I kind of like my Marlin 795s. In part IV if you remember, I converted the Marlin 795 to a long barreled hybrid using a Model 60 upper. That was interesting but on the other hand I already have a long barreled Model 60 and having two became redundant.
Upon further reflection I decided I would try and take the 795 the other way and make it more compact. The regular 795 has an 18″ barrel and an overall length of 37 inches. It is already two inches shorter than a standard Ruger 10/22 and a 1/2 pound lighter. Taking the barrel down to the minimum legal length of 16″ would make if even more compact and lighter still.
In discussing it with a friend he pulled out a cut down Model 60 he had done for another friend of his. He cut the mag tube and barrel to 16″ and threaded the barrel. He added an AR15 flash hider to protect the threads. Makes a real nice little carbine and was going to be used as as Jeep gun i.e, strapped to a Jeep’s roll bar when offroading.
After seeing how compact the Model 60 became I was convinced to let him cut mine down. Since he offered I also had him thread the barrel as well. A couple days later he called and I went and picked up my 795 barreled upper from him. The result was a 16″ threaded barrel with a threaded barrel and “mud guard”. The “mud guard” is a cut down AR15 flash hider. Since the goal was compactness he cut the flash hider so that it only adds 1/2″ back to the length. It is intended as a thread and muzzle crown protector rather than a flash hider.
Putting the barrel back in the stock I compared it with my regular 795. Not bad but not compact enough. The next step was to take the hollow plastic stock and cut it down 2″. Pretty easy to do cut. I then tapped the screw lugs inside the stock and reinstalled the butt plate.
In that the stock was narrower the shorter it got the butt plate was too large. I ground the edges down until it fit flush and used the regular screws to reattach it. (A friend of mine who cut his 795 stock down for his son simply used a slip over rubber stock pad). Overall length with 2″ taken off the barrel and 2″ taken off the stock reduced it to 33″. The “mud/thread guard” added 1/2″ back. Overall weight was reduced by 4.5 ounces but that would be offset somewhat the installation of the original iron sights.
Some people might complain that the stock is too short. My experience as rifle instructor has taught me that it is much easier to shoot a rifle with the stock too short than with the stock too long. I am a pretty big guy but have no problem shooting shorter than normal rifles.
Bottom line is I now have a shorter, more compact version of my 795. Is it worth it? Ideally if you wanted a shorter lighter version you would probably be better off finding a Marlin Model 70 Papoose. The Papoose is a take down version with a 795 action, a half stock and a removable 16″ barrel. The problem is that the Papoose is no longer made and tends to command top dollar if you can find one. A 795 can still be found at about $150 retail. Cutting and threading the barrel along with drilling and tapping the front sight holes would probably set you back at least another $100. But then again you don’t have to thread the barrel and using a scope eliminates having to replace the front sight. Cutting the stock is the cost of a hack saw blade providing you don’t screw it up.
So is it worth it? Hmmmm……probably not unless that’s what you really wanted and had a specific need. You can now buy Ruger 10/22s with all kinds of short barrels that are already threaded and/or take down models for what it would cost to cut and thread a 795. Unless of course you had an old beater 60 and someone to do it for free like I did.
NOTE….Marlin has recently (Sept 2016) offered a $25 rebate making the 795 the lowest price in about 5 years. A local sports chain sale had them on sale for $129, the rebate put them around $106 + tax. Still a great bang for the buck.