Marlin 99M1 Range Report
I acquired my Marlin 99M1 from a pawnshop. It had a $79 price tag, but I traded another .22 rifle for it. I spent an hour or so that night disassembling it, and cleaning years of grey gloop out of the action. The only redeeming value of that gloop is it may have helped hone the action. That night, I noted that Simpson Ltd. was selling a Marlin 99M1 for $250. If mine shot, I got a deal.
When disassembling a Marlin 60 or 99 action, the trigger group itself should never be taken apart unless it contains a broken part. Probably due to it's era of manufacture, my 99M1 had screws holding the trigger group in place instead of plastic pins. I cleaned everything with Gumout carburetor cleaner (I had it handy and it works) lubricated it with Breakfree a bit, inspected it, and reassembled everything.
I took my Marlin 99M1 to the range for a first shoot today. It came from the pawnshop with a Simmons 3-9X40 scope. The furniture of the upper handguard had to be massaged a little to accept this objective, but the job was very well done, almost imperceptible. The scope mounted on a rail molded into the Marlin reciever. If I like the rifle, I might smooth things out to accept a Weaver style rail.
The first nice surprise about the 99M1 was the trigger. I was expecing the mushy creepy trigger of a Model 60, but this one was better. It had some creep, but not nearly as much mush. I have to wonder if the plastic pins holding the Model 60 trigger group versus the metal screws holding this 99M1's trigger group makes the difference in feel.
The Marlin is accurate. I expected that. At 25 yards on sandbags, it shot half inch to 3/4 inch groups consistently, with cheap Federal bulk pack ammo. My 99M1 lost it's iron sights sometime in it's past. Numrich has the front sight for $17. I understand the rear peep sight assembly is next to impossible to find. I suppose my rifle will always have a scope.
I did have several failures to eject, one every 50 or so rounds. As I continued to shoot, the problem exacerbated. That is unacceptable in my opinion. I will tear the rifle down again to see if I can diagnose the cause. The inner magazine tube wanted to stick while sliding it back into the outer tube after loading. I will address that issue as well.
Overall, I am very happy with this little shooter. It is very accurate for a .22 rifle with a stock chamber. Once the ejection issues are cleared up, I am certain it will become one of my favorite shooters. Maybe I can find a proper WWII era sling at the upcoming gunshow.