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Old January 23, 2020, 06:59 PM   #1
johnm1
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Marlin 1892

I just couldn't resist. Originally intended to fire either the 32 rimfire (short or long) or the 32 Colt short or long this one comes with both firing pins as it was originally sold. A little beat up and someone has scrubbed the receiver trying to clean it up. So, not too much collector value. The wood is in nice shape though and the barrel is described as so-so with decent rifling. A lot of these old BP rifles have sewer pipes for barrels, so we will see. On gunbroker I pretty much buy from my local dealer though I have made a few purchases to people I didn't know. I was able to inspect the gun at his shop before I put in a bid. unfortunately I didn't bring my bore light and theirs was missing, so I didn't get to look at the bore. But his descriptions have always been generous from a buyers point of view and condition is always better than described.

I'll have to slug the bore and determine its condition. I reload but loading for the 32 Colt, long or short, is an expensive proposition. Depending on the bore and chamber size, it could be very simple or very complex. Although I'd rather leave it as chambered, if this one is going to be problematic I wouldn't be too adverse to rechambering it to 32 SW or SW Long. It isn't in true collector condition and I shoot what I own. I'm working out of town, so I won't pick it up until this weekend. Then the work starts.
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File Type: jpg 1892 Overall.jpg (237.5 KB, 135 views)
File Type: jpg 1892 Right.jpg (141.1 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg 1892 Buttstock.jpg (158.6 KB, 79 views)
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Old January 23, 2020, 07:05 PM   #2
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A couple more pictures. Missing the front sight blade. Apparently a sliver of 'German Silver'. Stock shows some use:
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File Type: jpg 1892 Fore End.jpg (116.5 KB, 68 views)
File Type: jpg 1892 Grip.jpg (120.1 KB, 64 views)
File Type: jpg 1892 Muzzle.jpg (95.1 KB, 67 views)
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Old January 23, 2020, 11:24 PM   #3
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It looks a lot like my M1893. Even the wood.

Mine is not a "collector" either, but she is definitely a shooter.

If it was me: I would already be looking for dies and ordering a mold. Again, if it was me.

I hope you have tons of fun with yours.
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Old January 23, 2020, 11:48 PM   #4
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We are going to find out this weekend how much fun or how much work. Best case is the bore is sized for the available 32 Colt bullets. But the 32 Colts had quite a bit of variation that I have to measure both the bore and chamber before I buy anything.
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Old January 24, 2020, 11:37 AM   #5
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I have not ruled out re-chambering to .32 S&W Long. It can be done if the bore diameter is on the larger size of the possible range. If it turns out the barrel is toast (I don't think it will) then we probably would re-chamber to the S&W Long cartridge. I'll know this weekend.
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Old January 24, 2020, 06:28 PM   #6
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I hope you follow up here. Very interested.
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Old January 24, 2020, 06:32 PM   #7
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Well, to cut thru the crud, my 1893 is chambered 38-55 and is very large bore at 0.381". My special ordered mold throws 0.382" bullets. I honed and polished a 0.381" Lyman sizer to 0.382". I have accuracy beyond anything I could have hoped for out of this old and abused lever gun. I am so glad I didn't give up on it.
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Old January 24, 2020, 07:39 PM   #8
Jim Watson
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I read of a '92 rechambered .32 S&W long not holding up under stout loads.
I wouldn't load above factory.
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Old January 24, 2020, 10:12 PM   #9
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I will follow up Dufus. That's part of the fun.

I'll only rechamber if the barrel is worse than I think it is or the combination of components makes reloads almost impossible. I load for both 32 S&W and S&W Long. I know this is basically a 22 action and I dont need high performance out of this rifle. So far everything I read is that the factory 32 S&W Long is very close to the original rounds. I might even load the S&W Long with black k powder just to keep the pressure curve closer to original. That's all preliminary at this point as both cases and projectiles are available.
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Old January 25, 2020, 06:53 AM   #10
Mike Irwin
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If I managed to find one of those, in that same, really nice but not collector condition, I'd rechamber it to .32 S&W Long in a heart beat.

My guess is that it's not capable of being rechambered to .32-20 due to dimensions...
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Old January 25, 2020, 10:05 AM   #11
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Mike - that was my first thought but nostalgia keeps tugging at me to leave it as is. I'll measure it and see what I have first.

