Marlin 795 gets an upgrade!

I had bought my Marlin 795 over a year ago with the intention of using it at a Project Appleseed event.  At the time, the only semi-auto detachable magazine rifle I had was my AR.  While .223 is cheap compared to other “proper” rifle caliber rifles, I was still able to buy the Marlin ($80 new after rebate) plus the needed ammo (<$20 for a bulk box of .22) for less than the needed 500 rounds of .223 (roughly $250).  I learned to shoot on a Marlin .22 lever action, both my dad and I own 336’s, and I already owned one of their .22 bolt guns, so I figured this was a no brainer.

Stock 795 with a cheap sling

I’ve already upgraded the um… rudimentary sights that came on the 795 with Tech Sights.  This was a huge improvement over the cheap leaf spring sight that Marlins typically come with.  After Appleseed, I’ve decided that I should order a scope for it.  While the ideal is to get rifleman with iron sights, to quote Linoge “if you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying.”  After shooting his rifle on the last red coat target, I’m a believer in using glass.  Oh, and Amazon happened to have his scope on sale.  So… that’s on the way….  The Tech Sights may end up on the Papoose.

The last thing that I’m doing to the 795 is replacing the stock.  There’s not a whole lot of options out there for .22 rifles that aren’t 10/22s.  For a long time, I thought my only options were ATI’s Fiberforce stock or Muzzlelite’s bullpup.  Both of which just look and feel cheap.  Anyways, I’m a fan of wood stocks over plastic.

Recently, I tripped over Boyds’ gun stocks.  They make some beautiful wooden stocks. including some “drop in” stocks for my 795!  After debating with myself over which color to get, I decided to get an SS Evolution stock in nutmeg.

It showed up last night, along with the sling mounts and some Acraglass bedding material.  There was a grand total of two sheets of paper in the box.  One was the purchase order.  The other was an anti-lawyer warning sheet telling me not to work on loaded guns.

Fortunately, the Marlin 795 is pretty darn easy to disassemble.  Remove two screws, and the trigger group drops out, at which point the receiver and barrel can be removed.  The stock was, indeed, a simple drop in.  No fitting was required.  Probably the trickiest part was drilling the holes for the sling points, which is pretty simple.

Here’s the end result:

New stock, GI sling, and Tech Sights

It looks a thousand times better than when it was in the original stock.  It also feels a lot better.  The pistol grip is just easier on the wrist than the semi-pistol grip, and there is a palm swell that fits my hand nicely.  I can also get a much better cheek weld on the Boyds’ stock then I ever could on the old one.

It’s sooo preeeeetty… And yes. I did drill the holes on my kitchen counter. Naienko didn’t yell at me too much.

It’s not all good though.  The problem with laminated wood over plastic is that you can make plastic thinner without loosing too much rigidity.  This is obvious around the receiver.  The plastic stock was almost flush at the side, where the wood stock sticks out a good bit.  It sticks out to the point that I’m concerned about clearance for my fingers to manipulated the bolt after mounting a scope on it.  It also hides the bolt release a good bit.  It was this giant lever sticking out for all to see, and now it’s barely sticking out when the bolt is held back.  This could be an issue, since the 795 requires you to hit it instead of manually cycling the bolt.  The last bit is that I wish I was able to move the front sling mount just a bit further out, but that’s the limitation of this style of free-floating design.

Not a whole lot of space to grab the bolt from underneath

yes, I can grab the bolt release with my thumb, but there not a whole lot of extra room there…

Obviously, the big question is “how does it shoot?”  Unfortunately, I’m stuck at work on this beautify sunny day and can’t tell you.  I can tell you that it feels rock solid and I’m glad I plopped down the $100 to get the new stock.  I haven’t done the bedding yet, and I debating whether I will or not.

There’s also the nice thing of knowing that I’ve currently invested roughly $250 on this thing, which is about what I see bare bone stock 10/22s being sold for around here, if not more.

10 comments to Marlin 795 gets an upgrade!

  • What is the trigger like on that 795? That’s one of the things I’ve not liked about most low-budget .22LR rifles I’ve looked at, is the trigger is rather gritty.

    • oddball

      Honestly, it’s probably about the same as the rest of the .22 plinkers out there. I don’t have any issue with it, but I’m pretty sure I’m used to crappy triggers. One thing of note is that the trigger is of actual metal instead of plastic. I know that marlin has moved its .22 bolt actions to an accu-trigger setup, and i wouldn’t be surprised to see them do the same with the semi’s at some point in the near future.

  • As I said on IRC, now that is a stock!

    Do you really need to bed it? It appears that the barrel more-or-less free-floats after the receiver, though I could be wrong.

    I love me that scope, though I would caution the windage knob does draw blood, and with your charging handle as small and as hard to get to as it is at the moment, you will want to be careful either where you put the knob, or how you grab the handle…

    • oddball

      I would be bedding the receiver. As you noticed, you get a floating barrel with this stock whether you like it or not.

      As for the scope, yeah… I’ve thought of that. Bad news was that I ordered the scope the same day I ordered the stock, so I didn’t know about that issue. The good news is that I have a Marlin 981T .22 bolt action that has an el-cheapo Tasco scope on it that I’ve been thinking of replacing. If the scope bites me too much on the 795, it’s going on the bolt gun. I’ll probably hunt down a different scope at that point for the 795.

  • lucusloc

    let me know what you use to mount the scope. i have a marlin and i was never able to find rings that would not drift. even the rings with set screws left gnarly drag marks in the top of the receiver. an aluminum receiver combined with a basic dovetail rail for air guns is not a good combination for a solid scope mount. if you need me too i can probably list off a few brands that *don’t* work. i finally just went and got a 10/22 with a factory mounted picatinny. the marlin now does duty as an iron sight trainer.

    • oddball

      I… used… ummm… *rustles around for the packaging* NCStar rings. I shot about 100 rounds through it yesterday, and it didn’t budge. I’ve also had a cheap Tasco scope (using the rings that came with it) on my Marlin 891T for years without an issue. I did have the rear Tech Sight slip off near the end of Sunday at the Appleseed clinic, but I had also sprayed so much CLP on the rifle to keep it running (I failed to properly clean it before showing up), that the lubricant was getting everywhere to the point that the screws holding the stock on were starting to back out.

      Not sure what to tell you.

      • lucusloc

        Yeah, its not so much that the rings fall off, its that they drift in small increments. after 500-1000 rounds most of them drifted back about an 8th of an inch, which is enough to throw out your alignment pretty good, but pretty hard to notice if you are not looking for it. mark the from most part of the scope rings and see if they are scooting back on you.

  • […] oddball on October 22, 2012, at 11:05 am Went to the range yesterday to try out the 795 after the upgrade and check the zero on the new scope.  I decided to take the Marlin Papoose with me to check on its […]

  • […] course, I’ve gone a little further in tricking mine out for the next time I head to Appleseed in hunt for that patch, but that set up […]

  • Yote

    Leapers makes a 1 piece mount for the dovetail that wont drift… $14 off amazon. You can also get a picatinny rail adapter that wont slip. DIP has them for under $30 IIRC. Speaking of DIP, they also have an aluminium trigger guard and trigger thats adjustable for pre and over travel for under $70; and a “tactical” bolt handle that’s a bit longer and fatter for under $25. With the aluminium trigger guard (there’s another company that makes them for the 795 and they charge $50, but I can’t remember the name) you can properly pillar bed the action and stock. All you need are some of those $4 lamp replacement threaded screws and some JB weld. There’s a good how-to on marlinowners.

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