Marlin .30-30

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Marlin .30-30

Postby First Shirt » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:44 pm

Somehow or another, I seem to have acquired another Minion. (Is long story. Is best don't ask.) And this Minion needs a deer rifle for next season, and is most comfortable (has the most experience with) lever-action rifles, so I spent most of Friday hitting the local enablers and Houses of Hock looking for a Marlin 336 in decent condition, figuring that would be the best starting point. Found one, and put it on layaway until I accumulate enough loose change to spring it from durance vile. It's lightly used (seems to have been carried lots, and shot little), and in pretty good shape.

What I'm intending to do, unless common sense prevails (but common sense hits like a girl, so I ain't scared!) is the following:

Install a good ghost ring rear sight, probably Williams or XS, and better front blade.
Install a forward scope base, for mounting a Burris 2 3/4X LER scope that I just happened to find laying around.
Cut the stock, and add a good recoil pad.
Add an ammo cuff, and a Rhodesian sling from Andy Langlois.
Replace the magazine follower with a hi-viz type, and probably put a new spring in at the same time.
Clean up the trigger, go through the innards and replace any worn or suspect parts, and polish the chamber while I've got it apart.
Get some 160 gr. FTX bullets, some Hodgdon's LVR powder, and some dies, and assemble some good loads for it.
A small box with spare ejector, extractor, and lever screw.
Cleaning and maintenance kit.

Anybody think of anything I forgot/missed/didn't think of? Advice, suggestions, opinions all cheerfully considered.

Thanks!
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby Vonz90 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:44 pm

Sounds decent except not everyone gets comfortable with the LER scopes right away (in some cases at all). I use one on my K98, but it was a year or two of shooting before it felt natural to me anyway. Of course, I think they offer some good advantages for short to medium range work. It is a question of the learning curve.

My father used a Marlin for years as his deer gun until it was stolen in the early 00's (recovered, but since he had bought it in mail the 60's he did not have any paperwork for it and did not get it back - twas a bummer.) He used see through rings with wide objective low power scope (I do not remember the specifics). That could be an alternative.

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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby First Shirt » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:10 pm

I've never figured out a way to get comfortable with see-through rings, so I admire those that can. I just can't seem to find a cheek position that works with scope and irons when the scope is that far above the bore, so I couldn't teach someone else how to do it. And I really like my scout scope, as does the left-handed Senior Minion, which is why she now has one on hers. For us, at least, the learning curve was pretty short.

A friend at work last night, when we were discussing this project said "So, what you're trying to do is make a lever-action scout rifle?" Hadn't really thought of it that way, but that seems to be pretty much the case. One rifle that will handle all, or at least most, of the rifle-type chores that could come up.
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby Vonz90 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:24 pm

I did not shoot my Dad's Marlin much, but as I recall he had it set up so the scope was the main thing and the see through irons were more of just a backup. I think he had a leather comb pad of some sort on it, but it has been gone for over a decade so I am fuzzy on it.

:jacked:

So what LER scope are you using?

On my Mauser, I have one of these: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1362411427/leupold-fx-ii-scout-rifle-scope-25x-28mm-intermediate-eye-relief-duplex-reticle

But since it is my main deer rifle, I am thinking about putting one of these on it as I like the idea of being able to dial up the magnification if I have to make a longer shot or pick an ally through the brush type of thing: https://www.midwayusa.com/product/854643/vortex-optics-crossfire-ii-scout-rifle-scope-2-7x-32mm-matte

Probably drop the Leupold on my AR as that is only irons now and I was thinking of going to optics on that (and my G3) since my eyes are not getting any younger.

