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Old 01-16-2012, 07:48 PM
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Default Marlin Camp 45 Carbine



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Just picked up a Marlin Camp 45 Carbine today for $400. Been wanting one for a long time since I am a 1911 enthusiast and like the fact that they use 1911 mags of which I have a crap load. It is used but seems to be in good condition aside from some scratches on the barrel and a crack in the stock right behind the tang. I have done some reading on the web and this seems to be a common problem with these guns due to the light factory recoil springs used so I have already ordered a Choate folding stock and a Wolff 16.5# recoil spring. I also ordered a Blackjack buffer pad.

I would greatly appreciate any other advice or reviews from those who have experience with these guns. Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:59 PM
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If your .45 CC has the 'Micro-Groove' rifling, don't shoot lead bullets because the lead deposits in the tiny rifling grooves are damn near impossible to get completely out, and accuracy will quickly deteriorate after a 50rd box. I had the 9mm version and loved it except for having easily the worst trigger i've ever felt on any firearm. Creepy, heavy, crunchy, ugh..

The wood stocks can be improved by painting and/or staining


Great guns, excellent find
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:48 PM
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Great price on that. I have the camp nine, I am more stocked in 9mm than 45. If one came by at that price, I would definitely grab it though. Fun guns. Do yourself a favor and get a heavy recoil spring (wolff) and a new buffer, maybe even a spare, from the get-go. Replace the buffer every 5 k rounds and you will never have to worry. Cheap insurance. Srr you already took care of that....cool.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:49 PM
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Congrats on a good find.

You might want the Wolff 21lb# spring instead. I am mostly a 9MM guy and have several Camp-9's. I do have a 45 though and so do many of my friends. I use the 16.5's for the 9's and the 21's for the 45's. I'm going to try a 21lb spring on the 9MM too, because it may keep them cleaner.

I have both Choate stocks. The folding and the collapsable models. Both get the job done just fine.

+1 on the Blackjack.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:04 PM
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I have both 9mm and .45. the 21# spring is better in the .45
if you want a better trigger pull out the magazine safety disconnector. try marlin forum for good tips. great carbines and with the right handloads hard-hitting
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:03 PM
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Great stuff guys! I really appreciate the tips.

Filthy - I don't see myself shooting non-jacketed ammo but that is definitely good to know about the micro-groove rifling. Thanks!

Magman and Marlin - Thanks for the tip on the 21# spring. I wish I had known that before I ordered the 16.5# Wolff. Oh well. I just ordered the 21# spring from Blackjack along with an extra recoil buffer. I guess I can use the 16.5# spring as a spare. Or maybe I will have to get the 9mm version too!

Magman - Which of the Choate stocks do you prefer? I ordered the folding version but I am having second thoughts now that I should have ordered the adjustable AR style version. I have several AR's and it would be nice to have a similar feeling stock and cheek weld, and I would also like my petite wife and 12 year old son to be able to shoot it so the adjustable stock might have been the better choice even though it is $25 more from MidwayUSA.

Does anybody have any experience with what magazines the gun likes / dislikes? I have lots of 8 and 10 round mags from various manufacturers (mostly Chip McCormick and Kimber), but I was thinking about getting a couple of 15 round mags to give it higher capacity. Any thoughts or recommendations? Any to avoid (ie - ProMags)?

What about scope bases? I dont care for the iron sights the gun has and would like to mount a red-dot or reflex sight on it. It looks like it takes the same mount as the Marlin 336 and there are several options there for Weaver style bases, but I would prefer a picatinny rail.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DontTreadOnMe View Post
Great stuff guys! I really appreciate the tips.

Filthy - I don't see myself shooting non-jacketed ammo but that is definitely good to know about the micro-groove rifling. Thanks!

Magman and Marlin - Thanks for the tip on the 21# spring. I wish I had known that before I ordered the 16.5# Wolff. Oh well. I just ordered the 21# spring from Blackjack along with an extra recoil buffer. I guess I can use the 16.5# spring as a spare. Or maybe I will have to get the 9mm version too!

