This Marlin 336 was found in the woods.


May 1, 2005, 11:16 PM
This is... or was... a Marlin Model 336 in .30-30. It was found in the woods as you see it. The bottom of the chamber is blown away in the shape of the cartridge. Pic is hard to see but the casing is still there, blown out to match the barrel. The bolt is frozen and appears fractured. The hammer and loading gate flew off, I guess. Of course, the magazine tube and forend were blown off. The tube was found and it was crushed and bent. No sign of the forend.

The side view shows the frame is cracked in two directions from ejection port. The only useable part left is the butt stock.

I figure the shooter had to have been injured. Must have been a Hell of an overload. Oh, the barrel is plugged. Maybe the bullet didn't make it out with all the pressure going downward?

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May 1, 2005, 11:23 PM
Pics no worky.

EDIT: There they are. :what:

May 1, 2005, 11:27 PM
The bolt held! That's pretty impressive for a levergun.

May 1, 2005, 11:32 PM
Very curious find. How old is the rifle? Was it found in a very remote area?


May 1, 2005, 11:44 PM
:what: :eek: Wow, that looks like someone got hurt! As far as age goes, it's a "pre-safety" rifle, with a gold plated trigger. I don't think Marlin used the gold plated triggers until the 1950's, but don't bet the farm on that. ;)

May 2, 2005, 12:15 AM
:what: I would imagine that the shooter left in a hurry after that happened, probably looking for an Emergency Room! I guess he didn't think it was worth going back for...

May 2, 2005, 12:21 AM
if it's still plugged then the first round probally didn't make it out the barrel, squib... then the second round was fired and there you go...

May 2, 2005, 12:29 AM
That is - ''impressive'' - if such a word can be used to describe a gun's demise!! Much pressure - big destruction - lesson to be learned.

May 2, 2005, 01:02 AM
The last time I saw a levergun like that was during a Hunter's Safety course when I was 12...... look at the pic and think about where your left hand would be (If you're a righty anyhow....) OUCH!

May 2, 2005, 01:32 AM
I'd put an add in the paper - maybe "Stumpy" wants his rifle back .

May 2, 2005, 02:32 AM
Save it for the next gun buy back. :neener:

Bob R
May 2, 2005, 02:38 AM
I would send it back to Marlin...who knows what would happen. :)


May 2, 2005, 09:08 AM
It was found in a deer hunting area. Very remote. No idea how old it is. I haven't put a rod down the barrel to see where the blockage is, but usually a plugged barrel results in the barrel blowing up, not the chamber, doesn't it? When I see a chamber ruptured like this I think of maybe 35 grains Unique being dumped into a reloaded case instead of 4064 as the shooter intended.

Rather than send it to Marlin, I should send the pics to Remington and tell them it was some of their ammo that let go. How many lawyers do you think would call?

May 2, 2005, 09:38 AM
Not if Stumpy decided to recoup his losses, and reported it stolen to his insurance agent....

May 2, 2005, 11:07 AM
Dig around, you might find the shooters bones close by. :what:

May 2, 2005, 11:42 AM
Look for the serial number. You can not only date it with the #, but you could also find out what happened to the poor guy shooting it.

May 2, 2005, 12:24 PM
Madre di Dios!!! I bet that left a mark...

May 2, 2005, 12:26 PM
What are you going to do with it. I would like to have something similar to hang on my mantle (when I get a mantle).

If you want to rid yourself of it, let me know. :evil:

May 2, 2005, 12:31 PM
Not a whole lot of rust on it, couldn't have happen too long ago.

May 2, 2005, 01:48 PM
A primer/no powder load might have pushed the bullet far enough into the barrel to let the next round chamber, leading to the blowout. And if it's a handload, the maker of the case wouldn't really be relevant to the blowout.

A had a no-powder handload happen to me once, but luckily the bullet didn't make it far enough in to let the next round chamber. USP would have been expensive to replace.

May 2, 2005, 02:17 PM
From the rust on the metal I'm guessing that it is really recent and not more than 1.5 years ago. I'm thinking bad reload or the shooter chambered the wrong caliber for the gun. Thanks for the post.

May 2, 2005, 06:01 PM
Looking at the overall condition it hasn't been out there too long, maybe last deer season?

George Hill
May 2, 2005, 07:48 PM
Looks like from last Fall.

I'd ask around. The owner, if still alive, might want it back.

May 2, 2005, 07:55 PM
Put it on Ebay, somebody will buy it.

May 2, 2005, 08:04 PM
The anti's might give you $50 to get the evil rifle off the streets... :evil:

Standing Wolf
May 2, 2005, 08:16 PM
I guess it's a good thing most of us get born with ten fingers, eh?

