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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the Camp 9 with a #21 Wolf spring: Will Brown Bear or Silver Bear steel cased ammo damage the rifle, in particular the extractor?
 

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Most folks agree the 16.5lb is fine for the Camp 9 while saving the 21lb for the 45acp.

Steel cases could conceivably damage the extractor or other internals yes. Camps are rare enough and dated enough that I don't see any on the range for direct experience. I'd use brass or aluminum for preference.
 

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Most American rifles use brass cases in a steel barrel. Russians use steel cases in a crome lined steel barrel because that is how they designed them to use steel cases. I would never use steel ammo in a camp 9 or 45.
 

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Mush brought up an excellent point. Chrome plating is HARD. The steel casing would do less damage to it than a typical steel barrel where the hardnesses are closer. Chrome plated chambers and bores are fairly common in military small arms. Rare in consumer grade stuff.

Thanks Mush. Completely missed that angle in my original reply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I appreciate it, guys! The LGS I bought the Model 9 from said it had been reworked with a new buffer, spring and trigger work. I can tell by feel that the trigger's been improved, but I think the buffer is OEM (it's yellowish) but in good condition. There's no way to know what spring is installed but today he said he "forgot" to give me a new Wolff spring that the gunsmith returned with the gun. It's a #21. I'm inclined to believe there's a 16.5 installed because it's got good resistance when I work the action and it throws the empty cartridge about a quarter mile. I'll probably change the buffer anyway and keep the spring as a spare.
 

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While this was NOT a Marlin Camp rifle, this past weekend I saw a ComBloc round (.556) jammed in the chamber of a >556 Sig. Probable cause-after many rounds with the barrel hot, the lacquer or whatever the steel case is coated with caused the empty to seal itself to the chamber. It took a steel rod and much hammering to dislodge it. The cleaning rod was actually damaged getting it out. Although we are not often in emergency situations, if this had been one it would have been fatal. Also there is the possibility to damage to a $1400 weapon in this case. Lesson learned for me, at someone else's expense. :'(
With Camp rifles becoming more scarce, I think I will only shoot good brass case ammo in mine. YMMV
Cecil
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I compared the two springs as I was cleaning the 9 today. The coils of the #21 spring are just a little bit farther apart than the spring now installed. I'm betting that's a 16.5. As I said, I'll keep that one in the gun unless my buffer takes a beating with +P loads. I'm staying away from the +P+.
 

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Mush said:
Most American rifles use brass cases in a steel barrel. Russians use steel cases in a crome lined steel barrel because that is how they designed them to use steel cases. I would never use steel ammo in a camp 9 or 45.
+1
 

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Another thought. If I remember right, aluminum cases (Blazer aluminum) aren't recommended for blowback actions either. The case isn't strong enough to reliably contain the charge as the action starts moving.
 

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When I bought my camp in 45 and shot as it came from the factory it ejected the brass at least a quarter mile. When I learned about the weak spring and replace it with a 21# it did not eject as far. I think it was because it slowed the the speed of the bolt. My advise is to buy a 16.5# spring from wolf to be sure you have the correct spring. Other wise you might risk cracking the stock.
 

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Marlin used the same mass (weight) of bolt in the 9 as the .45 - that's why the 9 does better w/a factory spring, but the 16.5 is better if shooting +P. I know since I load hot +P 9mm for my Camp, a nephew's 9mm KelTec and anothers Hi-Point 9mm carbines. actually the Hi-Point was 'requisitioned' by his wife as her 'shtf' weapon. accurate and reliable and little recoil even the +P loads.
I went to a 21 lb in my .45 as I shoot +P 185gr loads for 'shtf' and hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the comments, everyone. The rifle's chugging along pretty good using standard fodder. It seems to prefer 115 gr. factory loads, except Lawman, where I got 2 FTFs. When I go up to 124 gr and above the groups start to grow. I think the spring that's in now is good for standard and +P, so I'll keep it the way it is for now. Thanks again.
 

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New to this site and discussing the Camp 9 online. I bought mine new in the mid 1980's, and have never really shot it much. I decided to take it out last week while there was still some of the original buffer left. Nothing left but the pieces sitting on my desk now. New one on the way.

I had always thought that the Camp 9 was not built to handle +P loads, but I’m seeing where people are actually shooting +P loads in their Camp 9's.

