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Old November 1, 2013, 07:54 AM   #1
pmsmith2032
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Marlin 30AS Mods

I have a Marlin 30AS 30-30 (I believe purchased in 1985 or 1986) that I purchased from a friend a couple of years ago. It shoots pretty well (I haven't shot it all that much). I am going to use it as a backup for hunting season this year and would like to modify it this coming winter. I figured I'd post on here for suggestions after receiving great advice on my Ruger M77. ere is what I have in mind:

1. Trigger - Either replace with a Happy-Trigger kit or work on the existing one. I would like the trigger to be around 3.5 pounds. Which is the better option for the money. I have basic tools and am fairly handy.

2. Replace the factory stock with a black laminate stock. Any suggestions on where I can pick one up for under $200? Are there any issues with my model (forend cap, etc)?

3. I read somewhere about modifying the length of the magazine tube? Is this necessary and how would I do it? What are the benefits/disadvantages of my rifle with the forend cap as opposed to those with the barrel bands?

4. There is currently a Tasco 4x scope on it. What would be a good upgrade in this department?

5. It has a Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad on it. I know this pad is at least 10 years old (and could be a lot older). Is there any benefit on putting on a new one (has the technology/models changed at all)?

6. Finish - The rifle is currently blued and in good condition (no rust, bluing not worn). However, I think the rifle with a black laminate stock looks a lot better with a stainless/silver finish. Any suggestions on this? I've seen NP3 finishes by Robar and it looks very nice but spending over $400 on a rifle that isn't even worth that much seems like a lot. I've also seen Cerakote finish but I'm worried about durability.

7. I've never really torn down the entire rifle and cleaned/oiled it. Any "how to's" on this? Any specific area of concern?

8. I'm currently using reloads of Speer 170 grain bullets with 32 grains of W-W748 powder. Any suggestions on other reloads to try?

9. Any other mod suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old November 1, 2013, 09:21 AM   #2
jimbob86
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Quote:
4. There is currently a Tasco 4x scope on it. What would be a good upgrade in this department?
Here's Eldest daughter's 30A:


http://thefiringline.com/forums/atta...1&d=1353943923

That's a Burris 2X pistol scope on an XS Sight Systems Leverscout Mount.

Works pretty well.
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Old November 1, 2013, 09:26 AM   #3
jimbob86
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8. I'm currently using reloads of Speer 170 grain bullets with 32 grains of W-W748 powder. Any suggestions on other reloads to try?
Hornady's 150gr RN with 35.0 H335 works really well in her gun ..... start load was around 30gr, IIRC ....
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Old November 1, 2013, 09:50 AM   #4
jimbob86
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9. Any other mod suggestions?
Probably my most helpful one: whatever scope you use, the line of sight for it will be higher than the original irons' ...... even with the very low mount XS sight systems and the small diameter pistol scope, we had to add like a 1/2" of foam padding under the ammo sleeve on the buttstock.

Try this:

Holding the gun at port arms or low ready, look at a target.

Close your eyes.

Keeping your eyes closed, bring your gun to your shoulder, with the stock to your cheek, pointing it at your target.

Open your eyes. What do you see?

If you are looking at scope bases or a black/partial FOV in your scope, then your stock's comb height does not fit your scope's line of sight. You need to raise the comb height until when you bring the gun up, you see a full field of view with the reticle centered in the scope.

If you use a properly set up low power scout scope, with practice you will see the target with the reticle appearing on it when you open your eyes.
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Old November 1, 2013, 04:11 PM   #5
Guv
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Actually mate you have a pretty nice looking Marlin there. With all this money your talking about spending I would find a nice used VariX 2 or VX1, 2x7 or 1x4 variable power Leupold scope (gloss finish of course). The 1x4 would be pretty sweet on your gun and you could mount it really close and low with Leupold extra low rings. Tear down on a Marlin is very easy, open the lever and remove the lever screw, the lever, ejector and bolt will come out. Further tear down is pretty straight forward. No barrel band may be better for accuracy.

Last edited by Guv; November 1, 2013 at 04:21 PM.
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Old November 3, 2013, 08:57 PM   #6
Dr. A
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There are a lot of good stickies on triggers, stocks etc. over at Marlinowners.com. I have customized my rifles quite a bit. The trigger work is easy. You might get lucky posting over there what type of stock you are looking for. The laminates go very fast. The forend cap is thought to be more accurate than the band. There is no reason to change out capacity unless you want too. I would leave the magazine tube alone, get low 63B weaver rings if you are cheap, or warne rigs if you want to spend, and get a nice 2-7x Leupold. I will make the most out of your gun. It will be hard to beat the performance of the configuration you have if you manage to do the trigger job. I load many different loads, but my favorites are a 170 gr. bullet with 34 gr of BL-C2 or a max load of leverevolution and Hornady's 160 gr FTX. Both with Winchester primers and brass.

I have not even come close to the velocity and accuracy of leverevolution powder (150, 160, and 170gr) with any other powder.
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Old November 6, 2013, 02:55 AM   #7
Brotherbadger
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Quote:
7. I've never really torn down the entire rifle and cleaned/oiled it. Any "how to's" on this? Any specific area of concern?
This is a nice video about how to break it down.

http://youtu.be/aTO4M5jOk1c
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Old November 10, 2013, 01:49 PM   #8
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The Tasco scope on your rifle appears to be a 4X40 made in Japan. Actually, this is a good scope and miles better than the current Tasco 4X32s made in China.

If this were my gun, I would leave the scope on it and find another one on the internet for a backup. You can find them in the $25 range. A lot of scope for the money.

Strip your gun and clean very well. There are several disassembly videos on Youtube. Then using fine emery cloth on a flat surface, polish the lever and extractor and extractor groove. You might be able to clean up the action enough so that you do not need to spend big bucks on a happy trigger.

Carefully inspect the rifling at the muzzle. Often times, cleaning with a rod from the muzzle will booger up your rifling. The cure is a counterbore or chopping off part of the barrel and re-crowning. A good machinist can counterbore just past the mangled rifling.

learn to cast bullets for it and enjoy being able to shoot hundreds of range practice rounds instead of dozens of commercial loads.
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