Sunday, March 9, 2014

Marlin 1895 mods

A few years ago, while visiting a gun store I purchased an 1895 Marlin Guide gun in 45-70. I wasn't looking for one of these guns that day (but it was on my "want" list), but when you see a gun at a really good price, it is a gun-owner imperative that you buy it. 

I did just that. 

The new Marlin model 1895 is named after the original rifle produced from 1895 to 1915. the new 1895 is built upon the newer Model 336 action. The new model 1895 was introduced in 1972. Its return also helped revive the 45-70 cartridge back from the dead.

The only modification to the gun was the sights. The previous owner removed the barrel mounted rear sight and installed a Wild West Guns rear peep site on the receiver. This gave the shooter a better sight picture and longer sight plane.

I bought some ammo and was checking the gun out to make sure the head spacing was OK and I noticed a a couple of problems.

The gun would not cycle the last round. no matter the type/size/shape of the bullet, the last round from the magazine kept getting hung up.

It also had a noticeable "hitch" in the action. When bringing the lever back to the stock, there was a pronounced drag that needed to be overcome. 

After doing some research I discovered that the Marlin 1894 & 1895 models suffered from this problem and there were some things an amateur gunsmith like myself could perform.

The "snail cam" that interfaces with the cartridge lifter develops a sharp edge, which on a cam is not so good. In most cases you can remedy the problem by rounding off the edge of the cam.

If the gun has been shot a lot you may need to replace some parts. See the links at the end of the post for more information.

The rounding of the cam worked to fix the "hitch", but I still needed to deal with the last round feeding issue.

I took apart the magazine tube and found that the OEM magazine follower had broken apart. This is what a stock Marlin mag follower looks like (when it is new). It is made of plastic.

When searching for a replacement I found a company making stainless steel replacements. In addition they put a dimple on the front of the follower to aid in indexing Hornady Leverevolution ammunition. For those of you who have never shot or owned a tube fed centerfire rifle, you cannot load pointed bullets in the magazine. The point of one bullet could set off the primer of the one in front of it.....that would be bad. Hornady developed a special rubber tip that works in tube fed magazines and also provides better balastics. They of course can also be used in bolt action or single shot rifles as well.
The follower was a perfect fit, here is a picture of it.

I would gladly provide a link to the company that made the follower, but sadly I couldn't find the original maker anywhere online. If someone reading this knows where they are, please post a comment.

So I fixed the action & feeding issues, the gun runs great!

If you need help with any problems on your Marlin Lever Action, visit the links below.

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