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Taking my guns to the range for the first time

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Taking my guns to the range for the first time

Old 02-16-2012, 06:57 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 2
Default Taking my guns to the range for the first time

I don't know where to post this, but this is the guns section so I figured this would fit. I'm taking my Marlin 336 30-30 and my Savage Arms Marksman II .22lr to the range tomorrow and am nervous about cleaning them. I've shot guns before, just never cleaned them. I don't know what to clean, how much to clean, when to clean, any of it. I was planning on taking my guns apart tonight just to get a feel of it but I wanted to see if anyone had advice first. I'll probably shoot around 20 rounds out of my marlin and 100 rounds out of my .22. Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:30 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Indiana county, Pa
Posts: 678

buck, i take it you have all the cleaning tools you will need. the 336 is LEVER action and shouldnt be taken apart. it has to be cleaned from the front of the barrel. be careful when cleaning a rifle this way. first make sure it is UNLOADED. leave the action open and run a patch with solvent down the barrel. next attach a wire brush for the right caliber and run it down the barrel being careful to keep the cleaning rod away from the sides of the barrel. remove the brush and attach the slotted patch tip and run dry patches until they come out clean. not sure is the savage is a rifle or a pistol but it can be cleaned the same way. if it is a bolt action rifle, you can take the bolt out and clean it from the action.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:38 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: west central wi USA
Posts: 2,237

Actually I think the 336 is easy to take apart. Unscrew the lever hinge screw and pull the lever out, then the bolt. Put it back together in reverse order. Rifles should always be cleaned from the breach if possible. Any damage to the rifling at the muzzle by the cleaning rod will result in poor accuracy. Apply some copper solvent with a brush. Run some patches through it until they come out clean. Run an oily patch through, followed by a couple of dry ones and you're done. Don't bother cleaning the .22 barrel. If you have gunk in the action, though, clean it out.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:48 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,445

As noted, the 336 should be cleaned from the breach, and all that's required is removal of the lever screw, then the lever, then the bolt. But, do be careful not to lose the extractor. It will just fall out once the bolt is removed. Before removing the bolt note the position of the extractor, so you'll know how it should look when you replace it.

Clean the 22 the same as you'd clean any bolt action, barrel and all. 22's are dirty.

In general, I like to get some solvent into the bore and let it sit while I'm working on the rest of the gun. Then I run a wire brush through the bore and follow that with solvent patches. This is repeated until the patches look pretty clean. Then hit the bore with dry patches, and follow that with a lightly oiled patch. Before shooting next time it may be a good idea to run a dry patch to remove most of the oil.
UncleNorby is offline  
Old 02-17-2012, 07:27 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Adirondacks
Posts: 1,305

If you don't have the owner manuals the first thing I would do is go to the mfg's site and download/print out copies.They will cover how to disassembly,care/cleaning step by step.Good luck!
Bernie P. is offline  
Old 02-17-2012, 07:43 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: WY
Posts: 2,056

There's really no need to be nervous about cleaning.

Generally, you should always clean a firearm from the breech. Theory is that running a metallic cleaning rod through the bore from the muzzle may inadvertently damage or prematurely wear the rifling at the crown, imparting uneven forces on the bullet as it leaves the barrel, thus degrading accuracy.

Some designs are obviously harder to clean from the breech than others, lever-actions, slide-actions, and semi-autos in particular. Though you probably CAN remove your Marlin's bolt, you may also consider using a .30-caliber "Bore Snake" instead. If your .22's bolt isn't easily removed, you may want to purchase a second one in .22-caliber. Being flexible and nonmetallic, save for the brass (softer than steel) weight and the bronze brush embedded, these feed through the breech easily. They're not the perfect solution, but they're a fairly low-cost option if you're not mechanically-inclined.

In reality though, my first centerfire was cleaned from the muzzle for a couple years until I figured out how to remove the bolt. I religiously cleaned it after every use with a common metallic sectional cleaning rod. Accidental damage and premature crown wear aside, it still shoots 1 MOA or better at the ranges I typically hunt with it at.

Use a good solvent (Hoppes is almost synonymous), apply a light coat of lubricant to prevent rust, keep solvent and lube off any wood, glass, or painted surfaces, and you should be good to go. When you've dumped thousands of dollars into a precision rifle, or shoot hundreds of jacketed rounds each year, you can begin to worry about things like chamber guides, one-piece rods, copper fouling, alloy jags and brushes, etc. For now, just get out and shoot.
homers brother is offline  
Old 02-17-2012, 09:13 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,143

Actually the 336 is easy to clean from the breech. Cock the half way open take the screw out that holds the lever in,now slide the lever down and out,grab the rear of the bolt & pull it out.There's a small part on the left side if the reciever {the ejector clip}it just sits in the reciever,take it out so it dont get lost.Clean your rifle from the breech.When your replace the ejector clip,slide the bolt half way in install the lever and replace the lever screw.

This is alot easier to do than it is to explain.Or you could just buy an Otis cleaning kit.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:35 AM
Giant Nontypical
Sheridan's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,130

Get a couple of "bore snakes", until you know what your doing.

One for solvents, and one for oil.

More gun barrels have been ruined by improper use of cleaning rods.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:32 PM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Allegan, MI
Posts: 8,019

IMHO if the poor guy has never cleaned a gun in his life I wouldn't be telling him to take them all apart. It may seem simple to us that have done it for 50+ years, but I would just do as Sheridan mentioned and clean the bores with the flexible system and wipe the exteriors carefully with an oil rag until you can get with a mentor to show you the ins and outs of really cleaning them thoroughly. Please don't listen to the one comment about not cleaning the bore of your 22. They are as dirty a caliber as you will shoot outside of a muzzleloader and the bore needs to be thoroughly taken care of like any other caliber.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:07 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,898

Originally Posted by Topgun 3006
IMHO if the poor guy has never cleaned a gun in his life I wouldn't be telling him to take them all apart.
This might be one of the more ignorant things I've heard. If you can't disassemble a Marlin 336 for cleaning, you shouldn't be shooting a firearm at all. It's LITERALLY one screw. If you can open a door, you can disassemble a Marlin 336. It's not like we're taking for granted that I can build an AR-15 blindfolded because I've done it for years, it's an easier skill than changing your oil.

The one thing I haven't seen anyone suggest is a break in procedure. If these are new guns, then you'd benefit yourself by breaking the barrels in. Maybe it won't make a lot of difference in accuracy, but YES, it will make a difference in how easy they are to clean from now on. The better you break them in, the easier they'll be to clean.

Clean the bore after every shot for 10 rounds or more, then clean after every group (3-5rnds) for the next 10groups or more. Some guns I'm very careful to clean after every round for 100rnds, but if I'm lazy (like for a hunting rifle or a plinker), the above is what I do. Lower pressure rounds (like a 30-30), I would recommend actually a LONGER break in period.
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