Marlin 336 to 357 Max - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Default Marlin 336 to 357 Max

I have started a new project. I am converting a Marlin 336 30-30 to 357 max. I am borrowing heavily from Bikerbeans and Molemans conversion method.

Here is the disassembled donor rifle and some of the clean up work I did on it.
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Cartridges for My Entertainment: 22lr, .223 Rem, 30-06, 380 ACP, 38 spcl, 357 mag/max, , 35 Remington, 35 Whelen, 358 Norma Mag, 10mm Auto, 45 ACP. Mmmmkay what project can I do next... oh, I can't right now I am going hunting!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Default Ordered the 357 Mag barrel and 357 Mag Tube

I ordered the barrel from Numrich. I also ordered a 16 inch stainless steel mag tube. It sleeves perfectly inside the 30-30 mag tube. I know I will need a new mag spring and follower. I will probably source them from Steve's gunz. In the meantime I will borrow a follower and pring from one of my Rossi M92.
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Cartridges for My Entertainment: 22lr, .223 Rem, 30-06, 380 ACP, 38 spcl, 357 mag/max, , 35 Remington, 35 Whelen, 358 Norma Mag, 10mm Auto, 45 ACP. Mmmmkay what project can I do next... oh, I can't right now I am going hunting!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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The barrel was easy enough to install and I could nearly index the sight dovetails to the top of the receiver just by threading it on by hand. The bolt almost locks up as is, but not yet. If I remove the bolt and barrel the bolt does fit in the barrel extension with a 357 mag case in the chamber and looks like the bolt face is touching the bottom of rim. So it looks like headspace was already set on the barrel.
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Cartridges for My Entertainment: 22lr, .223 Rem, 30-06, 380 ACP, 38 spcl, 357 mag/max, , 35 Remington, 35 Whelen, 358 Norma Mag, 10mm Auto, 45 ACP. Mmmmkay what project can I do next... oh, I can't right now I am going hunting!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Last night I used the forums 357 Max reamer to ream the chamber up from mag to max. This was the second time I have used the reamer and it worked well yet again. Just take your time and follow the directions provided. Always turn clockwise and use lots of oil! I test the chamber with a 210 gr rn custom bullet to make sure the throat was cut generous enough. I used a sharpie to color the bullet and verify it was not jamming into the lands. My maxis are hunting rifles. So I want to lob the heavies, 180 gr and up. This should make the deer fall down.
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Cartridges for My Entertainment: 22lr, .223 Rem, 30-06, 380 ACP, 38 spcl, 357 mag/max, , 35 Remington, 35 Whelen, 358 Norma Mag, 10mm Auto, 45 ACP. Mmmmkay what project can I do next... oh, I can't right now I am going hunting!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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I then put the reamed barrel in my barrel vice and grabbed the action wrench. I put the barrel on and tightened to properly index the dovetail cuts to the top of the receiver. I used 2 bubble levels to ensure they were dead on. I ran the bolt back and and it still is protruding a little. I know I have some bolt to barrel fitting that needs to occur. So that is where I left off.

Cartridges for My Entertainment: 22lr, .223 Rem, 30-06, 380 ACP, 38 spcl, 357 mag/max, , 35 Remington, 35 Whelen, 358 Norma Mag, 10mm Auto, 45 ACP. Mmmmkay what project can I do next... oh, I can't right now I am going hunting!
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 05:35 PM
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You're going to get this knocked out in record time. The only issue I had with chambering was my bolt face depth was large enough that it would of allowed the bolt to close on the no-go gauge with the bolt touching the barrel and the rim cutter of the reamer not touching the barrel yet. Think .010" was removed from the lip which allowed clearance between the bolt and barrel but was still tight enough that it could be headspaced to the thinner 357 rim. The extractor and ejector slots were deepened with basically a long bevel cut until the extractor and ejector worked correctly.

350 Legend, Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Aww, Thanks Winchester!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 05:55 PM
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Following thread . On my want list 357 max lever!!!


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I dont care what gun Im using as long as Im hunting
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Worked on this project some more last night after work. I worked on the Barrel to bolt face fitting. I think this is the most crucial aspect of the project. Then getting it to feed. Safety first. Headspace is everything. I can live with a safe shooting single shot should the feed issues get the better of me, but I can't tolerate a case bulging or primer popping single shot. Anyway here is what I did.

Sorry for the blurriness of some of the pictures. Try as I might my phone computer cam just was not up to snuff.

I worked the bolt in the action with the barrel in place letting it tap the barrel extension until it formed a wear mark on the bluing. This told me where the bolt was contacting and roughly how much material to remove.

I used a diamond wheel bit from harbor freight that roughly matched the circumference of the extension to get as clean a material removal as possible. I put the barrel in the barrel vice to keep from moving and used my dremel with low speed and as steady pressure as possible keeping the bit as parallel to the chamber mouth as possible.

