View Full Version : Marlin Camp Carbine

Gabriel Suarez
02-01-2009, 06:30 PM
Who has one of these? I had one a while back in the PRK. Used S&W 59 magazines. Nice little gun for the money.

Mickey Rourke
02-01-2009, 06:37 PM
When I was 1911 all the way, I bought one in .45. The mag interchange was a big selling point.

Unfortunately, of all the 1911 mags I had, only a hand full would actually work in the Camp. Someone on here posted the reason:

Not all 1911 mags will work in the Marlin Camp 45. You need to use mags which have a squared cutout at the top rear of the magazine body. If the cutout is round, you can't fully seat the mag in the Marlin.

I did like it while I had it, though.

02-01-2009, 06:39 PM
I had one many years ago, but no longer do.

02-01-2009, 06:39 PM
Had the 45acp version, fun poodle popper but not worth the money for a serious gun, springs where weak and it ate buffers like no tomorrow,
but it had a great aw hell effect with the folder stock and red dot mounted:D

02-02-2009, 09:43 AM
I still have one in .45acp. It has to be heavily lubed to work, I'm planning to have the bolt NP3'd. The mag release is small and sharp, not conducive to speed loads.

02-02-2009, 10:56 AM
I have a Camp 45, it's a very fun gun. Here are some tips to keep one running well.

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. Caveat: With the 21# spring the action is very stiff, so if you have weak hands you may be better off with a 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 would 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.

Mickey Rourke
02-02-2009, 03:21 PM
IIRC, some 'smith used to mod the .45 models to take Para-Ordnance hi-cap mags. Don't remember who:confused:

02-02-2009, 06:57 PM
I have a Camp 45. Art Leckie (RIP) widened the stock rear buckhorn site notch at my request for a quicker site picture. It's fun to shoot.

IMO Dave Markowitz nailed it with the tips.

02-16-2009, 08:22 AM
I've had a Camp Carbine for several years. Set it up for my wife (HH-6) with a Millett 1" red dot & an M3 light as a light, handy personal defense carbine. Proved to be just that! But shortly after I got the thing all set up, I got a steal on an M-1 Carbine, which then became the HH-6's PD carbine. Pulled the red dot & the M-3 off the Marlin & hung them on the M-1 Carbine. The M-1 is easier-shooting, has a better trigger, is lighter and is generally a better fit for my wife than the Marlin. Since the arrival of the M-1, the little Marlin has rather fallen into disuse!

The Camp Carbine proved to be more than adequately accurate for its intended purpose and ate just about anything I fed it (though they HIGHLY recommend against feeding it any sort of +P load!). The trigger is not the best - heavy and a bit gritty, but more than manageable. One note: The recoil off the thing proved to be pretty sharp for a gun of its relative power. Not sure why. Maybe needs a new recoul spring.

Anyway, they are just what they are billed as: A light, handy little shooter that's a lot of fun to shoot, fairly cheap to feed & great for personal defense/SHTF situations.

As always, YMMV!

02-16-2009, 10:42 AM
I for one did not find the Marlin Camp Carbine in .45 ACP fun to shoot. For some reason, even though it was a pistol caliber, the stock stung my shoulder harder than actual rifle calibers, i,e, 7.62x39 and 5.56mm.

The Thompson was far more enjoyable for me as far as .45 ACP carbines go. JMHO, YMMV.

02-16-2009, 11:45 AM
Like the Ruger Mini-14, the Marlin Camp Carbines are a "plinker" and not for serious purposes.

If you want a .45 carbine, I'd look at an Uzi semiauto. Much more robust, dependable and accurate. Much better to suppress too.

Just my experience.

02-16-2009, 12:09 PM
Like the Ruger Mini-14, the Marlin Camp Carbines are a "plinker" and not for serious purposes.

If you want a .45 carbine, I'd look at an Uzi semiauto. Much more robust, dependable and accurate. Much better to suppress too.

Just my experience.

I would never do anything illegal.

Back around Y2K, I heard tell if some poacher wanted to jack deer, a Camp in .45ACP with a piece of 3/4 foam pipe insulation made it right quiet so as not to disturb the folks at the library.

I would not try it. Hell once I heard it was illegal to make whiskey, I figure the gubment will outlaw anything:)


02-21-2009, 10:52 AM
I have a Camp 9 with a Choate folding stock. Haven't shot it much lately. I figured it would be a good long gun for my kids when they were younger. Now they are both older and can use the AR or AK. I have a nice stash of 5906 mags with more on the way also.

I functions fine with all ammo I've shot thru it. I did install a red dot sight on it since I really didn't like the sights that were on it.


Michael Biggs
02-28-2009, 05:57 PM
I bought one for my wife years ago since she had an aversion to the 12 guage shotgun, great to play with but not a heavy duty use piece. We employed it for home defense, but I traded it for a Mini 14 after she decided we were moving to Mountain Home, ID.

03-01-2009, 02:56 AM
Back about 1986 or so Mason Williams had an article in Law & Order magazine suggesting the Marlin Camp Carbine as an alternative to the shotgun for police use.

His reasoning was that the Carbine worked like an auto pistol, had less recoil than the shotgun, and might be a better fit for smaller statured officers than the pump shotgun.

