My New / 2nd Hand Marlin 30-30

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  • My New / 2nd Hand Marlin 30-30

    LGS had two in stock. A brand new one and a recently acquired 2nd hand one - obtained when the seller got rid of his entire collection.

    I'd spoken with them on the phone first to make sure they had one. On the phone I was told, "when you see them you'll pick the older one". We'll see, I thought.

    Popped in on the way home a couple of days later. One guy serving someone, the other guy on a break. So I found them on the racks myself and had a look from across the counter. The new one looked ok with its almost tiger stripe woodwork. The older one look traditional with its uniform colour woodwork. But how did they feel?

    When the 2nd guy got back he handed me the new one first. Apart from being new, I didn't like it. The main drawback for me was the action. The lever had so much side-to-side play in it, if you had a slight amount of side pressure on it, the part of the lever that contacts the stock, would contact the side of the receiver and you couldn't get it in! Apart from that, the entire thing felt rough. Granted, some roughness could be expected in a brand new action with all sharp edges and whatnot. But it was not really inspiring considering Henry can make smooth actions right off the bat. Yes, I know it's a budget gun, but that doesn't mean - or shouldn't mean - crap gun (how hard is it to put a shim on the lever screw to reduce the side-to-wide movement?).

    Next was the 2nd hand one. Right off the bat you could tell the difference. The action was smooth and precise. Side-to-side play in the lever was negligible. And there was hardly any wear on the stocks. The forestock checkering was still sharp and unworn - this was apparently a hunting rifle only - and if it had been carried by its sling then it was bugger all. The butt stock checkering was also sharp and unworn - and untarnished or discolored from dirty sweaty hands. The receiver and the rest of the bluing was primo. No scratches or anything. The only thing was a few small marks where the recoil pad (if you could call it that) meets the stock - which I figure would be consistent with stocks bumping in a gunsafe.

    The serial number of the 2nd hand one starts with 92. According to Marlin Serial Number Deciphering, you subtract the first 2 digits from 100 to find the year of manufacture. So, I'm left with an 8 for 2008. This is the last year that Marlins were made in the old Marlin factory in Massachusetts. So I scored a good'n me thinks...

    Oh yeah, deposit down, PTA on the way And obligatory pic...


  • #2
    Well done mister , it looks like one of the older 336W rifles. I also have just picked up a new 336W which by all inspections it appears the bugs have been worked out of them over the last couple of years. Mine will be mainly a kayak gun so I did not want a fancy version. I expect it to get knocked around a bit, the lever is a firm fit and the action cycles nice. I think it will loosen up after putting a few rounds through it. Going to get projectiles today and load a few up to shoot over the weekend.

    I hope you enjoy the new tool and keep us posted.

    Cheers Macca.

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    • #3
      Thanks for sharing this mate. I too am in the market for a Marlin 336, and still deliberating the new vs old issue, so it is interesting read about your black and white experience about the new and pre-Remlin varieties. I'd like to think that by now they've ironed out the QC control issues they experienced when they shifted manufacturing, but I guess you'll never know until you pick one up and have a feel for yourself.

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      • Guest's Avatar
        Guest commented
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        Originally posted by Adam" post=27274
        Thanks for sharing this mate. I too am in the market for a Marlin 336, and still deliberating the new vs old issue, so it is interesting read about your black and white experience about the new and pre-Remlin varieties. I'd like to think that by now they've ironed out the QC control issues they experienced when they shifted manufacturing, but I guess you'll never know until you pick one up and have a feel for yourself.
        I think it depends on your expectations of the rifle. I would say the older models may look a little nicer finish wise but I believe the new ones shoot just fine. A mate also has a 336W 2013 model and to be honest I like the finish, especially the finish on the metal components, looks like a black parkerised matte finish. It gets thrown around in the kayak a fair bit and performs flawlessly. He has ghost ring sights and the pigs and goats hate it His rifle is a practical hunting tool that he does not fuss over too much. If you are just a 4-6 times a year hunter with a few trips to the range in between well then may be a work of art rifle maybe your thing. If you want a knock about no frills, rugged looking rifle the new 336W may be for you, horses for courses. I will not cringe if it gets a few scratches and dings in it as long as it does not fail to function.

        Go and look at a few, speak with a few that have the newer models and make an informed decision. I will say they are a no nonsense practical tool that shoot as good as you can. There is some pretty bad stories out there on the net that have tarred them up. Don't believe everything that you read out there and for what it's worth I give the new 336W thumbs up.

