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#6510212 - 10/25/16 03:03 AM Marlin Issue
DH3 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/18/14
Posts: 309
Loc: Katy
Awhile back, I bought A Marlin 336 30-30 from a member on this board. It was advertised as a "Safe Queen" and appeared (and still does) look practically unfired. I equipped it with a new Bushnell 3X9 scope and took it to a rifle range last year. Group size (that time) was about 8" at 100 yards. I finally got a couple shots within 3" of each other and called it a day.
Tried again today. 1st shot was in the bull 1" high and 1" right. AFter that, it was all over the paper for the next 10 or so rounds. I made NO changes to the scope settings. After a couple shots went 6" high, I decided to adjust the scope and the next 2 shots were even higher. I decided to readjust the scope and decided that the markings were wrong (reversed). Next 2 shots were in the bull with about a 3", 3 shot group.
The rifle has now appeared to "settle down".
I rechecked all scope screws and they are tight.
I have a safe full of tack drivers and I am an experienced rifle shooter. The Marlin is JM stamped so it was made before the move. I am shooting my own reloads that were carefully made and are on the upper end of 30-30 velocity.
Marlin has an excellent reputation for accuracy and I have a 336 made AFTER the move that will shoot a 1" group all day.
Questions:
1.Did I buy a lemon?
2.If the rifle has decided to settle, will it get better?
3.I have read that a change in ammo will improve accuracy in many cases. You think that is the problem? (I use the same reloads in my other good 336 shooter).
4.Anyone have a scope with the markings reversed? (up/down left/right)
Your comments appreciated....


Edited by DH3 (10/25/16 10:03 AM)

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#6510227 - 10/25/16 05:19 AM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: DH3]
dredd Online   content
Tracker

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 871
Loc: Dallas / Fort Worth Area
I'd start by throwing some Leverevolution down the barrel & see if you can get a group.

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#6510286 - 10/25/16 06:35 AM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: DH3]
jhenderson Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 5061
Loc: The colony
I'd try a different ammo first before anything else. Did you check the bore? I've seen several with pitting in them. Have you checked scope mounts? Rings? Make sure those are tight.

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#6510323 - 10/25/16 07:06 AM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: DH3]
scalebuster Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/25/10
Posts: 1921
I'd pull the scope off and see how it shoots at 50 with open sights. I'm betting it's an issue with the scope.

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#6510334 - 10/25/16 07:15 AM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: scalebuster]
TexFlip Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 8661
Loc: Harris County
Originally Posted By: scalebuster
I'd pull the scope off and see how it shoots at 50 with open sights. I'm betting it's an issue with the scope.

Me too.
_________________________

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#6510381 - 10/25/16 07:42 AM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: DH3]
Ranch Dog Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1089
Loc: Cuero
  1. "Did I buy a lemon?"
    I doubt it. You mentioned checking "the scope screws" but did that include those attaching the base to the receiver? What about the rifle and all of it's screws? Uneven pressure on the barrel band and/or magazine tube screws can make weird things happen. The forward most screw on the lower tang, the screw that is closest to the forearm, when loose can really create some crazy accuracy issues.

    Another thing that I do if I'm having accuracy issues with a levergun is strip the magazine tube off the rifle and shoot it with the receiver resting on bags. That will tell if all the parts hanging off the barrel are the cause but do that after you have cleaned the rifle and checked all the screws. I just had to go through this with a Marlin chambered in 375 Win.

