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Marlin 336: A v. C

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by AStone, Dec 23, 2006.

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  1. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Please pardon this question about minute differences in rifle design.

    But sometimes, small differences can make a big difference.

    In the past, I asked about differences between Marlin 336C v. 336W.
    I understand those now.

    But I have one more detail to consider before investing in a 336.

    The difference concerns a minor, but potentially significant, difference between A and C.

    Specifically, the C has a "blued steel barrel band".
    The A has a "blued steel fore-end cap".

    The barrel band of the C wraps around both the fore-end and the barrel.
    The fore-end cap of the A ostensibly does not. It only covers the fore-end.

    So, to the question: does that difference make any significant difference in the performance of the rifle?

    If so, or not, what motivated Marlin to offer two rifles with those different treatments on the fore-end?

    I'm asking as much out of intellectual curiosity as practical implications.
    (For example, WildDog stocks is planning to introduce a synthetic stock that will fit the C but not the A.)

    Thanks.

    Nem

    PS: happy holidays, yall.
     
  2. AStone

    AStone Member

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    PS: I just noticed that the new Marlin 308MX has the same fore-end cap configuration as the 336A.

    Hmmm. Evolution?
     
  3. Chawbaccer

    Chawbaccer Member

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    The A suffix indicates it is a rifle. I think it can potentially be a bit more accurate as there is less interference with the barrel by the mag tube.
     
  4. Z_Infidel

    Z_Infidel Member

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    The band toward the end of the barrel will probably affect accuracy more than the band on the forestock of the 336C. I am not a big fan of barrel bands, and my 336XLR and 1894 Cowboy do not have them. I believe the hanger style attachment is a better system. In fact, I am awaiting return of a 336C that has been modified to a configuration similar to a Guide Gun with the hanger style magazine attach point. The band on the forestock remains, and I expect it to be very accurate (other changes were also made).

    In answer to your question, I would expect the 336C and 336A models to be equivalent in terms of accuracy. More will depend on the individual rifle than whether the forestock is of the banded or capped style. Of course, that's just my opinion and others may have more insight into this.
     
  5. TX_Shooter

    TX_Shooter Member

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    how is the Henry rifles compared to the marlin that your interested in?
     
  6. wileyj

    wileyj Member

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    Another difference is that the 336A had a walnut finished hardwood stock and the 336C has a walnut wood stock.
    And the 336C is available in a cool caliber - .35 Remington
     
  7. AStone

    AStone Member

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    TX_Shooter, my sense is that a Henry makes good guns. I read lots of good comments about them from Henry owners (at least .22 LR Henrys).

    But, after handling a Henry .22 yesterday, my sense is that they may not be quite up to the same level of quality as a Marlin. Don't take my word on that though since I've not even seen a Henry centerfire rifle.

    WileyJ, good point about the walnut "finish" hardwood v. walnut wood. I hadn't picked that one out. For me, I'm not so concerned about walnut v. hardwood, but maybe I should be.

    (I'm still considering eventually replacing a wooden stock on a 336 with a synthetic one, perhaps one of wildwest's (which will fit an A) or one of Wilddogs (which probably will only fit a C or W). That's part of why I'm trying to tease out the differences between A & C.)

    Z_Infidel, thanks for sharing your opinions. I'm curious, though, if you don't mind sharing this: what motivated you to have the modification on your C to "the hanger style magazine attach point"? Is there an advantage, or was there some damage that had to be repaired, or ... ?

    Nem
     
  8. AStone

    AStone Member

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    An interesting observation about barrel bands v. fore-end caps on Marlins

    I've revisited the Marlin pages again this morning after reading Z_Infidel's comment about the Guide Gun. (Which may be on my list eventually...)

    I've noticed something interesting: when looking at the 336s, the new XLR's (including the 308MX), their cowboy action rifles (1894 .45 Colt and 1895 45/70), their 1894 centerfire rifles (five of them), their big bore lever actions (all five of them) and their .22 LR lever (39A), only three of them have barrel bands: 336C, 336W and 1894C.

    All the rest have fore-end caps instead of a barrel band, again, including those new XLRs.

    Hmm. There's something interesting there. Why not more barrel bands?

    Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of this, but I'm really curious now. Is this purely an aesthetic consideration? Is it consumer driven? Is it simpler to manufacture? Or is there some perhaps slight but signficant advantage to a fore-end cap?

    If a barrel band was superior, I'm hard pressed to believe that they wouldn't have used that technology on their big bore lever actions and XLR's.

    I'd love to have been a fly on the wall in a Marlin conference room when this was being discussed in the design phase...:scrutiny:

    There's a Marlin representative that hangs out over on the Marlin Owner's Forum.
    Hope he'll offer some insight on this one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2006
  9. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Like wileyj said, the stock is the big difference between the 336A and C although like he also said, the 336C is available in .35 Remington where as the 336A isn't. I like both and think you would be happy with either. I personally like the 336SS because of it's Stainless Steel receiver, barrel and other SS parts.

    I think a 336SS is going to be my next rifle purchase, well, right after I gather the money up since I just bought a AK-47!! :evil:
     
  10. AStone

    AStone Member

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    I've been researching "barrel bands" on the Internet, Googling various combinations involving that term.

    Found this snippet in this older review of Marlin 39 & Winchester 9422 .22 lever guns. (Emphasis mine.)
    Then, later, another reference:
    No references are cited for that assertion that barrel bands are "accuracy robbing", at least in centerfires.

    But I am all the more curious. :scrutiny:
     
  11. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Here's another reference to problems with accuracy caused (in part) by barrel bands
    in an article entitled "The Lever Action" by Chuck Hawks.
    Again, no reference cited for that assertion about how barrel bands may contribute to inaccuracy.

    But given that C. Hawks has alleged it, now I'm REALLY interested. :scrutiny: :scrutiny:
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2006
  12. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    Barrel bands or anything else hanging off the barrel affect how it vibrates when shot. Sometimes the effect isn't significantly detrimental, other times it is. It's hard to tell without shooting a particular rifle.

    However, given the intended use for a .30-30 lever action, if you get a rifle that groups in 3" or less at 100 yards, worrying that it doesn't shoot MOA isn't productive. A Marlin 336 with the right ammo should do this whether it has the second barrel band or not.

    IMO, YMMV, ASDA.
     
  13. buzz meeks

    buzz meeks Member

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    I have owned Marlins with both bands and caps but now only own one Marlin, a 336 with the band. The cap, I seem to recall, actually attached to a lug on the bottom of the barrel whereas the band is really just a friction fit with a screw that passes between the barrel and magazine. It would seem then that the band might affect the barrel less. In fact, it could be opened up around its inside diameter so it does not touch the barrel at all. But the forend cap hangs off a lug on the barrel and that has got to add more variables. In the end does it matter? I have seen both examples shoot really well.
     
  14. JustsayMo

    JustsayMo Member

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    Dave said it and I'd agree, the difference is probably too small to matter if it does infact exist at all.

    Most of the Marlins I've owned have had the forend caps. The 336's I have had all were banded and accurate. My best ever 100 yard group (9/16") was shot with one. Sub <2" with just about anything was the norm except for one that hated Remington Corelokts... It'd take a lot of convincing for me to change my notion that better than that would be needed for ethical hunting at ranges I'd take a shot on game, though there are exceptions.

    Knowing you're a lever guy the chances are high you'll own a few before you're on the wrong side of the grass. As far as I know there ain't now cure for leveritis except gittin another and another... :) :D
     
  15. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Good ideas all. Sounds quite reasonable. Thanks for your input into this.

    I'm betting you all are probably right: this may indeed be a minor and insignificant issue with Marlin levers.

    Still, I have a lot of interest (call it an academic interest, based in my professional life) in how small changes in the design or structure of a system - be it a natural system or a mechanical one - can affect it's overall performance. Sometimes, small changes have little to no effect, but sometimes the effect can be huge.

    So, I'm still hoping others may chime in with their own experiences. The more evidence we have, the better.

    And I'm still struck, also, by the fact (that I mentioned above) that regardless of actual effect on gun performance, Marlin seems to be using bands on only three guns now: 336C, 336W and 1894C.

    That's very interesting to me. Anybody want to venture a guess as to why they've done that? (Oh, yes, speculation can be fun.)

    Nem
     
  16. Z_Infidel

    Z_Infidel Member

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    You had asked why I decided on the mag tube attachment modification. The answer is that I wanted a shorter barrel and even shorter mag tube, similar to the Guide Gun configuration. In discussing my options with the gunsmith, we decided the hanger type attachment would be better than trying to affix a barrel band since the tube is no longer the same length as the barrel. Any accuracy problems that might be a result of the band on the forestock will be mitigated by the overall "accurizing" package the smith has done on the rifle. If you woud like more info on the work I've had done, let me know.

    This 336C will be a very handy, accurate carbine. I have a 336XLR scoped, which will be my "go anywhere in any weather and light conditions" rifle, while this 336C will be my everyday "go-to" gun.

    As observed already, my XLR and 1894 Cowboy models have no barrel bands. But keep in mind, the 336C is the "top of the line" 336 so I doubt the forestock band is seen as a major problem. I still believe the band at the front of the barrel is more of an issue, which is one reason I did away with it on my gun.
     
  17. John C

    John C Member

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    N-870;

    In regards to your question about the trend toward barrel bands in lever actions, I think the answer lies more in consumer tastes and aesthetics.

    The lever action rifle, in it's current form, is a consumer item. It also has a long history. People who buy them do so because they forego performance for compactness or nostalgia.

    Before anyone gets offended, let me point out that modern riflemaking has come to the point that a properly put together lever rifle will shoot 1 to 2 inches at 100 yards. When we talk about accuracy degredation, the current technological threshold of riflery is less than .25 inch at 100 yards. My point is that lever rifles aren't the technological edge, and the accuracy degredation of a barrel band, if any, is minute. Also, the cartridges used in lever rifles don't have the inherent accuracy of the bench-rest cartridges, so again, they are as accurate as they 1) can be, and 2) need to be.

    As to my point that lever rifles are consumer items and purchased at the expense of performance, the answer lies in the fact that lever rifles are both plenty accurate and powerful to 'get the job done'. They also are economical. No point in buying a chevy 3500 with a 454 if all you do is commute to work 45 miles each way. If you need performance you'd either buy a .338 lapua magnum on a custom receiver, or an AR-15, or a 6mm BR. A lever action is one of the compromises between the three. Of course there are an infinite number of other compromises.

    So in the end, I'd just get the rifle that "fits" you the best. Overall length, magazine capacity, wood quality, sights, weight, etc.

    I have to say that I have a fondness for lever rifles. I have my grandfathers model 94 with a redfield sight that he bought in the 1930's when he was a hardrock miner in Nevada.

    A year or so ago I found a marlin model 36 (forerunner to the 336) in a gunshop. It had 80% finish condition from honest wear and use, but the wood was in good shape and no sign or pitting or rust anywhere. The action was tight and the bore pristine. $275. I couldn't justify it at the time, so it got away. I wish I'd just laid down the plastic and paid the price later. However, you do that too much and you really pay the price.

    I have to say that I really enjoy your threads, Nem-870. You clearly have a sharp intellect, and your probing questions really bring out the information.

    Merry Christmas to all.

    -John
     
  18. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    I have a couple of questions.... what is the difference between the 336C and just plain 336? And what is the difference between the the precursor 36 and the plain 336?


    Is it just year of manufacture and a slight name change? Or are there real differences between the three? Thanks.

    [EDIT: Found my answer later on. Model 1893 from 1893 to 1935; Model 36 from 1936 to 1948, Model 336 from 1948 onward.]
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2006
  19. AStone

    AStone Member

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    John C, thanks for your thoughts and kind words. Points taken about accuracy and fondness for levers.

    Tubeshooter, re: "what is the difference between the 336C and just plain 336?"

    There really is no "just plain 336".

    All 336's have a suffix: currently they are A, C, SS or W. (Other letters have applied in the past.)

    A full description of each of the current suffixes is available in these pages:

    * 336A
    * 336C
    * 336SS
    * 336W

    Z_Infidel: "If you woud like more info on the work I've had done, let me know."

    Yes, please. Details are good. It's my thread, so posting here is encouraged, or by PM, as you choose.
    I'd appreciate hearing approximately how much that 336C gunsmithing job is costing,
    because it's similar to what I have in mind. (I think I may cut and crown to 18.5".)

    Keep those cards and letter coming in.

    Levers rule.

    Nem
     
  20. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    Oh, OK then. Thanks.

    Mine just says "336" on it; SN indicates made in '79. I guess I'll just call it a "C" for all intents and purposes - seems to be the most common. I've seen "CS" before a fair amount also. Doesn't really matter in the end, I love it regardless... just curious.


    I appreciate your responding.
     
  21. AStone

    AStone Member

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    In the end, that's probably all that counts.

    :)
     
  22. defiant73a

    defiant73a member

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    There is one sitting in a local pawn shop!

    .30-30
    Micro Groove Barrel
    Straight (no pistol grip), very plain-looking stock (no engraving, hardwood?)
    No saddle ring
    Plastic butt plate
    Gold trigger
    Carbine (20") barrel
    Barrel Bands
    Drilled and tapped for apeture sights

    Anybody have any idea about this particular model? Value? Date of manufacture? Are the straight stocks worth a premium?
     
  23. AStone

    AStone Member

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    defiant,

    Ah! A challenge! :)

    I'm a relative newbie to 336 (even though I did once own a 336C in my early twenties). I'm just getting addicted to ..., er back into them now. :D

    So, I won't even venture a guess.

    There are much more knowledgeable 336 addicts <darn it; ahem :rolleyes: > experts around who could probably give you a reasonable hypothesis, and tell you how to use the gun's serial number to verify it.

    I'll let them give this a try.
     
  24. Z_Infidel

    Z_Infidel Member

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    The gunsmith I had do the work on my 336C has a website here:

    www.levergun.com

    You can find descriptions and prices for most of the work being performed. The site also has a write-up on accurizing leverguns. Not all the work I'm having done is stricly standard, though. I will say he takes great care in his work.

    The 18.5" barrel won't work due to the slot already cut for the front barrel band. You will need to go a little shorter, but not that much.

    As far as general levergun accuracy, I can't argue too much with John C's comments. But these rifles have characteristics that make them desirable even to shooters/hunters who appreciate fine arms, and accuracy can be improved if need be. Plus, Marlin's XLR line is proving to raise the bar somewhat in terms of out-of-the-box accuracy.
     
  25. TX_Shooter

    TX_Shooter Member

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    I actually dig the Marlin 336XLR. 30/30 YUMMMM!!!
     
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