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Old April 12, 2013, 11:40 PM   #1
mk8tim
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marlin model 336 30/30 vs winchester model 94

i've decided i need a 30/30. my friend offered his deer stand for a weekend this year and given it's location i can't think of a better rifle to be holding if a buck does indeed appear. a local gun dealer has an entire wall lined with 30/30 and some are marlin 336 and some are winchester 94. the best of both are about equal in condition and $300. i want to use the open sights whichever gun i choose. i've done some reading on the two and was wondering if someone with actual experience with these two would care to share an opinion. i understand the winchester probably holds better value but at 300 i really don't find that to be an issue. none of the winchesters are the 94e. he also has some winchester 32 specials for a bit more money.
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:00 AM   #2
alex0535
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We have a very old Marlin 336 in .35 remington, I haven't tried to date its serial numbers but greater than 40 years of age. Killed my first whitetail with it last deer season. My father and his father have also taken deer with it. 3 generations of being a dependable deer rifle.

We also have another 336 in .30-30, newer but it has also been a dependable deer rifle.

If you do buy a 336, consider buying one with some age. Get one old enough that it isn't made by Remington. Quality apparently went down a bit when that happened.

I'm not saying don't get a winchester, but the 336 will do the job for deer hunting.
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:01 AM   #3
Tom Matiska
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For iron sights I favor the Win. It's stock has a fraction more drop at the heel and getting my eyes down to the iron sights seems more natural.... especially since my neck has gotten older.....
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Old April 13, 2013, 01:22 AM   #4
big al hunter
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I will say for iron sights only, get the Winchester. As stated above it is built for irons.

If for any reason, you think for even a second, that someday you MIGHT put a scope on it, the Marlin is a better choice.

Everything else is a wash in my opinion. Keep in mind this is free advice, and you get what you pay for.
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Old April 13, 2013, 01:43 AM   #5
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If you are strictly looking for a .30-30, then I'd say Win for the win. Lighter, holds better value. Those are the two benefits over a Marlin 336 the 94 has IMO. If you aren't looking for a specific caliber I'd say get a Marlin in 35 Whelen or Remington, or a Savage 99 in a higher-powered caliber. The Savage has a robust rotary-style internal magazine that is better than both the Winchester and the Marlin. The Marlin is also extremely durable, pre-Remington guns are very nice. Guess you really can't go wrong.

Don't know how much you trust it, but here is a general shake down of the question you're asking:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/compared_marlin336_win94.htm
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Old April 13, 2013, 03:29 AM   #6
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I have a old Western Field which is a re-named Marlin 336 in 30-30. I personally love it for the simple fact its a work gun. It's scratched up, dented wood, faded bluing just called to me and I got it for 200 bucks. With the iron sights, I shot a 3 shot 50yrd group of just under a inch using Hornady Leverultion ammo. After I found out what the gun liked, been using it ever since for deer and hogs. Now, I wasn't looking for something that could be a investment grade quality. Thats why went with the re-named marlin.
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Old April 13, 2013, 05:41 AM   #7
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Marlin. Over the years Marlin quality has been consistently very good. Recent new guns since being sold to Remington may be suspect. Winchester quality on the other hand has been all over the place. Many of the 94's have been pure junk, others every bit as good as the Marlin. You never know until you buy it and start shooting. Unless you are buying from someone where you know the guns history a Winchester is a bigger gamble than I'd recommend.

Marlins will be a bit heavier, but are almost always more accurate. Reliabity is about a toss up.
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Old April 13, 2013, 05:53 AM   #8
MarkDozier
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from a maintence stand point, Marlin hands down.
Just get a marlin, but i will warn you. You will be buying more then one.
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Old April 13, 2013, 06:03 AM   #9
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Buy the one that looks best to you. They are both great.
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Old April 13, 2013, 11:37 AM   #10
mk8tim
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does anyone know how to identify a pre 64 winchester model 94? i've decided if one of them is a pre 64 winchester than i'll buy the one that feels best in my hands between the two but if they are post 64 winchesters it's marli all the way. i personally have hadgreat luck with marlins but i like the feel of the winchester in my hands. it feels more natural to me when i draw it up and shoulder it and it's significantly lighter, though in my past experience i'm not sure in the end if that's a plus or a minus. either way no winchester post 64 is in the running at this point, just not sure how to identify them
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:22 PM   #11
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To determine if it's pre 64 you need to look at the serial #. The approximate last serial # for 1963 is 2586000 according to my copy of the Blue Book of Gun Values, any serial lower than that is Pre 64.

