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ISAIAH53
08-16-2004, 07:28 AM
I finally got a chance yesterday to shoot my Marlin M1895GS, .45-70. It was not so much a sighting-in session as it was to try out Garrett Hammerheads and some self-installed goodies. The goodies were purchased from Brownell's:

Wild West Guns Trigger Happy Kit, 981-000-004
$89.95

WWG Bear-proof Ejector, 981-000-003, $24.95

DRC Custom Marlin Big Loop Lever, Model 4 for straight-grip, 100-000-546, $125.00

DRC Steel Magazine Follower, 100-000-775, 20.00

Cowboy Competition Mainspring , by Seven
100-000-559, $15.00

The ammo was Garrett's Hammerheads, super hard cast gas-checked 420-grainers at 1650 fps, and the +P version at 1850 fps.

Several months ago, I discovered information on tuning Marlin lever action rifles. The site was <a href="http://www.marauder13.homestead.com/files/TUNING-M-1894.html." target="_blank">http://www.marauder13.homestead.com/files/TUNING-M-1894.html (http://www.marauder13.homestead.com/files/TUNING-M-1894.html.).</a> A parts diagram was found at /M1894Parts.html. It is noted that the procedures apply to Models 1894, 1895, and 336.
Disassembly and installation was relatively simple, especially considering my mechanical aptitude, or lack thereof.

The only fitting I needed to do involved the lever. The pivot pin (lever screw) hole was a teensy bit tight, so I took a piece of slightly undersized brass rod, wrapped with a small piece of 400 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper. Inserting said rod into the hole, I simply twirled the loop around maybe a dozen times, polishing the inside of the hole. The fit was perfect. The other problem was that the lever was just a bit thick. It fit inside the slot in the trigger guard plate, but would rub against the sides. Stoning the inside of the plate produced no results, so I but a 400-grit belt on my knifemaker's grinder, and carefully sanded the sides of the lever flat (did I mention that the lever is stainless steel?). It fit and worked very nicely, thought I suspect this would not necessarily be the accomplished gunsmith's first choice of methods. I bit of hand sanding with 400-grit paper blended the new "flats" with the rest of the lever.

I can't report on the "effectiveness" of the mag follower. I simply wanted steel rather than plastic. The mainspring seemed to provide an easy-enough operating feel, along with the lever.
The new ejector is a sturdier, one-piece design (as opposed to the factory two-piece), and it functioned flawlessly. The lever was quick, solid, and easy to work. I chose this style over some others offered in the catalog, because it is sleeker looking to me, with dimensions larger than factory, but smaller than the others. I did not experience knuckle-rapping from either brisk operation of the lever, or from even the +P ammo. The trigger was an absolute delight - absolutely perfect, to my taste, for shooting a big-bore.

The ammo was stout, expecially the +P. If the greeting it gave me is any indication of how it might introduce itself downrange, it should suffice for pretty much anything one might choose to hunt. (On Garrett's website, there is a story about a gentleman named Vincent Lupo taking the Big Six in Africa using Garrett's ammo. For the really big stuff, he used 540 grainers - too big for my current tastes.) I cannot speak to the accuracy of the whole setup, as I seriously misjudged the ability of my 52-year-old eyes to see a down-range aiming spot over open sights (Ashley Outdoors). I did hit the paper in the general vicinity of where I think I was aiming. Next time, I think it will wear a Leupold Scout scope arrangement. It might also wear a lace-on cheekpiece for some degree of facial comfort.