Need Help on Marlin 45-70 Stock Crack


Billy Jack
October 15, 2013, 02:21 AM
I just brought home my new Marlin Guide Gun today. This is an older JM stamped model with the factory ported barrel. It appeared to be in excellent shape.

When I started disassembling it for cleaning and detailed inspection I noticed that one side of the rear stock didn't fit perfectly to the receiver, which was not a really big deal. However, when I pushed on it a little it flushed up perfectly against the receiver. I figured that maybe it was just a little warped and that I might be able to steam it and bend it a little to make it stay down and have that perfect Marlin fit.

I also noticed a very tiny piece of wood broken off on the lower left side of the stock where the wood meets the metal receiver. I mean just a tiny flake.

I removed the tang screw and took the rear stock off and what I found was a couple of cracks. (The small piece of broken wood is possibly the pressure point where the recoil was concentrated into the stock causing the whole problemÖ.I'm guessing).

I am upset that I won't be able to shoot the gun until I fix the stock. The way it is now, if I can get it glued back together and possibly relieve a couple of pressure points that probably caused the cracks, then it will work great and not even be noticable. However, if I shoot it and it gets worse it could become difficult to fix and be an eyesore.

The right side where the chunk has split off and is just hanging on should be no problen to glue and clamp together and make it work fine. There is plenty of room to fill it with glue.

The left side, however, is a deep hairline crack going down into the stock. This crack goes all the way through the narrow part of the stock top to bottom. This crack becomes noticeable by simply applying a little "spreading" pressure to the stock as you see in the photos. This crack is a split that just has not yet been pushed very deep into the stock. If I try to open it up wide enough to get enough glue into it to properly do the job, I may cause the crack to just run deeper into the stock making the situation even worse.

I have 3 issues to resolve:

1. How can I get enough glue into the tight crack to do the job without just spreading the crack way open? (Some kind of injection or something?)(Something akin to a tight copper pipe joint sucking the solder into the joint as it is "sweated in")
2. What is the best glue for gluing a cracked gun stock? (Ideally something thin and watery enough to penetrate into the slightly spread open crack.)
3. Should the fit of the stock to the receiver be slightly relieved?

I am sure the previous owner who rarely used the gun never noticed it. I had looked it over many times before I noticed that the slight misfit of the wood to the receiver was "moveable". I am really dissappointed it had the cracked stock, mainly because of the delay I'll have in being able to start shooting and enjoying the gun. I had planned to clean it tonight, sight it in with my 450gr LFN loads, and go hog hunting this weekend. However, I plan to find a good fix and move on.

Of course if I am unable to get it fixed it will just deteriorate and I'll have to restock it someday with the junk available from Remlin!

I always get some knowledgeable responses here to any question I have ever asked, so I am hoping for a good workable solution.


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October 15, 2013, 02:30 AM
Don't bother trying to glue it.
You may be dealing with some noticeable recoil in that caliber & glue may not hold.
Replace the stock.

I acquired a brand new .44 Mag Marlin made at the old plant a year or so before Remington bought the company. The stock wrist was totally shattered in the un-damaged box, must have been boxed that way.

QC was declining before Remington came along.
Don't try to monkey it up, just replace the wood.

Billy Jack
October 15, 2013, 02:51 AM
Crud! If I do that I guess I'll need to do both stock and fore end in order for them to even be close to matching.
I presume you have to buy current manufacture from Marlin/Remington and I can't imagine the fit will look nearly as good as it does now.
I already spend more on the gun than I had wanted to, but did so to avoid spending money on a new gun (Remlin) with anticipated problems right off the bat.
What kind of price should I expect to have to pay?

October 15, 2013, 02:53 AM
While you're waiting for that new stock.....:banghead:

...get some "Super Thin" super glue ( at the local hobby store (ask for "super thin").
Get at clamp ready, then use that glue on the widest point of the crack.
It will immediately wick into/through the entire crack.
Clamp right then and leave it alone for 15 minutes. (At this point the glue joint
is stronger than the wood.)

Trial reassemble, check for obvious/outstanding stress points that might have
caused the crack under recoil, and relieve w/ sandpaper if req'd.

Shoot it.... probably forever. ;) :D


Billy Jack
October 15, 2013, 03:24 AM
Yeeaaa.......just what I was looking for! HOPE!!!

My dad is an old welder and he always told me his welds would be the strongest part of the piece and I see no reason the "proper" glue and technique shouldn't work on a hairline crack in a piece of wood the same way.
Thanks MEHavey

October 15, 2013, 03:37 AM
Get some "thin CA glue" and a spray activator. Go to hobby lobby or your local wood working store (Not a Lowe's. An actual wood working store). It will cost you about $20 to fix it. Permenantly. That glue will go anywhere water can and is STRONG. The activator just takes a VERY light, quick spray. The hold is almost instantaneous. Don't be discouraged. It's an easy fix.

October 15, 2013, 04:14 AM
With most woods the glued part is actually stronger than the wood fiber. The trick is to get the glue deep into the crack.

Go to the pharmacy and get a syringe with a medium needle. Take a bit of decent wood glue (the white stuff) and add a little water (go easy, a few drops at the time) until itís just liquid enough to use in the syringe. Use the syringe/needle to inject the glue (as much as you can) in the crack. Put the stock in a vise to put constant pressure on it. Wipe away excess glue thatís squeezed out. Wait. Done. :)

Itís a method I learned from an old gunsmith and Iíve used it successfully on two old milsurps.

