I’ve been troubleshooting a Marlin 336 chambered in .35 Remington from the 1950s for over a year now. This firearm has taken a lot of deer in the Michigan woods over the past 40 years, but otherwise isn’t shot other than those 15 days in November.
Occasionally there would be a click but no bang. It appears that there is a good dent in the primer, sometimes a re-strike with the hammer would do it. But it seems to be getting worse. I’ve replaced the firing pin with a single piece, the extractor, hammer spring. All things that if you google for the issue are recommended to solve this solution.
Most likely because the 35 Remington is prone to headspace issues due to the very small shoulder the rifle needs to be headspaced, but I didn’t want to deal with that just yet.
Finally I came across an article by M.L. McPherson that suggested to load with large pistol primers instead of large rifle primers. McPherson has wrote books and many articles on smithing and reloading.
“In my opinion, all .35 Remington handloads for the Marlin should use CCI Large Pistol primers. Due to the relatively low-striker energy, pistol primers give more uniform ballistics, and such modest charges of easily ignited propellants do not require rifle primers.”
I loaded up some 200gr Hornady over IMR 4895 with a large pistol primer.