On Gunblast.com, second paragraph on this page http://www.gunblast.com/Marlin-Camp9.htm He says you can shoot +P ammo in the Camp 9 if you replace the recoil spring with a #21 Wolf spring. Is this true? I thought the extra pressure in +P loads put extra pressure on the chamber/barrel, and that a stiffer recoil spring would have no effect on the pressure in the chamber/barrel. Can someone enlighten me on this subject?
 

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On page 1 of the Camp 9 manual in red lettering under the heading "Before You Use This Firearm"

Third "Warning" paragraph:

"Do not use ammunition designated "9mm +P+ in this rifle. The pressure generated by these cartridges may cause damage to the gun, or personal injury."

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I have seen +P but not +P+ ammo in 9mm. I have not felt the need to use even +P in my rifle.

I have a 16.5 pound Wolff spring and the rifle cycles fine with just 9mm ammo.
 

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Mush said:
On page 1 of the Camp 9 manual in red lettering under the heading "Before You Use This Firearm"

Third "Warning" paragraph:

"Do not use ammunition designated "9mm +P+ in this rifle. The pressure generated by these cartridges may cause damage to the gun, or personal injury."
I see that now, but for some reason, I remember it as +P ammo. There are times when +P ammo would be nice, but not for the range or plinking. So +P ammo is perfectly acceptable in a stock Camp 9? 8)

I have some +P+ for my Glock, as that will handle it just fine. Hot stuff, but not range ammo... For me anyway.

I doubt I have 500 rounds thru this gun in the last 20 years, but I am shooting more and more these days, but I’ll bet my stock spring is good to go for quite a while yet.
 

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Since the Camp is a direct blowback action, the bolt starts moving (and bringing the case along with it) as soon as the cartridge is fired.

Handguns that shoot 9mm and greater use a 'locked' action that generally moves the barrel along WITH the slide for a short distance before the barrel 'drops down' unlocking. The slide then continues on it's merry way bringing the casing with it.

The pressures generated by 9mm+ cartridges will rupture (expand it past it's elasticity point to it's breaking point) the casing if it wasn't contained by the steel chamber. The 'locking' action of handgun barrels ensures that during the time of maximum pressure, the cartridge is safely contained.

In a blowback action rifle, that just isn't so. To delay the rearward movement of the non-locking bolt, they design the bolt heavier to give it more inertia. By adding a heavier recoil spring, you also add a few milliseconds delay to the bolt moving rearward while the cartridge is generating high pressure. If the casing leaves the protection of the chamber while extreme presssure is being generated, someone will most likely be eating hot gas and brass shrapnel.

I would NOT use +P+ (+pressure+) cartridges in a Camp 9 with stock springs. The manual is absolutely correct there. I'd do +P with the 16.5# and would consider +P+ with a 21# spring, but that would definately be at the owner's own risk.
 

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Thanks for that explanation. Very helpful in helping me understand. I see 16.5# and 21# springs mentioned a lot, and it seems like I saw where the stock spring was even lighter than 16.5#, but I can not find that info again. What is the pound designation of the stock recoil spring in a Camp 9?
 

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I believe the stock Camp 9 AND 45 spring is 11lbs.

The main reasons for upgrading the spring are...
1. To lessen the blow of the bolt to the buffer and back of the receiver. Saves wear and tear on the buffer and stock. Camp stocks were famous for cracking just behind the receiver.
2. To stop expended brass from being tossed into the next county. Or at least the parking lot.
3. To reliably/safely shoot higher pressure ammo regularly.
 

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Good info. Stock spring 10 to 11 lbs. I wish I knew what I know now, I would have ordered a 16.5# spring last week when I ordered a new Blackjack buffer. The old one was nothing but pieces after shooting it a couple of weeks ago. Recoil did feel different. New buffer is laying here next to me, and I should have the time to install it and shoot it within the next week or so.

It doesn’t necessarily eject the empties very far as is, and it would seem like ejections would be even weaker with a stronger spring. Guess I’ll go ahead and order a 16.5 # spring, and pick up a box of +P ammo for the heck of it.

Has anyone ever painted the end of their recoil springs to make it easier to tell them apart? Recoil springs on Sig handguns have the ends painted certain colors for certain handguns to make it easy to identify the spring in your gun, and I just wonder if a little paint on the end of the Camp 9 springs would hurt anything.
 
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