*Marlin "Camp 9" Carbine*
In the early 1990's, pistol ammo was cheap and plentiful. 9mm prices really dropped after the Gulf War when surplus ammo hit the markets, and many folks wanted to take advantage of that boon. That's when the Semi-auto Marlin Camp 9mm Carbine rifle started getting popular.
Personally, I don't like Rifles in pistol calibers. In My Opinion, Rifles are for intermediate and longer range targets, and pistols are for close up work where the length of a rifle can limit your maneuverability. However, to each his own, and I own one of these little carbines simply because it's fun (and cheap) to shoot.
Another thing Camp 9 owners find appealing is that it also accepts the Smith and Wesson M659 (Or M59) magazines as well as it's own mags. So if you own a S&W 9mm pistol, chances are good that the mags will fit in the Camp 9.. this is attractive to people that don't like carrying pistol magazines AND rifle mags AND two different kinds of ammo... I don't remember if the Camp 9 mags will fit in the S&W pistol, but something in the back of my mind says they don't.. I may be wrong.
The Marlin Camp 9 comes with a hooded front site and has a co-polymer lower receiver that saves you weight and money (It cuts down on production costs).
Breakdown of this rifle is very simple.. it'll remind you a lot of the Ruger 10/22 in how it comes apart.
Before you start, BE SURE the magazine is out of the weapon and that the weapon is UNLOADED! If there is a sling on the weapon.. remove it. Next, flip the weapon on it's back and remove the two flat head screws in the stock on both sides of the trigger assembly (They SHOULD NOT come all the way out of the stock, they have keepers on the backside)... Remove the stock from the weapon.
Lay the weapon on it's side with the charging handle up... pull out the two take-down pins shown in the pic below... there's nothing that should "Fly out", but be careful anyway.
Now carefully pull the trigger housing away from the receiver... This is about it for the trigger housing.. it can be cleaned at this point. I wouldn't take it down any further unless you know what yer doing ;)
Flip the receiver back over onto it's back... There is a small guide that sits in the receiver housing with a tiny spring under it. Part of this guide fits under the bolt.. carefully remove the guide (The spring shouldn't fly out, it's meant to stay in the receiver housing).
Pull backwards on the bolt with your thumb as shown below, then rock the bolt upwards.. it should pull free now along with the spring and rod guide assembly.
At this point, the charging handle will probably also flop out on it's own... but if it doesn't, just pull it out. It's not attached to anything now.
Scrub this baby down so it's nice and clean.. then you'll be ready to put it back together. I usually don't run much oil in my weapons. For the Camp 9 I simply clean the parts well, and then inspect each part for "Wear marks"... when I find a wear mark, I put a little Teflon impregnated oil on it (Breakfree, etc).
I HATE articles that, at this point, say, "Reassembly is in reverse order", because for some reason I ALWAYS have a problem with SOMETHING not wanting to go back in the rifle like it came out. However, that's about all there is to this rifle... With two exceptions that everyone seems to forget to tell people about reassembling this rifle (We'll get to those in a second).
You can put the bolt back into the rifle now making sure the rod guide and spring are in the notch at the rear of the rifle, AND that the charging handle is seated back in it's slot on the top of the bolt.
Here's were we get to "Exception #1" that I talked about above.. make SURE the back of the Guide Piece is back UNDER the bolt and that the front is sitting OVER the tiny spring, with the pin holes lined back up.
OK, No big deal so far.. but here's "Exception #2" and few people bother to tell you why you can't get the trigger housing to line up in the receiver. It just doesn't "quite line up" and many folks damage the weapon by lining up the back pin hole, slipping the back pin in, and then trying to FORCE the front of the trigger housing down into alignment. Then they later complain that the weapon jams and the sites aren't accurate.
So here's the trick... The receiver housing has a "bullet feed Guide" that sticks up from the trigger assembly.. it'll wiggle around a little if you touch it (It's supposed to). This bullet feed guide MUST slip into the receiver housing BEHIND the barrel, NOT under it! When you slip the trigger assembly into the receiver housing, it'll ALMOST fit with the bullet feed guide UNDER the barrel.. this is a NO NO.. rock the feed guide so that it sits behind the back end of the barrel as shown below... now everything should EASILY line up and go back together.
Now yer almost done.. slip the retaining pins back into place (making sure the side guide piece that sits on top of the tiny spring is in place). Slip the weapon back into the stock and tighten down the two flat head screws and yer Done! Simple huh?
Even with my bias against rifles in pistol calibers, I think this is a neat little rifle... it's small, light, fun to shoot and it blends in well while you're in the woods. It just seems "Convenient to carry". Many farmers like em for "Varmit guns" (Especially if the "varmits" get up to coyote or human size), for this reason many shooters call these "Ranch Rifles". An added benefit is that they don't (usually don't) draw gasps of fear from yuppies that see you in the woods with them. These rifles have been very reliable with a wide variety of ammo types in my experience, and THAT is the true test of a weapon.
Marlin also makes this rifle in .45 cal. called (Duh) the "Camp 45".
Enjoy! BE SAFE!
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