Having trained many small females in the Police Academy, I agreed with his conclusions. In the spring of 1990 my PD bought a half dozen Camp Carbines in 9mm to use as a supplement to the M870 shotgun.

After a couple of years, they stopped working very well and were withdrawn from service. Although most officers could shoot the camp carbine better than they could run an M870, most officers just didn't take the 9mm carbine very seriously.

A few local agencies bought Colt 9mm carbines, and one other bought the Ruger 9mm carbine.

Locally, almost all departments switched to an AR platform rifle between 1998 and 2003 or so.

I have a Camp Carbine in 9mm, but I haven't shot it in years. My Colt 9mm gets a lot of use. 9mm ammo is cheaper than 5.56 ammo these days, and so I use the Colt 9mm for any rifle practice 50 yards and closer, and use the AR-15A3 for anything at a greater distance.

03-01-2009, 05:09 PM
My wife is talented at marksmanship, but has no interest in overcoming sensitivity to recoil or, especially, noise/blast. This is the only firearm other than 22 LR that she has ever enjoyed.

Mine is set up for moderate noise pest control with a light and low power scope. It works great for this task with standard pressure 115 gr silvertips.

It's fun to shoot, but in rapidfire I find the kerchunking of that heavy bolt distracting.


Mike Freese
06-25-2009, 11:53 AM
Hi Guys,

I recently picked up a Marlin 9. It was kind of spontaneous as I hadn't seen one for a while.
The idea of mags being interchangable with my S&W autos made it seem desirable.

Except I can't make the freaking mags work. Tried a 59 mag a 5903, a 469, and a 6906. The mags interchange between pistols and the 12 rd Marlin mag works in the two Smith mini-guns.

When I try to insert the mags into the Marlin something stops them...
With a bits of jiggling and putzing around the will finally slide in and lock, but not quickly.
I'll be darned if I can see what it is that holding them back, and it does not stop the Marlin mag.
There is no difference that I can see i the mags, that would cause it.

Anyone ever experience this problem???

Thanks, Mike

Mountain Man
06-28-2009, 10:18 AM
Something you might try, is ceramic paint. It's water based so it will clean up with water. Paint the top of the magazine with the paint and let dry. Insert into mag well until it jams, pull it out and look for paint on contact points in the mag well.

06-29-2009, 06:34 PM
As I recall, the Marlins have a magazine disconnect safety, which protrudes into the magwell.

The mags may be hanging up on that.

06-30-2009, 02:28 AM
Anyone got any pics?

Mike Freese
07-01-2009, 04:12 AM
Thanks for the input guys. I think Gunfyxer was correct in his diagnosis.

I had tried to feel what was hanging up, and could not find anything that really stood out, but suspected what turned out to be the Mag safe.

Since I could get mags to seat with a bit of finagling, I decided to see if I could figure out the problem by repeatedly doing so.

Damned if after about an hour of repeated insertions, whatever the problem was, it worked itself out and all the 59 series mags will now insert fine.

The gun shoots great with no hic-ups.:)

Should be a good little training gun.

Thanks again guys. M

Erik Pakieser
04-06-2010, 10:58 AM
Just scored one of these in 9mm...:D

04-07-2010, 10:28 AM
Mecgar was making 20 shot smith 59 mags at one point, so decent, larger than 15 shot mags might still be available.

I had one a long time ago, had a few aftermarket 15 and 20 round mags (which worked) and it was accurate, but I sold it anyway.

Now if they made one that took Glock mags......

Lawrence Keeney
04-11-2010, 07:52 PM
I understand the ruger PCC carbines work much better, but you have to contend with rounding up Ruger P-95 and P-89 mags.

12-15-2010, 09:23 PM
I found one for sale in 9mm, thinking of grabbing it up as a "step up" gun for the kids from the 10/22's and a handy carbine for the GF. If only it took Glock mags!!!!!

If I pick it up I'm definitely going to upgrade the recoil spring and buffer, thanks for the tips.

06-25-2011, 07:15 PM
I have one in 9 and love the fact that it also works with Interarms Firestar+ mags as well as the S&W.

06-26-2011, 12:16 PM
Anyone got any pics?


Missing details:
Reddot is a TNVC RDP-II (cover on)
One factory Marlin mag in well
High-caps are from USA Magazine (S&W Series 59). Work fine.

from colour-coding post prior, white=subsonic

Snake-eater 1
06-26-2011, 01:46 PM
USA magazines that work? Who coulda guessed!

06-26-2011, 01:49 PM
yep. and they're stock.
no spring replacements, no lip-filing, etc.
guess i got lucky ...
but, i am also NOT running a buffer in the MCC


06-26-2011, 03:33 PM
USA magazines that work? Who coulda guessed!

Years ago at a gun show I bought a 20 rd USA magazine for my Mini-14 (all that was available at the time). I've shot it quite a bit and never had the slightest trouble with it. (Though I have a number of hi cap factory mags now.) Just lucky, I guess, because lotso folks report problems with them.

Snake-eater 1
06-26-2011, 04:43 PM
I just know too many people, myself included, who have been burned by USA mags to ever trust one again. Even received as gifts, I just throw them away.

06-26-2011, 05:01 PM
heard exactly the same (negatives) and was massively skeptical.
i can't complain much. i got them for $8 each.
what a bonus that they actually work !