Open the bolt 1/3 to half way, remove the lever pivot screw, remove the lever, slide the bolt out the rear of the receiver. Be careful not to lose the ejector which sits in a slot/hole on the left side of the receiver. To reassemble, lay the rifle on its left side and insert the ejector back in its slot, insert the bolt half to 2/3 of the way in, insert the lever, making sure to get the end through the slot in the front of the bolt and install the pivot screw.
Really very simple. The hardest part is finding a good screw driver blade so as not to bugger up the pivot screw slot.
I wanted to get back to you earlier, but I got sick, got laid off, started a new job, started a weekend class at the community college, and am now trying to squeeze in an elk hunt.
The fact is, I still haven't tried to remove the bolt on my 336, but I tried it on a friend's Guide Gun last night. You're right, it is very simple and easy, and it is hard to fit the slot in the pivot bolt, even though I have most of a set of Brownell's screwdrivers.
I had planned to hunt with a new (to me) JC Higgins .30-06 that my sister gave me. It came with a really nifty Ashley ghost ring that fits on a Weaver base, but the front sight is too short (if I understand correctly), and I can't get sighted in any closer than ten inches high at fifty yards. I then tried a 2-7x Leupold compact, and I couldn't get it any closer than a foot right! Having run out of time, I fell back on hunting with the borrowed Guide Gun. I used it last night -- opening day -- in light rain and snow, and I was very pleased with how easy it was to clean once I got home.
I have never used a bore snake, but I always use a bore guide when I clean from the muzzel.
Currently I am using a brass cone shape one. Fits everything I shoot, from the 30 cals up to my .45 colt Mdl 94.
I even use it on my wheel guns.
As for removing the bolts on my lever guns, I used to do it when I would shoot black powder, or get caught in a dust storm, or about once a year when I was shooting a lot.
You don't need to do it every time you clean it if you use a bore guide.
Rest assured that I don't plan to disassemble my gun every time I clean it, but I like to be thoroughly familiar with my guns, and this bolt-removal thing was a gap in my knowledge.
Ima, I have a bore snake for my .35 Whelen, but I'm in the middle of restocking it and haven't shot it since before I got the bore snake. At that time, I didn't even own a .30-caliber rifle. Now I own two -- the 336 and the Higgins -- and will probable get another bore snake. I don't have a muzzle protector; I usually clean with a coated pull-through cable that drops in from the muzzle, and that seems to work well enough.
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