Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Centerfires, rimfires, pistol cartridges and everything in between.
glen ring
AAA Poster
AAA Poster
Posts: 930
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:04 pm

Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby glen ring » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:44 pm

It's winter and I'm bored.

I have an extra marlin XLR 30-30 and I'm wanting more than the 2 1/2 inch groups it produces.

It has a good trigger, good sights and I have a good load. I'm a good, decent shot so I'm looking at what YOU do to the forearm, band , etc to increase accuracy.

What tricks do some of you use to get more accuracy from YOUR lever gun ?
Just Be Nice **==

BrentD
AA Poster
AA Poster
Posts: 261
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby BrentD » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:53 pm

Mostly, I don't do anything. Forearms are always pretty loose anyway, bores are generally pretty darn good, a little fire lapping may be needed, but I try to buy rifles that are in good shape that way.

Triggers are a big deal and if you like yours then the biggest issue is done. I have my own way of making triggers adjustable in Marlins, but that's just me.

After triggers, or maybe even before, better sights. I insist on tang sights and if I as was serious about it, I would replace all the front sights with globes and apertures. All of them. But I'm happy with the original sliver post and beads with a good tang sight in the rear.

cedestech
AAA Poster
AAA Poster
Posts: 941
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 3:06 pm

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby cedestech » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:15 pm

2 1/2" at 100 yards? That is with in the range of "acceptable". Obviously you are limited on COL by what the action will cycle. I will say that crimp makes a definite difference. You can run less or no crimp if you want to load one round at a time, through the load gate because the rules state that it has to chamber from the mag. FWIW, my guns shoot around that range with hand loads and a bit less with factory. If you are judging your group sizes off the bench and using iron sights you can figure the gun probably actually shoots 1/3 or more less then what you are getting. It's hard to be as "exact" with iron sights as with glass.

YMMV and IMHO.... B-)

glen ring
AAA Poster
AAA Poster
Posts: 930
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:04 pm

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby glen ring » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:56 pm

One of my buds said I was looking for a lever action bench rest gun .

I certainly can't hold 2 1/2 inches all day...but I like tinkering with guns in the winter.

The groups string vertically 2 1/2 inches but the horizontal spacing is less than an inch. I'm loosening up everything that hangs off the barrel and I'll try shooting some more groups in the morning.

I've put a 12 power scope on the XLR so we'll see tomorrow.
Just Be Nice **==

edgehit
AA Poster
AA Poster
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 3:24 pm

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby edgehit » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:54 pm

Best accuracy advice I've gotten was from Massey who suggested I keep buying rifles until I found one that would shoot. There's a lot of experience to this suggestion. I've bought 4 Marlin 39's and the latest kinda shoots ok.

I'm like you. I want the bullet to go within an inch of where I broke the shot. I see a lot of vertical stringing with my reduced load 30-30 rounds. Chronograph tells me it's the cartridge. There's not enough pressure for consistent ignition. Crimp does nothing. So I'm scrapping that load and starting over.

Vertical stringing can also be bench technique. Lever guns are a pain in the butt to shoot off the bench. Your technique has to focus on front support under the frame. Never set the forearm on a bag. Other than that it's pretty much like shooting a bolt gun on the bench.

I say b.s. to crimping. My tests show it does nothing in my rifle. Besides, how do you know every crimp is consistent with same bullet pull out force? Are all crimps really equal?

Ya ya. These aren't benchrest rifles.

To answer your question, I did get improved accuracy by bedding the forearm with high temperature RTV silicone gasket goop. Noticeably improved. I free floated the mag tube, fore end cap, tenon, and wood to where nothing was in a bind. most of the work was relieving wood inletting at the cap and receiver. I epoxy bedded the inletting at the cap and the receiver because if you don't it will loosen up from recoil when you begin shooting off hand. I recommend plenty of release agent. Last step is RTV the gap between barrel and wood. Again, use a release agent.
- Joe

GabbyJs
B Poster
B Poster
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:25 am

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby GabbyJs » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:02 am

A Marlin XLR has a stainless barrel, and needs to be "broken in". I have many lapped stainless barrels on my bolt rifles that sometimes require almost 200 shots with jacketed bullets before they shoot well. A stainless barrel on a Marlin may be slightly rough and require lots of jacketed bullets to "smooth out". I don't know what the history is on your rifle, but it may be too "new" at this point.

