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Thread: Marlin 81DL Extractor (Old Style)

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Marlin 81DL Extractor (Old Style)

    Starting a new project on an old Marlin 81DL 22 bolt action recently acquired. Appears to be made in the 40's. Not worked on one of these before and look forward to the outcome. There are questions, though. This early model year took two separate extractor parts, unlike the newer models that had a collar on the bolt front that utilized a spring clip. According to Gun Parts Corp the left extractor and right extractor (old style) can be purchased. I take it that looking down the bolt in the receiver from behind the right extractor is on my right of the forward facing bolt and left extractor is on my left to determine which extractor to purchase? If I am not accurate please set me straight.
    Photos of what I am working on:
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    As shown, the missing extractor slot still has the extractor plunger and a strong spring behind it.
    The flat portion of the bolt front is the bottom that works with the clever feed mechanism that allows this rifle to cycle 22 shorts, long and long rifle ammo.

    Yes, this is a dirty ol gal that needs a major cleaning up. The barrel, mag tub and receiver are currently getting a bath in Por15 Rust Remover, as they look far worse than this bolt does. But I have faith it will clean up to make a fun truck gun for squirrels and the like. Had grey squirrel and gravy for two lunches last week thanks to this long neglected rifle and deemed it worthy of a bit of my evening hours.

    Any assistance you can pass through my way will be much appreciated. That bolt looks very tricky to reassemble once it is taken apart.
    Last edited by ChristopherO; 01-19-2023 at 10:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Is there a little flat spring like guide on top of the chamber, that keeps the cartridges from stovepiping? Mine was missing something, and some times didn't feed well. I just used it in the pighouse with rat shot. It dissapeared, I must have given it to a neighbor years ago.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'll look into this. I had read in researching that if the extractor spring needs replaced the barrel will need to be removed from the receiver. Wasn't quite sure what that meant until you mentioned it. Will look into this further based on your input. Much appreciated.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    The bolt face alignment spring fits into the groove on top of the bolt itself. The barrel must be pulled to replace it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    After more research and discussing this with a gentleman that runs Classic Firearms & Parts LLC I ordered the parts needed, including the cartridge alignment spring you gentlemen mentioned above.. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. He filled me in on what it takes to put that spring in after the barrel is popped off, but suggested to see if the rifle feeds well enough without it as realigning the barrel to the pin holes in the receiver it is a buger. I've shot the rifle already and it will feed cartridges but they cannot be slammed into the chamber fast and rough without it. If I decide to add it then it will be in my stock for the task.

    The bolt disassembly, thorough cleaning, left extractor installation and reassembly might be a bit intimidating. It hosts small springs and is known to be difficult to put back together. Once the parts arrive I'll set aside time to tackle that job.

    This evening energy was spent wiping down the barrel/receiver along with all the other metal parts that have been soaking in POR15. All the rust is gone. The barrel has some large pitting areas on the exterior that are too deep to try to sand away. Truck gun. I keep telling myself that to keep this project in perspective. Three coats of Brownell's Oxphoblue and 0000 steel wool has given it a deep blue now. It will never look showroom pretty, but knowing that it shoots straight makes it right handsome in its own right. A coat of Boiled Linseed Oil on the exterior to protect the metal from relapsing into a rust bucket and it is hanging from a wire to dry as this is typed.

  6. #6
    Congrats on the 81DL. They have a soft spot for me. Getting the barrel off of the receiver can be challenging, but it's not rocket science. I've done it several times. If you want any hints or tips, let me know.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy schutzen-jager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherO View Post
    I'll look into this. I had read in researching that if the extractor spring needs replaced the barrel will need to be removed from the receiver. Wasn't quite sure what that meant until you mentioned it. Will look into this further based on your input. Much appreciated.
    that spring on top is a feeding guide that enables it to feed .22 shorts - if broken it requires barrel removal [ not an easy job ] to replace it - if you only use .22 l, lr it is not needed at all -
    member of my club bought one cheap [ $30.00 ] last year + it never would extract - we finally switched R+L extractors - problem solved - r/s is the side the bolt handle is on with bolt in action -
    Last edited by schutzen-jager; 01-20-2023 at 04:13 PM.
    never pick a fight with an old man - if he is too old to fight he will just kill you -
    in this current crisis our government is not the solution , it is the problem ! -