I want the bolt face to enclose the cartridge and butt right up to the bottom of a seated case or as close to that as I can get. I am talking less than a .010 gap is preferred in my mind. Now I know all 38/357 mag and 357 max rim thicknesses are not created equal so you have to have some gap there to accommodate for those variations. So with that in mind and with no direct and easy way for me to measure that gap I decided to measure the gap from the bottom lip of the bolt face and frame with feeler gauges and use that as a rough guide to see how deep I was going on the extension because the more I dremel the gap is going to close. So the procedure went as follows: I would dremel the extension a little. Spin the receiver back on until it leveled with the dovetail cuts on the barrel.

Then run a feeler gauge in the gap. Once I could not get a .011 feeler to slip down I reassembled the action and tested if I could close the bolt with a thick rimmed 357 mag case. It closed fine. I then did a live fire test by using a thin rimmed 38 case that I seated a live primer in. I only want to make sure the firing pin can hit with enough force for ignition. Plus If the primer has any back out that also gives me a rough idea of how much a thin rimmed case has to move to contact the bolt face. First round of my fitting procedure produced a protruding primer on the 38 case. I measured the protrusion and then tore down the action and put the barrel back in the vice for round 2. I removed just a little less than the protruding primer measurement. Remember take a little off. Test. Adjust. It is easy to remove and pain to put back. After round 2 I could slip a .006 feeler gauge between the bolt lip and frame. The .007 would not fit. So I reassembled again and repeated my testing. This time when I closed the bolt on the the thicker 357 Mag case there is a noticeable resistance, but it does close just fine. Then I primed another 38 case and repeated the live fire. This time there is no noticeable protruding primer.

I stopped there. I was getting tired so decided I had achieved enough for one night.
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Cartridges for My Entertainment: 22lr, .223 Rem, 30-06, 380 ACP, 38 spcl, 357 mag/max, , 35 Remington, 35 Whelen, 358 Norma Mag, 10mm Auto, 45 ACP. Mmmmkay what project can I do next... oh, I can't right now I am going hunting!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2019, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Worked some more on this last after work.

After dinner last night and just before losing light I decided it was put or shut up time. Live fire test with assorted ammo to test headspace. I first loaded Fiocchi 357 mag factory. This is still single shot mode. In fact I only had the buttstock on and was keeping both hands holding the lever down for my initial shots for each type tested. I wanted to keep my digits clear of the chamber area just in case. Needless to say they all went bang, had no protruding primers, and no signs of case mouth compression which would indicate a short chamber or tight throat. So I can return the reamer now. I tested all the way up to my deer hunting rounds using 200 gr Hornady RN. Confidence is now high.

I decided to do the mag tube reconfiguration.

I measured the 357 mag tube length and added in the existing 30-30 tube plug to get total length. I used a plumbers pipe cutter to score the line and then I got the hack saw out and made a rough cut on the 30-30 mag tube. Now I have it down to a managble length I chuck it up in my Harbor Freight mini lathe and squared up the cut and clean up the end. Used a file to chamfer the outside and inside diameter to get rid of burs and sharp edges. Then I set up cast off piece and the end cut piece in my drill press. I used the old end as my drill guide to get a top dead center screw hole for the end plug. But I goofed...

Can anyone guess where I goofed up yet... I know I missed it. Anyway that part worked great. The hole required a #3 drill bit by the way and no I did not drill all the way through the reconfigured tube.

So I inserted the end plug and screwed it down. Then I inserted the 357 mag tube right up to the plug. Perfect. Now time to assemble the rifle. And here is where I found my goof. There is a furrow notch in the barrel and mag tube. They must line up in order for the forearm band screw to pass through and secure the forearm. The half moon cut must be 180 degrees out from the end plug screw hole... It all becomes so apparent when you actually put it together, duh. I had drilled the end plug screw hole with no consideration to the furrow cut position. I was not even close. The end plug screw hole when I assembled it was like at the 3 o'clock position when staring down the business end of rifle. Ooops... Ok, Hmmmm. So out the mag tube came and I chucked it up in my bench vice. This time making sure my end plug screw hole was facing directly down, measured and marked the new furrow location and with a combo of a mini file and diamond shaping bit put a new furrow in to properly locate the end plug screw when the rifle was fully assembled.

So I got it back together. I now have confidence in the safety of the firearm. Now it is time to work on the feeding. I still need to order a 357 mag follower and spring. I am going to borrow one from a Rossi M92 for now to do the initial work. Once I am happy with the feeding I will order the parts. I am still going to convert the forearm to an end cap style, but for now this works.
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Cartridges for My Entertainment: 22lr, .223 Rem, 30-06, 380 ACP, 38 spcl, 357 mag/max, , 35 Remington, 35 Whelen, 358 Norma Mag, 10mm Auto, 45 ACP. Mmmmkay what project can I do next... oh, I can't right now I am going hunting!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2019, 10:49 AM
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Thank you so much for sharing. Really enjoying your progress on your Mauser projects and this project is just as interesting.
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