Magman - Which of the Choate stocks do you prefer? I ordered the folding version but I am having second thoughts now that I should have ordered the adjustable AR style version. I have several AR's and it would be nice to have a similar feeling stock and cheek weld, and I would also like my petite wife and 12 year old son to be able to shoot it so the adjustable stock might have been the better choice even though it is $25 more from MidwayUSA.

Does anybody have any experience with what magazines the gun likes / dislikes? I have lots of 8 and 10 round mags from various manufacturers (mostly Chip McCormick and Kimber), but I was thinking about getting a couple of 15 round mags to give it higher capacity. Any thoughts or recommendations? Any to avoid (ie - ProMags)?

What about scope bases? I dont care for the iron sights the gun has and would like to mount a red-dot or reflex sight on it. It looks like it takes the same mount as the Marlin 336 and there are several options there for Weaver style bases, but I would prefer a picatinny rail.
Yup, you'll just have to get a 9MM too. It'd be a shame to waste that spring.

As for the stock, I definitely think the other one would be better for the smaller people to use. My folder is on a 9N in my trunk with my BOB, the adjustables are on my shooters. Extra spring and stock, makes 2 reasons to get a Camp-9.

As for mags, Mec-Gars have always worked well for me. I only have pistol mags for my 45, but my High Cap 12 to 20rd 9MM mags are S&W, Marlin and Mec-Gar, and they are all flawless in function. (The S&W's are made by Mec-Gar) My largest 9MM mags are only 20rds so they don't hang to low and get in the way. Probably limit my 45 mags to 10rds for that reason too. Just my preference.

I used Millett bases and rings for the red dot on one of my Camp-9's and they are fine. Very stout. I may try the rail system too, as I have a Leupold 2x7 22LR scope that I am going to try on another one of the Camp-9's. I'd like to try a reflex sight too.

Hope this helped. Enjoy your new shooter....and get a 9 too!!!
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:35 PM
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Thanks again Magman. I really appreciate all the advice. I will keep my eyes peeled for another one in 9mm.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:10 PM
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Great find. I see the 9mm from time to time, but seldom does anyone give up the .45.
Old 01-22-2012, 12:27 AM
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I have always liked the camp carbine. I think that if I ever found one at a shop I would buy it. But I never do , and when at home I always forget to check gunbroker for one. So for those of you that have both the 9mm & the .45 acp are there any performance specs you can give. Such as chrono, accuracy , bullet weights for best results and the like? I recenty built a 9mm AR15, using a RRA 16" Barrel, deticated lower, and all that. It is great fun and though I have yet to chrono it with my fav loads it is much quieter than the handguns (Duh I Know). So getting a gun that could share my 1911 mags would be pretty cool. I mean everyone needs a few rifles and handguns that shoot the same ammo. On a side note I have often wondered why no company every mane aftermarket high cap mags for the ruger 44 with the detachable magazines. A ten shot .44 mag Ruger Semiauto just seems like it would be loads of fun.
Old 01-22-2012, 07:38 PM
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Has anyone added a suppressor? Any favorite brands of suppressor for the Camp 45? It would be nice to get a threaded barrel for my 1911's so magazine's and suppressor's could be interchanged. Just a thought.....
Old 01-22-2012, 08:06 PM
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Ive really enjoyed mine. The gun is just a hoot.
Super portable and accurate.
I can get groups at 50yds similiar to my 1911s at 25yds.
To me thats what its all about.
It truly is great for.....well,..camping.
For $400 you'll make out fine on resell if you decide you don't like it.
Old 02-12-2012, 05:52 PM
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Well I have had my Camp 45 for about a month now and I am really glad I bought it, but I have learned a few lessons about these guns that I thought I would share with others who may also have one or are thinking about getting one.

