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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I promised readers that I'd post a follow-up to the problem I reported with my new 1894C in 357 mag. My rifle failed in half-cock. The hammer went forward and the gun fired about 1 time out of 10. I sent it to Marlin who returned it and said they couldn't duplicate the problem. I posted a video link of the failure on this forum and mailed the gun back again. ( http://www.swranch.net/marlin1894c.html )

I asked for a new rifle or a refund if they couldn't guarantee a perfect repair. The repair department reviewed the gun and then moved it upstream to the "product evaluation" area. I received a reply this morning from Marlin.

We do not have any replacement rifles in stock to send out at this time. I will submit the paperwork to issue a refund ... you should receive a refund in 2-4 weeks. We apologize for any issues you experienced and any inconvenience this has caused.

I then asked if they were able to duplicate my reported half-cock safety failure. The responded:

The firearm is being tested. I do not have any further details at this time.

So, I'll be getting a refund check - not my first choice. I can't complain about Marlin's customer service; it's actually quite good and I'm satisfied with their process and think they are a good company. However, I didn't get an acceptable answer to my concern about the rifle. I love the gun but wonder if the failure is systemic to the 1894C or just a one-time event. By systemic I mean the half-cock will fail intermittently on more than just my gun.

I totally reject the argument put forward by some on this board that all lever action rifles can be manipulated to fail from the half-cock position. This is illogical and a near mechanical impossibility on a properly designed gun. I won't believe it without proof in the form of a video that someone can duplicate this problem on any newer rifle. No lever gun manufacturer in this litigious age would market a gun that could fail like that. You cannot get the lever to rest on the trigger cam in some mythical perfectly balanced position. The cam is too smooth and the spring is too powerful. If you disagree, then show proof. If you have questions, ask Marlin. I'm no gunsmith.

I now have to decide whether to buy another Marlin or look at the Rossi/Uberti or Henry models.

That's my report and that's all I know.
 

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Marlin in North Haven used a pneumatic test fixture to apply 45 lbs to the trigger to test the "half cock safety" on all lever action rifles..........Apparently, the "rem boys" don't use, or don't know how to use the test fixture.

I know this to be true, because I designed and built the test fixtures at Marlin in North Haven.........In fact, I built the same test fixture for H&R, and also a third, modified fixture for the X-7 line of bolt guns to test the safety in a little different fashion.

To have a rifle slip off the half cock hook within a 45lb load was rare.............the Moon and Stars would need to be in perfect alignment................Or, the fixture AND digital force gage incorrectly set up..........When it DID happen, the rifle would be returned to Assembly to have the hammer and sear changed out.....Ending the Problem.

Tom-AZ, Take the refund, and go find a good pre-owned rifle that suits you, or buy a donor rifle, and build, or have a 'smith build you exactly what you want.

Tom
 

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I find it quite interesting that several million of these rifles have been built over the last century, and no one else seems to have the same problem, and the company that built them can't even duplicate the condition as described. The odds of getting the one defective rifle out of many millions is..........well, do the math. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
186 Tmanbuckhunter said:
http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,88844.0.html

Here is your proof, end of story; this is a possibility on all rifles that use a hammer with a half cock notch.

Thank you for providing these pictures and showing exactly how the half-cock failure occurs. This is what I expected to see but it clarifies the problem for all of us. You also state:

Also note that the manufacturing quality and design of the half-cock notch and sear engagement surface plays a role in how likely this state of false half-cock is likely to occur with improper lowering of the hammer to half-cock

This is my point. Why do you continue to blame this on user error? How can the user know??? From the pictures, the hammer is balanced tip to tip on the half cock notch. This is a machining and quality control problem. It is not user error because you can't feel if it's properly seated. If the tips of both parts were properly machined and and rounded/polished then the chances of a failure would be reduced dramatically. My gun got stuck there one out of ten times. You can talk all you want about pressure on the trigger being released etc. It's technically accurate but meaningless. A new lever gun owner has to deal with the product as delivered. He's not a gunsmith. How would he know if he did it right and how can he be certain it's in the notch. He only knows the result when he pulls the trigger. Bang. Oops. Should have used my x-ray vision and known that hammer was in the wrong spot. Bad quality control equals systems failure be it in Marlin rifles or the space shuttle.

One more point. Marlin and people on this board agreed the gun should never be able to fire from the false half-cock position because there shouldn't be enough spring pressure on the hammer. Mine fired consistently. Clearly a quality control problem.

