A Nurse with a Gun

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Marlin Papoose

A 22 caliber rifle is often on the short list of firearms to "bug out" with for most gunnies. Lightweight, cheap to shoot, and inexpensive to obtain, the rimfire rifle is one of the most versatile tools for survival. Survival rifles are often designed to break down into a compact package, and therein lies the rub. Maintaining accuracy and reliability while making the firearm breakdown into a compact package can be difficult.

One 22 rifle that has been around for quite some time is the Marlin 70P, also known as the Papoose. When this rifle was first introduced, it came with a birch wood stock, a black receiver and a blued barrel. The entire package can be carried in the cordura travel case supplied with the package. Today, the same rifle is offered in stainless steel with a polycarbonate stock as the Marlin 70PSS.

The barrel has a knurled fitting that quickly screws it onto the receiver. Screw on the barrel, pop in a full seven round magazine, and chamber a round. You are ready to shoot. The rifle owes it's reliability to the same semi-automatic action that is found in the Marlin 795. As long as the shooter holds the bolt back a bit while screwing on the barrel, to make certain it is properly seated, the rifle will shoot all day without failure. Disassembled and zipped into it's carrying case, the entire package measures 23 X 8 inches. There is ample room in the case for ammunition and extra magazines if desired. The barrel fits in a pocket along the spine of the case, while the stock is secured with velcro straps.

While the receiver has an integral scope rail, I prefer to stick with the barrel mounted iron sights. They consist of a simple spring leaf/ramp rear sight and a Patridge front sight. I dabbed some day-glo orange paint on my front sight to improve visibility.

I found this little rifle in a pawn shop for under $100. I purchased it immediately. When I head to the range I usually take another rifle, but this one is tested, proven reliable and decently accurate. It stands ready, packed up at home with a couple of boxes of ammunition in case it is needed.



OpenID leadchucker said...

Very cool. I didn't know Marlin made a rifle like that. I've alway had an interest in the Henry Survival rifle, but I may have to consider one of these...

Thanks for the post!

11:27 PM  
Blogger nature223 said...

I have owned both,the PSS(Stainless) is the one I currently own..100 bucks? you made out like a bandit...as ALWAYS,durn it.
Seriously,excellent peice give it a trigger job and it's a one holer.
and I do recommend a scope zero'd to the rifle and it FITS in the case,just get a one peice scope mount with integral rings(Air Rifle set up's work great with the 7/8th dovetail on top of the receiver)

11:41 PM  
Anonymous TJH said...

The barrel nut used to always come loose on mine. I didn't stuff the threads with anything for fear of it melting.

Do you run into this problem?

11:43 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Not really. Maybe it is because we are shooting differently. I disassemble the rifle for storage and reassemble it for maybe ten to twenty shots if needed. If I'm going to the range to shoot a 22 rifle for extended periods, the choice has always been one of my Ruger 10/22s. Perhaps the lack of extended or rapid fire shooting has helped me avoid the problem you had.

1:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tjh, you just need to use the wrench and make sure to make sure its extra tight.

Anyone else had any problems with the last shot hold open feature on these guns? I've had intermittent problems with it.

I've put about 2500 rounds through mine. Great little gun, and from what I've seen and heard, a better made gun than Henry's take down model. Wish they still made it with a wood stock, but I guess the synthetic stock is more practical for its intended purpose.

1:20 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

A 22 rifle is nice.

I have my dad's old savage model 3A that I restored.

Archaic as heck, but it still shoots.

I've a little boy who'll be ready to learn with it pretty soon, making him about the 3rd generation of shooters to learn on it.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I shot my 70PSS yesterday. Great, great gun. Same hole shooting with air rifle scope. I am always amazed that it holds the zero sighting, but it does.

Barrel does come loose. In my opinion it is the cold to hot transition. A hot tightening with the wrench solves the issue for the day.

The Henry gun is disposable quality -- consider it a single shot gun due to jamming issues. The Marlin is a real gun for regular use.

I purchased 3 x 10 round magazines in aftermarket. Better than the 7 shot that comes with the gun.

Lots of fun. Almost free all day shooting.

10:03 AM  
Blogger lee n. field said...

Any reason I'd want to get one of these instead of, say, putting a folding stock on a minimal (no class III in this benighted state, alas) length barrel?

10:29 AM  
Anonymous SeniorCitizenJim said...

Great post Xav - thanks. I bought an original new, still have it. One thing of note - it has the Marlin patented MicroGrove Rifling.
Early on I purchased two 20 round magazines for it (Marlin Part # 499446). Now I have 48 rounds fairly close if ever needed. I have had no problems and hollow points work fine. Thanks again shipmate...

11:02 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Any reason I'd want to get one of these instead of, say, putting a folding stock on a minimal (no class III in this benighted state, alas) length barrel?

I'm thinking the Marlin 70 breaks down into a smaller package than the Ruger 10/22 with a folding stock. I could be wrong though, I don't have one for a side by side comparison.

11:02 AM  
Blogger the pawnbroker said...

sold a ton of the original of this design: the charter ar-7; people used to tell me it had the reliability of a 10/22, and it had the added ability to store the barrel/action assembly inside the buttstock...and it floated, great for fishermen/boaters...you still see them for pretty cheap now and then...jtc

2:20 PM  
Blogger Clay said...

I've got a little bolt action rifle and I love it. It's a great teaching rifle, too. People who are scared of recoil should start with a .22 and work up from there.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just bought a Papoose (synthetic / stainless). Took it to the range, shot about 50 rounds of Mini Mag, CB Long, American Eagle. No problems at all (had to manually cycle the CB's, but I expected that). Much better than the almost total piece of junk (IMO) AR-7 (older one that my dad has).

I'm changing the butt stock (replaced the stainless wood screws with threaded bolt stock and hex cap nuts)so I can access the inside of the stock without tools. There's plenty of room inside to add some ammo, small tools, etc. I may make a custom piece of high density foam with areas cut out for this stuff.

I also made a simple, lightweight sling with some thin 3/4" webbing and plastic pieces from REI (attached with cheap, quick release sling mounts). I'm also playing around with some ideas for small, lightweight cases, etc.

9:45 PM  
Blogger harv said...

hay guys i have a 22 papoose had it for 16 years i think but i have had a lot of problems with it in the past 2 years it jams really bad it has been cleaned from top to bottom and has been taken to a gun smith but we cant find the problem dose anyone know what it might be and how to fix it well thanks for your help...

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody know where to getjust the marlin papoose case

12:01 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...


8:26 AM  
Blogger curmudgeon 2.0 said...

To answer a question posted anonymously, YES I have had issues lately with the last-shot hold open feature. Figured I need to clean the mag. Also have experienced the barrel nut coming loose, thanks for the recommendation to tighten it while hot!

Otherwise I love this little puppy. Very compact and surprisingly accurate for a gun of this type.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the person who had reliability issues. The first place I'd look is the extractor, It may be worn, stuck, or missing. If that's not it, check the ejector, I've fixed quite a few Marlin rifles by filing the tip of the ejector flat, after several thousand rounds, it'll become rounded and the case will ride over it instead of being kicked out the ejection port.
Hope that helps!


9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have wood stock papoose had issues with it jamming. took it apart and found firing pin role pin had worked its way out enough to scratch a grove in the case tapped the role pin back in and have not had a problem since

4:30 PM  

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