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Old November 26, 2012, 07:16 PM   #26
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Nothing wrong with a 336 Marlin , but the .35 Rem. is the one to have in my book ! The .35 is a far better cartridge than the 30-30 for short range deer and bear hunting . Remington chambered their 760 Pump in .35 Rem. also and there are a few for sale on auction sites , but they aren't cheap , but probably no more so than a new Marlin .
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Old November 26, 2012, 07:37 PM   #27
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One upside to 30-30 over 35rem is that it's available everywhere from walmart to the gas stations that stock ammo during hunting season, and with the new ballistic tip ammo available, it has all the take down power you need for white tail.

I'd wait until January or so and start looking for a lightly used drilled and tapped 336. Lots of people seem to sell them after hunting season's over and heating season's in full swing, so you can often find them for not a lot of money.
I have a fixed 4power on mine, and it works phenomenally both in the brush and out to 100 yds or so.
si vis pacem para bellum
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Old November 27, 2012, 09:50 AM   #28
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I've shot deer from 5 yards to 500, standing and often, walking fast, running, etc. The only times I ever felt under-gunned was when I used a shotgun or iron-sighted rifle.

Once, I planned to hunt in tight wooded cover, so had a semi-auto shotgun with slugs and buckshot. We broke out on a powerline and suddenly saw a nice buck walking along the other edge, about 150 yards away. The shotgun didn't have sights, just a bead, but I think it's really too far to shoot at a moving deer with a slug. Some will argue, but I decided to not shoot.

Another time, I was hunting with a Marlin 336, .35 Rem and had the same situation, but the range was closer to 200 yards. Didn't shoot again.

Since then, I've hunted with .243 Win, .30-06, and .270 Win and felt confident that, as the rifle is sighted in, using the rule of 3's, the bullet will hit within 3 inches of the crosshairs of my 3-9X scope from the muzzle to 250 yards with any of the three. Beyond that, the .270 Win, will do the same out to 300 yards with predictable holdover beyond (but only if those distances are known within 25+/- yards).

I personally feel confident in my ability to shoot well into the deer's kill zone offhand to at least 200 yards, but don't want to worry about holdover of, say, a .30-30 or .35 Rem at distances beyond 100 yards. The .243 Win is the minimum cartridge that gives me that needed ballistic confidence. I use 80 grain Hornady GMX handloads that don't lose more than 3 grains of weight on impact, yet fully expand and penetrate deeply. Factory 100 grain bullets are the norm for most hunters and they hit very hard.
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Old November 27, 2012, 10:06 AM   #29
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if distances aren't a factor how about just a reddot?
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Old November 27, 2012, 04:09 PM   #30
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Magnification can come in pretty handy , especially where there are antler restrictions ! Been there done that .
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Old November 28, 2012, 08:13 AM   #31
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I've owned a few lever-action rifles and hunted with many folks who've had them. They're fast for follow-up shots, but most have combs that are too low to align the eye with a scope or red-dot, unless a cheek pad is added.

Almost all lever rifles must be cocked before firing and de-cocked after loading. I've seen a few accidental dischages when the user attempted to de-cock with gloves on. I've also worked on the older models that have had the half-cock notch broken off when the hammer was inadvertantly dropped on it. Another problem with half-cock notches is that it's possible for the hammer to rest on top of the notch instead of seated properly. I had an accidental discharge using a flat-top Ruger S.A. handgun due to that problem.

There are other problems associated with external-hammer rifles, including getting tree spills, dirt, water, and ice buildup on them or in their openings. In cold November weather in Maine, I've found the exposed metal parts very cold, even with gloves on.

As a gunsmith, I've cleaned many Winchester 94s, Marlin 336s and other lever guns and found that many owners never take them apart to clean them. Grit and congealed oil eventually causes parts to wear out or become very difficult to operate.

The Browning lever-action has few of the problems mentioned above, but the trigger pull is usually not as crisp as that of a bolt-action, and they're usually not as accurate, due to the method of fastening the forend to the barrel. That said, they're a fine, modern lever action that will often shoot better than 2 inch groups at 100 yards, depending on how the forend is rested or held. The mechanism is relatively easy to clean and the safety mechanism is very good.

