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McX358 12-02-2010 06:34 PM

Marlin 336/444 feeding problems
Question all the “gunnies” out there; has anyone else encountered a problem with older Marlin 336 in 30/30-35 Remington or the 444 models with 444 Marlin with the new Hornaday Flex-Tip cartridges locking up, and the feeding correctly? I have a 444 in the shop right now, and another on the way in 35 Remington, MD336. The customers contacted Marlin, and they had a Washington DC answer about it. I’m suspecting a carrier issue, after noticing the “flex-tip is quite a bit longer than the standard Remington factory. Loads in 444; perhaps not deep enough to handle this just little longer cartridge. I haven’t the chance to examine the 35 Remington cartridge yet, waiting for customer to bring it in with the ammo. Would appreciate anyone input on this before I start breaking things down. :)

rifleman55 12-02-2010 11:19 PM

Scott at Savagegunsmithing has a fix for the dreaded Marlin Jam that is quite reasonable in price. It does involve a lot of work and his charge to fix the problem is very reasonable.

He's not going to tell anyone how he does it as it's one of his many secrets.
You can contact him at 208-313-1570. The guns feed flawlessly after his fix is done.
He's one of the few Master Gunsmiths left, so don't worry about him being a hack or AGI smith, this guy is the best I've ever seen.

John K

McX358 12-02-2010 11:51 PM

Marlin 336/444 feeding problem
Rifleman55, Well thank you; I’ll give him a call. What ticks me off is the attitude my customers said they received from Marlin. It seems they were more interested in having them just purchase another “newer” rifle than address the problem. I have myself an 1953 Vintage Saddle Ring Carbine Marlin in 35 Remington, slick as glass and a tack driver with my reloads, my other is a 70 vintage in 30/30 same style, and will place 5 shots in the same hole. The last thing I know I would want is to have them replaced with “improved newer model” they have taken too many Black Bear, deer, and Wild Bore, and I’m perfectly satisfied with the reloads I’m loading for them, so there is no issue with trying the “Flex-Tip”; that’s why I have bolt guns for spitzer style bullets. But I have to keep the customers happy; thanks again. :D

McX358 12-03-2010 12:30 AM

Marlin 336/444 feeding problem update info
For the reloaders and other info grabbers, I have a little tech info I have researched on the Hornaday “flex-Tip”. No mind you I’m not bashing Hornaday; love their stuff use their components; but there are some serious differences in their case etc regarding the 444 Marlin. As follows:
OAL: Hornaday Case w/ Flex Tip: 2.581”
OAL: Remington w/ 240 Flat nose 2.534”
(.047 Difference) This may not matter in a bolt gun etc., but in a tighter feeding lever action this could make all the difference in the world. The lever isn’t as strong in the “camming action etc. Also I check the cases; the Hornaday case length is shorter by (.158”) than the Remington, and holds 4 ML of liquid (alcohol used) while the Remington is 4.5 ML. So obviously for reloading the data should so be adjusted accordingly. Overall I think the concept is a good one, with a spitzer bullet design, and allowing its use in a magazine tube; but for years those who have had only a lever I knew use to load it as a 2 round rifle, one spitzer in the chamber, one in the magazine. They just had to remember that fact; however one must always remember the limitations of one's rifle/cartridge to begin with, and what’s is designed for: Brush/Eastern woods hunting. You want greater range go and power go to a bolt gun etc. ;)

rifleman55 12-06-2010 04:55 PM

The marlins are fantastic rifles. Did you know they have only half as many parts as a Winchester and in my opinion are far better weapons.
Too many people underrate a lever gun.
You would not want to try and hurt my family when I have one in my hand.

The newer marlins do sometimes have a problem with a jam that locks them up, but it can be fixed. That's the one and only problem I know about with them.
I'm pretty sure that the longer length of the new Hornady bullet agrivates the problem as does the flexable tip.
It looks like a great bullet, but is worthless if it won't feed.

If used on dangerous game or for self protection, I'd stick with the older style bullets that you know work. The new hornadys may fly a little flatter and give a little more range, but unless you have proven them to be 100% reliable in feeding, I'd pass and go back to what you know works.

I live in bear country and many times carry my Marlin when in the woods hiking. With the old style bullets, I feel quite safe, I'm not sure I would with the newer Hornady one's. One in the chamber might be OK, but the tube is full of 170's

John K

McX358 12-06-2010 05:13 PM

Marlin 336/444 feeding problem
Can’t disagree with any of that; but I’ll add this, my old “meat-in-the-pot” Marlin SRC in 35 Remington was my first centerfire high-powered rifle; :D compact, slick as glass action, and powerful enough for anything in the Eastern and Southern US, and it’s accuracy riles that of some much higher dollar rifles. OF course a lot of it depends on the shooter; but still it will punch “Mickey-Mouse” faces all day long @ 100 yards! For me to give her up; well you know the drill………… It’s younger brother (SRC-336 in 30/30) is as accurate; but hasn’t quite the break-in yet, with that yearly 50’s hand crafted smoothness. I gave up two weeks of wages for that old Marlin; and dropped a nice 6 point with one shot a weekend later; sadly where that was is now a housing development, shopping center, and yoga lounge! :eek:

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