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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

I'm new to lever guns and new to the forum but have enjoyed reading it.

Thought I found a good deal on a used, pre-safety 1894 ser#260xxxxxx. Bought it, fired a few rounds of .44 mag and .44 special and all was ok.

Loaded up 9 rounds of .44 special and tried to cycle them through the action. Locked up tighter that any firearm jam I ever had. Round was half in and half out of the mag tube. Looking on this forum saw the posts about the dreaded Marlin Jam and it's fixes. Cleared the live rounds out by removing the lever but boogered up a couple of screws doing it as I didn't have the right screwdrivers but did not want to keep the rifle around with live rounds jammed in it.

Went to the links about the Dreaded Marlin jam and I think I want to go the new carrier assembly route and have the gun gone over and put it functional, reliable shape.

Should I find a local gunsmith to do the work or send it to the factory? Does the "new style" Marlin carrier eliminate the "Marlin Jam"? Can anyone tell me what year this rifle (ser# 260xxxx) was made? Any other advice on making this rifle as reliable as possible?

I really like this rifle design/envelope but this has been very disappointing.

Thanks
 

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Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

Before you make any decisions, take some dummy rounds in .44 Mag and see if they will cycle thru.

Here's the deal. Your timing appears to be better set for longer rounds like the .44 Mag. Putting shorter .44 Spl rounds in it will cause that jam.

In my opinion, that rifle should run .44 Spl and .44 Mag without any issues. But, I'm afraid until something is done to correct the timing, those shorter rounds are gona continue to be an issue.

Now here is the good news: if your timing is off because someone has polished the ramp on the bottom of the carrier and removed too much metal, then a new carrier would probably solve your problem.

BUT, if the timing is off because someone has been 'tweaking' the snail cam on the lever and removed to much off it, then your issue would be with the lever and not the carrier. But (and not to confuse you) building up the ramp alittle can counter the snail cam situation, assuming that is your problem.

Have a knowledgable gunsmith check it out. Make sure its someone who is familiar with how the Marlin timing works.
AND, give them a couple of your dummy rounds in both .44 Spl and .44 Mag.

Good luck.


..........Widder
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

Widowmaker said:
Before you make any decisions, take some dummy rounds in .44 Mag and see if they will cycle thru.

Here's the deal. Your timing appears to be better set for longer rounds like the .44 Mag. Putting shorter .44 Spl rounds in it will cause that jam.

In my opinion, that rifle should run .44 Spl and .44 Mag without any issues. But, I'm afraid until something is done to correct the timing, those shorter rounds are gona continue to be an issue.

Now here is the good news: if your timing is off because someone has polished the ramp on the bottom of the carrier and removed too much metal, then a new carrier would probably solve your problem.

BUT, if the timing is off because someone has been 'tweaking' the snail cam on the lever and removed to much off it, then your issue would be with the lever and not the carrier. But (and not to confuse you) building up the ramp alittle can counter the snail cam situation, assuming that is your problem.

Have a knowledgable gunsmith check it out. Make sure its someone who is familiar with how the Marlin timing works.
AND, give them a couple of your dummy rounds in both .44 Spl and .44 Mag.

Good luck.


..........Widder
Thanks Widder. I think you're spot on. In the time between my post and your reply, loaded it up with .44 mag, went outside and cycled it and it did just fine. Tried .44 special again and it bound up first round (8 rounds in the tube). It will cycle single .44 special rounds loaded one at a time thru the loading gate. Load more than one .44 special in the tube at a time and it jams.

Looking at the lever it looks like the "nose" of the snail cam is "factory" but there are indications on the "hump" of the cam that someone may have been filing or trying to shape it. Maybe that's why it was traded ???.

Bought the gun as a companion to a .44mag handgun for back country trips so I want max versatility especially the ability to feed .44 special rounds.

Thanks again
 

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Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

CCO45ACP:

Give me a shout sometime.

I'm at 865/984-4455
I'm in E.TN on EST.

I can tell you how to help get it runnin for both the .44 Spl. and .44 Mag.

