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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The two barrel bands, fore-end and tubular magazine are known to cause accuracy issues for the 336. It's a great minute-of-deer rifle, no doubt.

If you were trying to wring the most accuracy possible out of a 336 how would you get over the barrel bind/pressure issues?

Its not a br rig for sure, but there have to be ways to improve on the factory tolerances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply and the link.

I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel, just looking to improve an obvious flaw.
 

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I'll just add one word on the subject.

I know people who, as soon as they get a rifle and before they shoot it, start plotting what "accuracy enhancements" they want to apply to it. If you fall in this group, I have one bit of advice -- hold up!

Yes, the 336 has numerous areas that MAY contribute to inaccuracy; but amazingly enough, the average 336 is far more accurate than it has any right to be, given all the potential problem areas. I have owned over a dozen 336s in the ast 30 or so years, and every one of them was at least a 2 MOA rifle with just about any factory load. Most were closer to 1 MOA with the right factory load or handload, and one memorable 1964-vintage 336RC would reliably put 3 shots in to a half inch at 100 yards with Federal Hi-Shok 170 gr. loads. Could any of those rifles have been improved with some tinkering? Maybe so. But odds are that any tinkering would have hurt accuracy, not helped it -- and just how accurate does a .30-30 carbine need to be, anyway.

Folks, when you get a new or new-to-you 336, don't go looking for trouble right off the bat. Clean and lube it well, get several different loads to try, and go to the range. Chances are very good that you won't have to do a darned thing to it to be happy!
 

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I have four 336's 30-30, 35rem, 32 Win Special, 1895 45-70 and all of them shoot 1MOA at 100 yds with scope I don' t how I could improve on that. I have never touched them with any enhancements I'm just happy with what they are.


"fk"
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the good replies. To be more clear the real problem was inconsistency, in a ten round string I was getting 2-3 distinct group patterns. That's firing off a bench and giving the rifle adequate time to cool between shots. This is also my first levergun and one of the few rifles I've bought, as opposed to built. Took the rifle apart a little and found some real bad bind/pressure points. Used a file to clean up the magazine tube reveal and where the mag and barrel fit together. Then used a piece of soft al stock as a "bed" between the barrel and mag. Relieved the inside of the fore-end and barrel-band boss to allow it to fit. After putting it back together it looks stock. Went to the range last night and it put 20 rounds of factory ammo inside a 2" pattern, much better.
 

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When I was working on my Peashooter 444 project gun (my first lever), I was getting inconsistant groups and "walking" shots. I had heard about the forend issues, and took the most accurate load that I "thought" I had...removed the forend, magazine tube, etc, and shot that load. The accuracy improved (one ragged hole), and the shots never walked! I learned a lot from that little excersize....I floated the forend, refit the forend cap and hanger so there was no stress what so ever on the barrel, and installed the screws loose (very light hand pressure), and that rifle will still shoot one holers to this day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the reply. How do you kep the fore-end from puching on the magazine tube, and then by default onto the barrel?

I couldn't figure out how to remove all contact so I just tried for consistent contact/pressure throughout.

As an aside doing this moved my POI about 6" to the left and 2" up. Shot great, grouped ok, just moved the POI.
 

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I just got my 338 ME XLR back from ML McPherson. Class dude. The trigger pull is now 2 1/2 pounds and is just awesome. Had the action tuned up I guess, and through bolt added and stocks bedded. Have only shot 10 rounds through it so far as we have had crappy weather and I can't get out again.

First three were with new Rem ammo, shot string not real great. But cold clean barrel and I am shooting off picinic table in back yard with Nort East wind blowing in at 30+mph. Switched to the Hornady's shot three, nice group, not fabulous, but ok. Would have no issue hunting with that group,
shot another 3, this time, 2 through same hole and could cover entire group with a nickel.

I am pleased as punch so far. Can't wait to get out and shoot it some more, and see what the Remmys can do in it also. I think I will easily get sub MOA with the Hornady bullets.
 

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The idea of "accurizing" a 336 was something I wasn't too willing to entertain until recently. My 336c in .30-30 was a solid sub-2 MOA grouper with virtually any off the shelf .30-30 ammo, and for over three decades, that was good enough. That level of precision was an adequate match for the effective range of traditional .30-30 ammo.

The introduction of LeverEvolution ammo motivated me to set my 336c up for optimum performance. To that end, I had a local gunsmith bob the magazine tube to a "button style" or half length. It is hung from the barrel in the same manner Marlin does with current XLRs and MX's -with perhaps a schosh more loseness in the fit of the mag tube attachment boss into the barrel dovetail. Bobbing the mag tube eliminated the front barrel band. The remaining rear one was ever so slightly relieved where it wraps around the barrel. I had a LimbSaver recoil pad installed, which does nothing for accuracy, but while doing that, the gunsmith used some bedding compound left over from another job to glass bed my buttstock to the the action. I didn't realize until a couple of days ago that he put some of this material on the rear face of the fore-end wood, too.


The result of this work was slightly improved overall accuracy and a reduced tendency to string shots vertically. The rifle shot well enough before this, so the major gain was really in consistant performance. I'm okay with only having three rounds in the magazine. I've never needed more than two in the field so far, and I don't mind stoking the tube while at the range. It is consistantly accurate enough to fully utilize all of the range potential of the LeverEvolution ammo, so my goal was met in having the work done. Plus, it's kinda fun to shot tight groups with a lever gun, and know that you'll be able to shot them day in and day out.

