Marlin Firearms Co. Model 1894 .32-20 WCF Lever Action Rifle, MFD 1903 C&R

SOLD FOR: $970

WOA#: WY240308AT004

Make: Marlin

Model: 1894

Serial Number: 266047

Year of Manufacture: 1903

Caliber: .32-20 WCF

Action Type: Lever Action with Full Length Tubular Magazine

Markings: The top of the barrel is marked “MARLIN FIRE-ARMS CO. NEW-HAVEN, CT. U.S.A. / PATENTED OCT. 11. 1887. APRIL 2. 1889. AUG. 1. 1893.” in front of the rear sight and “32-20” at the receiver. The underside of the receiver is marked “266047”. The top of the receiver is marked “MARLIN SAFETY”. The top tang is marked “MODEL / 1894”.

Barrel Length: The octagonal barrel is 26” in length.

Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade dovetailed to the barrel. The rear sight is a “V”-notch semi-buckhorn elevator leaf dovetailed to the rear of the barrel. The top tang is drilled, tapped and filled for a tang sight. (Not Included)

Stock Configuration & Condition:  The stocks are two piece smooth walnut with a straight grip, straight comb, and a steel crescent buttplate while the forend has a steel nose cap. The wood shows scattered compressions, dings, scratches, and draglines that have darkened with age. There is notable wear to the finish on the bottom of the forearm. There are no chips or cracks. The LOP measures 13 1/8” from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate, which shows a mottled light patina and some light pitting. The stocks rate in about Good-Very Good overall condition.

Type of Finish: The barrel, magazine tube and bolt are blued. The receiver, lever and hammer are case colored.

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is gray and the rifling is well defined. There are a few scattered spots of minor erosion. In this writer’s opinion the bore rates 7/10 for C&R.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 30% of its metal finish. There is a decent amount of case coloring left on the bottom tang but the rest of the receiver has gone mute. There is thinning at the leading edges of the barrel. There are small nicks, dings, and scratches throughout the metal. There is some light pitting on the barrel near the muzzle. The barrel and mag tube show a transition to patina. The screw heads range from sharp to tool-marked but retain usable slots. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Good-plus condition. The lever retains a large amount of its bluing which leads us to believe the bolt was either replaced or refinished.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The hammer has a half-cock safety. The trigger is light and crisp. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.

Our Assessment: The Marlin 1894 model was preceded by their Models 1881, 1888 and 1889, finally resulting in a short action side ejecting rifle that was chambered in the same cartridges as Winchester’s Model 1892. The lever throw is shorter than any other stock pistol caliber lever action rifle and as smooth as they come. This vintage rifle is in Good-plus condition, in better condition than any of us are likely to be at 121 years old. The mechanics are solid and the bore is bright with strong rifling with just a bit of erosion scattered through it. With its original stock and chambered in .32-20 cartridge, this rifle is sure to get the attention of the Marlin collectors out there. Please see our photos and good luck! – L.S.

Marlin Firearms Co. Model 1894 .32-20 WCF Lever Action Rifle, MFD 1903 C&R
Marlin Firearms Co. Model 1894 .32-20 WCF Lever Action Rifle, MFD 1903 C&R