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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a Marlin 39A (Original Golden) mfg 2002. I have an intermittent problem with failing to load bullets onto the ramp out of the tube, and hoping I can find help here.

Problem with the rifle is that it will quite often fail to lift a new bullet into the chamber. It appears that the lifter is failing to drop low enough, stopping just shy of the bottom, thus preventing the bullet from exiting the magazine tube. Note the following pics that show how it looks when failing and also when in proper functioning position. So the bullet is making it past the cartridge cutoff as it exits the mag tube, but it is not making it to the notch on the underside of the bolt because the front of the lifter assembly is too high and blocking the bullet.

Gun Trigger Cutting tool Tool Pliers
Gun Trigger Revolver Pliers Starting pistol


Note that typically the lifter assembly just falls to the bottom when the lever is opened, and you can hear it click when this happens. But with this rifle, it sometimes doesn't fall, so as you close the lever, the lifter is pushed down but then it catches on the small notch in the arm of the lever. When this happens, the lifter is not quite low enough to allow a bullet out of the tube. Usually, if I jiggle or play with the lever, I will hear the lifter assembly drop, then it'll lift the round as it should.

Even with rifle assembled, you can visually see that the lifter assembly is not quite descending to lowest position by inspecting the position of the lever. Here are pics of the lever as it appears when fully closed.

Gun Trigger Shotgun Revolver
Gun Firearm Trigger Shotgun Airsoft gun


So something is binding or preventing the lifter assembly from falling freely, so then when the arm of the lever pushes it down, it pushes it until the notch in the lever engages with the round extended part of the lifter assembly. Once these tow parts catch in this way, the lifter cannot drop down, so it will not allow a bullet out of the magazine tube.

Another pic of the internals, in case it helps. Note the gun is clean and lubed, and I find no burs or evidence of bent lifter, etc.



Any advice or ideas would be most helpful.
 

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Too start off, it looks like your lever screw is loose. Dos the lever retainer spring, hold down on the lever?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Too start off, it looks like your lever screw is loose. Dos the lever retainer spring, hold down on the lever?
Yes the lever screw is tight as I can get it.. there is some play of course in the lever, but I assumed that was proper.

And the spring presses against rounded part of lever, applying tension.

I've tightened the lever screw, spring screw, and the screw holding the lifter assy. and they are all tight.
 

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Can you take a picture, with the lever, all the way open? Of the insides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Can you take a picture, with the lever, all the way open? Of the insides.
Sure, and thanks so much for taking time to have a look. Here's a pic with the lever fully open and lift assy. in down position:

Revolver Cutting tool Starting pistol


Also, here is an album with all the pics, but I've also added a short movie clip so you can see the cycle of the action, and I try to demonstrate what I think is happening. Somehow, intermittently the lift assy. is binding in such a way that it does not fall to the bottom as you open the lever. I suppose this is much the same result you'd get if you try to cycle the lever with the rifle upside down? Anyway, hopefully the movie will help to illustrate.

https://plus.google.com/photos/1133...ms/6014857107014723953?authkey=CLWRi_Wk_eeLEg
 

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I will have to pull my Cowboy model, made in 2006. It has the same internals. I will see if I can duplicate what is happening to yours.
Another question, how tight do you tighten the takedown screw. It can make a lot of difference on how the gun works. I have a 1897 that is hand tight, and a 1964 39A, that I have too use a quarter, to tighten it as tight as I can get. And if I don't, I can hardly work the lever. So how the screw is tightened can make a difference. Might be worth a check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you again.

As for the takedown screw, I tighten fully -- so turn until it stops (I don't wrench it tight, but it's fully seated). To do this, I must use a tool (coin or screwdriver). I typically use a screwdriver with a large blade and place a cleaning patch on the head of the screw to minimize the potential for scratching.
 

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Thank you again.

As for the takedown screw, I tighten fully -- so turn until it stops (I don't wrench it tight, but it's fully seated). To do this, I must use a tool (coin or screwdriver). I typically use a screwdriver with a large blade and place a cleaning patch on the head of the screw to minimize the potential for scratching.
Well then try it with just a hand tight screw. Or somewhere inbetween. It all depends on how tight it was tightened by the person, that assembled it. Each gun can be different. It won't hurt to try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good idea, but sadly it didn't seem to help. I tried to fully seat, then back off half a turn, and retry. Then when it failed, back off half again, etc. retrying each time. Nothing seemed to help. So I broke it down, then reassembled but only tightened enough to get it to cycle, but it still failed after a couple of rounds. So I gradually tightened and kept retrying. Whatever is happening seems to happen regardless of how snug the takedown screw.

It seems that either the lifter is getting bound or pinched and not falling, and I'm not sure whether the lever may be playing a role there. When it is failing (refusing to pickup a round) I must pull/jiggle the lever and keep working it and eventually I'll hear the distinctive click of the lifter falling to the bottom. When I hear that, it'll then pickup the round as it should. But of course it will soon (or even immediately) fail again in the same way. Sometimes it'll cycle a dozen or more without failing, so it's not consistent. And in testing, I've tried to hold the rifle at the same angle and apply full even pressure on the lever so I'm being as consistent as I can -- yet it'll work fine once and fail the next time. When it fails, I'll cycle the lever a few times, and it doesn't seem to matter whether I pull to one direction or the other (lever has just a bit of play), it'll typically keep failing until I get that lifter to fall. I'm just not sure what makes that happens, or why it doesn't happen every time as it should.
 

