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Thread: Vaunted "older" Marlin quality



  1. #21
    Sidewinder
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaJon View Post
    No - from a rancher here in Austin.
    I can see the parts inside being somewhat "sloppy" but those marks are more gouges and indicate poor tooling.
    I'm especially unimpressed with the end of the muzzle what kind of cutter leaves grooves like that? Then there's the question of finish on an external surface after it has supposedly been machined - crowned.
    There is no agument on the crown, that finish is terrible and should have never left North Haven that way. Seeing that the rifle is used, could that be the result of the previous owner trying to re-crown the barrel himself?

    In regards to the "gouges" on the finger lever & carrier....... On the lever, if you are referring to the marks on the side running perpendicular to the top of the lever's tang (the part that goes into the bolt) those are file marks. When the lever forging is milled to form the top (or side profile) there is a HUGE burr that must be removed with a file before the next milling operation. A rough cut file is used (I believe it was a "00" pillar) to remove that burr with the minimum amout of strokes (got to watch for repetitive motion injuries), and I believe that is what you are seeing there. Trust me, work-hardened forged 4140 steel is not easy to file! The sides of the finger lever are ground on a blanchard grinder, not machined, so there is no possible way for there to be machining marks on that side of the lever tang.

    As far as the carrier, I do see chatter on the rear tang (where the pivot hole is). The side of the carrier is cut in one pass with a "gang mill" cutter set on a horizontal milling machine (Brown & Sharp #12) and the carrier is extremely hard to hold. The thin end of the carrier is only .137" thick, there really is not much to hold onto when milling the side and sometimes "chatter happens". That chatter will not affect the performance of the carrier.

    The rest of the marks I see on the carrier are what I believe to be file marks, simular to what I explained on the finger lever.

    I hope this helps.

    Dom
    XL-7 30-06 Serial # XL700002
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    Marlin Firearms Co. Employee 8/4/1986 - 2/15/2011

  2. #22
    Certified Gunnut
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    Excellent explanations sir. Yeah I used to knock off stuff with a file after the heat treating and before final milling when I was making parts. Most of my machine work was from when I was designing a one-off machine or proof-of-concept. I learned OJT under some crusty ol coots who could do that stuff with their eyes closed.
    I don't have much of an issue with the external fit & finish except that barrel. I wa just surprised at the rough spots inside - some of them on sliding surfaces which I why I eyeballed them and stoned a few surfaces.
    I fell in love with the first Marlin I held - the rifle I handled immediately before it was a Winchester. I could immediately see the advantage of a side eject and the Winchester had horrible fit and finish - this was 1974 - and the wood looked plastic, the lever rattled when you shook the rifle and it was apparent from just handling the Marlin was a product of superior workmanship. I think that long-ago glow is the reason I was a little disappointed in the interior finish.
    The important thing is the gun shoots as well as I think it should and feels solid.
    Thanks!
    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
    Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."
    -- Ayn Rand

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    ...those are file marks. When the lever forging is milled to form the top (or side profile) there is a HUGE burr that must be removed with a file before the next milling operation. A rough cut file is used (I believe it was a "00" pillar) to remove that burr with the minimum amout of strokes (got to watch for repetitive motion injuries), and I believe that is what you are seeing there. Trust me, work-hardened forged 4140 steel is not easy to file! The sides of the finger lever are ground on a blanchard grinder, not machined, so there is no possible way for there to be machining marks on that side of the lever tang.
    Dom
    Sir - I for one would be grateful if you and maybe some of your fellow Marlin craftsmen would detail how our rifles were made. My wife thinks it's funny the immense pleasure I get from shooting and then cleaning my guns. I try explaining to her it's a relationship where I handle all the parts, clean them, fiddle/tune - generally treat the old girl as best as I know how. Being able to hold a part and visualize how you guys made it, why it was made the way it was, then how she was assembled would be icing on the cake. I think I'm not the only one here that would like that.
    Thanks!
    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
    Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."
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  4. #24
    Gun Wizard
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    So, how does it shoot?

  5. #25
    Wrangler
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    It all comes down to a company producing a product at a price that their largest targeted group of customers can afford and will buy. Marlin just like any good company concentrated on the important interacting parts and surfaces and saved on production costs on the unimportant areas. If every part and surface was perfect, instead of a gun in the hundreds of dollars, you would have a gun in the thousands of dollars. Think of it in terms of a polished stainless gun to a mirror finish, sure looks nice polished up but does nothing for the actual function. But all those extra hours of polishing sure runs the cost up. Same with that barrel end, tooling marks look bad but the only important thing is the last small edge of the lands and grooves that a bullet has contact with last. If they are clean, smooth, square and concentric then all the other tooling marks mean nothing. Still amazes me ANY American company can produce their products at the prices they do with the endless red tape of govt. rules and regulations along with ENDLESS taxes or impact fees at nearly every production step. Add to that the liability risks of endless law suits, a full army of lawyers and regulation compliance personal to keep the wolves from bankrupting the company and it’s a wonder that marlins don’t cost 5000 dollars.
    Badpe48 likes this.

  6. #26
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    BubbaJon - I hear what you said back in your first post. It's easy to get so riled up about the Remington takeover that we forget the older Marlins had problems too. I raised that issue in a post some time back and doggone near got thumped for it!

    Things I noticed on my pre-Remington Marlins were stuff like (gasp) the dreaded "barrel droop" which made it tough to sight it in. Proud wood. Notchy action. Gap in the wood/metal fit. That sort of thing. Little stuff, and all addressed easily enough by the owner - but no - problems with Marlins didn't start with the Remington takeover. On the other hand, Remington sure didn't make things better!

    I first shot Dad's Marlin back in the early 1960's when I was just a youngster - and still think they're TERRIFIC rifles - maybe a little rough around the edges, because of keeping the cost of production down, but excellent hunting rifles.

    Guy

  7. #27
    Sidewinder
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    BJ, yeah the finish is not good on the crown. BUT, the PO has beat that muzzle with all the dings you can see.
    The tang on my carriers appear to have been cut using a straddle-mill operation. Which is faster and easier for production work.
    How does the action feel when you cycle it? How well does it shoot?
    LG

  8. #28
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    It cycles better since I stoned things down and tweaked things. Honestly when I got it it had like a "hump" in the middle of the cock that required more effort. I did have some issues with misfires that I think may have been caused by the primer seat cup on my press. I went to a Lee ErgoPrime hand primer and I had one misfire in over a hunnerd rounds. Which I still don't like but have no explanation for since the trigger spring appears factory and the firing pin is squeaky clean.
    As far as shooting - my equivalent of a "factory" 240grain JSP load shoots about 2" groups at 50. Cast is still a bit problematic except for all things a 180 grain RNFP cast from Dardas that shoots pretty darn well with 19 grains of 2400. Estimated speed is about 1,700 fps. Even without a gas check I get no leading and about 2.5" groups at 50. I recently tried some REI #252 260 grain and a LBT 250 grain LWFN cast with gas check from Montana Bullet Works that show promise but I need to dial in the powder. DWB uses 23 grains of H110 and that is quite a thumper! You notice when you pull teh trigger on one of these! Best groups I got were around 2.5-3" groups at 50 - woulda been better but they seemed to "walk" from left to right. I did notice later when cleaning that my peep sight was loose so maybe it was moving. I bet those loads shook it loose. The good news is no leading and no copper fouling ever - even after a 100+ rounds. I had one series of jams from the gate screw working loose and somehow felicitating the bullet getting under the carrier. That was a PITA to clear.
    So all in all I'm ok with how it shoots now with an eye to getting those groups at 100.
    buckeyeshooter likes this.
    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
    Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."
    -- Ayn Rand

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by lumpy grits View Post
    BJ, yeah the finish is not good on the crown. BUT, the PO has beat that muzzle with all the dings you can see.
    LG
    Those circular rings are from the cutter - seems like it missed polishing.
    I might just have to recrown it and see if I can't polish those out.
    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
    Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities."
    -- Ayn Rand

  10. #30
    Gun Wizard
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    This thread makes me remember when I got my first 336 in 1968, I rushed home to give it a good cleaning and grab some ammo for a bit of sighting in. My Pop and Granpa and old uncle Emil looked my new pride and joy over and all lamented that they just don't make 'em like they used to! I guess some things never change!
    BubbaJon likes this.
    "old age and trickery will beat youth and strength"
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