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I have a nice old 336 made in 1951 or 52. If I dry fire it I break off firing pin tips at the shoulder of the pin after just 2 or 3 dry fires. Obviously I should avoid dry firing this rifle. However, I have a number of other 336's and one 1895 cowboy. None of the others exhibit this tendency. What do you suppose is wrong here? I have gotten pretty good at changing firing pins but that doesn't mean that I like it.

Any suggestions (other than the obvious one of not dry firing the gun) as to what I should look for? I am reluctant to take this gun anywhere but the range because it is just too iffy. I want it to be more reliable like my others.
 

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Maybe a new fireing pin spring?
 

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I have a 336 from 1950, I'm no gunsmith but I do have a guess. On my gun there are two notches in the lower tang that holds the retainer for the spring that works the hammer. I guess they cut the closer notch for hunting and the further for practice. When I set the retainer in the closer notch during hunting season the lever is considerably harder to work and the hammer hits with more authority, (yea, I know that last sentence was kind of obvious... :flute:) Maybe you have yours set in the hunting notch and it's hitting the firing pin too hard for dry firing? Once again I'm no gunsmith so if anyone knows better please comment, I'm only going off my personal experience toying with my gun.
 

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97th Signalman - Make yourself a "snap cap" by using a fired 30-30 case and a pencil eraser. Take the brass, drill a couple of 1/8 inch holes through the case. This will allow you to quickly determine which case is your dry fire case. Buy an "eversharp" replacment eraser. They come long enough you can make several "snap caps". Cut the eraser to fit flush with the end of the primer pocket hole. A drop of super glue in the primer pocket will keep the eraser in place and you are set. The eraser will take the impact of the firing pin and you will be able to dry fire if you need. Good luck. Shenandoah
 

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As long ago as I can remember my Dad had a 20 ga. single barrel shotgun. As I recall it was made by Central Arms in St. Louis. I hunted with the gun during my youth, my older brother has it now. EVERY TIME it was dry fired the firing pin broke. As a result my Dad would not allow it to be dry fired. I got in the habit of never dry firing any gun.... I still do not to this day no matter what I hear about any guns ability to be dry fired.
 
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I may be wrong, it happens but I believe the extra notch in the older marlins are for when your spring weakens you can move it forward to regain your tension. Hopefully someone with the facts will weigh in.
 

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I learned early about dry firing,when I was about 13 (late 60's) my Dad bought me an old single shot 16 ga. I think it was a Savage it had the plastic stock.

I Dry fired it and the firing pin shot out of the gun and hit the dog in the eye,the dog was ok but to this day I never dry fire anything.
 

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"A-Zoom" brand all aluminum snap caps are the best available....load like regular ammo in the tube, chamber perfectly and last forever. I use 6 of them in my 30-30 336...they make their snap caps in numerous calibers, both pistol and rifle.
 

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I could be wrong here guys, but get the feeling 97th knows about snap-caps, etc., and really just wants to know "why" only this rifle does that when none of his others do...?
I can only give a wild guess here of sorts, that maybe besides other thoughts above there is some misalignment of the pin and the hole in the bolt going on? Or perhaps some sharp edge or burr inside the bolt causing damage of some kind to the pin tip at that shoulder, creating a stress riser, that then cracks and breaks off the tip after a few tries? Maybe you could try dry firing it just "once"(?) with a new pin, then taking it apart to look for a mark or indentation near the tip/shoulder? Maybe use some dye or felt marker to see it better? That and closely look inside the bolt where it would contact that shoulder of the pin for a sharp edge, burr, and/or deformation of the bolt material inside near/at the hole? Again, just thinking out-loud here at some things I might check out and guessing at this point.
Good luck to you.
 

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Might be as simple as in the 50s they cut the bolts insides differently. Could be a burr inside causing it to snap. Take it apart and check it with a strong light.

Snap caps? RTV silicone in the primer pocket.
 

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Your post has bothered me since I read it yesterday. Snap caps are always a good idea, but dry firing should not break your firing pins as often as you are experiencing. One thing I would check is the alignment of the firing pin tip into the pin hole in the face of the bolt. This should be easy to check without disassembly of the bolt. Simply push the pin from the rear and see how it comes through the face of the bolt. Just a slight bind or miss-aligment could cause the tip to snap. It's worth a look-see.
 

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Might be as simple as in the 50s they cut the bolts insides differently. Could be a burr inside causing it to snap. Take it apart and check it with a strong light.

Snap caps? RTV silicone in the primer pocket.
My guess also. Maybe the old ones were designed a bit differently and dry firing would always break the firing pins. I bought a 336 made in 1955 and when I received it I loaded a round and pulled the trigger and all I heard was a very loud "CLANK". Sure enough, the firing pin was broken. I, also, never dry fire any firearm no matter what the manufacturer says.
 

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I dry fire my 1971 made 336 quite often and have never had a problem. I'd suggest asking Marlin customer service but I doubt they would have any answer for an older rifle. Have you considered taking it to a gunsmith?
 
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