Best regards


..........Widder
 

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Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

I would try to get it fixed locally. You'll have a much faster turnaround and since it's not under warranty, there's no reason to get the factory involved.
GH1 :)
 

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Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

Sounds like Widder is pretty much on the money. A new lifter might well fix it. I'm not sure when they changed to what they call the improved lifter with a button instead of a rocker or how that could effect the letting in two issue though.
Thing you need to remember though is it might ONLY feed the 44 ammo you tried out. Useing cartridge length to keep the next round in the tube is very problematic due to large variences in COAL from brand to brand & bullet to bullet. Matter of fact SOME 44 mags will be shorter than some 44 specials. The only real difference is brass so you couldn't drop a 44 mag into a 44 special. For instance Hodgdons has 1.5 to 1.7 for 44 Mag. So I'd imagine that if 1.5 worked in your gun then 1.7 would leave a bit of bullet still in the tube while if 1.7 worked then 1.5 would have 2/10" of the second round protruding onto the lifter & causing a Marlin jam by letting in two.
Alliant has the 44 special starting at 1.49", very very close to the minimum OAL given on Hodgdons for the 44 mag and they have the max for 44 special at 1.58, meaning that for all intents & purposes the two calibers have the same OAL. Just the special bullets stick out of the case more & the mag bullets are seated a bit deeper. Alliant starts at 1.59 in the mag & stops at 1.665". This should make it obvious IMO that saying 44 specials dont work but 44 mags do, or the opposite, isn't really the case at all. The truth of the matter is you found a load thats just the right length regardless of the caliber. The same applies to 357/38 special. The completed rounds fall between roughly the same extemes, too close to say one works but the other dont. The truth is it should feed empty cases from the tube flawlessly. I'm not sure how many Marlins I own, around 25 or so, every single one will feed empty brass all day long, it shouldn't be hard to fix because its how they were designed to work.

The first thing I'd try was a new or different lifter. If that didn't fix it theres things you can do. The problem IMO is the lifter simply aint coming up enough to cut off the mag when you open the action. PJ has a fix that could be used to raise he lifter slightly by epoxying a piece of steel to the bottom of the lifter where the snail cam pushes it up. You can also bend the lifter just a bit so it sits higher. Your gun was made in 1974.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

Yukon and Leverdude. Thanks for the info. Leverdude, I have some Buffalo Bore 305 gr. .44mag. Will check with those. I have a sneaking suspicion that the cartridge on the lifter is the only thing holding the next cartridge in the tube as you pointed out.
 

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Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

Look at this.http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,46390.0.html
I have a retired gunsmith friend that worked for another gunsmith back in the 70's that was a Marlin warrenty station back then.He said they bent the carrier on hundreds of 1894 Marlins.The way I did mine was to take the carrier out,lay it on a flat surface upside down.I took a dial caliper and used it as a depth gauge,measured from the tip of the hump to the flat surface.Turned it over and laid it on two pieces of square stock,one at each end.Took a big screw driver and laid the blade across the carrier.Then smacked the screwdriver blade with a ballpeen hammer.Put the carrier back on the flat surface and measured again,no difference,smacked it a little harder.Still no difference,smacked it harder,moved.010 of an inch or so.Put the carrier back in and haven't had any trouble since.All in all it took 30 min. or so.
 

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Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

For me personaly I would take it to the gunsmith or send it for warranty work rather then deal with the stress. But if your confident enough do it your self. I took the radius off my cam the day I got it, it's still new considering how long it takes for the problem to arise but if it dose I'll order a new carrier and take it to the shop. But I still have four urs left on my warranty so I'm not worried
 

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Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

Once in a while it's simply the mag tube is dirty causing a slight lag when the lifter is coming up. Clean the tube first but include the rest of the gun with a detailed cleaning and re lube. This sometimes works miracles but is the most overlooked problem guns can have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

swany said:
Once in a while it's simply the mag tube is dirty causing a slight lag when the lifter is coming up. Clean the tube first but include the rest of the gun with a detailed cleaning and re lube. This sometimes works miracles but is the most overlooked problem guns can have.
Tried to get the mag plug out but no luck. Removed the retaining screw but plug wasn't budging. Didn't want to do a lot of prying for fear of buggering the plug or tube.

Any suggestions?
 

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Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

It should come out with the screw removed but sometimes they hang up a bit, especially if its been there for 34 years. You can remove the whole tube pretty easy. Take off the front sight ramp, then remove the forward barrel band screw & slip the band off the muzzle. Next remove the rear band screw & the tube will probably slip right out with a little persuasion. If it wont, slide the rear band forward carefully off the wood and barrel and then gently pull the tube & barrel apart. Be careful if the tube cap screw is still out so the cap dont get launched, I'd probably leave it in if I was pulling the tube.
 

