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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few months ago I purchased a 1991 Marlin 881. I took it out today, for the first time, to sight it in. I know months later and I am just now shooting it.
Anyway, I put 10 in the tube and replaced the inner tube, worked the bolt only to find that the cartridge lifter is not lifting the rounds, so the the bolt cannot chamber them. It appears that the lifter stays up when I work the bolt.
Any thoughts? Maybe a spring issue?

On a side note, I also purchased an 883 a few months ago and shot that today for the first time. Happy to say that it functioned flawlessly.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

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Take the action off of the stock and take some pictures of the cartridge lifter and spring. Maybe we can see something out of place if we can examine it with the pictures. I don't have an 881, but the parts diagrams show it uses the same lifter assembly as the 81DL, which I do have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Marvlin, thanks for the reply. I did actually figure out what the problem is. The piece that is screwed to the bottom of the action, that the cartridge lifter is pinned to and pivots on, is cracked. There is a crack on either side of the screw hole. That crack enables the piece to move ever so slightly when under spring pressure so that the cartridge lifter does not move down far enough to allow a round into the feed throat. Hope you understood that explanation.
I tried to JB weld that piece. It is some sort of cast metal and did not hold. Luckily, Numrich has new ones for about 12 bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, I know it's been a few months, but I just found time to mess with the 881 again. I replaced the broken piece with a new one from Numrich. Now the feeding is inconsistent. One round will be nose up to high and catch on the flat spring on top of the barrel. The next may be rim up and nose down. And it extracts but drops the empty case in the receiver and does not eject.
Any suggestions? Thank you.
 

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Check the spacing between the feed lips of the cartridge carrier. They can get bent out after a lot of use. The clearance between them should allow the bullet to rise up, but not have any sloppiness. I adjust mine to have just the slightest touch against the sides of the cartridge. If the feed lips are too far apart, the front of the bullet will rise too high.
Make sure that the cartridge lifter assembly is centered around the end of the magazine tube when it is in the lower feed position. If the cartridge assembly is off center, it can rub on the magazine tube and affect the lifter. Disconnect the spring and move the cartridge lifter up and down to make sure it doesn't hang up on the magazine tube.

Make sure that the left extractor does not rub on the cartridge lifter when the bolt is moved backwards. If a new extractor was installed at some point, it will not work properly. It needs to be trimmed slightly to work right. The original extractor had a slightly different shape.

(click on picture for larger view)
Product Auto part
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Marvlin, Thank you very much for these tips! I will take it apart and check it out, hopefully later today. :top:
I will say that the 881 seems very accurate. I only shot ten rounds, and probably not shooting my best being frustrated with the feeding issue. But the 881 put all ten rds of CCI SV in a group under 5/8" at 50 yds.
That was pleasing. :smile:
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Marvlin, YOU THE MAN!! Had a chance today to look at the 881. With the bolt open I held the pistol grip and with my thumb I slowly pushed the bolt forward. I could feel it drag when it got to the ejector. The ejector was bent out ever so slightly (could see it looking straight down at it) and the left extractor would rub on it. Now my ejector looks different then yours and I will try to post a picture. I think that ejector was out of alignment just enough to miss the case rim or not contact enough of it to eject it out the port. Also, I could fit an empty case down between the feed lips so they were letting the rounds pop nose up and to high. I squeezed them together slightly until that case would not freely go between them. It was dark out so I couldn't test fire but I did load 10 rounds and slowly work the bolt, chamber, extract, eject, chamber, extract, eject until the mag tube was empty. Worked great! Looks like it just needed a tune up! :party:
I will try live fire tomorrow.

Gun Airsoft Revolver Air gun


Thanks again Marvlin!!

Please ignore the sideways photos.
 

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Your welcome.
Been down the same road, and I can't tell you how many hours I spent trying to figure out what was happening. Like everything else in life, it is just another learning experience to toss onto the pile of knowledge. I am stubborn too. I'm going to figure out why my dang fangled rifle won't eject no matter how long it takes. Only took me three days to finally see the daylight. But the satisfaction of licking that stupid problem is worth it, every time I shoot the rifle now.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Took the 881 out today. Only ran 25 rounds thru it, had 3 rounds squeeze thru the feed lips and get a touch to high to properly chamber. Going squeeze the feed lips just a touch more and I think it'll be great.
Was dinging steel at 50 with the open sites. Man that was fun!
I really like this little rifle! :top:
 
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