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Thread: Marlin 336 38-55

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Marlin 336 38-55

    I asked this question over on ASSRA and was convinced by Westerner that I should not renew my membership.
    The 336 has been "fixed" by someone who thought you had to throat the chamber because .380s and .381s would not chamber. The result is that if I placed a 250 gr bullet in the case 1/8" deep and chambered it, I could not touch the lands.
    Today I was in the reloading shop and remembered I had some tapered bullets cast for my relatively new C Sharps Hi Wall in 38-55. The bullet is an Accurate made mold designed by Dan Trenck (310DT).
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    The Marlin barrel slugs .379 plus a tad. I dropped a bullet in the chamber and chambered a plugged case that seats the bullet 1/16" past the case mouth. The next to the last driving band provided some resistance but the lever closed (ain't bent either). If one is familiar with breech seating, they suggest that the lands contact at least 1/2 of the driving band. The skid marks of the lands ends just before the last driving band.
    As far as my education goes, the only problem I will have is that the grooves will not be sealed and gas may/should leak around the bullet causing leading and poor accuracy. I have this nagging concern that the base of the bullet is "hanging out" in the throat by about 1/8". Am I creating a mountain or does experience say "no problem".

    Full case of OE FFG (50 grs by weight) and .030 wad in case mouth.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum !

    IME, if the boolitt's soft enough, and the powder charge sufficient, the boolitt will obturate (swell up) enough upon firing to seal the bore.

    I would suggest just keep shooting until you develop a problem.

    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Well, Westerner is a little crusty that way. He thinks it's humor. Maybe living too close to the nuclear lab has affected him. I know I'd be a little nuts if I had to live in Arco. I've been there.

    You might do a Cerrosafe cast to see just how big (diameter) that throat is. Your bullet should fit the throat, regardless of groove diameter.
    flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
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    Well, the whole problem of lousy accuracy came from the owner "fixing" the problem with a throat reamer. Back when, Marlin made the throat so that a barrel that slugged .379-.381 could not be used (too tight) to chamber the bigger/fatter bullets. Most of the time, things could have been OK if they would have bought Starline brass (thinner) or turned down the outside of the case mouth. The throat of my Marlin is too big. Hence the brilliant idea of breech seating. Lets by pass the throat and seat that there bullet deep in the lands and grooves. It is what it is and I know what it is. If this does not work, I may reline, rebore, rebarrel, or something. Maybe sell it.

    I am aware that 1/16" inch of air space is not written in stone. And I probably will seat the bullet deeper. I do want that .379 base band filling up that .379 groove before all that hot gas tries to get past the bullet.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Seat them to work through the magazine, shoot them and see what happens. That freebore may not matter at all. Wierd stuff happens.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    A throating reamer would have done nothing to alleviate a problem caused by brass being too thick at the mouth for a large bullet. Throating begins beyond the mouth of the case. I reiterate: Do a chamber cast to see what is the diameter of that throat. Size your bullet to that diameter, regardless of groove diameter.
    flectere si nequeo superos, acheronta movebo

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    Texas by God,
    For about two years I tried so many combinations of bullets, powder (including black) and the many ways to set up brass that my note book runeth over. Sized, not sized, full sized , neck sized, crimped or slip fit, ad nauseam. I cast my own bullets. I use a PID and an old, old, Lee pot. I have tried Swiss, Goex, Ol Eynsford, different compressions and different size wads. Different primers and...……...I gave up. I did get the 336 down to about 2" at 100 yards. But that won't get you anywhere with the shooters around here. I will probably re-barrel the Marlin. I love a sleeper.
    Four months later I had in my trembling hands a C Sharps Hi Wall chambered for the...………….38-55 30" #4 octagon, single set trigger, pistol grip, and I had something waiting for it. A MVA 5X scope. Winchester “B” Series Scope with No.2 Mount.
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    I can do MOA with black or smokeless with this rifle.
    I started reloading in 1963. I am 77. Excuse me for showing off, but as a old groundhog hunter from West Virginia, I have built some nice bolt actions, most all using Douglas barrels. I lived two miles from them in Cross Lanes, WV.

    Pig killer
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    22-250, Rem 700 action. Fajen stock. I laid it in and finished it.
    Won't bore you with the others.

    Anyways, black powder experience is limited. That is what I am going to use to propel a 310 gr bullet. Not supposed to work with an 1:18 twist but John Boy swears by the heavy stuff with the same twist. Full case of Ol Eynsford FFg comes to 50 grains by weight.
    Last edited by Red Cent; 11-08-2018 at 05:17 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Yes, I don't blame you. I get antsy if my first three tries don't work. Thanks for sharing the pics of the nice rifles. I grew up on the 22-250 and I'll always have one.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
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    "A throating reamer would have done nothing to alleviate a problem caused by brass being too thick at the mouth for a large bullet. Throating begins beyond the mouth of the case. I reiterate: Do a chamber cast to see what is the diameter of that throat. Size your bullet to that diameter, regardless of groove diameter. "

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    "The curious thing is that through subsequent generations, until about 100 years after manufacturers began offering smokeless 38-55 loadings and more than 90 years after factory black powder loads were no longer routinely offered, no case manufacturer ever addressed the fact that with the, necessarily harder, cast and jacketed bullets used with smokeless loads, it was impossible to use a bullet that was sized correctly for the bore and groove sizes of 38-55 rifles made with chamber and bore dimensions according to standard specifications."

    "So, evidently, this situation continued through the ages. For example, several years ago when Marlin and Browning briefly offered 38-55 chambered guns, both used “correct” chambering and rifling dimensions, as specified both by history and by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI). Many serious shooters who bought those guns discovered that seating conventional cast bullets that were sized to ideal diameter for best accuracy (groove diameter or 1/1000-inch larger than groove diameter) in standard cases created loads that would not chamber in those guns. Testing proved that in those and other guns with conventional chambers, using conventional cases necessitated the use of bullets sized at least one-thousandths-inch smaller than groove diameter, else the round would not chamber. (In many gun and case combinations, the bullet had to be two or more thousandths-inch smaller than groove diameter, else the loaded round would not chamber."

    "I cannot explain why it seems to be impossible to recut the chamber neck larger without fouling the accuracy of these guns, I can only report that this is what seems to happen, regardless of who does the work, regardless of who designs the chamber-modification reamer, regardless of who makes the reamer, and regardless of what kind of loads, loading techniques, and loading dies the shooter uses."

    "Dave Manson — Manson Precision Reamers — now sells a 38-55 rifle chambering reamer built to my specifications. This design takes advantage of modern chamber-design theory and the resulting chamber works correctly with new Star-Line cases discussed in this piece. Most serious target shooters using the 38-55 rifle have found that this reamer cuts a chamber that provides significantly superior accuracy with any tested conventional-cast bullet of groove diameter or slightly larger and with jacketed bullets of groove diameter and it has become a bestseller for Manson. This reamer will not “fix” an existing chamber; it is necessary to set a chambered barrel back far enough so that this reamer cuts out the entire existing chamber, throat, and leade."

    https://www.starlinebrass.com/articl...t-38-55-Cases/
    Last edited by Red Cent; 11-12-2018 at 07:35 AM.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check