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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby First Shirt » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:45 pm

It's a Burris 2 3/4X (as opposed to the newer 2.75X, which has a 0.025" larger ocular bell diameter, which was really entertaining when I put it on my rifle, since the old one just barely cleared the scope base, as in, a sheet of printer paper would fit between base and scope bell, but a business card wouldn't) and I originally started with a Burris on my sorta-scout because the eyepiece is adjustable for focus, a feature that the Leupolds I had looked at didn't have. I'm really pleased with how ours have worked out.
Last edited by First Shirt on Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby Vonz90 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:33 pm

First Shirt wrote:It's a Burris 2 3/4X (as opposed to the newer 2.75X, which has a 0.025" larger ocular bell diameter, which was really entertaining when I put it on my rifle, since the old one just barely cleared the scope base, as in, a sheet of printer paper would fit between base and scope bell, but a business card wouldn't) and I originally started with a Burris on my sorta-scout because the objective lens is adjustable for focus, a feature that the Leupolds I had looked at didn't have. I'm really pleased with how ours have worked out.


The Burris one looks interesting, but the eye relief is a bit longer than I want. https://www.midwayusa.com/product/430740/burris-scout-rifle-scope-2-7x-32mm-ballistic-plex-reticle-matte Also, at $400, if I was going to spring for that, I would probably just go all out for the Leupold VX-R as I like Leupolds better than Burris for the most part (except price). https://www.midwayusa.com/product/430740/burris-scout-rifle-scope-2-7x-32mm-ballistic-plex-reticle-matte

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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby Netpackrat » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:26 pm

There is no real reason to use a long eye relief scope on a Marlin since they eject to the side. Maybe since it is a hunting gun, put the money you would spend on the backup iron setup into the VX-R optic. The odds of needing irons if you buy a quality optic seem low.
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby slowpoke » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:40 am

be really different, put an aimpoint and a fold over 3x magnifier on it. No one would expect that on a levergun :D
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby Windy Wilson » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:28 am

A regular eye-relief scope should work on a Marlin 336. Let me see about scrounging a picture of my dad's JC Higgins (a Marlin knockoff) with scope (don't tell Kim Du Toit, he thought scopes on levers were unaesthetic -- backpacks on ballerinas, he said).
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby Denis » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:32 pm

Hurray for Additional Minion! Lucky kid...

That rifle and setup sound splendid. I have a rifle with a Williams ghost-ring setup, and like it a lot. I also don't like see-through scope rings, as they put the scope too high off the bore for a decent cheek weld. I just took a set off a Brno model 2 that I got, and will replace them with regular low rings.

If you can mount a regular eye-relief scope on the Marlin, the Vortex 2-7 x 32 scope that Vonz mentions is a nice option. I have one on my "brush gun", a CZ 527. Deep dawn and dusk performance is not stellar, as you'd expect, but it's fine in normal light. I don't know about the Rhodesian sling. I have a Safari Ching Sling and can really recommend it.

Well wear, and happy hunting with happy Minions!

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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby First Shirt » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:30 pm

I know that I can mount a regular scope on the Marlin, but that would prohibit the installation of a ghost ring rear sight, and it's important that this rifle have both. Besides, even with the 160 gr. FTX bullets and LVR powder, it will be, at best, a 200 yard gun (depending on the shooter), so it doesn't really need a lot of glass, since most of the shots, here or there, will be 100 yards or less. (The other two Minions are still running their original Leupold M8 4X scopes on their 7mm-08s, to good effect in the field.) I'm trying to keep it as light and versatile as I can, within the limits of the design.

I'm basically setting it up the way I would set one up for myself. Fortunately, anything that I add can be easily removed/replaced with something different, to suit the new user.

I've put Andy's Rhodesian slings on just about everything I have that will accommodate a sling, even the rifles of the other Minions. Properly adjusted, they are a terrific aid in shooting from improvised field positions, and an attractive and sturdy piece of equipment, besides.
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby BDK » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:05 pm

A cheek pad might be a good idea.

I really like WWG's trigger on my Marlin

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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby Darrell » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:30 pm

First Shirt wrote:I know that I can mount a regular scope on the Marlin, but that would prohibit the installation of a ghost ring rear sight, and it's important that this rifle have both.

There's always the good ol' Soviet "chin weld". ;) Can you make a ghost ring and scope co-witness on a lever action? It sounds busy. I've been watching Hickok 45's lever action vids lately, he sure likes his ghost ring sights on their own. I would think a ghost ring on its own would be fine for the distances you're talking about.
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby First Shirt » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:50 pm

No, the ghost ring will attach to the receiver using the two rearmost scope mount screw holes. If I mount the rear sight there, there's no place to attach a standard scope mount. That's why I want a rail forward of the action, so I can have a good rear sight (the factory buckhorns are pretty much just for decoration) and still mount an optic on it.

