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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at getting a new Marlin 336 in 30-30. Anything I should lookout for as far as quality wise?

Reason I ask is I’ve been looking at lever guns – mostly the Winchester 94’s for the past 6 months or so and have been disappointed in what I’ve seen. Gaps in the receiver to frame fit, rusted bluing on the barrels and loose handguards are what I’ve seen on NEW 94’s. And of course now 94’s are hard to come by, but it’s just as good.

So besides the obvious, anything to watch out for?

My next question is on the microgroove rifling. I plan on shooting mostly lead loads and I’ve read conflicting reports saying it is not as accurate with lead bullets. Any truth to this? It probably won't see a lot of shooting as far as hunting, mostly plinking targets, but I'd like a fairly accurate gun. Any idea on the kind of accuracy I can expect with lead handloads?

Any help is appreciated.
 

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I am not sure about lead.. I know they say cast shoots as good in micro as jacketed if bullets are sized right..
Now are you talking the new xlr with 24 in barrel or carbine??? the xlr has ballard rifling,, the carbine micro groove.. I have both.. both shoot great.. I shoot factory ammo jacketed only.. Although I have not really had a chance to wring out the xlr. I know at 100 yds with Winchester power points it will touch bullet holes.. Haven't had the weather to really get down and shoot it yet with the the new Hornaday ammo ...

Handloading and Tuning you can get the accuracy you want for sure.. but like I said , mine are great out of box.. but there hunting rifles not bench target rifles..

Marlin is much better rilfe than Winchesters of recient years and now since production has stopped on them most think there made of gold.. I sure can understand that as about 6 million were produced .. but to each his own..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am looking at the standard 336A. I thought about the 336C in 35 Rem, but I just wanted a cheap shooter. I figure with lead handloads, I can load a 30-30 for about a penny more per shot than my .45's.
 

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The A is good choice as is the W. I have W and xlr
The W will touch bullet holes but not all the time using a scope of course..

but open sites I can shoot under 3" with factory ammo.. I know those that handload can do way better.. You will have fun with it.. but like I said , I really can't tell you about shooting lead in them..
 

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I have had 4 Marlins and all were good shooters out of the box. If I could hold them steady it would go where I needed it to go. Not a target rifle but good enough for hunting and fun plinking. :lol:
 

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You should not have any problems with accuracy. Lead or jacketed. You might even be able to get MOA or Sub MOA accuracy with a factory rifle. Last year for Ranch Dogs postal match there were some very impressive scores turned in with both lead and jacketed. It is very rare that you find a Marlin that doesnt shoot.
 

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I've had both 94 Win and 336 Marlin, currently I do not own a Winchester, reason I've grown fond of the design of the Marlin which I consider much better. Far as accuracy both good out of the box. It's what happens after that concerns me, the marlin with the help of a screwdriver (only tool needed) can be cleaned and maintained much better from the breech without the winchesters downfall cleaning from the muzzle and risking damage to the crown of the bbl which causes accuracy problems as soon as a small mistake is made. The 336 is available in many versions to suit most any shooter, hunter, plinker with currently available production rifles including stainless steel versions. Far as accuracy is concerned the marlins can be handloaded to surpass any factory loading I've tested or seen tested or just read about. Far as the new Hornady ammo is concerned I think it will bring new levergunners into the fold and promote marlin rifles now that winchester quit producing the 94 and marlin came out with the XLR series of rifles will enchance that ammo. The very first thing I would do when making your purchase is plan on getting it to a competent gunsmith to do a 3lb trigger job on it. The marlin triggers have been lawyer proofed as well as the Wins, either generally goes past my 8lb trigger pull gage when new.
 

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halvey said:
My next question is on the microgroove rifling. I plan on shooting mostly lead loads and I’ve read conflicting reports saying it is not as accurate with lead bullets. Any truth to this?
Hello there,

I can tell you that I am having a very bad luck with 336W and lead bullets. They are 150 gr of .309 diameter. I reported that before, but without gas checks i cannot shoot them with a normal load. Have to load them light wich makes me aim my gun about 3" higher at 50 yards to hit the bull's eye. I hear if i install the gas checks the performance will improove. When I load the leads with some more powder (still about 20% less than a jacketted bullet of the same weight)the bollets start on having the life of their own and do not hit the target at 50 yards at all.

Mad
 

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Halvey,

As a fellow member once said, "Welcome to the asylum, oops, I mean forum." :D

With all due respect, Sir! ...(I only made Cpl. in USMC)... The Marlin you are considering will shoot better than you can. Sir! :shock:

I don't do cast bullets (YET) but my three Marlins ( 30-30 and 35 Rem.) shoot right along with my Rem. Model 700 (accurized) in '06 and my 700 Classic 35 Whelen. And I expect the used .444 Marlin that is on the way to my house from NJ will do the same. :wink:

Go for it!

...Welcome...
 

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halvey, mad russian, plainbase bullets are a little more graduate level when it comes to cast bullet results. They generally need lower velocities to perform adequately. Some bullets will not shoot at all if they are intended for use with a gascheck and you don't apply them. The proper use of a filler (dacron or possibly shot buffer) may help things with plainbase bullets. This provides protection from gascutting and some other benefits. Most often it is more difficult to get accuracy with plainbase bullets if velocity exceeds 14-1600 fps. Full power .30-30 velocities are generally too high for plainbase bullets.

Try the same bullet with gascheck, sized .310 or .311 if you can size to that diameter. Loads approaching full power usually need a gascheck.

The type of throat the rifle has is more important than type of rifling when it comes to shooting lead bullets. Microgroove can shoot lead just fine. I wouldn't expect a "Ballard" rifled barrel to shoot that load any better. Two of the worst shooters for lead I've ever had have Ballard type rifling. Their throats sucked, and the supposedly "superior" rifling type couldn't help that. Don't worry about the Microgroove rifling. Worry about the throat and dimensional uniformity. Find a bullet that fits and use it properly. It will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
On the lead bullet issue...
I plan on driving them under 1600 fps per the Lyman manual. I wanted to load them with Unique and/or Blue Dot as it's some pretty cheap shooting! I will be buying the cast bullets, however. I've never loaded cast bullets for rifle, so what is the best size to get? I assume .309, but I see Meister also sells the exact same bullet in .308. My .45ACp bullets were .452, which is .001 over groove, so I assume I should do the same here? Or is cast bullets in a rifle a different animal? Is Meister the way to go here, or are there better companies? The only Meister I see in the Midway catalog is 165 gr.

I went to my local shop with the intent to purchase the 336 yesterday afternoon. The only gun left was the one in the case and it was handled a lot, so I passed on it. I will call around to a few places this morning to see if they have a NIB one. Yeah I know, it will get worn, but this was handled A LOT.
 

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I have begun working with cast bullets in my very old 336A. Too soon for real results yet. On the forum over at castboolits there is a wealth of info. (on a borrowed computer and don't have the link handy sorry) The wisdom over there mirrors 35Remington's advice. With the micro groove rifling you also need to know your actual bore size. Micro groove barrels tend to have a larger bore. This means that your bullet needs to fit the throat and might need to be a tad bigger to work with your bore. Only way to know for sure is to check out what the bore size your rifle has when you get it and go from there. All three 336's I have/had were very accurate. Usually the bolt gun guys at the range are stunned that a levergun can turn in groups like that.

Keep us posted with range reports down the road.

B
 
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