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Thread: If Your 336 Jams, Read This Post



  1. #1
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    If Your 336 Jams, Read This Post

    Iíve consolidated a lot of the info found on the 336 and its jams on Marlin Owners into this post. The main focus of this post is letting two in (see bellow). I posted something similar (but not as exhaustive) to this in the Repairing Lever Actions & Single Shot Rifles section the other day. I thought Iíd consolidate all I learned here so 336 owners in need can better find it. If a moderator thinks this should also be posted in the repair section, I suppose we should move it.

    The original post can be found at: http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/i...c,67440.0.html

    If youíve been using your 336 as a two shooter because it lets two in, this post is likely to help you get back to 6 +1. There is a lot of good info in the other posts, especially the diagram of how the action works: http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/i...c,61441.0.html Although those posts greased the mental wheels that led me to the following solution, none of the other fixes offered were relevant to my particular jam. Iíll summarize them after the description of the jam.

    Let me describe the jamĖwhat it means to let two inĖthe carrier will let a second cartridge in rather than holding it ready in the magazine. Youíll see the base of the brass case sticking out of the magazine (usually, just a tiny bit), enough to catch the carrier and prevent the carrier from moving upward as it wants to do. The base of that jammed case will often be found butting against the top of the bullet in the cartridge the action intended to chamber. From the outside of the receiver, youíll notice that the lever gets stuck all the way open, and thereís no way to budge it. Not unless you push the stuck cartridge back into the magazine. Then the jamís released and the action will cycle until the next jam.

    Sometimes you need to turn the rifle upside down in order to gently shake the first cartridge, the one you wanted, into the top of the receiver so you can roll it out the ejection port. Then you can free the jam by pushing the stuck cartridge into the magazine. Be careful not to damage, scratch or burr your rifle when you push that cartridge back into the magazine to free the jam. A strong piece of plastic about the size of a jeweler's screwdriver strikes me as a good tool, if you have it. As soon as the stuck cartridge clears the carrier, the carrier will pop up and the jam will be relieved.

    If this jam describes your 336, you have a few choices to make. You can use your lever action as a two shooter, let it keep jamming or fix it. The following information ought to help you fix it.

    My 1968 336C is chambered for the .35 Remington. Itís my favorite rifle. I handload my cartridges with 220 grain Speer flat nose bullets that leave the muzzle at about 2,200 fps. I use those Speer bullets to stop elk, deer and antelope long enough for me to butcher them. The rifleís been a very reliable friend, keeping food on the table for my family of five. Although all thatís beside the point, I write it to say I love my rifle, and I couldnít stand leaving her as a two shooter.

    Hereís a summary of what other posts have taught me. Iíll follow this summary with how I fixed my 336.

    If you havenít done so yet, study these diagrams: http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/i...c,61441.0.html

    Conceptualizing whatís posted on the link above is more valuable than anything I have to say.

    First, youíll wonder if the ďMarlin JamĒ everyone talks about with their 1894s is relevant to your 336. Relevant, probably. But your fix is likely different. Youíll find lots of links to: http://marauder.homestead.com/files/marlin94fix.html Ėwhich will get you squared away if youíre missing material on your carrier due to wear from your finger lever. Which I doubt you are with a 336. Mineís a 1968. That leverís been well worked for 42 years without the loss of substantial material on the carrier. That doesnít mean your carrier isnít worn. It just strikes me as unlikely. Although, if you read my other post, youíll know I replaced the carrier before I figured out how to fix my rifle. And, as an aside, unlikely things do happen all the time.

    If youíre timid, youíre going to have to be brave and become more intimate with your rifle. Disassemble it. If that scares you, work through it. The 336 is about as simple and elegant as they come. Find a friend, a YouTube video, or the instructions on the internet. This ought to help; it's for an 1894: http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/i...c,28648.0.html If someone has a better link, you'll find it in the comments below. Disassemble it once, and youíll laugh at yourself for being intimidated by the 336.

    Clean the magazine tube, the magazine follower and the magazine spring. On one post, letting two in was attributed to the magazine spring being too short (maybe that and being too anemic), which I find bewildering, especially given what I eventually discovered to be the problem with my 336; nevertheless, while youíre looking at it, check your magazine spring. Iíve also read in other posts that crud is a major culprit for a lot of 336 jams. Check for burrs. Make sure the path of the cartridge from magazine to chamber is smooth and burr free.

