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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been lurking here now for the past month, just watching, reading and hoping to learn. Now I have a question or a number of them to ask of you if you are of a mind to answer them.

To start with let me stress that I am a total newbie to Marlin. I havent even pulled the trigger on a firearm made by this company.

I was directed here by "Four Eye Buck" from The Frontier Spot because I was asking questions about a Marlin I am considering and he suggested that yourselves in this group could be of greater help to me.

I am into the sport of CAS and have been looking for a lever actioned rifle in 38-55 for the long range events. I had decided to convert a Win 94 to this caliber from 30-30 when I chanced upon a dealer in the UK with a Marlin 1893 in 38-55 for sale for what I consider a reasonable price. As I will be in the UK next month I e-mailed the dealer and he tells me the rifle is in good condition with a good bore. I'm interested and arrange with him to hold the rifle for me until I can visit him at his premises and look it over. I have seen this photos of this rifle and it seems to me to look in good condition.

This is where I hope you all can come to my assistance. What do I need to look at with regards to this firearm. Apart from the bore which I will be inspecting closely, is there anything else I should look at? Are there any peculurarities to this rifle that I should be aware of. A shooter here told me to check the bolt to receiver fit? Is this true? From the photos it looks tight. This particular rifle has a 26" half octagonal barrel with a half magazine. A cresent butt plate. It is blued and once again this seems to be quite good from the photos, some of the edges have wear on them. Havent seen the front sight but the rear is a semi buckhorn and ramp. At the wrist in the woodwork there seems to be some sort of metal disk though there seems to be no reason for this , no splits that I can see. The fore arm has a few dings as does the butt but I would expect a firearm to show war and tear if it is of any age and has been used.

I dont know if it is of any help but the front of the bolt is rounded.


Just thought, it would be easier if you had a look for yourselves and came back to me so the url for the dealer is as follows;

http://www.micksguns.com/centre fire rifles.htm

The rifle is about 2/3 of the way down the page.

Take a look and please let me know what you think.

Down the bottom of the page he has an 1894 in 44-40 that looks reasonable also.

Thanks for reading this missive and if you can help please do so.

Thanks

DAi.

BTW This dealer has a lot of very interesting firearms on this site. I've spent hours lookling through it and drooling.
 

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A couple things come to mind, and since the seller mentions he has brass and dies, it will make this easier. It's pretty common for people to loose the ejector when they take a Marlin apart, so if the dealer has brass, try chambering one, then open the action and ensure that it pulls the empty case out, and throws it clear. If it does, both these parts are intact.
Of course check the bore for signs of well worn rifling, or pitting. Make sure it has no extra holes in the action. It should have a couple holes in the top tang for a peep sight, and if it's a later gun, it might have two more towards the top rear of the receiver, behind the words "Marlin Safety".
From the pictures, I se the stock has been repaired with a screw or bolt through the wrist. Most likely it was splitting, so someone made this home style repair. Not sure, but the forearm cap looks like the screw is missing on the left side. Not a huge deal, unless it's broken off, and then it needs to be drilled out, and retapped for the 6-48 screw.
Marlin model 1893's came in Special Smokeless Steel barrels, or For Black Powder barrels. Some were unmarked, and are assumed to be black powder barrels also. Guns with Smokeless barrels had casehardened frames, but Grade B guns marked, "For Black Powder" had blued frames. The early unmarked barrels are like the smokeless, casehardened frames.
I can't see the front sight, but the rear is wrong. That's not a Marlin sight or elevator. I wouldn't shoot much of that ammo shown with it either. It's for modern guns, not the old 1893 Marlin.
The picture of the model 1894 is too poor to see much, so can't say anything on it. It does appear to have a set of aftermarket sling swivels, and not sure if the mag tube length, and barrel length are correct. By the way, this gun doesn't appear to be a model 1894 either. It appears to have a catch on the back of the lever, and if it does, then it's a model 1889 Marlin.
Hope this helps.
 

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That last pic looks like that to me also, mm93. I think it's an '89, and it's been worked over some I believe...............Buck 8) :roll: :?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you very much MM93.

Your comments are exactly the sort I was hoping for.

Good honest comments about possible problems with the rifle.

I'm definitely going to look at this rifle and possibly (if I can convince "SHE THAT MUST BE OBEYED") the 44-40.

I've been shooting CAS now for a year and enjoy using my replicas but to me originals for anything is the way to go.

I suppose I am a collector by inclination. Put two guns in front of me, one a new copy and one an original and I will spend more time with the latter.

I had a feeling that the stock had a repair done to it. I hadnt noticed the screw missing from the cap at the front but as my mates here say these things are just "cosmetic" and can be changed. The back sights are a bit of a worry. Are original sights and elevators easily come by, or modern replicas?

Thanks for the tip about cycling the action to see if the case ejected. I was going to take a couple of pieces of brass over with me to try. The bore I had decided to check, one thing common to all rifles. I definitely know what to look for here.

What damage could have occured by usng the ammo shown in the picture?

I've been told that stretching of the bolt area is possible. I was told that if there is a gap of more than 0.5mm between the bolt slide and the receiver then to leave it alone. Is this true?

MM93, I see by your signature that you are also interested in single shot rifles. This too I am just getting into. I could have bought one of the Italiian copies but I decided to go it the hard way. I found an action for a Swedish rolling block. This came from a shotgun. I am having it cleaned up and nickle silver plated (absolutely no finish left on it). I've managed to get a Badger 34" octagonal barrel in .45 and am haven it chambered, threaded blued and fitted to the action. The gunsmith is also going to cut the front sight dovetailand the dovetail for the fore arm mount. I've ordered some woodwork from the US in unfinished state. All I need now is to sort out the sights. Even though it will look a little flash and hopefully new, I will know that at the heart of it all is an original piece working away as the designers intended 130 years ago.

I suppose "collector" isnt the right word for me.

Nostelgia seems to rule my tastes.

Dai.
 

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I can't say as there's any real measurement for bolt to receiver clearance. I tend to look for slop in the bolt, when it closed. Only way to really tell if it has headspace issues is a set of "Go-No Go" gauges.
As for shooting the ammo shown; a litle probably wouldn't hurt, but remember these are 100 year old guns, and that ammo was made for new Winchesters. The jackets are harder on old bores, and the velocities are faster, so pressures are higher.
Yes, I'm afraid single shots are a weakness too. Wish I could stay focused on just old Marlin levers, or just old single shots, but it's so hard when they both call my name! Here's some pictures of some of my old single shots.
http://www.graybeardoutdoors.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=70904
 
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