1895 Marlin Phoenix

Anything to do with gun smithing.
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Brent
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1895 Marlin Phoenix

Post by Brent »

I have an 1895 Marlin that was the worst bubba gun ever. I believe it was made in 1899, but I’m not sure why I think that (sn175945). It has received new barrel, wood, mag tube, internal parts, and rear sights. While it is not perfect, it is getting to be a decent gun and is now a .45-70, whereas it came with a probably nonoriginal .33W barrel.

I’ll post some URLs to photos that are too big to post here rather than spend an hour shrinking them and re-uploading them.
https://i.imgur.com/yv594vD.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/sCRF7A1.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/WuA6NUG.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/W9zUsUj.jpg

My goal is to take this black bear hunting in Alaska next spring. I have the tag. It is just a matter of picking the gun to take with me. Normally, it is a singleshot, often an original Ballard Pacific .45-70, but I would like to have a multishooter for this particular hunt if it might ensure that I get the bear down and dead before it can get off the beach. A bear in the Devil’s Club is a thing to be avoided.

Me being me, I insist on shooting paper patched bullets and blackpowder. I would consider it acceptable if I could shoot 4-5 shots in a row without fouling out and with at least 2-2.5 MOA accuracy. This has proven challenging, but yesterday, it did that with room to spare.

https://i.imgur.com/MgkrWrt.jpg?1
https://i.imgur.com/kcunXgJ.jpg?1

Of course, it may not do it again, but I will know soon enough. In the meantime, I am having a problem with loading second shots. Sometimes (1 in 5 to 8 shots), it will allow two cartridges to come back onto the carrier. My cartridges are 2.72” OAL which sounds long but even 2.86” cartridges will load from the magazine singly. So, before I pull this apart what am I looking for? I do not recall a lot about how this rifle worked down in there, although I have had it apart many times (but not recently).

In addition, the ejector is anything but convincing and the empty case often falls back into the action unless I very briskly cycle the action and cant the gun slightly to the right. The spring on the ejector seems just fine.
Any help with these two problems, especially the first, would be greatly appreciated.

Brent
In Iowa.
Brent
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Re: 1895 Marlin Phoenix

Post by Brent »

I was hoping to find someone knowledgeable on the workings of Marlins to chime it, but seems not.
I shot some more today and using some of the same loads. Unfortunately, I did not get the same results. I also had problems with jamming caused by a second cartridge following the first into the receiver and onto the carrier.

It appears that the first cartridge is the primary way in which the second cartridge is prevented from running onto the carrier prematurely. Then as the carrier rises, the front face of the carrier holds that second cartridge in place until the current cartridge is seated in the chamber and the carrier falls back to the bottom of its cycle.

If that is really all it is, then it appears that I must have a cartridge that is at least 2.810" long (distance from cartridge stop to front of carrier), in order to keep the following cartridge where it needs to be until the next shell is loaded.

This is a top-down view of my carrier. You will have to click on it because the image is too big to display here.
https://i.imgur.com/sCsuryI.jpg?1

It may not be original to the rifle, but it's what came with it. A .45-70 at SAMI 2.55" would not work on this carrier, so it must be a .45-90 carrier I guess. BTW, why is there a diagonal ledge milled into the top of the carrier?

The conundrum occurs when measuring the distance between the front of the ejector's engagement surface and the stub of the barrel that protrudes into the ejection port. This distance is 2.78" So, it would seem that a cartridge that is the proper length is also too long to eject without being fired.

What am I missing here?

Can the portion of the barrel stub that protrudes into the ejection port be removed so that the entire ejection port is available to be used?
Brent
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Re: 1895 Marlin Phoenix

Post by Brent »

Hello!

Anybody home?

I also sent a note to the "adminstrator" about another matter. Seems no one hears me...
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Road King
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Re: 1895 Marlin Phoenix

Post by Road King »

You have done a great job of saving this great old rifle. Don't think I can help you much as I am more of a collector these days then a shooter. Have tried any original length cases for reloading?
There a lot more knowledgeable readers and shooters of the model 1895 that should be able to help. Gunrunner should be able the help check out what the original caliber of the rifle was. That may help with determining if the internals are correct for .45-70.
Road King
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Regnier (gunrunner)
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Re: 1895 Marlin Phoenix

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) »

Unfortunately, that serial number (175945) is blank, which seems to happen on quite a few of the Model 1895's.
It seems you are honing in on the problem, mainly the loaded case length. As to the lifter, you could add some JB Weld epoxy at the rear where the base of the cartridge sits on the carrier and shorten that space some to move the cartridge forward and keep that magazine cartridge from entering the carrier.
You could remove some the barrel that protrudes into the ejection port, but be careful not to remove too much. What is your barrel length? Is it possible that it has been turned back and shortened and there are too many threads now and that is why the barrel protrudes into the ejection port?
Due to the increasing cost of ammunition, there will be no warning shot!

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Brent
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Re: 1895 Marlin Phoenix

Post by Brent »

Thanks for the help guys.

This gun has been rebarreled with a Green Mountain barrel, so it hasn't been set back or anything like that. But I know that the end of the barrel is critical to the way it mates to the receiver. It is not just the shoulder of the barrel that is important on these rifles. I may remove some of that barrel sub in the ejection port window, but nothing else.

I am of the amateur opinion that my carrier is actually a .45-90 carrier. This may be a blessing in disguise. Rather than shorten the shelf on the carrier to .45-70 length, I will lengthen my cartridges to 2.81". In fact, I did that last night and they seemed to cycle well. However, 2.83" did not cycle and the nose of the first bullet would catch on something (top of mag tube or bottom of barrel) as it was being lifted. So length matters and seems to have to be just right. I am shooting weird bullets - paper patches and with noses less than land diameter so I can slide them quite far up into the rifling. I am using black powder as well. It's a thing with me I guess.

After looking at my 1910ish vintage 1894 carrier (.38-40), I see that it has a rounded leading edge, whereas the 1895 carrier is really sharp on that leading edge and thus likely to catch on the rim or base of the second cartridge waiting at the end of the mag tube. Perhaps I should file a little radius on this carrier too?

I would love to have an original 1895 Marlin in .45-90 together with a screwdriver in my hands with for a hour or two. I could learn a lot.

Thanks again for your help and let me know what you think about a small radius on the top front edge of the 95's carrier. Good or bad?
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marlinman93
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Re: 1895 Marlin Phoenix

Post by marlinman93 »

!894's used a different loading gate that assisted in catching the rim of the next cartridge to keep it from entering the action. So I wouldn't round off the leading edge of the 1895 carrier, or you might end up with more issues of the 2nd cartridge trying to follow the first one.
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!
Brent
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Re: 1895 Marlin Phoenix

Post by Brent »

The cycling sequence and movement of the cartridges in my .38-40 1894 seems to be exactly the same as in my 1895. I don't see any difference at all, just that everything is bigger in the 1895. This is a fairly old 1894. Perhaps new ones had a different cartridge handling mechanism?
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marlinman93
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Re: 1895 Marlin Phoenix

Post by marlinman93 »

Cycling is exactly the same, but loading gates are made different.
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!
Brent
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Re: 1895 Marlin Phoenix

Post by Brent »

I'll have to look at that next time I'm in there. I have not noticed any difference except size.

Brent
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