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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Shotguns  |  Topic: The Marlin family of hammered pump guns - how bad are they? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: The Marlin family of hammered pump guns - how bad are they?  (Read 607 times)
Queasy Dillo
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« on: July 13, 2017, 10:36:49 pm »


Having recently acquired a Marlin 19S and not yet having the time to attempt a disassembly, my only experience with guns of this manufacture boils down to thinking it looked interesting, buying it, and playing with it once I got home. 

I am aware that the manufacturer has released a letter to the effect that ALL such guns from the 1898 on are unsafe to shoot.  I've also scrounged around the web and come up with the usual horror stories, none of which have thus far included any kind of documentation.  More of a brother-of-a-friend-heard-a-story-one-time thing.  Granted, there may be something to the story.  My question is how much is legend and how much is demonstrated fact. 

For my purposes, mine will most likely end up as a safe queen/mechanical oddity, though now and again I might like to take it afield.  This would primarily mean light loads.  I have no intention of using it for competition, home defense, or the zombie apocalypse.  Reenacting with blanks is also a possibility, however remote. 

Realistically speaking, how much of a risk is there inherent in using one for anything more than floor lamp? 
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Baltimore Ed
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 12:04:36 am »

I competed in SASS with a model 24 until SASS lawyered up and finally banned them. My WASA club has no problems with hammer Marlin pumps and I still use mine ( along with my winny military 97 and 12), and along with another cowboy who has a very nice engraved model that he uses exclusively. There is a caveat with these old guns, the guns use flat springs that can break. They need to be inspected for internal cracks and damage, you never know what the last owner shot in it.  Keep the springs clean and oiled. There are multiple safeties to keep the gun from firing out of battery but remember they use those old timey flat springs. Marlins have alot fewer parts than a 97 and are a lot slicker IMHO. With light cas loads they're good guns. While I've heard the same old stories I've never seen one cut loose. I did see a nice SAA blow up and a fellow drop the follower in a repro Henry with disastrous effect but the last time I looked, handloads and Henrys were still legal in SASS. Queasy, I don't know what to tell you about YOUR sg, I can tell you about mine and I can suggest. Tear her down, clean it up, check for damage, reassemble and shoot it. Make sure that the safeties are all working. Another thing, they WILL slamfire but I don't do that to my Marlins. Most of us shoot old guns and don't think anything about the gun being 75 or 120 years old,  but we still take the chance every time we pull the trigger. Good luck. Got more questions drop me a line.You also want to poke around the Marlin Forum for info.
Also forgot to mention that these guns have short chambers so get it checked and recut or shoot short shells.
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2017, 09:55:43 am »


PLUS ONE to Baltimore Ed.

Coffinmaker

Personal Opinion.  When a Manufacturer boldly steps forward and says, straight up "UNSAFE" I PAY ATTENTION.  I have witnessed magazine detonation in a Henry (STUPIDITY).  I have witnessed a magazine detonation in a Win '94 that removed several fingers but I have now personal experience with the now SASS banned Marlin shotguns.  I wouldn't personally shoot one.  I happen to like my hands and face as they are.

Ah, Navy 45, we're a Lighthouse .... Your Call
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Baltimore Ed
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2017, 12:07:04 pm »

Here's the thread that will show and tell you everything you need to know about a Marlin pump. I knew I had seen this somewhere before.
And imo the liability lawyers at Marlin were the ones behind their warning. And SASS' liability lawyers are responsible for SASS' decision. When those old hammer Marlins were put to use in cas is when they suddenly became so dangerous? Weren't they alot more dangerous as hunting guns with hunting loads than cowboy guns with cas loads? Pardon my rant but I like my Marlins and they got a bum wrap.


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Queasy Dillo
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 07:34:12 pm »

Much appreciated. 

Mine is externally clean, without much in the way of hard wear or visible abuse.  Which admittedly doesn't mean much if it turns out the guts are trash, but from my cursory inspections so far everything seems pretty solid overall.  I may take her to work next week and see what happens. 

Shooting old guns doesn't bother me so much.  Shooting old abused/neglected guns is another matter. 

And from where I sit I'm not in much danger of shooting too fast.   Grin
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rickk
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 11:51:22 am »

I've got an 1898 Marlin 12G.

Before the warning came out I did shoot it a fair amount. There were issues with the fit of the barrel and the way that the bolt sits when open.

I brought it to a 'smith once (a good one) but he wasn't really able to do much to fix the issues.

After the warnings came out I realized that it was not just my gun, but rather the design in general. I put it in the rack and there it sits. I let my 15 year old son know that it was not really safe to shoot... just in case he wonders 50 years from now.
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