    Go ahead and check the carrier screw. Clean it. Make sure itís not hanging things up. If you donít already do it on a regular basis, go ahead and clean all the parts of your 336. Look at them, too. Feel them. Get to know the rifle. Intimacy with your 336 will only aid you in all that you do with it.

    Another leading cause for jams on a 336, according to other posts Iíve read on here, is the loading gate. But from my experimentation (and recreation of that problem), that jam will be different than the one described above. And the fix is simple. Tighten the loading gate screw. But donít over tighten it; the threads are very small in diameter. I tighten all the screws after every time I clean my 336. They get loose on mine; sheís a storied rifle--and Iím happy to take care of her.

    It was often mentioned in other posts not to short cycle the lever. And donít be wimpy about it. A lever action likes decisive, quick movements. She likes you to know what youíre doing.

    I read all that, checked for all the things mentioned above, but my jam persisted. I studied the carrier and noticed that it seemed to do its job. The timing seemed right to me. I couldnít figure out how the carrier was getting off time with cartridges in the magazine, when the timing seemed fine when the magazine was empty. I would take the loading gate off and look through the gate and just watch the darn thing cycle flawlessly over and over again. It didnít make sense. I had been working on the problem for a while. Visualizing it. Creating and debunking hypotheses.

    I ruled out the magazine spring as the faulty part, as youíll read in my other post, becauseĖI thoughtĖitís job is to push the cartridge into the receiver. The carrierís job is to stop the next cartridge and hold it ready. Therefore, the problem had to be with the carrier. I was wrong. My inability to overcome that bias was the source of an embarrassingly long delay for the solution of my problem.

    (Update: 7-7-2010. Before you read how I fixed my rifle, you might want to jump down and read Tomray's posts, especially Reply #7. At least, read those posts before you touch your rifle. End of update.)

    (Update: 5-26-2011. Before you touch your rifle, read this update. The fix described below worked great, until Sunday. I cycled maybe 300 rounds through the rifle since I "fixed" the issue without a jam. Then at the range Sunday, my 336 let two in. [Whether or not this incident may be related is beyond me, but I'll mention it in the event that someone later makes a connection. The rear band screw broke on my 336 during this time. It was broken while the action was letting two in, but I didn't yet notice the broken screw. Once I did, I stopped shooting.] Knowing full well that Tomray's advice offered below is a superior fix to my own, I got home and disassembled the 336 down to the last spring and screw, cleaned it, oiled it, ordered a new rear band screw and a new magazine spring. Then I put my carrier in a vise and bent it a little, per Tomray's advice, and reassembled the beloved rifle. I've cycled 100 rounds since Sunday without a jam. End of update.)

    I took a shower after a frustrating hour disassembling and reassembling my beloved 336. The jamming usually occurred when the magazine was full, when the magazine spring was under near maximum tension. I was thinking about that magazine spring. I pictured it all coiled up in the magazine, all that tension. I pictured the rounded head of the carrier and realized the spring could overwhelm it. Although the timing of the carrier might be correct, enough pressure could force the carrier back down, in which case a second cartridge would be let out of the magazine tube.

    I didnít want to ruin a perfectly good magazine spring so I tested my new hypothesis by loading an empty brass case into the front of the magazine tube. I thought this would increase the pressure on the carrier. It seemed to; it made the jamming worse. Unable to leave well enough alone, I put a second brass case into the front of the magazine tube then loaded two cartridges through the loading gate. The action could barely operate. It jammed every time.

    I felt comfortable assuming the pressure was overwhelming the carrier and finger lever assembly and felt ready to risk a perfectly good part and clipped a coil (one circumference) from the magazine spring then put the magazine back together and tested the action. I clipped one coil at a time, reassembling the magazine and testing the action. By the time I cut 5 coils, I could feel a real difference in the cycling of the action. At 7 coils, the jamming stopped.

    I felt a burden slip off my shoulders. I felt lighter. I laughed out loud.

    Using powderless loads with seated bullets and spent primers, I cycled 12 full magazines, 72 rounds, without incident. During the last two magazines I tried to make it jam. Slowing down for that crucial last centimeter, trying to get an extra cartridge to pop out. The carrier held them in place and did itís job.

