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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1953 model 336 SC Marlin in .35 Remington. Best groups so far, with the 200 grain Remington corelokt in both factory loads and Reloader 7 handloads using 3 different primers, is 2 1/2 to 3 inches. Some groups are larger, to 4 and even 5 inches. All groups were fired from sandbags on a fixed bench at 100 yards. Two different scopes have been tried, set on 7x and 8x, in sturdy, tight mounts. I haven't owned the gun that long so don't know how much better, if any, it might shoot. I've cleaned the barrel thoroughly and it looks pretty good inside and at the muzzle. My two other lever actions shoot much better. I know I should try another powder (probably IMR 3031) and maybe another bullet, but Re 7 and the Rem 200 are proven components. I have the feeling that something on this rifle needs to be "tweaked". Any suggestions? Thanks.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Lossking -

My .35 Rem did best with the 200 gr bullet, 38.0 gr Hodgdon H322 and a CCI 200 primer, using Win. cases. Velocity was averaging 2075 fps (14" T/C bbl) and group sizes in the 1.25" - 1.50" area. With a 2.2" high 100 yd grouping, it is dead on at 150 yds and 9.75" low at 200 yds.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Take the forend & magazine off. Shoot with the sandbags or something else soft under the receiver just ahead of the lever, don't hold the front, just use your non-trigger hand to control the rear bag under the buttstock.

Mine goes from fabulous to miserable depending on forend tension. This experiment will tell you for sure if that's the problem. Then all you have to do is figure out how it will shoot best with the rest of the parts installed.... there is no point in wasting more ammo until you check the forend/mag tube issue.
 

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Howdy,
I am new to this board but thought I might be able to give a little thought.

I have a Winchester 30-30 carbine and a 30-30 rifle. (1964 & 1916 resp.)

I have found that my carbine will not shoot heavier bullets, but it will shoot 150gr. Sierra prohunters. It will not shoot any other bullets well accept the Speer 150 is close. I shoot with iron sights and at 100yd. I can hold a 2" group. the Best I have done with the carbine is 1.5"

The rifle will not shoot the lighter bullets and I found that the bore is too loose to shoot cast. (I am still playing with that) But it will shoot the Sierra pro hunter 170 gr. bullet. Now this is a old rifle that was neglected when I got it and I have been playing with it for 2 years off and on. When I first shot it I could barely hit the black. Now it will hold 2.5" pretty consistantly.

My whole point here, is that you may not have to change much to tighten up a group. Simply bullet brand can make a huge difference. Also, I am not so sure that you will hit much better than 1.5" at 100yd with a carbine, even with a scope.

Just for the record, I have also found that all of my rifles that shoot smokeless powder (all 3 of them, hehe) like the IMR 3031.

(I like blackpowder cartridges the most and my M/L second.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to all for your thoughts and suggestions. Will experiment some more and will let you know the results. Also, I forgot to mention in my initial post that this rifle has a very heavy trigger which is probably hurting the groups some. The sturdy benchrest and sandbags help offset the hard trigger pull, though. I am going to install a Wild West Guns trigger as soon as I scrape up the $90, if one will fit my early 50s gun. Otherwise, I will have a trigger job done on it. Regards.
 

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I like a good trigger as much as anyone, but I wouldn't be too eager to blame bad groups from a levergun on the trigger pull. I would address other factors first, (in fact, Mike G's post is almost EXACTLY what I was going to suggest! Great minds think alike...:p ) and then once you get the rifle shooting to your satisfaction dink around with the trigger. It's very upsetting to throw good trigger money into a project and then find the darn thing still won't shoot to your satisfaction.

I have a 30-30 on which the trigger pull is heavier than the weight of the rifle, yet just last week I shot a one-hole five shot group at fifty yards, with receiver sight and cast bullets.

Don't give up; I bet that old rifle will shoot, once you find what it's looking for!
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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If the trigger pull is really heavy, flatten out the trigger return spring just a bit. World of difference, cheaply and helps with the group shooting.

