For over 110 years boys have been filling their dreams with Marlin’s little lever action .22 rifle and its successors.  These are the world’s most popular .22 lever actions and there are millions of them around.

The Golden model 39A started life as the Marlin model 1891, the first lever action rifle ever chambered in .22LR. The tubular magazine was changed to front-loading with the model 1892. The 1892 gave way to the takedown model 1897, which became the model 39 in 1921 and model 39A in 1937. The Golden model 39A Mountie was introduced in 1954. The 39 was produced until 1983 when the current Golden 39A with the cross bolt safety was introduced. Changes between models were so minimal the rifle is considered to have been continually produced to the same basic specifications for over 110 years.

Until now there just was not any information available to the average owner on how to care for and improve these guns.  Instructor Bob Dunlap shows everyone how to completely strip the gun down, put it back together, and what to look for in the process. Bob understands the design, function, and repair of James Marlins classic lever gun design as well or better than any other gunsmith alive does today. He uses a cut-a way gun to enable you to actually see how the internal parts work together, and their functional interrelationships. Now you can learn what each part is supposed to do, and how this great design has been the basis of one of the most successful guns ever made.

If you want the quick course on how to get the best-selling lever action .22 in history apart, back together, and operating as intended, then this course is for you (if you want the long course, look into our basic 108 hour Professional Gunsmith Course.) Get a copy of this course now, you will be glad you did.

Among the items covered are:


  • Discussion of the commonalities between the Marlin lever guns, whether they are the smaller rim fire, the medium size pistol cartridge center fire, or the full size rifle caliber center fire guns.
  • Interesting magazine tube arrangement on an original 97 is shown
  • Why the cartridge stop (that really is not) was done away with in the 1983 redesign
  • Guns are extremely accurate and robust, they rarely break
  • Many of these guns that are almost a century old are still in use today
  • Designed by James Marlin, they share some very clever and innovative design flourishes with the Marlin centerfires.

Design & Function

  • Lever and locking system operation demonstrated with the cut-a way
  • What locks the bolt in place, what the lever pushes against that actually retracts the bolt
  • Operation of the cartridge carrier and the carrier rocker demonstrated and explained
  • The metal that actually takes the force of the cartridge firing, and it is not the lever pivot screw as you might think
  • Cartridge feeding and the operation of the primary and secondary cartridge stops
  • The spring that keeps the cartridge from high feeding is shown
  • Extractor and ejector operation, and how to turn the ejector off. What it accomplishes besides letting you clean the bore from the breech end
  • The four different extractors used over the years, and what fits what
  • Why the gun ejects so well, and what to do if it does not
  • Secondary cartridge stop operation
  • Hammer, sear, and safety operation explained and shown
  • Explanation and demonstration of positive and negative hammer/sear engagement
  • Troubleshooting: carrier travel, what to do if it does not go down far enough


  • Extensive disassembly, parts not removed have removal described, including hammer strut, and carrier button
  • As the parts are disassembled from the gun, Bob again goes over the interaction between the part and its spring, as well as the other parts that work with it
  • Buttstock removal shown
  • Hammer spring and right (lower) receiver disassembly demonstrated and explained
  • Upper receiver disassembled
  • Carrier rocker disassembly shown, and discussion of the removal and replacement of the newer plunger style button
  • Bolt disassembled
  • Magazine and forearm removal shown
  • Front sight removed

Cleaning & Lubrication

  • AGI cleaning & lubrication methods shown, along with the reasons for their use
  • After cleaning, dry with air gun, or in the oven on Warm ~185-200 degrees (metal parts ONLY)
  • Lubing the Bob way, and what kind he likes


  • Carrier rocker reassembly
  • Ejector reassembly
  • Bolt reassembly, correcting firing pin issues
  • Trouble shooting tips: cartridge cutoff
  • Right (lower) receiver reassembly
  • Adjusting the cartridge stop for reliable operation
  • Front sight reassembly
  • Upper receiver reassembly
  • Forearm and magazine reassembly
  • Carrier rocker re-insertion
  • Final assembly and testing
  • Making sure you have no parts left over


  • Scopes
  • Offset Hammer spur
  • Sling swivels and their proper location (do not try for the Bulls-Eye)

If you noticed how often the terms “explanation” and “visual demonstration” are used, you may be getting some idea of why this course is necessary for any Marlin 39/39A rim fire lever gun owner, or someone who intends to be.

Weight0.25 lbs
Dimensions7.56 × 5.44 × 0.63 in


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