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Lawman Mays

1894 Marlin CB cartridge issue

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Hey, my main match rifle is a 73 but last year I got a new 1894 Marlin Cowboy in 357/38. I slicked it up and it feels nice and smooth. I'm using tapered nose, flat point, 125 grain coated bullets from Missouri Bullet Company. I use the bottom groove to crimp so my overall length is around 5.6. When shooting fast I occasionally jack out a round. What is the best OAL for a cartridge for this gun? Has anyone tried using .357 brass for this gun?

Edited by Lawman Mays

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4 minutes ago, Lawman Mays said:

Hey, my main match rifle is a 73 but last year I got a new 1894 Marlin Cowboy in 357/38. I slicked it up and it feels nice and smooth. I'm using tapered nose, flat point, 125 grain coated bullets from Missouri Bullet Company. I use the bottom groove to crimp so my overall length is around 5.6. When shooting fast I occasionally jack out a round. What is the best OAL for a cartridge for this gun? Has anyone tried using .357 brass for this gun?

Guessing you meant 1.560 COL.

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Yes, thanks, I meant 1.56 OAL.

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If your too fast you might just be running faster than the gun can.  Question if you go slower do you have the same problem? 

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10 minutes ago, Tequila Chase said:

If your too fast you might just be running faster than the gun can.  Question if you go slower do you have the same problem? 

 

I don't think it's possible to outrun a Marlin or a 73 and after watching Duece with a 92 I'm not sure they can be either.

 

Remember:

It's Lever,  Trigger,  repeat.

 

Not Lever, Lever.

 

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Pull the trigger before ejecting. Timing is everything. I actually had my Marlin assist with opening the lever about the time it fired this month. It was on a quad tap on one target running it pretty fast. Made me pause a second. Finished the stage and match.

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1 hour ago, Tequila Chase said:

If your too fast you might just be running faster than the gun can.  Question if you go slower do you have the same problem? 

No, only when I'm running real fast.

 

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Widder referred me to Gunner Gatlin who does 'smith work on Marlin carriers.

During my conversation, I learned you can remove the ejector bobby pin, so you can cycle round #1, and see how the carrier engages with round #2.
The height of engagement determines how much thickness Gunner adds when he installs a hardened piece into your carrier.
Apparently, some carriers are "low" and need a wee bit more thickness (height) added.

I understand the hardened piece is the long-term solution to carrier wear.

If I can figure this all out... I will shoot some hi-res macro photos of the concept... if possible.
Santa brought me a nice Macro lens for Christmas... ;)

Edited by bgavin

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3 hours ago, Tequila Chase said:

If your too fast you might just be running faster than the gun can.  Question if you go slower do you have the same problem? 

 

3 hours ago, Tyrel Cody said:

 

I don't think it's possible to outrun a Marlin or a 73 and after watching Duece with a 92 I'm not sure they can be either.

 

Remember:

It's Lever,  Trigger,  repeat.

 

Not Lever, Lever.

 

 

I agree with Tequila.

 

Tyrel, the .38/.357 'factory' spec's rifles seem to have a built in 'governor' that can (but not always) cause

problems when the 1894 is cycled real fast.

 

And I will explain:

When a round sits on the carrier and the previous round has been fired,  the empty extracted case RIM

will 'kiss' the rim of the cartridge sitting on the carrier.

The tolerances are close..... sometimes a little to close.   

If you are using brass with RIM diameters on the high side of SAAMI specs, they will often bump.

Rim diameters on the low side of SAAMI specs will bypass close, but might not actually bump

each other.

NOW, here is the situation when running the rifle fast:

when the extracted empty moves back over the top of the next round on the carrier, if the shooter

is running the rifle real fast, the carrier can start to rise with the next round BEFORE the empty

has had time to clear the action.   Sometimes, if tolerances are so close that those rims 'kiss'

each other during the cycling, its only natural that running the 1894 real fast will cause

feeding issues because those rims bump each other.

 

Basically, the empty is trying to clear the port at the same time the next round is trying to

feed upwards on the carrier.

 

LAWMAN MAYS:  feel free to call me and I'll give you a little test to try over the phone to help

you see what I'm talking about.

 

..........Widder    865 / 696-1996

 

 

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The above strikes me as "outrunning the bobby pin".

Perhaps Slick's 1pc extractor might be faster?
Or, the RPP extractor claw?

Lawman May, that call is very worthwhile.
Be sure to call when you have lots of time to chat.
Widder is a fount of knowledge, and likes to share.
Be sure to take notes.

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Widder is a teacher and a true gentleman and I am fortunate to posse with him and other great East Tennessee shooters. When it's not too cold. Lol

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47 minutes ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

 

'factory'

 

 

 

The key word I tend to forget.

