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Old September 7, 2007, 10:19 PM   #1
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The Marlin Jam

Marlin Jam....fact or fiction?
I have avoided Marlins because of what I have heard about the dreaded Marlin Jam. Is there really such a thing as the Marlin jam? Why does it happen? Is it a Marlin design flaw? What does Marlin Firearms have to say about the Marlin jam?
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Old September 7, 2007, 11:52 PM   #2
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According to this it is Marlin design flaw.
"I reject your reality and substitute my own." -Adam Savage- "Mythbusters."
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Old September 11, 2007, 10:36 PM   #3
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Just buy one and send it back if it is bad. I did. Customer service was excellent.
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Old September 12, 2007, 07:57 AM   #4
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I have owned maybe 10 different Marlin lever rifles over tha last 35 years, only had one bad one, the 39A .22lr caliber, the supposed "Cadillac" of 22's.
It jammed repeatedly, shot way off target. could not be relied on at all. It is the only Marlin lever action I have ever had trouble with. I never heard of "the Marlin jam" till I read about it online a few years ago, and i think it exists mainly in the minds of gun writers.
I read the article in the link and noted the terrible problem sometimes begins "after many thousands of cycles". In normal use, therfore, you would never see it.
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Old September 12, 2007, 05:20 PM   #5
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I have owned and used a Marlin 336 as a truck gun for 40 years. Never had a problem with it. I used a Marlin 1895ss in .45/70 as a survival rifle in Alaska for years. Once I got my handloads sorted out, I never had a problem. I have a 39A that shows no signs of problems. I wonder why I never heard of the Marlin Jam until today?
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Old September 12, 2007, 05:34 PM   #6
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I too have owned a couple Marlins in my time and have never had any problems. This is the first trime I ever heard of the "Marlin jam."
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Old September 12, 2007, 06:18 PM   #7
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It doesn't happen to every Marlin, and it's more common to the pistol-calibers, but it's very real, and Marlin is aware of it.
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Old September 12, 2007, 06:24 PM   #8
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Jeez that is news to me. I only heard warnings about cartridge length in these guns. Guess I will take mine apart and see if I am getting something like that starting. No problems with any of my Marlins yet.
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Old September 12, 2007, 08:32 PM   #9
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I have never seen it in a 30-30, 45-70 or 444 and I have seen a lot of them

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Old September 12, 2007, 11:03 PM   #10
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Marlin does have a cure, so do a couple other gunsmiths.
My wife's .32-20 was doing it for a while, we sent it to a friend from her CAS days a while back & he did the fix. I can't recall the specifics, but it's the engagement between the lever and either the bolt or the carrier. As it was explained to me, if the "fix" is in early enough (simple to do) the gun will never develop a problem. On those guns that do have the tolerances off in the affected area, once the wear develops sufficiently, it can involve parts replacements to correct the jamming.
There's another fairly common Marlin jam, caused by a loose screw. (Slip me ten bucks & I'll tell you which one. )
I've seen more than one pistol-calibered Marlin jam up at cowboy shoots bad enough to require disassembly with a screwdriver.
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Old September 13, 2007, 12:53 AM   #11
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between me and my dad we have a number of Marlins and I have never had or seen one jam
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But around in awarness.
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Old September 13, 2007, 01:31 AM   #12
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I bought a Marlin 1895g in 45/70 about 9 months ago and I could not for the life of me get the the rifle to feed cartridges reliably. And I'm just talking feed them reliably not firing. It shot fine once it chambered a cartidge, but after you went to stroke the lever it just jammed up horribly. Some times it would eject a cartridge but wouldn't chamber one, and sometime wouldn't even eject. I got rid of the rifle because I was sick of dealing with it. I still like the Marlins and will probably get another down the road(probably one of Wildalaskas custom jobs).
Don't pick a fight with a country boy; if hes too lazy or drunk to fight, he'll just kill you.
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Old September 13, 2007, 10:43 AM   #13
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Thousands of Rounds to Make it Show Up?

If it takes several thousand cycles to make this "defect" show up, I think I understand why Wildalaska doesn't see it in .30-30s, .45-70s, or .444s. AT least I feel comfortable that my 1895 in .45-70 will never show a sign of it, as least not til it's in the hands of grandkids yet unborn. I may have put 500 rounds through it in 15 years.

But I don't know why it hasn't shown up on my 39A yet....
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Old September 13, 2007, 04:13 PM   #14
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my nephew's 30-30 did it, the loading gate was loose. the fired cartridge will eject but the gate was drooping enough to prevent the next round from feeding properly. he called Marlin, they said send it back and he got it back 2 weeks later functioning fine.
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Old September 13, 2007, 05:05 PM   #15
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When I first bought my .450, it would not feed correctly. I think it was just a part missing, but I took it back to the dealer and Marlin fixed me right up. Between my uncle and I we have 8 Marlin lever actions and plenty of rounds through all of them. Never had a jam, ever. They are my hunting rifle of choice. They have a gun for everything.
"The only purpose for a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you never should have laid down."

