Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

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BillBlab
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Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by BillBlab » Mon May 25, 2020 6:36 pm

A friend gave me a Marlin Safety marked as follows:
38-55
Pat dates: 10/11/87 and 4/2/89
The barrel length is 25-1/2 inches. Octagonal in shape.
The sights appear to be original and are in excellent condition.
Serial # 96957
The internal metal parts are in fairly poor condition but I think they can be cleaned up to work properly (if I can get the remaining two screws out!!)
The magazine tube is missing. Are there sources for parts for this rifle?
Also, are there any videos out there illustrating disassembly and care of the rifle?
Thanks in advance, Bill B.

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marlinman93
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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by marlinman93 » Tue May 26, 2020 9:14 am

A Model 1889 was never made in the .38-55 rifle caliber. Your gun is likely a Model 1893, and probably a very early one from around 1894. Might not have the Model designation on the top tang, or maybe yours has a tang sight mounted that's covering the Model designation on the tang?
Magazine tubes are indeed available, but the bigger problem is the hardware to attach it to the firearm. I'd guess your barrel length might be longer than the 25.5" as it extends into the receiver also. Should be a dovetail under the barrel by the front sight that would accept a dovetailed stud for the end of the magazine. Your gun needs that, plus a plug to mount the tube. Then need a follower, and mag tube spring internally to feed cartridges. And of course a screw to hold it all to the stud up front.
Places like Redmonds Barrel Liners sell mag tubes, but not all the other parts. The spring, follower, and plug can be used from later models like the 336 if you get the correct length for a 26" tube. Tubes need to be drilled at the muzzle end to fit the stud, and mount it.
Places like Brownells, Numrich, and some others may have the various parts needed to complete a mag tube assembly.
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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by BillBlab » Tue May 26, 2020 1:30 pm

Marlinman, thank you very much for the correction. It is a Model 1893 although it does not have that 1893 patent date on it.
The is a very small oval at the receiver end of the barrel with initials JM marked inside.
Unfortunately at this point there is so much rust inside that I cannot free the two remaining screws to get everything apart. Any suggestions along this line are most welcome.
Also thanks for the recommendations for parts. We shall see where we get with this rifle. cheers, bill.

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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by marlinman93 » Wed May 27, 2020 9:10 am

Not sure which two remaining screws are holding still, but I use Kroil penetrant for most stuck screws. An application liberally around the screw heads, and the opposite end also if it's visible will help. Once I apply the Kroil, I put a good fitting screwdriver tip into the slot, and give it a sharp rap with a hammer. I have a Brownells gunsmithing screwdriver set, so the removable tips allow me to strike the back easily, and sharper than just hitting a screwdriver handle. Another trick is to use a soldering gun first to put direct heat on the screw head. Hold it there for a minute or two, and then apply the Kroil afterwards, and the heat will pull the Kroil into the screw better.
I also use a small impact screwdriver to break the screws loose if all else fails. More often the impact as it tries to loosen the screw will break the rust free and they'll come right out. It doesn't take a very hard rap on the impact driver for these small screws to break them free if they've been treated with Kroil and heat first.
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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by BillBlab » Wed May 27, 2020 3:14 pm

Marlinman93, again, thank you. I'm taking the rifle to a gunsmith tomorrow to get his opinion on whether or not this rifle is worth trying to re-work. In a previous post you mentioned at dovetail magazine fitting under the front site. This rifle does not have that. There is a round stud (I assume it is threaded) - I cannot see that far down) just under the front sight. About half-way down the barrel, there are two brackets - both threaded.
I have been looking for parts and it is tough task. It seems they are few and far between. I'll let you know.
If you would like to email me so we don't take up too much space on the forum, please free to do so. Email: [email protected]. I really appreciate your wisdom and advice.
cheers, Bill

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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by Regnier (gunrunner) » Wed May 27, 2020 4:21 pm

Bill;

One place to watch for parts is eBay. I have purchased a number of parts there from time to time with pretty good luck. Search "Marlin Gun Parts" to narrow your search. It will still have an extensive number of items to search through.
The part you mention that is half way down the barrel is the forearm tennon. It is what the forearm cap attaches to when it is in place.
The part under the barrel, under the front sight should be the magazine tube stud. That is what the end of the magazine tube will attach to with the magazine tube plug. The plug fits inside the end of the magazine tube that has holes in it for the stud to slip inside the plug and tube.
Good luck.......
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marlinman93
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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by marlinman93 » Thu May 28, 2020 9:42 am

