1894 "Marlin Jam"

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kmittleman
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1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by kmittleman »

Hey all,


I apologize in advance as I know this has probably been covered to death. I want a Marlin 1894 in .44 mag for hunting but I keep waffling on getting it because I keep thinking it may end up w/ the dreaded Marlin Jam. Is it really that bad or should I look at something else?

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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Terry Murbach »

I HAVE BEEN SHOOTING MARLIN RIFLES AND CARBINES FOR 49 YEARS NOW. IN MY SAFE ARE MARLINS IN EVERY MODEL AND EVERY CALIBER EXCEPTING THE 444. I HAVE NEVER SEEN THE "MARLIN JAM" NOR HAD I EVER HEARD OF IT UNTIL I READ SOME GUY WHINING ABOUT IT ON THE OLD MARLIN FORUM. BY AND LARGE I THINK THE ENTIRE CONCEPT IS PURE USDA PRIME BULLSHIQ. IT IS A WHINE CAUSED BY SOME DOOFUS WHO CANNOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO RUN A LEVER ACTION RIFLE OR CARBINE AND WANTS TO BLAME EVERYONE ELSE EXCEPT THE GUY IN HIS MIRROR.
IN MY 49 YEARS OF SHOOTING MARLINS THE ONLY JAM I EVER HAD--ONE!!-- WAS CAUSED MY INADVERTENTLY SHORT STROKING THE LEVER A LITTLE BIT. I NEVER DID IT BEFORE, NEVER DID IT AGAIN, AND NEVER HAD ANOTHER "MARLIN JAM". I ALSO HAD NO INTERENT TO WHINE AT AND FIGURED OUT IN ABOUT FIVE SECONDS FLAT WHAT I DID AND HOW NOT TO DO IT AGAIN.
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Hobie »

My experience is the same as Terry's. I think that you will be well served by the 1894 in .44 Mag. I know I was.
Sincerely,

Hobie

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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by J Miller »

No such problems on any of the Marlin 1894s I've owned. Four now. I think this problem is caused mostly by the CAS shooters that just abuse the heck out of their guns. The guns were not designed to be used in that manner.

If you are concerned to the point of worry, go to our home page and look in the articles. There is lots of articles in the "Marlin Resources" section.
Here is the article on how to prevent the dreaded Marlin Jam.
http://marauder.homestead.com/files/marlin94fix.html

Hope this helps a bit.

Joe
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Streetstar »

kmittleman wrote:Hey all,


I apologize in advance as I know this has probably been covered to death. I want a Marlin 1894 in .44 mag for hunting but I keep waffling on getting it because I keep thinking it may end up w/ the dreaded Marlin Jam. Is it really that bad or should I look at something else?

-Kevin

"Marlin Jam" is the real deal, or it wouldnt be a catch phrase, and it doesn't have anything to do with knowing how to cycle a lever action properly. (unless you short stroke it)
If its never a problem, why is there a web page devoted to "fixing" it?

That said, i think its kind of an isolated thing and not every rifle is affected. My particular 1894 in 44 mag has been plagued with issues since day one -- i bought it second hand however, and this may very well be the reason i picked it up for a reasonable price. My rifle is a 40 year old rifle though -- i wouldnt hesitate to buy a new one, but i would definitely put at least 2-3 boxes of rounds through it at the range before trusting it in the field

I bought my 1894 with aspirations of having a handy home defense carbine, a plinker and an occasional hunter. It is a decent can shooter, but i cant ever trust it for home defense now, nor am i likely to use it as a hunting firearm it has given me so much grief. Again, -- mine is 40 years old, -- i will stress that i would try a new one, but my experience with my own is poor ----- The ugly black rifle is back in its place for home defense and either my 1895 G or 1894 winnie gets the nod for hunting
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Rimfire McNutjob »

I don't own any centerfire Marlins but I believe I witnessed one of these "Marlin Jams" while at the range last year with Dr. Walker, RIHMFIRE, and Duff L Bagg. I believe it was Dr. Walker's 1894 that hung up and as I recall, the magazine cap had to come off and the spring, follower, and all of the rounds removed before the situation could be remedied.