In response to the original question I would say the Marlin 336 is a great gun, it doesn't have anywhere near the nostalgia factor of a Winchester 94 but prices for used Marlins are steadily increasing. The only Winchester 94s I would consider would be pre 64 versions. The only Marlin 336s I would consider would be JM marked guns built before the Remington buy out. Rumor has it Remington is putting out better guns now but I still wouldn't chance it until that's been proven.

Stu
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:41 PM   #12
mk8tim
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ahhhh perfect thanks for the info. now i can head back and make an informed decision. i have a few months to get what i'm after so i think i will stick to my guns (pun intended) and get what i want. after doing research it will come down to the one that meets the guidelines, and feels the best in my hands. condition will be a factor but i truly enjoy refinishing old guns provided they aren't collector's pieces. at 300 bucks i won't be too worried about refinishing either. for some reason my head wants the marlin but my heart wants the winchester, if that makes any sense
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Old April 13, 2013, 12:44 PM   #13
mk8tim
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and my only experience with remington is a 30-06 model 710 not hard to sway me away from them for sure
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Old April 13, 2013, 02:16 PM   #14
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just get the 336 w. its good. just make sure it predates the swap to 'modern" tooling.
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Old April 13, 2013, 03:37 PM   #15
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I have a 1978 M336-a very good vintage. Also the solid top of the Marlin will accept a scope much easier. Though i will get an M94 "someday".
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Old April 13, 2013, 09:30 PM   #16
captainrock39
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I own both a winchester made in 78 and a marlin 336 made in 80. I perfer the marlin feels better in my hands, though the winchester is lighter and if a scope is to be mounted then marlin all the way.
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Old April 14, 2013, 01:03 AM   #17
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I have a 1978 Marlin 336 and a 1980 Winchester 94, both in .30-30.

They are both great rifles and I have killed deer with both of them.

Nowadays I have a scope on my Marlin and use my Winchester when I go with iron sights.

I don't think you can go wrong with either of them.
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Old April 14, 2013, 09:15 AM   #18
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Classic Deer rifle

When and where I grew up, 4-5 guys out of 6 (on the average) carried either a Marlin or a Winchester.

Now, as a 16year old, the Winchester 94 beat the snot out of me to shoot it. And the steel buttplate of the one I used really did a number on my shoulder after a summer day of practice. I could shoot a Remington bolt gun in .308 and it felt like it kicked me less than that Winchester.

The Marlin didn't to that to me. The stock fit me better than the Winchester, and being about a pound heavier, with a wider, more comfortable butt didn't hurt any, either.

The older Winchesters fling the brass nearly straight up, newer ones with the angle eject feature throw it up and to the right. Marlins eject straight out the right side.

Both rifles usually have basic "semi buckhorn" rear sights, but there are many variations found, both factory and after market.

Trigger pull ranges mostly from fair to good, in both guns, although some aren't so good. Its very much a matter of the individual rifle. If you find a used one with a very light, crisp trigger, be very wary, that's not the norm. It could mean someone (who may, or may not have known what they were doing) worked on the inside of the gun. Done wrong, a whisper trigger on a .30-30 may not stay cocked when you need it to. If you do find one like that, have it checked by a competent smith before you trust it.

Older models of both guns have only the traditional half cock safety. Guns made in recent years often have an additional safety, usually a button.

