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Hi everyone, nice to meet you all. Have had a lever gun fascination for a while now, finally picked up a Marlin 336BL this morning. For me personally, I really liked the shorter 18.5" barrel, full length mag tube, and what I think is a beautiful laminate stock. Kinda like the larger lever loop too, though a standard one wouldn't have bothered me none either.

First I wanted to report my experience looking at these in a local shop today, then follow up with an ammo question...

Ran across and handled a "mare's leg" made by Chiappa Arms. Think it was a .44 mag. It's basically a lever action rifle with most of the barrel and butt stock cut off so that it is legally considered a pistol. Really smooth, slick action, and the Browning BLR-style locking lugs - seemed very well made. Nifty little piece, very good-looking and way too expensive. But great fun to look at.

Anyway, re: the 336BL's, they had three of these in stock. Given what I've been reading about the recent quality control issues, I inspected them very closely. The display gun was decent, but it had two damaged screw heads on it and the fit of the stock to the receiver could have been better, though it was within what I'd call acceptable tolerances (for me at least).

They brought out another from the back, right out of the box. It was all screwed up. The front sight was canted quite a bit to the right as if the barrel had been spun around several degrees from its proper position. The sight hood was pretty loose and asymmetrical, and that rifle also had multiple damaged screw heads. I said no thank you.

They brought me a third one, the last one they had. It had the best fit and finish of the three, the screws looked good, and the sights were good to go, nothing weird going on. Took that one home and am familiarizing myself with everything about it.

Even though they all said North Haven, CT on the barrels, all of these rifles had the MR serial numbers and the REP-stamped barrels. So I assume that the barrels were originally from North Haven but the rifles were assembled in NY. And in my opinion two out of the three I saw today should have never been allowed to leave the factory like they were.

My aluminum snap caps are already marking up the loading gate's finish, but I expected that sooner or later. Just not this soon. I will look into the floppy trigger thing, as I'm sure there are threads here that address that. I don't plan to do much else to it except putting on sights from Skinner or XS. It's a beautiful rifle.

Now re: ammo, I picked up some Leverevolution rounds from Hornady. The ammo is supposed to have flex tips, but they sure do seem hard and not very flexible at all. Is this normal?

Ok, one more question - operating the action isn't bad as it is, but what can I do to make it a little slicker?

Thanks,
David
 

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Heraclid said:
...Now re: ammo, I picked up some Leverevolution rounds from Hornady. The ammo is supposed to have flex tips, but they sure do seem hard and not very flexible at all. Is this normal?

Ok, one more question - operating the action isn't bad as it is, but what can I do to make it a little slicker?

Thanks,
David...

I have had extremely good luck with the Hornady Leverrevolution , 160 gr. FTX Ammo in all my Marlin 30-30's and a Winchester 1894. So much so, that I would not be afraid of using it for hunting. ( see post under http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,92821.0.html).

As far as the action goes, USE IT!...the mating of surfaces is done by either working the action or having a skilled gunsmith, familiar with this type of work, stone and polish, BUT I have never been a fan of that personally.

But either way you choose, enjoy your new purchase as much as you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Haha, yeah, I figured that would probably be the answer but had to ask just in case. I followed the manual instructions for taking it it apart and cleaned it up a bit. It had a little residue up in there, presumably from a factory test firing. Then I lightly oiled the action and have just been working it repeatedly. I can already tell a bit of a difference.

The dummy rounds hang up a little every now and then but it seems to be only if I work the action slowly, watching how everything works. If I operate the lever with enough authority, there are no issues.

That is the same ammo I have, hopefully will get to shoot it in the next few days.

Thanks!
 

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All new Marlins have a rough, gritty action. Some people will sit in front of the TV and work the lever for hours on end or pay a gunsmith to smooth it up. Either way works.The more you use it the better it will feel.
 

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I noticed the same thing with my new-to-me Marlin 336W .30-30 rifles. First few rounds, I worked the action a bit slow to watch the motion of them loading into the breech and after firing ejecting. I quickly learned that I had to work the lever quickly and sharply.

As for the flexibility of the flex tips, I suppose they just need to be 'soft' enough to not cause them to act like firing pins but not necessarily 'soft' enough to be manually flexible.

Working the lever repeatedly helped smooth it out for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
;D That's pretty much what I've been doing - sitting here working the lever a bunch of times.