First let me share a traumatic experience I had with the gun before I even had a chance to shoot it. I bought the gun used of course and it was dirty as h-e-l-l so when my new stock and recoil spring arrived I proceeded to thoroughly disassemble and clean the gun. I did not dare to disassemble the lower receiver that contains the trigger housing and magazine well but I did try to clean it as best I could with q-tips and CLP. I was in my storage room in my basement and as I was fumbling around with the receiver and q-tips with my hands all greasy from the CLP and all the crud that I was cleaning out of it and the receiver slipped out of my hands. I watched in horror as it fell from about 5 feet and hit the concrete floor and little parts went flying everywhere!! In shock I hit the floor on my hands and knees and managed to find all the little parts and springs that came out but I really thought I had ruined the gun before I had even gotten to shoot it! One of the reasons I thought I had ruined the gun is a small black piece of plastic I had found on the ground right next to one of the springs that had flown out of the gun. The lower receiver of the Camp Carbine is made of plastic so I thought it was a piece that broke off from the impact and I frantically began looking over the receiver to see where it had broken off of. After several tense minutes of careful inspection with a flashlight I could not see where the piece had broken off of and I was scared that it had broken off somewhere underneath the trigger mechanism where I could not see. Well it turned out that the small piece of plastic was not from the gun at all. It was just a small piece of a black nylon zip tie that had been trimmed off and fell on the floor earlier because I use the same room to repair computers. But as relieved as I was I still had no idea how to put all the other small parts back together so I began searching the web for information and stumbled across a Marlin forum that has a section devoted to the Camp Carbine. This was a life saver and I was able to find information on how to re-assemble the parts but I had no idea if the gun would function properly so I finished cleaning and re-assembling the gun with the new stock and recoil spring and then headed out to the range to test fire it. I felt a flood of relief as I pulled the trigger for the first time and the gun went bang so I put 100 rounds of 230gr Ball through it to make sure and not only did it function flawlessly but I was surprised by its accuracy. Even with the iron sights I had no trouble keeping all my shots inside the 6" black circle on my target at 25 yards. I then moved the target out to 50 yards and got the same results shooting off a rest. So long story short the gun functions flawlessly and it is a blast to shoot. It is like shooting a big bore 10/22. In fact the Camp 45 is exactly what I would imagine you would get if you mated a 1911 with a 10/22. I have since taken it out two other times and have no trouble busting milk jugs out to 100 yards with it after putting a red dot sight on so I am thrilled with the gun.

Here are a few lessons I have learned about the gun:

1) Be careful cleaning the lower receiver. You have to remove it from the action to clean the rifle but I would not attempt strip it down any further unless you are a skilled gunsmith. Also be careful what kinds of solvents you use to clean the gun because they can melt the plastic of the lower receiver. I prefer to use CLP to clean my guns and this works great for this gun.

2) Replace the factory recoil spring right away. A 21# Wolff spring is ideal for the Camp 45 and makes the recoil very soft. My 12 year old son loves shooting it and the recoil doesnt bother him a bit. I would also replace the factory recoil buffer with a Blackjack buffer.

3) The Choate folding stock is really nice and perfect for this gun! The only complaint I have is that you have to take the stock off to disassemble and clean the gun but this is not the fault of the stock. It is the same way with a 10/22.

4) Although the Camp 45 takes 1911 magazines there are some kinds that will not work. I have lots of 1911 magazines and the ones that have a round cutout on the rear side magazine lip will NOT work. They catch on the magazine disconnect and will not insert into the gun. The 1911 magazines that have the square cutout work just fine.

5) The iron sights are not great but any scope mount that will fit the Marlin 336 will also fit the Camp Carbine.

6) MidwayUSA is a great place to go for Camp Carbine parts and accessories.

7) I am now in the market for a Camp 9mm Carbine to keep my Camp 45 company.

