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Old 07-28-2010, 08:25 PM
NAA_Silent
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J. C. Higgins 44DL - Marlin 57 Levermatic - Disassembly/Assembly



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Big Shrek suggested I do the write up since I actually have a nice Higgins and I know how to tip toe through the innards. This might help those with various Marlins, or at least give them some ideas as to how Marlin did things back in the early 60's. I'm not much for long drawn out posts, I'll let the photos do most of the work. Bear in mind, I'm no gunsmith, and I don't know what 90% of these parts are really called, so you'll just have to bear with and hopefully you'll get the right idea.

My J. C. Higgins it's a model 44DL which is the same as a Marlin 57 Levermatic. They aren't to common these days from what I understand. Yep, my Savage MK2 BV up top, nice shooting rig, but I'll leave that for other posts.


Pop the innards out by removing the 2 action screws




Remove the trigger assembly from the barrel by removing the 3 screws that hold it to the barrel.




The trigger assembly just slides out with the bolt attached. You have to make sure the feed tube is removed, or things will hang up.


Remove the cover screw


and gently pry the cover off. There may be a bit of resistance since there is so many pins going into it. With the cover off, you can see how the innards work.


By taking the safety off, you can see the bits under neath that stop the lever from opening, and the trigger when the safety is on.


Remove the hammer spring and the hammer will slide right off. On a side note, I've got a piece of shim stock between my hammer and the Levermatic cam to take up some wear slop. The shim isn't shown since it's not a stock part. My hammer wasn't hitting the firing pin square, so it was deforming the firing pin.

Last edited by NAA_Silent; 07-28-2010 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:25 PM
NAA_Silent
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The lever, Levermatic cam and bolt Assembly just lift off.


The trigger spring is a convoluted thing to be sure, but it's not that bad, and it's only 1 piece of wire for that whole mess. It acts as a trigger return spring, and a sear spring all in one. The sear has already been removed, it just lifts off once the spring is moved aside.


The safety spring slips off easy, and the safety comes off in 3 pieces. Spacer, Trigger lock, and lever lock.


The trigger just lifts out after that. You can see how convoluted the trigger spring really is.


One E clip on the far side, and the retaining pin for the feed lever comes off as does the feed ramp blocks.


The lever is removed from the Levermatic cam by pushing out the retaining pin.


The firing pin retaining block is removed by pushing out 2 pins with a small punch.




Once the firring pin retaining block is removed, the firing pin can be removed. I left the firing pin spring in the bolt since it tends to want to stay there on my Higgins.


Notice the orientation of the firring pin retainer block. It goes back in that orientation. (*** Update *** I played with the firing pin retaining block, and there does not seem to be a reason for the taperd end. The blick will go in with the taper pointed to the rear, and apears to work just as well)


There's 2 pins that remove the ejectors, 1 on each side. I didn't remove mine since they are the same everywhere. A small spring in a pocket and an ejector with a pin holding it in.

Last edited by NAA_Silent; 07-29-2010 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:25 PM
NAA_Silent
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Reassembly!

The bolt goes back in revers of disassembly. Insert the firing pin spring into the bolt, then the firing pin with the flat twards the Levermatic cam. Insert the firing pin retainer, and the 2 pins to hold it in place. Try and place the pins roughly in the center of the bolt.


Reattach the lever to the Levermatic cam by placing the spacer in the cam, the washer on top then push the pin back through the lever, washer, and spacer. The shiny side goes in first.


If the bolt was removed, there is a similar spacer that goes into the Levermatic cam in the top slot.




Install the trigger spring and trigger, making sure to hook both loose ends over the trigger. Most of the pins that the springs go on in this action are stepped, in all cases, make sure that the springs are properly seated.


Install the safety spring, and install the lever safety lock. You can see how the spring hooks onto the lock. It's just above the tab.


And then install the trigger lock, don't forget the little spacer




Reinstall the feed lever and feed block. Push the pin through to the other side and secure with the E clip. Install the feed lever spring as shown.

Last edited by NAA_Silent; 07-29-2010 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:26 PM
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Reinstall the lever, Levermatic cam and bolt. Make sure that the pin that holds the lever to the Levermatic cam goes into the void of the feed lever! That pin is what activates the feed lever to help chamber rounds!