This is a defect that can be overcome by Marlin with more attention to production design and quality control. I do thank you for the excellent pictures and explanation. Now I'm moving closer to buying a Henry with its beautifully machined smooth brass trigger mechanism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tomray said:
Tom-AZ, Take the refund, and go find a good pre-owned rifle that suits you, or buy a donor rifle, and build, or have a 'smith build you exactly what you want.
Tomray, I believe you are correct. This is a quality control problem. I got a lemon but still have my toes. I should be thankful for that.
 

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Tom-AZ said:
Thank you for providing these pictures and showing exactly how the half-cock failure occurs. This is what I expected to see but it clarifies the problem for all of us. You also state:

Also note that the manufacturing quality and design of the half-cock notch and sear engagement surface plays a role in how likely this state of false half-cock is likely to occur with improper lowering of the hammer to half-cock

This is my point. Why do you continue to blame this on user error? How can the user know??? From the pictures, the hammer is balanced tip to tip on the half cock notch. This is a machining and quality control problem. It is not user error because you can't feel if it's properly seated. If the tips of both parts were properly machined and and rounded/polished then the chances of a failure would be reduced dramatically. My gun got stuck there one out of ten times. You can talk all you want about pressure on the trigger being released etc. It's technically accurate but meaningless. A new lever gun owner has to deal with the product as delivered. He's not a gunsmith. How would he know if he did it right and how can he be certain it's in the notch. He only knows the result when he pulls the trigger. Bang. Oops. Should have used my x-ray vision and known that hammer was in the wrong spot. Bad quality control equals systems failure be it in Marlin rifles or the space shuttle.

One more point. Marlin and people on this board agreed the gun should never be able to fire from the false half-cock position because there shouldn't be enough spring pressure on the hammer. Mine fired consistently. Clearly a quality control problem.

This is a defect that can be overcome by Marlin with more attention to production design and quality control. I do thank you for the excellent pictures and explanation. Now I'm moving closer to buying a Henry with its beautifully machined smooth brass trigger mechanism.
The proof is in the article written and in my video's. I think it's safe to say I have a lot more experience than you with marlin leverguns and how they operate. It's not that hard to tell when you're in a false halfcock and the sear on the trigger is resting on the halfcock notch. Instead of insulting the knowledge of our members that have a lot more experience than me and you combined who have also told you that it is user error, take your rifle apart and see for yourself how it operates to help you better understand that this is user error. In my videos I consistently put the firearm in a false halfcock. That is the only way for the hammer to fall if the hammer is not completely down. Please stop beating this dead horse. Either take apart your rifle and see for yourself, or take the information posted by our knowledgeable members here and learn how to operate your firearm, or get another rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
186 Tmanbuckhunter said:
The proof is in the article written and in my video's. I think it's safe to say I have a lot more experience than you with marlin leverguns and how they operate.
I don't care a twit how much experience you have. Don't pull the condescending bs stuff on me. You ain't gonna bluff this boy. I'm the consumer and expect something that works when I put down $600. Is that too much to ask? I have years of military service and have used them all but I don't claim to be an expert on guns. I've been an investigator of fraud cases and always got my man. I don't claim to be Sherlock Holmes. I look at the evidence and follow its trail. I repeat. A lever gun should not fail as described - period! If it fires from half-cock when the manufacturer says that's impossible then that is not user error.
 

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Tom-AZ said:
I don't care a twit how much experience you have. Don't pull the condescending bs stuff on me. You ain't gonna bluff this boy. I'm the consumer and expect something that works when I put down $600. Is that too much to ask? I have years of military service and have used them all but I don't claim to be an expert on guns. I've been an investigator of fraud cases and always got my man. I don't claim to be Sherlock Holmes. I look at the evidence and follow its trail. I repeat. A lever gun should not fail as described - period! If it fires from half-cock when the manufacturer says that's impossible then that is not user error.
That is right, a levergun will not fire from the halfcock position but if the user fails to put the rifle into the halfcock position properly and has an accident, that is their problem. We have told you time and time again, that this is user error and even provided you the proof that you have asked of us. We have gone out of our way to help you with this problem you are having.


This dead horse has been beaten too much, let's give it a proper burial.
 

