Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



$250 with two Marlin stamped 20-rounders and one flat base 12-rounder. Oh, and an Ithaca M-49 thrown in to further clear the seller's safe to make room for more recent purchases while refocusing his collection, 50 Remington 148 grain 38 Special wadcutters, and a bandoleer of Korean 30 Carbine on stripper clips:



Introduced in 1985 and produced until 1999, the Marlin Camp Carbines were a unique and eventually influential design and remain cult classics. Take the spirit of the Model 60 with its charging handle administrative bolt lock, blocky aluminum receiver, quality bluing, decent finish on reasonably attractive Maine birch, Garand-style safety, and polymer molded lower receiver, and get a handy little light-duty carbine to leave at the family camp. Or roust vermin from the chicken coop with a minimum of noise and expense. Or defend the home. Or start teaching centerfire rifle to the next generation. Maybe just blast tin cans to hell and gone.

That's all well and good on its own but Marlin engaged in a truly clever bit of lean manufacturing that sealed the carbine's reputation for decades to come. Rather than invest time and money into design of a proprietary magazine or use subgun mags, they went with the excellent and incredibly popular S&W 59 series pistol mags. Some forward-thinking design engineer realized that the 12-shot compacts were also quite popular and sized the magazine well to fit the diminutive sticks. In a pre-Glock world, these were truly forward-thinking guns. Polymer receiver bits before Gaston convinced the world such things could work, common and relatively inexpensive magazines, optic-ready from the factory using ubiquitous Marlin 336 mounts plus folding rear leaf sight to clear scope bells, and ambidextrous safety. Twenty-round magazines did not follow far behind. The 45 caliber carbine that soon followed the 9mm accepted 1911 mags with squared cutouts at the peak of their popularity.

Police departments could run patrol carbines that not only ran the same ammunition as their new autopistols but feeding from the same magazines. Any officer taking one from the clamp would already have two spare mags on their belt with no extra thought. People carrying a medium-frame DA/SA able to keep a long gun handy with a minimum of extra support gear or extra calibers. Especially in a pre-internet world where any ammunition or magazines not stocked at the brick and mortar would have to be ordered through a paper catalog with a stamp, hand-written order form, and payment in a quaint stamped envelope to wait for its arrival someday. Before scale of economy kicked in and trickled down to cheapen the pricetag of magazines, to boot. A long barrel to push second generation hollowpoint fast enough to actually, you know, expand.

As brightly shining a star as the Camp Carbines were, problems and quirks plagued production and were the ultimate cause of death. We'll discuss those later but, for now, keep in mind that Marlin has never been anything but a budget manufacturer.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

I Demand Food
Nov 17, 2002


That's pretty awesome and I'm looking forward to hearing about why it died.

Seemed like a good idea with a lot going for it, particularly during the Clinton AWB, but it wouldn't surprise me if Marlin hosed up the execution of it even prior to the Remlin days.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



Several issues of varied severity stacked to see it discontinued and each will get its own post in turn:

- Number of lemons that left the factory.

- Sensitivity to fouling necessitating a regular cleaning schedule at very low round counts.

- Administrative bolt hold-open.

- Cost of manufacture. Despite budget design, it was another decade's budget design.

- Relatively low sales.

- GLOCK's rise to prominence. This will also see discussion of Ruger's old and new PC series as they learned the same lesson.

- Ye olde budget polymer.

- Design never intended to be a heavy-use gun.

- The lower receiver module to include trigger group. (Three posts down)

- The buffer which managed to threaten the stock, bolt, receiver, and hammer strut bridge.

- Recoil spring.

- Lack of +P rating. Which is a particularly stupid one as it was less and less needed in pistols to drive JHP performance and was never a necessity in carbines.

- The Crime Bill *spit* that both aided and crippled the design.

- Being a pistol caliber carbine.

- Field strip requiring tools. (See my next post)

Butch Cassidy fucked around with this message at 22:27 on Feb 13, 2019

Dead Reckoning
Sep 13, 2011


-Goddamn tiny spring falling out every time you take it down

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



The bolt catch spring? Plus what a pain in the taint it is to align the bolt catch holes with the takedown pin that doubles as its axis to cut down on parts.

Actually, let's mention take-down. Much like classic bolt-actions, the receiver is held to the stock with two slotted screws. Nice as the barrel can easily be free-floated. Very nice as the takedown screws are both captive and in brass bushings to protect the stock and avoid crushing wood, loving the bedding. Bad as they had to be kept snug or all hell would break loose. Everything from feed reliability going in the shitter to accuracy going off the rails. The former being quite odd as the magwell is integral to the lower receiver which is pinned to receiver proper.

