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Marlin 1894 better then winning the lottery?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Decker, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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    Well, okay it probably isn't and I'd take the lottery win if I could but I think this is a close second place. I stopped by a pawn shop in a town near where I live and saw they had a good selection of lever actions. I asked if they had a .357 and the guy at the counter went down the line and after looking at 7 or 8 said 'nope'.

    But, a guy in the back over heard us and said to wait a moment. A few minutes later he brought up a Marlin 1894 and handed it too me. I looked it over and while it has not been a safe-queen aside from the furniture having some worn spots it looked good.

    A quick trip to the atm and back and I walked out with a smile from ear to ear.

    I got home and took my new toy down to the bat cave to bask in the glory of my new rifle. I tried to load a few rounds in and I couldn't get anything to chamber correctly and... well... have you ever had that pit in your stomach feeling like you just got hosed? About then I felt that way.

    So I took it part and carefully looked things over and it turns out that someone had just installed the ejector spring wrong. Put it all back together and... bingo!

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    So... here is my appeal to those smarter then I am. There's a few spots on the bluing that are worn... what is the best way to fix those marks?

    -d
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  2. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Decker, you got a sweetie. These guns are literally being screamed for on the market, and sellers can almost name their price. There's a reason for it: few guns are more fun to shoot, load for, and a very potent weapon for deer, varmints, and home defense.
    Just overhauled a .44 mag, similar condition. Get the wood off of it, fine steel wool with just a touch of WD-40 will remove the light rust and not damage present blue. Degrease with alcohol or Windex, then a good cold blue will bring better than expected results.
    I actually had two of the .357's till a friend saw them. He paid my exorbitant asking price.

    Oh! Oh! Almost forgot: Sighting equipment. My .357 I graced with a Weaver base, Warne Quick-Detach rings, and a Leupold 1x-4x. Irons are dialed for 50 yards, scope for 100.

    The .44 mag has a Williams FP rear peep, and the front bead replaced with a Williams orange glow-dot. Nothing faster in the coastal brush. Willams also makes a glow-ring rear aperture. Think I'm gonna go for it.

    If you go on the Marlin owners website, there's a guy in Montana who makes an extremely high-quality machined rear peep for these guns that rides entirely on top of the receiver (Williams I think makes one too: generic for all Marlin levers.)

    CAREFUL before you go this route: It takes some thought and experimentation to get the right front sight that works for your particular caliber/barrel length. I decided on the FP to eliminate all this messing around. It works perfectly, although it is mounted on the side receiver holes, and extends up and over the receiver, as is a conventional arrangement for lever guns.

    Glad to know you said "Whee, Whee, Whee" all the way home.
     
  3. Silver Fox

    Silver Fox Puyallup, WA Well-Known Member

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  4. beezer66

    beezer66 Salem, OR Active Member

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    Midway USA has the XS scout mount on sale right now. I ordered one yesterday for my 1895 45-70 guide gun. I just wish it was silver to match the stainless.
     
  5. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I'm quite familiar with the XS sights. A Win '94 .44 Mag I owned a couple years ago had them on it. (I sure like my Marlin gun better.)

    The XS (on this Winchester at least) was a "ghost ring" type rear sight. Very durable, large aperture, designed for rapid sight/target acquisition.

    Two "drawbacks" (if you can call them that.):

    1) Ghost Ring concept is not entirely conducive to wringing out all the accuracy these guns are capable of. Granted, these guns are actually primarily designed for fast-action shooting, and the ghost ring facilitates that application.

    But if you really want to see what these Marlins can do (and I guarantee it will surprise you tremendously) with a fine handload, you'll require a finer sight. A regular aperture peep (such as the Williams FP) still allows you instant conversion to a "ghost ring": just remove the aperture.

    The XS cannot claim that feature in reverse.

    2) The "Skinner" sight (the premier, finely machined one out of Montana), and the XS, since they both ride on top of the receiver at greater distance from the bore than a Williams FP, require you to experiment, install, uninstall and decide on a significantly higher front sight.

    XS company assists you with this experimentation, supplying you with front "try sights" made of plastic: simple posts with dovetail bases that are segmented on the post much like a tootsie roll. You choose your load you will live with (practically for the rest of your life), then target that load with the proper "try sight" whittled down until you are zeroed. Then XS supplies you with a corresponding front sight for the height you settled on.

    You're pretty much commited to a load of similar trajectory, and your front sight (from XS at least) sacrifices that really neat looking Marlin hood.

    Scabbard action is somewhat affected as well, (important for horsemen and ATV guys) since your front sight is somewhat more apt to drag when pulling the gun out.

    It may sound like I'm really down on the XS. I'm not. It's an extremeley well made product, and for its proper application, along with an understanding of its "drawbacks" (and I really don't like using that term), it can certainly be the very BEST sight for these guns (aside from the Skinner, of course.)

    What I'm trying to convey is that I've used the XS, I severely examined the Skinner and all the Williams offerings (including theirs that rides on top), and when all was said and done, I went with the good ol' Williams side-attached FP: for

    a)precision shooting (with the fast option of ghost ring application available)

    b) no messing with front sights

    c) low profile on the top of the gun

    d) ability to dramatically change loadings and easily adjust sight settings (think .44 Special, .38 Special), with reference marks that are repeatable.

    e)finally (important to some, but was not a deal-maker for me: I wanted the very best), expense.

    Ya pays ya money, ya takes ya chances.
     
  6. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Skinner (google skinner sights) makes his sights in blue, and BRASS!, and if I remember right, stainless.

    This is probably the very best quality Marlin lever-gun sight made. (Sort of a XS on steroids). I almost went for it, but my reasons not to are listed above.

    His solution for the "experimentation" to get the correct front sight, is a table and/or formula. He claims to have done enough of these for the various guns that he can get you in the ballpark right off the bat for your correct front sight.

    This cannot be overstated: Barrel length, caliber, load, etc. ALL factor in to require a specific height of front sight to be selected, if you choose a top-mounted peep.

    Of course with the Skinner and the XS, you do certainly have some range of elevation adjustment in the rear sight. But they are limited, and thus the requirement for a front sight that is compatible for your gun and load.
     
  7. beezer66

    beezer66 Salem, OR Active Member

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    I was referring to Silver Fox, and his link to the scope mounts, not the sights. I want to mount a low power extended eye relief scope to my rifle.
     
  8. The Cheese

    The Cheese somewhere special Member

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    I know its kind of a duh sort of thing, but remember those rails are weaver mount not picitinny. I had to mill one out a bit for a friend so he could mount his aimpoint in a larue mount on it. Not terrible, but not much fun either.
     
  9. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

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    Well I finally got out a week or so and was able to get some rounds down range and I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised by this rifle. Honestly, my buddies and I all gave it a go around and it was fantastic.

    So, since I'm not into hand loading at home (but this might just be a good reason to start!) is there any ammo that you would recommend?

    I've run WWB .38's through it without any hiccups. I have some Horndany .357 XTP that seemed to feed a bit rough... like it needed to feed just a tiny bit higher from the lifter.

    Thoughts?

    Oh, and I'll definitely checking out the XS, the Skinner and the Williams option too, thank you for the tips!
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010