This is an early Model 1892 Marlin Lever Action Sporting Rifle with a pre-1898 serial number in the 144,000 range. Standard 24" octagon barrel, full magazine, and crescent buttplate. The Model 1892 was designed by Lewis Hepburn with some improvements over his Model 1891. The action is simple and can be field-stripped in seconds. Standard sights include the Marlin rear sight with correct Marlin elevator and Marlin Rocky Mountain front sight w/ German silver blade. The Model 1892 came in .22 and .32 calibers. This one is in .32 caliber which can accept firing pins in both .32 rf and cf calibers allowing the Model 1892 to chamber at least FIVE different cartridges. This included the .32 rf short, .32 rf long, .32 Colt Short, .32 Colt Long, and the .32 Long Rifle. The firing pins could be changed in just seconds without the aid of tools. Most 1892's we find today have rimfire firing pins but this one has a desirable center-fire pin (See photos). Upper tang is marked MODEL 1892 while the top of the receiver is stamped "MARLIN SAFETY". Barrel has Marlin Firearms Co. New Haven address with 1878, 1889, 1890, and 1892 patent dates. The 1892 in .32 caliber was essentially a repeater chambered for a small pistol caliber. This left the 1892 in a unique market as the only lever action that filled the gap between the Winchester .22 caliber pump and lever action rifles and larger framed rifles like the Winchester 1873 and 1892 in caliber .32-20. It provided more punch than the .22 but less than the much larger 32-20 and was good up to around 100 yards for squirrels and small game; all with ammunition that cost significantly less than the .32-20.
Overall Condition grades to NRA Antique Fine Plus Condition with 85% original blue on the barrel and magazine tube mixed with some light brown freckles. Frame shows 75% bright original blue with the exception of the left sideplate which has turned to a smooth brown patina with 40% thinning original blue remaining. Bolt shows 95% bright original blues. 90% original blue on forend cap. Original case colors on high wear parts break down as follows: hammer 85%, lever 30%, buttplate 10%. Very Good screws throughout. Original walnut stocks are in Fine condition retaining 98% strong original varnish with numerous light handling marks but no chips, cracks, or repairs. Nice action that still has its original screw-in left extractor (most of the failed and have been replaced with later model extractors). Bore rates Very Good with a few pits. It's still semi-bright with strong lands and grooves. Nice example of a Marlin 1892 with a hard to find antique serial number that would make a nice companion to go with an early .32 Colt New Police or New Pocket Revolver.