T-C
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tele-Caster, thanks for the great reply, that's exactly The mind-set I'm approaching this project with.

Purely for the fun of it and as a great learning experience I want to see what little improvements I can make on the gun's accuracy.

I'll take a look at cutting down the magazine, losing a little capacity wouldn't bother me at all.
 

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mattri; As a competitive Benchrest shooter for most of my life, we played with such things, and whether it be a bolt gun or levergun, or whatever, I found that the barrel needs to be free from any contact with the forend of the rifle. As the barrel heats up it tends to move, and the slightest pressure from the forend, magazine, etc, upsets the barrel harmonics when the rifle is shot. This causes an interuption (or a "bump") when the bullet rides down the barrel bore, and minutely disturbs the "free ride" of the bullet causing a ballistic and physical change that affects accuracy. The warmer the barrel gets, the worse this condition becomes. If you remove all of your forend and magazine parts and shoot the rifle, supported by the action only, you will get a good idea of what your rifle is capable of....then, it just a matter of setting up your forend and magazine to the rifles accuracy level. What I have found, as I stated above, is to set up the forend and magazine tube "loose"....clear everything away from the barrel, and dont tighten down on the mounting screws...they just need to be installed to "hold" everything together. I have been playing with the forends on my Marlins and have found that this simple suggestion will work and will get you excellent hunting accuracy. I have also been working on a "semi floater" forend that has worked out well, and my next little project will be a totally "free" floating forend for the Marlin lever gun. Just keep one thing in mind. If you use your rifle for hunting purposes only, you need to duplicate hunting conditions when working up loads...sighting in....etc. I fire three shots from a clean cold barrel...then clean the barrel, and let the gun sit until the barrel is again dead cold, then fire three more rounds, and so on and so forth. If you intend to use your lever gun for match shooting, then the opposite applies....fire ten fouling rounds to heat the barrel up, and then work up your loads and do your sight in routine. The rigours of competion require different standards to "set up" your rifle. Regardless of how you use your levergun, the forend/magazine modification issue is well worth pursuing.
 

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My modded 336 isn't a benchrest rig and the level of precision it delivers wouldn't impress the 10 rounds in one hole crowd, but it definitely rivals the typical, out of the box bolt action sporter intended for big game hunting and it is consistantly accurate enough to be fun the the range. If I miss the mark, it's me and not my rifle now. Now, I don't do a lot of missing.

My 336 was actually pretty accurate when I got it 35 years ago. It had a crisp, creep-free trigger that broke at 3 1/2 pounds of pull, out of the box, and out of the box, it was around MOA with Federal factory 170's. What I gained was consistant accuracy. The gun retains zero and shooting fast or slow, hot or cold, doesn't open groups up like it use to. The rifle isn't as "hold sensitive" anymore.

Another contributor to this thread made a case for shooting the gun in stock form first before going wild on mods, and I think that is really sound advice. My own 336 served me well, with near complete satisfaction, for 35 years in factory form, and no doubt would have continued to do so.


Several years ago, while toting the 336 on a hunt, it divorced itelf from the magazine tube. The barrel band screws sheared off in the process, and I lost the mag follower and never found it. If I hadn't have had this misfortune befall me, I probably would have never modded the rifle. But since I had to get it fixed anyway, I decided to have the stuff done to it that I had done. This has mostly made the gun more fun to shoot at the range. Other than giving me more confidence in what the rifle is capable of, I don't think the gains realized would mean that much in the field. The first shot always went where I directed it. I only needed another when I directed that first one to the wrong place.

I did, however, have the expeirence of shooting the rifle with no mag tube or fore-end and that was eye-opening, to say the least. I had a 7-30 Waters Super 14 Contender at the time and my busted 336 used as a single shot with missing parts was more precise. That told me that there were gains to be made, but the truth of the matter is that these gains mattered more at the range than they ever would in the field -at least to me.

Out of the box, my 336 was fully capable of hitting the vitals of a big game animal as far off as I would ever care to shoot one. If anything, its out of the box precision exceeded the maximum effective range of the round it was chambered to.

T-C
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·


This was shot today with handloads using 150gr Win bullets, H4895 and CCI 200s. In all honesty this was shots 1,2 and 4 of a 4 shot group. I had an epileptic moment and pulled #3 about an inch to the left, totally my fault.

This was the next group a different load. Not as good but still shows that the rifle is shooting better.

 

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pisgah said:
Folks, when you get a new or new-to-you 336, don't go looking for trouble right off the bat. Clean and lube it well, get several different loads to try, and go to the range. Chances are very good that you won't have to do a darned thing to it to be happy!
Truer words have never been said.
 

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mattri; Here is a composite photo of groups (3 shots left and 5 shots right) shot with my modified 444 Marlin. This gun was "made" to shoot accurately, and these are all high power hunting loads. Judging from your top group, well, I see no problems!!!!! That rifle of yours is very accurate!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Flat Top, those are great groups, good shooting. That composite photo is kind of what my targets looked like before the bedding- a little group here, one of there, one low, all from the same string os shots. I know that isn't what you're showing but it reminded me of that.
 
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