Last edited by DontTreadOnMe; 02-12-2012 at 06:00 PM.. Reason: unable to upload photo
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:45 PM
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If you haven't changed the buffer yet, do so. The factory buffers are trouble prone and can result in damage to the gun if they fail. Wisners (if I remember right) and Blackjack Buffers make replacements that are higher quality than the factory unit.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:21 PM
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I'm not advocateing anyone to do this but w/the heavier recoil springs in my 9 and .45 I've had great results with handloaded +P ammo.
124 gr jhp in the 9 and 185gr in the .45. both over Power Pistol.
both really 'whack' a steel disc at 100 yds.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlin 45 carbine View Post
I'm not advocateing anyone to do this but w/the heavier recoil springs in my 9 and .45 I've had great results with handloaded +P ammo.
124 gr jhp in the 9 and 185gr in the .45. both over Power Pistol.
both really 'whack' a steel disc at 100 yds.
I shoot a lot of +P from my 9's, and I'm well pleased with the performance. Great boost from that 16" barrel. Definitely point and shoot to 100yds. Fine urban companions.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:15 PM
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MikeK,

I have already purchased 5 Blackjack buffers. That was one of the first upgrades I made before I even took it to the range. The original buffer looked so old and brittle that I was afraid it might shatter into a thousand pieces.

Marlin 45,

That is one of my biggest questions I still have about the Camp 45 - whether or not to shoot +P ammo, and what kind of muzzle velocity I can expect. As mentioned, I have replaced the recoil spring with a 21# Wolff in addition to the Blackjack buffer, but I am still nervous about shooting +P ammo. For one thing, I have read that the hammer strut bridge is another part that is vulnerable to breaking if you shoot heavy loads, and I have not been able to find anyone that sells spares. It is the one part that MidwayUSA doesn't carry. Are you familiar with this part? If so, what are your thoughts about its vulnerability and where I can get a replacement? I am familiar with it because it is one of the small parts that flew out of the lower receiver when I dropped it and I had to figure out how they all went back together. I read on the Marlin forum that some guys have machined them from saw blades but I am not that mechanically inclined. I would really like to have a few spares though.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:38 PM
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+P's are fine in the carbine with the 21# spring and replacement buffer.
As factory, I'd say no way.

The carbine length really doesn't add the velocity to a 45acp like it does the 9.
Not like you'd expect. Maybe 50fps or so. It is surprising.

I have a hunting load of a 230gr JHP, over Bluedot.
The exact loading escapes me at the moment, but it was taken straight from
the latest Lymans manual, for that powder and cartridge.
I've chronyd it at just a smidge under 1000fps.
It is devastating to whitetail.

To me +P isn't worth messing with in the 45acp.
It's track record is fine without the extra few fps.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan480man View Post
+P's are fine in the carbine with the 21# spring and replacement buffer.
As factory, I'd say no way.

The carbine length really doesn't add the velocity to a 45acp like it does the 9.
Not like you'd expect. Maybe 50fps or so. It is surprising.

I have a hunting load of a 230gr JHP, over Bluedot.
The exact loading escapes me at the moment, but it was taken straight from
the latest Lymans manual, for that powder and cartridge.
I've chronyd it at just a smidge under 1000fps.
It is devastating to whitetail.

To me +P isn't worth messing with in the 45acp.
It's track record is fine without the extra few fps.
That's my take on it too. +P is not worth it in the .45. Even the 9mm doesn't pick up a staggering boost in velocity. But at least it's rated for +P (just not +P+). A heavier spring is helpful and a good idea to install anyway.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
The carbine length really doesn't add the velocity to a 45acp like it does the 9.
Not like you'd expect. Maybe 50fps or so.
That's disappointing to hear. I was hoping the .45 ACP would get a big boost from the longer barrel to make it more effective bear stopper - something a "camp carbine" needs to be capable of where I camp. I was hoping to get over 1000 fps with standard 230 grain ball ammo. I guess I am not surprised though with the fast burning powder used in handgun loads. It is probably done burning up in the first 6 inches.

If anyone has any chronograph data for .45 ACP loads out of a 16" barrel I would love to see it.
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