1960 era Marlin 336 lever gun- shooter or safe?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Big_Red, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Big_Red

    Big_Red Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2010
    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: Sep 27, 2010
  2. ebd10

    ebd10 Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    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.
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2010
    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.
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    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.