Trigger pull was checked with two
gauges: Lymans electronic model and a coiled-spring type marketed by RCBS. Lymans
readings averaged 2.6 pounds; those made by the RCBS tool came to 2.5 pounds. Close
Let-off was cracker-crisp too.
Whether the test carbines trigger is truly representative or benefitted from a bit
of extra attention is anybodys guess. If so, it proves the potentials there.
Marlins catalog went to the
trouble of pointing out that the carbines serial number is located on the left side
of the receiver instead of on the tang. That step was taken so that if anyone mounts a
tang sight, the serial number will still be visible. Seems to me a couple of holes,
drilled and tapped, spaced to fit a tang sights base, would have been more useful.
A hammer-block safety is located at
the rear of the receiver. Set transversely across the hammers path to the firing
pin, pushing the left side in flush with the receiver wall stops the hammers fall
about 3/8 inch short of the firing pin. So adjusted, the word safe appears in
tiny white letters encircling the right-hand head of the bar.
When the right side is flush with
the receivers wall, the left side protrudes about 1/8 inch, far enough for a circlet
of bright red enamel around the blocking bars head to appear. That serves as an
additional, visual warning that the hammer is free to fall all the way. Its a simple
but extremely effective system. Not foolproof, of course - but what is?
In addition to the hammer-block bar,
a hunter can enjoy additional peace of mind when carrying a loaded carbine by leaving the
hammer in the half-cock position. Nudging the safety bar to the right and cocking the
hammer all the way would take less than a second or two when the time comes to let a round
A fully loaded magazine and all that
steel in the stubby barrel make the carbine slightly muzzle-heavy, just enough to help it
hang steady when fired offhand. In addition, it points naturally, more like a well-fitting
shotgun than a rifle. All those characteristics combine to make the carbine responsive,
quick sighting, fast-firing and accurate, ideally suited for cowboy competition as well as
small game hunting.
The carbine leaps to the shoulder
quickly, with a minimal amount of urging. Best of all, it never shows any tendency to
cant. Although it would be difficult to prove, thats probably due to the consistent
way the buttstock snuggled against my cheek, particularly when shooting offhand.
As noted the little 94 feels
slightly muzzle-heavy. Not only did that encourage steady holding offhand, but when firing
at widely separated targets, sight alignment was almost effortless. All I had to do was
focus on the target and when the carbine came up, it automatically (or so it seemed)
pointed toward it.
Although designed with a specific
form of competition in mind, its obvious the 94 Cowboy Competition carbine will make
an ideal small game rifle. Accurate, a quick-firer, easy to pack around, instantly
responsive and a natural pointer, it would be ideal turkey medicine too.
Marlins got a real winner in this one. -