This is an attractive Model 1889 saddle ring carbine in 44-40. Appearance-wise, it has a nice combination of original blue and light reddish orange walnut stocks. The 89 Marlin's very first Carbine. The Brophy book notes there were about 10,000 produced but I suspect most of these were shipped overseas...they sure don't turn up very often here in the US. Once in a while, you'll see one in old turn of the century photographs of officers and soldiers during the Mexican Revolution.
This one is NRA Antique Fine++. The original blue is freckled with light patina but has nearly full coverage on the metal. Coverage-wise, its quite good but factor in the mixture of patina and the frame is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 65-70% original blue. Barrel and magazine tube are still mostly original blue but toning brown as well with 65% age darkened blue. Barrel bands also show some bright blue. Hammer shows some fading case colors. Lever has some strong flashes of case color up near the frame. Wood is beautiful...about 95% original varnish...just fantastic with perfect wood to metal fit. No chips, cracks, or repairs. Good screws overall. Nice markings. This one has a nice action and a Minty bore! A fabulous little Marlin carbine and not something you see every day. In fact, its been quite a long time since one this nice.. Last one I can remember approaching this level of condition was one in 38-40 almost 10 years ago.