Marlin Firearms Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Model 1898 does not have a steel tube inside of the forend. I tried cleaning the inside of the wood, but it was quite splintery. The old oil and crud now makes the wood drag on the magazine tube and leave deposits on it. Any suggestions on how to remedy this situation? Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,243 Posts
Hi Roundsworth,
The later one's like the 19 and 19G didn't have the inner steel tube either. I've got three of them, and one had the similar problem. I simply cleaned it as well as possible, and then sanded the inside with a piece of round wood dowell wrapped in sandpaper. I used 240 grit, and it left the inside smooth and free of burrs.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
150 Posts
Marlinman

I know this post was a while back, but I was wondering if you -- and anyone else for that matter -- might care to comment on the wisdom of shooting 1898s, which I understand had a reputation as a "widowmaker" because of a design flaw.

My understanding, however, is that they were manufacturered in various model numbers over several decades. So how bad could they be?

Basically, I wonder if yours are collector pieces or do you shoot them on occassions?

What advise would you give regarding the acquisition of one (certainly look neat) and what would be a reasonable price for one in good condition?

Thanks much,
Lazer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
There were a number of improvements to the Marlin shotguns over the years. They can be safely fired, and it is best if one stays with the light loads such as trap or dove. The high brass field & short magnums are to be strictly avioded.

Price-wise, it's not too tough to find a shooter in the 200 range. For further reading on the safety of these and checking for same, see also:
http://www.marauder.homestead.com/files/Marlin98s.htm

My shotguns are like my other Marlins - some are shooters and some are scarce enough or in such good condition that I do not care to diminish their value by additional wear. SW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just picked up a couple of boxes of Winchester AA
'Featherlite' loads. The muzzle velocity is around 980 FPS and recoil is drastically reduced. These loads should save a lot of wear and tear on the old girl! I think 'Hogger hit the nail right on the head in another post when he said the 1st variation 1898 was 'rife with flaws'. There was no question of Marlin quality, but the design left a bit to be desired. I shoot mine during grouse season. I run a handful of shells through it, but I don't use it for trap and skeet every weekend! I get some strange looks when I see other hunters out in the woods.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
150 Posts
Thanks Hogger and Roundsworth, especially for the website which is excellent.

Followup: Given that a gun checks out and is shootable based on the safety criteria, is there any reason it shouldn't be used with light, possibly even handloaded, loads for weekend cowboy action shooting, say 30 to 50 shells per session?

Most folks use the Winchester 97 slide action, which is just as old. Some even slick them up for faster firing.

Occassionally, I am told, a shooter favors the 1898, but they seem to be avoided like the plague even though there are a lot of them out there. I actually think the '98 is a better looking shotgun than the '97, but I guess the reputation has stuck over the years because of those first model flaws.

Any comments welcome,
lazer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, the AA Featherlite shells actually produce less recoil. Unless the grouse have developed supersonic speed, the 980 FPS velocity should not be a hindrance, either. The 1st variation has a tendency to lock the bolt in the fully open position if you don't stroke the action right. Again, that was a design flaw. Quick follow-up shots need to be chambered smoothly, without any choppy or half-stroking of the forearm. I loaded 4 rounds in my gun today and fired them quickly, not quite 'full auto', but smartly. The gun weighs less than my new Model 410 and is a joy to carry in the woods. Good luck, Lazer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
I haven't actually done it with an 1898, but I have put 50 - 100 light loads through a model 24 in an evening of dove shooting. No negative results for the gun.... I still can't hit doves worth beans, though! :? SW
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
150 Posts
Nebr,

Keep on shootin'. I've learned that the odds are with me, the more I pull that trigger! Sooner or later, something pops into my sights.

Thanks Roundsworth. Think I might need some of dat lady luck as I am about to engage in a venture to reburbish various model exposed hammer Marlins for potential cowbody action shooting.

I'll try to keep you fellas posted on how they work out.


Thanks,
lazer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
Lotsa Luck! I carried my 42 to a local cowboy shoot and was told fanatically I could not shoot it in the match for safety's sake. I turned around and sold it and now wish I had not. They are truly great guns. moodyholler
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
150 Posts
Hey Moodyholler,

Sorry to hear that. I agree that they are great guns and I am looking forward to this project. But I thought SAS rules allow the use of 1898s and successor models of the same design.

The Winchester 1897 is not exactly the same design, but has some of the same safety issues of an exposed hammer design. In fact, I have heard several reports where slick up '97s were being shot so fast that the bolt sometimes did not lock before the trigger was pulled and, like in those early 1898, the bolt blew out endangering or injuring the shooter or others.

I do believe under SAS rules you should have been allowed to shoot the '98 if you could demostrate the particular gun was safe. Wonder is some compeetitors were just trying to disenfranchise you?