User avatar
Merlin
AA Poster
AA Poster
Posts: 378
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:56 pm
Location: Friendswood, TX

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby Merlin » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:22 am

Chicken neck bones sprinkled with two drops of dead mans blood buried at the crossroads where a railroad bends at midnight on a full moon while rubbing the lever action barrel with the shed snakeskin of a water moccasin has never failed me........ 8-x
"Only God can judge me." Merlin

"Merlin..Your'e a rimfire whore." God

Cowboy Lever Action - You get more clang for your bang with lever action silhouette.....

Bill the Lurker
A Poster
A Poster
Posts: 117
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:19 am
Location: Nebraska

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby Bill the Lurker » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:35 am

Merlin wrote:Chicken neck bones sprinkled with two drops of dead mans blood buried at the crossroads where a railroad bends at midnight on a full moon while rubbing the lever action barrel with the shed snakeskin of a water moccasin has never failed me........ 8-x



So there IS a way........

ChuckD
B Poster
B Poster
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:25 pm

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby ChuckD » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:48 pm

Merlin wrote:Chicken neck bones sprinkled with two drops of dead mans blood buried at the crossroads where a railroad bends at midnight on a full moon while rubbing the lever action barrel with the shed snakeskin of a water moccasin has never failed me........ 8-x


Awesome repose!
This may be the only approach to improving a Lever Action to an under 2.5 MOA gun.
chuck

User avatar
Another Dang 9
AAA Poster
AAA Poster
Posts: 720
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:24 pm
Location: The Peoples Republic of Massachusetts

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby Another Dang 9 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:55 pm

What!?! No dancing around a fire!!! No proper ritual will work without dancing around a fire. Everyone knows that... :-j
Its a dog eat dog world and I'm wearing milk bone underwear.
NRA Endowment Member

glen ring
AAA Poster
AAA Poster
Posts: 930
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:04 pm

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby glen ring » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:00 pm

Holy Moly...what a difference ! Thanks Joe. It worked. I am now so happy with my spare XLR I'm starting on my #1.
Simple, and transformed the gun.

Joe Atwood, you be da man.
Just Be Nice **==

twidpa
B Poster
B Poster
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:20 pm

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby twidpa » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:12 pm

While bench resting lever guns, I find my best groups are holding the front of the receiver in hand and resting hand on sand bag. Keep same shoulder tension for each shot. Reloads need to have lowest standard deviation possible to prevent vertical strings. 1 MOA is hard to get but 2 or a bit better is possible in most of the rifles I have tested.
T

glen ring
AAA Poster
AAA Poster
Posts: 930
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:04 pm

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby glen ring » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:35 pm

Joe...and I owe you a cool beverage(s) of your choice when we shoot the Texas State match. My XLRs are like new guns...amazing ! Same loads, same scope, but after the accurizing they are ROCKING !! Much, much tighter groups. I appreciate your help.
Just Be Nice **==

edgehit
AA Poster
AA Poster
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 3:24 pm

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby edgehit » Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:03 am

Glad it worked for you. 2:30am post?

For final touches, fill the magazine tube with weight and put a mercury recoil reducer in the butt stock.
- Joe

glen ring
AAA Poster
AAA Poster
Posts: 930
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:04 pm

Re: Accurizing Marlin Lever Gun

Postby glen ring » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:14 pm

For the last couple of years I had been wondering why it was that I could often shoot a Master score in Smallbore and PC but only once a year with my big bore lever. Now I'm happy to say Joe's FIX really worked for me...Really, Really well.

The light load inconstancy s have become apparent also.

I knew if I inquired here, out of the many that knew nothing, one veteran competitor would not only have experienced the same problems as I have, but they would have found a way to fix those problems...AND be willing to share that knowledge.

Thanks Joe . I owe you.
Just Be Nice **==


Return to “Cowboy Lever Action”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests