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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy folks,

I have an original M1889 Marlin (mfg. 1890) in .32-20 that I use for cowboy matches. Last spring it developed a serious feed problem. The carrier/ "elevator" that is supposed to raise the next round up to the mouth of the chamber stopped working. When the first round ejected the second got stuck below the chamber and was crushed as I closed the lever. This put an immediate stop to my turn at the stage. The only way the next rounds would load is if the rifle were turned counter clockwise so it would roll into position when the lever closes the bolt (not handy while on the clock).

Anyway, does anyone know what part/spring is likely to be bent/broken? It's been with a local gunsmith (for the past 9 mos.) who can't figure out which part to replace or where to get it. He told me he went to the Shot Show and asked around, but couldn't get an answer. It is disassembled, so I could take and send a digital image of the parts to help with identifying what needs to be replaced.

Any help you can lend would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Theres a little rocker on the carrier that catches the lever as it comes up & thats what lifts the lifter. Theres no spring on the rocker in an 89 so it might just be stuck?

Post the pictures. I guess the rocker coulda wore out or broken. Their pretty simple actions.

I'm trying to put an 89 together too. Just need a barrel, mag tube & hardware.
I was thinking of making it a 38 special but if I find a 32/20 barrel that would settle it. It was originally 32/20.
How'd you like the gun before this happened?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I should have done a search on "1889" before posting my probelm. It looks like it has come up 3 or 4 times in the last few years. I decided to do what one of the other guys recommended. I printed out the thread of replies and mailed 'em to the gunsmith (cheaper than driving there and back during my lunch break). According to the other thread, either the tension needs adjustment or the flat spring under the roller is worn out. Hopefully, my guy will understand what's needed after reading the replies.

My rifle has a Ballard made octagon bbl. that made it very easy for Randall Redman in Omak, WA to reline. I was coming up on my 3rd cowboy action match season when the feed problem came along. After the reline I could not miss any of the rifle targets unless I was going speed crazy. My boys (9 yrs. old last summer) had no problem firing at the 50 yd. range and like shooting it almost as much as shooting my Stevens Favorite rifles.

If you can't find an original bbl. to reline, you might get a modern made Badger Barrel or Green Mountain ocatagon. LeeRoy Wisner (http://www.wisnersinc.com/) makes a certain number of repro parts for 1889s and other Marlins. You might be able to get a mag tube for any of the old models and modify it to fit.
 

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The Mag tubes easy, Wisners sells long ones I believe & Numrich had them last I looked. I can cut it down & either fit it myself or let my smith do it. A modern 94 barrel would work too with a little modification. Theres a tab on the top of the newer guns over the chamber the old ones didn't have other than that they screw right in.
I thought about a green mountain barrel but thats a last resort.

What flat spring are you talking about? Theres no spring under the rocker on an 89. It just flops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm going off the forum post entitled "1889 shoots good but won't cycle without TLC" dated Tue May 31, 2005 6:53 pm with a reply by marlinman93 where he says:

"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."

Not having my rifle in hand nor having disassembled it, I can't verify his description. My plan is to go over to the shop next week when the gunsmith is in and look at it with him. I am trying to remain in a state of guarded optomism (in case it is some other problem).
 

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I think its either the rocker or the lever where it engages it. MM93 musta been mistaken as the 89 for sure has no spring in the rocker. Mines still in pieces & I tinker with it dern near every evening. Aint no spring.
The angles cut into the ricker & lever keep them in engagement until the lifters in line with the chamber, at that point the angle on the lever changes & lets the rocker move into the lifter out of engagement with the lever & the lifter is free to fall.
 

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My brother had a similar problem with his 1889 and the problem turned out to be a loose loading gate.

Just a thought and easy to fix if the screw is not stripped.
 
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