Suffice it to say that field stripping was decidedly dated. It seriously makes a Hi-Point carbine's process seem reasonable. That's an accomplishment.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



On to the lower receiver:



I should know what plastic that is. But, as a buddy says, the librarian is out. Anyone who remembers shopping at Ames will know it well enough. The inconsistent coloring that not-quite-swirls, texture from the reinforcing material, and absolute intolerance for UV exposure. Also very sensitive to solvents.

Part of the ever-increasing price of these guns is due to the simple fact that more and more lowers are being melted by dipshits, broken through rough use, and broken through light use after thirty years of UV embrittlement. If you trip over a spare lower, buy it.

See that awesome wartime SMG-esque slotted machine screw as a magazine release button? As you can guess, a great many expenses were spares for your shooting pleasure. Looks great but that rustic aesthetic was not the goal.



A lot going on in that lower. Don't take one apart. Even Marlin's employees used jigs to get the fool things together. As it contains the fire control clockwork, the trigger will never be improved except by the most insane of tinkerers. Fair few have been turbofucked by novices trying, anyway. Same deal as the Model 60 rimfire but somehow crazier and more fragile. Particularly the hammer strut bridge (the #9 on the Garand mat is effectively labeling the part) which will get bent out of shape should the gun be fired with a crumbled recoil buffer. A very common bit of damage and luckily still inexpensively repaired through Numrich without having to risk too many missing parts to replace.



The feed ramp is fixed in the lower. By "fixed" I of course mean "on a springy pivot and free to be cammed down 90 degrees into the magwell." As such, if must be properly oriented during reassembly or profanity will result. Best to insert the front receiver pin first. Don't know why they made it this way but they had a reason for better or worse. Likely just to give enough play for takedown and reassembly.



Here you can see the properly placed feed ramp, ready to scoot a 147 grain Federal HST into the chamber. It can allllllllllmost be pinned together with the ramp under the barrel. Do a good enough impression of Baby Huey and it will pin together under the chamber and break poo poo in the process.

Edit: Note to self; a penlight shoved up the muzzle wpuld have lit the chamber and made for a better photo.

Butch Cassidy fucked around with this message at 22:30 on Feb 13, 2019

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010





That blue chunk of plastic is a current manufacture recoil buffer. The seller had noticed bits and pieces of the OEM buffer crumbled down into the lower after it didn't run on his first range day. Taking it apart to see what the hell, the hammer strut bridge was also cooked. I ordered both and gave them to him the next time we met. So I guess you should up my pricetag by twentybux or whatever as I wound up with the gun early the next year.

Luckily for us both, the destroyed buffer was discovered before doing real damage. The bolt and receiver could be smashed and peened all to hell if the buffer totally disappeared and let them slam together. The wood of the stock at the rear of the charging handle travel and/or top of the wrist behind the upper receiver often chipped and cracked as a result of excessive recoil force for lack of buffer. The .45 Camp Carbine was more prone to this for its greater recoil inpulse.

Anyway, the original buffer was never good. It always had a short lifespan and thoughtful owners tended to keep a spare or two on hand. Modern production buffers are inexpensive, better in every way, and there is absolutely no reason to buy a new old stock or used original from Numrich.

Anyone familiar with the Marlin model 60 is undoubtedly noticing a lot of similarity as this thread goes on. That'd be due to Marlin having scaled up the basic action. Other than eating buffers a whole lot faster, the same basic blowback set-up with thin off-center recoil spring and full-length guide rod worked a treat. Handled recoil better than Ruger's competing PC series that would ultimately last a few more years after the Camp series was discontinued.

Butch Cassidy fucked around with this message at 22:51 on Feb 13, 2019

Parts Kit
Jun 9, 2006

durr
i have a hole in my head
durr


Pretty neat!

Am I remembering right they made these in 44mag, or was that some Ruger gun?

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



E: ^^^ Ruger made a 44 Rem. Mag. with tubular magazine. A bit pissy my father gave his to one of my brothers. They are quirky but totally awesome.

Taking a break from kicking this discontinued beauty while it's down, some plans for the future:

- Skinner's 336 peep will fit though I may likely need a 0.60" front sight to use it. Will see how the stock sights do at the range before really considering the option.

- Check up with the goon I gave a leather sling and, if it's serving well, pick one up for myself and a set of rings to mount on the studs.

- A couple 15-round or 17-round Mec-Gar magazines.

