Cycling a newer 336W for break-in
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Thread: Cycling a newer 336W for break-in



  1. #1
    Tinhorn
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    Cycling a newer 336W for break-in

    I have a Marlin 336W purchased new in November with fewer than 100 rounds fired through it. Happy so far with accuracy and function. I have been told to cycle the action
    to help smooth things out during break-in period. Is this recommended? If so should I add extra oil to moving parts?
    Can I cycle the action back and forth without dropping the hammer each time? Should I be using some kind of dummy or snap cap rounds to smooth the parts that chamber the rounds?
    Also, with repeated unloading of magazine during hunting season I notice brass dust (too fine to call filings). Is this normal for a new lever action rifle.
    My very old 1893 30-30 doesn't produce the "brass dust". Thanks in advance for the help!
    Gareth Holland and rob42049 like this.
    Team 30-30 #1455

  2. #2
    Sidewinder
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    I bought a new 1895 in 2005, I sat down in front of the TV and cycled it a couple of hundred times. I used the safety and pulled the trigger each time. Don't have an answer for the copper dust.
    Yooper likes this.

  3. #3
    Banned
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    Were you watching " The Rifleman " on tv ? lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubert View Post
    I bought a new 1895 in 2005, I sat down in front of the TV and cycled it a couple of hundred times. I used the safety and pulled the trigger each time. Don't have an answer for the copper dust.

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  5. #4
    Tinhorn
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    Thank you. Do you lower the hammer with thumb on it while pulling trigger or let it fall? I hear conflicting things about causing harm without a round in chamber?
    Team 30-30 #1455

  6. #5
    Sidewinder
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    Too much oil/grease creates an opportunity for dust/grit to gather and act like sandpaper.

    Cycling a clean empty rifle will help smooth the action by putting some wear on the bearing surfaces but so will cycling a live gun. It will happen over time or you can accelerate it by identifying and stoning the bearing surfaces to smooth them but if you've never done this before you run the risk of making things not better.

    Snap caps are softer than any of the parts in your rifle except maybe the furniture. The primary purpose of a snap cap is to reduce/eliminate the stress on the firing pin that comes from dry firing on an empty chamber.

    Inspect the brass coming out of your rifle for scratches, scrapes, gouges, etc. ... could be a sharp extractor ... could be a sharp edge or two in the chamber.
    Lever Jac and Gareth Holland like this.

  7. #6
    Wrangler
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    I did this with a friend's Winchester 94, he bought it a while ago but had only about 100 rounds through it. I did the same thing, I sat in front of the TV and kept cycling the bolt. I didn't oil it, oil lessens friction which would break it in slower. Someone might say differently and suggest that oiling it would be better because it will prevent excessive wear, but for a new (or like new) rifle I don't see any issues with that.

    I did not pull the trigger each time. I believe that dry firing can cause over-traveling of the firing pin (since there is no round to stop it) which may cause damage to the pin over time. I don't know for certain if that's true, but I've heard it from older gun guys growing up so it's the advice I stick to. If you want to break in the top of the hammer that comes in contact with the bolt, cycling it without pulling the trigger should give the same result. My 336's hammer is pushed down a little by the bolt when the hammer is cocked and the bolt is cycled, so it'll continue to break in even without dry firing each time.

    As for the brass dust, my guess is that some machined parts are't yet smoothed out/broken in, so they may have some sharper edges that cause slight shavings against the brass when pushing them into the breech. Older rifles which have already been broken in would not do this, since those sharp edges have already been worn down by use over time. Since most of the guns I own were purchased preowned, I don't have any experience in this but someone will come along to offer better advice for that.

    Just my 2¢, hope this helps.
    doubloon and WindyHill6561 like this.

  8. #7
    Marlin Marksman
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    Manipulating the action is one way to smooth it. If you have a 100 rounds or so through it. I would take it down an use a fine stone to smooth all the shiny spots then clean oil it and put it back together.

  9. #8
    Wrangler
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    ALSO: I'd also fully disassemble and clean the rifle after cycling it for a while; if any metal shavings exist after wearing it down they can cause excess wear over time if they aren't removed like little grits of sand. Depending on the size and quantity they could also jam up the gun later on.
    rob42049 and JMAG54 like this.

  10. #9
    Marlin Fanatic
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    Oil keeps the dirt/dust/grit in suspension so the metal doesn't grind. It's one of its essential properties, and helps to reduce wear. Cycling the rifle a few hundred times is great. Afterwards, just disassemble, clean off the old oil and contaminants, then re-oil with clear and new. Oil's cheap, it's your friend. I've been using Lucas gun oil and Hoppe's gun oil in a 50/50 mix. Works pretty well on a variety of guns and action types.
    Team 1894 #288
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  11. #10
    Tinhorn
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    Thanks for all of the advice so far. Any opinions on whether cycling fake-dummy-blanks (whatever they are correctly called)
    will help smooth or take edge of any sharp parts?
    Team 30-30 #1455


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