I’ve been storing my late grandfather’s farm tool—a Marlin Model ’94 in .32-20—for more than 40 years now, but with no family interest, it’s time to move it along. I’ve been surfing the Internet, but I can’t find this exact firearm. The barrel and action are in very good shape inside, with some worn bluing and a couple of small blemishes on the exterior. Everything works well, and overall the rifle is in very good shape for its age. I’m looking forward to your opinion
CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C.
Judging by the serial number, your rifle was made in 1905, which is around the time Marlin changed the model marking from 1894 to ’94, as it appears on your rifle. These are very well made and popular rifles. I’ve read they were particularly well liked in northern Canada and Alaska because the closed top design with side ejection was considered less likely to freeze up in cold weather. I’m sure there were many campfire arguments back in the day as to which was better, the Marlin 1894 or the Winchester 1892; you could probably still get in an argument about it today (I like them both).
The Model 1894/’94 was made from 1894 to 1934, then reintroduced in the late 1960s. It remains in production to this day. Collectors, of course, are interested primarily in originals such as yours, which seems to be in very good condition. The fact that it’s a takedown version also adds it its value. At a Canadian firearm auction, I’d expect it to bring in $1,500 to $2,500. I know this is a fairly broad range, but estimating gun values is by no means an exact science.