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1960 era Marlin 336 lever gun- shooter or safe?

 
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Old 09-27-2010, 12:00 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 27
1960 era Marlin 336 lever gun- shooter or safe?

I'll try to make this as short and sweet as I can. My grandfather passed down an old 30-30 Marlin that I took a few deer with as a kid. It was grossly inaccurate for me; which I always wrote off to the rifle's age, cheap optics, etc. Once I had the means, I purchased new deer guns and put this one in the safe.

Fast forward fifteen years and I like the nostalgia and handiness of having that little lever gun, particularly stalking hogs in the swamp on my hunting property.

So I cleaned the barrel up good, had some good sling mounts installed, slapped some decent glass on (Zeiss 3-9), and took her to the range. At fifty yards I was getting groups in excess of 12 inches, not even groups really, all over. I took the scope off and shot irons, then got the most perfect 'keyhole' I have ever witnessed.

The muzzle appears to be worn at the crown and almost smooth at spots; likely from years of steel rod muzzle cleaning (not by me) - which I ASSUME is the culprit.

I may let the 'smith look at it, but at this point I wonder if it should just go in the safe or throw money at it to make it possibly run - perhaps by counter boring the muzzle to get to some clean rifling, or just buy a new one.

Any comments?

----another viable option is I found factory new barrels for $48.

Last edited by Big_Red; 09-27-2010 at 01:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2010, 12:48 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 127
Re: 1960 era Marlin 336 lever gun- shooter or safe?

Spend the money. Marlin 30-30's are great fun, pretty accurate once the wrinkles are sorted out (Check out M.L. McPherson's book "Accurizing the Factory Rifle" for ideas), and the 30-30 is sudden death on hogs.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: on the Southern Plains
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Re: 1960 era Marlin 336 lever gun- shooter or safe?

I've got an old Marlin made in '58. One I bought used in the late '70's. Bullets would land on their side (Key hole). During the mid to late '80's Marlin ran a 'tune-up' program. Wrote them a letter explaining and they had me send it in. Barrel was worn out so they re-barreled it, re-blued the whole carbine, I've never taken it apart so I don't know if springs were replaced , if I'd look at the letter that came back with it , all that was done is listed. Seems those older barrels just didn't hold up well with jacketed bullets. Going from Ballard to Micro-Groove was supposed to be for jacketed bullets. Micro-Groove was first used in about '54. Not sure what twist was used on the earlier .30-30 but, I remember reading an artical some years back that said the 1-16 twist used on the .32 Win. Special models became a very irratic shooter with just a little wear. Such as it is with the 'older' model firearms. We tend to forget that some of the technology we take for granted really is new.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:03 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,421
Re: 1960 era Marlin 336 lever gun- shooter or safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Red View Post
I'll try to make this as short and sweet as I can. My grandfather passed down an old 30-30 Marlin that I took a few deer with as a kid. It was grossly inaccurate for me; which I always wrote off to the rifle's age, cheap optics, etc. Once I had the means, I purchased new deer guns and put this one in the safe.

Fast forward fifteen years and I like the nostalgia and handiness of having that little lever gun, particularly stalking hogs in the swamp on my hunting property.

So I cleaned the barrel up good, had some good sling mounts installed, slapped some decent glass on (Zeiss 3-9), and took her to the range. At fifty yards I was getting groups in excess of 12 inches, not even groups really, all over. I took the scope off and shot irons, then got the most perfect 'keyhole' I have ever witnessed.

The muzzle appears to be worn at the crown and almost smooth at spots; likely from years of steel rod muzzle cleaning (not by me) - which I ASSUME is the culprit.

I may let the 'smith look at it, but at this point I wonder if it should just go in the safe or throw money at it to make it possibly run - perhaps by counter boring the muzzle to get to some clean rifling, or just buy a new one.

Any comments?

----another viable option is I found factory new barrels for $48.
Find a smith that has a crowning tool that doesnt require barrel removal (Manson makes
one and I think PT&G does also)and have him cut about 1/8" off the barrel and re crown.
This should help and then use a crown saver with the cleaning rod.

Also try a box of the Hornady Leverevolution ammo in it . This is very good ammo and works
well on hogs and deer size game.

J E CUSTOM
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