I had never heard of a "Marlin Jam" before that.
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by AJMD429 »

Mine 1970's vintage .44 Mag only did it once, due to tipping the gun upwards and short-stroking it at the same time. I've owned and shot six others and NEVER had a jam like that. Total rounds fired between all the guns over the past 40 years, probably six to eight thousand.
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Rimfire McNutjob »

AJMD429 wrote:Mine 1970's vintage .44 Mag only did it once, due to tipping the gun upwards and short-stroking it at the same time. I've owned and shot six others and NEVER had a jam like that. Total rounds fired between all the guns over the past 40 years, probably six to eight thousand.
Do you suspect 'short stroking' contributes to the majority of these Marlin Jams?
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by J Miller »

Marlins are machines with tolerances. If all the tolerances are within specs then all is usually well. But if they stack up one way or the other then things don't always work right.
I think the vast majority of Marlins are within specs and they work fine. Some however are not and they can be problematic. What I don't understand is why some folks live with a finicky gun. I'm sure they can be fixed if the right person with the right knowledge works on them.

So what does this mean ... well, don't sweat it. If you buy a Marlin 1894 and it ends up letting in two, then send it back to Marlin and have them make it right. That's what the warranty is for. Or radius the lever where it works against the lifter.

My feelings is the "Dreaded Marlin Jam" is much ado over nothing.
Kind of like buying a new bottom feeder and obsessing over weather it might jam.
JMHO

Rimfire McNutjob,
My one and only jam in any of my Marlin 1894s was because of a short stroke of the lever. It was not the Dreaded Marlin Jam, it was just jammed up. I had to pull the lever and release the bind where ever it was to free up the action. Once I did that it's never happened again.

Sorry didn't mean to but into your question for AJMD.


Joe
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by wm »

When I 'worked' at the gun shop occasionally we would have a Marlin come in that was giving the owner problems (collectively referred to as "Marlin flop").

As a rule 75% of the time a detailed stripping, cleaning, reassembly and light lubriacation solved the problem. The other 20% of the time we would find a bent or damaged lifter. Replace that and do the cleaning and it was cured.

The last 5% it was a problem with ammo (over all length) or short stroking the lever.

Buy the Marlin and enjoy it.

Wm
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by AJMD429 »

Rimfire McNutjob wrote:
AJMD429 wrote:Mine 1970's vintage .44 Mag only did it once, due to tipping the gun upwards and short-stroking it at the same time. I've owned and shot six others and NEVER had a jam like that. Total rounds fired between all the guns over the past 40 years, probably six to eight thousand.
Do you suspect 'short stroking' contributes to the majority of these Marlin Jams?
From the articles on the 'official' Marlin Jam (hmmm... sounds good with butter on toast), I get the impression that there can be the little notch-in-the-carrier wear phenomenon, and THAT causes the 'official' jam. My carrier didn't look worn after I checked for that, but there was a 'shiny' spot there. I never polished it out, but just work the action more appropriately. So my 'Marlin Jam' may not have been a certified 'official' type... :wink:

For comparison, I'd say my Marlins function for me about as reliably as a pump shotgun does; I've not shot nearly as many rounds through them, but occasionally they'll jam up.

If I absolutely, positively had to be CERTAIN my gun wouldn't jam, I'd have a breakopen double barrel... (and even they probably mess up sometimes).
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by O.S.O.K. »

Buy the 1894 44 Mag with confidence.

The only problem I have personally ever had with a Marlin is when I let the loading gate screw get loose. A little red locktight and that is no longer a worry.

And this includes my 45 Colt cowboy which I shot the heck out of in CAS for many years an it only served to slick up the action. :)
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by win92 »

I have a 45-70 1895 Marlin straight grip When I put a round in the chamber that is feed it by hand through the loading port if it drops nose first down on the feed ramp I can't cycle it forward unless I shake the round into the chamber. I don't know if this is the JAM or not.
The gun cycles and feeds from the magazine flawlesly. And will chamber if I get the bullet started into the chamber from the port.But if it drops down nose low, I need to shake it up. The ports on the 45-70's at least are cut with a larger relief on the rear end. So its not comfortable for me at least to shove the round directly into the spout. I'm so use to just throughing rounds in an empty chamber and closing the lever, with all my other rifles. That this screws me up a little. regards Win92
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by J Miller »

win92 wrote:I have a 45-70 1895 Marlin straight grip When I put a round in the chamber that is feed it by hand through the loading port if it drops nose first down on the feed ramp I can't cycle it forward unless I shake the round into the chamber. I don't know if this is the JAM or not.
The gun cycles and feeds from the magazine flawlesly. And will chamber if I get the bullet started into the chamber from the port.But if it drops down nose low, I need to shake it up. The ports on the 45-70's at least are cut with a larger relief on the rear end. So its not comfortable for me at least to shove the round directly into the spout. I'm so use to just throughing rounds in an empty chamber and closing the lever, with all my other rifles. That this screws me up a little. regards Win92
Nope not the jam we are talking about. What you have is a total out misalignment of the cartridge caused by operator error. A totally different situation. If you have to single feed it through the ejection port make sure it's chambered. Otherwise just load it through the loading gate.

Joe
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Dave »

I had one gun that would "Marlin Jam". I bought a new carrier from Brownells and dropped it in. Never happened again.
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Chuck 100 yd »

I have had ZERO problems and expect to continue same.
I only have five 1894`s though. Maybe I need more! :D
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Nate Kiowa Jones »

The only folks that are experiencing the Marlin jam are folks that either let the bottom trigger plate screw get loose or they are competing in the CAS game and have run thousands and thousands of rounds through them To the point that the carrier pounds a ding in itself and the inside bottom of the trigger plate as well. When this happens the carrier sets just low enough that the cart stop doesn't catch the next round in the tube.
If the screws are tight and it still does it, as mentioned a new carrier will usually fix it, but I had one here that was so pounded out in the trigger plate that I ended up heating and bending the front of the new carrier up some in order to get it to stop the next round.

Bottom line, it's just not a problem for 99%.
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by bcp »

I can recall only one jam. This was a new, unloaded, 1894 44 Mag sometimes in the late 1960's, I think. First one I ever saw. The store clerk handed it to me, action closed. I opened the lever, then it would not close. No jiggling, shaking, pushing, or poking got it closed. He put it back on the rack that way. I was passing through the Phoenix area at the time, so don't know what happened to it.

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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Lastmohecken »

Well, I guess I always end up with that 1 of 100 that has a problem.

I remember back in the 70's when I hung around a local gunshop at the time, and the owner would not hardly even trade for a used Marlin 1894 because he had had so much trouble with customer's bringing them back complaining about them jamming.

I took mental note of that, and held off for several years on buying one, but finally I decided to purchase a minty Marlin 44mag, but it was jamming on me, in less then 100 rounds. I didn't know enough to check for loose screws or anything, and eventually got rid of it. I have been gunshy of them ever since. However, I have never had a problem with the 336's.

And things maybe different now, but back in the 90's, I shot cowboy matches for a while, and back then, I saw and heard of more people having troubles with the Marlin 44's then any of the others, except for a maybe the replical Henrys at the time. I only know what I seen, and experienced, but the Marlin jam is not a myth, however, these days, with cowboy shooting being so popular, I know there are a lot more experts out there that know how to deal with problems like the Marlin jam, then there was years ago. It seems like there are a lot more people around that are good at slicking up the Marlins, and all of the other makes, too.
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Nate Kiowa Jones »

Lastmohecken wrote:Well, I guess I always end up with that 1 of 100 that has a problem.

I remember back in the 70's when I hung around a local gunshop at the time, and the owner would not hardly even trade for a used Marlin 1894 because he had had so much trouble with customer's bringing them back complaining about them jamming.

I took mental note of that, and held off for several years on buying one, but finally I decided to purchase a minty Marlin 44mag, but it was jamming on me, in less then 100 rounds. I didn't know enough to check for loose screws or anything, and eventually got rid of it. I have been gunshy of them ever since. However, I have never had a problem with the 336's.

