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I started to deviate from my "I spy something post" and decided to start another. On my search for a well deserving Marlin to do a project, I came across this gun. Its a 1952 336 RC 30-30. It was perfect ;D......no, not even close. The wood needed to be refinished, has pits in the receiver, trigger has some sloppy play in it, no blueing left. Well I got him down to $225 and I tried to get it lower but I can't get him to budge anymore. He wanted $325. So long story short, I can't bring myself to molest this older Marlin. Price is almost right and with a good blueing and some TLC, I think I could have a nice gun. But...... Its not drilled for bases but it doesn't have the "waffle top" its more of some wavey lines, the JM is on the RIGHT side of the barrel and not the left. Is that normal? What are my options for sights or bases without tapping the reciever? I'm guessing that this is a ballard barrel and not a micro groove? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I gotta make a decision on this gun before deer season gets any closer. Bubba would jump on this gun for that price.
 

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If it were me, I'd just clean it up and not worry about reblueing it. Then install a Williams FP rear which mounts on the left side of the receiver... it should be drilled from the factory.

I couldn't bring myself to drill and tap a waffle top for a scope....
 

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Yes, it would have Ballard rifling; and 1952 was the first year Marlin made the 336 with a smooth top. To each his own; but removing pitting is not easy and requires new metal finishes; and further, with my eyes any rifle is useless to me without a scope regardless of its price.
 

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Hemi, that is a "waffle top", that's what the wavy lines are called. It is Ballard, not Microgroove. The older guns had the JM on the right side. So, sounds like a good gun with honest wear.

Now, if you are looking for a deer rifle to actually use, I would pass on this one. Here's why I say this. It would be a shame to D&T that receiver. Also, the sloppy play in the trigger (although it's probly just normal "Marlin flop") There are better, newer Marlins to use for hunting that would shoot better and already set up for scope use.

That would be a good restoration project and good gun to shoot occasionally but keep looking for your deer gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've got some good Marlin deer guns. I was just looking for a project gun to play with. Seems like the older Marlins don't have many options for accessories.
 

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On an older gun, especially one that's not D&T'd, I think a period correct receiver sight is the best way to go. A scope just doesn't look right on those old guns for some reason, at least to me.
 

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Lay 2 one hundred dollar bills on the counter and see what he says--money talks and b-ll sh-t walks. Buy it--shoot it for awhile first and tweak it as you go, if you still are in like with it after shooting it for awhile--then do whatever you want--it is your gun.

I have a 36 in .32 WS on it's way here--planned on doing all kinds of things to it--I've decided I'm gonna run a couple hundred rounds through it then see if I want to make it a project gun--if so--all the better.

Just my 2 cents--plus--I wouldn't walk away from it for the price he's asking either--but that's me.

Steve
 

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The Wavy line, or "waffle top" model 336 was manufactured from 1948-1951 (4 years); but the lever was changed in 1950, and this gun has the later lever making in either a 1950 (G prefix) or 1951 (H prefix) model if it has the wavy line top. Double check the serial number for the correct DOM.

But there are seldom absolutes in gun making; so it would not be unusual to find a 1952 Model 336 "J" prefix serial number with the "waffle top" as Marlin made the 1952 transition to smooth top receivers.
 

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I have a 336 with a J prefix, 1952, with a waffle top.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It was a J serial and yep that's what it looked like Plumber. I'm starting to think about an xs lever rail. I think I can fab a bracket for the back mount if the full rail is like the scout rail and comes with the piece that fits into the rear sight.
 

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Here's what I did on my 1952 .32 special, and it even works with my old eyes.
 

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$225? What is the problem?

The very next person to handle that gun, may well buy it, have it drilled and tapped.

Then the next 59 years it will be used more than if it was not.

My F 49 336A in .32 Special was drilled and tapped by the original owner. He was a one gun man and his eyes started failing for iron sight use. That did not mean he needed another gun, he just needed a scope on "Old Reliable" and upgraded it to be used for the next 50 or so years.

Buy it, test it, if you like it, scope it. If not resell it here.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok everyone, one last question. Since this is a ballard barrel, what ammo is best for it? I've been quite partial to the LE's, will it shoot it? If not then what do they like?
 

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hemi1011,
You just have to shoot it and find what it likes. Some do, some don't.
I have a 336, 30-30, and a 336 .32 special with Ballard rifling. Neither of my guns like the gummy tips.
I have never heard of a Ballard rifled barrel that didn't like cast bullets.
It's more fun to shoot it and see what it likes, than to hypothesize on what it may or may not like. ;D
 

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Mine loves 170gr. Remington Core-Loks--fairly reasonable to shoot and you can find them almost anywhere--YMMV.

Steve
 

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ia1727 said:
Mine loves 170gr. Remington Core-Loks--fairly reasonable to shoot and you can find them almost anywhere--YMMV.

Steve
Mine likes the 170gr Core-Loks too, but not the 150gr.
 

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hemi1011 said:
It was a J serial and yep that's what it looked like Plumber. I'm starting to think about an xs lever rail. I think I can fab a bracket for the back mount if the full rail is like the scout rail and comes with the piece that fits into the rear sight.
I tried that on my "J" and the rear sight dovetail is in a different spot than on modern 336s...XS rail would not fit without alteration.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
mogwai said:
I tried that on my "J" and the rear sight dovetail is in a different spot than on modern 336s...XS rail would not fit without alteration.
That's what I was afraid of. I sent an email over to tech support at xs. Let them rack their brains for awhile.
 
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