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Marlin .22WMR report

719 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Markbo
Well I got some rings & mounted an old Redfield Widefield 3-9 scope in low rings and sure looks sleek! The rear sight tucks just behind the objective. I managed to find 7 or 8 different loads and made my way to the range.

I tried to not have any pre-determined opinions one way or the other about the round, but my personal experience has been less than stellar - albeit admittedly limited. I also know that going at it with a $200 fifle as opposed to a $500 rifle, might make a difference! :p

First the gun:
Fit and finish are actualy quite good. A great little laminated stock and very well done blueing all over. Excellent wood to metal fit. The magazine is a stamped metal unit that rides a little rail up into the magwell... it edges are sharp and unforgiving. And the spring is pretty stout, which makes loading it a little tricky until you get the hang of it. It has a medium heavy barrel with open sights (that I won't use) that is very well finished.

The bolt on this little 882L feels like is was cut out with a hack saw. It is without a doubt THE roughest bolt I have ever had. It is badly in need of a polishing, which I will take care of alongwith the trigger. The trigger has zero take up and minimal overtravel. It breaks quite cleanly, but at something in the neighborhood of 6 or 7 pounds I am guessing. I will have to do something about that! With a sporter type forend, I really had to concentrate on the trigger pull

The safety button is on the right side and is a push/pull type. The button itself is fine, but the movement is so rough, it is difficult to tell where it is without looking at it - it did not make for confident handling!

This little gun needs a lot of polishing! Another idiosyncracy is that the rear of the receiver is very sharp and I have yet to be able to move my thumb up and hit the safety button... it always lands on the edge of the receiver and I have to LOOK to see what I am doing becase the button seems to be a little too far forward. Hopefully that will change with some trigger time, but before I do anything else, I will be polishing some parts.

One other odd thing I noticed was the color of the patches. Where they usually come out black or dark gray they came out with a brown tinge all the time. I have no idea why. There was absolutely no rust anywhere on it and of course I cleaned everything before firing a round.

It may sound like I am complaining, but I am not really - this is a handy little rifle with good lines and a classic feel... not too heavy, but it gives the feeling of a 'real gun'. For what it is, I like it a lot and am just hoping that it will be as accurate as some of the other WMR folks around here talk about.

My shooting consisted of 5 shots/clean for 50 shots, then 10 shots/clean for the balance of my time there. I am guessing somewhere around 140-160 total shots were fired. After shooting 3 x 5 shot groups with each load, I reshot several more to reconfirm my findings.

Of the 7 or 8 loads (I'm sorry I don't remember exactly and didn't write them all down) I found two that will shoot into around 1/2" at 50 yards - but no better. All of the others hovered around 3/4"+ with the exception of the CCI Maxi-Mag+V, which spread them around 2" every group. #2 Was the Winchester Supreme load and #1 was the Remington 40gr HP; oddly the cheapest round I had.

Now that I have a solid 100+ rounds through it, I will try to get my hands on more different loads to find it's 2 absolute favorites, then I can start doing some 100 yd shooting, but I didn't want to do that during the first shoot. Once I find what it likes I will try to put a bigger scope on it and get into that 200 yard shooting vs. the VQ 9/17 and we'll just see what happens.

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I have an 882SS and it likes the Remington 33 grain V-Max the best for accuracy. It also likes the standard 40 grain Winchester stuff.
My 882VS will shoot most 3 or 4 round groups that can be covered by a dime at 50 yards. Sometimes a 4th or 5th round will open the group an extra 1/8" or 1/4"
The paper box Premier green tip ammo shoots as well.

I prep the barrel on all my rifles. This trigger was also lowered to a 3lb, 6 ounce pull.
I have an 882 SS too, and it also likes the Winchester 40 gr JHP's and the Rem 33 gr premiers ammo. Mine likes the Winchester stuff just a little better though.

fwiw, my marlin semi likes anything in 40 grain. if i deviate from that i get crappy groups. picky, picky. oh well.........

Try the federal 50 grainers. I glass bedded my marlin 25mn and it would shoot under 1/4" at 100 yds.
I've had very good luck with the CCI Maxi-Mag TNTs (30 grain Speer Gold Dot bullet, semi-jacketed large mouth hollow point). They leave the muzzle at around 2,350FPS from my 22-inch barreled 982S and are very accurate for high-velocity ammo.

I haven't fired enough groups to be sure exactly how close they are to the accuracy of the regular 40 grain CCI Maxi-Mag JHPs, but it seems very close. And you get a little flatter flightpath thanks to the extra 350FPS or so of velocity with the TNTs.

The terminal performance just can't be compared. The Jacketed HPs do a lot of damage for a .22 rimfire, but the TNTs are positively explosive. You'll still get decent penetration but the size of the wound channel is outrageous.
22ingaround said:
I prep the barrel on all my rifles. This trigger was also lowered to a 3lb, 6 ounce pull.
Thanks for all the feedback guys... 22ingaround... how did you get the trigger pull weight down. I haven't messed with the trigger on this gun yet and am looking for some advice about it.
If I had to do it again I wouldn't bother with all the trouble and frustration. It's easier to buy a $59 BASX trigger and lower the pull down below a pound if you so desired.

