Covers Marlin Lever Action Rifles Models 1894, 1895, 444, and 336

Bob Dunlap understands the design, function, and repair of James Marlins classic lever gun design as well or better than any other gunsmith alive does today. All of these rifles are essentially the same mechanically. The only difference between the pistol caliber 94s and the other guns is the fact that their bolts are square and the right side of the action is open all the way to its rear. They are operationally identical as well and disassemble the same way. Bob uses a cut-away gun to enable you to actually see how the internal parts work together, and their function. If you want the quick course on how to get the Marlin half of the two best-selling rifles in America , the other half being the Model 92 and 94 Winchesters, apart, back together, and operating as intended, then this course is for you (if you want the long course, look into our basic 108 hour Professional Gunsmith Course.)

Among the items covered are:


  • Discussion of the Marlin, Winchester and Savage smokeless powder designs of lever actions that were all introduced within a couple of years of each other
  • Explanation of the evolution of the Marlins from square bolt to round bolt and the reasons why
  • Square bolt design brought back for nostalgic reasons in 1969 for pistol cartridges
  • Why the Marlin had a huge edge over the Savage 99 and the Winchester 94 when it came to mounting scope sights
  • Quality status of the current manufacture guns vs. the originals

Design & Function

  • Explanation and demonstration of the operation of the locking block and split firing pin safety using a cut away gun
  • Demonstration of the bolt retraction operation and firing pin retraction by the lever
  • Function of the lever detent plunger
  • Explanation and demonstration of the feeding cycle
  • How the front of the carrier serves as the secondary cartridge stop
  • How the lever and the loading gate function as the primary cartridge stop
  • Display of the hammer/sear relationship and interaction, as well as safety notch
  • Operation of the later S model guns cross bolt safety
  • Description of the modern extractor
  • Explanation as to why Bob thinks “The Unthinkable” about this gun


  • Extensive disassembly, parts not removed have removal described, including safety detent screw, lever detent plunger, detent plunger cross pin, and carrier rocker detent plunger
  • Positive and negative extractors described, and which you must have for reliable extraction
  • How the firing pin spring breaks contact between front and rear firing pins
  • How the firing pin retraction by the lever works

Common Problems & Their Solutions

  • Firing pin breakage
  • Mistiming of the carrier, what causes it, and how you fix it
  • Headspace issues and their proper correction
  • Demonstration of the proper way to improve the trigger
  • How to fix the sear if your trigger job went awry

Cleaning & Lubrication

  • AGI cleaning & lubrication methods shown, along with the reasons for their use


  • Making sure you have no parts left over

Common Variations

  • 1894 square bolt disassembled
  • 1895 .45/70 Stainless Steel Guide Gun
  • Final thoughts, and another apology to John Browning

If you noticed how often the terms “explanation” and “visual demonstration” are used, you may be getting some idea of why this course is necessary for any Marlin center fire lever gun owner, or someone who intends to be.

Weight0.25 lbs
Dimensions7.56 × 5.44 × 0.63 in


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