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Tom-AZ said:
I don't care a twit how much experience you have. Don't pull the condescending bs stuff on me. You ain't gonna bluff this boy. I'm the consumer and expect something that works when I put down $600. Is that too much to ask? I have years of military service and have used them all but I don't claim to be an expert on guns. I've been an investigator of fraud cases and always got my man. I don't claim to be Sherlock Holmes. I look at the evidence and follow its trail. I repeat. A lever gun should not fail as described - period! If it fires from half-cock when the manufacturer says that's impossible then that is not user error.
Not one of YOUR videos showed you operating the gun as the manufacturer states. If your finger is on the trigger when you lower the hammer you are NOT doing it right, if your finger is OFF the trigger the sear will NEVER stop on the tip of the 1/2 cock notch. Your gun DID NOT fire from half cock, you arent putting it in half cock. Toms statement in no way validates your claim. The fixture he's talking about tested the guns in half cock position. Nobody is trying to bluff you, just trying to open your eyes. You say if the sear was made right this couldn't happen, well if the sears engagement surface was a knife edge (the only way to completely eliminate the possibility of getting stuck on the tip of the notch) then the trigger would be atrocious. In addition if that was the case you & people who operate the guns incorrectly would still have problems, only difference is the hammer wouldn't stop on the tip of the notch at all but simply slip by it.

Thank you for providing these pictures and showing exactly how the half-cock failure occurs. This is what I expected to see but it clarifies the problem for all of us. You also state:

Also note that the manufacturing quality and design of the half-cock notch and sear engagement surface plays a role in how likely this state of false half-cock is likely to occur with improper lowering of the hammer to half-cock
I noted that but thats not saying the guns unsafe, its simply an explination of HOW it can happen, in NO case can ANY of them fail to engage 1/2 cock if operated corectly

This is my point. Why do you continue to blame this on user error? How can the user know??? From the pictures, the hammer is balanced tip to tip on the half cock notch. This is a machining and quality control problem. It is not user error because you can't feel if it's properly seated. If the tips of both parts were properly machined and and rounded/polished then the chances of a failure would be reduced dramatically. My gun got stuck there one out of ten times. You can talk all you want about pressure on the trigger being released etc. It's technically accurate but meaningless. A new lever gun owner has to deal with the product as delivered. He's not a gunsmith. How would he know if he did it right and how can he be certain it's in the notch. He only knows the result when he pulls the trigger. Bang. Oops. Should have used my x-ray vision and known that hammer was in the wrong spot. Bad quality control equals systems failure be it in Marlin rifles or the space shuttle.
The user can know with certainty that the hammer is engaged in the 1/2 cock notch by following the instructions. If the tips of both parts were rounded then the gun would be unsafe because the hammer would be very likely to slip from full cock. This is a VERY simple design that you cant seem to be bothered with trying to understand. IF your finger is NOT on the trigger then the sear is riding the hammer as it is lowered & can ONLY go into the notch, the ONLY way that the tip of the notch can contact the tip of the sear is if your finger is still on the trigger.

One more point. Marlin and people on this board agreed the gun should never be able to fire from the false half-cock position because there shouldn't be enough spring pressure on the hammer. Mine fired consistently. Clearly a quality control problem.
Umm, no,, Marlin said your gun CANT be fired from half cock. Everyone agrees that a gun shouldn't be able to do so, the only thing in dispute is IF your gun was in fact in half cock or not, my beliefe is it was not.

This is a defect that can be overcome by Marlin with more attention to production design and quality control. I do thank you for the excellent pictures and explanation. Now I'm moving closer to buying a Henry with its beautifully machined smooth brass trigger mechanism.
Thats funny, for one thing the Henry is about a direct copy of the Marlin & for another its hammer/sear engagement is steel not brass & can be hung up in exactly the same way. If anything it will be more dangerous to YOU because there is no hammer block & all you have to depend on it the 1/2 cock, if you can manage to figure it out. ::)
 

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Tom-AZ said:
Now I'm moving closer to buying a Henry with its beautifully machined smooth brass trigger mechanism.
Henry lever actions have BRASS trigger mechanisms? Well, that's news to me and the manufacturing engineer that I know at Henry. He's been there almost 40 years and to the best of his knowledge and research, they did not/ do not have a brass trigger.....components are steel.

Tom-AZ....clearly you don't want to accept the proper procedure to handle a firearm with a 1/2 cock notch safety. That said, I recommend that you stay away from lever guns from Marlin, Winchester, Henry, etc.

Dan
 

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I meant Uberti has a brass receiver - not Henry. My mistake.

Anyway, I can see I'll make no headway on this board. You guys can't seem to understand that a product failure should be near impossible. The very fact that others can place the gun into a false half-cock means a novice or a youth can easily make that "mistake" too. You guys won't believe your senses until Marlin does a recall.

