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Marlin 1895 Lever Feed Failure

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Fred_G, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    Bought a Marlin 1895 45-70 gun from a buddy in CA. He never fired the gun, it was his Dad's who never fired the gun... Gun seems to be in nice shape. It will feed a round if I open the bolt and drop one in. It will let me load rounds into the mag tube. I can remove them from the mag tube by pressing in on the feed catch? (not sure of the name, but the part that holds the bullet in the mag tube.)

    But, if I put a bullet in the mag tube and work the action, the bullet moves back about a half an inch, and it jams the action. I have to take off the mag tube and force the bullet back out of the mag tube opening. So, it seems something is keeping the bullet from fully leaving the mag tube. Mag tube was pretty clean, I wiped it off...

    Any ideas or suggestions before I take this one to the Gunsmith?

  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Run it like you Stole it, and are going to throw it down on the way out.

    Do Not baby it.

    It will get smother and slicker after you use it for a while.

    But right now, clean & lube it properly.

    Then try to break it when you open and close the lever.

    Just don't do with live rounds it in the house while watching TV or posting on the Internet!

  3. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    Nope, that is not the problem. I put one in the mag tube, and jacked the lever as hard as I could. The round moved back about 1/8", action is locked open. Won't budge. In the AM I will take the mag tube out again and pound the errant round back out...

    The action is smooth as butter with no rounds in the gun. Something is blocking the bullet from being fully released from the mag tube, and even with a light, I can't see what is blocking it.

    Thanks for the help! Besides taking the lever and bolt out, my lever gun cleaning/repair skills are at zero.

    Here, they say a picture is worth a thousand words... Here is the gun jammed up. I can't close the bolt, can't move the round.

    Attached Files:

    • Jam.jpg
      File size:
      69.1 KB
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  4. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    That looks almost like the round is hanging up on the loading gate.

  5. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    Loading gate. OK, that is the thing you press in to load the gun right? That is what I suspect the problem is, but, can't see what is going on.

    If I open the action and toss a round in, it feeds and ejects with no issues.
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    It looks almost like it wasn't stuffed all the way inside the mag and in front of the loading gate before he tried to operate the lever is what it looks like to me.

    Make sure the round is well inside the mag tube opening and the loading gate snaps back up on your finder tip by pushing it the last 1/8" or so when loading the last round.

  7. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    OK, loaded like this? I took this picture loaded, then opened the action, and jammed, see picture a few posts ago....

    And on my 336, that is how the bullet looks when loaded into the mag tube. Something is blocking it from exiting the mag tube.

    Again, thanks for the help and suggestions!

    Attached Files:

  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    What kind of ammo are you using??

    Lever-guns are very critical on the cartridge OAL they will feed.

    Factory loads should work, but handloads need to be right to work at all.

  9. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    Hornady 45-70 Gov 325 gr FTX. Not reloads. These are not leaving the gate so to speak. If I open the action and toss one in, feeds and ejects just fine. Problem is going from the mag tube to the action.
  10. gb6491

    gb6491 Well-Known Member

  11. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    "By chance, are you using Hornady LEVERevolution ammo?"

  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    There ya go then!!

    Try some standard 45-70 factory length flat-point ammo and see if it works.

    If it does, you have an FTX ammo prioblem, not a gun problem.

  13. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    What is standard ammo for the gun?

    The bullet is affecting how the bullet leaves the mag tube? Not an expert, but would that not be a feed issue, not a lock up like this?

    The round is not exiting the mag tube.
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Regardless, you haven't figured out if you have a gun problem or not until you try at least one other brand of ammo in it.

    You may have a box of Hornady FTX with out of spec rim diameter, length, or who knows what.

    Another box of ammo of a different brand will prove or disprove whether you have a gun problem (expensive fix), or an ammo problem (cheap fix).

    Cleaning, proper lube, and an ammo change is always the first few steps a gunsmith would take before getting out the files, stones, and new parts order forms!

  15. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    Might be cheaper to take it to the Gunsmith. The other 45-70 ammo was around $40 a box... I still think it is a problem with the gun, not the ammo. Note I said "I think"...

    The gun will feed and eject the ammo just fine if I open the bolt and drop a round in. It just wont feed from the mag tube. Hard to see what is going on with it. I will look at it again today, sometimes obvious things show up the next day.

    Thanks for the suggestions!
  16. Chawbaccer

    Chawbaccer Well-Known Member

    Make sure all the screws are tight and look to see that the ejector is in place at the rear of the receiver, it will fall out when the bolt is removed causing a jam up if it stays in the receiver.
  17. Dave P

    Dave P Well-Known Member

    Fred, please ... you load your rifle with cartridges or ammo, not bullets. The bullet is only the projectile that hits the target.

    It sounds like your Marlin is getting jammed on Hornady cartridges, that include a soft-point bullet.
  18. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    "Fred, please ... you load your rifle with cartridges or ammo, not bullets. The bullet is only the projectile that hits the target."

    It is my gun, and if I want to load it up with boolets, I will load it up with boolets. :neener:
  19. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    Check especially the screw that holds the load gate, the little one about an inch and a half behind it. That tends to loosen, and when it's loose it allows the load gate to sort of fall into the action. The front, curved part of the load gate catches the head of the cartridge and won't let it get pushed rearward where the action can pick it up.
  20. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the help. Turns out it was just dirty. :eek: I gave it a good cleaning, and it works great now.

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