May 2, 2005, 08:30 PM
Amazing find. The sight of that sure makes me very curious as to just what happened to the hunter/shooter. Have you thought of contacting the state police to determine if anyone went missing in the area where the gun was found or even during recent years during hunting season? They may well have an open missing person's case that resulted because of that blow out. Of course if you contact them they are almost certain to confiscate the Marlin, at least until they conclude their investigation. There could well be someone's remains out there, maybe close or maybe quite far from the ste where you found that Marlin depending on how badly wounded was the shooter if actually wounded mortally. Of course maybe he/she was ok and made it to medical attention, or maybe was not even hurt at all. Tough call but, then again your coming forward may be the key to solving a mystery that could result in giving some peace to family members of the hunter/shooter if he/she was actually killed and never found.

Editing to add this:

I don't even know where you found this rifle, but here is a link to an example of what I am talking about regarding a missing hunter: I imagine it is possible that the rifle yoy found could be related to something like this. Even if not killed by any injuries from the rifle blowing open like that, it could have resulted in disorientation that led to getting lost and then passing from injuries/lack of food/whatever. Really may be worth checking into.

All the best,
Glenn B

May 2, 2005, 10:18 PM
Glenn Bartley-

....."Suddenly everyone's a expert....."-CSI

No but seriously, that would be the right thing to do. You just never know....

May 3, 2005, 08:45 AM
Problem is that I wasn't the one who found it. My father in law found it and gave it to me some time later, like nearly a year later. And he lives in another state. So, I'm not even sure how to go about trying to find the owner from 1000 miles away and in my experience when you start bugging the cops with this sort of research they really aren't interested as they have better things to do.

May 3, 2005, 02:36 PM
There's definitely a skeleton out there...

May 3, 2005, 02:48 PM
From my cold, dead hands. :p

pete f
May 4, 2005, 12:27 AM
Seeing as how the bolt held i would say the guy is fine. maybe a bruised hand, maybe some small shrapnel wounds, no missing hands etc. IF it was deer season he probably had his heavy gloves on that hand, the walnut of the handgrip would have acted as a deflector and buffered the burst of gasses to a great degree. I have only seen a few of these where the bolt did not hold, when the bolt does not hold, then the guy is in a world of hurt, almost always tho, the bolt holds, and the barrel just splits as per design, and the gass is released. This is a common problem in the woods if there is snow around and guys may stumble and plug the bore with either snow or mud and then it freezes into a solid plug. The barrel steel is expressly chosen to vent in this manner rather than holding until it fragments into shrapnel.

As far as sending it to remington, or anyone and trying to bluff them into a pay day, as some might have insinuated, even in this condition remington (or other manufacturer) would be able to tell you the manufacturer of the last the projectile to run down the barrel. all manufacturers have slightly differing make up of the jacket material they use and can tell with a simple test who made the ammo. They can also often tell you if the load you claim to have shot, is the load that went boom in the barrel. residues in the barrel will have to match with residues they know will be left behind from their powders.

May 4, 2005, 04:22 AM
Send it back to Marlin, they might give you a new gun or a replacement cheap.

May 4, 2005, 08:38 AM
The bolt held because of its design. As the bolt is inserted into the receiver, the lug of the cocking lever is meshed into the bolt. When it's in the closed position there is a section of the lever that is 2/3" that holds the bolt in place. It's a PITA the first time you put it together, but after seeing the pic's. I'll never complain again.

May 4, 2005, 02:26 PM
Ask him where he found it and then look around for area hospitals.

Check with them for a hunter coming in with injuries. I'm sure that there isn't that many. He could be located or at least what happened to him if the hospital chooses to give you the info.

May 5, 2005, 09:39 AM
report it to your fish and game. where and when found, and serial number. this is still legally a gun, and you can't just "find it".

May 5, 2005, 09:45 AM

You can't just "find it" ? Federal law require you to report to them if you find a gun, even one that is obviously not capable of firing?

May 5, 2005, 11:26 AM
I would argue that at this point the receiver is de-milled. It's no longer a gun, just a paper weight.

May 5, 2005, 11:52 AM
I would argue that at this point the receiver is de-milled. It's no longer a gun, just a paper weight.

You could argue it, and might even win, but I doubt it. Demil has specific procedures and I don't think KABOOM qualifies. Ask any of the holders of the umpteen thousand IMBEL FAL kits that were confiscated because the cuts used to demil them weren't wide enough.

Relayer, it's still a gun that belongs to someone. Realistically, there probably isn't much of an issue, but were it to have been stolen prior to it's KABOOM, and you now possess it....

