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Author Topic: Marlin 336 questions  (Read 8662 times)

First Shirt

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Marlin 336 questions
« on: January 07, 2017, 11:09:28 PM »
Seem to have acquired a new Minion, and while she has some firearms experience, she's much more comfortable with a lever-action rifle.  So, I've got a Marlin 336Y on layaway at the local House of Hock.  Really want to make it the most practical utility rifle that it can be, so I need ideas.

Good iron sights.
A scout scope, since she doesn't have much experience with optics.
Good sling, and ammo cuff.
Good recoil pad.
Go through it and clean up the internals.
Set of Marlin screwdrivers from Brownells.
(Thought about having the chamber cut for the 30-30 Ackley Improved. Good idea, or not?)

What have I forgotten?  Don't have much experience with lever guns, the last time I hunted with one was when Nixon was president.

Any ideas, suggestions, advice will be gratefully accepted!

Thanks
Alabama"Stand your ground!  Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"  Capt. John Parker

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    cpaspr

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #1 on: January 08, 2017, 02:46:47 AM »
    Seem to have acquired a new Minion,

    That sounds like an interesting story. 

    Quote
    and while she has some firearms experience, she's much more comfortable with a lever-action rifle. 

    Nothing wrong with that.  Many of us started hunting with a lever gun.

    Quote
    So, I've got a Marlin 336Y on layaway at the local House of Hock.

    Good for you!  (and her)  You're a generous grandfather.

    Quote
    Really want to make it the most practical utility rifle that it can be, so I need ideas.

    Good iron sights.
    A scout scope, since she doesn't have much experience with optics.

    Does she NEED or WANT optics?  I'm extremely visually challenged (uncorrected 20/600+ in the left eye, 20/1000+ in the right (dominant) eye, with astigmatisms).  I use scopes.  But not on my Winchester 94, nor my M1 Carbine.  For their intended ranges, I don't want nor need a scope.

    Quote
    Good sling, and ammo cuff.
    Good recoil pad.
    Go through it and clean up the internals.
    Set of Marlin screwdrivers from Brownells.

    Brownells has Marlin specific screwdrivers?  I would think a good set of gunsmith screwdrivers that I assumed you already had would work just fine.

    Quote
    (Thought about having the chamber cut for the 30-30 Ackley Improved. Good idea, or not?)

    What have I forgotten?  Don't have much experience with lever guns, the last time I hunted with one was when Nixon was president.

    Any ideas, suggestions, advice will be gratefully accepted!

    Thanks
    Oregon

    coelacanth

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #2 on: January 08, 2017, 03:54:16 PM »
    1)  Congrats on the new minion. 
     2)  Being good with a lever gun is a definite plus. 
     3) 336 Y is not a bad choice at all. 
      4) A good, receiver mounted aperture sight is hard to beat - especially if you ditch the front sight hood.  Can''t remember if the "Y" comes with one but Marlin is famous for that particularly useless accessory.  Young folks generally have the keen eyesight to really make the peep sight work well. 
     5)  A new Marlin might benefit from some smoothing and polishing if you are so inclined but a good dose of SLIPSTREAM STYX and just working the action until it smooths up a bit is not a bad alternative to crocus cloth and elbow grease. 
     6)  A good recoil pad is a bonus as long as it doesn't negatively affect the length of pull and mounting the rifle correctly.  Slings are more important on a heavy rifle that is going to be carried for miles of hiking/stalking than on a fast handling lever gun.  Let the shooter make the call on that one.  Ammo cuff?  Meh.  Not a big deal - once again let the shooter make the call.  I prefer a wrist cuff to a stock mounted one but that's just me.
     7)  No real advantage to be gained with the Ackley Improved version that isn't lost with the shorter barreled gun IMO. 
    Arizona"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness.  Bad manners.  Lack of consideration for others in minor matters.  A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot."
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    scarville

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 07:46:07 PM »
    I like the XS sights on a lever action.  Skinner also make a really good peep sight.  I use both and I just refer the XS. -- YMMV

    If you want to get a scout scope, I can recommend either the 2.5x28 or 1.5-4x28 from Leupold.  If they are too expensive, I've heard good thing about (but have never used) the Leatherwood 2-7x32.

    I have lever guns with an XS scout rail and others with the Weaver scout rail an I think the Weaver is a little better.  Which surprised me a little.

    For a sling I generally use a basic nylon sling on most of my rifles.  If you want something a little more special look at the Rhodesian sling from Andy Langlois.  I have one on a BLR and it works remarkably well.