Thanks for sharing. I intend to investigate and find out what the current rules are. Will report back when I can.

lazer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
It's generally the individual club's decision. I used my 1898 for about three years when I first started up. After Marlin issued their do not shoot liability statement, some clubs would not let you use them. There's a couple clubs here that won't let me use it, but there's a couple that will.
Maintanence is the key here, EVERYTHING must work as designed to be safe. Ammo selection is important as well. I load my own and try to keep the pressures to the 6,000-6,500 range or lower if I can. My particular gun likes STS hulls better than Winchester hulls extraction wise.
The gentleman that wrote the article on Marauder's site used a Model 42 for quite a few years, but has retired it in the last few years due to wear. He's now using a Chinese made Win. '97 copy from one of our CAS gunsmith's that is highly worked over.
As far as the Widowmaker moniker, they never did get away from it, but the Early Win. model didn't have a squeaky clean rep either( Model 1893). They were recalled by the factory to be exchanged for the newer/modified Model 1897 version. The '97's have problems still, at EOT this year during the Speed SG event, a 1903( I believe) vintage '97 had a catastrophic failure sending the bolt back to the end of the frame and cracking the frame, ruining the gun. Seems a round got over far enough for the right extractor to contact the primer resulting in an out of battery firing. This was one of the solid frame examples. No one hurt thankfully, but enough to cause the use of a shovel to clean out the shooter's drawers
In essence, The oldies are fun to shoot, but I wouldn't give them a steady diet of CAS matches. They get more use/abuse in a years worth of matches than they probably got during their whole hunting career when they were new guns. Don't get me wrong here, I use my '98, and 1893 in 38-55, and an 1889 in 38-40 in matches, but not week in and week out. The '98 probably hasn't been used in a couple years, the 1893 gets used during our yearly annual with loads at speeds almost matching the original smokeless loading specs, and the 1889 at CAS specs for the ammo in the lower range of the spectrum......Buck 8) :roll: :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Trivia time!
The Winchester Model 1911 Autoloader was the original "Widowmaker". I recall reading somewhere that when the Browning patent was secured by Remington for their Model 11, Winchester needed to circumvent that problem. The Model 1911 does not have a charging handle on the bolt. The muzzle end of the barrel is knurled for a secure grip whilst you yank the barrel rearward to cock the weapon and chamber a round. I will leave the rest up to your imagination!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
150 Posts
Hey Buck,

Thanks very much for the real world insight, which matches some of the stories I've heard elsewhere. Hadn't heard about the '97 failure at EOT, but it sounds like others I've heard about, particularly in guns that have been slicked up for speed shooting. Been told that some folks are taking it too far, at their peril.

Appreciate the sage advise and will keep it mind as I proceed.

lazer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Bolt problem

One of the two 1898 shotguns I have would lock the bolt back and I would not be able to get it forward without a bit of work. The locking bolt would fall down far enough to block the forward progress of the bolt. I took the shotgun all the way apart and played around with it, looking at the groove in the rear of the receiver and with some 98s this is bent up, I slide the bolt back into the receive, took a brass hammer and punch and tapped along the area of the grove getting it back to the original location. Since I did this little fix on the shotgun I have had no failure of the bolt locking up.



Good luck, good shooting



Emmett
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
The latest casualty involving a 97 that I have heard about was with Hedley Lamar's 100+ year old gun that had a stripped firing pin lock screw that effectively turned the gun into a fixed fire firing pin style. The gun would have been ok but to further complicate things the bolt and carrier interfaces had been filed away (for speed ) and the gun fired out of battery. The bolt went back as far as it could and cracked the frame. The important thing here was that the bolt stayed in the gun. The 98 Marlins bolt can leave the gun when it fails. Another dangerous short coming of the original Winchester 97 is the floating firing pin. If the gun is dropped the wrong way, the inertia can sometimes cause the firing pin to ignite the chambered shell. It's rare but it happenned. The latter Chinese models have a spring surrounding their firing pin to prevent this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
AC

I'm sorry but the 98 has no screw holding the firing pin, I dobt that you could modify the carrier to cause the shotgun to slam fire. The 98 has a firing pin blocker that will hold the pin back until the bolt is close to being seated. The carries just picks up the the shell and thats about all. You could get a slam fire if the lock bolt lug is worn and reduces the head space. There are safety checks that you can use to clear the gun and should be used every time you shoot a one hundred year old gun. I have never read anywhere that a 98 had ejected the bolt out of the frame

Do you have a reference that I can get ahold of to read about this failure.


Emmett
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Most of the reported recent problems were at least four years ago over on The SASS WIRE. They've since changed the software running it and there is no archive available. There were a few launched bolts, thankfully no one was hurt. Probably due to lack of maintanence/wear. Wasn't too long after that, that Marlin published the do not shoot report for them. Standard lawyerese. Haven't seen a report for quite awhile now.
Anytime the question comes up, the "Widowmaker" posts start, or advice to use something else. I seldom use mine now since some clubs just won't let you use them..........Buck 8) :roll: :?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Marlin Model 30G - 20 gauge

I shoot a Marlin Model 30G - 20 gauge for CAS. 1915 - 1917 vintage. I did a lot of reading on these via the different boards, as well as any books and Maurauders web-site.

I think the key thing is understanding how the safeties work and ensuring the gun is in good order (including all safeties). If you shoot a later model gun the safeties are quiet good. Many I've seen (I have 3), have at least 1 safety inoperative (2 of 3 were this way for me). It was relatively straight forward to make the correction once you understand how the safeties work. Maurauder has a link to a great site that takes you through how to dissassemble these guns. I also put together a series of photos that match the walk through of the disassembly instructions (if anyone needs them let me know).

Lastly, I was at a CAS shoot last month where a guy was shooting an original Win. '97. With 2 rounds in the mag. tube he shot the first round, ejected it and as he racked it forward, the "flag" didn't come up right which prevents the next round from falling out, so the right side extractor hit the primer as the pump went forward guns goes off thus sending pellets out the side of the receiver just missing another shooter! Perhaps they should outlaw '97s!!

All comes down to how well do you know your gun, is it safe, and well taken care of (IMHO).

Blue Mesa
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top