View Full Version : Lever action freezes

September 24, 2004, 03:30 AM
Hi all, was wondering if any of you might have an idea what causes the following:

I have a Marlin 336 lever action 30-30. I had just finished sighting it it with about 40-50 rounds or so, and on the last round, the lever got real hard to work and then stuck in the open position. I had to take out the pin and remove the lever, then it did it again. Could this be caused by overheating and the metal swelling? It was oiled and all.

BTW, after taking it apart and cleaning it, oiling it, and repeating several times, it seems to be ok now. Any ideas on why it would seize up like that?

Thanks for any help!! :cool:


September 24, 2004, 09:37 AM
First off let me warn you, I'm not a gunsmith and didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

I have a Marlin Model 39A .22 cal lever action rifle. I have put a thousand or so rounds through it. I was shooting one day and ejected the case and proceeded to chamber another round. The lever stuck open and wouldn't move. Fortunately for me the model 39 has a large screw type device on the side of the receiver. When you unscrew it you can seperate the barrel and forend from the lever, hammer, and stock assembly (rear portion of the rifle). That exposes the workings of the lever assembly etc. I found the cause of my problem was a small flat part with a pin protruding. The pin stuck out an eighth of an inch or so and was spring loaded (at the time I knew the name and function of the part, but it's been awhile). What had happened to my part was that the hole had worn a little and the extra play would not let the spring loaded pin push in. The internal part of the lever passes by this spring loaded pin and it is supposed to go in when brushed past by the lever. I could wiggle the pin a little and get it to go in, but it would take some wiggling to get it to work. I dug up my owners manuel and identified the part and contacted Marlin. I gave them the serial number of my rifle and the approximate year it was purchased. I found out there were several variations of this part and they, to my surprise, could not determine exactly which one I needed. They sent me the part and of course it didn't fit. I then took my worn part and put it on a copying machine. I made a photo copy of my part and mailed it or faxed it. I can't remember. Anyway the correct part came and no further problems have occured. Sounds like the same sort of thing to me. However, your 336 does not disassemble as easily as my 39, so getting to the part is going to be more difficult. Hope this may start you heading in the right direction at least.
Good luck!

September 24, 2004, 11:41 PM
Thank you!
My 336 is fairly new and I've only put about 200 rounds through it, so I can't imagine a spring wearing out that quickly. It seems to be fine now, after taking it apart and reassembling it, but I'm worried that there may be a problem and it will stick open out in the woods when I really need that second shot!

Dean C
September 25, 2004, 10:18 AM
I too have a 336A 30-30. Mine has never had the problem you wrote about but I did have to look it over after I read your post. The only thing I could see without disassembling was the ejector. Perhaps there was some "crud" on it or under it that prevented the bolt from pushing it down. Your cleaning no doubt took care of that possibility. A lot goes on when you cycle a lever gun so the only thing I'd suggest is that the next time you break it down thoroughly, look for wear.

September 27, 2004, 08:08 AM
I have a 336CS, SN 17094xxx, circa mid-1980's. I'd like to have a take-down procedure, parts list, etc., and any of your useful maintenance hints. Where can I find this? Haven't seen anything on the Marlin site relating.



Dean C
September 27, 2004, 09:25 AM
Here's a start.


Ben Swenson
September 27, 2004, 10:32 AM
Could be an ammo issue too. I ... er ... convinced Nate's 336 (in .44 magnum) to do just that by loading it with empty brass. One piece of empty brass feeds fine, but as soon as it tries to load a second piece from the magazine tube it locks up solid.

September 27, 2004, 11:38 AM
Thanks, Dean.


October 7, 2004, 07:19 PM
I have seem many marlin 336 frozen with the action open. At least 1 a year came in the shop. In all of them it was the same problem. The small screw that holds the loading gate into the action come loose. The gate then jams the action. Its easy to spot if the screw is gone, but it can just loosen a little and cause problems. Maybe this could of been the issue in your rifle.