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I can not get mine to do the same as your. It seems that the only thing that can be hanging on yours, it between the lever, and the slot behind the round piece on the front bottom, of the carrier.
I tried punching on the lever , like you did, but mine wouldn't snag on the carrier. Is it possible that the lever part, that comes in contact there, is slightly twisted?
 

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Looking at it closer, it is possible that the lever is binding on the squared off edge on the carrier, behind the round part. If that is it, you will have to hit that spot on the carrier, and round it off slightly.

Here is a picture of what I am talking about. Pliers Bolt cutter Cutting tool Tool
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, I think you are right. You can see in the first picture I posted where I point to this area where that squared off section of the lever catches on the lifter/carrier (just behind that round part, as you point out in your picture). I actually considered rounding the square edge of the lever part, but I hadn't closely inspected behind that round part of the carrier.

All that said, I'm still puzzled what is binding the lifter/carrier. Normally, it just falls down due to gravity. So the only way to catch or trap it like this would be cycle the lever down very, very fast. But something is intermittently binding it such that it's only going down as the lever pushes it down (so not falling on its own), then it catches in this section you've identified.

Even still, I suppose if I round the part you describe, then it'll be imposible for the carrier to stop short of bottom --the arm of the lever will push it to the floor if it has not fallen on its own.

Looking at it closer, it is possible that the lever is binding on the squared off edge on the carrier, behind the round part. If that is it, you will have to hit that spot on the carrier, and round it off slightly.

Here is a picture of what I am talking about. View attachment 104449
 

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It is the only thing left, that I can see as the problem. And rounding or shortening that area on the carrier is the only way that I would do it. It is just in the way, and is causing the binding when the parts aline in a certain way. But if you mess with the lever, that can change how it interacts with the round, spring loaded pin, on the carrier. Something you don't want to do.
Good luck
Tom
Oh, by the way.
Welcome to Marlin Owners.
 

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Looking at it closer, it is possible that the lever is binding on the squared off edge on the carrier, behind the round part. If that is it, you will have to hit that spot on the carrier, and round it off slightly.

Here is a picture of what I am talking about. View attachment 104449
Look at the rub marks on the internal aspect of the receiver. I'd file these totally flat, polish with 600 and finer wet/dry paper and use a marking powder to ensure that in the reassembly no undue pressure is created here.
 

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I agree with Blackbarry. It wouldn't hurt to disassemble the lever/carrier assy and do some polishing. There may also be some dried manufacturing lube behind there, gumming things up.
 

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This is very interesting and there are some great ideas here too! I'm watching this closely to see which idea does the trick. This forum and the folks here are amazing! Good luck!
 

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Put two winds of cotton string around the lever screw, oil it. Put the lever back on and see if that helps. If so take the string out and make a small shim washer out of a soda can and see if it will allow that much in there with it tight. If not you will need a shim washer that is thinner.

I've had two mounties that would do the same thing, and shimming the lever to eliminate the side to side play solved the problem on both of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I took a bit off that area behind the round part of the lifter/carrier. Started with a needle file, but that was tedious and after 4 or 5 re-assemblies to test and not really getting anywhere, I used a rotary tool on lowest speed and took great care. Just smoothed that corner and took enough that it was no longer possible for the corner of the lever to catch and prevent the lifter/carrier from falling to bottom.

I then cleaned surfaces on insides of receiver on both sides and on both sides of lifter/carrier and also on the arm of the lever that is inside the gun when assembled... did this with knife sharpening stone (from SpyderCo Sharpening system), then 800 grit sandpaper, then 400, then 0000 steel wool. All these areas seemed free of any burs to begin with, but I did so to smooth-up as much as possible (thanks Blackbarry and packard for tips here).

So with all this done, things are much better. Lever action is so much smoother, and I cycled 4 or 5 full mag. tubes flawlessly.

Thank you Schtoole for taking time to help out, for taking a pic of your rifle, and for the welcome. I really appreciate it.

It is the only thing left, that I can see as the problem. And rounding or shortening that area on the carrier is the only way that I would do it. It is just in the way, and is causing the binding when the parts aline in a certain way. But if you mess with the lever, that can change how it interacts with the round, spring loaded pin, on the carrier. Something you don't want to do.
Good luck
Tom
Oh, by the way.
Welcome to Marlin Owners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This is a great idea. I actually had tried a small nylon washer to take up any slack, but the washer I had was just a bit too thick so gun would not assemble properly. I think the steps I've taken so far have addressed the issue, but I think I'll try to find a suitable (very thin) washer or make one as you suggest, just to take up that tiny bit of slack. Indeed, I can see how this could be problematic since it could cause that corner section of the lever to get outside (or on top) of that round part of the lifter/receiver.

Great suggestion.

Put two winds of cotton string around the lever screw, oil it. Put the lever back on and see if that helps. If so take the string out and make a small shim washer out of a soda can and see if it will allow that much in there with it tight. If not you will need a shim washer that is thinner.

I've had two mounties that would do the same thing, and shimming the lever to eliminate the side to side play solved the problem on both of them.
 
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