Gunfight Friday: Classic Rimfires

A pair of very different rimfires face off today. You could call both “classics” I guess, although the Remington Mohawk 10C might fall more into the “ahead of its time” category. Marlin claims the 39A is the longest continuously produced firearm in the world, having been invented in 1891 and produced to this day with only minor changes. It’s light, compact, and can be taken down very quickly for transport. Annie Oakley once used a 39A to put 25 shots through one hole in 27 seconds at a distance of 12 yards, which is some pretty fancy shooting.

The Mohawk 10C was a variant of Remington’s Nylon 66, which was produced from 1959 to 1989 with over a million made. It featured a stock made of Zytel, a polymer designed by parent company DuPont specifically for the new rifle. It was the first successful synthetic stocked sporting rifle. The Mohawk 10C was produced from 1971 to 1977, and it had a detachable box magazine in place of the Nylon 66’s tube magazine.

Del’s Marlin 39A

I bought this Marlin Model 39 in Alaska back in the early '80s. It has served me well. I cannot remember it ever failing to feed or having a jam no matter what ammo I fed it. Long rifles, longs or shorts; it didn’t matter. One day last year I was out shooting at the range and a fellow saw this rifle and wanted to buy it. He asked me to name my price and got rather angry when I refused to name one. I told him I can't replace it and it was not for sale.

Harold S’s Mohawk 10C

Most people who know my preferences in firearms know that I'm a walnut and blued steel type of guy. Strangely though, when going through the local gun show this last Memorial Day, I picked up a Mohawk 10C, which is a box-magazine version of the old Remington Nylon 66. When I first saw one way back in the '60s or '70s, the firearm struck me as a cheap nasty piece of solid waste with a schnabel fore-end set way too far forward. After buying the rifle I looked on the Internet to learn how to disassemble it for cleaning, which I did. What I found was a very ingenious .22 rifle where the stock and the receiver are one piece. The action is simplicity itself, as if some Remington engineer was channeling his inner Kalashnikov. The second thing I did was take it out for a test-firing where I learned the magazine that came with it was a dud (not unusual I understand). After getting a couple of fully functioning mags I learned to love this little gun. It's light, handy, dependable and very accurate. Oh, and the Schnabel? I figured out that it's set out toward the muzzle for a simple reason: It gives the rifle some weight forward so that it holds steadier. This Mohawk 10C is now my plinker of choice and my truck gun.

There are your choices, and though they may look very different, both are nice shooters that would fit into anyone’s collection. Pick your favorite and tell us why you like it below. Keep on sending me more gun pictures to fsgunnuts@gmail.com.

Which gun gets your vote?

Harold S’s Mohawk 10C

Del’s Marlin 39A