Marlin Firearms Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Joined
·
1,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We get lots of questions on this so here's everything that you need to know.

In the world of tomorrow, we antiquated humans will no longer have to cycle our antiquated lever guns. A robot will do it for us, and much faster—snickity snack—right before a look of amusement passes across its titanium alloy face and it discards the silly relic onto a pile of other rifles that it deems inedible, because lever guns aren’t made of aluminum and polymer. Too bad, it will think. Because robots love aluminum and polymer. But perhaps it will call up some lonesome cowpoke ballad from its RAM and mimic the Duke as it walks into the sunset, leaving a faint trail of 30 weight.

Before we let wood and steel, flesh and bone, be consigned to irrelevance, we at RPP have at least a few more tricks up our sleeves, one of which is the short stroke Marlin 1894. These guns are all about speed, magazine capacity, and cowboy cool. And, because they are chambered in common semi-auto pistol cartridges, they make pretty darn good home defense weapons as well. Unlike a .44 magnum, for example, a .45 ACP will not go through both an intruder and several walls to kill a neighbor.

The following is not intended to be a step by step tutorial, as our conversions require precise machining that can only be done on a mill, not to mention an advanced understanding of the Marlin action. But it will give you a look under the hood, and a better understanding of what goes into a short stroke 1894.

First, you will need to choose an appropriate cartridge. Short stroke conversions require shorter cartridges. Most of the common semi-auto rounds, like .45 ACP, .10 MM, .40 S&W and .357 SIG are good candidates. .45 Cowboy Short works fine too, if you want something more traditional. Next you need an appropriate Marlin 1894 donor rifle. A .44 or .45 model will work for the .45 ACP, while a .357 or .32-20 works for the smaller rounds.



It’s a bear to get Marlins to feed and eject these stubby, rimless rounds, but we eat bear for breakfast. Despite the fur and fat, it’s worth it. To get to the fun part, here's what has to happen:

1) The bump stop on the carrier (cartridge lifter) must be moved forward to match the abbreviated COL.

2) Carrier timing must be adjusted to lift sooner on opening so that the carrier nose blocks entry of the next cartridge before it can emerge from the magazine.

3) The "wings" and cartridge ramp of the carrier must be modified to properly present the cartridge to the chamber mouth, depending on conversion.

4) The ejector must be repositioned forward in the receiver to eject the case at the rear of the bolt's shorter travel. This requires precise machining to the receiver that can only be done on a mill. On our rifles, there is no external evidence of this change.

5) The ejector must be modified and tuned to work with short rimless cases, or FTE's are the order of the day. This is a surprisingly sticky aspect that took time to work out.

6) The bolt face tabs must be partially machined to allow for smooth feeding of stubby rimless cases.

7) The extractor gets a lot of attention, and is heavily modified to both feed smoothly and eject reliably.

8) The control blade of the lever gets a channel machined into it that becomes the new lift profile for the carrier. Again, precise work with a mill is the only way. This was one of the more interesting problems to solve.

9) Normally, the lever stops against a ramp near the back of the carrier at full open. With the shortened stroke, the lever never gets near this ramp. While the lever's travel will be arrested by the carrier pawl dropping into its new channel, the pawl would not last long in that role, so we create a new lever stop on the trigger plate.

10) All of this is in addition to any barrel and chamber work that must take place.

Is it worth it? We think so. These “strokers” aren’t just for Cowboy action. They’re great for hunting, self defense, and survival. And if it comes to it, you might take pleasure in dumping a dozen rounds fast into a smirking computer. Heck, as long as you’re at home and not the office, you don’t even have to wait for the robots to arrive.

1894 Short Stroke Conversion

Giddy Up,
HAL
 
Joined
·
1,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Here is an 1894 Short Stroke that we just completed in .10MM.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,733 Posts
An SS in 327 magnum?

Aside from short stroke, how much do y'all charge for a "Wiiddermatic" job?

Do y'all convert any stainless laminate bolt actions to 30-30?
 
Joined
·
1,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Any videos maybe of before/after?
No videos yet. We've been super busy building and shipping them out. What would you want to see in a video?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,600 Posts
Nice looking rifles. Keep up the good work... :thrasher:
 
Joined
·
1,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Since we've gotten several inquiries regarding .327 lever gun conversions, here's the latest. My initial reaction to these inquiries was "pressure is too high, and donor rifles (.32 H&R) aren't readily available." But having had more than a few asking now, I figured I'd go ahead and do the 2 minutes of required math. Lo and behold, the pressure is not too high. The small diameter of the .327 case reduces bolt thrust well below the .44 mag threshold, and with chamber walls super thick, no danger there either. So pressure should be a non-issue.

