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I have a 45/70 that shoots well, a .444 that does the same, then you get to my .35rem and it even does better. My 30/30 has only about 200rds shot thru it and it shoots not terrible but not good. Sometimes 3 to 4" groups with leverevolution, but better groups with straight round nose ammo. Now here is the question: How many rounds do I need to shoot thru the rifle to consider it broken-in (the barrel that is) and will it improve it. I like the 30/30 and would like to hunt with it but it needs to shoot better. Maybe a new barrel would help although the barrel is new. Any experience and help you can give me will be appreciated.

fknipfer
 

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Marlins generally need no break in. That said every rifle is a thing unto itself. First slug the bore sometimes when the barrel is stamped or the dovetails are cut for the sights, mag tube, it can cause a bump in the barrel. If the slug goes through consistantly then not an issue, if it hangs anywhere it can be a problem then firelap. Check the screws they should be snug but not overly tight. Some rifles benefit from putting a small rubber oring over the front post the mag tube attaches to. Relieves some of the harmonics. Some benefit from a little glass bedding in the middle of the forearm to even out the harmonics. Reality is most common is some like a little larger bullet or a little smaller bullet so change bullet weights and try different brands before you start with other options, well except the screws since they are easy to check.
 

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Yep what he said.. :lol:

The screws and the ammo can make a huge difference.. mine likes the 170 better some like the 150's.. and from Rem to Winchester ammo makes a big difference also..
 

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Most of my guns are bought in used condition and I have never considered barrel break-in as an issue, just load and shoot.

I have gotten guns that had trigger problems which caused erratic groups. Once the trigger was tuned up or replaced accuracy was acceptable.

I am assuming the trigger on the 30-30 isn't greatly different than your other Marlins or you would have noticed it. Let us know how things work out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
At first I thought it was the trigger so I replaced it with a WWG with a 3# pull. That didn't solve the problem. I will loosen and retighten all the screws to elimate that possibility and then I will try some 170grain rounds from Winchester and Hornady. I did improve it quite a bit when I went to the 150gr RN from Hornady, but I want to shoot at least 170gr from it. So on to new things to try.

fknipfer
 
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My son bought every variety of 30-30 ammo available and kept shooting until the gun said "this is it". Turns out it was a particular weight of a particular manufacturer's ammo.

Now it shoots minute of eyeball, and it's only fed its favorite diet.

I think this can be different for each gun, so an ammo orgy is in order. I have to take my own advice for the RC to see what it likes.
 

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Factory barrels do need a break-in period. There are imperfections in the barrel that must be smoothed and that normally occurs generally within about 40-50 rounds or so. Custom barrels are generally lapped by the maker and are essentially broken in with the first round.

It is important during those first rounds that the barrel be cleaned thoroughly to avoid buildup that might essentially become a part of the barrel. The most common type of buildup that's ignored is copper. Of course, normal solvents won't remove that.

There are varying opinions about cleaning during those first 40-50 rounds. For precision type varmint barrels where accuracy is measured in thousands folks frequently follow a rigorous shooting/cleaning cycle during those first rounds. Marlin 336's are not generally known as Sub MOA rifles, so it's not as important to shoot/clean on a rigorous cycle.

Quite frankly, I don't think you would notice any difference regardless of how you break in a Marlin 336 as long as you do keep the bore clean as one normally should any rifle.

Once the barrel is smoothed out (broken in) excessive fouling should stop and accuracy should peak. Of course, as someone else pointed out nearly every rifle is a law unto itself, so YMMV... :D :D
 

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While I agree the 336 isn't a target rifle, I spent some time breaking in the barrel on mine. I cleaned it after each of the first three shots, and then every three shots until I used a box of ammo.

I learned from a hunter and gun entheusiast that I highly respect that this not only helps break in the barrel, but also can prevent gouges and scoring in the barrel that will make it tougher to clean in the future. Made sense to me.

YMMV
 

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My son bought every variety of 30-30 ammo available and kept shooting until the gun said "this is it". Turns out it was a particular weight of a particular manufacturer's ammo.

Now it shoots minute of eyeball, and it's only fed its favorite diet.

I think this can be different for each gun, so an ammo orgy is in order. I have to take my own advice for the RC to see what it likes.
+1! Ditch the Lever Revolution stuff and pick up 150's & 170's of the big three: Remington Core-Lokt, Winchester Power Point, and Federal Power-Shok.
 

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i didnt have good luc k with the leverevolutions inmy marlin xlr but they shoot way good in my winchester...go figure. my xlr has decided it likes 125 grain pointy's and thats what i feed it. the 170 round noses are a tick better than the leverevolutions in it as well.
 

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Abel said:
+1! Ditch the Lever Revolution stuff and pick up 150's & 170's of the big three: Remington Core-Lokt, Winchester Power Point, and Federal Power-Shok.

Good advice.

I bought 2 new Remington 700 VLS rifles in 22-250 a few years back. One rifle got the elaborate break-in treatment, the other I just shot. Guess which one is more accurate? One is no more accurate than the other. They like different loads and one likes bullets .010 off the rifling and the other doesn't care where the bullet is (rifles are individuals). Both shoot consistently in the two's and very often in the teen's.
Does barrel break-in help? Not for me and not some of my old benchrest friends although they were quick to tell other less experienced shooters how well it works. Then laugh when others believed them.

Does elaborate barrel break-in procedures help? Not really but it doesn't hurt anything, either. So if some trick break-in ceremony gives you the warm fuzzies, go for it.

FX, you have other issues that are causing inaccuracy. Most Marlins that don't shoot well can be cured with a front end tune-up. The magazine tube and/or barrel bands causing stress on the barrel is almost always the culprit.
 

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I've had a couple guns over the years that simply wouldn't group. I tried all the load combinations that I used in other guns and they just didn't work. Those guns are no longer in my possession. If I can't get it to group 3 shots around 2" or so at 100 yards off a sandbagged rest, the gun just isn't accurate enough for me. 3" to 4" just doesn't cut it for me.
 

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You are right, Hal, some guns will not shoot regardless of what you do. I try everything reasonable, if it still doesn't shoot, it goes down the road. I would not re-barrel a factory made gun unless it had some special value. When the barrel goes the gun goes.
 
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