I have had several of both and prefer the Marlin. But only by a little. The Winchester feels better because its lighter and slimmer. If you want to scope it the marlin is the best bet. The marlin may be slightly more accurate. Maybe. Either one is accurate enough for open sighted shots at deer out to a hundred yards. Most deer are shot closer anyway.
I wish I hadn't sold the last winchester I had. It was a post 64 but was well made and fairly tight with no freckles on the reciever. I just bought an AR and as much as I like it I would sell it way before I sold my last 30-30.
As far as the pistol grip goes it doesn't make me any difference. I have a 32, 357, and 44 mag marlins with the straight grips and I never notice when switching around holding them.
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