 

4 minutes ago, Mister Badly said:

Widder is a teacher and a true gentleman and I am fortunate to posse with him and other great East Tennessee shooters. When it's not too cold. Lol

 

This times 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

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Ejecting unfired rounds is almost NEVER a fault in the action.  

 

If the rounds did not feed well, then looking at cartridge OAL is appropriate.  But OAL has NOTHING to do with ejecting a live round!

 

When live rounds are ejected, and have no or a VERY light dimple on the primer, you have gotten your lever-trigger timing out of sync.   As mentioned above, lever-sights-trigger,  lever-sights-trigger.     When you get that down in muscle memory to the point that it is automatic at a moderate speed, THEN you are ready to kick your speed up another notch.

 

We almost all have done this.  The folks who learn from ejecting rounds, get faster.  

 

Good luck, GJ

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12 minutes ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Ejecting unfired rounds is almost NEVER a fault in the action.  

 

If the rounds did not feed well, then looking at cartridge OAL is appropriate.  But OAL has NOTHING to do with ejecting a live round!

 

When live rounds are ejected, and have no or a VERY light dimple on the primer, you have gotten your lever-trigger timing out of sync.   As mentioned above, lever-sights-trigger,  lever-sights-trigger.     When you get that down in muscle memory to the point that it is automatic at a moderate speed, THEN you are ready to kick your speed up another notch.

 

We almost all have done this.  The folks who learn from ejecting rounds, get faster.  

 

Good luck, GJ

 

Sights?

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1 hour ago, Tyrel Cody said:

Sights?

 

:lol:  Yep, if I don't ALWAYS remember "sights" in my shot planning and action sequence, they tend to wander away from the intended target.   :o

For some reason, if my sights are off the target, so is my shot!   Isn't that astounding!

 

I can shoot fast enough in some events - if I could shoot clean, I'd be trouble.   At least in my own mind.  

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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I've has problems with throwing out or crossing up a live round in a couple of Marlins that I've worked on.  Drove me nuts trying to figue it out.   Run it very deliberate and it would run fine.  Run it presed against the side of my leg so I could watch the feed and it would run fine.  If I tried to run as fast I can (and that's not real fast) and I'd have problems.  I set up a camera and recorded video of myself. I could see that I was pushing the lever to the left as I was working it thus twisting the gun clockwise throwing the live round out the port.  As I recall,  one gun was my 1894 in 45 Colt converted to C45S and the 1894c that had to use 38 Special to fit 10 in the tube. 

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Sometimes when running the Marlin real fast, I'll find that I short-stroke the lever slightly, and then, yep, I'll jack out a live round.  When I run the lever hard, making sure I've bottomed out the lever as far as it'll go, everything's fine.  I've also done Widder's fix where the base of the case being ejected never contacts the rim of the cartridge on the carrier.  He very nicely posted it with step-by-step instructions on Marauder's Irons page.  Give him a call. 

 

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Thanks for all of the info. Garrison Joe mentioned OAL, but no one addressed using a .357 case. My thinking is that if the gun is made to shoot a .357 cartridge, which is longer than a standard .38 special, would using the longer case be a better option? 

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I had a .38/.357 that I had tried many different bullets and OAL. finally sold it as my wife was not having fun shooting it and was getting frustrated. The person that bought it later told me he switched to .357 brass and it ran great...that was the one thing I failed to try. But she loves her 73 Codymatic.

 

Hochbauer

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The Marlin that Jersey Bratt shoots works fine with .357 but will only hold nine,so she uses .38. It feeds either length just fine for her speed.

 

Imis

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17 hours ago, bgavin said:


Perhaps Slick's 1pc extractor might be faster?
Or, the RPP extractor claw?

 

 

I highly recommend installing the Ranger Point Precision extractor in your Marlin. I have one in each of mine and it made a world of difference in both function and cycling smoothness.

 

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Running a Marlin fast is like running fast on ice. You have to be very smooth and that's if the gun is set up well. They can be run fast because many people are doing it but IMO they are much more difficult to setup than a 73. That's because the rounds aren't captive like in a 73 so they can bounce around while feeding. 

 

So OAL, bullet types and even how you stroke the lever are more critical on a Marlin. I think the SS Marlins are more critical than a stock Marlin and then the Widder mod makes them feed any OAL but that doesn't let you get away without having a smoother technique. 

 

I can take a Marlin that shoots great for a fast shooter and it runs like crap for me...…..same gun. I tweaked mine and with the help of some GREAT cowboys almost got to the point where I was going all in but I never could get the rifle to shoot fast without some hickups. 