    I've never really found a butt cuff I like. If you find one that works well let me know. :)
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    First Shirt

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #4 on: January 09, 2017, 08:12:14 AM »
    Got a Burris 2 3/4X LER scope stashed around here somewhere, and if I can remember where I put it, it will be going on the Marlin, as soon as I rescue it from durance vile, and decide on a Weaver or XS base.  (The main advantage of the Burris is the adjustable eyepiece, and it makes it easier to focus the scope.)   It has been suggested that since I'm going to be handloading for it anyway (my Minions have fired very few factory rounds through their rifles) that I get some 160 gr. FTX bullets from Hornady, and some LeveRevolution powder, and find a good load with that combo, which saves the wear, tear and aggravation of the whole AI process.  Looking at the Hodgdon's reloading data, it comes pretty close to the AI already.

    I think that every rifle that we have has a Rhodesian sling on it; I'd rather go afield without my boots than without one of Andy's slings.  (The Minions don't know any better, that's all they've ever used.) And the blind box mag rifles all have ammo cuffs from the same source.  I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't pay more than you have to, but you should pay as much as you need to, to get what you want.

    Other than docking the stock and adding a recoil pad, none of the mods are permanent, and will be pretty easy to remove, if she decides that she doesn't like them.

    Thanks for the advice, you've helped a lot, and I appreciate it.
    Alabama"Stand your ground!  Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"  Capt. John Parker

    GeorgeHill

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 10:47:17 AM »
    XS Sights are the single best upgrade you can do to the Marlin.  Really that's all you NEED.  Because the stock Buckhorn sights are just terrible.   
    Cleaning up the internals - That's going to happen naturally over time.  But it is much nicer to go ahead and polish up the bolt and lever mechanicals.
    Ackley Improved - no.  Don't bother.  If you a reloader, the Superformance powders are going to be your biggest advantage. 
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    RMc

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #6 on: January 09, 2017, 06:03:12 PM »
    Thoughts:

    - One occasional problem with the Scout Scope concept is generally only of concern to hunters using elevated stands or shooting downhill - sky reflection when light hits the ocular lens from a shallow angle.

    - If the back of the scout scope tube is mounted back over the front of the receiver, it negates the advantage of easy one hand carry.

    - Skinner Express sights mount are a low rise option:
       http://www.skinnersights.com/express_sights_15.html
    Alabama

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #7 on: January 10, 2017, 08:00:38 AM »
    I think, depending on how The Minion feels about all the additions, that I'm basically trying to turn it into a lever-action sorta-scout, with as many of the attributes of a scout rifle as I can incorporate.  And everything but trimming the stock and adding a recoil pad is removable, if it doesn't work out for her.  It's going to be her only rifle for a while, I'd like for it to be able to cover as much territory as possible.
    Alabama"Stand your ground!  Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"  Capt. John Parker

    GeorgeHill

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #8 on: January 10, 2017, 11:03:18 AM »
     :hmm
    Are you sure this is for Her?
     ;)
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    MTK20

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #9 on: January 10, 2017, 01:33:53 PM »
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #10 on: January 10, 2017, 02:34:41 PM »
    Well, she's gonna wind up with it, at any rate.  It's kinda tough to solicit input on a project that supposed to be a surprise, so I'm going at it based on what I'd do if I was doing for myself.  Like I said, everything but LOP and recoil pad is reversible.
    Alabama"Stand your ground!  Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"  Capt. John Parker

    RMc

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #11 on: January 10, 2017, 03:50:05 PM »
    I think, depending on how The Minion feels about all the additions, that I'm basically trying to turn it into a lever-action sorta-scout, with as many of the attributes of a scout rifle as I can incorporate.  And everything but trimming the stock and adding a recoil pad is removable, if it doesn't work out for her.  It's going to be her only rifle for a while, I'd like for it to be able to cover as much territory as possible.

    The 336Y already has a short 12 inch length of pull.
    Alabama

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #12 on: January 10, 2017, 05:26:08 PM »
    But the one I've got on layaway doesn't have a recoil pad, so that's getting installed.  Will still have a 12-inch LOP, with the addition of a one-inch pad.
    Alabama"Stand your ground!  Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"  Capt. John Parker

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #13 on: February 17, 2017, 06:19:03 PM »
    Is there a good way (or a least bad way) to deal with that misbegotten cross-bolt safety?  I mean, really?  It appears to have been designed by a committee composed of American lawyers and Russian engineers, and is about the dumbest idea since the steam-powered stapler.

    Please, someone, tell me that there's a way to unscrew that pooch!
    Alabama"Stand your ground!  Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"  Capt. John Parker

    GeorgeHill

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #14 on: February 17, 2017, 07:25:28 PM »
    You can remove it and install a plug that fills the hole.  Brownells, I think has it.   
    OR
    As in all other things here at WTA, send it to Jesse and he'll sort it out.
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    RMc

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #15 on: February 17, 2017, 07:31:38 PM »
    Or for the do it yourself type here are two options:

    http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/52

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    tokugawa

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #17 on: February 17, 2017, 10:36:35 PM »
    How recoil and blast sensitive is she?  A 30-30 out of a 16 inch barrel sounds a bit rough, reloading could ease a lot of that though.

