It's been several years since we had a Marlin 1889 Carbine...they are really getting tough to find! This one is right out of an old collection that spanned half a century. Standard Carbine in .44 Winchester, a.k.a. 44-40 with 20" barrel, full magazine, and carbine style buttplate. Unlike sporting rifles, carbines were used as tools. They were utility guns designed to be carried on horseback, often in a leather sheath called a scabbard. The saddle ring is what the owner would use to attach the gun to the scabbard to keep it from slipping out and falling on the ground. This one has tremendous eye-appeal with a nice combination of wear, patina, and a little bit of original finish in the corners and protected areas. One look at this gun and there is no doubt, this was once a true working gun and once belonged to a cowboy! Just look at all the character wear on the surfaces, from the shadow on the left side of the frame rubbed by the original ring for over 100 years...or the grainy walnut stocks with nicks and scratches. It spent years in the saddle but lucky for us, those years didn't turn into decades. We want character, not natural history in the form of rust and wood worn almost in half. It's got just enough of everything in my opinion...sharp markings, nice edges, but also patina, scabbard wear, a little bit of original to remind you of what it started out as. My favorite part on this gun are the initials "CK" where the original owner put his monogram using what looks like the sharp tips of one of his spurs. Not being visible enough, it looks like he put another pair of initials on the right side near the buttplate using a knife. That way, everyone in the bunkhouse knew that this Marlin belonged to "Charlie Kicklighter" (fictitious name). The Model 1889 was the first lever action repeater Marlin offered in a saddle ring carbine version. Whereas Winchester built the Models 1873 and 1892 carbines by the hundreds of thousands, Marlin only produced about 10,000 saddle ring carbines with most probably going overseas as exports. The 1889 was designed by inventor Lewis Hepburn as Marlin's first side-eject design. Today, it's grandfather of all Marlins still being made today.
NRA Antique Very Good Condition Overall with a nice smooth brown patina on metal with original blue in protected areas...i.e. inside the ring shadow, along the edges of the barrel above the forewood, around the rear sight, etc. Loading port also has some original fire blue remaining. Stocks are in Good+ condition, very solid with 10% varnish remaining on the buttstock. Forend has some nice scabbard wear...by that I mean, you can tell it was carried on a horse but isn't worn inside out like so many saddle guns. It's solid with no cracks, or repairs. As you may note in the photos, there is a rather bad gouge on the right side of the forend. Nice crisp barrel markings with 1887 and 1889 Patent dates. Nice action. Lever still locks up tight. Very Good bore. I love this little carbine...it has "the look" that so many carbines have simply worn past during their working lives. This one is right where you want to see them and will display very well either as a Marlin or a piece of Western Americana.