Also, if you can find it, I have found the Federal 200gr. load to be much more accurate than the Remington 200gr. 3-shot groups as small as 3/4" (0.75") at 150 yards with a 7x scope (yes I have pictures!). One box of that stuff could be real educational. Wish I knew what bullet they were using and if it was available as a component.

4 and 5 inch groups aren't caused by the trigger. One last thought, scrub that barrel within an inch of it's life before you go to the range next time. But .... I will bet that taking the forend & mag tube off makes a drastic difference.

And check the crown!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK guys. will follow your good suggestions. Agree trigger is likely not the culprit. Many thanks for your help.
 

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THis just a thought. I know you said you cleaned the barrel up. IF you have not done so, after your next shooting clean it well with sweets. This is an older rifle and may be copper fouled. The sweets will cut it out. But then you may have already done that.
chris
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the suggestion, crookedshot. I've already tried cleaning it pretty throughly. Used J B Compound, Birchwood Casey Bore scrubber solvent and finished up with some Sweet's 7.62 just like the directions said. It seemed to help some but the accuracy is still poor.

Actually, after all that, I'm not sure that the bore is completely clean. When I scrub it using the solvent and a bronze brush, the patches come out black no matter how many times I do it. I think that might be the solvent acting on the bronze bristles of the brush as it doesn't happen with a nylon brush. The same thing happens with my other rifles and I know they aren't all dirty.

Anyway, like MikeG suggested, I'm going to scrub the .35 "within an inch of its life" before shooting it again. I would like to get the bore cleaned down to bare metal and see what effect that has. I'll just have to keep eliminating all the possible causes of the large groups until I solve the problem.

Regards to all.
 

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I took a rifle that had years of carbon build up in it and started working on it. Night after night, cleaner, patches, brush, patches, patches, patches......over and over again.

Then I took some hoppies #9, plugged the end of the muzzle and filled the barrel with it. I let it sit for 2 days. It helped, but not enough.

Then I did the same thing with Break Free. That works much better. Still not where I want it but the barrel is starting to mirror now.

I too get nothing but black everytime a run a wet patch. Does not matter if I use Hoppies #9, JB, Break free, Klein all patches come out black. I know there is still carbon in the barrel and I also think it had a poor rebluing job on it and I could be taking some of that out of the barrel as well.

But every time I shoot it, cleaning the barrel while it is hot makes a huge difference in what I can get out of it. I am sure once it is as clean as I want it, my castings will have to change and the accuracy should get better, but it might not. It might get worse until I find the right bullet combination to match my newly cleaned barrel.;)
 

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OH, one more note,

I do not get balck patches on any of my other rifles. A few patches, Brush and a few more patches and the patches are clean. So I do not know why you would get black patches unless the barrel is dirty.

JB will turn patches black too. it is a bore polish and made to help fill in pitting etc...So If your barrel has pits and the JB is in the barrel, maybe this is the black that you are seeing.:confused:
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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A .35 Rem probably does not have severe carbon fouling like a fast varmit rifle could. But - there could be a fair amount of copper down in the grooves, mixed with other odds and ends.

So, I recommend the following:

1. Scrub with a NEW brush, wet with a typical solvent (say Hoppe's), NOT copper solvent. Give it 10 or 20 strokes.

2. Couple of dry patches through the barrel. They will be filty, but some of this is the brush.

3. Couple of wet patches - but not solvent. Rubbing alcohol or something that will degrease the barrel. If you don't like the ideal of rubbing alcohol, then take it outside, and squirt some brake cleaner down the bore and let it run out and evaporate. I use denatured (99%) alcohol.

4. Now, wet a patch with some Sweet's or Barnes CR10. Push patch through barrel. When you get to the muzzle, add a little more solvent with a dropper or the like. I hold the gun upright, then put a little puddle of solvent in the end of the barrel with the patch about a quarter inch back from the muzzle. Pull patch out of barrel while keeping it vertical, then stand it muzzle-down on a rag or towel. The idea is to make sure the bore has no grease or oil, then completely coat it with copper solvent.