  2. "If the rifle has decided to settle, will it get better?"
    Personally, I would want to work with it to make sure it is better before I hunted with it. I would start with a barrel that is cleaned down to the steel. I would also consider buying just run of the mill factory ammo to see if the issue is with my reloads. I hate buying ammo but do when things aren't coming together to confirm if it is the rifle or my work.
  3. "I have read that a change in ammo will improve accuracy in many cases. You think that is the problem? (I use the same reloads in my other good 336 shooter)."
    It might be a mistake to assume that what works in one rifle, works in another. I have owned as many as four different 336s chambered in 30-30 Win and they all shot different loads.
  4. "Anyone have a scope with the markings reversed? (up/down left/right)"
    I haven't and that is why I find it hard to believe that the rifle has settled down.
Reference the image and comments I made concerning my Marlin 375, it was the strangest issue I have experienced. The rifle has shot extremely well since I obtained it, never changed the load for my cast bullet. I decided to mount a XS Sight System on the rifle, both scout base and ghost ring, using the model for the 336. As far as I could tell the measurements of barrel and receiver where the mount attached were very close to a stock 336 that I have. The base bridges the receiver to the rear sight dovetail and after installation made the rifle shoot crazy. I came to the conclusion that locking things tight had placed some weird pressure on the barrel. I started adjusting the forearm stuff and decided that wasn't going to help so I removed everything and went back to the standard scope setup. Over the course of several days I determined that I needed to sight the rifle in for a cold barrel as the first shot vs. subsequent shots were very different. This was done by firing a shot and waiting at least 30 minutes before firing the next. By doing this I was shooting to a defined POI, with a very good group, that then could be used to adjust the POA. The cold barrel shots were together but any heated barrel shots were at least 6" from the sight in at 100 yards and random. With everything off the front of the rifle, this made the "what to do" a real question especially to a rifle that had always been a very accurate shooter. Finally after deciding that torquing down the long scout base had set up some kind of uneven pressure between barrel and receiver that did not want to go away, I heated the rifle up by shooting it 10 consecutive shots and then started tapping the barrel and receiver with a light rubber mallet. Once it cooled down and since, it was back to being a ragged hole shooter. I suspect the tapping allowed what tension had developed between barrel and receiver to dissipate. Worst case I've seen, took 200 rounds over about 10 days but I'm confident through use that it is ready for hunting season.

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#6510433 - 10/25/16 08:11 AM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: DH3]
Palehorse Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 4034
Loc: Surfside Beach, TX
Here's an earlier thread that discusses what sounds like your same issue along with some possible fixes.
http://texashuntingforum.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/6411973/1
_________________________
That which does not kill me only makes me more irritable.

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#6510672 - 10/25/16 10:08 AM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: DH3]
DH3 Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 11/18/14
Posts: 309
Loc: Katy
FWIW, I checked ALL of the screws including the barrel band. Next. I will try different ammo.

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#6510872 - 10/25/16 11:58 AM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: DH3]
Just Nate Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 01/14/12
Posts: 4625
Loc: Austin, TX
Take it to a gun smith and have him look at the barrel.

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#6510886 - 10/25/16 12:05 PM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: DH3]
HWY72 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 01/13/15
Posts: 140
Loc: S TX
I had an similar issue many years ago and it turned out to be one of the scope rings were cracked.

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#6510986 - 10/25/16 01:04 PM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: TexFlip]
unclebubba Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 1217
Loc: Collin County, TX
Originally Posted By: TexFlip
Originally Posted By: scalebuster
I'd pull the scope off and see how it shoots at 50 with open sights. I'm betting it's an issue with the scope.

Me too.


x3 how does it shoot open sights?
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Originally Posted By: LandPirate
...women can be some deceitful, cheating, betraying, lying, scheming, conniving creatures.

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#6511830 - 10/25/16 09:01 PM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: DH3]
cheetah577 Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/19/13
Posts: 159
Loc: Dallas, TX
Mine likes 170 grain ammo. I get 1-1.5" groups at 100 yards with Winchester power-point 170 grain ammo.
_________________________
God bless John Wayne!

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#6511868 - 10/25/16 09:18 PM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: TexFlip]
Hunt n Fish Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/25/06
Posts: 12973
Loc: Azle,Tx /Hunt Jack Co.
Originally Posted By: TexFlip
Originally Posted By: scalebuster
I'd pull the scope off and see how it shoots at 50 with open sights. I'm betting it's an issue with the scope.

Me too.


This.......
_________________________
HnF

"Prayer is when you talk to the Lord, Meditation is when you listen to what he says"

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#6513700 - 10/26/16 08:23 PM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: Hunt n Fish]
TexasVine Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 10/20/08
Posts: 2034
Loc: Lakeway/Fredericksburg
Originally Posted By: Hunt n Fish
Originally Posted By: TexFlip
Originally Posted By: scalebuster
I'd pull the scope off and see how it shoots at 50 with open sights. I'm betting it's an issue with the scope.

Me too.


This.......


I would go with this bit of advice.
_________________________
TexasVine

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#6513978 - 10/27/16 05:24 AM Re: Marlin Issue [Re: TexasVine]
Texas Dan Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 11274
Originally Posted By: TexasVine
Originally Posted By: Hunt n Fish
Originally Posted By: TexFlip
Originally Posted By: scalebuster
I'd pull the scope off and see how it shoots at 50 with open sights. I'm betting it's an issue with the scope.

Me too.


This.......


I would go with this bit of advice.


And if it shoots the same, take it to a good gunsmith and ask him to check it.
_________________________
Dan,

Spring, Texas

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