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  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy schutzen-jager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    The bolt face alignment spring fits into the groove on top of the bolt itself. The barrel must be pulled to replace it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    that is a feeding guide to enable jam free feeding of .22 shorts -
    never pick a fight with an old man - if he is too old to fight he will just kill you -
    in this current crisis our government is not the solution , it is the problem ! -

    ILLEGITIMI NON CARBORUNDUM

    as they say in latin

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Yes, that’s true. On the tubular magazine guns it does.
    To the OP- I hope it feeds correctly. Those can be hair pullers to get “right”.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    If I recall correctly, the left and right extractors are not the same. For my 80DL, I bought both, and replaced them both, just thinking the old ones may have been worn or rounded. And I recall them being little buggers to deal with, those little springs are strong. You have to sort of cam them into place, and I think I used good hemostats.
    I suggest you clean out a little closet and do it in there, so you can find parts, HA! Good luck.
    By the way, my 80DL with peep sight is a pleasure to shoot and I would never part with it.
    Dan

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Next Phase; Installation to Commence

    "I suggest you clean out a little closet and do it in there, so you can find parts, HA! Good luck."

    LOL! Excellent suggestion. I may have to clear out a small walled in space for this operation. If any of you fine gentlemen don't mind to share what all is involved in installing the left extractor I'm all ears. Does the extractor stud and spring have to be removed for this procedure or just the use of judicial force be required to manipulate the new extractor into that slot by pressing firmly onto the extractor stud and fastening it into place?

    I noticed that a package from Kingston, NY was waiting in the mailbox this afternoon.
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    The sight elevator install will be simple.

    The cartridge guide spring; maybe, maybe not for now. After removing all the rust from the barrel/receiver, giving it a good cold bluing and coating it with Boiled Tung Oil to resist rust I am not so sure I want to take a torch to the metal that might be needed to remove said barrel to install that little part. Then again, at some point I just might because I like to use shorts to squirrel hunt with. For now, I want to see how this will all work out when the left extractor is finally in place.
    Testing of loading from the magazine tube before tearing this all down went pretty well. I couldn't slam a round in fast and recklessly but they would chamber and fire. If I cycled the bolt too quickly the bullet on the 22lr would begin to bend in the brass case as the grip of the case mouth to the bullet's heal isn't secure enough to take the force. Slow and steady allowed clean chambering.

    Upon firing the empty brass would also extract from the chamber but not flip out from the receiver very well. Discussing this project with you who posted on this thread focused my attention on this needed item. So these little parts should get this rifle up and running pretty soon. I'll keep you posted.
    Again, any and all advice is appreciated. Fingers crossed.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    The More I Learn....

    Seems every new project increases my knowledge base, not necessarily the easy way, though. Studying the new extractor now give me the idea how this piece is supposed to fit into that crevice. What I am seeing here is that the old extractor broke, leaving the insert shank in the bolt body.
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    This view from underneath is the shank still stuck in place:
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    Once good outcome is that the extractor plunger and spring did not get lost into the abyss when the extractor broke but are safely housed where they belong. Therein lies the rub, getting the small broken shank out of the bolt, though, while it is still under pressure. I'll need to lean on my extremely handy brother for a third or forth hand to accomplish this task.
    The fun continues.........

  13. #13
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    Well there you go, that little broken piece kept the others in place.
    I have no suggestions other than doing this in a place where the small parts can be found after they launch themselves. I once found a small safety detent ball in my beard, after looking for 15 minutes for it on the floor!
    It may help to drape a towel over it. Maybe use a dental pick or scribe to pry out the broken part.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    The Cartridge Guide Spring (the small flat spring in position over the bbl facing back towards the bolt) is generally needed for 100% feeding of the .22LR cart
    (It seems to be a Marlin thing,,the Model 39 has one as well)

    To remove the bbl, take the cross pin out of the recv'r on it's under side.
    The bbl is a tight slip fit in the tubular recv'r,,,no threads.