5. Let soak per the instructions on the bottle, then run a dry patch through. If it is green/blue, repeat process! If not, you do not have copper fouling.

Alternating the brush and copper solvent will help get fouling out that is in layers, that is, copper mixed with powder fouling and lead.

Note that by using a brush, you WILL always get some black gunk. The brush does wear quite a bit. Easy enough to prove, measure the diameter of the brush with a caliper before you start and after you are done. By the time you are done it will probaby be groove diameter, if not less.

Rinse brush off when done with HOT water. If overly worn, 'recycle' to the next smaller bore size (.35 to .338, .338 to .30, etc.). Or use to clean case necks.

If you are just going through endless cycles of the above, a patch wrapped around an udersized brush and coated with JB, or the Rem bore cleaner, will help speed the process.

Recognize that the copper solvents are typically water-based. Naturally, you will need to put some oil in the bore after using them.

Once you get the gun completely - and I mean completely - clean, you won't have to go through this circus each time. But it can really try your patience the first time you clean one.

Also, if this stretches over several days, leave Hoppe's in the barrel overnight, as it will prevent rust (says so right on the bottle).

If the gun continues to foul, then lap it, don't put up with the aggravation. The .35 Rem is easy, use .38/.357 wadcutters, and 3 grains of Bullseye. Marshall has lapping compound. 20 rounds of lapping bullets will do a rifle bore wonderrs.
 

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Hi, Gents:
A couple of points. Generally .35 Remington barrels runs over .358". Hatcher's Notebook says that .359" was the original spec, so a new brush or a .375 brush is necessary.
http://www.beartoothbullets.com/faq/extras/marlindia.htm

Sweet's will rust your barrel if it's left in too long. The first bottles didn't have a warning about this, and I learned the hard way. I prefer Hoppes Benchrest, so I don't have to babysit the rifle.

As Mike says, you can have layers of carbon and copper. Always brush or use JB after the patches stop coming out green. Then run another couple of patches with copper solvent. The first one after a brush will be green from the copper in the brush. The second one tells the story.

A really tight patch acts as a squeegee when you're applying copper solvent. Use a loose one.

Now if I can get a connection with my haywire ISP...:mad:

Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #16
This weekend the cleaning gear gets unleashed. I'm gonna see what comes out of that barrel, and I'll bet its still got a lot left in it from over the years. I might also install a Wild West Guns Trigger Happy Kit. I agree the very heavy factory trigger is probably not the cause of the poor accuracy, but it certainly isn't helping. Then, I need to remove the forearm and magazine tube and shoot again, maybe with some Remington and Federal stuff and some more handloads, too. I'll figure that sucker out eventually. Will post again later. Thanks to everyone who replied for your good suggestions.
 

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Don't make too many changes all at once or you will not know what the problem was. Have fun. FYI-I hit the range tomorrow morning:D
 

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Thanks Pard,
If I shoot a group, I'll post a pic.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, I spent several hours last weekend cleaning the bore of the old 336, and it is much cleaner. However, while I'm not seeing any copper fouling now, there still seems to be some powder fouling. I just can't seem to get it all out. No matter how much I try, there is still some black showing on the patches. I hit it with J B Compound once to start with, then ran some Iosso Bore Paste through two or three times. I then swabbed with Sweet's 7.62 a couple times and no blue showed on the patches. I finished up with Hoppe's No. 9, brushing with a bronze brush and finishing up with some patches but the last patch always showed some black. So, I ordered a chamber plug from Midway and when it arrives, I will soak the bore overnight with No. 9 and will see if that will help.
When it's as clean as it will get, I'll return to the range with Federal, Remington and Winchester cartridges. I'll remove the forearm and magazine tube and shoot again. If it still won't group decently, I'll have to think about recrowning or even rebarreling. Will keep you posted. Regards to all.
 
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