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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Won't take rounds in the magazine? Hard cycle? Beware the "Trigger Guard Plate Screw"

Let me say first of all, I'm no certified gunsmith. Everything I know I've learned by trial and error (mostly error) and reading books (remember them?) and searching the internet. This advice, though probably not causing any safety issues, should be followed at your own risk. Maybe not everyone knows this...but there is a little screw that can mess with the action of your Marlin Lever Gun and cause you headaches untold until you find out it is the culprit....it is the Trigger Guard Plate Screw. It's located on the underside of the trigger guard plate just forward of the piece of the carrier that protrudes from the receiver. I just bought a 1979 Vintage Marlin 1895 in 45-70. The gun looks pretty cherry and I was pretty pleased. I checked all the screws like I always do on all the guns I buy (new or used) and found most of them to be loose. Without using lock-tite I tightened them up. I then decided to check the action for function. I got out a box of Hornady Lever evolution's and a box of Remington's. I (tried to) put the Hornady's in the tube first....no go. (?) Nothing....the tip would hit the follower and stop dead. I then tried the Remington's with the same results. Ok....I tore it all down and proceeded to clean out the magazine tube and the follower because these were the most likely suspects. After a thorough cleaning I started to clean out the magazine tube hole in the receiver. That's when I felt the tell tale protrusion of the Trigger Guard Plate Screw. It was sticking out just far enough in the receiver to be blocking the free movement of the follower causing it to bind and not allow the rounds to enter the magazine. I backed out the screw a few turns and put everything back together and it started to take rounds no problem. Well I think at one time the original screw fell out, like they all do unless you lock-tite them. A replacement was had from one of the parts companies and just put in and hoped for the best. It being too long caused the original owner to just loosen it and shoot away or he may not have even loaded it from that point. I come along and had to tighten screws and that's when the problem started. I guess they all need a little fitting to each individual gun. Easy fix was just to run the tip of the screw a few times over a rough stone I use for just such a problem...re-blue the tip of the screw and slap it all together. It takes Hornady's and Remington's now and the action cycles like butter. This all sounds pretty simple and it is. I just thought I'd post this in case anyone else had a similar problem. This will probably get you to the root of a similar problem without a lot of head scratching or an expensive trip to the gunsmith...."God Bless America and Join the NRA"......
 
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Is there a chance you swapped that screw with the one on the left side of the receiver just above the lever pivot?
Memory tells me they are the same except different lengths and I swapped them once on an 1894 which caused an issue.


Mark.
 

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I have never had a screw fall out of a Marlin. More of a chance someone cleaned it and lost the screw and put another one in but I doubt it fell out. Anyhow I am glad ou fixed it.
 

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I had a similar issue with a (1980) 1894 .357, except it manifested differently. My gate screw was loose, but it still sat flush with the receiver...but it allowed the gate more play than it should have. It allowed me to load the magazine just fine, but it would jam badly when cycling. I did notice that the gate allowed loading a bit easier then when I first bought it, but didn't think that had anything to do with it.

Came here and someone suggested tightening that screw. Tried it and it worked great, but backed out again shortly after. Loc-tited it and it runs fine now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've had the Trigger Guard Plate Screw fall out of my 1894 .44 Magnum. I was lucky I found it sitting in the gun case just after I finished shooting. A little lock tite and it stayed in permanently. It does happen. I've seen it. As for the other question on swapping screws. I checked that too. Nope....that wasn't it. Besides...the lengths are so different that swapping them locks up the action. Easy to see the difference......
 
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