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  #1  
Old 04-05-2016, 05:33 AM
azimuth

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Another Hard to close Marlin



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I've been watching the recent thread "Marlin 39a hard to close lever on a round" with interest since I have one with a similar issue. The last 1/2" to 3/4" of closing the lever encounters a great deal of resistance. Almost as if two pieces of metal are galling/grinding against one another. This seems to get a little worse as the rifle heats up during a shooting session. Also, this only occurs when chambering a round. When working the action unloaded, it is just as smooth as my other Marlins.
Here is what I've tried so far:
  • Cleaned and lubricated everything thoroughly
  • Removed the cartridge guide to make sure a round could move freely in and out of the chamber.
  • Checked for scope mount screws protruding into the action.
  • Removed the extractor to eliminate it as the problem.
  • Removed the lever and inspected the lever spring and all contact surfaces for galling.
  • Locked down the ejector to eliminate it as the problem.
None of these things have solved the issue, so I'm hoping for any suggestions from some of the good folks here. I should also add that the bolt appears closed/seated right at the time the resistance begins. So what is happening during that short arc of the lever after the bolt has seated? Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:06 AM
DirkMandeville

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I started the other thread you refer to and have a question. When you removed the extractor and closed the bolt on a round, did the problem still persist? If so, that would certainly rule out the extractor (which was my issue). In that other thread, I got a post from forum member nail discussing potential bolt headspace issues and how to deal with them. Perhaps he will respond in this thread, as it sounds like that may be your issue. Good luck with it.

Edit: also, be sure to follow Gizzy's suggestions for cleaning and scrubbing the chamber end really well. If someone shot a lot of .22 shorts through the rifle at some point, it could have developed a carbon ring that would prevent .22 lr rounds from seating properly.

Last edited by DirkMandeville; 04-05-2016 at 06:10 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2016, 10:35 AM
azimuth

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Dirk-thanks for the response and I hope you get your issue ironed out soon.

Yes, I removed the extractor and didn't notice any perceivable difference. Also, the chamber is clean and with the cartridge guide removed, a round will slip in and out of the chamber with ease. I don't see any sign that the headspace is off. The bolt is already fully forward before the resistance starts. I'm not sure how the marlin locks the bolt into position, but I feel it has something to do with this part of the process.
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  #4  
Old 04-05-2016, 11:45 AM
Gizzy
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Lets try one thing at a time. Take the gun apart, remove the bolt and take the extractor out. Now when you get it back together, try working a round in like that. You will have to use a cleaning rod to push the round out, but you can eliminate the extractor this way. Work several rounds in just to be sure all is good or if all is still the same.


Also, has anything on the rifle been replaced recently?
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:25 PM
azimuth

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Gizzy-
I did replace the bolt after removing the extractor and then worked some rounds through. The result was the same. Each of the things I listed above were tried independent of one another in an attempt to isolate the problem. Is the lever supposed to lock up somehow during that last little bit of travel?
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2016, 09:01 PM
azimuth

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Gizzy-
To my knowledge, nothing has been replaced on the rifle.
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  #7  
Old 04-05-2016, 09:29 PM
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Squirrelbark
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Forgive me if this is simplistic, but when you pull the lever back closed the lifter should rise to a certain height. Does your lifter rise to the proper height when you close the lever. If it doesn't come up far enough, you will experience jams when closing the action.

For the life of me, I can't imagine why it shouldn't, unless you have some kind of gouge in the side of the lifter that slides up the receiver wall.

Anyway, something to check. I hope you find out what is causing the problem.

Don't give up. Someone will figure it out. And likely know how to fix it.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:38 PM
Gizzy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azimuth View Post
Gizzy-
I did replace the bolt after removing the extractor and then worked some rounds through. The result was the same. Each of the things I listed above were tried independent of one another in an attempt to isolate the problem. Is the lever supposed to lock up somehow during that last little bit of travel?

The base of the lever that stops and rests against the lower tang when closed, as you close it, when you get to where the lever is about 3/8" away from the tang, it will kinda stop and you have to press it more to get it to close. Once the lever is about 1/8" away from the tang, it should spring up against the tang on its own. If you are having to force it all the way to the tang, then you have something in a bind somewhere.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:47 PM
vepr762
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Head space has nothing to do with your problem.

Did you check the chamber face, for a dry fire peen? Inspected a fire case?
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Old 04-06-2016, 04:12 AM
azimuth

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I appreciate everyone taking time to help diagnose the problem.

First, as I close the lever, the lifter seems to be working properly and feeding as it should.

The distance I am having to force the lever closed isn't far. If you take the rifle with the action closed and slowly open the lever until just before the bolt moves...that is the distance. It's what happens between the bolt closing and the lever coming to rest against the lower tang. I agree that something is in a bind, but it is only evident when loading a round.

I have checked the chamber face for any signs of deformation and it looks perfect. A live round will move freely into and out of the chamber. Fired cases look good.

If I have time this evening I'll take it apart and inspect it again for signs of galling or any thing else that could be a potential problem.

Last edited by azimuth; 04-06-2016 at 04:14 AM.
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  #11  
Old 04-06-2016, 11:49 AM
Pete44ru
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Besides a close inspection of the chamber's rim recess for a dry-firing burr (displaced chamber wall material), I would suggest an illuminated inspection of the forward half of the chamber for crud/roughness.

A .22RF can/will develop chambering issues with LR cartridges completely entering a chamber that .22 Shorts have been fired.

The Short cartridge will leave residue at the mouth of the fired brass, and will often build up & harden enough to resist fully chambering the longer LR brass.


.
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  #12  
Old 04-06-2016, 05:17 PM
azimuth

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Thanks Pete-
Yes, I have cleaned and inspected the chamber and all is well. A LR cartridge will slip in all the way without resistance. I have other 39's to compare it to and I can't see anything out of the ordinary. I'm kinda at a loss here, but not giving up on it.
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2021, 05:50 PM
Plinking22

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Here's another case of hard to close and what seems to be my problem.

I haven't found a safe way to shave some material off my extractor but here's an illustration of what I think:




@DirkMandeville did you say you still had the problem even without the extractor? (or still present without the ejector?)
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  #14  
Old 02-11-2021, 09:49 AM
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I had a similar problem with my 1952 M39A, which when I got it appeared to have not been cleaned for a long, long time. Most of the problem seemed to be at the front of the bolt which was so caked up with crud that it was difficult to close the bolt. It sounds like you have already addressed this issue, so I doubt that's the problem, but you might double check to make sure.
Also, you mentioned galling above, and I think that was the issue with mine, once I got everything really clean.
So, I would suggest polishing the mating surfaces on the lever extension and the lug at the forward end of the bottom of the bolt. Mine was so galled here that I could see tiny grooves in the surfaces.
Don't be too aggressive here, since you don't want to increase the headspace. I would try some 600-800 grit automotive sandpaper backed with something like a popsicle stick. Do it very gradually and see if it helps. Make sure to clean the surfaces and apply a drop of oil.
This may or may not help, but if you do it right, it can't hurt.
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  #15  
Old 02-11-2021, 08:07 PM
stubbfarmer
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Do you know the age of your gun? Does it do the same thing if you lever it without a round?
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