Greetings to all from Central FL! I've recently came into possession of my first lever action and naturally it had to be a Marlin 336w chambered in 30-30!
I can't keep it out of my hands and my wife is going nuts with all the lever cycling...but I'm told this is a common side effect of lever gun ownership. I got her some ear plugs and all is now well (JK).
I love the gun and recently took it target shooting. That said, I've got some questions and I would like to say that I'm only asking these questions after having done an extensive search on the forum and online.
#1. Can anyone point me to a guide on how to smooth out the lever action (Its already good, but I like to polish
#2.Does anyone have any experience/ recommendations for a reasonably priced cheek and butt pad that can help reduce felt recoil? I've got relatively little experience with long guns (Up till now, my ownership has been mainly pistols) and I am looking to minimize the felt recoil. I came away with a bit of a bruise on my cheek and a decidedly sore shoulder. (I like the look of the leather wrapped rigs but, funds aren't plentiful right now so I would be grateful for any budget minded suggestions).
#3. I would like to utilize a scope and again am looking for the budget minded suggestions. (I.e. scopes that are less than $50). I bought the gun for obvious political reasons and the simple fact that I get the "buyagun" itch every 8 months or so. Its a target shooter and but I am not worried about reaching out past 100 yds.
I will close by saying that I have frequented a lot of forums (Gun and otherwise) and run a firearm related (airsoft) review website of my own.
I have seen a reasonably diverse cross section of the online forum community and I've got to say that I am impressed with the cordial and respectful atmosphere that is Marlinowners.com. I've seen boards where everyone is an online "killa" and ready to pounce on the new members. Here it appears that the goal of the forum is information and respect which I value.
I am pleased to have registered and grateful for any input anyone is kind enough to provide.
Question #1, I can't really address, I know there are some compounds you can use to slick things up, but I'd use them sparingly in my estimation.
Question #2. A 30-30 has very little felt recoil. It's a mild shooting gun that shouldn't need recoil pads. Shoot it a few times, I think you'll see that there isn't a lot of felt recoil. It's around 10 ft/lbs.
Question #3. I wouldn't buy a scope under $50. There are some pretty good low priced scopes, but they are approaching the $100 range. I like the Simmons ProHunter series, and have them in 2-7 X 32 on my 3 Marlins. They ran me around $85 on sale. You can find them on-line at various places.
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I used toothpaste with baking soda in it to smooth out a Stoeger coach gun for cowboy shooting. I used it where you break the shotgun apart so I could open it quicker to remove shells.
I'm going to do it to my 1894 sometime soon.
I just squeezed some of the toothpaste around the parts and worked it back and forth a couple hundred times. Brushes right off with a toothbrush and a little water.
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1. http://thefergusons.us/336tex/Slickmarlin.htm By Jonah aka Lionel Roach very good.
2. A slip on recoil Pad
3. Nikon 2x7 is the least expensive scope I'd choose, otherwise I would use iron sights
"...for the budget minded suggestions. (I.e. scopes that are less than $50). "
Fully agree with Loco; use irons and save your pennies until you can get a decent scope. Get a Nikon, Leupold or Bushell 3200 from Walmart, $125 - $150 range will work. And get a low power range, a 2-7x32 is right for a lever gun. Don't get the "see-though" rings that force you to hold your head up like an alerted turkey to aim, use a low mounted scope you can trust and you won't need to stretch your neck (doing that WILL make the felt recoil worse!).
There are NO scopes sold in $50 blister packs that are worth using. The optics are usually ok, they just don't last long before the zero starts walking! Irons you can trust, inexpensive scopes you can't.
Felt recoil in a 30-30 is quite mild IF you hold the rifle correctly! Pull it into your shoulder tight, plant your cheek firmly. Most newbies avoid doing that so they get hit harder!
You being into pistol shooting I'll guess that you are a handloader, if not then you just purchased a reason to get into it. Lot of us shoot 110gn round nose made for the M1 carbine in our 30-30s with pistol powder. I have used, H110, W296 and 2400. The recoil and accuracy is excellent.
