For those of you that have a durable/reliable Marlin bolt-action 881 and have thought about getting rid of it because the trigger is awful (I know I almost did)-don't, there is hope.
You can safely "smooth-up" the trigger and sear. Of course, you should take it to a qualified gunsmith.
My trigger went from being heavy & crunchy to smooth-as-silk light!
How much did the trigger job cost? You can buy the Rifle Basix trigger for the Marlin bolt action rimfires. I got mine on sale for about $60, and it made a world of difference. Crisp as glass and light.
It is easily adjustible. My brother doesn't like doing trigger jobs on guns like the Marlin, where you have to either thin the spring or replace it with a lighter one. Especially if the owner is picky and wants "exactly" a two pound pull (or whatever.) Since the original trigger is not adjustable by means of a screw, nut or bolt, it is tough to get a precise pull weight. With the Rifle Basix trigger, I can set it how I want it.
If the 881 is the same design as the 882 and 17 then all you need to do is replace the trigger spring with one from a Pentel.05 mechanical pencit, this will bring the trigger down to about 2.5#. The you stone the machining marks of the trigger engaugement area(ie the small step) and polist steps on the trigger and sear with flitz polish and a dremmel tool. Mine is noe 2# and no creek, I like it alot.
You can find pictures at www.rimfirecental.com in the marlin forum
I have had a Marlin 17VS for several months now, and it is a dream to shoot. I have a Simmons AETEC 3.8x12.44AO scope on mine, that a local shop sells for $135.
And one more.
I have only been able to shoot it a 50 yards so far, as we are having dirt work done on our rifle range. The group on the right, by the dime, is 5 shots with the 17 at 50 yards, the center is my son shooting his 22 mag.
The factory trigger wasn't the best in the world. I changed out the spring with a spring from a papermate ink pen, about $1.00 at the local Office Max. It made all the difference in the world. This works on all of the Marlin bolt guns.
Take the lower screw out of the trigger, slip the trigger out, and the spring on the back side of the trigger is the one that you change out. Takes it from 6+ pounds to a nice ~3 to 3.5 lb trigger.
After you do this, be sure to check it over and over to make sure it is safe. Bump it with your hand, bump it on the floor, and check it over and over again. This seems to work on all of the Marlin rimfire bolt guns.
I can't wait to get out and shoot some squirrels and crows with this gun. The great thing about the 17 is that when you pull the trigger, the gun never moves. You just hear the pop and see the hole appear in the target. I have chrono'd my loads right at 2600 fps from my rifle.
And here I have a whole box of those same Papermate Flexgrip pens! Coulda saved myself a bunch of money if it would work on my Marlin. I'll have my buddy try it on his Marlin 25 MN.
I also have the marlin 17vls
I used a spring I had left over from a 10/22
got it from 5 1/4 pounds to 3 and with some polishing got it to a smoth
i had a friend of mine do a trigger job for me which included smothing the trigger up a bit, and taking the pull down to 1lb. a little lite i know, i just have to be carefull with her. the whole job cost me a 12 pack of his favorite beer, but he said he would normally a customer about 35 bucks for the services. i'm not exactly sure what he had to do, but i had my gun back the next day, so it can't be that hard.
"Pity those who nature abuses;
never those who abuse nature"