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Thread: 1895 project: Make mine a cowboy?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    62

    1895 project: Make mine a cowboy?

    Hello all, its been a while since ive checked in, just lurking.

    After keeping my eyes peeled, I found a used Marlin 1895 45-70. Cosmetically, it had some issues..such as no bluing left on the gun, some pitting, stock had some character. But the bore was fine and the gun was mechanically sound and I bought it.

    Shortly thereafter, I brought my dad's 1895 back to him. I had had it to work up some loads for it, and really wanted to do some experiments on it, but since this rifle had been in the family since the 70's, and wasn't mine, I left it as is.

    The rifle I bought was JUST what the doctor ordered- cosmetically I could do nothing but improve the rifle.
    Range work with J-bullets revealed that the rifle shot great.

    The cast loads I put through it were les than accurate...just as they had been in my old mans rifle.


    Slugging the bore revealed a .458-.4585 diameter..and my bullets were .457...not a great fit.

    Currently my focus is getting the rifle shooting with cast. I'm playing with paper patched boolits, and will very likley purchase a mold .460-.463 dia mold in order to solve this little issue.


    Once that hurdle is crossed, or in the meantime, the plan is sand the stock, leaving the dings, and give it a pine tar/BLO finish..perhaps with some torch marks?


    The big modification I am considering is installing a full- length magazine tube on the 22" barrel. This would give me a 7 round capacity, a barrel length I love, and if the rifle shot cast and jacketed..well, would I really NEED anything else?


    As far as I can tell, there are a few ways to go about it, they all start with buying a new mag tube and spring from Brownells.


    1) File a new dovetail about 1/2" back from the muzzle in order to mount the magazine tube stud. The issue here is the taper in the barrel. Where the dovetail is now, the barrel is thicker, about .805", less bore diameter we have about .357" for both wall thicknesses, so about .178" each. the dovetail is cut about .108" deep, leaving .70" thickness. This is evidently enough as this is the way Marlin has made these guns since the 70's, and they have been standing up to use all that time.

    But, about 1/2" from the muzzle under the front sight, we have . 731" thickness, and after a dovetail- assuming I take it as deep as the other, i'd have about .038" thickness....not thick enough I think.


    - I could THIN the base of the mag tube stud by filing it flat, thus needing a shallower dovetail and leaving more meat in the barrel thickness. That might work

    - I could silver solder the threaded portion of the mag tube stud to the barrel, leaving full barrel thickness, and possibly needing a slight shimming to separate the mag tube and barrel.


    I could also get a magazine tube clamp- my least favorite solution as it adds parts to the gun. But I might get one to use for try-fitting before any modifications.


    Other than that, and maybe a slight flare on the receiver's ejection port to make single loading a bit slicker, and then MAYBE a refinishing job- the way it looks now is growing on me- and that will be it for my poor mans cowboy.


    Sorry so longwinded.
    Any thoughts from you guys? Sort of hemming and hawing on the mag tube issue, just want a few more rounds. Has anyone done this, or heard of it?

  2. #2
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    2
    hey there, yes i did mine with the brownells tube and used a dovetail jig. Never looked back. When people see it they always ask what it is. I tell em "a 30-30 on steriods" then i let them shoot it. its balanced and fun to shoot.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master bikerbeans's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
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    I would chemically strip the wood and sand very little. There are lots of Marlin levers out there with proud wood at the tang from over sanding.

    BB

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks for the reply!

    How much of a dovetail did you end up putting in? If full depth, I was concerned with the area not being up to snuff strength wise, as well as the tube being canted due to the barrel taper.

    True on then wood, Biker! Thankfully, most of this finish is already gone.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
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    I have a spring and mag tube I bought years ago and never used. Let me know if you are interested. still in the original shipping box.

    swamp
    There is no problem so great, that it cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Nov 2007
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    is it the CB mag tube, about 25" long? If so, and its the blued version, I am.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I have a 1970 - 1895, at the time I got it on a trade 40+ yrs ago it was the newest Marlin I owned.
    I have 7 old Marlins from turn of the Century and the "extra" wood bothered me. The old Marlins and
    Win lever actions had wood that was flush with action. The 95 also had the big shotgun style butt.
    The rifle was 95% condition or better and I decided to retro the wood. I removed enough wood off
    the 95 to build a Mossberg. Now it feels like a Lever should instead of a 2x4. Only down side is that
    it kicks a little more because area of butt plate was reduced considerably.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maine1 View Post
    I could also get a magazine tube clamp- my least favorite solution as it adds parts to the gun. But I might get one to use for try-fitting before any modifications.
    I would probably go directly to this option, and cut the top of the bands to index tightly on either side of the front sight base for stability.
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  9. #9
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maine1 View Post
    is it the CB mag tube, about 25" long? If so, and its the blued version, I am.
    PM sent.
    There is no problem so great, that it cannot be solved by the proper application of high explosives.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    To each his own. I like the 2/3 magazines for their looks and I feel they are more accurate. And I've never needed more than four shots from a 30-30 or 45-70 to make meat. But I understand your preference as well.
    We like pics!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check