- Cast, powder coat, and size to 0.356" some 105 grain Lee semi-wadcutters. Load over HS-6 or Unique and see if they'll feed. Should maybe first slug my bore before choosing a sizing diameter on second thought.

- Grab a slighty beefier Wolff recpil spring.

- It does have a magazine disconnect safety which also prevents magazines from dropping free. I actually like it and have no plans to remove the thing.

The Camp 9 weighs a whopping 6 3/4 pounds with 12 rounds of 147 grain HST in a 6904 magazine*. It's a handy and plain comfortable little bugger. I imagine this will get plenty of use when hiking into shooty clearings in Nat'l Forest. Would love to talk the nearest 3 Gun match director into letting me shoot a match with it, my 6904, and wood stocked 590.



* Making it lighter than my 10-shot Hi-Point carbine in 380 ACP

Butch Cassidy fucked around with this message at 01:23 on Feb 14, 2019

Parts Kit
Jun 9, 2006

durr
i have a hole in my head
durr


Butch Cassidy posted:

- Check up with the goon I gave a leather sling and, if it's serving well, pick one up for myself and a set of rings to mount on the studs.
If you want I have a surplus of coyote tan 1 1/4" webbing and several slides, I could send you a sling's worth.

Kommienzuspadt
Apr 28, 2004

U like it


Neat. I've always liked those. I want to grab one of those Ruger PCCs eventually but guns are not a fiscal priority right now.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



147 grain Federal HST: No-go. Hung up on feed ramp a couple times. Tap, rack, bang did nothing as it stuck hard and kicked crooked.

147 grain Speer Gold Dot: Same.

120-something grain cast lead truncated conical Lee bullet, powdercoated over a light charge of HS-6: Tits. Also recoiled a bit harder than the JHP despite being a mousefart in pistols. Slowish powder probably getting a better burn in the carbine barrel and zinging them. Will have to chrono at some point.

Looks like I'll just have to track down some JHPs designed to mimic ball as much as possible. Like Federal 9BP, 9BPLE, Cor-Bon Pow'RBall, Federal Guard Dog. Also some conical JHP like Hornady FTX, XTP, maybe even Federal Hydra-Shok. Will also try Remington Golden Saber as the ogive is rather rounded to the cavity rim and was a load known to generally run in Hi-Powers. Winchester White Box and Silvertip will also both get tried because why not?

Sights are currently very close to driving the dot. The front sight being a brass bead and the gun being a 9mm, I may leave it like that and just zero properly as such at 25 yards. Stock sights are adequate but a bit slow so may eventually break down to get a Skinner peep and taller front. Also plan to shoot some groups with a small assortment of ammo to see if it has a prederence for one bullet weight over another. As rough as my bead sight skills are, that may not show anything.

Trigger is perfectly adequate when shooting. Heavy and rough in dryfire. And it bears repearing that the Camp 9 handles recoil considerably better than Ruger's original PC9. Still need to shoot it support side and in various positions before commenting on general reliability.

Ejection was positive and consistent. Fresh mags slip right on in when reloading. The stock is cozy and just right for me. Despite some quirks related to being really the first modern PCC and being a scalde-up budget rimfire, the whole gun is just pleasant and it's easy to see why folks still love them. During the production run, I'd rather have had one of these than an M1 Carbine.

Parts Kit posted:

If you want I have a surplus of coyote tan 1 1/4" webbing and several slides, I could send you a sling's worth.

That'd be pretty sweet!

Arse Porn Cage
Oct 9, 2003



I remember seeing ads for these in Sportsman's Guide decades ago. By the time I had the means to get a .45 model they had been discontinued.

I own a Ruger PC4 and matching pistol, so if you need photos of those for comparison I can provide.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



I actually really dig P series Ruger pistols so you should. Still kinda want a prison-issue DAO in 9mm or forty.

Kommienzuspadt
Apr 28, 2004

U like it


Butch Cassidy posted:

I actually really dig P series Ruger pistols so you should. Still kinda want a prison-issue DAO in 9mm or forty.

Supposedly they have HK USP levels of durability. Not sure if they are really terribly pleasant or ergonomic to shoot, but im sure whichever specimen you locate will go bang.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



The triggers are better than most any non-Beretta DA/SA and mechanical accuracy is as good as any. They're just ugly bricks with maracas for slides. I'd have to trip over one of the 30 Luger (was that the oddball packaged with a 9mm barrel on the side?) or DAO oddballs to finally part with my own money, though.

bulletsponge13
Apr 28, 2010


I always wanted one of these, but have never come across one when I had the surplus spending money. Something about traditional stocked PCC just tickle me in the right way.
I ended up getting a Ruger PC carbine a few months ago, after getting a 19x previous.