Install the hammer and hammer spring. The hammer spring is hooked to the post with the safety's on it. Next install the seer being sure to hook the spring that's been resting on the trigger over it. (Some might notice these pics are out of sequence at this point, this was done for clarity for the lever pin and feed lever. You'll notice the pin is high in the second pic, it wasn't locked into the feel lever at that time)


Reinstall the safety making sure it seats all the way down. The springs on the pins below have to be seated all the way too, or the safety will not sit properly.


Reinstall the cover plate and the 1 retaining screw


Now's a good time to cycle the action a few times just to make sure everything works smoothly, and that all of the safety functions work.


Bolt the action back onto the barrel making sure nothing binds. Insert the screws only a few turns until all 3 screws are started, then tighten them down.


Reinstall your action into the stock and go try her out!

I hope this helps a few lost souls out there

*** DISCLAIMER ***

I an NOT a gunsmith! I take absolutely NO responsibility for anything you do to your weapon! If you don't feel all warm and fuzzy, then take it to a gunsmith!

Last edited by NAA_Silent; 07-28-2010 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:09 PM
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Thanks for all the work you did on this write-up. I know many will appreciate your hard work including me. Excellent job......
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:17 AM
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Beautiful work!!

That should help quite a few people deal with their 57's

Needs to be a STICKY, right, Old Wolf??
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:25 AM
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wow what great timing. I have a 56 that is in parts. Thanks for the write up, I'll finally be trying to get mine together soon.

Thanks again!



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Old 07-29-2010, 08:12 AM
NAA_Silent
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Originally Posted by Que View Post
wow what great timing. I have a 56 that is in parts. Thanks for the write up, I'll finally be trying to get mine together soon.

Thanks again!
I think you might be the main reason Big Shrek asked me to do this actually. I'm curious to know how similar the innards actually are. If you need a more detailed pic of something in mine, feel free to give a holler.

I did need to get in there and pull the firing pin anyway. I ground flats on 2 sides to lower the surface area of the pin in an attempt to achieve harder strikes. The only problem I'm having with the Higgins currently is light strikes on some rounds. My next step is to replace the firing pin again.

If one person is helped by this info, then my time was well spent

Last edited by NAA_Silent; 07-29-2010 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:08 AM
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Very nice writeup. Thanks for taking the time to do it.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:21 AM
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Sticky please. And that is a beutiful looking gun. How hard are they to find these days, and what are there prices like?
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:13 PM
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I also put up a couple links at Marlin Owners & Gun and Game

Between here & those two sites, Marlin fanatics are COVERED

This gets my vote for sticky status as well
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:24 PM
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Firing pin block install question

Lets just say you put the firing pin block in with the cut corner in the other side (left vs right). I first put it in with the cut corner on the bottom - the firing pin would just fall out (I did that first...) Would the punch pin holes line up if I had it reversed? The rifle does fire...

See I just replaced the firing pin in my 57 and I'm not sure which way I put it in. Would it fit with the cut corner still on top but towards the left.

When i removed the two pins holding the block in. The block came out with the firing pin...

If only I had this breakdown a few weeks ago.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:14 PM
NAA_Silent
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If it's firing ok, it's probably not going to hurt anything at this point. The main purpose of the firing pin block is to keep the firing pin in the bolt. The reason mine is cut corner forward is because that's how it came out when I took it apart. I can't tell you if it's possible to put it in backwards without tearing my rifle apart again. I might get bored this evening and see if it's possible
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:08 PM
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Thanks!!!!! I do need it X 4. I have a 56, 57, JC 44DLM, and a 62. All are the same..
They are not too hard to find and most are about 200 to 350. I tried to get a 57m that was nice but they were 400 to 450 and one very nice one went for over 500. I found a very nice Higgins for 275. The leavermatic is hard to beat...
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYnomad View Post
Lets just say you put the firing pin block in with the cut corner in the other side (left vs right). I first put it in with the cut corner on the bottom - the firing pin would just fall out (I did that first...) Would the punch pin holes line up if I had it reversed? The rifle does fire...

See I just replaced the firing pin in my 57 and I'm not sure which way I put it in. Would it fit with the cut corner still on top but towards the left.

When i removed the two pins holding the block in. The block came out with the firing pin...

If only I had this breakdown a few weeks ago.
I did some experimenting on my Higgins this evening, and it appears that there is no apparent reason for the cut block to point front or back. The block retains the firing pin just as well either way. Yes, the block can be inserted backwards and looks to maintain the same firing pin spacing. So if it were my rifle, I wouldn't worry about it to much.
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