May 5, 2005, 11:55 AM
Did you look around for remains near the gun? Seriously - that could have been enough to kill someone.


May 5, 2005, 02:56 PM
If it were stolen and I was found to have it... nothing would happen except the police would confiscate it as stolen property. I've had two guns I bought used turn out to be hot and this is what happened.

Again, to those of you asking me if there was a body nearby, I didn't find the gun in the woods. It was found by another person who gave it to me and told me he found it with no other details.

pete f
May 6, 2005, 03:56 AM
I repeat NO ONE DIED FROM THIS> did not happen.
first there was mag tube under the blow out and a hand guard of walnut.a barrel ruptured and gas vented. All of that mass slowed down the gasses and buffered the intial vent to a still slower speed. When I worked at the gunshop we would see about one of these every other year, some times a bolt gun sometimes a shotgun sometimes a primo old Colt or S&W About one third were bad handloads, usually a no powder squib followed by a full power load. one third were barrel full of mud or snow. one third were what in the H.... a 308 in a 270 or a 20 ga in a 12 followed by a 12 guage, one old 45 colt was blown up by a guy who figured the space in the case would cause bad accuracy and filled it up with bullseye, KA BOOM< The only bad injury was to a guy who had replaced the firing pin in his rifle and screwed up and when he fired the pin ruptured the primer and the gasses blew the pin out in into the cheek of the guy. ahhh the stories but I will say again, This guy tossed the rifle in disgust after realizing he should have checked the bore after he slipped and fell.

May 6, 2005, 09:49 AM
I think very possible some injuries were sustained to the supporting hand.

What about the missing hammer? Could it have been blown backward with enough force to cause injuries to the face or head? I wonder.

I am fairly certain nobody died, but the shooter could have been hurt.

May 6, 2005, 03:43 PM
So nice to see much absolute certainty about the outcome of this rifle bursting open as either being that the guy was killed or he was not. I think it possible he or she could have been injured if only because the rifle was left behind. If nothing else that could have been some conversation/training piece. I would have taken it. Of course, I realize some would have chucked it but my guess is most would have kept it to to show what they had survived; unless maybe it was a kid who blew up dad's or grand dad's rifle.

As for wounds and possible death of the shooter: many people have died due to minimally serious injuries because they went into a panic or into shock. A small injury due to a catastrophic rupture of the rifle like that could cause quite some confusion and could cause injuries to the hands, arms, face, eyes, etc. One then could more easily get lost in the woods. For sure, I was not there for this one but, I have seen injuries result from less severe accidents than this one. Amazing how the shooters react to minimal injuries even at the range, often like big babies or people who are about to die.

Now I am not suggesting for a fact that this person died or even likely died; however, it is possible that such could have taken place as an indirect result of any injuries sustained when this rifle blew like that. Some have assumed it likely that this took place in a hunting season when it was cold out and the shooter was clad in heavy clothes and gloves. This is assumption at best. Even if correct, a chunk of metal, or a tiny bit, could have found an eye or both eyes (how many shooters wear eye protection while hunting - not as many as do at the range). I have hunted in November and December in upstate NY when temps were in the negative digits but, I have also hunted the same areas in the same months (different years) where the temps were in the mid to high 50s and rarely in the 60s. I sure do not wear heavy clothing or gloves when it is that warm. Now maybe it never gets that warm in hunting season where the gun was found but, why did it have to burst like that only in deer hunting season (i.e.: in the fall when cold). I have often taken guns far afield for some fun shooting in warmer months. Even then (in warmer times) of course, the forestock would have given some protection but; splintered wood can also cause severe cuts and punctures.

I grant that there is a good possibility that no one was seriously hurt but, there is also a small to fair chance that someone could have been hurt slightly to moderately or even badly. This could have led to confusion, panic, shock, etc, which all could have led to disaster. That is why I recommended checking with local authorities (near where the rifle was discovered) to determine if anyone who may have owned or carried that Marlin had gone missing. Of course the authorities may not be interested. Then again, as unlikely as it may seem, this may be the key to solving a missing person's case and they may be quite interested.

By the way, where was the gun found (what state and what area of the state), and what year was it found? I would be interested in checking myself,if you don't mind, to determine if there were any missing persons such as hunters, shooters, hikers, children who may have been carrying this rifle when it burst. Just that curiosity of mine going full bore over a hopefully benign mystery.

All the best,
Glenn B

May 6, 2005, 07:27 PM
If nothing else, clean it up a bit and hang it in your gun room. Good lessons are hard to come by that cheap. As mentioned...Marlin might like to have a look.

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