Marlin Lever gun ??


June 5, 2014, 05:48 AM
ok, over the last couple of years, i have posted several questions pertaining to the lever popping open on my 1895G 45-70. i have tried replacing all of the lever parts, with only a slight gain in the real problem. so, my next part is the locking lug. i ordered a new one, and when it got here, i measured it. it was .008' wider, and .006" thicker than the stock one that came from my gun. the stock locking lug pretty much flops around in the receiver. so i went about the slow and tedious job of hand lapping the lug to make it fit into my receiver. after 3 hours of lapping, checking to maintain square, and checking to see if it fits, i finally have the lug fitted, with almost no clearance.its tight enough that i can not fit a .0015" feeler gauge between any of the parts, but it will cycle, but rather "catchy". the only way i can think of to measure headspace, is to use plasti-gauge between the bolt face and cartridge case. at this point, my question is, is there such a thing as to tight? other of course, that the action working on the jerky side.

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June 5, 2014, 11:59 AM
Yes, too tight and you will eventually run into brass on the max side of manufacturing tolerance that won't chamber.

You need a headspace gage.


June 7, 2014, 10:32 PM
Two parts of the question.

Yes, the locking bolt can be too tight if it binds when dirty. The headspace is a different part of the question. What many seem to leave out when using the plastigage is to get a baseline measurement for the case they are using. Assuming its perfect dimensionally isn't a good plan, cases vary by a LOT, most being on the small side. I think using the case with the info stamped on the head wont give a truly accurate reading of the plastigage, but I don't know how much that matters. Using some shim stock may be a better method.

I had this same problem with a 45-70 Marlin. I had the lever locking plunger spring replaced, and it was fine. Before the fix, the slightest jar would make the action pop open when loaded, and the bolt would stop on the half cocked hammer. Not good for walking around in good grizzly country.

4v50 Gary
June 8, 2014, 10:57 AM
If the lever is popping open, then the issue isn't the locking bolt but the spring and catch that are supposed to keep it closed.

June 8, 2014, 11:35 AM
It is normal for the lever to partially open after firing. The heavier the recoil the more noticeable.

June 8, 2014, 12:17 PM
I had to look at your old posts, I didn't realize it was popping open when you shot it. You didn't describe that part clearly. Mine has never done that, no Marlin I've owned or shot has done that. It may be common, but I don't think its "normal" or should be happening.

The locking bolt may help, have a look at the bolt also, the recess where the locking bolt engages it. I haven't seen it in a newer gun, but I've seen that recess worn badly in an older Marlin. There isn't much engagement area on Marlin bolts where the locking bolt engages it.

You didn't happen to put a stronger magazine spring in it did you? The cartridge that's coming next into the receiver pushes against the lever. That's what was causing mine to pop open when jarred slightly (not fired) when loaded, it was overcoming the lever lock plunger. Have you shot a few rounds with none in the magazine?

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