Parts Kit
Jun 9, 2006

durr
i have a hole in my head
durr


Butch Cassidy posted:

That'd be pretty sweet!
PM or email me where you want it sent to.

Ygolonac
Nov 26, 2007

pre:
*************
CLUTCH  NIXON
*************

The Hero We Need


Ithaca M-49 single-shot, or the 49R repeater?

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



The single-shot and The empties ski jumping the loading trough out of the receiver make me giggle like an idiot.

Arse Porn Cage
Oct 9, 2003



Butch Cassidy posted:

The triggers are better than most any non-Beretta DA/SA and mechanical accuracy is as good as any. They're just ugly bricks with maracas for slides. I'd have to trip over one of the 30 Luger (was that the oddball packaged with a 9mm barrel on the side?) or DAO oddballs to finally part with my own money, though.
Wikipedia says the P89X included 9mm and .30 Luger barrels with appropriate recoil springs for both, and that only about 6000 of that model were made.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



Picked up some targets for the nifty Ithaca:



Not a loading gate:



Though one can, assuming a clean chamber and non-sticky ammo, balance a cartridge in the ejection trough and get gravity to chamber it while angling the muzzle down and carefully working the lever part way:







Or you could hate fun and just open the action wide to finger a cartridge in place. Closing the action fully seats the cartridge. Then the hammer must be manually cocked before firing. Mine might need a new spring soon as it has trouble with some primers.

Opening the action activates the ejector. As the rear of the chamber is closed, the case has nowhere to go. Thus the trough in the block. The case hits that like a skier and jumps out of the receiver. If I work the lever with the rifle shouldered, most cases land on my hat and roll off.

And, yes, the magazine tube is fake. Still need to see if it can be removed to fill with auxiliary ammo just because.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



Back to the Camp Carbine and its sundry issues:



Setting aside the dubious claim some have made about the bolt being too light, we can look at the way weight was added. Rather than go for a telescoping bolt, longer bolt, or hollowed bolt filled with a weighty material, Marlin added more steel to the bottom. Combine the center of gravity shifted downward with the offside recoil spring and we get a perfectly functional bolt. Though an inefficient one that, on paper, will try to twist right and to backflip simultaneously. The kind of off-center drive that fucks up poorly designed piston ARs. The inefficieny just happens to be a tempest in a teacup as the little pistol caliber carbine is concerned.

The recoil spring, however, is an issue. Marlin opted to use an 11 pound spring and it works fine. Fine enough to list as +P rated, even. But it was a minimal to the point of marginal decision. While easy to rack and use with the manual bolt hold open, it really let the bolt slap the buffer around. The very fragile and short-lived buffer. And +P ammo really beat the guns to death and they weren't truly capable despite marketing claims that they would cycle, which they would.

Wolff makes a 16.5 and 21 pound recoil spring for the Camp series. It is generally held that the 16.5 is the bee's knees for the 9mm units. Light enough to keep the effort to manually run the bolt reasonable, heavy enough to actually handle some +P without being a complete idiot, and heavy enough to keep standard pressure from totally loving up the buffer. Combine that spring with a good aftermarket buffer and the gun should last and be better than ever before. Some report smoothed recoil impulse as the bolt doesn't slam into the buffered rear of the receiver so hard.

The 21 pound spring is a bear but really needed to tame the 45 caliber carbine bolts.

MC Hawking
Apr 27, 2004

by VideoGames


Fun Shoe

This is cool as hell. I've been wondering about these rifles for some time. Glad to know that like so many other things in life, my idealized vision is utterly far fetched from reality. My wallet thanks you.

Butch Cassidy
Jul 28, 2010



TiL that the Camp 9 will run 15-round Lionheart LH9 magazines. Also cleared the OPOTC qualification with it which a buddy and I took turns shooting to both get a feel for it beyond some mindless plinking. Brass bead front set to drive the dot was no trouble out to 50 yards to keep in an A zone on the timer.

For it myriad faultsand shortcomings, the Camp series has an enduring status as a cult classic for good reason. The things have a light and smooth recoil impulse, good visible sights, good enough trigger, ambi safety, are short, lightweight, easybon the eyes, and handle like a charm. This thing is just a treat to shoot and I love it. That said, if I'd paid actual market rate, it'd be a disappointment.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Shima Honnou
Dec 1, 2010

The Once And Future King Of Dicetroit



College Slice

Oh hey I missed this thread welcome to The Camp Club.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply