Marlin newbie questions/336
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  1. #1
    Tenderfoot
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    Marlin newbie questions/336

    Hello Marlin Owners,

    About a week ago, I purchased an used Marlin 336. It's serial number is #181xxx... so I believe it was made in 1982. My journey into Marlin land started with an interest in the 1894c because I was interested in a short carbine in .357 mag. I still am interested, but through my research, I found that there was something to be said with more seasoned models (vs present day new). I couldn't find the 1894c, but did come across this 336. Can anyone tell me with specificity more about this particular year and model (it has no safety and has microgrooves not ballard).

    When I examined the rifle at the lgs, I was amazed at the buttery smooth action--and had to have the rifle even though it had some blemishes: Now, I want to fix those blemishes:

    1. The bullseye has been pierced by the swivel thing. I know I can order a replacement bullseye. My plan is to refinish the stock in general, sand out the roughness by the swivel and glue in the bullseye. I like the wood on it now and simply want to get the scratches out and get it as nice as possible. Are the blemishes around the bullseye too deep?

    2. The muzzle area gave me the most concern. You can see some pitting mostly on the magazine tube which I cleaned the best I could with CPL. Is it worth it to send this to the gunsmith to polish and reblue? the rest of the barrel is good enough for me, and I love the blueing around the receiver..Its just that muzzle area which could use improvement?

    3. The sights need replacement. The rear sight is to the left for some wierd reason (?) I plan on removing the rear and getting skinner or xs ghost ring, and replace the muzzle sight.

    I cleaned out the bore with Hoppes #9, the original state was not clean, but I think it is clean now...

    Any suggestions regarding the above? I appreciate your knowledge and expertise!!

    Thanks!

    IMG_1665.JPGIMG_1660.JPGIMG_1662.JPGIMG_1664.JPGIMG_1667.JPG

  2. #2
    Wrangler
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    .30-30?

    Touch up the mag tube with some Brownells oxpho-blue. Heat it with a hair dryer first. Some like to degrease first. You should remove any oil. I just use a Q-tip and sort of swirl the tip in the area. Blend it with a little 0000 steel wool, and experiment with the results. Reheating periodically. It may not look like new, but it will blend in much better. Make sure you put a new layer of oil/protectant back on when you are done.

    Rub that stock down with some LinSpeed Oil. I use a soft cloth like a cloth baby diaper. Or just rub it in by hand with a dab on my fingertips and then rub it out with a soft cloth when I'm done working i into the damaged areas. It will soak into the various scratches and nicks. They blend in better, but more importantly, it seals them from the weather. A vigorous hand rubbing with a cloth dampened with LinSpeed oil will often "clean/restore" almost any finish. I think it's a better alternative than going back to bare wood ... unless it's really bad. Even then, LinSpeed makes a beautiful, maintainable ground up finish.

    Bent, weird shaped rear sights are not uncommon. I don't know if it's abuse or ignorant adjustment procedures. I guess it depends on how bent. You might try seeing how it shoots before making any sight decisions. Generally a straight sight will be pretty close when centered on the barrel. When you have to drift them too far ... you have to wonder why?

    Nice rifle!
    Last edited by Strider; 03-27-2012 at 09:41 AM. Reason: more details
    alvin75 likes this.
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  3. #3
    Tenderfoot
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    Yes, 30-30. Thanks!

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  5. #4
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    Welcome to Marlin Owners and congrats on your first Marlin! 1982 was a good year, and is the last year they were manufactured without the crossbolt safety. A lot of folks prefer the pre-safetys because of the cleaner lines and one less thing to complicate operation.

    It's pretty common for a 30-year-old gun to have some "character". I would suggest you go slow and not overdo restoration. A lot of mistakes are made by people wanting to 'refinish' an older gun. I like to see some wear and 'history' on an older gun. I'd suggest you sit back and listen to what people here suggest before making any decisions.

    Here's my suggestions, but take them for what they are - only one person's suggestions. It is, after all, your rifle and you need to do what makes you happy.

    First the stocks. I think they look pretty good. I would never recommend sanding them - it destroys the patina and doesn't look right on an older gun. The scratches can easily be toned down or even virtually erased with a coat or two of Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil. You could strip the stocks, but I wouldn't recommend it - they're fine. Remove the rear sling stud screw first and get a bullseye from this site or a place like Brownells or Midway. They come long, and it's best to cut one in half to use. Mix some 5-minute epoxy with a stain that matches the color of the wood and glue the bullseye in place. Tap it down with a light hammer and don't go below the surface of the stock. Once it hardens, sand it down close with some medium grade sandpaper on a popsicle stick. As you get close, switch to a finer grade and go slow. Try not to sand the original finish or wood, but if you do, don't sweat it. Carefully remove the buttplate and pistol-grip cap and their white spacers. Be gentle with the pistol-grip screw because they are gold plated and get brittle. If you break off part of the head you can get a replacement. Don't horse it - if it's stuck hard leave it on and work around it. Tru-Oil is really easy to use. Hang the stock to dry with a string tied to a screw replaced partway in the buttstock. You can apply it with a cloth or your finger. Some folks will recommend wipe-on poly. I'd do the whole stock rather than just the scratches, but you can also do just a touch-up. If you are going to use a sling, the stud is typically around 2.5-3 inches from the toe of the buttstock. Be very careful to center it.

    The forestock is a little trickier because you'll have to remove or slide the magazine tube sling mount and rear barrel band out of the way. Get a set of gunsmithing screwdrivers. You can get a cheap set at Wal-Mart for $10. Don't use regular screwdrivers. Unscrew the rear barrel band screw and slide the barrel band forward. If the screw is stubborn you may want to rethink removing it because getting the screw back in can sometimes be a hassle. Use your judgement. Take the forestock off if you can and put a coat of Tru-Oil on it. For feel, I buff the final coat of Tru-Oil with 4-0 steel wool, vacuum it clean, and put on a coat of B-C gunstock wax. Wax just feels right on an older lever gun.

    The pitted spot on the front end of the magazine tube is not uncommon. Here's what I'd do (unless you decide to completely break the gun down): Get a bottle of Birchwood Casey Blue and Rust Remover and carefully swab the spot with a saturated cotton swab. Be careful not to let the remover run down the tube, because it will strip the blue on anything it touches. Once it's cleaned down to raw metal, clean it with denatured alcohol or B-C Cleaner-Degreaser. Blow dry it to warm and swab on some B-C Super Blue or Oxpho-Blue. Be tidy with the blue and follow the directions about washing it afterwards. Saturate it in oil after the final bluing and leave oil on a piece of cloth on the blue for 24 hours. It may take a couple of coats. It you can't take the pitted look there are ways to remove the pitting.

    I can't see your sights well, but it's likely that they are simply out of line. You can use a brass punch to re-center them. Your rear sight may be missing its elevator. You may even want to go back to the original front sight hood. Even if you scope the gun, I like the look of iron sights on a classic gun.

    Since your hammer has a spur, I'm assuming it had a scope. There may be four holes on the top of the receiver. You can get plug screws or go to a scope. If you leave the spur on, make sure its set screw is snug.

    Just my thoughts. If you decide to take it completely down, it's not hard and not a bad thing to do with an older gun. A good cleaning is a good thing to do to a gun where you don't know the history. If you decide to break it all the way down, I'd recommend Midway's DVD. You can follow it step by step.

    Good luck with your first case of Marlinitis, and again, get lots of suggestions before doing anything. Oh - and learn about the half-cock safety position.
    Last edited by Tomjohn; 03-27-2012 at 11:47 PM.

  6. #5
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    One other note about cold bluing: don't let any of the bluing salts into a screw area (like the screw at the front of the magazine tube). The salts can get into the threads and cause rust. If you want to blue the barrel and magazine tube yourself, it's not hard, but requires taking it all down. Some folks don't like cold blue, but I like it on some guns - like 336 levers in your age group. You'll probably find if you touch up the pitted spot it will be darker with blue than the surrounding areas. If you cold blue and don't like it, you can always have it professionally re-blued (although I don't think it's necessary). You can also hot oil blue, but that's a whole other story......

  7. #6
    Marlin Marksman
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    Tomjohn- What kind of finish effect do you get after applying Tru-Oil over the original Marlin stock finish? Does it darken the stock or dry clear? Does it add gloss? Does it stain scratches? Is Tru-Oil long lasting on top of the original Marlin finish? I've never tried this product, but I have a few older stocks that might look better with a new top coat.

  8. #7
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    Hey, Swampdude. 'Darken' isn't the right descriptor. It's more like it gives it a fluid, moist look. If the stock finish is really dry, it gives it a darkening that is similar to any oiling, but it is not a staining. It doesn't stain the wood at all, it is a surface effect. It's very good at covering scratches. I've used it over several types of finishes - from original varnish to Mar-Shield. I've even tried wipe-on poly and been unhappy with the look and put Tru-Oil over that. There have been a couple of times that wipe-on poly has provided a nice finish, but sometime it just doesn't do the trick. I don't have any long-term experience (in decades) with how well Tru-Oil holds up, but it's been around a long time with few criticisms. I've never had any problems with it. I do think, however, that the final look is a bit shiny (glossy), which is why I buff the final coat and put on wax. I've read where some folks put on several coats, but I like the least effect. If one coat looks good, I go with that. Probably the most coats I've ever done is four, which was unusual.
    Marlinjunkie and SwampDude like this.

  9. #8
    Gun Wizard
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    The stock rear sight on my 1894 was crooked so I replaced it with a Marble's. I like the diamond shaped white marker they use - it's similar to the sights on my rifled shotgun barrel and very easy to acquire (for me).
    John

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  10. #9
    Tenderfoot
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    Thanks to everyone for their help. I will certainly take this on slowly and carefully...I am really happy with the rifle and will give it great care so it will last another 30 years--it feels so solid and well-made!

  11. #10
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    Hi and welcome from Bundaberg, Australia. Lots of good advice there Alvin.
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