This is an early production Model 1894 Marlin sporting rifle with special order takedown frame. Antique Marlin 1894's are tough to find especially in Caliber 44-40 and a takedown at that. Even though the 1894 was improved over the Model 1889, Marlin seemed content with selling 89's until production ceased around 1899. Perhaps that is why you won't find many 1894's out there with pre-1899 serial numbers. As most of you know, different Marlin models all shared the same serial range. The very first Model 1894's built show up in the 107,000 range in mid-1894. The serial number of this one is in the 112,000 range so its right in there towards the beginning of production. Standard features include 24" octagon barrel, full magazine, and crescent rifle-style buttplate. Original sights include the long-style Marlin-Ballard semi-buckhorn rear sight and German silver Rocky Mtn front sight. Nice markings include a crisp 2 line barrel address with 1887, 1889, and 1893 patent dates. "Marlin Safety" and "Model 1894" markings are located on the top of the frame and upper tang, respectively. These little takedowns rifles were ideal for the traveling sportsmen as they broke down and could be carried in a Victoria case. This rifle has done some traveling in its lifetime and has been around the world at least once having spent time on at least 3 different continents. There are some small British proofs on the action (London, specifically).
Overall, NRA Antique Fine condition. The case colors on the receiver have faded out to mottled silver throughout with traces of slightly stronger colors in the protected areas. Nice fire blue on the loading port located on the right side of the frame. Front and rear sights still show most of their original nitre blue. Barrel and magazine tube have 75% original blue present. Excellent screws throughout with nice markings, and crisp edges. The wood is in Fine overall condition retaining 85% original varnish with some handling marks on the bottom of the forend. Nice wood to metal fit...has never been sanded or cleaned. The takedown mechanism works nicely and locks up good and tight to the frame. This is accomplished by dropping the lever (to get the extractor out of the way), sliding the magazine tube forward (there is a knurled button at the end for releasing the tube), pulling out the takedown lever (on left side of frame), and simply unscrewing the barrel. Nice working action with hammer working on both full and half cock positions. The bore is in Fine condition with super-strong lands and grooves. There are pits here and there but fairly minor. Since this is a takedown, we checked the bore from both ends and it looks pretty good. It hasn't been cleaned in years so there's dirt and dust down in there but it looks like it should clean up even a little better with shine. Either way, this one is well above average for a black powder bore. A nice example of rare Marlin 1894 TD rifle.