Read detailed instructions about loading, unloading, and other operation of your Centerfire Lever Action Rifle Model 1894.
If your rifle is chambered for 44 Rem. Magnum, it is designed to handle 44 Rem. Magnum factory-loaded ammunition (except wad cutters and shot shells). It will also function with 44 Special cartridges that are within the length parameters shown below. (NOTE: Since 44 Special cartridges are shorter than 44 Rem. Magnums, their use can cause a lead buildup in the forward part of the chamber. Be sure to thoroughly clean the chamber with a wire brush after using 44 Specials.)
Minimum overall cartridge length — 1.535"
Maximum overall cartridge length — 1.610"
If your rifle is chambered for 357 Magnum, it is designed to handle 357 Magnum factory-loaded ammunition (except wad cutters and shot shells). It will also function with 38 Special cartridges that are within the length parameters shown below. (NOTE: Since 38 Special cartridges are shorter than 357 Magnums, their use can cause a lead buildup in the forward part of the chamber. Be sure to thoroughly clean the chamber with a wire brush after using 38 Specials.)
Minimum overall cartridge length — 1.400"
Maximum overall cartridge length — 1.590"
If your rifle is chambered for 38 Special, it is designed to handle 38 Special factory-loaded ammunition (except wad cutters and shot shells). It will function with 38 Special cartridges that are within the length parameters shown below.
Minimum overall cartridge length — 1.275"
Maximum overall cartridge length — 1.550"
Before You Use This Firearm
It is very important that you read and understand this manual before using your firearm. Warnings should be read and heeded carefully.
Also follow The Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety.
- WARNING: Marlin firearms are designed and manufactured to handle standard factory-loaded ammunition which conforms to SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute Inc.) standards with dependability and safety. Due to the many bullet and load options available, the element of judgement involved, the skill required, and the fact that serious injuries have resulted from dangerous handloads, Marlin does not make any recommendations with regard to handloaded ammunition.
- WARNING: It is a violation of federal law to alter or deface the serial number of any firearm.
Use of the Offset Hammer Spur
(All models except the 1894 Cowboy Competition.)
- WARNING: Only use the offset hammer spur on the gun with which it was packed. It will not fasten securely on narrower (1⁄4") Marlin or Glenfield hammers, or other hammers, and could cause a dangerous situation.
Because of its solid top, side ejecting receiver, your rifle is ideally suited for use with a scope. The receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounting. However, once mounted, most scope and mount combinations do not allow sufficient clearance for your thumb between the eyepiece and hammer for safe operation. In order to operate the hammer safely, we recommend that you use the offset hammer spur packed with your rifle, when using a scope. A 1⁄16" hexagonal wrench for attaching the spur is also included.
For right hand use, position the offset hammer spur so that it protrudes from the right side of the hammer, slide the offset hammer spur as far forward on the hammer as it will go, and tighten the set screw. For left hand use, mount the offset hammer spur so that it protrudes from the left side of the hammer, and tighten the set screw. Be sure the set screw tightens into the small notch on either the right or left side of the hammer, and check regularly to be sure that it is tight.
- WARNING: Do not use the rifle with a scope unless the offset hammer spur is securely attached in the proper position. Make periodic checks to be sure the set screw joining the offset hammer spur to the hammer is tight.
Your rifle has a two-piece firing pin and a trigger block, both of which prevent firing until the lever is completely closed. It is also equipped with two manual safety devices, a hammer block safety and a halfcock safety notch, which, when used properly, provide an added degree of safety.
- WARNING: Before loading your rifle, become familiar with the operation of the hammer block safety and the hammer positions (FULL FORWARD, HALF COCK and FULL COCK), by practicing with the rifle unloaded.
- WARNING: Never disassemble the safety. It has been correctly designed, fitted and tested and is not reversible. Any mechanical device can fail, however, so never rely on the safety to justify careless handling. Never use a firearm with a safety that does not function properly.
- How to Operate the Hammer Block Safety
The Hammer Block Safety mechanism is a round button located at the rear of the receiver. To put your rifle on SAFE, first move the hammer to the Half Cock position (See D).
NOTE: You can only move the safety button if the hammer is in the Half Cock or Full Cock position. It will not move if the hammer is in the Full Forward position, or if the hammer is resting on the safety in the SAFE position (slightly forward of Half Cock).
Push the safety button from left to right as far as it will go (See A). The safety is now on SAFE and the word SAFE will appear around the right side of the button. The hammer should now be in the Half Cock position and the safety on SAFE. This is the safest way to carry your rifle when it is loaded. At all other times the action should be open.
To move the safety button to the FIRE position, push it from right to left as far as it will go (See B). A red ring will appear around the left side of the button as a warning that it is in the FIRE position. If the hammer is pulled all the way back at this point, the rifle will be cocked and ready to fire.
- Full Cock and Half Cock Hammer Positions
Exposed hammer lever actions have, for over a century, relied on manipulation of the hammer for both manual cocking of the rifle as well as the traditional Half Cock safety position. Your rifle has these traditional hammer positions as well as the added benefit of a hammer block safety button. Use the following hammer positions in conjunction with the hammer block safety for the safest possible operation.
