We got in a brand new 336W from Marlin. The barrel is stamped Illion, NY, so there is no question this isn’t an older gun.
I was very impressed with the fit and finish of the gun. Its using a nicer laminated stock instead of birch, or whatever wood they used before. It looks nice. The stocks actually fit the gun, which is a first for many years now. It feels like a solid and well built gun, which was my hope when Remington bought Marlin.
The W gun though, is Remington/Marlin’s bargain gun. Its the lever action equivalent to the 870 Express. As solid as the others, but without the refinement. The finish, like the 870 Express, is a bead-blasted blued. Which means its not a finish but a fast and dirty process that is just “good enough” to get by. It looks matte, and can hold oil, if you bother to take care of it. If you don’t, it can rust if you look at it sideways.
Because of this, the finish isn’t well suited for harsh conditions. The surface however is very well suited for something else… Cerakote.
So here is the program:
Get a new Illion stamped 336W. They retail for only 399 bucks. Bargain rifle of the Century. Send it to Crusader Weaponry.
The stocks will be removed. The action disassembled. Sights removed.
The barreled action will be Cerakoted to any color you like, but Crusader’s Grey is a solid option for this. Magpul Flat Dark Earth is another good choice.
New sights will be installed. The XS Lever Rail. They are 150 bucks.
The Bolt will be Slipstreamed.
Option 1. The Lever will be debured/polished, and Slipstreamed on the inside portion, and Cerakoted on the outside portion.
Option 2. Wild West Guns big loop lever, polished, Slipstreamed, and Cerakoted. 150 bucks.
Bear-Proof Ejector is an option, as is the Trigger Happy Trigger… priced accordingly, of course.
The Sling Swivel studs on the W have a loop on them, but feel, because they are, cheap and unsatisfactory. We would recommend replacing them with standard studs for standard quick disconnect sling attachments. A third sling swivel stud can be added forward on the stock on and the side for another loop for a Single Point Sling.
The stock could also be Cerakoted same or contrasting color to help weatherproof the stock.
Reassembled and function tested.
Total Cost of this Harsh Conditions conversion would of course depend on options and time, but I’d imagine you would have a seriously kick ass Lever Action for a very reasonable price.
There is a certain outdoors oriented magazine that recently did a test on cheap rifles. They took the most popular rifles that retail for less than 500 bucks, and did a quick and dirty accuracy test.
Ruger All American
The results were than the Marlin X7 rifle handed it to all the others. Drastically. According to this test, the Marlin was much more accurate than all the others, showing a one hole group compared to the other’s patterns.
Okay. I’ll buy that. This Marlin X7 was more accurate with the Test Ammo than the others. But they didn’t test other loads through the other guns. Generally what happens is that one gun can favor one particular load more than others. As is this case. In spite of what this test shows, I’d much rather have a TC Venture or a Vanguard than the Marlin X7.
The Savage is at a disadvantage here. At 299, it’s the cheapest. But for a hundred bucks you could drop in a Timney trigger. But it up to the 400 dollar range, still well within the test price range, and then you would have a very competitive rifle.
I’d like to see this test conducted again, with the Savage trigger swapped, and with a number of different loads tested for a more “Accurate” test result. Because I’ve personally seen groups from the Vanguard S2 rifles and the TC Ventures that were just amazing. I’ve also heard reports from more than a few Marlin X7 owners that these rifles are indeed shooters. I can’t deny that. One is from a source that I will not question. I have nothing against the Marlin rifle here… But fact remains that this test was rather shallow and only skimmed the surface.
Marlin rifles have always been a favorite of mine. It was depressing when their quality took such a drastic nose dive.
I’m happy to say that the quality is back. Not only that, but their service department seems to going the extra mile.
We had a customer who’s rifle was damaged in an auto accident. To include ejection from vehicle into river. Lots of damage and broken forend. Marlin fixed everything, good as new, and didn’t charge a dime. That was above and beyond and impressed the hell out of me.
So Marlin gets full marks in their Centerfire Lever Actions again.
The Rimfires… Not so much. In the last two days, we’ve replaced two firing pins in 39As. Both guns suffering misfires. One came back from repair for that reason, and Marlin didn’t fix it… so we did. Problem solved.
Just a quick update on my Marlin 1895GBL, .45-70. To recap, I bought one, and it was faulty. The stock was loose and the action was locking up. I only got a half a box of rounds through it before I had to send it in to Marlin for repair.
It came back from Marlin the other day, repaired and ready for action. Some nice Freight Damage on the stock now. Thanks a lot for that, Marlin. I send you a new gun in and it comes back looking like an old used one. That’s just SPIFFY, Marlin. Thanks for that, seriously. THANK YOU.
