Marlin 336 barrel looks canted


November 26, 2012, 09:09 PM
My father just bought a used 336 in 30-30 and he has not yet fired it. When he handed it to me to look at, as I shouldered it, I saw that both sights looked canted appx 10 degrees to the right relative to the top of the receiver. It appeared as if the entire barrel was rotated just clockwise of where it should be.
It appears as if this rifle's barrel is threaded into the receiver? I see that the chamber is recessed to accept the extractor, implying that rotation of the barrel is impossible if it is to still line up with the bolt & extractor. Is there something I'm not considering here? Is there an easy test to verify what I think my eye is seeing?
The rear sight is dovetailed into the barrel. I do not believe that merely drifting it is the answer... the base of the dovetail is not, it would appear, parallel with the top of the receiver.
The front sight is on a ramp screwed onto the barrel.
Thanks for any help.

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Texan Scott
November 26, 2012, 09:46 PM
I refused a brand new one for this precise reason very recently. Now you know why the last owner sold it. Remington Marlins have severe QC issues. If the inspection period (if any) is over, your dad's stuck with it.

Best bet might be to have a good gunsmith shorten the barrel & magazine tube to 16.5 inches and recrown/ reinstall front sight; remove the rear buckhorn and get a receiver mounted peep sight.

Unfortunately, that makes the rifle a bit more expensive.... but it also makes of a real nice Shorty brush 30-30!

November 26, 2012, 10:20 PM
Certainly not the first we've heard of this happening.

I'd make a test pass at Marlin before getting too deep into it. I recognize he bought it used but I'd still try it.

November 26, 2012, 10:32 PM
Too the right is good though.
Too the left would be very bad.

Righty tighty!
That means any good gunsmith could easily tighten it some more and make it right.

Who knows, maybe it is just loose by that amount now and needs cinching up?


November 26, 2012, 10:59 PM
^^^^ Great observation. Go there first though I wonder, will a 336/30-30 bolt lock closed if the barrel is loosened out of index?

November 26, 2012, 11:02 PM
I would imagine the extractor cut in the breech face is more then generous enough to allow it to unscrew 10 degrees, or more.


Jim K
November 26, 2012, 11:36 PM
Somehow I doubt that the barrel is canted 10 degrees; one or two, maybe.* If the dealer won't accept a return, call Marlin and see what they say.

Any screw in barrel can be turned in or out to correct a canted sight. In fact, some makers of guns with fixed sights (like revolvers) use that to adjust the sights for windage. In other words, they deliberately cant the front sight because the rear sight can't (OK, OK) be adjusted.

*Google "protractor" to see what 10 degrees looks like.


November 26, 2012, 11:40 PM
Yes, but right, IN is a crush fit, getting tighter.

Left, OUT is a loose barrel, unless you peen the edges of the shoulder to make it tight when loosened.

If any of that makes a lick of sense?? :confused:


November 27, 2012, 07:58 AM
What you are not considering is how it actually shoots on the range.

November 27, 2012, 10:45 PM
Thank you all very much.

Mr. RC, as I shoulder the rifle, the barrel is canted to the right. So, viewed from the muzzle, it needs to be rotated clockwise, aka "tighty". Am I understanding you correctly? If it's currently at a dead stop (I have no idea if it is or not), would one shorten the male thread (barrel) to achieve the rotation, or would one need to tap the hole in the receiver a smidge deeper? If we are able to achieve this rotation, will a simple go/ no go on headspace suffice?

Mr. Apache, best suggestion of all... I will pass it along.

Mr. Jim, a clock face has 12 sections of 30 degrees each for 360 degrees. The cant I'm seeing is easily 1/3 of the way between 12 o'clock and 1 o'clock, or 10 degrees.

Mr. BSA1, that's true; I don't know if he's fired it yet.

Again, thanks all; I welcome any additional suggestions, insights or criticisms.


November 27, 2012, 10:56 PM
would one shorten the male thread (barrel) to achieve the rotation, or would one need to tap the hole in the receiver a smidge deeper? Probably neither.

A barrel thread is a crush fit in a receiver when it is tightened properly.

It might be a simple matter of a gunsmith putting the barrel in a barrel vice, and using an action wrench on the receiver.

Then jumping on it a little to fully finish tightening the barrel to the receiver like it should have been in the first place.

