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Old February 13, 2012, 01:26 AM   #1
frumious
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Marlin 1895 hammer follow repair - need equipment advice

Hi All,

At the range yesterday my Marlin 1895 Guide Gun (45-70) developed a case of hammer follow. The hammer would fall to half-cock every time I closed the lever fairly firmly...if I was gentle with it then the hammer would stay back. Thanks to the very generous half-cock notch the gun was not unsafe, just annoying.

I figure the problem had to do with a trigger job I hired a local gun store to perform after I bought the rifle new last year. I wanted a 3# trigger but the smith ended up doing 4# because he said it was "misfiring" at 3#. I assume he meant "following" instead of "misfiring" as he didn't replace any of the springs. Anyway, I am guessing he didn't set quite enough sear engagement and the hammer hook finally wore down.

I could have taken the gun back to the LGS but I am impatient and I like to tinker so I decided to try the repair myself. Also I thought of the half-cock notch as sort of my safety net...I figured the worst I could do was make it so the hammer would not stay at full-cock at all. All my efforts were focused on the hammer - I left the sear alone.

To make a long story short, I made the problem much worse, then fixed it, then broke it again, then fixed it again. I can now slam the CRAP out of the lever and the hammer stays at full-cock. Trigger is still nice and light but has a nice little "hitch" in it now. The main hammer hook comes off the hammer ring at slightly less than a right angle, but the corner where the hook meets the ring is not very sharp, and the face of the hook is a little concave too. The sharp edge of the sear rides these curves and somewhere along there is that hitch. I hit the hook face with 1000 and 2000 grit wrapped around a file (which helped) but that hitch is still there.

I need to flatten the hook face and sharpen the corner a little but my cheap set of "jewelers files" from Harbor Freight is simply not up to the task. None of them is perfectly straight or perfectly flat. If I had better technique I could maybe make them work but at my skill level I need better equipment. Also for all I know a file is not what I am supposed to be using. Maybe I should be using a stone? What is the best thing to "sharpen" hammer hooks with? I am about to have a look at Midway and maybe Brownell's and I thought I'd ask you guys before I bought the wrong thing.

Also, please understand that I respect gunsmiths and the work they do. I understand that the most straightforward thing for me to do would have been to take the rifle back to the LGS and leave it for a couple of weeks while they fix it, probably under shop warranty. But I really wanted to try my hand at this and like I said I don't think there was any safety issue. If I hadn't been able to get this far I would have gladly taken it back to the LGS, owned up, and paid them to fix it.

-cls
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Old February 13, 2012, 11:31 AM   #2
Jerry45
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What you need is http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=9...FILE-STONE-KIT A trigger fixture would also be nice. Problem is everything is so darn expensive for someone that is just a tinkerer. Since I don’t do trigger jobs every day I use is a two sided oil stone (course and medium) an Arkansas bench oil stone and an Indian Mountain pocket wet stone. I’m very careful to keep the correct angles. Hope that helps.

You may also be interested in one of these. http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1...GGER-HAPPY-KIT
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Last edited by Jerry45; February 13, 2012 at 11:41 AM.
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Old February 13, 2012, 12:11 PM   #3
frumious
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Thanks, Jerry. That set from Brownell's looks nice. And...ummm...at least it isn't TWO hundred dollars

I think I understand what a trigger fixture is...that's a jig that allows you to position the parts outside of the gun for checking angles and fit and whatnot, right? If so, let me tell you this rifle is a dream to work on in that regard. You have to remove the "bottom plate" pretty early in the process of getting the hammer out. Well, that bottom plate is a single piece of metal on which the hammer, trigger/sear, and lever mount. So I can put it all back together outside of the rifle and check fit that way. It's a built-in jig!

On the trigger happy kit..I saw that already and I am interested in that too. But I tell you, what I'd give my eye teeth for is a replacement hammer set to factory specs. I've removed quite a few thousandths from this one and if I had it do do over again I could do it without removing so much material. But that part seems to be "Marlin factory availability only"

-cls
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Old February 13, 2012, 01:34 PM   #4
Jerry45
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The fixture/jig holds the trigger for one step in the operation and the sear for the other and gives you a guide set at the proper angle(s) for the stones to glide across. A friend had one for 1911s that I used on one of mine. Worked great, only cost about $35.00, so they stopped making them. I did my other 1911s with just my knife sharpening oil stones and they came out just like the one I had use the jug for. The trick is to keep everything square and not to take off “too much” metal. Once over done it’s time to replace parts.

Marlin customer support Phone #: 866-662-4869. Wouldn't hurt to give them a call to see if they’ll sell you the parts. If they won’t I raise a ruckus.
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Last edited by Jerry45; February 13, 2012 at 01:44 PM.
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Old February 13, 2012, 02:02 PM   #5
frumious
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Jerry,

Oh, I gotcha. Yes, knowing the proper angles would be good. I have no idea what these parts looked like before the first smith got done with them. I will look around for a fixture but I may have to continue just doing it by feel. Also, I will call Marlin and see what they say. Thanks again, Jerry!

-cls
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Old February 13, 2012, 02:33 PM   #6
Jerry45
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Fixtures aren’t cheap! Most triggers and sears (I believe) are cut on 90°. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong. On a 1911 one can add a different angle on the edge of the sear (I believe it is 60°. Been a while) supposedly for a smoother break. You shouldn’t need that on 1895. I didn’t do it on my 1911s and they feels good to me.
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