    In summary, to fix a jamming 336:

    1. Make sure youíre decisive in the way you operate the lever and fully cycle it
    2. Make sure you tighten the loading gate screw
    (3-7 focus on the problem of letting two in)
    3. Clean the rifle and all of its parts, including the magazine tube, spring and follower
    4. Check for burrs along the cartridgeís path from magazine to chamber
    5. Check for wear on the carrier and finger lever where they rub together
    6. Check to see if the carrier needs to be bent up (See Tomray's post below)
    7. If all else fails, visualize the problem while in the shower

    Certainly, I didnít cover it all. Go ahead and point out my short comings because the next guy, or gal, is going to need to know what I left out.

  2. #2
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    Re: If Your 336 Jams, Read This Post

    Lever101,

    Interesting post...........Not sure it will work for others, but it DID work for you........ That's Good........

    Carrier timing is a function of the dimensional relationship of 4 parts......the Lever,Carrier, Carrier Rocker and the Trigger Guard plate..........

    That said,..... The Carrier is usually bent up or down to meet gages, in the assembly process to create the proper timing conditions. As you stated, wear on these components can be a problem later in the life of the parts.........I suspect that is what occurred in your rifle, as it must have worked correctly initially.

    Not having seen your rifle, I can't comment further...........

    I need to caution others that clipping the Mag Tube Spring as a "correction" for jamming can lead to another problem called "Last Load Carrier Support". .......

    This condition can be present when the Mag tube is empty and the last cartridge is on the carrier,and the lever raises the carrier to load. The elevated carrier is then held in that raised loading position by the follower and Mag Spring. If the follower doesn't have the required force needed, the carrier will fall prematurely, creating a jam.

    This condition is easy to create and study.......just remove the Mag tube Spring and follower, and then cycle the rifle.............If you still don't see it, drop a loaded round on to the carrier and slowly cycle the rifle, (but do this in a safe place) you'll see the carrier fall prematurely.

    In any case, I'm glad your rifle is working again.

    Tom
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  3. #3
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    Re: If Your 336 Jams, Read This Post

    I was hoping knowledgeable people would follow up my post the way you have, Tom. It would be nice to try and create a one-stop shop for the jamming 336. Consolidate all our experience and knowledge into one thread so a person could read it then make an informed decision for themselves.

    Anyone with a rifle letting two in ought to know that I considered clipping the magazine spring as a last resort. As a matter of fact, it took me way too long to be wiling to do it. And I was ready to curse myself if shortening the spring created other problems then get online and order a new spring. Apart from consolidating the great information present on Marlin Owners about 336 jams, the important thing about my post--I think--is this: no one else I read suggested pressure from the spring to be the source of the problem. There were suggestions to replace the magazine spring, but no recommendations, that I can remember, to pay attention to the pressure the spring exerts on the carrier through the follower and loaded cartridges.

    All that being said, it would be great to hear from others who have fixed a jamming 336. To have a good place to send people looking for solutions to their unique problem.

  4. #4
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    Re: If Your 336 Jams, Read This Post

    I too am having the same problem of letting two in on my 336 C 35 Rem and it is only 8 or 9 years old. I bought it two years ago with a cycling problem. It would jam up in the open position so a feeding problem wasn't evident at the time. I fixed the initial problem which was a broken rocker on the carrier. Since the feeding issue happened I have replaced the whole carrier and tried a new lever (a stainless one from a 336 XLR) but still the "Marlin Jam" occurs. The follower has been replaced and still two enter into the receiver. I have read the posts about about fixing the carrier by JB Welding a piece of metal to bottom (I think this is for the 1894 only though) and bending the front of the carrier up to get back into time. I have considered clipping the spring also only because I am a little hesitant about bending the carrier. My third option was sending it to a gunsmith but I don't believe many local smith are very familiar with Marlins. Your post here lever101 has got me to rethink about clipping the spring only because it is the less of a cost to replace the spring than the carrier. I personally don't have a problem only putting two rounds in the rifle cause it is only one less than what I am use to.

    Sorry for babbling here I just want to say I found your post and Tomray's reply very helpful for which they both have got me rethinking on what to do with my rifle.
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    Re: If Your 336 Jams, Read This Post

    There was a case of a fella not too long ago whose lever kept popping open but only when the tube was fully loaded. He tried the usual lever plunger tricks to no avail. He clipped a tiny bit off the tube spring and the problem stopped. Seems for whatever reason the spring was just placing a tad too much pressure on things when fully compressed.

    Glad those pics helped. Leverdude spent many a PM helping me learn and understand the carrier/lever relationship. It is so simple in it's design it can actually be a little difficult to understand until it finally dons on you what is happening.

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    Re: If Your 336 Jams, Read This Post

    Since you asked again...............