Now to the smoothing up, the link that goes to the article by Jonah is a good one.
You have done good cycling the lever. Polish all spots you see that have wear marks on them.
I have used Jonahs tips and they are excellent. Me I like to take Marlins apart when I get them and smooth them up from one end to the other. I go beyond with mine when polishing, to include the bearing surfaces of all screws that hold movable parts, like the lever screw, lifter screw, hammer screw, trigger pin. Other areas I polish, front of the lifter where it contacts the next round in the magazine. The inside of the mag tube and the follower. I do polish the bolt lockup but be careful not to go overboard on this it affects your headspace. I polish the rod that the mainspring rides on, and the hole it goes through in the retainer. My personal choice for a paste polish is in stages, I go to valve grinding compound two grits, then for final I use Pearl Drops tooth polish. It all helps. So if it moves, polish it.
Next stage is to do a trigger job, here is where your expierience dictates what you do.
Options, go to a smith and have him do it. Next Wild West Guns Happy Trigger. Next do it yourself.
Good luck you are firmly on your way to Marlinitus. PS Get the wife a set of them cordless headphones for the TV, then cycle away.
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I use recoil pads on all my guns for recoil but more importantly slip control. I use Kickeeze pads, they are soft but last and look really good. On my 336 I put a dark brown 3/8" Kickeeze on and it looks great on the refinished walnut stock(oil finish). I do the samething for polishing as the other posts here. I use a Lyman Peep sight with fiber optic front for my old eyes. works great out to 150 yds. Have fun.
Well now, Konrad, welcome from NE Florida.
The tips you got on polishing are good ones.
As for recoil, with practice, and good form, hold tight to your shoulder and use a firm cheek weld when firing, you'll find the recoil is not at all punishing.
As for cheap scopes, I agree that you don't want to use a real cheap one, but Bushnell makes some that are relatively inexpensive and will hold you until you can afford something better. Check web sites for mail order outfits. Sometimes you will find something decent on sale or, perhaps, a refurbished scope. Natchez Shooter's Supply often has scopes like this for sale at quite a reduction from the regular price. By all means, avoid those see-through mounts. Trust me, they aren't any good. I would recommend a Weaver type base with Weaver Quad-Loc rings. You won't be sorry with a setup like that.
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Scopes. Nothing under about $100. I've read lots of good reports of the lower power Bushnell Banner I think in the 1.5x4.5 power. I have gotten two Nikon 2x7x33 prostaff "shotgun" scopes and love it. Get no higher than medium rings.
For your sore cheek. You probably don't have a solid "cheek weld". you want to be able to have a firm and consistent position of your cheek against the top of the butt stock. If you have to lift your head to see the sights of see thru the scope, you will want to raise the comb. I had to do this for my daughter. I got a neoprene sock that you put over the butt stock and then the kit had various thicknesses of foam to insert (stuff) under the neoprene. This I got at Gander Mountain for like $20. It was by the recoil pads.
Felt recoil. Tight against the shoulder. Also I've read that if you have the hard plastic but plate that the recoil can be harsh. The 336 "C" model and others have a thin rubber "pad". It isn't much but reports are that it is pretty dramatic compared to the hard plastic but plate. You can get various recoil pads and grind to fit pads. I got the pachmayer (spelling??) F 325 I believe for my daughter. It was 1" thick. I cut the stock down 1.25" to shorten the length of pull a bit for her. This may or may not be an issue for you. I will tell you I had to grind one heck of a lot of pad away because of that shortening of the stock. A slide on recoil pad may be an option. Also I have heard good reports on the sling type recoil pads. This is where you put on a pad onto your shoulder and not the gun. Practical for the range but I'd guess not so for in the field. But when shooting at game, you won't feel no stinken recoil!!
Just my 2 cents!
You must see what you shoot...or you might shoot what you don't see!