Was a bit scary but I took my new toy apart for the first time yesterday. Has maybe 75 rounds through it. Had some crud in it but not much. I heard all the stories about the razor sharp internals so I was extra careful. I have desk job computer nerd soft hands. The insides weren't overly sharp though. A few of the edges were ragged with laid over edges (tiny serrated lip hanging to one side). I'm not sure what the carrier and locking lug are made of but they didn't "look" like stainless to me. Then again I'm not a good judge of metals. If there were any burrs, they had already cleaned themselves up. There was some burrs on the bottom of the bolt where a hole was drilled in to it, but it didn't make contact with anything and I couldnt think of a way to remove it without scratching the heck out of it. Carrier already had the notch in it that people say causes the "marlin jam" later in the guns life.
No shrapnell inside, some black grime with what seemed to be a bit of light rust on some parts? Mostly in the tiny grooves on the rough machined parts that don't contact anything and don't show. No shims in the stock. No cracks in the wood anywhere.
I lightened the trigger spring a bit just by over extending it for a second. Maybe a mistake, I couldn't help myself. Then I cleaned everything up and reassembled it with light teflon based oil. I probably need to go back in and use some thicker grease on the pivot points, I don't care for the feel of the teflon oil.
After I put it back together it miraculously still works and there were no spare parts left over Also when I was putting the stock on I got it 90% on and gave it a smack on the butt. It went together with a solid knock and now the wood to metal finish is much tighter. I don't see how that is possible since the screw going through it should have aligned everything the same as before, but I'm not going to question a good thing. Now the only bad fitting place is behind the hammer where the metal is a bet recessed in to the wood.
oicO sounds like you did pretty good for yourself. Now that the gun is cleaned and oiled you need to briskly work the action 300 times to smooth it up a bit. It is recommended to do this in front of the TV watching a good western. Make sure the gun is unloaded before you start and do not dry fire, unless something during the western really requires it. 300 minimum is what I do to get the action loosened up. The detent that keeps the lever closed should slicken up also.
Now that the gun is cleaned and oiled you need to briskly work the action 300 times to smooth it up a bit. It is recommended to do this in front of the TV watching a good western. Make sure the gun is unloaded before you start and do not dry fire, unless something during the western really requires it.
+1 I do this all the time... drives my wife absolutely nuts!