It is basically a 22 LR action with no locking lugs. The geometry of the lever blocks the bolt in the closed position. Just like the 22 version though the 32 version does increase the thickness of parts that hold the bolt closed by a couple of thousandths. This action cannot be hot rodded. 32-20 isn't possible.
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Old January 25, 2020, 11:32 AM   #12
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Good score.
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Old January 25, 2020, 11:12 PM   #13
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Well, I spent several hours disassembling and cleaning today. I learned a lot. The tubular magazine is the most finicky part of the rifle. I have a little work to do on it. Feed and loading are remarkably simple. Also, there is no disconnect to prevent firing if the bolt is not all the way closed.

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to save this barrel. It was dark with pretty strong rifling but I spent a couple of hours cleaning but all I was able to do was expose the full length pitting. Pin gauges indicates that the rifling is worn for the first 3/8" from the muzzle. I'm going to take it to my gunsmith tomorrow (he was sick today) and get a second opinion and an estimate for a re-line.

I know well that some pitted bores shoot lights out. It just depends. So, unless I can find some ammo here in Phoenix to test or I'm going to have to decide between the cost of a re-line to 32 S&W/Long or the cost of 32 Colt dies and components. I knew this was possible and I have no regrets. I'll know more tomorrow.
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Old January 26, 2020, 03:12 PM   #14
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It sure is a neat rifle. But I'm going to call the barrel toast. The first 3/8" at the muzzle accepts a .303 pin gauge before stopping on the rifling. Same thing for the first 2" from the breach end. I slugged the barrel with a 58 caliber round ball and the tightest dimension is .314-.305. But I'm pretty sure those dimensions only exist from about 3/8" to 4" below the muzzle. Because after 4" I could push the slug the rest of the way with light hand pressure. There was a little more resistance 2 or so inches before the chamber. But not much.

Fortunately Numrich had a factory new 24" round barrel in stock. It is now on its way to me along with a couple of other parts. I suspect it will arrive short chambered but I really dont know or care. I'm not sure what a manufacturer would normally do with a replacement barrel with a rimmed cartridge. If it comes in finished for 32 Rf/CF it will remain so. If it needs to be finished it will be finished for 32 S&W/Long. Though lime Mike suggested he would do, it may just end up 32 S&W Long. Maybe likely.

I knew this was possible when I bought the rifle. So, still not disappointed.
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Old January 28, 2020, 08:07 AM   #15
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I priced out components yesterday and as long as the new barrel arrives fully chambered for 32 colt, and I have reason to believe it will, I'm going to leave it as the colt cartridge. I realize the Smith will have to fit the barrel, but if they have to finish ream it I'm going to have them chamber it in 32 S&W Long. I really don't want anything to do with a search for a 32 colt reamer. I'm sure one exists somewhere.
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Old February 2, 2020, 10:29 AM   #16
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Unfortunately the barrel is toast. I priced out relining and the cost would be approximately $350. Maybe a little high, I figure I could find it maybe for marginally cheaper. I found an NOS Barrel at Numrich and it arrived yesterday along with a new ejector. I dont know when Marlin stopped making parts but I suspect in 1916 making the barrel at least 102 years old. It looks like it came off the line yesterday. As best I can measure it, it appears to be fully chambered in 32 Colt. Rifling is gorgeous. I'll take it to my Smith this morning to see how much and how long.

I tried taking pictures but they were terrible.

The ejector that was in the rifle appeared to be home made. It is possible it was an older style original that had been worked on. It was just a sliver of metal that was slightly curved on the bottom. Apparently as the bolt moved backward the back part was pushed down and the front part would rise out of the ejector slot and eject the empty. For all I know it might have worked.
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Old February 2, 2020, 07:06 PM   #17
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You are on the way to having a shooter on your hands, John. I hope it all works as you have planned.
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Old February 2, 2020, 08:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dufus View Post
You are on the way to having a shooter on your hands, John. I hope it all works as you have planned.
I am flat out pumped for this one. It will get used. I have a case on its way to check feed wth the possibility of needing more parts. Slug the barrel and do a chamber cast to verify the dies and bullets I need and this one will be in operating condition in a week or two.

Likely to remain as a 32 Colt Long.
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Old February 2, 2020, 08:14 PM   #19
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Forgot to mention that the smith wasn’t busy this morning and swapped barrels while I waited. So, final measurements and order dies and components and it will be running.
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Old February 8, 2020, 10:25 AM   #20
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The barrel swap went well. I had to fit the extractor slot to the extractor. So far it doesn’t extract the two cases I have that I’m using for fitting and measuring. It enters the slot far enough but doesn’t snap over the rim. I will likely have to replace the extractor.

