Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gun Porn- Marlin Camp Carbine .45ACP

This is a gun that should still be in production.  The Marlin Camp Carbine was a GREAT idea, implemented fairly well, and judging by the prices that the used ones on the market today- there is STILL a huge demand for these.

Yes, I know it's dirty.  I just took it shooting


I bought this while I was in college, and I think it was the first New-in-Box gun that I ever bought.  It is still one of my favorite fun guns. With the addition of the Primary Arms red-dot, it is now even more of a grin generator at the range.



Particulars- .45ACP, blowback action, feeds from 1911 magazines, 16" barrel, and came with a wood stock fitted with a thin recoil pad.  I fitted mine with a Choate folding stock shortly after purchase.  I swap between the stocks depending on how I'm feeling.  Accuracy is good.  Off a bench, I can tear out ragged holes in paper targets at 50 yards.  But that is not where this gun shines- offhand plinking is where it's at.  This gun has minimal recoil and puts big holes in the target.  Hitting steel or reactive targets just gives you that silly new-shooter grin.

What I don't like about this gun are pretty small dislikes.  The mags don't drop free.  The bolt locks open on an empty magazine, and the bolt releases as you would expect- BUT if you manually lock it open, you have to manually unlock  it.  You can't just rack the bolt and load a round, you have to flip a switch THEN rack the bolt.  However, the main gripe is it's a dirty gun.  .45ACP out of a long barrel with a blowback action blows a lot of crud back into the action.  The bolt gets filthy, the mags get nasty, and some of the powder even blows up the side of the reciever out of the stock on the opposite side from the ejection port.



All in all, if you have one of these- enjoy it.  If you get the chance to buy one, you should.  And if anyone at Marlin/ Freedom group is listening, PLEASE reintroduce this gun.  It would be very easy to redesign the magwell housing to be modular so it could be swapped to Glock, Para Ord, CZ, etc.. and make the gun adaptable to a wide range of us projectile enthusiasts.

I love pistol caliber carbines, and odd guns.  This gun hits both sides.  It's fun,  easy to shoot well, and the ammo costs don't break the bank.  No, it's not an AR-15, or the best thing ever for CQB.  It's not trying to be either- all this gun is for is recreation.  Recoil therapy, and for the pure enjoyment of plinking.


12 comments:

  1. I love that thing. I need to get me a pistol cal carbine.

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  2. I have Both the camp 9 and camp 45. They are incredibly fun. My wife especially loves to shoot them.

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  3. Yes, much fun. Only real problem is the ballistics of the 45 ACP, which makes anything over a 75-yard shot a huge guess-the-holdover game, although I can ring a 120-yard large gong with about 6 feet of Kentucky elevation...

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  4. Had one, sold it. Close but no cigar - had it been built to accommodate a double stack mag (G21, P14, etc.) or, better yet, done in 10MM and accepted a double stack mag, I would never have let it go.

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  5. Mine was a less than stellar ownership experience. The barrel unscrewed itself about 1/5 turn after three mags of "this is fun!" rapid fire.

    The internal plastic parts, especially in the trigger guard/fire control group assembly are incredibly sensitive to many of the gun cleaning solvents.

    I actually had an extended conversation with Marlin's senior gunsmith on this, after I'd sent mine in for service. (it was sent back as "unrepairable", by the way!).... he told me of the solvent sensitivity, and that one of the reasons Marlin had dropped the line, was that much of it's internals had been manufactured under subcontract, to a vendor with major quality control failures.

    The basic idea though is sound, and with some fixes to things like the funky bolt-hold open, and PLEASE an interchangeable, modular magwell so that one could run with double stack Para mags or single stack 1911 mags... would have great potential.

    Oh, and modify the design to be more easily serviced at the owner-level. Just try to install a set of Wolff springs in one, and you'll see what I mean.

    Finally, if they'd make one with the requisite mods in a takedown variant? I'd have my order in before the pixels in the press release dried!


    Jim
    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

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  6. Have you replaced the factory buffer in yours? If not, you probably should, as I bet it's fallen into pieces by now.

    Also, the .45's were pretty undersprung from the factory so heavier springs from Wolff are a good idea as well.

    Rob

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  7. I know it's a completely different animal (and WA's stupid a-rifle-in-the-car-with-an-empty-chamber-but-rounds-in-the-mag-is-considered-loaded law makes it fairly useless as a trunk/truck gun), but the Marlin 1894C in .357Mag has all the rest of the pistol-caliber carbine stuff down perfectly. With the .357 being a much faster cartridge (especially some of those neat Buffalo Bore loadings), and Williams Firesights to replace the factory sights, it's a great 100+ yard rifle.

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  8. Anon1- Yeah, the fun factor on the Camp is so high. I actually like shooting it more than my Uzi with 32 round mags.

    RiverDog- Yeah, the .45ACP loses velocity in a long bbl. But the tin cans have never noticed.

    Anon2- You know they make 25 round 1911 drums, right?

    Jim- That is a pretty bad horror story. Beats most of my repair stories: http://rockinaseaofchaos.blogspot.com/2011/08/you-cant-go-home-again-but-guns-can.html

    Rob- Not yet. My buffer is fine right now, but I do have a spare on hand.

    Kirk- I got one of those as well... along with a KelTec Sub2000 in .40, an UZI carbine, an NEF in .44Mag, and a few other pistol caliber carbines. They are some of my favorite things to shoot :)

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  9. I own one of each with a companion pistol in both calibers. Still my favorite firearms of the 20 or so I own.

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  10. I own both the camp 9 camp 45 and a rossi .357 srs lever. I'm a big fan of companion guns. marlin 62 and matching ruger blackhawks. I even had a destroyer carbine made in .38 super that uses Star Mags. But the Camps are favs for ease of loading, teaching and shooting.

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    1. If you are talking about a Spanish Destroyer carbine converted to 38 super good luck if you haven't blown it up yet. That little gun wasn't designed for the pressure of the 38 super.

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    2. I always wanted to convert one of those destroyer carbines to 7.62x25.

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