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Old September 15, 2007, 02:55 PM   #16
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According to this it is Marlin design flaw.

Marlin should have fixed this problem years ago. I will just have to find myself another Winchester M94.
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Old September 15, 2007, 03:23 PM   #17
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Between my brother and I, we have a bunch of pistol caliber Marlin rifles. The only issue we have ever had with them jamming is when a greeny trys to load another round and is trying to be gentle with it. They'll jam every time. Just work the handle and no problems. It's more an operator error than a manufactured error. Might wanna learn how to use one. FWIW, all of the Winchester 92s will do the same thing if you are gentle. Don't hear much about the Winchester Jam either.
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Old September 15, 2007, 04:02 PM   #18
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The only issue we have ever had with them jamming is when a greeny trys to load another round and is trying to be gentle with it.
My experience as well... if you try to be nice, it will jam. 1894PG
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Old September 15, 2007, 05:56 PM   #19
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I wonder what it would taste like... I could use something different for my bagel in the morning.
I don't care who you are,, or how many Marlins have never jammed on you,,, but that is some funny shizzz...

I've had a few really nice 39A's,,, what's a jam?
I owe a lot to the man who first cradled this rifle in his hands... wish I could tell him thanks.-- mdshooter
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Old September 15, 2007, 09:14 PM   #20
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I had to send my 1894 FG back. I could have driven to the factory, it is only an hour away, but I sent it anyway. They fixed it by replacing the carrier. At first I thought I was jamming because I was being gentle, then it got progessively worse. Now every thing is just fine. The problem has left me with nothing ill to say about Marlin. In fact my next rifle is probably going to be a 336, my 1894 is lonely.
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Old September 15, 2007, 09:52 PM   #21
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I have seem plenty of the 44 mag marlins jam. It's more then an operator's error. I first learned about this with the 44mag back in the 70's. And then I purchased one almost new and it evenually started jamming after a couple hundred rounds. Back then there was a gun dealer I frequented that would not hardly even trade for a used Marlin 44mag because of the jamming issue and having people come back on him.

You would think after a hundred years they could cure the problem. I had one 1895 in 45/70 that gave a little trouble. However, I had a 336 in 30/30 that always worked fine. And that is why I now own Winchester pistol caliber leveractions in 44 mag and 357 mag, instead of Marlins.

I had one problem with a 39M 22 rimfire, failing to feed from the mag tube. I had a gunsmith fix it for me, and had no more problems. I had a 39A purchased new, that got shot, thousands of rounds and never failed, except for a broken firing pin. The 39s usually work, except some would occasionally break a firing pin. I used to keep extras under the butt plate of my 39's, just in case. Fortunately they are very easy to change out.
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Old September 16, 2007, 02:58 AM   #22
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I've got the 1894CB in .357/.38, and the 39A, both work just fine. On the other hand I shot in a CAS match yesterday and two fellows shooting Marlin .44 Mag/Special and 45 Colt had jams so bad they had to borrow rifles to finish.

However - I see a lot of Marlins in pistol calibers at these shoots and, in spite of yesterdays trouble, most of them are reliable. I think it's like buying a new car. No matter what manufacturer you have a chance of getting a lemon. But with the good companies the chance is much less.
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Old September 16, 2007, 02:17 PM   #23
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People forget that guns are made in large numbers, so a few bad ones slip by the quality control guys.
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Old January 13, 2008, 09:31 PM   #24
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I know this is an old post, but I've experienced the "Marlin Jam" on the same rifle, more than once. I have an 1894 .357. I bought it new back around 1996. It jammed on me several times, requiring me to disassemble the lever, sometimes in the woods. I shoot my own reloads. It would jam, without shooting at all, just with bullets in the magazine.
Since it was new, the shop where I bought it sent it back to Marlin. Cam back and worked fine, until yesterday (ten years later).
Again, I was shooting reloads, and again, it jammed twice. Fist time I was able to use a small screwdriver to take the pressure off the tube magazine. The second time was unsuccessful and I had to bring the gun home from the Range and remove the Lever since I did not have my gunsmith screwdrivers at the Range.
I searched the net, found the above noted fix, and did it today. I cycled R_P brass through it several times. I also found the Marlin Jam MAY be common with R-P Brass. It jammed on R-P Brass, both times. Maybe when Remington takes over Marlin they'll fix the problem!
Anyway, I have six othe Marlins and never had this problem.
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Old January 15, 2008, 12:03 PM   #25
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I bought a 1894SS brand new two months ago, LOVE the way the gun looks, cycles nice when your not trying to shoot it, but once you start it will want to jam when you try to extract the bullet and again when you are trying to load the next one, so when you try to take the lever down and again when you almost have the lever back up, I have to rip on it as hard as I can to try and get it to do anything, sometimes you have to take the lever off, at first I thought I was being to gentle, but even racking it as hard as I could I just won't cycle, I put 150 rounds through it and gave up, sold it for what I paid for it and plan on buying a new one as soon as they are available, think I will be calling Marlin on this. You shouldn't have to send a gun back, should be right the first time, were not just talking about a little batch of guns here....
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