- The Full Cock position of the hammer is when it is at its furthest point from the firing pin (See C). If the trigger is pulled when the hammer is in this position, and the safety button is in the FIRE position, the gun will fire.
NOTE: If the trigger is pulled when the hammer is in the Full Cock position, and the rifle is on SAFE, the hammer will fall, but will be stopped before it strikes the firing pin.
- The Half Cock position of the hammer is between the Full Cock position and the full forward position (See D).
- To Move the Hammer to the Half Cock Position
First put the hammer block safety on SAFE. The hammer may be moved from Full Cock to the Half Cock position by firmly holding the hammer in the Full Cock position with your thumb. Keep your thumb on the hammer as you pull the trigger. As soon as you feel the hammer exerting forward pressure against your thumb, remove your finger from the trigger and ease the hammer slowly forward to the Half Cock position (See E & F). The hammer is now in the traditional Half Cock “Safe” position.
To resume the Full Cock position, simply pull the hammer all the way to the rear (See C).
- WARNING: Any mechanical device can fail, so never rely on the Half Cock position or the hammer block safety to justify careless handling.
- WARNING: Never allow the hammer to rest on the firing pin (hammer in full forward position). If the rifle is loaded and the hammer is inadvertently struck in the full forward position, the rifle will fire.
- WARNING: Should the hammer inadvertently be placed in the Full Forward position, open the bolt, put the hammer block safety on SAFE, and close the bolt. The hammer is now in the Full Cock position. Follow instructions in #3 above to move the hammer to the Half Cock position.
- WARNING: Become thoroughly familiar with the hammer positions before loading the rifle with ammunition. Failure to follow the instructions in #3 above, may result in “false half cock”, a condition that may allow the hammer to fall and fire the rifle if the hammer block safety button is in the FIRE position, and the trigger is pulled.
How to Load
- WARNING: Before loading or firing, always check the bore and chamber to be sure they are free of grease, oil, or any other obstruction. With the action open, and the hammer block safety button on SAFE, look through the barrel to see if there is an obstruction. If there is, it must be removed before firing. Otherwise, personal injury or damage could result.
- WARNING: Never attempt to load your rifle with ammunition that does not meet the cartridge designation stamped on the barrel. Use only ammunition suitable for a tubular magazine rifle. We recommend clean, dry, factory-loaded ammunition which conforms to industry standards.
- WARNING: Some pointed and full metal jacket round nose bullets are on the market which can chainfire other cartridges in a tubular magazine during recoil, causing severe injury and damage. If you are uncertain about the safety of using a particular cartridge in your Marlin, contact the ammunition or bullet manufacturer.
- WARNING: Do not use aluminum-cased ammunition in this rifle, since it may cause malfunctions.
- WARNING: Do not use Blazer brand ammunition in this rifle. The design is not compatible with the Marlin feeding system, and may result in live rounds inadvertently remaining in the magazine.
Loading the Magazine
Be sure the bolt is closed (lever closed), the hammer block safety button is on SAFE (See A), the hammer is in the Half Cock position (See D), and the rifle is pointed in a safe direction. Insert the cartridges, bullet end first, into the loading port. As the cartridge enters the loading port, push it forward into the magazine tube (See G). Be sure that the last cartridge is completely inside the loading port before preparing to fire, or a jammed action may result.
Preparing to Fire
With the rifle pointed in a safe direction, completely open and close the lever one time. When the hammer block safety button is moved to the FIRE position, your rifle is loaded, cocked, and ready to fire.
- WARNING: If you do not want to fire at this point, return the hammer block safety button to the SAFE position, and the hammer to the Half Cock position (See E & F).
Loading a Single Cartridge
With the hammer block safety button on SAFE, the rifle empty, and the lever open (bolt open), place a single cartridge with the bullet forward, in the ejection port, onto the carrier (See H).
Loading the Magazine of the 1894CB-32H&R only.
- WARNING: Never add cartridges to a partially loaded tubular magazine. This rifle will not function properly unless the inner magazine tube is locked securely in place.
Open the bolt by pushing the finger lever all the way down. Then, with the safety on SAFE, keeping your fingers away from the
muzzle, and rifle pointed in a safe direction, turn your rifle upside down and unlock the inner magazine tube by turning the knurled
locking end plug (see G1).
Pull the inner tube out until the loading port is open. Insert the cartridges, bullet end toward the muzzle (see G2). When you have loaded up to the magazine capacity, slide the inner tube back in place, turning it slightly to ease the passage over the loaded rounds. DO NOT FORCE THE TUBE DOWN. Then rotate the knurled locking end plug to the locked position. The inner tube will not lock in place if the number of cartridges loaded exceeds the stated magazine capacity.
Return the lever to the closed position (bolt closed). The cartridge will be fed directly into the chamber and the rifle will be cocked
and ready to fire, when the hammer block safety button is moved to the FIRE position.
