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Thread: 336 only shooting leverevolution

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    336 only shooting leverevolution

    Hi Folks!
    Haven‘t been active here for a long while but was still casting and shooting lead.
    I have a problem with my marlin 336; 30-30. It is a 1972 vintage „zane grey century“ model which my father gifted to me at christmas 2019. I just can‘t get it to shoot. I equipped it with a skinner alaskan peep sight (beatiful work of art it is!), but it would not shoot groups under the size of a pie plate. I tried nearly every factory round i could get my hands on in the 150-170 grain range. After that i tried reloads with the ppu 170 grain flat Point bullets. Not worth a darn.
    I ordered a Lyman 311041 mould which took a solid 18 months to arrive. Sized them to .310 and gave them a try: same result as ever.

    Only the 160 grain hornady ftx will shoot acceptable groups. But of course i don‘t want to limit all my shooting to the most expensive factory round there is. Anyone any idea what could be the reason for this problem with this gun?

    Wish you all a wonderful sunday,
    Timo

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Sounds stupid...but did you check for loose screws and clean the barrel?

    Next thing is to check the crown.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    Screws are snug, i took a liitle wood off of the foreend and brass off the nosecap to prevent touching or clamping the barrel as good as possible. Crown is also undamaged.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Barrel slugs what diameter?

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    I got 1 group with the lyman bullet near max load which showed horizontal stringing, all others were all over the target.
    Slugged the barrel two years ago, so i don‘t remember the exact reading, .309 i think.
    I ordered a pound of the leverevolution powder to try but this will take a few weeks to arrive at my local dealer.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Is the bore clean? What powders have you tried?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    You may find this helpful: https://hoffos.wordpress.com/tag/imp...tion-accuracy/

    I found this with a basic search. I can't speak to the "Part 2" of this article, but I am familiar with the M.L. McPherson works referenced. I imagine Part 2 goes into unitizing the barrel and magazine tube with a thin layer of RTV sealant between the two.
    WWJMBD?

    Is the mightiness of the pen still relevant after we roll the writing paper into cartridges for a Sharps?

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulliwig View Post
    I got 1 group with the lyman bullet near max load which showed horizontal stringing, all others were all over the target.
    Slugged the barrel two years ago, so i don‘t remember the exact reading, .309 i think.
    I ordered a pound of the leverevolution powder to try but this will take a few weeks to arrive at my local dealer.
    Forget my primer suggestion then (post deleted). If the fit of the forend and magazine are the issue you could try shooting it with magazine and forend removed (with the action on the sand bag). If it groups OK naked, then put the forend and cap back on and try it that way, but still without the magazine. If it is still OK, then look for pressure being exerted by the magazine.

    A friend had a 336A of about the vintage of your rifle whose barrel was insufficiently relieved for the magazine tube beneath the chamber. This created some spring in the tube when the magazine plug screw was pulled up. It shoots fine now, and we relieved the contact without first shooting it, so no idea what the effect was.

    The LVR powder in my experience is excellent with jacketed bullets, but I find it requires full throttle with cast (2200 fps), otherwise it gives excessive velocity variation and vertical stringing. At this velocity (2200) with cast there is a big difference in groups between 10" twist (my Marlin - four groove rifling) and 12" twist (my Savage 99). The Marlin does best around 1900 or 1950 fps (powders other than LVR), while my Savage does best at 2200 and perhaps beyond.
    Last edited by Wilderness; 01-24-2022 at 09:31 AM.
    It'll be handy if I never need it.

    Insomniac, agnostic, dyslectic - awake all night wondering if there is a Dog.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks for all replies so far.
    I‘ll try the idea shooting the rifle without magazine and forend and have a look. What‘s really confusing to me is the good accuracy with hornadys factory ammunition. This leads me to the thought, that the rifle is able to shoot accurately as is.

    I tried my reloads with vithavuori N130 in half grain imcrements from 20.7 up to 24.7 grains of powder. The last showed pressure signs and the bolt became a little sticky.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulliwig View Post
    Thanks for all replies so far.
    I‘ll try the idea shooting the rifle without magazine and forend and have a look. What‘s really confusing to me is the good accuracy with hornadys factory ammunition. This leads me to the thought, that the rifle is able to shoot accurately as is.

    I tried my reloads with vithavuori N130 in half grain imcrements from 20.7 up to 24.7 grains of powder. The last showed pressure signs and the bolt became a little sticky.
    BW - be sure to post the results once you've shot it.
    It'll be handy if I never need it.

