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Been around "building" bolt actions for a long time. Mainly with Rem 700 donors. Premium barrels, good triggers, building or buying a better stock, all that jazz. So, I'm well aware of what goes into "building" a bolt gun into a custom rifle for an intended purpose.

Lately though my attention has shifted to my humble collection of Marlin levers. 45/70, 444T, jacketed bullet 35Rem, cast load 35Rem, an outstandingly accurate 30-30, and a 39A my dad bought back when I was 3 years old in 1969. All but the 45/70 are JM marked.

There are two more that I'd like to own, but are either too rare to find, or when found are priced way above my paygrade.

One is a 375 Win, which I'm sending a donor 30-30 out to JES for a re-bore, very soon. That fixes that vacancy.

The other is a 219 Zipper.

Likely the only expedient way to have one is to nut up and build one. So my overall question is, who's gone through the bother of "building" something with a Marlin donor?

The logical approach for me, I think, would be find another 336 30-30 and rebarrel it to 219 Zipper. So where would I start with acquiring a barrel? Am I looking at having a blank profiled or is there a source for an already cut barrel? If there are any internal changes to be made I'm sure that can be sorted out along the way.

I do have a couple very competent gunsmiths/machinists on speed dial that would likely be willing to take on the barrel plumbing and any machining necessary. They treat me like family when totalling up the bill so building has always been more economical for me than buying. I return the favor with freebie welding and fab work whenever they need it.

Any input here on "building" off a 336 would be greatly appreciated.


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When I built my 336 in 250ai I bought a pre chambered barrel from McGowen. You will be very happy with JES’s work. I have a 336 he rebored to 356 Winchester and made into a Trapper length carbine. Regan Nonneman used to do this type work and rechambered a 336 to 307 Winchester for me, but I hear he no longer does gunsmithing. Please keep us informed on your project. I thought about a Zipper myself, but donor rifles have gone crazy in price and are not as commonly found around here . Also wanted to do a 7x30 Waters.

Last edited by shawlerbrook; 11/17/23.
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Originally Posted by shawlerbrook
When I built my 336 in 250ai I bought a pre chambered barrel from McGowen. You will be very happy with JES’s work. I have a 336 he rebored to 356 Winchester and made into a Trapper length carbine. Regan Nonneman used to do this type work and rechambered a 336 to 307 Winchester for me, but I hear he no longer does gunsmithing. Please keep us informed on your project. I thought about a Zipper myself, but donor rifles have gone crazy in price and are not as commonly found around here . Also wanted to do a 7x30 Waters.

Thank you for the reply.

McGowen. I will look into them and see what they have.

As for the JES re-bore to 375Win, yes, I've heard nothing but good about JES. I supposed that rifle will be carbine-esque as well. Full length mag tube. Straight stock and square lever. Should be a SWEET fast handling little deep woods deer rifle.


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I looked at McGowen's web page and mocked up a barrel from them. I found they do not do pre-fit barrels for any lever actions or Ruger single shots. So I'm going to call them and see what I can get them to do.

I'm guessing from their info I can send them my barrel (removed from action?), and they will cut my profile and rough length.

Threading, chambering, crowning, and dovetailing for sights, can be done by one of my 'Smiths.


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Yes, I noticed they no longer have any Marlin pre fit barrels. I bought mine a couple years ago and they had both 20 and 24” in stock. They might not even need your barrel since they used to make pre fits and should have the dimensions. Definitely a call needed. Good luck and keep us informed. I just love levergun projects like this.

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I have a factory 35 rem barrel if you would have any use for it!

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Originally Posted by shawlerbrook
Yes, I noticed they no longer have any Marlin pre fit barrels. I bought mine a couple years ago and they had both 20 and 24” in stock. They might not even need your barrel since they used to make pre fits and should have the dimensions. Definitely a call needed. Good luck and keep us informed. I just love levergun projects like this.


👍


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Originally Posted by PeacemakerSolutions
I have a factory 35 rem barrel if you would have any use for it!

Can't think of a use at the moment. I have a 70's made 35 Rem I use for jacketed bullets, and a 50's made 35 Rem that is a cast bullet project. Guess I already have my 35 Rem needs covered. Thank you though.


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Originally Posted by Feral_American
I looked at McGowen's web page and mocked up a barrel from them. I found they do not do pre-fit barrels for any lever actions or Ruger single shots. So I'm going to call them and see what I can get them to do.

I'm guessing from their info I can send them my barrel (removed from action?), and they will cut my profile and rough length.

Threading, chambering, crowning, and dovetailing for sights, can be done by one of my 'Smiths.

That is a bummer. I had heard something before that they weren't doing levers anymore. They rebarreled a 99 for me a couple years ago and it turned out very nice... took way longer than quoted and was not cheap by any means, but it is nice.


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