Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Marlin Camp 45 Tips

In the past I've written about my Marlin Camp 45. This a very fun, reliable, and accurate little rifle. Although Marlin discontinued them around 2000 or 2001, they remain popular and prices have gone up quite a bit in the past few years. If you see a Camp 45 in good condition for under $500 get it. Aside from being popular as the host for a suppressor, I suspect that when Kim du Toit wrote about his a few years ago he caused a surge in demand.

Ever since I first wrote about my Camp 45 I've occasionally received requests for guidance on them. Here are some tips to keep them running well:

1. Before you even shoot it, replace the wimpy 11# factory recoil spring with a 21# Wolff. The 11# spring is OK for the Camp 9, but the Camp 45 is grossly undersprung from the factory. If I got a Camp 9 I'd put a 16# Wolff in it. (Actually, I'd originally put a 16# in it, but then shot GeekWithA45's Camp 45, which sold me on the 21# spring. It functions well with the heavy spring, the recoil is almost zero, and as a lefty I no longer get stuff in my face shooting out the ejection port.) Caveat: With the 21# spring the action is very stiff, so if you have weak hands you may be better off with the 16# spring.

2. Ensure that the screws holding the action in the stock are tight. A loose fit, plus the OEM spring, are probably the reasons that the Camp 45 has the reputation for cracking stocks.

3. As you may know they use M1911 magazines. However, you must use mags which have a squared cutout on the top rear. Those with a semicircular cut will not seat all the way in the mag well. Chip McCormick Shooting Stars and Power Mags work well in my Camp 45.

4. The Camp 45 has a buffer in the back of the receiver which keeps the steel bolt from smacking the aluminum receiver. With a lot of shooting they can wear out, although this is less of a problem if you install a heavier recoil spring per #1, above. Pick up a spare from Marlin or Blackjack Buffers.

5. The trigger housing, which holds most of the guts of the gun, is made of plastic. It's not some fancy modern polymer so keep solvents away from it. I use nothing stronger than FP-10. Ballistol, Break Free CLP or automatic transmission fluid should also be fine. I've read from people who've learned the hard way that Gun Scrubber (AKA non-chlorinated brake cleaner) will melt it into a pile of black goo, so keep it far away.

6. Camp 45s have Marlin's Microgroove rifling, which has the reputation of shooting lead bullets poorly. I've shot only jacketed bullets in mine, so I can't speak from experience. However, it's something to be aware of before you loading up a pile of .45 ACP with lead bullets. Try a box or two of lead loads before stocking up.

Oh yeah, mine ain't for sale.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just installed 21 lb trigger in Camp .45 as Dave prescribes. No problem except now the trigger will not release. It's like stuck on safety even though the safety lever moves freely.Any ideas?

Dave Markowitz said...

I assume you mean a 21 lb. recoil spring. I didn't mess with the trigger.

Sounds to me like something isn't assembled quite right.

Anonymous said...

Yes 21lb. Wolff spring. OK. That's entirely possible. The only thing I did with the trigger group was cock the trigger before reassembly. Seemed like it was the thing to do at the time. Now I can't even figure how to release the trigger with the group out of the receiver. Thought if I did that and reassembled with it with trigger released it may solve the problem. Whadaya think?

Dave Markowitz said...

Do you have a magazine in the gun? The Camp Carbines have a magazine safety. If there's no mag in the gun, it won't fire.

Anonymous said...

I just found you blog and I'm impressed.
I bought a 45 carbine and yes, the buffer self destructed.
Because i live outside the USA, I camt buy those buffers direct from the makers.
Any advise or potions you can give me please. I belong to a U S trade sanctioned bottom Pacific country.

Sad Carbine Owner.

Anonymous said...

shot 1/2 of a clay pigeon remnant at 120 yards using lead ball reloads with the factory sights on my Camp 45 that I had loaned out to a relative. nice to get it back after 7 years, i noticed on the box i paid $299 for it brand new, looks like it was quite an investment. thanks for the spring advice

Anonymous said...

When you say a 21 lb wolff spring, guess you mean a spring that will fit a goverment 45 will work on a Marlin Camp 45 correct?
Thanks
Bob P

Dave Markowitz said...

No, the 21 lb. spring I used is not the same as a recoil spring for a 1911. AFAIK it's specific to the Camp 45. I ordered it from Wolff Gunsprings (gunsprings.com).

Joe said...

Thanks for your blog. Forgot about an old Camp 45 I inherited sitting in the back of my safe. Now I want to take it out and put it to use (after the spring upgrade)!

Anonymous said...

I bought my Camp 45 used but it looks like new. I do have a question about magazines and the magazine housing. My carbine does not seem to have a spring ejection like my 1911 pistol.
When I push the magazine release the magazine doesn't pop out part way - you have to catch the bottom tab with a fingernail and pull it out. Some magazines fit tightly and are extremely difficult to remove. Is the Camp 45 suposed to have a spring release of some sort to help push the magazine out a little so so you can get a grip on it? Thanks for any help you can provide.

Boneshaker

Dave Markowitz said...

As I recall, there's no spring assistance for magazine ejection.

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Thanks for the reply regarding the magazine release. Another query:

I bought some 15 round Pro-Mag magazines from a vendor on Gun-Broker but am sad to report that they do not work properly.
They all cause misfeeds the first 3or 4 rounds. Can you or any other Camp 45 owner recommend a hi-cap magazine that does not jam?

Other than that this is a sweet little shooter and a tack driver to boot. I installed a 21 lb. Wolff recoil spring that cut down on the blowback and made it shoot a lot cleaner.

Thanks again,

Boneshaker

Dave Markowitz said...