It appears that the center fire pin has never been fitted and that is the next thing after I figure out the extractor. Last will be the final fit of the new ejector.

Bore slugged as .299/.3085 so I should be able to use common components. Chamber measures 0.319. It would have been an easy conversion to 32 S&W Long, but I chickened out at the last moment.
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Old February 25, 2020, 10:01 PM   #21
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I am chronicling this rifle primarily on the Marlin Owner's Forum because there seems to be very specific knowledge of this rifle there. But I do want to keep my friends here on The Firing Line updated. I'm using the copy/paste to keep this thread and a similar thread on The High Road updated.

https://www.marlinowners.com/forum/m...892-rifle.html

starts out just like this one did (copy/paste) but continues on with specific pictures of specific parts. Fortunately I move very slowly and don't fit things until I truly understand what surfaces are involved. At least I think I understand.

I fitted the extractor in the old bolt but didn't want to finish fitting until I received brass/bullets and could complete the fitting of new parts while I fitted for function/cycling of the action. As it turns out, I was unable to make the old bolt function. It has a lot of wear on all surfaces and it seemed like I was chasing my tail. So I fit the new bolt to the existing finger lever. The bolt face seems to need no fitting. I received brass and bullets last Saturday and put together a dummy round so I could diagnose function of the feeding part of the cycle. So I had already replaced the bolt, ejector, extractor, and carrier pivot pin (it wouldn't stay in on its own) and now I have the new bolt fitted. But it still won't feed from the magazine all the way into the chamber. I have stared at the action for hours and tried to figure out how it works. I think I understand the sequence of operation now. First, I have to commend the designers of this rifle for its simplicity of operation. There are only three major parts involved in feeding a round from the magazine tube into the chamber. They are: Finger Lever (and extension), Carrier, and bolt. That's it. The early models didn't have a separate cartridge cut off and mine doesn't. So this one will probably never cycle the shorts and I'm OK with that. The finger lever extension provides all of the movement needed to feed a round into the chamber. It pulls the bolt back and lifts the carrier into position in front of the bolt so the bolt can push the round into the chamber. But to do this, the finger level has a couple of surfaces that interface with the hidden side of the carrier that appear to have some heavy wear. Fortunately Numrich has parts and some of them are NOS like the barrel was. The new bolt is NOS. That being said, I have ordered a new finger lever as well as a carrier toggle and finger lever pivot screw. In the end the only thing inside the receiver that will be original will be the carrier and the trigger/springs.

I am staying with the original 32 Colt Centerfire cartridge at least for now. I understand the conversion to 32 S&W Long is pretty easy but I prefer my firearms to be as original as possible. Though I must admit that the availability of the S&W cartridge is very appealing. The new parts have already shipped out and should be available for installation this coming weekend. I'm hoping to shoot this thing on Sunday. It should shoot well as it has a brand new barrel that is pristine.
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Old March 16, 2020, 04:08 PM   #22
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Just wonderin' how the old 1892 is going. I couldn't see the pics on the Marlin Owners forum since I am not a member.
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Old March 24, 2020, 04:16 PM   #23
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Progress is slow. I have all of the parts I need except for the repair of the magazine tube. That is turning out to be the hard part. Marlin's magazine tubes were different than everybody else's in that the outer tube is the one that moves up to expose the loading gate in the fixed inner tube. It relies on bending the metal at the end of the outer tube so the outer tube can pick up a pin on the follower and ride up with the outer tube. I spent the weekend trying to modify my existing outer tube but it was a failure.

I still don't have it feeding right yet either. I work on it every weekend but just haven't got to the point that it feeds reliably. I think I have it figured out, said that about 100 times before, but I really need the magazine tube to be working normally to assure myself that if it doesn't work it isn't related to how the rounds are fed into the receiver and onto the carrier.

I am still amazed at how few parts are needed to make a round feed into the rifle. The magazine is 4 pieces, inner tube, outer tube, follower and spring. In the receiver there is the carrier that has a rocker attached to it, the finger lever extension, and the bolt. The bolt has the extractor and the firing pin with the ejector pressed into the side of the receiver. That's it. in the receiver there are 3 moving parts. But what that means is that each part does more than one thing. Like the carrier. It not only lifts the cartridge into position but while it is doing that it is also holding the next cartridge in the magazine tube. I basically understand how the carrier/rocker/lever extension work together, but I can't actually see how the surfaces mate up due to the arrangement of the carrier on top of the lever extension. So I have spent hours just looking at how things fit together and try to figure out how they work together.
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