I've got the picture in my head of what it should look like, but can't find the actual photograph. (Don't you hate when that happens?)

ETA: Found it! This is a 94 Winchester, not a Marlin, but it's the same idea.

4sies4 (1024x768).jpg
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby Old Grafton » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:38 am

Look up Weaver Pivot Mounts. I don't think they're made now, but there were jillions made. Regular scope in regular location, just pivot it outta th way to use irons. Might meet yr needs.
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby Netpackrat » Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:42 am

Yeah, backup rear sight behind a scope without a QD mount of some kind is kind of useless. I have exactly one rifle with "see through" rings, but it ended up that way only because the scope had to be that high for the objective to clear the rifle.
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby First Shirt » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:59 am

Have two sets of Warne QD rings that need a home, so I might use one set of them, if the Weaver Quad Locks are too low. They're pretty nice rings, and you just flip a lever to unlock them from the base, no tools required. But they're steel rings, and not appreciably stouter than the aluminum Quad Locks, but a noticeable amount heavier.
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby First Shirt » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:18 am

Well, it's a work in progress, but I think it's coming along pretty well. Don't laugh, it's a pawn shop special, and it looks like it!

So far, I've polished the bolt a little, cleaned up the trigger, replaced extractor and ejector (and added spares of both, as well as an extra lever pivot screw to the spares kit) added a Williams Firesight front, and a Williams peep rear. Installed a Weaver scout rail, and a Burris 2 3/4X IER scope, and got the whole thing bore-sighted at 25 yards.

Waiting on the recoil pad, ammo cuff, and FTX bullets to get here to finish it up, and work up some loads for it. It's been a fun project, and I really hope she likes it!

Image
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby randy » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:47 am

Oooohhh! Purty!
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby MiddleAgedKen » Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:15 pm

I like it.
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby Weetabix » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:41 pm

MiddleAgedKen wrote:I like it.

+1
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby HTRN » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:33 pm

Didn't somebody make a picatinny rail with a ghost ring rear sight milled into it?
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby First Shirt » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:44 pm

XS Sight Systems makes one, but you have to buy the taller front blade separately, and I'd read mixed reviews on how well the XS rail fitted. And I got the Weaver rail, and the Williams sights for less than the XS rail alone would have cost.

And the Weaver installation was super easy. Drift the buckhorn rear sight out, drift the Weaver dovetail insert in, and attach the rail to the two forward scope base attachment screw holes, and the dovetail insert. Loc-Tite the crap out of it, and call it done. (The dovetail attachment even has two small threaded holes for set screws, one on either side of the main hole, to be used if the insert isn't tight enough to suit you.)
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby Denis » Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:57 pm

I like it! Happy hunting and well wear, that lucky Minion.

I usually think that scopes on leverguns look like excrescences, but that one is a nice example of good form following from functionality.

I own a couple of leverguns (a Winchester 94AE in .30-30 and a Browning in .22-250), but never yet took one out for hunting. I am a bit doubtful about loading/unloading one when moving around, but not actually hunting. I like the simplicity of putting the rounds under the bolt of my regular rifle - it's easy to do and feel, even in the dark. I suppose not loading / cocking a levergun is just as safe, but I have no experience with it.

I do have a left-handed hunting buddy who uses a scoped Marlin .30-30, and gets good results.

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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby blackeagle603 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:17 pm

I've a Burris Fastfire I've been meaning to give a try on my M336 30-30. So many ideas, so little time.
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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby BDK » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:10 am

If you get the stock fit right, you'll love a red dot on a lever gun

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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby Denis » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:08 am

BDK wrote:If you get the stock fit right, you'll love a red dot on a lever gun


That sounds like a superb idea. I must try one on my Browning Lever-22.

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Re: Marlin .30-30

Postby MiddleAgedKen » Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:39 am

BDK wrote:If you get the stock fit right, you'll love a red dot on a lever gun


Oooh, there's a thought.
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