View Full Version : Marlin 30-30 misfires

July 29, 2001, 01:28 PM
I'm having a misfire problem with my Marlin model 30A, 30-30 rifle. The problem is intermittant, it has happened approximately 12-15 times out of about 100 shots. When the trigger is pulled, the hammer falls, but the rifle dosen't fire. The primer is dented, but not as deeply as it would be on a fired case. I've had this happen with factory ammo (Rem and Win) and with my own reloads, so it dosen't seem to be a problem with ammunition. If I re-cock the hammer and shoot again, it has always fired on the second try. So far this hasn't happened while hunting, only at the range. But I'd like to get this fixed so I can hunt with confidence in my rifle. I appreciate any help or advice, other than getting rid of the gun. After six deer with one shot kills, and no misses, I've come to love this sweet little gun.

July 29, 2001, 01:49 PM
I have two ideas...first, maybe your hammer spring is worn and/or weak. Second, maybe the movement of the firing pin is hampered by a buildup of crud or gunk. I would first try removing the bolt and giving it a good cleaning with an aerosol product. If that does not cure the problem, I would consider replacing the hammer spring.


James K
July 29, 2001, 04:49 PM
Have the headspace checked.


July 29, 2001, 06:43 PM
The 30A is the same as the Marlin 336 and there are a couple things to check for with this design. You didn't say what the temperature is/was when you had problems. Cold weather with a bit too much oil in the mechanism will cause this. Redrider & Jim are on the right track with their suggestions. I also agree that you will find that the firing pin has crud and/or gummed up oil dampening its movement. If a good cleaning doesn't fix it and the headspace checks out I would check that the lever is lifting the two piece firing pin completely into alignment. If the pin is not fully into position as the hammer drops this will cause your problem. Good luck.

George Stringer
July 30, 2001, 06:56 AM
Good answers. I would only add to check the hammer and make sure it's moving freely without rubbing either side of the tang or reciever. George

August 2, 2001, 03:03 PM
Thanks for the reply's. The rifle's bolt and firing assembly are clean, and the hammer is not rubbing. But I will definitely get the headspace checked. The two peice firing pin alignment may also be the culprit. I will have this checked. Cold weather is the least of my problems here in south La., but thanks again for all the ideas.

August 2, 2001, 11:30 PM
Keano...let us know what you find out, okay? And don't forget about that hammer spring!

October 10, 2002, 01:25 PM
I'm resurrecting this thread to let you guys know how it came out. Sorry it took over a year for me to get back to it. I had left the gun in the cabinet last year during hunting season, and used another rifle. But, I took it back to the gunsmith recently so I could have it back for this soon upcoming hunting season.

It seems the problem may have been the result of another smith's work. Since I had bought this rifle used, I didn't know the history. As per my gunsmith, this rifle has definitely had previous trigger work and other action work. (All I knew was that it had about the sweetest trigger I had ever fired.) He found that the main spring had the first and last two coils collapsed, and was shorter than a new one, after comparing it with a factory new main spring. He replaced the spring and it seems to be the cure. He said the shortened main spring had nothing to do with the trigger job, and replacing it would not affect the trigger. He wasn't sure (or wasn't clear to me) why the spring would have been shortened in the first place.
The headspace has been found to be well within tolerance. The firing pin is not cruddy, or gummed, and the inner working parts are clean and not overly oiled.

I will be getting this rifle back today, and will definitely do quite a bit of shooting before hunting season, with factory and reloaded ammo, until I am confident that this, difficult to diagnose, intermittent problem has been solved.

October 10, 2002, 01:29 PM
RiverRider, pardon my ignorance, but if the main spring and the hammer spring are the same, it seems you may have nailed the problem; Thanks.

James K
October 10, 2002, 08:49 PM
Hi, Keano44,

Just FYI, the term "mainspring" is used to mean the spring that actually fires the gun.

It may not be the largest spring in the gun (for example, the M1911 type recoil spring is larger than the mainspring). It may drive a hammer, a firing pin (as in a bolt action rifle), or a striker of some other kind, but it is always the one that causes the gun to go bang.


October 10, 2002, 09:12 PM
This is what I love about TFL. Thanks, Jim.

October 11, 2002, 10:08 PM
Couple of things on my model 336. How do you find out what the alpha suffix is to determine the model. It just days 336.

Anyone know where takedown information is posted.

