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How hard is it to change a barrel by yourself on a 336 at home with no speciality tools to have to buy?
 

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On top of the barrel change, if successful, there's the little chore of headspacing the new barrel with a finish reamer so headspace gauges are also needed.
 
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It all depends on how resourceful and knowledgeable you are. Did the early gunsmiths have all the fancy tools of today? Not hardly but they understood what they were trying to achieve and figured out how to get there. Have to have a good firm vise that will not place twist loads on the receiver. Same with the tool used for the barrel, must put the turning load evenly around the barrel. Some barrels are either super tight or have seized with time so the initial breaking loose force can be extremely high. Some will have a peened spot to lock the barrel into position too. As mentioned, have to be able to deal with final head spacing as well as may need shim rings for proper alignment of barrel or know how to trim the barrel shoulder for proper alignment. Its not just twisting off old barrel and screwing on the replacement, but perhaps screwing on and taking off the replacement barrel several times to get everything just right.
 

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Rather than taking a chance on warping the receiver (at worst) or scarring up the bluing/metal, I (and that is just me) would check into what a gunsmith would charge to do the job. You may find it is worth the small cost (mine charges $75 and that included a new factory style crown on the lathe and an hour of his time) to have it done. Just my thoughts...best of luck to you.
 

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If you have a good mechanical knowledge and tools to do it, it can be done.

But what Jim said is good advice.
 

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I was hopeing that before I got to the end of this thread, someone would throw out a price for this to be done. I am going to a local Gun Show today that a local Smith usaually attends, and, was going to ask for a price to put a new barrel on my Model 97. I wanted an idea of labor cost, and thanks Jim, you provided a ballpark number for me to work with. I am also considering re-color caseing the reciver, and will get a quote for that too. There is always an endless wealth of info here on MO!

Rather than taking a chance on warping the receiver (at worst) or scarring up the bluing/metal, I (and that is just me) would check into what a gunsmith would charge to do the job. You may find it is worth the small cost (mine charges $75 and that included a new factory style crown on the lathe and an hour of his time) to have it done. Just my thoughts...best of luck to you.
 

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I was hopeing that before I got to the end of this thread, someone would throw out a price for this to be done. I am going to a local Gun Show today that a local Smith usaually attends, and, was going to ask for a price to put a new barrel on my Model 97. I wanted an idea of labor cost, and thanks Jim, you provided a ballpark number for me to work with. I am also considering re-color caseing the reciver, and will get a quote for that too. There is always an endless wealth of info here on MO!
Leverforever,
The gunsmith I use has been around for 30 years or so and has all his equipment and building paid for, so his prices always seem reasonable to me (might help being a 20 year customer!) His bread and butter is building custom Mauser rifles with "knock your socks off" English Walnut wood ($3500-4000 range) but loves levers and always willing to drop everything for the little minor projects I bring in once in a while. The job I mentioned needed a re-crown and he needed to lean pretty hard on the action wrench to break it loose...adding in the lathe time and labor, I felt charge was more than reasonable. Best of luck!
 
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I agree with Jim, for a ball park figure of $75 you save the chance of damaging the receiver, getting the correct headspace and peace of mind that every thing was done correctly and won't damage you or the gun when you fire it.
Jack
 

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Jim I agree, that price is reasonable. My replacement barrel is a NOS 1897AO that won't need crowning, and if it is still $75 or so I am good with that. This is a project rifle that I am putting together without regard to collector value. It was a mess when I bought it and not a collectible anyway. Again, thanks for the info!

Leverforever,
The gunsmith I use has been around for 30 years or so and has all his equipment and building paid for, so his prices always seem reasonable to me (might help being a 20 year customer!) His bread and butter is building custom Mauser rifles with "knock your socks off" English Walnut wood ($3500-4000 range) but loves levers and always willing to drop everything for the little minor projects I bring in once in a while. The job I mentioned needed a re-crown and he needed to lean pretty hard on the action wrench to break it loose...adding in the lathe time and labor, I felt charge was more than reasonable. Best of luck!
 

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I have done quite a bit of mechanical work and in my younger years built my own racing engines. I've rebuilt quite a few of my own vintage autos too.

Changing a barrel is beyond my mechanical comfort zone. I send it to my gunsmith who has the proper equipment and knowledge of the finer intricacies of what not to do and mess things up. For the price of paying him to change a barrel out it seems like pretty cheap insurance IMO.

Then again, I'm older now and do not find mechanical work all that enjoyable these days. :biggrin:

Jack
 

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This brings up another question, does anyone make an octagonal barrel that one could swap out for the original? For example, I have my eye on a lovely 336CS with typical wear and in great shape. Whatever I get I will have my smithy check and completely refinish the rifle customized to my wants. I never thought about swapping the barrel out say for a 22" octagonal one from the original 20" round.

Hmmm...any thoughts on this?
M
 
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McGowen Precision Barrels makes octagon and half octagon/round barrels, CNC precision and match grade. Maybe a tad expensive but for a very special Marlin that would shoot sub-moa effortlessly I believe it's worth it.

I'm planning two custom Marlin projects that will use their barrels. I think the 22 inch full octagon barrel would be sweet for a custom 336. Heck, even a half octagon half round would be awesome. :biggrin:

Jack
 

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Yikes! Just checked out the price on those McGowen barrels....$500 before my smithy has had his time in. Still, a 336SC with match grade 22" octagonal barrel seems like a worthy project. If nothing else you won't see many of those on the range.

M
 
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Yeah, I suspect not at that price. Yet, like you said, you'd have something no one else has plus one very special rifle that you could show off some excellent shooting skills. :flute:

Jack
 

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Jim I agree, that price is reasonable. My replacement barrel is a NOS 1897AO that won't need crowning, and if it is still $75 or so I am good with that. This is a project rifle that I am putting together without regard to collector value. It was a mess when I bought it and not a collectible anyway. Again, thanks for the info!
I was living in a very isolated area when I had the need to replace the barrel on my 336. I VERY carefully used nothing more than an extra large size crescent wrench to help hold the receiver, and a pair of ViseGrips around the barrel (pulled as tight as I could); with pieces of wood to protect the metal. I patiently placed and steadied everything underfoot/feet while keeping it all stable over the edge of a 2x6 ground level deck. It is nearly impossible to explain the many angles of consideration; I wish I had pictures. I was surprised and thrilled at how the old barrel came off without tooo much force; I basically applied downward balanced force, simultaneously on both feet. I did not twist, crack, or gouge the receiver.
I had to use the barrel shim ring (that was with the used replacement barrel) but in the end I still couldn't get it exactly aligned with the notch, so the iron sights weren't quite right but I put a scope on it and it shoots nice (I got a deer with it in the fall thanks God). There is a very slight bit too much head space. I will get it all fine tuned soon.
If a man is careful he can do a lot without the tools of today. If I have a good smith available, and I have the cash, that is great but it can be satisfying doing it with my own hands, especially when I am 'two weeks from everywhere'.
There are probably a bunch of guys who disagree with this but I just want to say...
I like how Metalsmith worded it in this thread, "...they understood what they were trying to achieve and figured out how to get there."
 
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