How to Fire
With the hammer in the Full Cock position, push the hammer block safety button to the FIRE position and, with the gun pointed at the target, squeeze the trigger. The gun will fire. Work the lever fully open and closed for each repeat shot. If you do not fire all the cartridges in the magazine, be sure to put the hammer in the Half Cock position and the hammer block safety button on SAFE until you are ready to shoot again.
- WARNING: Remember, until a visual check has been made, you must assume that a live round remains in the chamber. Whenever the action is closed, assume a live round is in the chamber.
- WARNING: If your rifle comes with a ported barrel, the short barrel of this rifle increases the muzzle blast for you and those around you. In addition, the ports in the barrel redirect some gas flow upward and to the sides. Always wear ear and eye protection, and be sure those around you do the same.
What to do if Rifle Fails to Fire
If you have squeezed the trigger and the hammer falls but the cartridge does not fire, remain in shooting position, pointing the gun in a safe direction. Count to 10, then open the action.
A “squib”, or underpowered shot can normally be detected by the unusually low report it makes.
- WARNING: Because the bullet may actually still be in the barrel, you must unload completely and, with the action open, use a cleaning rod to see if there is an obstruction. If there is, it should be removed by a qualified gunsmith. Otherwise, personal injury or damage could result.
How to Unload
Put the hammer in the Half Cock position and the hammer block safety button on SAFE.
Keeping your fingers away from the trigger, and with the gun pointed in a safe direction, manually eject all cartridges by opening and closing the lever, until you are sure the chamber and magazine are empty (See I).
The lever must be completely closed and then fully opened to insure proper feeding and ejection of all cartridges. Then, with the lever in the open position (bolt to the rear), inspect the chamber, carrier and magazine carefully to be sure there are no cartridges left in the gun.
- WARNING: During the unloading process, be sure the hammer block safety button is on SAFE, because each time the lever is completely closed (bolt closed), your rifle is cocked and ready to fire. Keep your fingers away from the trigger and be sure the gun is pointed in a safe direction during unloading.
Your rifle has been sighted-in and test fired at the factory. However, due to individual shooting characteristics, sighting should be range verified.
Vertical Correction (Elevation)
To raise the point of impact, raise the rear sight by moving the elevator to the rear. To lower the point of impact, lower the rear sight by moving the elevator forward.
For Cowboy Models equipped with an adjustable Marble semi-buckhorn rear sight, further vertical correction can be made by loosening the small screw on the rear sight and adjusting the height of the insert.
Horizontal Correction (Windage)
To move the point of impact to the left, tap the rear sight base to the left. To move the point of impact to the right, tap the rear sight base to the right.
All models, with the exception of the 1894 Cowboy Competition, were drilled and tapped for scope mounts. They are made by Weaver, among others, and are available through your local gun dealer.You may also order directly from Marlin Gun Service. Call 1-800-544-8892 for more information.
- WARNING: Improper mounting or use of a scope may result in facial injury. Always allow sufficient space between the scope and eye to avoid contact from recoil. Be sure to follow the scope manufacturer’s instructions for correct mounting and use. Periodically check the scope to ensure it has not moved during use.
How to Clean Your Rifle
- WARNING: Never attempt to wipe down or clean a loaded gun.
Caution: Before using any solvent or other gun cleaning product, read the label carefully to be sure it will not damage either the
finish, or any parts of this firearm.
NOTE for stainless steel models: Although stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, it can rust. If the rifle gets wet, dirty, or is subject to excessive handling, wipe down metal parts with oil or rust-inhibitor.
Minor scratches can be “buffed out” of stainless steel with a “Scotch-BriteTM Very Fine” pad, available in hardware and automotive supply stores.
- Put the hammer block safety button on SAFE and remove all cartridges from the action, chamber and magazine before you begin cleaning or inspecting your rifle.
- To clean the bore from the breech end (recommended), open the lever half way, remove the lever screw (See J) and then the lever.
Then remove the breech bolt from the receiver (See K).
(This will cause the ejector to be loose inside the receiver — be careful not to lose it.) Next, remove the ejector from the slot in the left side of the receiver (See L).
WARNING: If you move the hammer block safety to the FIRE position after the bolt has been removed, do not pull the trigger, letting the hammer snap forward, because the hammer blow will damage the safety mechanism.
The bore can now be cleaned, using the proper caliber cleaning rod, cleaning patches and powder solvent. Clean and oil the breech bolt before replacing. The barrel and bore should also be lightly oiled.
- The action may be cleaned and oiled while the gun is in the state of disassembly described above.
- To reassemble: Reverse the above steps. Make sure the ejector is positioned properly prior to alignment and insertion of the breech bolt. See M for the relationship of the bolt and ejector for correct alignment.
Push the breech bolt into the receiver until within approximately 1" of the fully closed position (See N).
The lever may now be inserted as shown in O.
Use a thin coat of light oil during below freezing conditions. Condensation droplets will form soon after the rifle is brought into a warm room, or the rifle may become wet during inclement weather. In any case, all moisture should be removed. Exterior metal finishes may be wiped down with a slightly oiled cloth. For long term storage, lightly oil the bore, barrel and action with gun oil. Your rifle should be completely unloaded and stored in a dry, ventilated area. Do not store it in a carrying case.