October 15, 2013, 07:49 AM
Use the epoxy made for use in bedding compound. It even comes with brown dye to match the wood. This is what a gunsmith would do. If uncomfortable doing it yourself any decent gunsmith should be able to fix it.

October 15, 2013, 08:53 AM
I would build on MEHavey's suggestion: Some of those cracks look dirty, if they are, spread them a little with a wedge and flush with acetone and then allow to dry before gluing.

Check that the acetone will not strip your stock in some inconspicuous spot before you just flood it.

October 15, 2013, 09:00 AM
The advice to use the super glue (CA or cyanoacrylic) is right on - Constantine's is a woodworkers catalogue retailer that can probably provide the right glue but also the correct layup schedule. I work with CA glues as a commercial fly tyer and there's only one thing to add.... CA is adversely affected by water or moisture, so if you go that route you'll want an oil or other finish afterwards to keep the repair from moisture...

Good luck, and post up what your fix was....

October 15, 2013, 11:12 AM
Hot Stuff thin CA adhesive.

It is available locally at any hobby shop and most craft stores.


Billy Jack
October 15, 2013, 09:53 PM
Thanks for all the good ideas.
I spent the day cleaning the gun and installing a Vortex scope and mentally planning the repair based on forum ideas.
I ended up using epoxy on the chunk that was knocked out and 'thin super glue' on the hair line crack.
I used a chisel between the two sides of the neck of the stock to slightly open the hairline crack, filled the crack with a few drops of CA which immediately flowed throughout the crack. Then I quickly removed the chisel and applied an adjustable clamp with rubber faces and waited about 1/2 an hour. After removing the clamp the stock stayed in the prestressed position the clamp had given it. This made it fit very nice and snug to the tang and receiver.
Next I filled the dished out area inside the neck of the stock with the 2 part epoxy (slow cure). After letting it sit for about 15 minutes and continually wiping off any excess around the edges, I carefully installed the stock to the gun and tightened the tang screw. Then I took the adjustable clamp and applied pressure to both sides of the neck just before where it meets the receiver.

This will be allowed to sit until tomorrow. At that time I may apply a little epoxy to the areas that look like they are not getting contact between the wood and the receiver.

I know most people use stock bedding material, but I have also heard of good results with just a drop or two of regular epoxy in strategic places. I know patience pays off, but I need to get this job done and get the rifle sighted in so IT can go hunting this weekend. There are hogs waiting!

What is a good release agent or method to get the epoxy to stick to the wood and conform to the metal, but not stick to the metal?

October 16, 2013, 01:07 AM
You did use release agent/paste wax on the action parts in contact with the slow-cure epoxy ? ;) :confused: :eek: :D

Billy Jack
October 16, 2013, 10:55 AM
Yes I did use a little release agent so I wouldn't have a problem.

I took it loose this morning and it is such a nice fit now, it is literally a slip fit to the gun.

On another forum their was an observation that my crack (actually my gun's crack) did not look like a recoil crack, but a crack from side loading like a slip fall, something being dropped on it in a soft case, or being dropped.

I think he may be on to something with the side loaded break idea. It broke off the little ear of the neck at the end that wedges into the receiver on the right side then it cracked the stock on the left side further down toward the tang screw. This would be consistent with putting the gun in a vise and grabbing the end of the stock and just pulling on it until you heard a cracking sound.

Now that it is repaired it is such a great fit I don't think I need to bed it. My reloads will never be anywhere near max because I just don't enjoy that kind of punishment. I'm sure there are thousands of these gun stocks with no better fit than mine that have and still are shooting without any extra attention to the stock to metal fit.

I'm going to take it out and shoot it. Time will tell and I'll be watching for any signs of change in the repaired area.

Thanks all!

Billy Jack
October 17, 2013, 07:20 PM
My fix worked fine so far. After the range this morning, I took the stock off and under a magnifying glass I pulled and twisted and pushed to see if any of the crack would open up. Then I took some more of the thin super glue and out it where the crack would be if it had returned. Non of it soaked in. So I feel like the crack was indeed a side load, not related to recoil. This reciver and stock seem to match beautifully.

Now I am in love. My 450 gr LFN lead bullets with 37 gr of Rel#7 clocked an average of 1663 fps. This same cartridge was 1628 fps out of my Ruger #1 with a 3.5" longer barrel! The only reason it might be faster could be that my .461" bullets fit a little tighter in the Marlin than in the Ruger. That is just a wild guess of course. I slugged the Ruger, but decided to "just shoot" the Marlin.
The grouping was great and it was easy to zero the scope. My only problem was the short stock and long 3-9 Vortex scope. I had to put on a Limb Saver slip on recoil pad to get some "safer" clearance for the top of my nose.

All in all I am as pleased with my new gun as I had hoped to be.

Now for Full Moon Weekend with the HOGS.

October 17, 2013, 07:26 PM
Well that's great!

Glad to hear the thin CA adhesive did the trick!

Great stuff, isn't it??


Billy Jack
October 17, 2013, 08:22 PM
Well RC you've never lead me astray yet!

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