 

Like I said it can be done but the design of the gun makes it much harder to shoot fast. Good luck

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPe7DDAPRTE

 

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There's several videos out showing just how fast a M94 can run.

X2 on the RPP extractor:excl:

When Widder and I did prototype testing of this extractor. I found  that my 1981 made .44 mag carbine will now feed SWC shaped bullets all day long.

Same thing when I installed one in my wife's :wub: Marlin .38 CBC.

OLG 

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When I spoke with Widder about this, there was a concern raised about the RPP extractor claw not being an ideal match with a carrier modified for a hardened surface and the height adjusted.

The softer metal of the stock Marlin carrier is apparently prone to wear.
This is circumvented by Gunner's hardface modification.

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3 hours ago, Imis Twohofon,SASS # 46646 said:

The Marlin that Jersey Bratt shoots works fine with .357 but will only hold nine

Well, this answers my question.  I'll have to stay with .38 special brass. 

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@Lawman Mays  keep us up to date on how things are going.  As always cowboys helping cowboys is the heart of the game and is shown in this thread.  I'd be interested to know what you came up with for a fix.

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On 1/22/2020 at 9:14 AM, Lawman Mays said:

Hey, my main match rifle is a 73 but last year I got a new 1894 Marlin Cowboy in 357/38. I slicked it up and it feels nice and smooth. I'm using tapered nose, flat point, 125 grain coated bullets from Missouri Bullet Company. I use the bottom groove to crimp so my overall length is around 5.6. When shooting fast I occasionally jack out a round. What is the best OAL for a cartridge for this gun? Has anyone tried using .357 brass for this gun?

 

As to what is the best OAL of cartridge for your gun, it depends on the gun.  Rifles that supposed to run various lengths of a cartridge, such as .38/.357 or .44/.44 Mag will oft times run one or the other, but sometimes neither well.  With a stock gun, no work done on it.  It was found that some guns liked a 'tween size.  So Snakebite developed a very long nose bullet, 133gr that loaded into .38sp brass, to give that in-between size that some guns liked.

 

My JM Marlin carbine only liked full length .357s.   I changed out the carrier and now it only liked .38 sp length cartridges.  Once I did a fair amount of modifications to the gun, it runs flawlessly with shorter 1.40" OAL 

 

As for the Ranger Point Extractor, one JM Marlin it was a perfect drop-in, and functions best of all extractors I tried.  But, with the older Marlin, the Ranger Point Extractor was just a little short.  Not the fault of the extractor, but because not all Marlins were perfectly alike.  After measuring, I found that the locking pin hole for the extractor was off a bit.  So, I had to go with the slightly longer "Sure Claw" Extractor.  

 

I also found that with the old JM Marlins, they had several different ejectors, and not just any ejector replacement will work.  That seems to be because the tooling was wearing, and there was a bit of hand-fitting that had to be done.  With that old carbine,  I tried some of the newer ejectors on the market, with no luck.  I had to use an ejector that also incorporated a cartridge guide for the rifle to function properly.  They are hard to find.

 

Long story short:  Try a few different lengths, use what your rifle likes and feed it a steady diet of what it wants.

 

To answer your question as to jacking out a round, that's technique rather than over-all length of cartridge.   OAL addresses feeding issues.  Jacking out at speed is a problem with short-stroking the lever.

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In retrospect, after all this learning has taken place... I shoulda bought the Winchester 1873 in 357.

Overall, the action seems better suited as a CAS rifle.
The elevator loading mechanism is positive feed control, and operates correctly in any/all positions.

The Miroku toggle-link is entirely suitable for CAS loads.
In battery, the links themselves carry the load, not the pivot pins.
Miroku has never suffered the quality control problems, nor bad reputation of Remlins.

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22 minutes ago, bgavin said:

In retrospect, after all this learning has taken place... I shoulda bought the Winchester 1873 in 357.

Overall, the action seems better suited as a CAS rifle.
The elevator loading mechanism is positive feed control, and operates correctly in any/all positions.

The Miroku toggle-link is entirely suitable for CAS loads.
In battery, the links themselves carry the load, not the pivot pins.
Miroku has never suffered the quality control problems, nor bad reputation of Remlins.

 

Pretty much agree.

 

Marlin's 'good' reputation (atleast from my point of view) was earned years back when their QC

was very good and their reputations for 'strength' are legendary.

 

Marlin smiths were once plentiful because setting them up for Cowboy competition was easier.

Note I used the word "Competition".   This was before the great work that folks are now doing on the

66's and 73's.  

 

I don't know enough of the Marlin vs 73 history, but I do know that the last of the original Marlins

and the early production  1894 rifles of Remington didn't turn out like most of us had preferred.