And things maybe different now, but back in the 90's, I shot cowboy matches for a while, and back then, I saw and heard of more people having troubles with the Marlin 44's then any of the others, except for a maybe the replical Henrys at the time. I only know what I seen, and experienced, but the Marlin jam is not a myth, however, these days, with cowboy shooting being so popular, I know there are a lot more experts out there that know how to deal with problems like the Marlin jam, then there was years ago. It seems like there are a lot more people around that are good at slicking up the Marlins, and all of the other makes, too.
We may be talking about to different types of jams. All leverguns can be picky about what they will feed. Bottle necks always feed the best, but pistol cal guns particularly the 38sp/357mag and 44sp/44mag can be be problematic. For one thing they were never designed to work with straight wall cartridges. Then because there is such a variety of 38/357 and 44/44m ammo there is no way one gun to handle it all.
But, when it's ammo related they usually jam trying to chamber the round. That is not what the Dreaded Marlin Jam is about. It's about to rounds feeding into the receiver from the mag tube instead of one at a time.
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Lastmohecken »

Nate Kiowa Jones wrote:
Lastmohecken wrote:Well, I guess I always end up with that 1 of 100 that has a problem.

I remember back in the 70's when I hung around a local gunshop at the time, and the owner would not hardly even trade for a used Marlin 1894 because he had had so much trouble with customer's bringing them back complaining about them jamming.

I took mental note of that, and held off for several years on buying one, but finally I decided to purchase a minty Marlin 44mag, but it was jamming on me, in less then 100 rounds. I didn't know enough to check for loose screws or anything, and eventually got rid of it. I have been gunshy of them ever since. However, I have never had a problem with the 336's.

And things maybe different now, but back in the 90's, I shot cowboy matches for a while, and back then, I saw and heard of more people having troubles with the Marlin 44's then any of the others, except for a maybe the replical Henrys at the time. I only know what I seen, and experienced, but the Marlin jam is not a myth, however, these days, with cowboy shooting being so popular, I know there are a lot more experts out there that know how to deal with problems like the Marlin jam, then there was years ago. It seems like there are a lot more people around that are good at slicking up the Marlins, and all of the other makes, too.
We may be talking about to different types of jams. All leverguns can be picky about what they will feed. Bottle necks always feed the best, but pistol cal guns particularly the 38sp/357mag and 44sp/44mag can be be problematic. For one thing they were never designed to work with straight wall cartridges. Then because there is such a variety of 38/357 and 44/44m ammo there is no way one gun to handle it all.
But, when it's ammo related they usually jam trying to chamber the round. That is not what the Dreaded Marlin Jam is about. It's about to rounds feeding into the receiver from the mag tube instead of one at a time.

Actually, I have had both kinds of jams. And you are right, there is a lot of ammo that works fine in revolvers, but will not do so well in the rifles. One needs to taylor their loads or expeirment with factory stuff until a compatable load is found.
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Saltcreek »

The "Marlin Jam" is real. I have a pre-safety 1894 .44 Mag. It happened to me after just about 400 rounds from original purchase by me. It was not a case of not knowing how to work the rifle as some have said. Once it started happening, it was permanent every round - not just once in a while. It required a new carrier and worked right as soon as the carrier was replaced, and yes there was a notch in the carrier as shown in the "Marlin Jam" repair instructions. To say the Jam is a bunch of baloney just because it did not happen to you, is like saying airplanes can't fly because you never flew one.
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by J Miller »

And you guys thought I was touchy.

Saltcreek did you radius the bottom of the lever when you replaced the carrier?
Don't take offense at what we say. Some of us have used Marlins for years with zero problems, and some I guess have problems right off. So be it.


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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Saltcreek »

J Miller wrote:And you guys thought I was touchy.

Saltcreek did you radius the bottom of the lever when you replaced the carrier?
Don't take offense at what we say. Some of us have used Marlins for years with zero problems, and some I guess have problems right off. So be it.


Joe
Yes I did radius it and it has not reoccured. I bought an extra spare carrier anyway, and as you can imagine, you loose some confidence in a rifle when something like that happens.
I was a might peeved when I saw an early comment by Terry saying that owners of the rifles just didn't know how to work their rifle. I think that 45 years experience with 30 rifles including an 1886 and a few Win 94s, eight years of firing Expert in the USMC and shooting at Camp Perry gives me pretty good experience, along with loading for everything I have except the rimfires. I have seen to many other 1st hand examples of the Jam on to may forums to call it a myth. I don't know why, with the evidence, that Marlin won't fix the problem and do the radius themselves. Either that, or harden the carrier to a higher Rockwell Hardness.
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by J Miller »

Saltcreek wrote:
J Miller wrote:And you guys thought I was touchy.

