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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,

Looking for advice again on the 1889 I recently acquired in .32-20.

It shoots fine, once I get a cartridge in the chamber. But that's the trick. It consistently jams if I attempt to lever a round into the chamber without manipulating the rifle. In fact, once extended the lever is stuck in the fully extending position. I found that tipping the rifle sideways with the loading gate straight up works to clear the jam, apparently because the cartridge just rolls up the received where the bolt can grab and chamber it.

It will eject the spent case, but unless I then flip the rfile to the left on its side, the new cartridge stays jammed in the bottom of the receiver. Following the eject, tip, close lever procedure actually works consistently, but what a pain.

Since I was considering using the rifle in cowboy action shooting, this is a deal breaker in terms of timed shooting.

Think I read somewhere that some of the early lever models, Wins and Marlins, could be real finicky about cycling and that that was a serious deficiency in the 1881 or 1888. But I thought the 1889 was refined and a relatively problem-free action.

Is it possible that a receiver mechanical part is either missing or damaged. I'm assuming it involves the carrier or lifter. And if so, are the parts unique to the '89 or would later models, I presume the 1894, have parts that are interchangeable?

In spite of the hassels, it is a really nice old gun. Light on recoil and report.

As always, any insights, advice or help greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
lazer
 

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There are a fair number of differences between the model 1889 and early 1894 Marlins, but the carriers are the same! Sounds like you either have a worn/bad rocker on your carrier, or the lever is worn where it contacts the rocker in the carrier. There is a small flat spring that tensions the rocker and this could be broken. If you take the carrier out, you should be able to push the rocker side to side, and it should return with help from the spring. If it is weak, or broken, it wont lift the cartridges.
A replacement can be made from a firing pin rear half spring, or you might try Wisners too. If you can't find one, try searching the Ebay auctions, as I see many Marlin parts there too. I will check my parts. I have a complete 1889 receiver, but hate to part it out. I may have a spare carrier, or parts. Drop me an email, and I'll get back to you.
 

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One other thing. The model 1894 carrier is slightly different, in that the cut in the carrier, (for the rocker) doesn't go completely through on later models. The carrier still interchanges.
As with all replacement parts, some minor fitting might be needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
MM93

Just wanted to update you on the fix, which apparently was relatively simple.

Took it back to the shop and the gunsmith fixed it in a couple of days. Cycles fine now and shoots well -- considering its 115 or 116 years old. Really enjoyed shooting it, too. I l like this caliber and the feel of the gun, which is long and slim. And, it seems to shoot where its aimed (always nice).

Originally, the shop report was it might take a while cause they have to find a part. Got called two days later saying it was ready. When I picked it up, the shop owner (also the gunsmith who is not particularly talkative) said the carrier (lifter) actually just needed some adjusting, perhaps the tension on that rocker spring. If so, I hope it stays adjusted!!

Thanks again for the advise and offer to help. It's reassuring to have someone around with your broad knowledge, experience and generosity.

lazer
 

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Great news Lazer! Glad it was such a quick and easy fix! Let us know how it shoots. when you get a chance!
 
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