Improving Marlin 1894 trigger pull - impossible?


July 2, 2003, 02:11 PM
I have an almost new (last year's) Marlin 1894CP carbine, and while I like this little carbine in general very much, I really wish the trigger pull wasn't so heavy...
So last weekend, when I happened to visit a gunshop that had a gunsmith on premises, I asked the guy about the trigger job on the Marlin. He refused to do it and explained that the trigger mechanism parts on Marlins are made of soft but case hardened steel, so if the hard surface is removed to lighten the trigger pull, the soft steel exposed will wear down with use very quickly (with obvious bad consequences).

Is this true, and I have to just live with the factory trigger pull?

Thank you.

If you enjoyed reading about "Improving Marlin 1894 trigger pull - impossible?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
July 2, 2003, 05:06 PM
There is a lot of work that can be done to those guns. I never had a problem with Marlin trigger jobs holding, but even if they are cased it is not that hard to recase and polish the work so it will last.

For a good look at the amount of improvement possible I suggest you get a copy of McPhersons book.

Jim Watson
July 2, 2003, 11:14 PM
Try to hook up with some Cowboy Action Shooters. There is a LOT of action work being done on Marlins these days.

4 eyed six shooter
July 3, 2003, 12:33 AM
Check out Also do a search. I have lost the address but looking at cowboy action shooting I found a couple of sites that give some good directions for smoothing the trigger pull on the Marlins.
Good shooting, John K

July 3, 2003, 12:37 AM
Get yourself one of Wild West Guns' Trigger Happy kits ( and be real happy. ;)

July 3, 2003, 12:24 PM
Thanks for the replies, guys!
I didn't know there were drop-in trigger kits for Marlins, now I'm definitely interested in this Trigger Happy kit.
I searched around and found an article with what looks like good disassembly instructions, but it doesn't go into details on removing trigger and sear... Should it be fairly obvious when the action is disassembled, or there are some tricks involved? I have only worked on my Ruger 10/22 so far (which is really easy with drop-in parts and instructions), but I do have some basic mechanical skills. Should I try to install the kit myself or a chance of screwing something up is too great?


July 3, 2003, 03:49 PM
Here's a good set of instructions on full disassembly (and getting it back together):

Disassembly really isn't that bad and is something that should be done on a regular basis to keep the action nice and clean. The trigger kit was a drop in with no fitting required. Results are very crisp and light. I've sold several of these kits to other Marlin shooters at my favorite range; all they do is shoot my gun. I'm going to start collecting a referral fee. ;)

I also replaced the hammer spring with a lighter one from Brownell's. I notice very little difference in pull between the factory and aftermarket spring with the trigger kit installed (big difference in pull w/ factory trigger, it was still mushy, but much lighter). I have no ignition problems with the lighter spring, but if you use CCI primers, you may (WLR primers are fine).

While you're educating yourself on the inner workings of the Marlin 1894,, read the following two documents from the same site:

Yell if you need help.

July 3, 2003, 05:55 PM
There's numerous post on the Marlin board about triggers. My old 336 was about 6 lb. I bent the trigger spring as described in this link until the pull on the uncocked trigger was down to 1 lb and the cocked pull down to 5 lb. I figured this was enough to guarantee a positive reset. The sear wasn't square and only the left corner was engaging the hammer notch. I stoned it until 1/2 the sear is contacting the hammer. This bought the pull down to 4 lb. and I may play with it some more, as I'd like a 3 lb. pull.


July 5, 2003, 03:23 PM
Just saw the Mcpherson wrote an article specifically geared to these guns in the periodical "Precision Rifle".

July 5, 2003, 04:12 PM
Don't trust what any one gunsmith says, they all have their own likes and dislikes. And some things gun loonies want done just are not real common work for typical gunsmith.

July 7, 2003, 11:10 AM

Home of the "Trigger Happy Kit", Bear Proof Ejectors, and the Co-Pilot.

July 8, 2003, 05:19 PM
OK, I decided to dive right in and ordered Trigger Happy kit, blue loctite, and screwdrivers from Brownells. Got an XS Sights Scout Mount as well while I was at it (was tempted for a while to try some good Red Dot type sight on this carbine).
Will be doing the trigger installation and some action tuning next weekend - wish me luck!

Thanks everybody for your help!

July 16, 2003, 05:39 PM
Did the action polishing, trigger kit and scout mount installation last weekend. Wasn't all that hard to do, after all.
Went to a range yeterday to re-zero the ghost ring and zero in a Red Dot (temporary pulled a cheap one from my 10/22). There was some improvement in the way cycling the action feels, though not by much. The trigger, on the other hand, feels like a dream come true, compared to the original! I'm really glad I went with the Trigger Happy kit!


July 28, 2003, 10:38 AM
None of my marlins have ever objectionable triggers

One thing you could try - clean off all the oil and dry fire it

My 1894c 357 carbine through use had gotten a very light trigger

Instead of watching the boob tube, go downstairs (or wherever) set up some wildlife targets, make sure that your gun is unloaded, and practice shouldering and firing.

The action should smooth out, and you'll get used to how your gun handles.

If you enjoyed reading about "Improving Marlin 1894 trigger pull - impossible?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!