I demand quality and reliability. If you guys want to make excuses for the poor quality control on Marlin's triggers that's ok with me. It's like the 1960s Corvair when Ralph Nader warned it was a death trap and he was berated by Detroit and D.C and Chevy lovers. He was right and is still hated for it. By the way, I always vote for him and think he's a great guy. I hope he runs again. He can count me in for one of his 300 votes.

Anyway, I'm done posting on this topic. I was sent an email and warned I have to suck up or my posting privs will be turned off. Yeah, let's keep things "civil" which means agreeing with the party line. I was told my opinion is irrelevant because the guys with 5 stars after their posting name are the experts and disagreeing on basic common sense mechanical issues is insulting to them. It's sort of like disagreeing with George Bush on his wars. Dan Rather said he knew the WMD story was BS but was afraid to speak up because he might lose his job. Thousands of Americans died and one million Iraqis and what did it get us. It's called a lack of courage to speak the truth and it's here in abundance. Goodbye.
 

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Then winchester, uberti, rossi, and everyone else who makes lever action rifles needs to also put out a re-call for their firearms or put a warning label written in big bold letters on the receiver "LEARN HOW TO USE THE HALFCOCK FEATURE PROPERLY".

This thread is locked, before it turns into further crap.
 

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Tom-AZ said:
I meant Uberti has a brass receiver - not Henry. My mistake.
Henry has a brass reciever too, what you said was a nice smooth brass trigger mechanism. Nobody makes a gun with a brass trigger.
Anyway, I can see I'll make no headway on this board. You guys can't seem to understand that a product failure should be near impossible. The very fact that others can place the gun into a false half-cock means a novice or a youth can easily make that "mistake" too. You guys won't believe your senses until Marlin does a recall.
You can make headway if you try. A novice or youth will have no trouble with a half cock design so long as they use it correctly. The fact is that useing ANY gun with a half cock incorrectly can cause exactly your problem regardless of who made it. Used properly it IS nearly impossible.

I demand quality and reliability. If you guys want to make excuses for the poor quality control on Marlin's triggers that's ok with me. It's like the 1960s Corvair when Ralph Nader warned it was a death trap and he was berated by Detroit and D.C and Chevy lovers. He was right and is still hated for it. By the way, I always vote for him and think he's a great guy. I hope he runs again. He can count me in for one of his 300 votes.
We are all for quality control & reliability, you have not demonstrated that in this case quality is the issue.

Anyway, I'm done posting on this topic. I was sent an email and warned I have to suck up or my posting privs will be turned off. Yeah, let's keep things "civil" which means agreeing with the party line. I was told my opinion is irrelevant because the guys with 5 stars after their posting name are the experts and disagreeing on basic common sense mechanical issues is insulting to them. It's sort of like disagreeing with George Bush on his wars. Dan Rather said he knew the WMD story was BS but was afraid to speak up because he might lose his job. Thousands of Americans died and one million Iraqis and what did it get us. It's called a lack of courage to speak the truth and it's here in abundance. Goodbye.
Thats a stretch. The number of stars under a name means nothing. Experience & a working knowledge of the mechanism does. We have demonstrated clearly that ANY gun with a simple sear/hammer/half cock mechanism can be misused to cause the problem you described. You yourself have said it does not happen all the time. Since you didn't take it apart & post pictures that might explain why yours is different, its safe to say that since it only happens on ocasion & other times functions fine you must be doing something wrong sometimes. There is a huge difference between differing political opinions this discusion and has nothing to do with an unwillingness to speak out. We have been speaking the truth since the start & you refuse to hear it. I have no job to lose & nobody will die because I understand something you cant be bothered with understanding.

The cause of this issue is inherent in the design, not just Marlin but Uberti & ANY other traditional lever action. The reason its been around so long is its really a non issue if you do things correctly. The reason most f them now have extra safties is to prevent those who cant follow directions from having mishaps. At any rate I'm not insulted, frustrated perhaps but not insulted. There really is nothing to dissagree on if common sense is used. Its not about opinion, its just how it is, if your finger is off the trigger (as it should be unless you are about to fire) then nothing can make the sear go anyplace but into the half cock notch, regardless of the shape of the tip of that notch. Only when something prevents the sear from riding the hammer can the sear ever come into contact with the tip of that notch and nothing but pressure on the trigger will do that. Given the fact that you returned the gun & they found nothing wrong I think its safe to say that the hammer is made correctly, a few pictures from you would have made a big difference. Videos of the assembled gun being operated dont tell a good story, pictures of defective parts do.

Anyway, if you feel the action type is unsafe then you shouldn't use it, but be aware that changing manufacturers wont matter, they all work exactly the same & have the same flaws. :)
 
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