The problem of donor rifles remains however. The obvious choice is the .32 H&R, because of its shared case rim dimensions. Conversion would be a simple matter of punching out the chamber and playing with carrier timing a bit. Unfortunately .32 Marlins are few and costly. The only other conceivable donor would be one of the CL models chambered for .32-20 or its sibling cartridges. Unfortunately, because of the hyphenated's larger case and rim, there would be significant obstacles to overcome, not to mention that CLs regularly go for upwards of $800. The rim of the .32-20 is more than .030" larger in diameter than the .327. This kind of jump introduces significant feeding and extraction issues. But as it happens, we make a similar leap when we convert .44 mags to .45 acp short stroke carbines. The feeding and extraction issues are a pain to sort out, but it can be done. So the conversion might not be out of the question after all. But it wouldn't be cheap.

Apart from working out action issues, the barrel itself would have to be changed. The reason for this is the bigger chamber body of the .32-20. While the bore diameter is shared, the chamber can't simply be punched out. It would have to be cut off, significantly shortening the barrel, which in turn would shift mag tube and forend tenons rearward, and open up ugly gaps in forend fit. Best just to start anew.

Having said all that, I do have a couple of CL's in inventory, as well as spare barrels, so I could go ahead and proof the concept at least, provided there is actual buying interest, as opposed to idle daydreaming. Just so we're clear, the finished rifle would cost upwards of $1600. This would include the barrel/caliber change and the necessary action work to get it purring like a hellcat. That's a lot of lettuce, I know, but until/unless Remlin gets on board, that's what we got. Anyone interested enough to write a check?

Happy hunting,
AD
 
  • Like
Reactions: palmetto pirate
Joined
·
1,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
An SS in 327 magnum?

Aside from short stroke, how much do y'all charge for a "Wiiddermatic" job?

Do y'all convert any stainless laminate bolt actions to 30-30?
Willie,

I've done the "Widdermatic" mods before on a couple of my personal rifles, but haven't timed the process. Offhand, I'd say it would run around 3 hrs, or $240. Haven't converted any bolt actions to .30-30, but we're up for whatever. Got a particular gun in mind? See my previous post regarding the .327 Fed.

AD
 
  • Like
Reactions: 44Willie

·
Registered
Joined
·
931 Posts
Hmmm...I've had, for a long time, a 39 that has been sleeved, restored externally, but in.22 short. I like it, carry a half box of shells in the magazine, but the action is really rough, crunchy (I suspect it's a Frankenstein that really looks good but some internals just don't fit). I wonder if you all would know how to smooth out this action, maybe return it to LR. And ream out the chamber on my 1894 .32 H&R to go along with my new Single Seven..
 
Joined
·
1,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Hmmm...I've had, for a long time, a 39 that has been sleeved, restored externally, but in.22 short. I like it, carry a half box of shells in the magazine, but the action is really rough, crunchy (I suspect it's a Frankenstein that really looks good but some internals just don't fit). I wonder if you all would know how to smooth out this action, maybe return it to LR. And ream out the chamber on my 1894 .32 H&R to go along with my new Single Seven..
We can certainly take a crack at the mod 39. I won't hazard a guess at what's making it "crunchy" until I take a look at it, but reaming the chamber to .22LR isn't a problem.

As far as the .327 fed chamber goes, why not? Should be easy enough. Probably a little timing adjustment etc, but nothing too rigorous. Send it on. Let's do it!

AD
 
  • Like
Reactions: palmetto pirate

·
Registered
Joined
·
567 Posts
Ranger PP,

your estimation on time and cost are similar to mine.

It does take me a little more time because of my lack of machinery.

I hope those Widdermatics turned out good for the owners. And I read your initial post on this thread. Alot of those items are things I also have to address when I set up a Widdermajik (the 1894 that will feed both the Cowboy 45 Special and .45 Colt).

Keep up the good work on your conversions. I think they are great.


..........Widder
 
Joined
·
1,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Ranger PP,

your estimation on time and cost are correct.

It does take me a little more time because of my lack of machinery.

I hope those Widdermatics turned out good for the owners. And I read your initial post on this thread. Alot of those items are things I also have to address when I set up a Widdermajik (the 1894 that will feed both the Cowboy 45 Special and .45 Colt).

Keep up the good work on your conversions. I think they are great.


..........Widder
Thanks Widder, I appreciate your comments. I've learned a lot from you. It took some doing to figure out that first .45 auto conversion, but now it's smooth sailing, and we're having a lot of fun with them. We're finishing up one for use as a shop demo pretty soon. Hopefully we can find time to do a short video. All my other lever guns feel like they have a looong cycle now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
567 Posts
Ranger,

And if I ever get down into Texas, I would love to drop in and say 'Howdy'.

Your products appear to be awesome.


..........Widder
 
Joined
·
1,872 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Ranger,

And if I ever get down into Texas, I would love to drop in and say 'Howdy'.

Your products appear to be awesome.



We'd love it too Widder. Careful though, we use the old Royal Navy "volunteer" conscription method. Couple drinks and you'll wake up with a new job with no exit clause.:flute:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
567 Posts
I was in the NAVY, so I know what you mean.

Thanks. And I'll be sure to bring me a few extra $$$ cause I might find it hard to get out of your business without one of your toys. They really are nice.

Have a great day.


..........Widder
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top