The main thing is that first little bit just getting it started - getting it to dislodge from where it catches up behind the trigger and move away from the grip. I have to put a little more into it to get the lever going than expected. Shouldn't it eventually get where I can pretty much just open and close my hand without so much movement and force being required? I don't wrap my thumb over top of the grip area, but if I did, there's no way just flinging my fingers into the loop will budge it (at least not in a fluid way and without hurting my fingers). It takes moving the whole hand.

Any one use graphite as a gun lubricant?
 

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Welcome, the flex tips are fine, working the action will smoth it out, the flopy trigger is nomal and have fun with your new toy.
 

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Resist cutting on your rifle or adding the aftermarket accessories until you have fired a few boxes of shells through it. You may find that you don't need them. Any modifications may void your warranty. Also, they may hide any factory defects. You want to find any problems as soon as possible so they can be corrected by the FACTORY.

"Any one use graphite as a gun lubricant?"

NO! Its good for brass locks, but not steel guns. It will pack into crevices and holes in the parts and gum them up. Also, it will dirty your hands every time you touch it.
Try a modern lubricant like CLP . Read the instructions. Shake it up, apply, let it cure for about an hour, then work the action to get rid of the excess. Sometimes you can find the military surplus version very cheap at gun shows. Lever actions require very little lubrication, mainly oil for rust protection. Excessive lubrication will just prolong the break in period.

"My aluminum snap caps are already marking up the loading gate's finish"

Snap caps were designed to be dropped into the chambers of shotguns to cushion the firing pins, to avoid breakage, when the triggers were pulled to relax the springs for storage. They were not designed to continuously be worked through the action. Find a reloader that will make you a few dummies out of fired cases.
The loading gate will be one of the first places to show wear. Try Kroil to see if it will remove the aluminum marks. The area around the loading gate collects fingerprints and needs to be carefully cleaned after each use.

"The main thing is that first little bit just getting it started - getting it to dislodge from where it catches up behind the trigger and move away from the grip. I have to put a little more into it to get the lever going than expected. Shouldn't it eventually get where I can pretty much just open and close my hand without so much movement and force being required? I don't wrap my thumb over top of the grip area, but if I did, there's no way just flinging my fingers into the loop will budge it (at least not in a fluid way and without hurting my fingers). It takes moving the whole hand. "

You will never be able to operate the action with fingers alone, you will have to release your grip on the stock and move your hand forward.
Marlins have a detent on the lever that prevents it from popping open. There are two springs, the firing pin spring and the trigger safety block spring that try to push the lever open. Without the detent, the lever would pop open and you could have misfires. Later, when your rifle has been broken in properly, you can find instructions on this forum how to adjust the detent. However it should always be strong enough to keep the lever firmly closed.
The levers on Winchester 1873's are so loose they have to have a thumb operated catch to keep them closed when not in use..
I call the "mare's leg" a trick gun. Amusing to look at, fun to shoot a couple of rounds through, but I would never buy one. The whole concept was thought up buy some Hollywood idiot. Why carry a clumsy thing like that when you could have a Colt revolver that fired the same ammo and the same amount of rounds as that monstrosity and was easier to operate.. I wonder how many people have shot themselves while doing tricks with one of them. The only excuse for doing that to a good rifle, is to salvage it after a horse rolled over on it and broke the stock and bent the barrel.
M.
 

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Welcome to MO and congrats on your new rifle.

I agree with 80hp in that you should do nothing more (aside from screw-on stuff like sights) than cycle and shoot it for a while. See how it wears in and such.

The trigger is normal and does not affect a thing. It is commonly called the Marlin Flop and is a result of the two piece design. All slack is gone once you put a little pressure to it and after a while you won't even notice it.

Not all new Marlins have rough/gritty actions, though it seems to be more the norm these days than in years past. Stiff yes, but rough and gritty no. You said you cleaned it up a bit but I would give it a good thorough cleaning. You can find instructions in the gunsmithing section for a full disassembly if you want (instructions are for an 1895 but almost the exact same for your carbine).

Get familiar with the gun, ensure there are no factory defects, see if it wears in enough to suit you and then decide how to proceed. Polishing the action is not difficult but should be done with care and patience. I've done a couple of my guns over many different sessions. It's easy to take off but real pain to put metal back on. ;)

You also have a wide variety of choices for sights. Nothing at all against the ones you listed, but do some searching on the forum and you'll discover a ton of info and opinions on different options.
 
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