If it is already crush fit tight as it can go?
He would remove the barrel, and face off a frog-hair from the barrel shoulder in his lathe until it did tighten properly tight, in the proper place.

In general, a barrel can be aligned top dead center just by tightening, loosening, and tightening again several times, until all the threads seat properly and the shoulder bears against the face of the receiver 360 degees.

In no case would the threads on the barrel be cut shorter, or the hole in the receiver ever be tapped deeper, assuming they were cut properly in the first place.

And I must assume they were.

I think "somebody" went to break or lunch before he got done torquing the barrel in properly in the first place!


November 27, 2012, 11:00 PM
That makes a world of sense, sir. Thanks for your time and input. Do you think that change would alter headspace enough to create a concern?

November 27, 2012, 11:06 PM

Every 30-30 lever-gun I ever messed with had enough excess headspace to drive a large herd of goats through a fence without harming a hair on a Nanny, Billy, Kid, or the dog chasing them through the fence.

Tightening the barrel that much could only improve things somewhat, if anything.


November 27, 2012, 11:12 PM
Thanks again, sir. I've been meaning to build a barrel vise/ action wrench... this is starting to sound fun (particularly because it's not my rifle!)

November 27, 2012, 11:25 PM
The first thing you need to do is acquire two small bubble levels.

Then, place the receiver in a padded vice and use one level in the top receiver flat to perfectly level it.

Then use the other one on top of the rear sight flat, and actually see how far, or if it is off.

Sometimes your eyeball can play tricks on you with optical illusions that aren't real..
Especially after a pre-conceived notion takes up permanent residence inside your skull bone!


Jim K
November 30, 2012, 09:05 PM
My apologies, Jonathan, and you are correct on the clock comparison. I just had a hard time with the idea that any factory would let a gun out with the barrel at that kind of an angle. I do note that the gun was used, so maybe someone else goofed.

Good luck in getting things straightened up! :)


November 30, 2012, 09:19 PM

Please repost to let us all know how this turns out. I'm particularly interested because I have a Marlin with a similar condition. I didn't realize it until I removed the factory front and rear sights and installed Skinners. With both sights on the barrel, the cant went unnoticed, but with one on the barrel and the other on the receiver, the condition popped right out.

Bolshevik Muppet
November 30, 2012, 09:49 PM
Depending on the pitch of the thread on the barrel, that 10 degrees of rotation could at most mean a few tenths of headspace lost. That's .0003" or .0005". I wouldn't worry at all about just wrenching the thing back to keel, I've never seen a Marlin with less than .002" overhead for headspace.

November 30, 2012, 11:02 PM
Thanks again, gentlemen,

I don't see my old man as often as I should, but next time I do, with his permission, we'll try to torque it down a bit, per RC's suggestions.
I'll repost then to let you know how it went.
I don't own anything from Marlin, but I'm hearing of other occurances of this same cant... it seems pretty sloppy.

No worries, Jim; thanks for keeping me honest!


December 1, 2012, 12:06 AM
On a different forum, a member purchased a new Marlin 336 30-30, take a look at the picture to see how far off the sights were on this gun. It took 3 tries with the factory to get it right, with the 3rd call going to corporate.

December 1, 2012, 12:57 AM
Without even trying, I see four things wrong in that picture.

December 1, 2012, 07:28 AM
Without even trying, I see four things wrong in that picture.


December 2, 2012, 10:28 AM
A friend recently bought a new marlin, when trying ti bore sight the scope it would not work at all, upon further inspection it was found that the barrell was cross threaded into the reciever, QC must be done by a bunch of blind monkeys on dope.

December 2, 2012, 01:05 PM
Too bad about the Q.C. downfall at Marlin these days and it seems to be FAR too common.
I own 3 Marlin levers, all made in the 60's that are well made and superbly accurate.
I suggest trying to get Marlin to remedy the situation or as a last resort finding a competent Gunsmith to help solve the problem.

April 16, 2013, 12:53 AM
Sorry to resurrect this old thread...

RC Model, you were on the money. Simply rotating the barrel with an improvised action vise/ barrel wrench was all that was needed. "Crush-fit"... who knew?!
Thanks for all the help, and best wishes to anyone else who bought a Marlin during their apparent QC, er, hiatus.


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