Magazines from Pro Mag, National, or USA are generally junk. Chip McCormick 10 round Power Mags work well, and Wilson 10 rounders should work well if they have the correct (square) notch in the rear between the feed lips.

Phillip said...

Dave,
I found this blog while I was searching for a Camp 45 to purchase. Thanks for all the great info. I just ordered my new springs for my Camp 9 and ordered a 21# for the Camp 45 I am sure to find soon.

Phillip said...

Dave,
Thanks for this great blog on the Marlin Camp guns. I found this site when I did a google search for a Camp 45. I have a Camp 9 and was looking for the companion 45. I really appreciate the info about the trigger mech and the buffer spring. I just ordered a new spring for my Camp 9 and while I was at it I ordered a 21# spring for the Camp 45 I haven't found yet. Just being optamistic.

Anonymous said...

I just got my Camp Carbine 45 a few days ago, it was only fired in one session 25 rounds, i just ordered Blackjack Buffers and #21 Wolff recoil springs. I need to order a few magazines because i only got one with the camp 45. Do you have any part numbers for the Chip McCormick 10 round Power Mags?

Dave Markowitz said...

Here's the Chip McCormick 10 round mag at Midway:

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=652828

Ceasar said...

Dave, thanks for the info, I ordered 2 magazines $27.99 each. Marlin wanted $50 each for the original magazines.

Ceasar

Anonymous said...

I just got one for $225.00. lucky me. don't think they new what they had. I do love it.

Anonymous said...

http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php?topic=86008.0

Good forum string on Marlin Camp including my entry about a great front/rear site combo

Anonymous said...

Dave, still got my Camp 45 and having fun with it. I followed your advice and bought some Chip McCormick 10 round Power Mags and they work well.

This is my SHTF rifle so when I'm not shooting it or cleaning it I keep in in a rifle bag with my 1911 and an assortment of mags all ready to go.

Query - have you thought about a spares kit, put together a spares parts list or assembled a spares kit?

I would appreciate any ideas or recommendations on what a spares kit should include. I already have a spare buffer and recoil spring but that's all so far.

I notice that Numrich lists a good selection of parts and since I plan on keeping my rifle I'm thinking it would be advisable to purchase parts while they are still available.

Thanks for any input or advice.

Boneshaker

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Re: Camp Carbine Hammer Strut Bridge
Marlin Part No. 316275

In surfing the web I see that failure of this part is not uncommon. It looks as if failures might be related to firing the weapon with a bad buffer and weak factory recoil spring. Mine seems to be in good condition and I have replaced the buffer and spring but I wanted to have a spare just in case.

The part is out of stock at Marlin and Numrich but I did locate an alternate source for them. They are available at Jack First Gun Parts. They not factory parts, they are freshly manufactured replacements.

Orders must be placed by telephone at 605-343-9544. They struts are $9.60 and shipping is $9.56 by USPS.

Jack First does not have a list of other parts they offer for the Camp Carbine but the lady I spoke to said they only have a few and the Hammer Strut Bridge is the one most in demand.

Hope this info is useful to other Camp Carbine owners.

Boneshaker

Dave Markowitz said...

I no longer have this rifle so I have not put together a spare parts kit. However, I would recommend doing so for any rifle, shotgun, or pistol that is part of your SHTF plans.

Anonymous said...

prodiscI read that the receiver is alloy, does this mean alunium? MY receiver is magnetic,being steel. I haven't had any problems at all not magazines buffer or broken parts no split stock, nothing. I might consider the 16 lb spring! David

Dave Markowitz said...

"Alloy" usually refers to aluminum. Since I no longer own my Camp Carbine I can't verify whether it was steel or AL.

I definitely recommend the 21# spring but the 16# is a big improvement over the stock spring.

Scott said...

I got 2 Mecgar 11 rd mags for my camp .45 and they work great!

Scott said...

I got 2 Mecgar 11 rd mags for my camp .45 and they work great!

Commander Cote said...

Hello Dave,
I just picked up a Marlin Camp Carbine 45, ser #13827845. I traded an old woodstove thats been in my barn since 2005, for this rifle,3 boxes of ammo (brass), plus $400!!!
The guy did not have a clue about the gun. It is filthy, a bunch of crushed walnut fell out of the stock when I took it off. I learned about the gun by his description of it, googled it and boom, Marlin Camp Carbine! I am very excited about this rifle and cnt wait to clean it up and get to the range. I have a couple questions for you:
What do I need to know about it, and are there stocks etc available to tactisize it?
Thanks man!

RichB said...

Hi Dave, I've had my Camp45 for a while now and have changed the spring and buffer and made sure that the feed ramp was reinstalled correctly but I still experience misfeeding after 1 or 2 rounds. I've taken it apart a few times rechecked the re assembly and still hsve the missfeed problem. Have you or any or the others commenting here experienced this and if so how was the problem corrected. Thanks.

nzgunner said...

Hello Carbine lovers. I am currently sitting at my table awaiting the Courier to deliver my newly suppressed 45 carbine to me. I have resurected my rebarreled rifle and suppressed it as a goat / pig gun. I obtained some Blackjacks buffers and an 18 lb Wolff spring and this suits me well. What is your ideas on the 21lb over the 18 lb?
I am off to the range as soon as I receive and clean it. John.

Anonymous said...

Hi, great info. I have a camp 45. Could you tell explain what the issues are about the flat vs. curved backs of the magazine tops? Also, I had a 21lb. spring in my carbine, but feel it makes it rather difficult to operate. I have the 16lb. spring that I am going to try. Do you have any experiences with the 16lb spring in a camp 45?

Anonymous said...

I have a camp 45. I only shoot 230 gr FMJ ammo. About 1 in 5 misfeeds and get the new round caught sideways ( bullet in ) I have tried different brands of ammo and different magazines with no change. Any ideas?