Saltcreek did you radius the bottom of the lever when you replaced the carrier?
Don't take offense at what we say. Some of us have used Marlins for years with zero problems, and some I guess have problems right off. So be it.


Joe
Yes I did radius it and it has not reoccured. I bought an extra spare carrier anyway, and as you can imagine, you loose some confidence in a rifle when something like that happens.
I was a might peeved when I saw an early comment by Terry saying that owners of the rifles just didn't know how to work their rifle. I think that 45 years experience with 30 rifles including an 1886 and a few Win 94s, eight years of firing Expert in the USMC and shooting at Camp Perry gives me pretty good experience, along with loading for everything I have except the rimfires. I have seen to many other 1st hand examples of the Jam on to may forums to call it a myth. I don't know why, with the evidence, that Marlin won't fix the problem and do the radius themselves. Either that, or harden the carrier to a higher Rockwell Hardness.
Marlin is radiusing the lever on some of them. Mostly the Cowboy Comps. My 1894 Cowboy Limited is radiused just ever so slightly but enough. I bought it as new, but without box and papers so I may be sticking my neck out to say it was not done after it left the factory. Based on the over all condition of the rifle, that's my opinion anyway.

I think what it comes down to is it's a minor irritant to them. That it happens to a low enough number of guns to be cheaper in the bean counters minds to just send out new carriers when a customer wants one than it is to actually take 5 more minutes to do a little fitting.

I've had several guns that developed bugs and once they were corrected have turned out to be great performers. I'd not condemn one once the issue was corrected.

Oh one more thing. Let us get to know you before you get mad at us ... OK. Before your post in this tread I didn't know weather you were an experienced shooter or a newby.

Joe
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by a357lever »

Does it happen to the model 1895 45-70?, i have heard about that "jam" and remember a friend had to send one back for that "problem" back in the 70s. I know you never short stoke any action.
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by TX Gun Runner »

I found out yrs ago bottle necks like 32-20 , 38-40 and 44-40 , feed in a lever so much better that a straight like 357 , 44 mag and 45LC in both my Marlins and 92 .
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by 44magHunter »

AJMD429 wrote:Mine 1970's vintage .44 Mag only did it once, due to tipping the gun upwards and short-stroking it at the same time. I've owned and shot six others and NEVER had a jam like that. Total rounds fired between all the guns over the past 40 years, probably six to eight thousand.

:mrgreen: My dad is right (for once.) If you just keep the gun level (and not turned ejector-side-up), and of course work the lever fast, not s-l-o-w then you will almost never have that bad jam. It hasn't happened to mine yet, due to the WISDOM ( :lol: ) and advice of my
GREAT ( :roll: ) father. :mrgreen:
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Saltcreek »

a357lever wrote:Does it happen to the model 1895 45-70?, i have heard about that "jam" and remember a friend had to send one back for that "problem" back in the 70s. I know you never short stoke any action.
No, just the 1894s
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by cjm135 »

I have not had a problem with mine. I think this is blown out of proportion. I hear the Yugo SKS is also a problem but most of the problem stems from lack of cleaning. I never had a problem with the SKS either. So what I'm saying is, take care of it and use it properly and you should be ok.
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by MrMurphy »

I have a pre-safety 1894 in .44 Mag, and I've had two problems with it.

One was self inflicted, I was not paying attention and fed my .44 some .45 ACPs (got a couple rounds in before looking down and realizing what I did, thankfully before attempting to fire).

The other, same day, was the loading gate screw came loose and the rifle locked up pretty solid. This was my second levergun and I'd never had it happen before, had a gunsmith show me what happened and then no problems.

It's since fired 200-300+ .44 Mags without a problem and the second time I went hunting, Mr. Coyote met Mr. 44 Magnum and lost.
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Re: 1894 "Marlin Jam"

Post by Old Ironsights »

I fixed a worn lifter on another fella's '94 in .44 because it would CONSISTANTLY jam with whatever ammo, regardless of the vigorousness or completeness of the throw of the lever.

I don't know how many rounds had been through it, but the timing was DEFINATELY off and the carrier/lifter buggered all to heck where the lever cam rode over it.

A little grinding & application of a hardened steel shim fixed the problem. That carrier was SOFT - and shouldn't be at that bearing point.

If there weren't a problem (at least on tht gun) I wouldn't have been able to have fixed it.
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