The good news about it is that the gun function and the stock fits. It’s now a functional firearm now. Looks 10 years old, sure, but hey, at least it’s a gun now. So to celebrate the return of the Guide Gun, I picked up a box of Remington 405 grain Jacketed Soft Points. A nice heavy slug on a moderate load. Recoil is mild. It’s isn’t a kick, but a shove. The muzzle blast is impressive, especially after dark. To say it’s fun to shoot is like saying Bacon is Tasty. No kidding! One can easily fire multiple rounds in rapid succession, with accuracy.
But man, I love shooting this thing! It’s a blast! And the fact that it packs enough punch to knock down Bigfoot, it’s a bonus.
So, I have to give a thank you to the Evil One on WTA, my friend Jim Jones… He’s the one that talked me into getting this gun, and I am very happy he did.
Remington has cancelled production on dang near everything with a Marlin name tag. Specifically the lever action rifles. The Savage knock-off X7 rifles, I believe are still rolling out the door. We’ve had no problem getting those. Just Lever Actions, and the Rep told us that most of the orders we had were cancelled because they not in production. This doesn’t make me very happy. The problem Remington is having is that all the guys that used to know how to build a Marlin Lever Action are all now retired or laid off or working someplace else. This is just the tip of the iceberg that I’m seeing here. They buy Marlin pretty much to get into the lever action business… and then ruin it. Yet Remington is still cranking out the Savage Clones. To me, that makes no sense. If I was Remington, I’d kill the X7 line completely and concentrate on moving Remington’s own Bolt Action rifles. But Remington can do what it wants… that’s fine. But I also don’t get why Remington has moved the Sendero rifle to the Custom Shop, which has a completely different Dealer Program. What was one of the best production guns they made, and one of the most popular out here in my area of operation… they go and hamstring it.
I can’t get the Marlin Lever Actions to sell and now the Senderos are going to be difficult… Great. No, really… You guys concentrate on getting that ACR Contract and ignore the Hunters that have made Remington what it is. That’s a good plan. Worked great for Colt.
Here’s the deal… if you guys can’t sort out production of a gun made since the 1800′s… sell Marlin to someone who can actually build the things. Springfield would be great. Lifetime warranty, aggressive marketing, customer service like Marlin has never had before, and custom shop work that’s top notch. That would give Springfield some serious Hunting chops in the industry. I’d love to see Springfield own Marlin.
I can get worked up about Lever Actions… I love them. I have always loved them. And Marlin has always been a favorite brand. Most of the deer I’ve taken was with a .44 Mag Marlin 336… So it has a solid place in my heart. And we can’t even get any of the Marlin pistol calibers. I could have sold a hundred this summer… instead, I sold none. Can’t sell it if I can’t get it. Come on Remington!
I think Marlin, and by that I mean Remington, needs to stop making the X7 centerfire bolt action rifles. Marlin is a Lever Action Company… they need to stick to that. They do fine Rimfires… which is fine. Remington has nothing in that market. But Remington making a Marlin branded Savage Knockoff? Feh… Why? To get that 300 dollar rifle Market? I thought they already had that with their 770. Which is total crap, but hey. It’s at least a Remington.
Now, there is really nothing wrong with the X7 rifles. It is quite good for a cheap knock-around gun for those that have a hate for Savage and refuse to buy one… so now they can buy the Marlin option, which is a Savage knockoff crossed with a Vanguard if it got drunk with ambition and delusions. Reportedly the X7′s shoot pretty good. Especially their heavy barreled .308. But why would Remington want make that, when they would rather be selling their own 700 SPS Tactical? I don’t get why they feel the need to make a product that competes with their own product. Remington needs to squelch that.
I still assert that Mossberg needs to GTFO of the Lever Action market too.
I’m thinking of a Marlin 1895 “Trapper”, much like this one:
However, I’d like it with a blued barrel and magazine tube, stainless receiver, and walnut stocks. The peep sights from Wild West Guns in Alaska, and a Big Loop.
Hmmm… Perhaps – also – maybe 336 version in .30-30 Win.
I’ve mentioned the issues I’ve seen with rifles from Marlin, say the last 2 years. Sloppy fits, poor assembly, bad fitting parts/stocks, and wood on the butt stock that looked like it came from a different species of tree than the fore end. Just not a gun I’d recommend to anyone.
Well, last couple of months we’ve been getting in new Marlins. And I’m very pleased to say that each one has been better than I’ve ever seen from Marlin before. The quality is there. These are the best guns ever to have the Marlin name. The fit and finish are outstanding.