An acquaintance might be offering me his 1893 Marlin, chambered in .32-40. I know enough about the cartridge to know that I would enjoy loading and shooting it, mainly with my own cast bullets.
But I know nothing about the 1893 rifle itself. Possibly members here will direct me to a primer on this model. If such doesn't exist, here are some questions I have.
What issues, weaknesses, or notorious problems should I be looking for?
Are certain parts known to break or malfunction? Are replacement parts difficult or expensive to find?
Is disassembly a headache on the 1893? I've been spoiled by the simplicity of the 336, and won't expect earlier Marlins to be as easy to work on..
La'i-be'eeldoh=(many guns)-NRA Life - Marlin league #16, Minnesota MarlinOwners--Team's= Marlin Express, Levermatic, 35 Rem #68, 32 Special #4, 45-70 #28, 1894 #94,30-30 #131, 39 #39, 38-55 #39, X7 #47, 60 #120, Shotgun #3, 366-44 #2, 44-40 #37, 22 Mag #006, 356 #?, MR7 #3 pending-Finally an Updated Marlin Dates and Production sheets.-Marlin Model 32-38 Pump Project-LEVERMATIC Catalog pages 1955-69 -This is how I converted a Marlin pump 22, to new type mag tube.
1893 is easy to work on and parts are fairly common!! E Bay is a great source of parts. I enjoy my .32-40, it's a fun gun!! Make sure you post some pictures as soon as you get it!!
Sounds good so far. No, I'm not a hotrodder. If I were, I wouldn't be interested in vintage rifles.
What kind of accuracy can a person expect from a 93 if it has a decent barrel?
And what's the latest situation with brass? Is it still necessary to fire form? If so, is .30-30 brass a good place to start if one doesn't mind short cases? I have tons of that but would have to buy .38-55.
Thanks for your responses.
.32-40 is the original cartridge developed by Marlin and Ballard for their Schuetzen target rifle. Winchester stole the name. It, and the .38-55, were blackpowder cartridges in the first iterations of the Model 1893 designed by L.L. Hepburn working at the Marlin factory. These models are marked "for Black Powder" on their barrels. It followed the Model 1881, 1888 and 1889. As smokeless powder came in it was also chambered in .25-36 Marlin, .30-30 and .32 High Powered Special. It's a very strong action with a much simpler mechanism than the Winchester rifle. It disassembles very easily. It's barrel is cut with Ballard rifling and even when the bore looks like sewer pipe it will shoot and group remarkably well. Like all old rifles the odd spring will break but replacement parts are to be found on the internet without too much difficulty and for that matter as all the springs are flat they're not too difficult to make yourself. The brass is sometimes put out in runs by different manufactures but I think Starline carries it. In a pinch it can be necked up from .30-30 but it's not a good idea. It's a superior model to the 336 in spite of the metallurgy. Much better made and much more aesthetic to look at and to shoulder. A far superior rifle to the Winchester Model '94.
If my wife asks....all guns cost five bucks and ammo is free !!!
If you're experienced with taking a 336 apart, then the 1893 will be a breeze. The flat mainspring is easier to deal with and I normally just remove the buttstock and push down on the mainspring while moving it to the left to release spring pressure. After that the gun can be disassembled easily. Reassembly is the reverse, with the last thing being to swing the mainspring back under the hammer, making sure it's centered before putting the stock on. I always leave the mainspring just tight enough that it can be swung to the left side.
There are no inherent weaknesses in the 1893, and I've never carried a supply of spare parts. The only thing that might break would be the firing pin through age, or dry firing. The mainspring maybe if it's old enough, and been fired enough. But neither would be spares I'd keep. Wisners Gun Parts has both of these, so easy to find replacements.
Old Marlins, and Single Shot Rifles!