Having a problem with misfires. Seems to be with Remington Primers on Reloads. No Problem with Remington factory ammo or with reloads using Winchester primers.

Also have an occasional problem with the gun jamming. Somehow more than one round gets caught up in the action. I have to remove the lever and take out the bolt to clear it.

Checked serial number on a website and it supposed to have been made in 1971.

October 12, 2002, 10:44 AM
Having a problem with misfires. Seems to be with Remington Primers on Reloads. No Problem with Remington factory ammo or with reloads using Winchester primers.
Sounds like a seating problem on the Remington primers, or perhaps a lot of defective primers.

October 12, 2002, 11:53 PM
I wrote up disassembly instructions from memory a while back, so they're not the best.

Here's an assembled cross-section view.

For an exploded parts diagram, goto the top of the Beartooth page, click on GunNuts.com and follow the menus.

One of the gents over on the Marlin Forum did a better job on disassembly. It's either in the 336 or the Big Bore forum, and it's likely buried pretty deep by now.

Do your primers fire on the 2nd try and have light firing pin dints? If so, you're not seating them deep enough, and the firing pin is seating them full depth on the first try. On the other hand don't mash them in to the point of deforming them. They might be defective too, like johnwill said.


October 13, 2002, 11:01 PM
Generally they do fire on the second try. Had two which did not. As I recall when I reloaded these the primers were very hard to seat. The primers have been around for a while. Bought them along with some used dies a while back. This is the first rife I have tried them with.

I will check out the websites. Thanks. I have been using the sketch in the Gun Parts Catalogue. I figured out how to disassemble and reassemble by trial and error but I figured it would be nice to read the directions.

Any thoughts on why more than one round would feed into the action at once. A weak spring somewhere perhaps. Or a worn part that is not obvious to the untrained eye?

October 16, 2002, 11:16 PM
Hi, Paul:
Winchester cases and old CCI primers don't mix, at times. Is that the combo you were using?

Since I've never seen a Marlin that tries to feed a second cartridge, I'm guessing here. You're not the first I've heard of though. The tip of the cartridge carrier should stick out the bottom of the receiver a bit with a cartridge in the mag. As you open the lever the lug on the right front side of the lever should push the cartridge carrier up, blocking the next cartridge. The cartridge carrier tip should be about 1/8" inside the receiver by the time the of the lug on top of the finger hole of the lever is even with the bottom of the trigger. It's up about 1/4" at full lever stroke. Either the lever or the carrier is out of spec. Hope this helps.


October 17, 2002, 07:25 PM

They were old Remington Primers in Winchester cases.

I am going back to the range again over the weekend. I will try these rounds again.
I gave the action a good cleaning. I was a little skittish about taking the extractor off and poppin out the firing pin. I fed some breakfree through the bold and it seems to be moving freely. Any hints on removing the front part of the pin from the bolt.

Thanks for the hints I will take a look at how the action is functioning

October 17, 2002, 08:56 PM
Hi, Paul:
I've bought 2 batches of Winchester brass with shallow primer pockets lately, .222 & .38 Special. Cutting them to depth with a Whitetail Primer Pockets Uniformer is not my favourite reloading operation. (The Whitetails are excellent and are now available from Sinclair International.)

Push the extractor off with a screwdriver. Punch out the rear roll pin with a good 1/8" roll pin punch. (This is not the place to cheap out on tools.) Pull out the rear firing pin and be careful you don't loose the little flat rear firing pin spring. The front rollpin is under the extractor loop. Punch it out and the front firing pin should fall out the back of the bolt. Reassemble in reverse order after cleaning and oiling. The inside ends of the extractor loop might be sharp, so bevel them a bit with a small file before you push it back onto the bolt, otherwise they'll bit into the bolt.

Make up a couple of dummy rounds for checking out the action. Be safe.


October 18, 2002, 08:25 PM
Brought the rifle to the range today. Was able to finish off all but two of the Remington primed cases. Some required a second trigger pull. Two would not fire at all. Tried a half dozen with Winchester primers with no problem. Did not have any trouble with any of the rounds feeding however. But I will make up a couple of dummy rounds, out of the two that miss fired.

Thanks for the tips on breaking down the bolt. I managed to get the rear half of the pin out previously. Saw the front roll pin on the picture in the Gun Parts Catalogue.

Think I will call gun parts and get a new spring for the hammer just in case.