If you enjoy tinkering, and know how to solder, here goes:

Remove the stock and take a close look through that opening in the side of the trigger assembly housing. (That hole was put there by the factory just so you can view the trigger and sear contacts.) Observe how the sear and trigger meet up, and how they disconnect when you slowly pull the trigger. Now that you see how the parts engage and work, take the trigger assembly out of the barreled action. (It's held in by one simple screw.) Remove the "c" clips and free the trigger, sear and 2 springs from out of the housing. Replace the one spring with a ballpoint spring. (This will help lighten the pull somewhat, but is by no means the main remedy.) What you want to do is to narrow that gap ("ledge" for a better description) that the trigger catches. That gap (or ledge) is probably about 3/16" deep. Simply solder a thin sliver of brass into that gap. Don't worry if the solder and brass blob up real sloppy in there, because you are going to file it neat and square. Now slowly and neatly file out the mass of brass or solder until you have a ledge gap that has been narrowed down to about 1/16" deep. There now is your lighter trigger pull with NO creep!
Buy any kind of solder you wish, but use clear fluid kind of flux . (soldering paste sold at most places is designed for copper plumbing pipe or copper wire soldedring and will not work) If you need scrap brass, simply get it from a spent cartridge, and cut it with shears, and hammer it straight and flat as needed. In case you were wondering.....yes, you could do the job using only solder, but solder is too soft and will eventually wear in from friction.

And the last step now after rerading and understanding what you have to do: Buy a BASX trigger. :D
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You can save $55.00 of your money by going down to your local office supply store and buying a Pentel 0.5mm Mechanical Pencil. Take it home and take it apart and remove the spring that is in it. Take that spring and replace the trigger return spring that is in your Marlin rifle with it. It will give you an instant 2 to 2 1/2 pound trigger pull. With a little polishing or flitz, you can get it lower.

I did this to my first 882SSV years ago and passed the information on then.
It used to be common knowledge here and was passed on a lot, until a bunch of the members here passed on to different sites.
Beg to differ with you OLE MAN :Blasting_ ,

First thing I did was listen to everybody and installed it. It's in there right now. I have a 3 lb 6 ounce pull with it, AND, all the extra sear work I've described above. There's a good bit of hard pressure being exerted on that sear surface no matter what kind of spring you put in there.

I won't dispute it if it worked for you, and some others guys claiming the same magical results. But if it was that easy, a bunch of guys wouldn't be springing the cash for a BASX. MAYBE, your spring trick works with the older trigger, but it sure doesn't amount to much with my newer T-900.

MARKBO, go ahead and try the pen spring replacement trick by itself. Worse thing that happens is you waste some time playing with your rifle. Best thing that can happen is it works like a charm for you. Either way, you'll get to learn about the workings of that trigger.
Your results may not be exact. It is still worth the less than $5.00 expense to find out. I've still heard that even the Rifle Basix's triggers need some work. Besides the Pentel Pen springs others have had success using springs from the Bic pens and other ball point pens, and most of them can be picked up "Free"
Opinions do vary....:Blasting_ :Blasting_
Ole' Man River said:
.... I've still heard that even the Rifle Basix's triggers need some work.....
Opinions do vary....:Blasting_ :Blasting_

......I then put a $59 Basx trigger in there and the rifle went instantly to a 14 ounce pull with absolutely no creep, and no further tinkering.
Well I happen to have 3 or 4 Bic mechanical pencils in my drawer, left over from the last one I had to canabalize, so it's no sweat to try it. Being a tinkerer at heart, I will almost always try it myself before buying aftermarket.

I even did that with a couple of AR's KNOWING that I could only get so much out of a stock group before finally breaking down and buying Jewels. Just because I know there is an aftermarket answer doesn't mean I am not going to try it myself.

Thanks for the input fellahs!
"a $200 fifle as opposed to a $500 rifle" ...um...what's a fifle? :D
There's one in every crowd!!!! :p

22ingaround, Just FYI the 882 does not have a T-900 trigger group, which I presume your instructions were for. I am guessing the T-900 went into effect on the 900 series of rifles... or fifles, depending how much you've been drinking.

BUT the good news is the trigger in my 882 is unbelievably simple.. really a remarkable piece. I spent an hour or so polishing not only the trigger and sear, but most of the polishing time was spent on the bolt, which was very rough. It could probably do with some more, though it is much better than it was.

I swapped out the spring, put it all back together and now have a 2.7lb pull. It was just under 6 before the work, but before I measured it this afternoon, I would have guessed it was even higher than that. There is no creep, no mush and minimal overtravel, so I am very happy with the way it turned out.

I even did a little work on the saftey lever surfaces so it would be a bit smoother and easier to work... it was WAY too stiff before!

Whadya know... looks lke the Ol' Man knew what he was talkin' about! :t
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