Marlin Camp 9 Carbine "AR-Style"
My apologies up front to the traditionalists! Before anyone asks "Why?"; The Camp 9 is a great rifle as-is but I wanted to make some changes. I felt that my accuracy could benefit by improving those horrible (in my opinion) factory sights and by adding some more modern features (adjustable stock, forward grip, red dot with co-witnessed peep iron sights) without buying a new rifle. All of the changes are fully reversible; no permanent changes to the rifle were made.
I'm not a gunsmith and I don't have a workshop, so everything had to either bolt-on or be easily modified to work with either a Dremel or other hand tools.
The iron sights co-witness right through the center of the EOTech, and the rear sight flips down and out of the way.
Choate adjustable stock
Scope Rail (Weaver Top-Mount Scope Base #63B)
Rear sight dovetail blank (Marble's Sight Slot Blank 3/8" Dovetail Steel Blue)
UTG single rail barrel mount (5-slot)
UTG gas-block-height front AR sight (MNT-750)
UTG folding rear sight
Red dot sight
4" polymer Picatinny rail (scavenged)
Parts, besides the stock and EOTech, were less than $100.
My biggest concerns were front sight cant and the front sight height.
Attaching a front sight on a clamp on rail brings up the problem of "front sight cant" (rotated too far left or right for proper alignment). To avoid this, I flipped up the (windage-centered) rear sight and turned on the (already sighted-in) red dot. Sighting through the rear sight so the red dot was centered in the aperture, I could see where the front sight needed to be, left to right. The front rail was loosened and twisted to align it with the red dot/rear sight picture.
Once I had all three lined up, the front sight rail bolts were tightened firmly. Still using the red dot with the irons I adjusted elevation on the front sight until everything came into alignment.
I knew the front sight height was going to be a problem going into this, since the end of the barrel is so low compared to the top of the receiver. A gas-block-mount sized front sight made up most of the height difference. The sight post still required 3-4 turns upward.
The AFG2 under the stock serves two purposes - it sits at a pretty good balance point for the rifle making it comfortable to hold, and it protects the plastic trigger housing to some degree.
This was a fun little project and now I have an adjustable stock plinker that works equally well with irons or red-dot.
I like it. How does it shoot with the new sights?
It's very accurate with the new sights (or more appropriately, I'm very accurate with it - I'm sure the rifle is more accurate than I am).
We kept it at short range this week, practicing on a 25 yard pistol range. Shooting at 50 feet with the EOTech I was putting one round after another on a 1" bullseye dot. 6" steel plates at 25 yards were easy to pick off with the iron sights as well. I know this isn't any kind of a spectacular feat, but my accuracy and acquisition time were horrible with the stock sights. Now it's just "point and click", as it were.
It may look a little "Frankenstein-ish" but the changes resulted in a big usability improvement for me.
I like it!
Last edited by 48vintage; 11-26-2011 at 09:30 AM.
ditto. I have a choate folder and red dot on mine.
OMG!?? What did you do? You ruined it!!!
JOKING . Not my cup of tea, as some of the other posters here may know/remember, I like my stock Camp .45, love wood stocks. That being said, it is a job well done & I'm sure very servicable. Neat.
Last edited by Rocker59; 11-26-2011 at 10:40 AM.
Fan of all things .45 caliber,Marlin Levers, Gibson Gee-tars & Triumph Motor-Sicles
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I like wood better, but I must admit that looks very sweet.
I like this look! I would be willing to try this on my Camp 45 rebuild, but I am just not that "handy" over all. I would be worried about the front sight cant and modification. That being said, having my only gun experience being with a M16-A2 in the Marine Corps, I'd would feel comfortable using the Camp in this modification. Thanks for the pics!
It was really quite easy. Here's all the details:
1. Installed scope rail (blue Loctite on screws).
2. Removed Marilin front and rear sight.
3. Replaced rear sight with dovetail insert (tapped right in, no tweaking).
5. Mounted red dot and rear sight.
The EOTech sits on the weaver rail with the horizontal mount screw resting in the forward rail notch. The rear iron sight sits in the rearward notch.
6. Sight in the red dot at the range (25 yards, in this case).
7. Attached bottom rail to (not yet installed) Choate stock.
The rail on the bottom of the stock came from an unused Tapco top hand-guard that I had laying around for another rifle. The rail simply unbolted from the top hand-guard. One of the mounting holes was dremeled out to allow the Marlin stock screw to fit and retain the rear of the rail. The forward mounting hole was used as a template to drill a hole in the stock. One of the original mounting screws from the rail was used to hold the front of the rail to the stock.
Unfortunately there are partitions inside the stock to provide lateral support and the front rail hole was (of course) directly under one of them. Carefully dremeling out the bottom of the partition allowed the installation of the nut onto the bolt (blue Loctite used).
Since most people probably don't have one of these rails sitting around, I'm sure a replacement can be found. I think UTG carries various length polymer rails. (Correction: Magpul makes polymer rails, not UTG. http://store.magpul.com/prod_detail_list/104 )
8. Installed the Choate adjustable stock.
9. Attached AFG2 to rail.
10. Attached and adjusted front sight rail and front sight.
The front sight's clamp-on single rail was mounted just behind the forward screw hole of the original front sight. The bolts on the rail were initially tightened just until slightly snug. I then attached the front sight tower.
I wrote in the first post how to take care of front sight cant... just flip up the rear sight and turn on the red dot. Use the "dot" in the red dot like a front sight, sighting through the rear sight aperture. Then loosen and carefully twist the whole front sight rail block until the front sight tower lines up with the sight picture then re-tighten (just snug). Then while still looking through the rear sight/red dot sight picture, adjust the height of the front sight post so it sits just under the red dot. If you sighted in the red dot correctly, the irons should be right on. Tighten the front rail assembly a bit and double check the position through the sights with the red dot on. If it's all good, loosen/remove one screw at a time and tighten firmly with red Loctite added to the threads. That should do it.
Last edited by dmeister; 12-16-2011 at 07:07 AM.
dmeister. i have a camp 9 with the glock mag well. i have played with it for years with the factory sights and a see thru scope mount. your build got me thinking in a more scout style set up. i contacted xs sights. i hoped their long picatinny with the low profile peep that they make for the 336 would fit this. they said no. now i am thinking of going a similar route to yours( but with the wooden stock- i love wood as furniture) your rear sight seems high. do you think you could have set it up with a lower rear peep and front sight? it just creeps me out to have the sights so far above the bore axis. i also worry about hanging that much weight off the end of the barrel- accuracy wise(although i know this wont ever be a m.o. a. gun.) how did you get the height for the front sight? just kinda guess then adjust? did you see the accuracy go down any with all that stuff up near the muzzle? can you get a good cheek weld on that buttstock?