Marlin 336 Project – .35 Remington

I have a .35 Remington Marlin 336 here that will see a major facelift. I can’t call it a restoration, since even though it will look close to new when finished, it will not look factory original.

Marlin 336 awaiting a transformation.

Marlin 336 awaiting a transformation.

The rifle is a 1952 Marlin 336. Marlin rifles used to look and feel slimmer and better than they do now. In the 1930s, Winchester worked hard to improve the design of the stocks for some of their fancier leverguns, like the Model 71 and 64. Marlin followed suit. While Winchester ended up with some very beautiful stock designs, Marlin stocks became fat and chunky, and the look and feel of Marlin lever actions has never regained the slim elegance of their early rifles. Marlin 336 rifles like this one come from the period in which the stock design was about as ugly as it ever got.

The wood looks like Marlin forgot to finish shaping it. The fat belly of the forend sags grotesquely below the natural lines of the rifle. The buttstock is chunky and shapeless, and has been cut short. I never liked the plastic Marlin buttplates when new, but this one is badly worn and ill fitting. The wood has the normal small dents and gouges, scratches and discolorations, but the stock is walnut and the grain is nice, if slightly plain, a lot better than later rifles that strayed from the traditional walnut.

The 1952 Marlin's fat forend leaves me feeling slightly unsettled, like seeing someone's beer-belly hanging out below his shirt.

The 1952 Marlin’s fat forend leaves me feeling slightly unsettled, like seeing someone’s beer-belly hanging out below his shirt.

The metal looks rough, with a lot of bluing wear and some rust showing. There is little actual damage to the surface of the metal, though, so it will clean up very nicely. The front sight is dinged and the brass bead is missing. The front sight ramp is ugly and angular. There is no rear sight and the rifle wears a Weaver K2.5-C3. I really like this scope and the way it is mounted on this rifle. I tend to dislike scopes on lever action rifles, but I like this setup, and it seems right for this type of rifle. This rifle will have iron sights, though, so the scope will be saved for another use.

The bore is beautiful, with Ballard rifling, and the action seems sound, though the trigger is a bit stiff and the hammer spring heavy.

What do you think we should do to this rifle to give it a better-than-new look?

Weaver K2.2-C3 scope mounted on a 1952 Marlin 336

Weaver K2.2-C3 scope mounted on a 1952 Marlin 336

Let us know what you think and check back for updates as the project progresses.

EDIT – Marlin Stock Time Travel

We are taking the stock back in time. The finished shape will be a nostalgic nod to a time when rifles were true works of art and stocks had graceful lines and glowing finishes. The style is reminiscent of the pistol grip stocks used on Marlin rifles in the late 19th Century. The lines are not exactly the same as those original stocks, as we had to adjust the style to fit the shape of the stock we are working with.

Bulky 1952 Marlin 336 furniture in the midst of a transformation to an 1890s style.

Bulky 1952 Marlin 336 furniture in the midst of a transformation to an 1890s style.

Edit: Do you ever look at something and think it turned out so great that you are afraid to take the next step?

That’s how I was with this stock. But I pushed forward and there is no going back now . . .
Bears leave deep tracks.

Carving on the Marlin stock with Dremel burrs.

Carving on the Marlin stock with Dremel burrs.

Flakes and Nuggets for Inlay

Working on final sanding, shaping, and stippling.

Inlay applied

Inlay applied

Final shaping, carving, and sanding in progress on the Marlin's stock and forend.

Final shaping, carving, and sanding in progress on the Marlin’s stock and forend.

Edit: Wood and metal finish

Borrowing filler screws from a Winchester 94.

Borrowing filler screws from a Winchester 94.

Original Forearm tip tenon was cross-threaded on both sides. No one had a new one listed for 336, but Brownells does for the Glenfield 30.

Original Forearm tip tenon was cross-threaded on both sides. No one had a new one listed for 336, but Brownells does for the Glenfield 30.

New Forearm Tenon

New Forearm Tenon centered.

Fitting the metal to the wood. Some areas will not be a perfect fit, but the stock will fit the receiver and tangs much better now.

Fitting the metal to the wood. Some areas will not be a perfect fit, but the stock will fit the receiver and tangs much better now.

Blasted parts, ready for coating.

Blasted parts, ready for coating.

Barreled receiver prepped for coating.

Barreled receiver prepped for coating.

Starting the oil finish on the stock and forend.

Starting the oil finish on the stock and forend.

Metal parts coated.

Metal parts coated.

Wolf magazine spring. At only a few dollars, I always replace these on older rifles.

Wolf magazine spring. At only a few dollars, I always replace these on older rifles.

Edit: Finally Assembled:

35 Remington 336 bearMarlin 336 Southwestern Theme Marlin Bear Print Forend Right_1049  Marlin Antique-Style Buttstock_1033 Custom Marlin 336 35 Rem Levergun Marlin Inlayed Buttstock_1260 Marlin 336 Oil Finished Buttstock Inlay_1270 Marlin 336 1952 Reshaped Forend_1293 Marlin 336 Walnut Oil Finish Stock Detail Old-Style Marlin Stock detail Inlay_1158 Marlin 336 Stock Left_1138Marlin 336 Bear Prints_1019 Marlin Forend_1140

Before and After:

The 1952 Marlin's fat forend leaves me feeling slightly unsettled, like seeing someone's beer-belly hanging out below his shirt.

Custom Marlin 336 35 Remington_1190

Same wood and metal, except for a few replaced parts: new sights, sight hood, forearm tenon, magazine spring, buttplate, and several screws.

The 1950s Marlin wood got a hand-rubbed tung oil finish after re-shaping.

Advertisements

~ by 7.62 Precision on 14 December 2013.

6 Responses to “Marlin 336 Project – .35 Remington”

  1. THAT IS ONE WONDERFUL LOOKING RIFE. JUST SAW IT TODAY 9-7-15 HAS GIVEN ME SOME IDEAS FOR MY MARLIN.

    Like

  2. Very nice. Just bought a ’50 336 Marlin SC but it sure dioesn’t look that good. REally like the wood carving. Would like to know more about your metal refinishing.

    Like

  3. What a beautiful job — everything looks fantastic! You are a true artist in your own right.

    Like

  4. I love the Weaver scope and ring set up. It reminds me of my childhood and the rifle\scope combos I use to shoot. Nice Job!

    Like

  5. Case hardened might look nice.

    Like

Let us know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: