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Old February 10, 2009, 11:04 AM   #1
IUGradStudent
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Marlin 81 not feeding -- Help!!!!

Hi all,

I picked up a Marlin 81 (not 81 DL) at an auction for dirt cheap. I'm new to rimfires and I thought this would be a good start for me. Got it home, cleaned it up, and took it out and it is not feeding AT ALL. Won't feed a single round. I've only tried Federal bulk from Wal-Mart and a Winchester (don't know what kind) that a guy at the range let me try. I've noticed at least a few issues:

When I close the bolt, the mechanism which should pick up the next round doesn't pick it up, so when I open the bolt the cartridges are still all in the tube. If I press down on the mechanism, it will pick up a cartridge, but then it does not align at the right angle. When I let up on the mechanism (now with a cartridge in it), it pops up but does not properly align the cartridge with the chamber -- the nose of the bullet is at too high of an angle. When I press the bolt forward it will engage with the cartridge, but since the cartridge is at the wrong angle the nose of the bullet hits above the chamber and does not enter the chamber.

I can use my finger and wiggle it around so the nose is in the chamber, and then I can close the bolt on it and fire the round.

Then, to top things off, the extractor only works about 1 out of 4 times, usually leaving the casing attached to the bolt.

I'm going to disassemble, thoroughly clean again, and put some machine grease on all the moving parts.

Other help?
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Old February 10, 2009, 01:15 PM   #2
sadsack
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Marlin 81 is clip magazine action. Try another magazine and replace the extractor. Parts should be available from Gun Parts Corp.
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Old February 10, 2009, 08:25 PM   #3
BSlacker
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The model 80 is a bottom feeder the 81 is tube.
Your 81s carrier is not going far enough down to release the round from the tube. Cleaning the action and tube might help. As far as ejection goes make sure the little ejector is there they get broken during cleaning sometimes and there is nothing to eject the case.
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Old February 10, 2009, 11:53 PM   #4
sadsack
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Bslacker: I stand corrected. Sorry about that IU.
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Old February 16, 2009, 10:29 AM   #5
IUGradStudent
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Update.....

Well I've made some progress (with help from the Marlin Forums, too). The screw which connects the feeding mechanism to the frame/receiver was loose and that was screwing up the angle of the feeding mechanism. Tightened that up and it started feeding perfectly from the tube to the feeding mechanism.

Still not feeding into the chamber correctly. So, I'm working with pliers and bending the feeding lips trying to get the angle right. Thanks all for the help....
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Old February 16, 2009, 12:54 PM   #6
sadsack
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IU: Is the cartridge guide spring still there?
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Old February 16, 2009, 06:39 PM   #7
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I'm not sure what the cartridge guide spring is. There is a large(ish) spring that you can see when you take the stock off which sort of wraps around the carrier. That one's definitely there (otherwise the carrier wouldn't feed up at all) But other than that I don't see any springs.

The only remaining issue is feeding from the carrier mechanism into the chamber. Going to work on that angle tonight...
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Old February 16, 2009, 07:38 PM   #8
sadsack
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IU: It is a flat spring that sticks out just above the chamber to guide the cartridge into the chamber. If its not there you can still see the slot for it and most likely a piece of the guide thats left. The barrel has to be pulled to install it.
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Old February 17, 2009, 09:56 AM   #9
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I've never seen "cartridge guide spring" listed on any schematic. There is a tiny slot above the chamber and a tiny metal protrustion that could be a guide of some sort.

Messed with the feed ramp/feed throat for an hour and a half last night and its feeding worse than before. Not feeding the shorts anymore, had some failures to extract, double-feeds, etc. I'm going to keep messing with it, but it's been disappointing so far. Looks like this might not end up as a reliable old .22 for me!
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Old February 17, 2009, 11:29 AM   #10
sadsack
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IU: Your guide has broken off. It should be about 3/8" long with an upward bend at the tip to ride up on the bolt. Gun Parts Inc. should have them.
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Old February 18, 2009, 10:17 AM   #11
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Hrm. E-gunparts.com does have them. And you say the barrel has to be pulled to install it? Sounds like that's going to be beyond my abilities.....
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Old February 18, 2009, 10:22 AM   #12
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Course, I just found this....maybe it's doable!
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Old February 18, 2009, 03:06 PM   #13
sadsack
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IU: That's pretty much how its done, but I would suggest a steel punch (or at least a steel starter punch). A brass punch that small probably won't hold up.
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Old April 14, 2009, 02:16 PM   #14
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Well, here's the AAR:

Bought the spring from e-gunparts.com ($10.50 including shipping), hammered the pin out and removed the barrel (putting some pretty significant scratches in it). Replaced the spring, replaced the barrel.

It's still not feeding right, though it's better with the spring. I think my monkeying with the feed lips jacked them up. So, I'm gonna monkey some more and see if I can get it right. Not sure I want to buy a new feeding mechanism for it....
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Old May 11, 2011, 11:20 PM   #15
acmetim
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thread resurrect

iu grad student,
i am at the same place you were when this died. did the rifle die too? did you ever get it to feed or just give up on it? mine was feeding fine when i loaned it to a friend, now i have to remove the barrel and replace that top spring(guide) that thing is really in there(barrel). its soaking in pb blaster now... we will see. was it hard to get back into the receiver?
tim
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Old December 15, 2011, 07:43 PM   #16
lirex3
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Hi I am having the same problems... Would you have a picture of the guide spring installed on the rifle? Mine has no spring at all and would like to see it installed.
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Old December 28, 2011, 11:07 PM   #17
Colduglandon
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I just found this thread. Checking out a model 81. Seems to have a little trouble feeding. Based on this info I am going to take it down and see what I come up with. Thanks everyone.
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Old December 28, 2011, 11:56 PM   #18
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I read that it is a tapered drift pin that has to be hammered out left to right. Ordered the part from Gunparts today.
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Last edited by Colduglandon; December 31, 2011 at 12:34 AM.
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