Here's a tip, common to both, when loading, use the nose of a round, or similar blunt object to push the base of the cartridge into the magazine, each time. If you use your finger, at some point, you will get pinched by the loading gate!

for what you are describing, either one will do just fine. The best one is the one that fits and feels best to you. For me, that's the Marlin. The Winchester is lighter, and that can be significant if you are carrying it all day (especially since a lot of these guns aren't fitted for slings), but from a treestand, it makes no difference. Both feel light in your hands when the deer are in sight....
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Old April 14, 2013, 01:36 PM   #19
stu925
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Quote:
for some reason my head wants the marlin but my heart wants the winchester, if that makes any sense
There's only one cure for this, you'll have to buy both. Beware lever guns have a way of affecting you mind and 1 is probably not going to be enough. I bought my Marlin 336 in .35 Rem back in October and now I want one each in .30 WCF and .32 Win Spcl. They're addicting.

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Old April 15, 2013, 02:34 PM   #20
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Here's a tip, common to both, when loading, use the nose of a round, or similar blunt object to push the base of the cartridge into the magazine, each time. If you use your finger, at some point, you will get pinched by the loading gate!
My very cold finger got pinched by the loading gate of a Model 94 back in 1964 or so when I first started deer hunting. As you advised, I learned pretty quickly that the end of a bullet performs more functions than just killing whitetails.

When deciding between the two rifles in question as to which to buy, the op might be wise to do a search with the words "Marlin Jam" (hint: it's not what you spread on toast in the morning ).
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Old April 16, 2013, 03:03 AM   #21
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head v. heart

I've owned several M94 Wins, and although I have not a a Marlin 336, I have had an 1894 Marlin carbine (technically the 336's predecessor, design wise) for a long time.

The Marlins have a lot going for them. The lever can be undone and they can be cleaned from the breech, and the bolt, ejector and extractor are easy to access for cleaning and repair. Not so the Win. Marlin's can be easier to scope. The fact that they are a tad heavier, and stocked with a pistol grip (most of them) and a wider butt make them easier to shoot for many folks.

For a long while, until recently, you could buy a package deal Marlin with a scope and sling, cheaper than an unscoped bolt rifle, and ammo was a bit cheaper too. Marlins were always the poor boy deer rifle around here. The public range always had a good bit of .30-30 brass on the ground (not any more!). NOw days, with the poly stocked budget bolt rifles, the Marlins have faded.

But when I hunted deer w/ a .30-30 lever, it was always a Win. They are lighter and I was into covering ground high and rough in the laurel thickets. And they seemed more simple, earthy, straightforward. I regret selling mine, though the Marlins make sense from a tech standpoint.
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Old April 16, 2013, 07:16 AM   #22
mk8tim
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Quote:
There's only one cure for this, you'll have to buy both. Beware lever guns have a way of affecting you mind and 1 is probably not going to be enough. I bought my Marlin 336 in .35 Rem back in October and now I want one each in .30 WCF and .32 Win Spcl. They're addicting.
i can believe that. i just realized yesterday that i had been using the win. 94 several years ago bear hunting. i had no clue that's what i had borrowed. man that little gun would shoot. it had adjustable peep sights and while i never did shoot a bear i bagged several grouse and a couple rabbits with it. i was able to shoot it well enough to not waste a single bite of meat. i really liked that thing. always reminded me of the "rifleman" tv show that dad used to watch. i always wanted to rapid fire it from the hip but never did. safety and stuff. lol
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Old April 16, 2013, 06:57 PM   #23
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I have had an 1894 Marlin carbine (technically the 336's predecessor, design wise) for a long time.
While they are both lever-actions and one may have preceeded the other, the Model 336 and the Model 1894 are two different and distinct designs.
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Old April 17, 2013, 12:43 AM   #24
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I would choose the winchester. Its lean, reliable, and durable.
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Old April 29, 2013, 09:14 PM   #25
mk8tim
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so i decided to go with a model 94. i nabbed it for 235 at a local pawn shop. i love it. i found a marlin 336 in 35 caliber and decided i should have that too. i bought it for 325 and it's beautiful. it's got an over/under scope and is absolutely mint. it shoots great too though for handling and quick shouldering i have to say i prefer the winchester, it just seems to fit like a glove. i have my eye on a winchester in 32 special now. it's 400 and in excellent condition. i don't need it for any reason. i think my woman is preparing an intervention
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