To Marlin 1894 Owners With Feeding Problems


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OregonJohnny
February 4, 2013, 03:05 PM
I purchased a brand new Marlin 1894 .44 Magnum about 2 years ago, at the height of the Marlin/Remington QC fiasco, and have had nothing but trouble with it.

The sights were so poorly aligned that the rear sight had to hang out about a quarter inch to the left in the dovetail to shoot straight. The action was very rough and hard to cycle. The color of the wood stocks was so poorly matched, it looked like the front and rear came from 2 completely different species of tree. And worst of all, the rifle wouldn't cycle anything except jacketed bullets. WFNGC bullets hung up about 75% of the time, and semi-wadcutters were a complete failure. I was beginning to think that unless I wanted to pay a gunsmith hundreds of dollars, I was going to just have to live with it the way it was.

The other issues I fixed one at a time. Added XS sights, refinished the stocks, polished up the action, etc. But I thought the feeding issue was out of my scope of abilities.

This weekend, however, I decided I had nothing much to loose by trying some home gunsmithing tricks I read about on a few websites.

The first was to get the extractor out of the bolt, and straighten the spring to lessen the tension. I noticed when feeding dummy rounds through my gun that the case rim was not getting behind the extractor claw when being lifted up into the chamber. I read about it here:

http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/jams-all-kinds/44402-failure-feed-issues-1894s-solved.html

I had to buy a set of punches, and also had to custom make a wood block to set the bolt assembly into, but I eventually got the extractor out and straightened the spring. I also lightly polished up the extractor claw. I put everything back together and tested my dummy rounds. Now, the extractor was working well, and case rims were getting behind the claw. But the WFNGC and SWC dummy rounds were still hanging up either at the mouth of the chamber, or just inside of it. So I tore the action apart and decided to "customize" the carrier. It looked like what was happening was the carrier was lifting the rounds too high too soon, and they were being fed into the chamber at a steep angle. Any bullet with a wide or flat nose was getting jammed.

When examining the carrier, I saw it has 3 flat sides where the front half of the round sits. This leaves a gap between the underside of the case and the top of the carrier, and the round sits up pretty high. I carefully removed just enough metal on the carrier so that the nose of the round sits down about 1/16" lower. I then polished it up. I read about the process here:

http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/1894/44904-failure-feed-issues-1894s-part-2-a.html

I put everything back together and went back to my dummy rounds to test. HOLY SMOKES! My 1894 now feeds JHP, WFNGC, and even.....SWCs! I have about 20 dummy rounds I've made up from 180, 240, and 300 grain XTPs, all seated at different depths, 300 grain WFNGCs with a huge sharp meplat, and some Laser Cast 240 grain LSWCs. I even have a few .44 Special dummies. Every single one of these 20 different dummy rounds fed and ejected like magic. Not a single hangup. No "double-clutching" the lever. Whether jacking the rounds fast or slow, no problems at all. It's like a totally different gun.

I am so glad I went to the trouble to research the problems, and fix them myself. If any of you 1894 owners out there are having feeding issues with any kind of bullet, these tricks worked great for me. Just in time for Spring Black Bear season!

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1858
February 4, 2013, 03:28 PM
Great post!!! I like DIY stories with successful results. I have four Marlins all with JM stamped barrels and the 1894CSS (.357 Mag) is the only one that wants to bind up feeding lead SWC ammunition. My .45 Colt is super slick regardless of the bullet type or shape. I use parts from Long Hunter and Wild West to improve my Marlins but I'll take a look at the links you provided and see if I can improve the feeding cycle for the .357 Mag.

OregonJohnny
February 4, 2013, 03:40 PM
Great post!!! I like DIY stories with successful results. I have four Marlins all with JM stamped barrels and the 1894CSS (.357 Mag) is the only one that wants to bind up feeding lead SWC ammunition. My .45 Colt is super slick regardless of the bullet type or shape. I use parts from Long Hunter and Wild West to improve my Marlins but I'll take a look at the links you provided and see if I can improve the feeding cycle for the .357 Mag.

Thanks! You know, I read somewhere that the Marlin Cowboy models have some sort of top feed "ramp" located on the underside of the top of the receiver, right at the chamber mouth. My standard 1894 has a large sharp recess at this location. Does anyone know if this Cowboy part is something you can add to a regular 1894?

9w1911
February 4, 2013, 08:04 PM
been there and done that and it is still not fool proof, you need to fix the timing from the carrier in relation to the lever, my 1894 .44 is highly modified for this. Yes the cowboy version does have a ramp kinda even thought they deny it on the phone. Long story short: no more Remlins for me, total junk with garbage customer service.

9w1911
February 4, 2013, 08:05 PM
Does anyone know if this Cowboy part is something you can add to a regular 1894?

no it is part of the barrel they use the same receiver

OregonJohnny
February 6, 2013, 12:41 PM
Does anyone know if this Cowboy part is something you can add to a regular 1894?

no it is part of the barrel they use the same receiver

Dang. It sounds like that part would be hugely beneficial to all 1894 models.

Maybe someone has experimented with some JB Weld to fill in and smooth out that rough sharp recess just behind the top of the chamber mouth? It seems like a smooth ramp that was flush with the top of the chamber mouth would help feeding of all types of bullet shapes, without having to customize the carrier.

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