    Insomniac, agnostic, dyslectic - awake all night wondering if there is a Dog.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    BW, is the offending lever gun a microgroove barrel? If so, they like the boolits fat. I shoot .312-.313 boolits from my Microgroove 336.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Get a copy of mic McPherson’s book on accuracy and leverguns. If none of that works, I would try to get a lookin the barrel with a bore scope.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    lever revolution powder has history of best accuracy as you approach or at max load, would not be my first choice for gun with accuracy problems.
    3031, 4895, 4198, 4227 are some tried and true powders for accurate cast loads in 30-30. does your gun have barrel band or metal cap at front of fore end?
    sometimes stress on barrel is created in front barrel band. if nothing else might try removing fore end and see what accuracy is like.
    believe it or not some of the less expensive Glenfield and marlins with metal cap at front of fore end are more accute than some with barrel band stress situations.
    that zane grey should be capable of 2-3 MOA.
    also another thing to look for on some marlins with front sight dovetail mount that is held in place with screw. that screw hole could go all the way into rifling. you might take a look with a light and magnifier or bore scope.
    Last edited by farmbif; 01-24-2022 at 12:54 PM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    The Lyman 50th ed. says "Marlin rifles with Micro-Groove rifling should keep cast bullet velocities below 1600 fps for best accuracy". I have been getting decent groups at 50/100yds.with open sights using a 170 gr. cast boolit chrono'd at 1670 fps. My Marlin was made around 1967.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    I‘ll try to answer your questions as good as possible and Will of course tell you the results after my next shooting, which hopefully will be on next sunday.

    @ sigep: I‘m not sure about a microgroove barrel, it seems to have more and shallower grooves, but not worse than my '94 in .44 Magnum which shoots full house magnum loads with or without gas checks all day long. Bigger sizing would be impossible as the mould gives me barely a diameter of .311.

    @Shawlerbrook: I tried to find a copy of that book, the ones i could find ran about 165€…
    If i find someone owning a bore scope i would love to take a look inside.

    @Farmbif: you surely noticed english is not my first language as i am from germany. Due to REACH (some kind of banning of certain chemicals), most of the american powders are no longer imported inside of the european union. I would have really loved to try 3031 for my 30-30 and 45-70. We can buy only some american powders (so glad lil gun is still available), besides that we can buy: vithavuori, reload swiss, lovex, Rottweil, norma and i think vectan. The gun is fitted with a nosecap which i altered a little to make it not touching the barrel anymore. The Front sight is only dovetailed in.

    @Cottonpicker: my starting loads were pretty sure below this mark. And even standard jacketed bullets won‘t shoot a darn

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    Size to 311. The 041 uses a GC. Alloy needs to be about 4% Sb and probably water dropped. As to the rifle itself, either run a soft slug down the barrel or a really tight patch. You are looking for tight spots at the receiver and muzzle end. Front sight and roll stamp areas tend to size down the cast when it passes and accuracy isn't good. You can try to 'iron' out those spots but I never did. Mine is just slightly tight at both ends so a harder alloy and GC for HV are needed. IIRC I use 30gr LeverE for 185 gr RD style bullet that is similar to the 041, ~2k fps. I load so bullet does not jam the lands and use a crimp to just remove the bell on case mouth. Best I could do was nearly cloverleaf @ 100 yds, shot from led sled, my FTX reloads. Never tried the accurizing stuff but did put a wild west happy trigger in it that helped a lot. Down to 4# vs the standard 6#.
    Whatever!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Microgroove Marlins can shoot boolits at or near factory j word velocity. Sometimes it is a longer road than at other times but it is do able.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    norma 201 I believe is very close to 4198 and reloder7. if this is right might be worth a try

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    My thoughts are that until you get a mold that will throw at least a .312 boolit, you will have accuracy issues. A work around would be to use faster pistol powders to bump the base of a medium hard boolit, neither dead soft or hard, maybe air-cooled wheel weight. Start with something like Red Dot, 2400, Unique. If you cannot find those powders, look for something close on the burn chart.

  20. #20
    Boolit Bub
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    As i promised i gave it another try again this morning without magazine tube, forend and nosecap. I forgot to bring enough ammo to try it with forend and nosecap but without the magazine tube.
    I tried three loads, 150 grain Winchester x protected Open point expanding and two of my handloads with ppu 170 grain flatpoint and n130.
    To make it Short: it shot better groups than before but nothing better than five to six Inches in diameter….
    I'll try it again next week with more loads and the attached forend but i am pretty hopeless by now

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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