Marlin 336BL first impressions and first day at the range

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  • Marlin 336BL first impressions and first day at the range

    Hi All,

    I had my new BL out at the range today but before I report on that I'll fill you in on the effort to get it there. It came with a factory semi-buckhorn sight which I had heard is not that flash and I can confirm that it is a piece of shit. It is made of very soft, pliable metal and only folds away when you take the ramp out, so you need to be very careful not to lose the ramp. I had bought an XS Ghostring set but was having trouble getting it on due to tight screws on the receiver (as per my other thread), but when I tried to refit the factory buckhorn for the interim I had to bend it quite a bit to get it to fit back on the rifle. Then when I did get it on it was crooked, so I took it off again and tried to straighten it between to adjustable wrenches. I hadn't applied much pressure but one of the loops holding the "V" on broke, so the sight was ruined.

    So, having screwed up the buckhorns and being worried about stripping the screw on the receiver, I decided to seek help at the Queenland Gun Exchange where I bought the gun. The staff there were champs as usual and fitted the XS sight for me. You need good, hard screwdrivers for that job and even with them doing it one of the grubber screws disintegrated. I get no sense of poor workmanship on the gun itself but clearly Remlin is still going cheap on things like the sights and the screws, so if you are like me with a bit of a ham fist, limited technical knowledge and limited tools I would get the professionals to fit new sights for you.

    Anyway, with the new sights fitted I went out to Belmont and tried out a couple of boxes of Remington Core Lokt 150 grainers. The firearm was shooting about six inches high to begin with and even with the ghost ring down to as low is would go it was still a couple of inches high. However, I found it was just a matter of adjusting the sight picture so that the tip of the blade was about a third of a way up the ring, and the rifle was on target. I managed to shoot a 1 1/4 three round group at 50 yards off a wooden rest with no sandbag at the back. Shooting to the 100 metres was more challenging because the front blade obscured the whole target at that range, but I still managed to shoot about a 3 inch group at that range.

    I also tried some standing post, off hand and rapid fire under supervision. The standing post at 50 I tended to get in the 7 or 8 circle and off hand was pretty poor, but that is more to do with my shooting off hand than anything. When I loaded up the magazine it wouldn't take 6 as advertised and the RO told me I probably need rounds with a deeper seated pill. I'm not going to use reloads for this gun and 5 rounds is fine for my purposes, so I am not worried. I pumped out the five rounds very rapidly and the action was slick, loading and ejecting perfectly.

    The recoil was fine, it was a nice change from my 308 and I didn't find that the 18 1/2 inch barrel made the gun excessively noisy. It is also very well balanced for off hand shooting. All in all it was very pleasant to shoot

    Cleaning the gun is a little more complicated than the bolt actions I am used to, having to remove a screw for the lever and be careful not to lose the ejector when removing the bolt, but with a bit of practice I think I'll be fine. The other observation that I have coming from bolt actions to this is that the half cock and cross bolt safety system is more complicated than with a bolt, so that will take a bit of care and practice. However, I hunt with an empty chamber and I like being able to work the action at the same time as raising the rifle to my shoulder, so I see that as another plus for the lever.

    So apart from the niggly QA issues with the screws and the factory sight, now sorted, I am pretty happy with this gun. In practical terms the accuracy is fine and it will get better with practice. I like how quickly it points to acquire a target, how quick it is to work the action, the balance, the lack of recoil, that there are no magazines or bolts to lose or forget and that I can reload without worrying about taking off a magazine. Looking forward to getting it out into the scrub!
    "Love the bush for its own sake and you will never have an unsuccessful hunt".

  • #2
    Great report, thank you. I never believed that it would take 6 rounds in the mag - as you said no big deal.
    If you're going through hell, keep going."
    Winston Churchill

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    • #3
      Good stuff mate!
      I'm still really happy with my 336W.

      Are you thinking about optics?
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Forward!
      Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

      Comment


      • Shotgunner
        Shotgunner commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by 22F" post=42883
        Are you thinking about optics?
        No optics on this gun Mate, it is my "pure and simple" gun for forest hunting.

    • #4
      Roger mate
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Forward!
      Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

      Comment


      • #5
        Yep, mine won't take six in the tube either. I figured the advertised "six" just meant five plus one in the chamber.

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        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest commented
          Editing a comment
          Good to hear you have it sorted. My 336W takes 6 in the tube and one in the chamber. I have not shot any factory rounds through my gun but the seating of projectiles is always on the canular crimp. Where are the pics

      • #6
        Get some hard cast HRBC projectiles for cheap trigger time, off hand takes a lot of time to master, Trailboss ammo would probably cost about 30c a shot for a 30-30

        I was out with family shooting my 1894c, I had forgot how much fun levers can be.

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        • #7
          Might be worth buying a new front sight at the correct hight to take the guess work out.

          Congrats on the new rifle.

          JH

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          • #8
            It doesn't hurt to have the point of impact just above the top of the front sight blade, that way you can see what you are trying to shoot at rather than blotting the target out.

            When I'm target shooting with my Marlin .44mag with a Skinner ghost ring sight, I use a small aiming mark and I aim so I can just see it above the front blade.

            I have a few marlins and the rear sight folds down forward just fine on them without removing the ladder, you must have got a dud!

            I shot a rifle the same yours a few months back, it functioned nicely and shot very well, just like yours!.... Good luck with it!

            Comment


            • Shotgunner
              Shotgunner commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks Guys. Yup John, I am talking to XS about what size blade I need. I just need to shoot a few groups with the blade centrally located, provide them with the info about how it groups and they will advise me on the part number.
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