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Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

I had a Marlin .41 Mag that had feeding issues, and I shipped it out to the factory and they had it fixed in less than a week and sent it back to me. No more feeding issues. That was back about 2 years ago.
 

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Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

Does the pre-safety models have a stud under the barrel that fits thru a hole at the end of the mag tube?

If so, your end cap won't come off until you pull the mag tube away from the end of the barrel enough for the end cap to come off that stud. Then, your end cap should pull out of the end of the mag tube.


..........Widder
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

Widowmaker said:
Does the pre-safety models have a stud under the barrel that fits thru a hole at the end of the mag tube?

If so, your end cap won't come off until you pull the mag tube away from the end of the barrel enough for the end cap to come off that stud. Then, your end cap should pull out of the end of the mag tube.


..........Widder
Didn't see one but will check more closely. Thanks
 

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Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

Widowmaker said:
Does the pre-safety models have a stud under the barrel that fits thru a hole at the end of the mag tube?

If so, your end cap won't come off until you pull the mag tube away from the end of the barrel enough for the end cap to come off that stud. Then, your end cap should pull out of the end of the mag tube.


..........Widder
Nope. The 1894's all have a band up front. They only use the stud on guns without the band. The 1894 SHOULD imo have the stud, all the other guns with rifle furniture have a stud by the muzzle.

On another note I need to change my earlier instructions. I forgot that the 1894s had the forend tip & no band. Everything else is the same except you need to pull the two screws in the forend tip and slide the tip forward a bit to get the wood off. That said the tube may well come right out when you take out the front band screw.
 

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Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

I tried to clean my mag tube yesterday, it was spotless but it was actully really easy to take off. That's what I love about my 1894cb it's so easy to diss/reassemble
 

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Re: "Dreaded Marlin Jam" Fix: Local Gunsmith vs. Factory Service

I'm new to lever guns and new to the forum but have enjoyed reading it.

Thought I found a good deal on a used, pre-safety 1894 ser#260xxxxxx. Bought it, fired a few rounds of .44 mag and .44 special and all was ok.

Loaded up 9 rounds of .44 special and tried to cycle them through the action. Locked up tighter that any firearm jam I ever had. Round was half in and half out of the mag tube. Looking on this forum saw the posts about the dreaded Marlin Jam and it's fixes. Cleared the live rounds out by removing the lever but boogered up a couple of screws doing it as I didn't have the right screwdrivers but did not want to keep the rifle around with live rounds jammed in it.

Went to the links about the Dreaded Marlin jam and I think I want to go the new carrier assembly route and have the gun gone over and put it functional, reliable shape.

Should I find a local gunsmith to do the work or send it to the factory? Does the "new style" Marlin carrier eliminate the "Marlin Jam"? Can anyone tell me what year this rifle (ser# 260xxxx) was made? Any other advice on making this rifle as reliable as possible?

I really like this rifle design/envelope but this has been very disappointing.

Thanks
[/quote]



I reread this thread again and got my 44 out and tried some 44 spl's in it.They hung up.I took it apart and smacked the carrier again,got another .015 or so bend.Put it back together it was better,loaded 11 and it hung up the first 3,after that it spit them all out.Mine seems to hang up because the short length allows the cartridge to become canted as they come out of the tube into the receiver .The rim gets on top of the carrier and is pushed up against the receiver.I don't think very much of the 44 spl case is still in the mag tube and the bullet is not long enough to keep the cartridge straight after the case is mostly is out of the mag tube and in the receiver before it gets stopped by the carrier. I had to push the rear of the cartridge down before it would go back in the mag tube.The over all length for my 44 spl's with a Lee 200 gr RNFP is 1.410,these hung up.The 44 spl's loaded with 240 gr XTP's are 1.490,they went thru without a hitch.The over all length for my 44 mag silhouette load is 1.575 with a 200 gr.RNFP that comes from Dardas cast bullets.The load I hunt with is 1.710 long. In the Marlin owner's manual that came with my 44 it says it will function with specials and mags that are between 1.535 and 1.610.It also says that 44 specials with cast bullets lead up the front of the chamber,mine sure did.But no leading with 44 mags.I think your carrier needs to be bent a tiny bit.
 
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