Since you obviously have both dovetails, and fortunately have the front stud that holds the tube, and the mag tube plug, you just need the tube assembly, and the retaining screw. There's a link in the gunsmithing section here to Larry Osborn's Marlin Gun Screws site where he sells vintage Marlin screws he reproduces. He might also have the mag tube parts, or at least can direct you to the best place to find them.
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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by BillBlab » Fri May 29, 2020 6:15 pm

Gents - thanks for the replies. This beginner is learning slowly. I'm suffering from a lack of a diagram of the model 1893. A nice fellow at Wild West Guns told me that most parts for the Model 36 are the same as the Model 1893. However, I cannot find a diagram of that model either.
There is a little bit of progress. There were three screws on the right side of the receiver section. From back to front - a large screw, just above and forward a medium size screw and finally a tiny little screw forward of the other two.
After a lot of soaking in liquid wrench and finally getting a basic set of gunsmith screwdrivers, all of these screws came out easily. Since I don't have the diagram I don't know the names of the parts I was capable of removing once the screws were out. All of those parts are in a bag soaking in Hoppe's #9 Solvent.
The breech is frozen in place and will not move. I am reluctant to try and force anything apart since obviously I have no clue as to what I am doing. The only remaining "fixture" on the receiver section is the head of a metal pin on the left side. It does not show on the right side.
As I look inside, I see a plate with a lug about 2/3 of the way back from the barrel/receiver mating point. I can also see the firing pin under this "fixture/plate".
So, what do I do next??
Can anyone verify that the missing magazine parts for the Model 1893 are compatible with the Model 36? That may broaden the search area for those parts.
My local gunsmith said he could not work on it until I had the parts. The search continues.
Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide. cheers, bill

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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by marlinman93 » Sat May 30, 2020 8:43 am

The three screws you got out are the:
1-Hammer screw
2-carrier screw
3-Loading gate screw

The breech bolt is still stuck, but it might be because you haven't lowered the locking block out of the receiver. The locking block intersects the breech bolt to lock it up when the lever is closed. Pull it straight down, and maybe the breech bolt will drop.

The "pin" you see is a post on the back of the "ejector" to keep it in place. The post type ejector was only used on early models, and later 1893's deleted the post, and simply sat in a recess in the left side under the breech bolt. If yours is good it can be reused, but if it's bad a replacement wont have the post, and that's fine also.
The breech bolt contains the firing pin, and extractor. Very early guns used a one piece firing pin, which yours might be. Later used a two piece. The early had just one pin driven top to bottom through the bolt to retain the firing pin. The later used two pins to hold the two halves. The back half is very short at around 1/2" long, so the pin holding it is way to the rear. The extractor is also held in similarly.

Other than the later mainspring used on the 336, the rest of a 336 diagram is the same as your 1893. They retained a lot of similarities in manufacture. But an 1893 (like other early Marlin levers) is an extremely simple design, and easily disassembled. Once you've got it apart you'll be able to disassemble one in just a few minutes the next time.
If you go to the gunsmithing area here and find Larry's info, he can email you a list of screws, and their description. He may even have a diagram he can email to you.

I just did a Google search for 1893 Marlin diagram and found this quickly.

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/gun-manufa ... arly-model
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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by BillBlab » Sat May 30, 2020 12:42 pm

Marlinman93. Thanks again. I think I saw a reply from you several years ago to someone asking a question and you noted the Model 1893 are addictive (or something like that). You are correct. I am determined to get this rifle restored.
After soaking all night, I have removed all internal received parts including the bolt. Everything is cleaning up nicely. Having done that, I am ready to go shopping for the missing parts.
So again, I rely upon your expertise to tell me what I need.
As I noted in the initial post, the barrel length is 25-1/2" from the end to the front of the receiver. Therefore I think the magazine tube should be 26 inches. I found one on the Numrich site you forwarded along. There are a number of variants for these tubes and I think this is the correct one - Product #255600F.
So, what else do I need? I found a forearm on Ebay. But, again without a diagram I am unsure what to look for.
The Model 336 you mentioned earlier looks nothing like this model
Here is what I think I need.
Forearm and forearm band and screw
Magazine tube follower
Magazine tube plug
Magazine Tube - 26"
Magazine Tube Follower Spring - LENGTH???
Magazine Tube Plug Screw
What am I missing?
Last question. How do you disassemble and clean the bolt and firing pin?
Regards and many thanks to all. cheers, bill

