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  #1  
Old 10-20-2009, 09:51 AM
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Marlin 336 with loose forend and magazine tube


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I've been lurking around scrounging info on the Marlin 336 but this is my first post. I'm looking at a used 336 in a gun shop and need some info on what to look for. The price seems very good. They're asking $169. At that price I can only assume that there is something wrong with the gun.

I've taken a good look at it and there are several cosmetic issues. There is about a 1 inch by 1.5 inch square in the middle of one side of the stock that looks to be a patch. That wood doesn't match the rest of the stock. All the exterior metal looks relatively rust free and appears to be in fairly good condition. Just minor wear to the blueing.

The action feels pretty smooth and seems to cycle just fine. There are two things that are keeping me from jumping right in and making the purchase. The first one is that there are a lot of scratches on the inside of the receiver. When the bolt is retracted you can look in through the ejection port and see the scratches on the other side of the receiver.

I think the second thing is a little more major. The forend and magazine tube are loose. If I grab the magazine tube forward of the forend I can wiggle it side to side. It seems to rotate around the barrel a bit. The barrel itself does not move. It feels and looks like the front band holding the mag tube to the barrel is loose but the screw is very tight. I could not move it with my fingers. The forend is loose as well but I can't tell if it's just moving with the mag tube or independently.

What do you guys think? Is this a good deal that just has some looseness in it that can be easily fixed? What do you think the problem is? Thanks for the help in advance!
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2009, 10:36 AM
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Sounds like it has been rode hard and put up wet. Mag tube held on by barrel bands? Or a dovetail ahead of the forend?

You can get replacement parts here, perhaps:

www.e-gunparts.com
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2009, 11:04 AM
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The stock is no problem. Any even new stock will fit.

The insides probably was the result of some ham handed person trying to fix a jam. This alone may be part of the reason why the price is low. whoever has it now does not want to mess with it. i would ask if it is possible to see if new rounds will cycle through or if it is all fouled up.

The forearm/mag tube. The rear band screw might be broken and not go through the slot to hold it in place. Again a sign of a possible ham handed prior owner.

if it cycles ammo fine and you want a bit of a project gun, it may be worth it. Understand you may have to put some additional money in parts. If you do not want to work on a gun. Then my advice is to walk away and be willing to set aside the few more dollars it would take to buy parts for this gun and put it towards the purchase up front of a 336 in better condition!
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2009, 11:11 AM
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Thanks guys. Good advice. I appreciate it.
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2009, 12:37 PM
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Let’s look at the things one at a time:

“There is about a 1 inch by 1.5 inch square in the middle of one side of the stock that looks to be a patch. That wood doesn't match the rest of the stock.”

This is a probably from a gouge. The repair if it is well fitted, is too your advantage. The stock is sound but cosmetically challenged and this reduces the price of the rifle but does not detract from its utility.

“When the bolt is retracted you can look in through the ejection port and see the scratches on the other side of the receiver.”

This could be a potential problem. The chances are this was caused either by a feeding issue or an extraction issue.
If a feeding issue the rifle could have had a round come under the carrier and in the act of attempting to fish the round back into the magazine a screw driver of knife point scratched the inside of the receiver. I would ask the gunsmith if he had any action proofing dummies and I would cycle them through the action both fast and slow to ensure the rifles feeds cartridges from the magazine smoothly.

Next I would take a close look at the extractor and look for wear on the fingers where it holds the cartridge rim. If you have any 30-30 empties I would see how these are extracted from the chamber.
Take a look at the chamber under a good strong light and look for rings or scratches in the chamber which could indicate someone has been digging around trying to remove a broken or stuck case. I have seen shooters digging around with a knife attempting to remove a broken case when it was easily pushed out with a brush.

“The forend and magazine tube are loose. If I grab the magazine tube forward of the forend I can wiggle it side to side. It seems to rotate around the barrel a bit.”

This is a common accurizing modification. Generally the barrel bands are relieved on the inside and the band when the screw is tight does not hold the magazine tube snugly. This allows the barrel to heat and the magazine tube does not bind the barrel.
The second part of this is to reduce the end of the magazine tube where it enters the receiver. This is generally done by sanding the last ½ inch of the magazine tube to allow the tube to float in the receiver.

“looks like the front band holding the mag tube to the barrel is loose but the screw is very tight.”

As above.

“The forend is loose as well but I can't tell if it's just moving with the mag tube or independently.”

The forend is commonly relieved to allow it to have motion under the band and around the barrel and magazine tube. Again this eliminates the interference and binding between the magazine tube and receiver and forend as the barrel heats. It is commonly discussed in magazine articles on how to accuracies lever action rifles.

The only area you have asked about which gives me pause are the scratches inside the receiver. These scratches to me indicate a possible feeding or extracting issue. This does not mean there has to be either thing specifically wrong, it is just a possibility.
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2009, 05:36 PM
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The scratches inside the receiver have me wondering, too.
Just to be sure you aren't overlooking the really simple obvious things, take a look and make sure the rifle has an ejector.
When you disassemble a Marlin 336 to clean from the breech, it's easy to knock the ejector out of it's recess on the left side of the action. If someone did that and lost the ejector, that might explain the scratches- picking cases out with a knife, or some other tool.
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2009, 09:32 PM
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William, thanks a ton for your info. I will head down tomorrow if I get a chance and take a look at the extractor and see if I can cycle some dummies through. The information you provided was incredibly detailed and gave me some more things to look for. I really appreciate it.

Jack, there is an ejector in the gun. I checked for that when I was looking it over today. Thanks for the thought though!

Another interesting thing is that I believe the serial number starts with an E which if I have done my research correctly means the gun was manufactured in 1948. That makes it more interesting to me at least!

Again thanks for all your help.
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