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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The weekend before last I was browsing the used gun racks at my local Cabela's and ran across a Marlin Model 99 M1. The price tag originally said $109, but that was marked out and it was priced at $90. Any gun under a hundred bucks catches my eye, so I looked a little closer. But, the tag also had "feed problems" written on it. So I looked closer still...the only thing visible was that it was missing the front screw of the trigger guard. My thought at the time was that since that's right under the action, it could be contributing to the problem.

I carried it into the Gun Library and the Cabela's guy looked up and started this conversation:

Him: The problem with that gun is it doesn't like to feed.
Me: Did the previous owner report that, or...?
Him: I cycled some dummy rounds through it yesterday, and it didn't like to feed.
Me: So it doesn't feed at all?
Him: It doesn't like to feed. Here, I've got some dummy rounds in my desk.

He then manages to find all of two dummy rounds, which he loads in the tube. He cycles the action and the first feeds without issue. He cycles it again and the first ejects and the second feeds without issue.

Him: Hmm.
Me: Hmm.
Him: We're selling this thing at cost. Well, I think we're making $15 on it.
Me: Would you like to make a little less?
Him: Okay, I'll sell it to you at cost. $75.
Me: I'll take it.
Him: You can't return it.
Me: Great.

So I took it home and filled the tube and manually cycled it over and over. It had no misfeeds during that process. Two days later I finally had the chance to pull it apart and give it a good cleaning and inspection. It was during this process that I decided that my original thought of the missing screw was incorrect, since that screw seems to only hold the trigger guard to the stock. (I've ordered a replacement screw and nut from Numrich already; it should be here today. Who doesn't replace missing parts on a gun?) After the cleaning, I cycled it many times still with no failures.

A couple of days later I was able to get to the range. My goal was to simply put as many rounds through it as I could, and I was on a tight schedule. I first fed it a box of Remington "Golden Bullet" ammo. It did have a couple of jams, but I would categorize them more as ejection issues than feed issues, since the spent casing failed to clear, causing the jam.

I then fed it a box of Blazer ammo and it seemed to like it better than the Remington, with only one jam (out of 50). I then moved to a box of CCI Standard Velocity, and it immediately started puking. There were more ejection failures, and a couple of rounds that wouldn't even come up out of the feedthroat. The CCI rounds were noticeably lacking the pop of the Blazer and Remington, feeling like a much weaker round.

So my conclusion is that this isn't a bad little gun, if fed what it likes. I've left it dirty for the moment, wanting to get some more Blazer and see if it will pick up where it left off, just to make sure it's not just a matter of having problems once it gets a little dirty. I don't think so, because the change was sudden, as soon as I switched ammo and, again, the CCI just felt and sounded weak.

In my searching I've seen some comments to the effect of replacing the springs and feedthroat to clear up some of these problems with this model. I've also concluded that since mine has the rear sight, it may have been a particularly good deal.

But, I'd love to know what you all think? First, did I actually get a good deal? I always hear of them, but they never seem to happen to me. :) And second, I'd love any advice on spring replacement, etc. that could help this become a truly reliable shooter.



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61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great! Glad to hear it actually worked out for me. :)

Now, anyone know anything about how to mod these so they perform just a bit better? That's in terms of ejections, feeding, etc. With the 120 or so rounds I put through it, I was shooting offhand about as fast as I could and it shot a nice group; 3"-4" low and ~1" left, but I can adjust the sight for that.

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61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Marlindude. I knew I had seen comments to this effect somewhere, but was having trouble locating them.

The 99M1 was made from 1966-1979, according to my books :)
It is an Old-Style 60 action, so older 60 & 99/99C parts exchange.
All benefit from the Feed Throat Upgrade, once they start giving you trouble.
Replace the recoil/hammer springs first with a J&P Springs kit ;)
So now my question is, is "the Feed Throat Upgrade" simply replacing the original feedthroat part with the "new style" of the same part?

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61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Range Report

I finally got the 99 M1 back to the range. I still hadn't cleaned it from when I last shot it, nearly two months ago. But, I loaded it up with Winchester Xpert HV rounds and it performed very well. So, it really just didn't like those CCI Standard Velocity rounds, which work just fine in my Model 60.

The only issue I had was that sometimes the round didn't want to lift up so that it could feed. I don't know if it's a weak lifter spring, or maybe a burr on the lower part of the feedthroat causing things to stick, or just what. I'll take it apart and polish it all up and see how it does. This issue only occurred about five times out of a hundred, but that still seems like way too many.

If it doesn't improve with some polishing, I'll upgrade the feedthroat to the new model.

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61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, in the four food groups of .22LR ammo,
you have Subsonic-, Standard-, High- and Hyper- Velocity ammo

In a Marlin 60/99/etc w/18"-to-22" barrel, rarely are Subsonic or Standard velocity rounds going to cycle the action.
If you use Sub or Standard/Target ammo, just know that they may not always cycle unless you start modding internals...
Some folks modify for the purpose of making Match-Grade ammo work better in their rifles...but that's strictly up to each individual owner,
and the benefits are somewhat in question the average Marlin is always within Minute of Squirrel Head...

High Velocity rounds are what Marlins are made for...High Velo is what you are looking for for Marlin semi-auto carbines.
CCI Minimags & the Blazer ammo are High Velocity rounds...
As are RGB's, but RGB's are famous for being inconsistant as heck...
when Remmy ammo doesn't go bang, spin it and try again...

Hyper-Velocity rounds will prematurely wear your buffer and then start bashing away at the rest of the skip those...
I find the precision in Hyper-Velo rounds to be lacking, so it won't hurt to skip 'em anyway ;)
Big Shrek, this is pretty much what I've found, with the exception that my model 60 feeds the CCI Standard Velocity without issue.

I was using HV rounds when the 99 M1 had the issue where the round didn't get lifted. So I don't think that was an issue with the round either, but something with the internals of that particular gun. I haven't had a chance to tear it apart and look into it yet.

But, when I've had them apart, one thing I've noticed is that the spring in the 99 M1 seems either longer or stiffer than the one in the 60. I'm basing this on the fact that I always have a lot more difficulty getting the spring back in the 99 M1 than I do the 60.

Is it possible that shortening the spring in the 99 M1 would allow it to feed Standard Velocity rounds better? I know if I overdid it that it could cause it not to feed forward properly, but I'm thinking of just trying to take a bit of tension out to allow the SV rounds to drive the block back a little easier.

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