But I will admit that the more recent Remlins that I have seen and checked out have been nice,

although I have limited my own work on them.

 

Let me also state that my previous post was ONLY in response to the post I quoted.

I do agree on the comments by others concerning jacking out live rounds.   Its probably a

situation where the action is not FULLY cycled with a strong possibility of timing in working

the Lever-Trigger, lever-trigger, lever-trigger, etc..... 

 

Cowboy Junky is one of the fastest rifle shooters I know and have seen him shoot.

Remarkably fast.

I worked on a Marlin for him that had been previously short stroked.

The gun was already good..... really good.

BUT, as an experiment, we (Junky and I) wanted to see if I could take his rifle

and relieve some of its critical OAL situation.

I was successfully able to modify it where it gave him more liberty in its OAL 

variations by a few .000's, which allowed more variations with other bullet styles, weights, and

of course, OAL.

 

The rifle ran PERFECT.   I've set up some nice Marlin's in my life, but I honestly don't know

of any that turned out more ready for competition.

I ran more than 250 dummy rounds thru his Marlin with ZERO issues, both super fast and average

speed.   I could not get his Marlin to jam or hiccup one time.  Not once.

 

I gave it back to Junky and told him..."There ain't a jam ANYWHERE in this rifle".

Junky managed to jam it on the 2nd cycle in his hands.  We quickly determined it was

because he didn't FULLY function the cycling.

I took 10 pieces of HIS ammo in the rifle, and without pulling the trigger, I cycled all 10 rounds

thru the action as fast as I could run the action.   All 10 fed thru perfect.

And when I don't have to pull the trigger, I can run the action darn fast.

 

Moral of the story..... even if the rifles are set up perfect, there are times when the shooter

don't function perfectly.

And as we've all learned in our Math classes, anytime you multiply a positive with a negative,

ya get negative results.

 

..........Widder

 

 

 

 

 

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I wish they would change the "Like" icon from a heart (too femmy) to a thumbs-up or similar.

 

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Wow, great responses from everyone. Many thanks! I love Cowboys. What I get from all this is that I need to use .38 special brass, the feeding/cycling was not the problem, it was my fault in probably short stroking the lever. I most likely don't need to make any modifications to the rifle as I already slicked it up per the Billy the Avenger's video except maybe get the Ranger Point extractor. Oh, and Lumpy, all my screws are nice and tight. Happy shooting.

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1 hour ago, McCandless said:

 

As to what is the best OAL of cartridge for your gun, it depends on the gun.  Rifles that supposed to run various lengths of a cartridge, such as .38/.357 or .44/.44 Mag will oft times run one or the other, but sometimes neither well.  With a stock gun, no work done on it.  It was found that some guns liked a 'tween size.  So Snakebite developed a very long nose bullet, 133gr that loaded into .38sp brass, to give that in-between size that some guns liked.

 

My JM Marlin carbine only liked full length .357s.   I changed out the carrier and now it only liked .38 sp length cartridges.  Once I did a fair amount of modifications to the gun, it runs flawlessly with shorter 1.40" OAL 

 

As for the Ranger Point Extractor, one JM Marlin it was a perfect drop-in, and functions best of all extractors I tried.  But, with the older Marlin, the Ranger Point Extractor was just a little short.  Not the fault of the extractor, but because not all Marlins were perfectly alike.  After measuring, I found that the locking pin hole for the extractor was off a bit.  So, I had to go with the slightly longer "Sure Claw" Extractor.  

 

I also found that with the old JM Marlins, they had several different ejectors, and not just any ejector replacement will work.  That seems to be because the tooling was wearing, and there was a bit of hand-fitting that had to be done.  With that old carbine,  I tried some of the newer ejectors on the market, with no luck.  I had to use an ejector that also incorporated a cartridge guide for the rifle to function properly.  They are hard to find.

 

Long story short:  Try a few different lengths, use what your rifle likes and feed it a steady diet of what it wants.

 

To answer your question as to jacking out a round, that's technique rather than over-all length of cartridge.   OAL addresses feeding issues.  Jacking out at speed is a problem with short-stroking the lever.

 

JM drilled the extractor hole in different locations over the years. 

Go to the RPP site and you'll see this.

The extractor's 'hook' is specifically cut for the various hole locations in the bolt.

OLG 

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59 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

 

JM drilled the extractor hole in different locations over the years. 

Go to the RPP site and you'll see this.

The extractor's 'hook' is specifically cut for the various hole locations in the bolt.

OLG 

 

Mine was not a problem with the location of the extractor channel, but the location of the cross-pin hole.  Just a few thousandths off, but enough that I couldn't use the very nice RPP extractor that I used in my short-stroked Marlin.  I was bummed. 

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