    The Mag spring has NOTHING to do with your jamming problem.......you may have compromised the rifle in other ways by cutting the 7 coils ..........

    The Problem in your rifle is the relationship of the cam surface on the lever to the cam surface on your carrier.
    Your carrier is sitting too LOW in the receiver, and needs to be bent UP just a small amount.........approx .020-.030..........................

    With a Loaded Magazine.........As soon as you begin to open the lever, the cartridge shifts from resting on the front of the loading spring, to being controlled by the lever............
    The front of the carrier at this point is too LOW, and allows a 2nd cartridge to begin to enter the receiver.

    BEND THE CARRIER UP .020-.030 AND THAT WILL MOST LIKELY SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM...........
    I say most likely 'cause I haven't examined your rifle and this is the BEST I can do from here..............

    If we had your rifle in Gun service, it would have been corrected in less time than it took me to type this.

    Try it......................

    Tom
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    Re: If Your 336 Jams, Read This Post

    I had to go back and really read that original post after seeing Tom's latest reply.

    Seven coils is a lot to cut off the spring! As he and others have said, you're only masking the real problem. I can't imagine a spring being that over sized making it out of the factory.

    Listen to Tom.

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    Re: If Your 336 Jams, Read This Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomray
    Since you asked again...............

    The Mag spring has NOTHING to do with your jamming problem.......you may have compromised the rifle in other ways by cutting the 7 coils ..........

    The Problem in your rifle is the relationship of the cam surface on the lever to the cam surface on your carrier.
    Your carrier is sitting too LOW in the receiver, and needs to be bent UP just a small amount.........approx .020-.030..........................

    With a Loaded Magazine.........As soon as you begin to open the lever, the cartridge shifts from resting on the front of the loading spring, to being controlled by the lever............
    The front of the carrier at this point is too LOW, and allows a 2nd cartridge to begin to enter the receiver.

    BEND THE CARRIER UP .020-.030 AND THAT WILL MOST LIKELY SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM...........
    I say most likely 'cause I haven't examined your rifle and this is the BEST I can do from here..............

    If we had your rifle in Gun service, it would have been corrected in less time than it took me to type this.

    Try it......................

    Tom
    Thanks, Tom, for taking the time to get to the root of the matter. I really appreciate the expert advise available here.

    By the way, I modified the original post to direct people to Tomray's Reply #7 before they touch their rifles.

    One more question to help the next guy:

    Apart from the jam, letting two in, the most observable symptom of the problem for me was the relationship between the carrier and the magazine spring: a fully loaded magazine jammed more often. If the next guy's jam is made worse by a fully loaded magazine, can he assume that his carrier needs to be bent up as described above? Or are there too many variables at play to make such an assumption?

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    Re: If Your 336 Jams, Read This Post

    So this incremental height difference prevents/detains the round in the tube from trying to occupy space on the carrier w/ the round that is there?
    In sequence: Fire, as the bolt moves back and ejects, the carrier lifts a new round into position to allows the bolt to run it into the chamber. As this is occurring, the carrier is blocking the tube in the mag w/ the lower tang on the bottom of the carrier. As the new round is chambered, the carrier drops and clears the path for a new round from the mag tube to be pushed onto the carrier.
    This is the critical point..as I do not understand how the carrier can lower enough to allow a round to be pushed onto it...and preventing the next round from trying to load onto the carrier as well.
    How is this accomplished and how would a height change stop the jam?
    The carrier must drop low enough to allow one round onto the carrier, how is the second stopped.. as at some point there should be a clear route for the entire tube to "want" to rush the carrier?
    cw
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    Re: If Your 336 Jams, Read This Post

    Quote Originally Posted by seaweaver
    So this incremental height difference prevents/detains the round in the tube from trying to occupy space on the carrier w/ the round that is there?
    In sequence: Fire, as the bolt moves back and ejects, the carrier lifts a new round into position to allows the bolt to run it into the chamber. As this is occurring, the carrier is blocking the tube in the mag w/ the lower tang on the bottom of the carrier. As the new round is chambered, the carrier drops and clears the path for a new round from the mag tube to be pushed onto the carrier.
    This is the critical point..as I do not understand how the carrier can lower enough to allow a round to be pushed onto it...and preventing the next round from trying to load onto the carrier as well.
    How is this accomplished and how would a height change stop the jam?
    The carrier must drop low enough to allow one round onto the carrier, how is the second stopped.. as at some point there should be a clear route for the entire tube to "want" to rush the carrier?
    cw
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