        Mister looking forward to a range report when you end up shooting it

        Cheers Macca.

      • Guest's Avatar
        Guest commented
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        Originally posted by Adam" post=27274
        Thanks for sharing this mate. I too am in the market for a Marlin 336, and still deliberating the new vs old issue, so it is interesting read about your black and white experience about the new and pre-Remlin varieties. I'd like to think that by now they've ironed out the QC control issues they experienced when they shifted manufacturing, but I guess you'll never know until you pick one up and have a feel for yourself.
        It wasn't that the new one was badly made or whatnot. I actually thought it looked quite nice and the workmanship was good. Just that, I thought there was a little too much side-to-side play in the lever when it was opened (a thin and small shim would fix this) and it felt a little rough - rougher than my Henry 22 and rougher than the one I bought. It still worked fine. And you can be sure that if there was anything wrong with it Marlin would make good. Might be a hassle dealing with a warranty issue, but it does give you piece of mind.

        Some people whine about the sights not being classy enough or whathaveyou, others complain about the wood-to-metal finish. For some it's that the W is a laminate over hardwood. Those kinds of things are not deal-breakers to me. It's a gun. Guns are designed to be shot, not put behind glass and admired. Toss it in the back of the ute, fight your way through the scrub, lean it on prickle bush. All these things are the enemy of a pretty gun. So complaints about prettiness just aren't warranted, IMO. Besides, they didn't have to buy it in the first place - why buy something then whine about its aesthetics? If it was so hideous, don't buy it.

        If they didn't have the 2nd hand one there, I would have bought the new one. I bought the 2nd hand one not because it was guaranteed an old build, but because the action felt better to me. The rifle looked like it's done bugger all work. And I felt I was essentially getting a newish gun with a smooth action for the price of a 2nd hand. So jumped at it. It was only later, at home, that I recalled the first two digits of the serial number and worked out when the gun was made.

        @3030chad At the moment I'll leave the buckhorn sights on it and see how I feel about them. From there I'd probably go the Skinner sights (maybe even their reddot), then if I don't like them, either a 4x or 6x fixed scope (probably 4x).

        Range report will follow

    • #4
      I had a very similar story to yours last year... That's how I ended up with my 336A stamped 1991.

      Love it - The new rifles don't even compare.

      Other than changing the buckhorn sights for Skinner sights, the only change to the rifle I made was to help alleviate the stiff action lockup (The part you have to "break" to open it, and the part you have to "snap" past to lock the lever closed). Punched out the pin holding in the locking nut in front of the triggerguard and shortened the spring by one turn. The lever still locks up tight, but its MUCH easier to open now.

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      • MrCarbine
        MrCarbine commented
        Editing a comment
        Nice pickup. Enjoy!!

    • #5
      Excellent job, the Marlin 30-30, its a magic rifle.

      For the record I have a new one made the end of last year, and it is perfect. I would say they ironed out the bugs early to mid last year.

      I have never had a problem with mine. But I did ensure I put a wild west trigger on it and gave it a lever job (smoothing out the action)

      It is without doubt the best rifle I own

      You will get many hours of enjoyment out of it.

      What are you going to do for sights ? Lots of options ie leave the buck horns on, or put on a peep or scope ?

      Cheers
      Chad

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      • #6
        Nice score mate, gratz.
        Love your country, love your family, love your sport.

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        • #7
          Looks nice mate! Well done.
          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Forward!
          Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

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          • #8
            Thanks.

            Picked up some 30-30 ammo for the initial ammo preference test.

            From left to right... Highland 150, Remington 150, Winchester 150, Federal 170 - they didn't have any of Hornady's LeverEvolution stuff. But I'll make sure to grab some of that before I hit the range.



            Highland brass seems to have a discolour. I've noticed this on other calibre ammo of their's. Interesting.

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            • #9
              The discolour is the annealing of the case . Some manufacturers polish theres some dont . Either way nice pickup . Try some of the hornady 160gr ftx when you get a chance .

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              • Guest's Avatar
                Guest commented
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                Originally posted by M77" post=28038
                The discolour is the annealing of the case . Some manufacturers polish theres some dont . Either way nice pickup . Try some of the hornady 160gr ftx when you get a chance .
                Ah... the old annealing to make it more workable trick. I'd always wondered. Thanks.

                I did ask for some Hornady ftx (Leverevolution - the one with the red plastic tip). Was told, "don't have any" after a bit of a look. Odd considering it was listed on the stores website as "in stock". Oh well, I'll just get it elsewhere
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