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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by marlinman93 » Sun May 31, 2020 9:04 am

The parts you described such as forearm, forearm band, are not for a rifle and wont work on your 1893 rifle. The band is for a carbine version, and wont fit. You need to be sure to get parts for a rifle when getting a forearm, forearm cap, tenon, screws, mag tube plug, and such.
I think I already described how to disassemble your bolt to get the firing pin, so read back again. Only other thing I'll add is a trick to supporting the bolt while removing the pins. Get a block of hardwood and drill a 1/8" hole in it. Then situate the bolt over the hole so the pin drops into it when you drift it out.
The barrel length is measured from muzzle crown to the forward opening on the side of the receiver for the bolt. Mag tubes will be slightly less than the 25.5" you measured as they stop at the receiver, and are slightly short of the end of the barrel.
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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by BillBlab » Sun May 31, 2020 3:23 pm

Marlinman93 - again,many thanks. Got it about the differences between the rifle and the carbine.
I had a wonderful conversation with Larry Osborn this morning, He is great guy and very knowledgeable. He also had several of the missing parts. We are making progress.
I measure the barrel as you instructed and it 26-1/2" from inside the receiver to the tip of the barrel. So, is the 26" magazine tube the appropriate length?
cheers, bill

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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by marlinman93 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:44 am

I think your measurement is slightly off as Marlin didn't make barrels in 1/2" increments. They normally made them in even numbered lengths, with maybe 3/16" extra over the even 26" length. So a 26" tube should be fine.
I've known Larry for decades, and since I purchased my first 1893 Marlin, and he lived nearby. He helped me with parts and screws for that 1893 takedown in .25-36 Marlin, and I still own it today. He's extremely knowledgeable, and very helpful too!

Vall
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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by BillBlab » Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:11 pm

Marlinman93. Since no one can find a diagram of the 1893 rifle or carbine, you should make a Youtube video showing how to take both apart and reassemble them!! You would be a Star.
I took the bolt assembly to a local gunsmith and he disassembled it for me. There are three solid pins, the firing pin, a separate round piece round piece roughly 3/4" long and the same diameter as the firing pin. This round piece has a flat on side side and then an oblong opening at 90 degrees to that flat. It appears that this opening allows for movement fore and aft around one of the large pins at the rear of the bolt. There are two springs - one smaller than the other and it has a small hook on the end. The second, larger leaf spring also has a hook on the end and an eye that accepts the smallest of the three pins at the front end of the bolt.
As a result of the virus, I could not go into his shop to watch him take it apart so I have no clue as to how it goes back together, I'll get everything clean and then take it back to him to reassemble.
Slowly making progress. Thanks for all of the assistance, cheers, bill

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Re: Big Bore Model 1889 missing magazine

Post by marlinman93 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:07 am

What you described is what I posted earlier. The two piece firing pin system that Marlin referred to as "Marlin Safety" and was stamped into the top of receivers. Not sure if your early 1893 has this rollstamp on top of the receiver, but that's what it means.
The small round rear part of the two piece firing pin system drops out of alignment with the front half as soon as the lever moves slightly open. The bolt block pushes it up, so lowering drops the block, and the rear firing pin half disconnects to keep the gun from accidentally firing when the lever isn't fully up. Genius on LL Hepburn's design, and something used for many decades since.
I'm not much on high tech stuff like doing videos. Just never interested me to learn it, and at nearly 70 now, I doubt I'll start. I can describe things, and hopefully in such a way people can then accomplish the task.
I'm guilty of trying almost anything my whole life, and constantly taking things apart. My parents weren't so keen on this when I was very young, but when I started doing brake jobs, and tuneups on my parent's cars at around 12 or 13 yrs. old, my dad began to say he was glad I was never afraid to tear things apart.
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