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Old January 31, 2013, 09:45 PM   #1
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Marlin xlr 336 or Henry in 30-30 ?

The basic henry and xlr stainless are close in$ at the lgs.

My son has an old 1970's 336 30-30 that is great...

Input ?
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Old February 1, 2013, 12:23 AM   #2
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If I had to pick between those two I would go for the Marlin. But with that much cash to spend I would try to find an older gun like your son has.

I like the new Marlins but the laminated stock and thick wood on the forend doesn't make me happy. I do like the ballard rifling and the 1/12 twist of the new guns. I wish it would occur to Marlin to put that same barrel on the blued models.
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Old February 1, 2013, 08:33 AM   #3
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I found a Marlin XLR .30-30 early this year at a dealer who had a 2008 still in the unopened box. I wanted a pre-Remington take over Marlin so I bought it.

It shot the Hornady LeveRevolution 140 grain MonoFlex and 160 grain FTX ammo much better than traditional round nose and flat nose 150 grain ammo.
The 100 yard groups with the flex tips measured in the 1.5-1.7 inch range off a rest. The round nose ammo didn't do as well but the 125 grain factory ammo came close. The 150 grain ammo round nose ammo hardly broke 2 inches.

I started reloading and was able to improve on the factory ammo and got one load down to 1.5 inches.

Then I replaced the factory 7 lb 4 oz trigger with a Wild West guns "Happy Trigger" for $ 80 and the accuracy improved a whole lot with all the bullet weights and shapes.
The 140 and 160 flex tips are now shooting under 1 MOA in hand loads at 100 yards with the best hand loads.
As of last weekend, the average of all the 140 grain Monoflex loads with the new trigger is 0.991 compared to 1.524 with the factory trigger. The best 140 MonoFlex load with the new trigger averaged of 0.524.
The 160 grain FTX loads with the new trigger average 0.885 compared to an average of 1.465 with the factory trigger. The best 160 FTX load with the new trigger averaged 0.691.

I don't know about the Henry, but the XLR seems to be perfect for the flex tip Hornady bullets. If you decide on the Marlin XLR, I would strongly recommend a trigger replacement with the WWG Happy Trigger.
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Old February 1, 2013, 02:16 PM   #4
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What velocities are you getting with your FTX handloads?
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Old February 1, 2013, 11:35 PM   #5
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+1 on the Happy Trigger. Installed one myself in my son's 336 last year and it made a world of difference in group size. I am not that mechanically inclined so it is a pretty easy install.
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Old February 2, 2013, 05:14 PM   #6
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I vote for the Henry. I think they do a pretty good job and should be rewarded with our purchase dollars. I like the looks of the flat receiver side and lack of loading gate. The over-sized cutout for the 30-30 round on the tubular magazine is pretty cool. Same sort of shape as the common .22 but giant size. Nothing wrong with a Marlin 30-30. I know, I've had them. But I've been one to against the grain. Not wanting to follow crowds. A rebel against authority. I like the Henry 30-30 because I bought one, it works fine, and it's different.
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Old February 3, 2013, 07:34 AM   #7
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Marlin is the genuine article, no comparison in my book, forgings (Marlin) vs castings (Henry) and rimfire features at a premium price. The Remington take over issues Marlin had seem to be have been addressed.
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Old February 3, 2013, 07:19 PM   #8
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Velocities are around 2380 with the 160 grain FTX bullets and almost 2430 with the 140 grain Monoflex bullets. The velocities run a bit slower in the cold.
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