     I have a Burris 2x7 scout scope on a 18" .357 1894.  Not really sure about it- nice to have a scope, but it is a short range rifle and it does mess up the super easy handling qualities- been thinking about putting a little reflex red dot type on it, like a burris fast fire or leopold deltapoint. At the ranges the typical lever gun gets used at, I am not sure it would make any difference in accuracy.

     I don't know much about slings, never really used one except on my Garand.  What is the advantage of the  one mentioned? It looks like a lot of excess material flopping around to get hung up in brush. Or am I missing something? 
     

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #18 on: February 18, 2017, 08:28:49 PM »
    She's had some shooting experience, and since I didn't get the youth model (my cousin is such a soft touch!) I'm picking up a 336W on Thursday.  An honest 20-inch barrel (YAY!) and a 13-inch LOP (BOO!) but $50 less than the youth model, and cousin is eating the sales tax.

    Ordinarily, I'm not a fan of scopes on leverguns, but ours are all pistol caliber carbines, and a scope would be kinda silly, given the effective range of the rounds in question (.357 Mag, and .45 Colt).  But the combination of FTX bullets (I've got 400 en route) and Hodgdon's LVR powder (I think 3 lbs. should be enough) stretch the capabilities of the .30-30 enough that a 2 3/4X Burris is worth the aggravation, I think. And it will have GOOD iron sights, with a Williams ghost ring rear, and red fiber optic thingie on the front. (I'm a very belt-and-suspenders sort of person.)

    The sling is the easy part.  Once you get it adjusted, and trim off the excess length, it's as handy as pockets on a shirt.  Takes no time at all to get slung up into shooting position, helps tremendously in steadying the rifle for a shot under field conditions, and makes a pretty fair carry strap to boot!  I, and all three of the bolt-gun Minions run those slings on our hunting rifles, and I think you'd have a real fight on your hands if you tried to send us afield without them!

    As I said, I'm setting this rifle up the way I would set it up for myself, and most of the odd stuff is easily un-doable.
    Alabama"Stand your ground!  Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"  Capt. John Parker

    coelacanth

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #19 on: February 18, 2017, 09:51:32 PM »
    Sounds like a good starting point.  The minion in question will, no doubt, develop personal preferences based upon experience but those can be dealt with at the time, no?  I agree with you that the crossbolt safety is roughly on par with teats on a boar hog but there is the simple option of actually not using the damned thing.   :hmm   You can point to it and confidently state that but for lawyers this gun would be unmarred by the ugly protuberance.  Completely safe for anyone trained in its manual of arms and still unsafe for the average garden variety idiot with zero firearms knowledge or experience. 
    Arizona"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness.  Bad manners.  Lack of consideration for others in minor matters.  A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot."
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    tokugawa

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #20 on: February 19, 2017, 04:19:20 PM »
    Mostly, I agree about the cross bolt safety- but I do like it when unloading a full tube rounds - unless someone can educate me on a way to do this without having to run them through the chamber on the way out the side door?

     

    RMc

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #21 on: February 19, 2017, 07:08:31 PM »
    Mostly, I agree about the cross bolt safety- but I do like it when unloading a full tube rounds - unless someone can educate me on a way to do this without having to run them through the chamber on the way out the side door?

    People have been unloading lever guns by cycling the cartridges through the action since the introduction of the Winchester 1866 without having a hammer block safety.  The same was also true of most blind magazine bolt guns since the 1880s.  The 1980s saw the introduction of lever gun hammer blocks and bolt actions that could be cycled with the safety on - even rifles with swing open floorplates.

    Alabama

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #22 on: February 19, 2017, 09:00:23 PM »
    Mostly, I agree about the cross bolt safety- but I do like it when unloading a full tube rounds - unless someone can educate me on a way to do this without having to run them through the chamber on the way out the side door?

    A friend on another forum sent me this


    Didn't know that!  Well, grandpa always said that a day that you learn something new is not wasted.  Now, just have to get the rifle here, and see if I can learn the trick well enough to teach it!
    Alabama"Stand your ground!  Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"  Capt. John Parker

    coelacanth

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #23 on: February 19, 2017, 09:15:28 PM »
    It helps to hit the loading gate pivot and the spring with some SLIPSTREAM but yeah, we've been doing that for years.   :hmm
    Arizona"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness.  Bad manners.  Lack of consideration for others in minor matters.  A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot."
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    tokugawa

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    Re: Marlin 336 questions
    « Reply #24 on: February 20, 2017, 01:04:08 AM »
    Thanks- I will try that- that is how I unload my 870, essentially-by pushing up the follower- then the shells need a slight wiggle and they pop right out.

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