    Place a 'Witness Mark' anywhere under the wood line with a punch so it shows the present allaignment of the bbl and recv'r.
    This will help you when you put them back together.

    You have to punch/push the bbl out of the recv'r. But you do want to damage the breech face of the bbl.

    We used to have a fixture to set the bbl'd action in at the factory. Then with a hand wheel and threaded shaft, it was a simple matter to press the bbl out of the frame.

    Short of that, you will be either holding onto the recv'r and punching the bbl out by way of a large drift/punch thru the recv'r. Use a copper or brass punch or at least a copper or brass disc against the breech face to avoid damaging it when driving the bbl out of the recv'r.
    The recv'r is a simple hollow tube,,be careful not to crush it in a vise trying to grip it too tightly.
    ..Or...Holding onto the bbl and using a sleeve dropped down over the bbl to use as a way to drive the recv'r off of the bbl.

    The latter avoids striking the breech face of the bbl.

    You may get lucky and get one wher the bbl and recv'r simply pull apart with your hands..Sometimes they'd do that.
    We used to knurl the bbl shank to tighten the up if needed. But if reasonably tight, there is no need to.

    Once the bbl is off, Clean up the shank, remove any of the old Cart Guide Spring,,often there is the broken off base still in there along with packed in old grease and powder, etc.

    The Replacement Spring just sets in the small channal with the bent end down in the slot. Nothing else holds it there except the assembly of the recv'r and bbl together.

    Put some grease on the bbl shank and inside the recv'r where the bbl fits.
    Slide the two back together. Check the Witness Marks to keep them in line as you tap the recv'r back onto the bbl.
    Small radial adj can be made as you drive it on but the marks must line up so that cross line goes back into place.
    Drive the pin back in,,it may need some straightening and cleaning up of the ends first. They are usually a bit battered from assembly.


    The Left Hand 'Extractor' is really a Cartridge Guide though it does offer some extraction effort to that need.
    The LH extractor does not have the defined 'claw' of the RH Extractor. That so the extracted case will easily be pushed off of the bolt face to the right by the Ejector and not have much resistance frome the LH Extractor.

    Your Ejector is a simple piece of Spring Wire (Music Wire it's often called).
    It has a loop formed to it at it's back end and it held to the underside of the recv'r by the TakeDown stud.
    The forward end of the wire is simply formed in a bend to place the tip of the wire so it rides in the left hand slot in the underside of the bolt head.
    There should be a slight amt of tension downward on that tip as the bolt rides over it,,that keeps the wire/tip firmly in position and up as high as it can be so it strikes the rim of the case as it is pulled to the rear on the face of the bolt.

    The very tip of the wire should be stoned down a little (rounded) so it doesn't grab or catch in the groove in the bolt head.
    A touch of grease in that groove is a good maint point when cleaning the rifle and a good check to do to make sure the wire is in proper position.
    Being a simple piece of wire, it is easily bent downward when single loading for example. Fail to Eject complaints are usually traced to that ejector wire being bent out of place even a small amt.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy

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    2152hq, you made an excellent post! Thanks for the education!

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    You gentlemen are simply incredible with the amount of generous knowledge you are willing to share. A simple Thank You doesn't suffice, but Thank You!

    I was going to include in my purchase order that spring extractor 215hq wrote about but was told that was designed for the Model 80 because the Model 81 doesn't need it. Hmm, I suppose it does and with this detailed description I can envision why it is used. Extremely thorough description.

    I can attest that the barrel won't pull apart in my hands. I'll need to find a brass punch of appropriate size soon to address this part of the rehab. Still much to do.

    I'll continue reply with updates as the job progresses.

  17. #17
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    Working on old guns is certainly a mind expanding experience.
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

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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