This morning I did some more digging and found out that it is most likley a pre 1947 since it has the seperated barrels. Some of these guns in a little better condition are going for $350-$500. I dont want to kill the value so now I am questioning wheather or not I want to do a restoration on it since it would be my first project. I am a machinist by trade so no problem getting parts, I'll just make them. I would polish up the outside surfaces and also the guts (which are pretty rusted up) and possibly re-blue the barrel. My question is if I did the restoration would it kill the value so much that it wouldnt be worth it? I'm not planning on getting rid of it anytime soon, I kind of want to use it for my upland gun, just want it to look a little nicer. Here are some pics I took today.

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Thanks for any input you guys are willing to share. I would really appreciate it.

Eric




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 Post subject: Re: Marlin Model 90
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:14 pm 
Field Grade
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:36 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Seabeck WA
It's all about craftsmanship. But either way you won't be out much. Here's its twin in nice condition for $350:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIt ... =148769465

_________________
Bob

http://www.woodcentral.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl#smalser


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 Post subject: Re: Marlin Model 90
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:11 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:53 pm
Posts: 466
Location: Williamsburg, VA
Farley,

Based on the "H" serial number, your gun was made in 1951. Actually, Model 90's made prior to 1949 had a solid web between the barrels. The description in The Blue book of Gun Values stating that guns prior to 1949 were open between the barrels is wrong. Marlin introduced the "lever-release" or "latch-type" forearm in 1951. Prior to 1951 the forearm attached to the barrels with a spring clip. 28" and 30" barrels were generally choked Mod/Full while 26" barrels were generaly choked IC/Mod.

The frame is made with a malleable iron alloy that turns a not so pleasing plum color with conventional blueing. Also, the barrel attachments may be soft soldered and may not withstand hot blueing. I don't have any specific experience with blueing, but I've been told that cold rust blueing gives the best results.

12 ga model 90's are generally worth less than the smaller gauges. .410's and combination Model 90's are very rare and are selling for over $1000 these days. 16 and 20 ga Model 90's are selling in the $400 to $700+ range. The value is based on condition, and some people are willing to pay more if all of the serial numbers match (In at least 4 places--on the bottom of the frame, on the side of the barrel assembly by the chambers, inside on the forearm iron and on the end of the butt stock)

If you are going to keep the gun as your upland gun, it is really up to you what you want to do with it. I have a number of Model 90's, and I consider all of them as "shooters," including some that have been refinished with one of the over-the-counter cold blueing products. They do look pretty good, but the finish is not very durable. I enjoy my Model 90's for the way they handle and shoot and have not been too concerned about their resale value. A refinished 16 ga. Model 90 with 26" barrels choked IC/Mod is my favorite upland gun.

They are also very durable. Weagle, who often posts on this site, has shot over 10,000 rounds through his Model 90, and he says it is still going strong.

There are a number of folks who frequent the 16 ga. society web site who are very knowlegeable about Model 90's. They will answer questions even if your gun is not a 16 ga. Also you might try to find a copy of the book by Col. William S. Brophy, "Marlin Firearms, a History of the Guns and the Company that Made Them," published in 1989 by Stackpole Books. it is out of print but is sometimes listed on eBay. You might be able to get a copy to read through inter-library loan. Brophy devoted about 8 pages the Model 90.

Good luck with your "project."


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 Post subject: Re: Marlin Model 90
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:04 pm 
Utility Grade

Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:02 pm
Posts: 3
Varkey, you sure know your Marlins. Thanks a lot for all the info. I've been trying to find out more about that gun for a while, so I appreiciate it. All the numbers match so maybe I'll find another one to practice on for now and really do it right on the Marlin. I'll check out the website. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Marlin Model 90
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:50 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:53 pm
Posts: 466
Location: Williamsburg, VA
Farley,

You are welcome! Just curious, what is your gun's gauge and barrel length? Who was the original owner? Your father? Grandfather? Uncle?

My first model 90 ("G" serial number made in 1950) was a 12 ga. bought used by my dad in 1957 for $37.50. He cut off the stock to fit me and then added a piece back when I got bigger. It was my first "grown-up" shotgun and it was my favorite upland gun until I got the 16 ga. Model 90. I still have the 12 ga. and it is the one gun I will never sell.

I suggest you post your questions and photos on the 16 ga. site to get some thoughts of other Model 90 owners.


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 Post subject: Re: Marlin Model 90
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:12 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 2:26 pm
Posts: 2484
BarkeyVa gave some good info. The Marlin Model 90 is somewhat unique in that it has a mallable iron alloy frame. I had one with separated barrels and the spring clip type forearm. I guess 1949-50 vintage. After some 20 odd years of use, the frame had not yet turned plum. I understand that Brownells offers a cold blue suitable for the mallable iron frame. The Model 90 is coil spring striker fired (no hammers) and probably as near indestructible as any utility grade O/U ever made.

The 2008 Standard Catalog of Firearms lists values ranging from $200.- to $500.- depending upon condition. If you plan to keep and use it, I would go ahead and give it a proper refinish (as opposed to restoring it to as new condition). It'll probably last a few more generations.


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 Post subject: Re: Marlin Model 90
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:48 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:53 pm
Posts: 466
Location: Williamsburg, VA
According to Brophy, Marlin did not blue the Model 90 frame during regular production. Marlin sent them out to a commercial finishing company that applied the standard blue-black finish that does not change color over the years. I have pre-WWII Model 90's that have retained their original finish. Usual hot rebluing methods turn the malleable iron to a dirty brown or plum color.


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 Post subject: Re: Marlin Model 90
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:17 am 
Utility Grade

Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:02 pm
Posts: 3
It's a 12ga with 28in. barrel. My Grandfather's brother bought it new and used it for duckhunting for years. I also have a Win 1400 mkII of his that I learned to hunt with, shot my first ducks, pheasants, and deer with it. When that gun needed some parts my Grandfather gave me the Marlin and I used it for pheasant for a season. A few years ago I bought a SX3 for ducks and deer and was thinking of sprucing up the Marlin for upland, along with fixing the 1400.

As far as the malable iron, is it a easy material to work with as far as polishing? I'm guessing it's not the kind of material you'll get a real bright finish on. Hopefully I get set up with a work area soon (I'm in the middle of moving) so I get a chance to get into it.

Thanks again for all the info guys.




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