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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK, here's another question about my new (from Bud's) 1894 in 357 Mag. I have so far only cleaned the barrel, and verified that it feeds and ejects both my 38 Special and 357 Mag handloads reliably - haven't been to the range with it yet, but may take it tomorrow and see if I can get some shots in after the IDPA match I'm doing.

One thing I have noticed is that while the lever works the action smoothly when the rifle is essentially vertical, if it is much more than about 15 degrees off of vertical - including upside down - the bolt usually cannot be opened with the lever. It just feels locked up as soon as the lever reaches the point in its swing where it would start to move the bolt. This is true whether the hammer is cocked or down, and whether the crossbolt safety is in safe or fire position. Sometimes it can be opened by putting pressure on the lever to the left or right while starting to open the bolt, but not always. And it seems like sometimes I can free the bolt by pressing in on it while keeping opening-pressure on the lever (although it's not easy to do this with only two hands.) It's not something dragging - if the bolt seems blocked but then starts to open, it moves as smoothly as normal - it's like something is initially blocking the bolt from opening but which, once bypassed, no longer affects bolt motion.

FWIW, neither my near-20 year old 1894/44 Mag nor my even older 39A have this problem - both work perfectly no matter the orientation of the gun.

I'm going to remove the lever, bolt and ejector at some point over the weekend so a gunsmith friend can drill and tap the receiver for a Lyman peep sight (as discussed in another thread I started the other day) so if anybody has an idea about sharp corners or loose parts I should be looking for as culprits in the lock-up situation, please let me know. If I should just shoot the thing for a while and see if the problem persists, I can certainly do that too.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Edited to add: Before posting this I had done several searches but had come up empty. After posting I found a thread in the Team 1894 section that deals with this very issue, and which suggests that a good cleaning and edge deburring of the bolt and locking block may solve all problems. Which I will do when I take things apart.

BTW, I am not very concerned about the gun not operating properly when upside down (even though my other Marlin lever actions do.) But I would like to be able to operate the action reliably with the gun tipped a bit to the right when shooting from a bench (e.g. when doing sight adjustment or chronograph work) in order to direct the ejection of empties.
 

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There is a "U" shaped locking bolt which fits into a notch on the bolt, which, appropriately enough, locks the bolt in battery. This bolt is lifted into locking position when the finger lever is closed. This locking bolt will also fall into its notch by gravity when the action is upside down.

It sounds as if you are having problems with the action merely canted 30 degrees from vertical. Must be something keeping the locking bolt from falling free of the bolt.

If that is the case, I would suggest a thorough internal cleaning of the parts inside the receiver. And while the bolt and the locking bolt are out, I would see how they fit together. It should be a fit that will fall apart by gravity.

Exploded view. See part # 47

https://www.google.com/search?q=mar...hXF34MKHSVjBlwQ9QEIKzAB#imgrc=4bp0Zlwr5v8uCM:
 

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All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms! Worked as an engineering
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If that doesn't work it's time to send it back. I wouldn't do any polishing or stoning of parts while under warranty. My own 1st year 1979 1894 .357 will hang up if operated very slowly when upside down allowing the locking to stay put. Operating the lever briskly (not jackhammer speed) prevents hangups with my gun.

I understand their customer service is OK a fixing things the factory won't do right the first time.

Let us know how things work out.

Regards, AC
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Took it to the range today and put 25 or 30 rounds of both 38 and 357 through it. The chrono didn't work (even after a new battery), and I've GOT to get the peep sight installed if I want to be able to hit much, but everything went bang, and all but the pointy JHP rounds fed without a hitch. It does have what feels like a 40 pound trigger pull, but I'll attend to that down the road.

Best of all, the lever now works smoothly with the gun in all orientations except fully upside down, so it looks like I just had a too-new problem that worked itself out. I'm greatly relieved. And thanks for all the suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't think I had either. But when the new one seemed stuck, I checked my two old ones in non-vertical orientations, and in the course of doing so tried 'em upside down. When they both worked fine that way, I just made that part of my test regimen for the new one.

Of course, all guns were empty, and I suspect that upside down feeding would be unreliable in all of 'em. But I have no plans to actually test that suspicion.
 
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