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Old 02-06-2015, 11:10 AM
twoplustwo
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Marlin 20a won't lock up



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I am looking at a nice 20a for sale, but the action won't lock when in firing position. I am just now discovering these great old guns, so I am not familiar with their insides. Could someone let me know if the parts ( locking bolt?) are available to repair it and their cost (worst case)? I'm trying to get some idea of how much to reduce my offer for the gun. I will also be paying my local smith to install. He's a nice old man and probably wouldn't hurt me too bad. Also I would love a tutorial on how to load the tube, and signs to recognize a defective tube or spring. Thanks a bunch for any assistance.
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:38 PM
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I would not expect to find a locking bolt, a friend of mine has been looking for a long time - very rarely do any show up and then they usually are rather pricey. They also are not something that I think could be easily fabricated. Also there were two different lengths used and the 20-A takes the short version.

I assume you are sure the locking bolt is missing - a gun with a locking bolt may not feel 'locked' i/e stay closed, if it has the wrong firing pin in it - the firing pin also acts as the action lock. I have had a couple guns with homemade firing pins that did not have the correct shape needed to lock the action shut. That's another thing, Wisner's used to offer firing pins for these but it looks like they have discontinued them - I got a local gunsmith make some. When working correctly the action will lock shut with the hammer cocked or on safe, but can be released by pushing in on the rear of the firing pin.

The outer magazine tube has a small indentation on the end toward the receiver that catches a prong on the magazine follower so it will pull the follower along as it is pulled out - this will then expose the loading port in the inner tube. There is supposed to be a indentation in the inner tube that allows a part of the outer tube to catch and keep it open - because this is working against spring tension in many cases it doesn't work to well and you may have trouble keeping the tube open, and in some other cases it catches to good, and is hard to slide back. (An interesting, but poor design IMO)

Last edited by Sav22; 02-06-2015 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:26 PM
twoplustwo
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Thumbs up

Thank you very much for the great info. I am not sure if all the parts are in this gun or not, I haven't looked inside yet. That's a real bummer on the f. pin situation. Outback said they have no parts either. Fortuneatly, my local smith says he can recut assuming the bolt is there. Unfortunately, I haven't convinced the shop owner that there is any thing wrong with it yet. He's one of those "Spose to be that way" guys. Thanks again
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:16 AM
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Well- I couldn't resist any longer. After a year and a half of seeing if it was still there,
I decided it must be meant for me. Got it on layaway. Still doesn't lock up, and still don't know what parts I need.

I'm wondering if the parts supply has improved since first posting. Any new sources?
Does anyone have a parts breakdown diagram? A list of parts I "might need" would be helpful. I don't mind buying extra parts. Thanks for any assistance.
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Old 05-07-2016, 11:50 AM
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Hello there, here's a parts breakdown from Numrich https://www.gunpartscorp.com/Manufac.../20A-38939.htm

I like old .22s too but from experience parts supplies on models discontinued 100 years ago don't improve, they diminish. That's part of why values go up on complete guns and parts. What are you paying for it if you don't mind me asking?

Sounds like you're committed now, once you get it, if your smith can't get it running maybe he can at least tell you what it needs. Buying old broken guns is a crap shoot but the parts hunt can be fun and sometimes you get lucky.

Good luck!
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Old 05-07-2016, 01:06 PM
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Thanks for the link. It doesn't have any part names, but pics are helpful.

I wont get into $ now, but will get some pics up soon. I think you will agree its worth a gamble.
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Old 05-07-2016, 04:41 PM
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Scroll down on the schematic page and it lists the key numbers with descriptions and stock status. The locking bolt is #37 and they're out of stock.

Numrich is constantly buying old parts guns so once you know what you need (if anything) keep checking back. Just remember parts condition can vary from new old stock to beat up and worn out.
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Old 05-07-2016, 06:00 PM
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Just a quick phone pic


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Old 05-15-2016, 01:27 AM
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Well its home. Took it straight to the smith and he says there is nothing wrong with it. WHEW! It does lock up as securely as it needs to to handle the recoil of the round. BUT, you can still manually "override" the lockup with enough rearward force. This is supposedly normal for this gun.

I did some deep digging here and found this thread also. Don't know how I missed it before.
http://www.marlin-collectors.com/for...hp?f=4&t=14142

Also Wisners is currently making firing pins, and mainsprings.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoplustwo View Post
Well its home. Took it straight to the smith and he says there is nothing wrong with it. WHEW! It does lock up as securely as it needs to to handle the recoil of the round. BUT, you can still manually "override" the lockup with enough rearward force. This is supposedly normal for this gun.

I did some deep digging here and found this thread also. Don't know how I missed it before.
http://www.marlin-collectors.com/for...hp?f=4&t=14142

Also Wisners is currently making firing pins, and mainsprings.
I am dubious about being able to override the lockup by exerting extra force on the slide action being normal. I would be inclined to think this is symptomatic of excess wear on some critical parts involved with lockup....or perhaps improperly fitted parts. I have the Model 20 and I am not strong enough to override the lockup.

I'm going to assume that the internals of the 20A are essentially the same as the 20....but it's been some time since I did any research on that. Anyway, I'll describe the Model 20. When the gun is taken down, you can see that there is a pivoting "lever" attached to the rearmost part of the slide. The rearmost portion of this lever pivots down behind a metal "block" attached to the left side wall of the receiver...this locking the action in place with the slide is all the way forward. This "lever" is locked in the down position by a downward projecting portion of the firing pin that during lock up rests on top the rearmost part of the "lever"...thus locking it in the down position behind the metal block....and locking the action. Pushing the firing pin forward (as when the hammer is dropped when firing or you just push on it) allows the firing pin projection to be placed over a hole in the pivoting "lever". This allows the lever to move up from behind the metal block thus freeing the action. I suspect you will find wear in the area of contact between the firing pin projection and the contact area of the pivoting lever.


Again, this all depends on the 20 and 20A having essentially the same internals. Pardon the lack of technical terms for the parts referenced...I'm too lazy to look them up.....

Anyway, you have a nice looking old gun. I love my little 20. I have used it squirrel hunting....after mounting a Lyman tang sight....and it a joy to carry...very petite. Mine has an excellent bore and is quiet accurate.

Last edited by pump .22s; 05-15-2016 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:57 AM
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The 20's had the longer locking lug and a firing pin that used a small coil spring mounted toward the front in an opening cut in the firing pin - the 20A had a small spring loaded plunger in the rear of the bolt to retract the firing pin. Both locked in the same manner but in the 20 it was set farther back due to the longer locking lug, I don't think you should not be able to manually over ride the lock on either version, the firing pin springs on the early versions can sometimes bind, make sure the firing pin spring fully retracts the pin every time.

The 20-S was a transitional model between the two, it had the shorter locking lug but still used the earlier type firing pin spring.
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  #12  
Old 05-16-2016, 07:55 AM
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Sava22, thanks for refreshing my memory on those guns....

If I could remember everything I learned over the years, I'd be a lot smarter than I am now.

I've had the Model 38 completely apart a number of times, and at one time could tell you every part and what it did. But, as I discovered in posting on that other thread asking about the Model 38, my memory has gone all fuzzy on me....
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlysAlot View Post
You guys better write a book! I learn something every-time I read your posts!
I can't recall enough to write a book.....
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:21 AM
twoplustwo
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Thumbs up

Thanks alot guys for the info. I was a tad skeptical of the other thread but didn't have any better evidence. I have a new firing pin and will take it to my smith for installation tomorrow and go from there. I'll make sure he checks out the return spring as well. I want to get inside and play myself, but haven't had time.

Big Thanks
Kevin
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