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Using the Firearm


Read detailed instructions about loading, unloading, and other operation of your Lever Action 22 Rifle.

Before You Use This Firearm

It is very important that you read and understand this manual before using your new rifle. Warnings should be read and heeded carefully. Also follow the safety rules listed in 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 judgment involved, the skill required, and the fact that serious injuries have resulted from dangerous hand loads, Marlin does not make any recommendations with regard to hand loaded ammunition.

Use of the Offset Hammer Spur

A detachable offset hammer spur, fixed to the hammer, must be used when using a scope. An offset hammer spur and wrench were packed with your gun (in the envelope containing the adapter base). For safe operation when using a scope, the offset hammer spur must be installed. Installation instructions are printed on the envelope, as well as below. We recommend that you remove the offset hammer spur when not using a scope.

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 set screw. For left hand use, mount the offset hammer spur so that it protrudes from the left side of the hammer, and tighten 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.

Safety Features

  • WARNING: Your rifle is equipped with two safety devices, which, when used properly, provide an added degree of safety. Before loading your rifle, become familiar with the operation of the hammer block safety and the two hammer positions (FULL COCK and REBOUND/SAFETY), 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.
  1. 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, 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 safest way to carry your rifle when it is loaded, is with the hammer in the Rebound/Safety position, and the safety on SAFE. 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 to full cock, the rifle will be cocked and ready to fire.


  2. Hammer Positions

    1. 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.

    2. Your new rifle has a feature known as a “rebounding hammer”. Each time the trigger is pulled (with the safety in the FIRE position) the hammer strikes the firing pin, and then automatically “rebounds” to the Rebound/Safety position (See D).

  3. To move the hammer to the Rebound/Safety position from the Full Cock position, first put the hammer block safety button on SAFE. The hammer may be moved from Full Cock to the Rebound/Safety 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 Rebound/Safety position (See E & F). To resume the Full Cock position, pull the hammer all the way to the rear.

  • WARNING: When the hammer is in the Rebound/Safety position and the hammer block safety is in the FIRE position, if the trigger is held back and the hammer is struck, the rifle may fire. 

How to Load

  • WARNING: Never attempt to load your rifle with ammunition that does not meet the cartridge designation stamped on the barrel. Use only clean, dry, factory- loaded ammunition which conforms to industry standards.
  • 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: This rifle will not function properly unless the inner magazine tube is locked securely in place.
  • WARNING: Never add cartridges to a partially loaded tubular magazine.
  • WARNING: The following procedure is the only recommended method of loading. 

Loading the Magazine 

Be sure the bolt is closed (lever closed), the hammer is in the Rebound/Safety position, the hammer block safety is on SAFE and the rifle is pointed in a safe direction. Turn your rifle upside down and unlock the inner magazine tube by pushing in and turning the knurled locking end knob (See G). Keeping your fingers away from the muzzle, pull the inner tube from the outer tube until the loading port is exposed.


With the muzzle raised slightly, drop cartridges into the loading port, bullet end toward the muzzle (See H). When you have loaded up to the magazine capacity (26 Shorts, 21 Longs or 19 Long Rifles), slide the tube back in place, turning it slightly to ease passage over the loaded rounds. DO NOT FORCE THE TUBE DOWN. Then rotate the knurled locking end knob to the locked position. The inner tube will not lock in place if the number of cartridges loaded exceeds the magazine capacity.


Marlin lever action 22 rifles are NOT designed for single loading. Always load cartridges through the tubular magazine as directed above. 

Preparing to Fire

With the rifle pointed in a safe direction, completely open and close the lever one time, and put the hammer block safety in the FIRE position. Your rifle is loaded, cocked, and ready to fire. 

  • WARNING: If you do not want to fire at this point, put the hammer block safety on SAFE, then return the hammer to the Rebound/Safety position. (See D). 

How to Fire

With the hammer in the Full Cock position, and the safety in the FIRE position, and the rifle pointed at the target, squeeze the trigger. Work the lever fully open and closed for each repeat shot. Failure to fully operate the lever can result in a jammed action. If you do not fire all the cartridges in the magazine, be sure to put the hammer block safety on SAFE, and the hammer in the Rebound/Safety position until you are ready to fire again. 

What to Do if Rifle Fails to Fire


If you have squeezed the trigger and the cartridge does not fire, remain in the shoot- ing position, pointing the gun in a safe direction. Count to 10, then unload the rifle completely. (See “How to Unload”).

Underpowered Shot

A “squib”, or underpowered shot, should not occur if the ammunition is clean, dry, and factory loaded. You can normally tell if a shot is underpowered by the unusually low sound 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

Note: The inner magazine tube must be locked in place to unload the rifle. 

Keeping your fingers away from the trigger, with the hammer block safety on SAFE, and with the rifle 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. Then check the magazine inspection port on the left side of the receiver (See J). If the magazine is empty, the red follower will be visible through this hole. If you do not see the red follower, repeat the above steps until you do. 


  • WARNING: Remember, always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, because until a visual check has been made, you must assume that a live round remains in the chamber, and/or magazine. 


Your rifle has been sighted-in and test- fired at the factory. Due to individual shooting characteristics, however, sighting should be range verified. 

Vertical Correction (Elevation) 

To raise the point of impact, raise the rear sight, by moving the sight elevator rearward. To lower the point of impact, lower the rear sight, by moving the sight elevator forward. 

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. 

Scope Mounting 

Your rifle is drilled and tapped for scope mounts. They are made by Tasco, Weaver, and 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. 

How to Clean Your Rifle 

  • WARNING: Never attempt to wipe down or clean a loaded firearm. Follow the instructions under “How to Unload”, before cleaning. 

To clean the bore from the breech end, follow this procedure. 

With the lever closed, the safety on SAFE, and the hammer in the Rebound/Safety position, loosen the takedown screw until it is floppy in the receiver (do not try to remove it completely) (See K). Place a folded cloth on the floor or a work bench. Hold the butt section of the rifle firmly and let the left side of the muzzle strike the cloth (See L). Do not touch the lever. You may have to repeat this tapping several times before the two parts of the receiver separate. You can then remove the breech bolt by sliding it to the rear as far as it will go, and lifting it out (See M). This completes the takedown operation.





To prevent damage to the ejector while cleaning, hold it down as far as it will go with a small screwdriver (See N), and at the same time insert a second screwdriver into the slotted rivet just ahead of the ejector (See O). Then turn the rivet slightly until the ejector is locked in position. (Failure to lock the ejector down may result in damage to it while cleaning the bore from the breech end.)



The action and bore may be cleaned and oiled while the gun is in this state of disassembly.

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. 

To clean the bore and barrel, use any standard 22 caliber commercial cleaning rod and cleaning patches. Clean the barrel with powder solvent and wipe lightly with gun oil after cleaning. 

Use a very thin coat of light oil during below freezing conditions. A dry graphite used sparingly is recommended for cold weather lubrication. Condensation droplets will form soon after the rifle is brought into a warm room, or the rifle may become wet during inclement weather. In an case, all moisture should be removed. Exterior metal finishes may be wiped down with a slightly oiled cloth. 

To reassemble, reverse the takedown process described above. 

Be sure to release the ejector by turning the ejector locking rivet so that the ejector springs back to its original operating position (See O). Be sure the breech bolt is as far forward as it will go. (See P). Do not touch the lever during reassembly. Be certain that the two receiver parts are completely mated, so that both sides are smooth and flat (See Q & R). Tighten takedown screw.




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 in a gun case. 

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