If you decide on a BLR, the .308 cartridge is one of the best for woods hunting out to 200 yards, or so.
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Old November 28, 2012, 08:46 AM   #32
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looked at 3 more Marlins

There was a stainless marlin 30 30 for $470. and two new $60 and $650 for the "big Loop' one. I brought my glasses and light and looked at them hoping I would love the stainless with compostit stock. The staniless had a great stock but was uneven where it met the receiver. The large screw holding it to the stock was 1/8 inch above level while on the other two they were flush or below level with the metal. The front hood on 2 were very loose. One had lots of machine circles or lines where barrel was attached into receiver. One had the sight screws flush with inside of chamber. the other two the seemed to barely make it in. The finish on the actual metal of the stainless was nice and smooth outside and very rough in chamber. Actions were from rough to quite good. There seemed to be no two close to each other. I was amazed that the screws for the scope on top of the receiver go all the way into the inside of the chamber. Whey wouldn't the make a thicker back strap so you don't have to have that? I thought it was a mistake until I saw it on all 3. Do other guns tapped for scopes have the scope mounting holes on top going through to the inside of the chamber? I was hoping to like the stainless but just couldn't pull the trigger due to the above as well as some signs that the gun was tinkered with. (scratch marks on and around screws, pins having nicks on them, etc.) maybe I'm too picky but when I held a browning x bolt the other day, everything looked perfect. I really want to hold a BLR in my hands but they are scarce. I like my 1936 better than any I've seen so far so will continue to look for an older Marlin used. Meanwhile season is getting long in tooth.. Still having fun looking, learning and yearning. Thanks for advice guys and maybe gals too if your there.
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:29 PM   #33
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The search is over...

Well, I couldn't stand it any longer.. so after calling 15 places in central NY I found a place 3 hours away, White tail sports in Olean, NY. they had 4 BLRs.

a blue 243, blue 30-06, and both stainless and blue in 308. I looked at their new Marlin and it looked ok, much better than any I mentioned above. They also had a Henry 30-30. It was much better yet. (I mean the apparent quality when looking at it in the store was nice. Had a nice peep site too.) The Henry finish was in the middle of the Marlin and the Browning.

I got the Stainless Browning 308. It looked immaculate, fit and finish, action.. When you look in the chamber it looks perfect. No rouch machining marks, nothing but smooth, shiny clean surfaces, smooth action. It's quality shows. It was $869.. Henry was $600, and marlin was $450. $260 more and I had the best, so I did it.

Even though I wanted a 30-30, I just knew I wouldn't regret the Browning. I may eventually get a nice old used Marlin or Henry if I see a deal, but the Browning was what I expected. The BLR is a bit thicker, and not the same nice narrow light feel as the Marlin, but it weighs the same and the action appears to be so much better. Hopefully, it will shoot ok. Still ahve to get scope, rings etc.

I see that you can get scope rings that attach directly to gun not needing a base for the BLR. I'm wondering if anybody has done that? I was warned that if you don't use a weaver scope you are limited in where the rings go and so are limited on where the scope goes as far as position back and forth and thus eye relief could be an issue. Anybody scope a BLR without a base and just rings?

Thanks again, I used alot of the above posts in making my decision.

Lastly, having still wondering if my infatuation with a lever gun was just that, an infatuation, I looked at a tika t3 lite. I almost went with that but they didn't have a 308 or 7mm 08, only 3006. It is a very smooth nice gun. It maybe be nicer than the browning a bolt, xbolt. It has a great, solid ring set up that other guns should use IMHO. No 308 at store so I passed. I would not think twice witha browning x bolt or tika or sako. I'm not as familliar with remington so can't comment on them. I'm a sort of an anal nut when buying guns and Browning and Tika leave me with nothing to gripe about.

Last edited by summerman; November 30, 2012 at 11:38 PM. Reason: forgot something
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Old November 30, 2012, 01:12 PM   #34
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I believe Talley has the mounts you want ! You didn't say what caliber you chose , but whatever it is , it's better than a 30-30 Win. . The straight comb stock of the BLR wants the scope mounted low , and that's where the hammer , or getting to it , becomes an issue . I have two lever guns , and neither wears a scope !
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Old November 30, 2012, 02:07 PM   #35
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Just point a 270 at a deer and it'll fall over dead.
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Old November 30, 2012, 04:38 PM   #36
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For buying a 30-30 two words come to mind.

Pawn Shop

Chances are you will not have to go to more than one or two to find a decent used rifle at a fair price. Not bargain basement price, but fair. Chances are it will probably have a scope mounted on it already. If you do not like the scope on it then change it for one you do like.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:01 PM   #37
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Summerman - you will love the SS BLR in .308. I love the way they balance, jump into position and shoot.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:29 PM   #38
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I found an older 336 in 30-30 with smooth uncheckered stocks, that to the untrained eye looked kinda rough sitting in the back room of a LGS. $214.00 later out the door price with tax, I got it home and cleaned it up to reveal BEAUTIFULLY figured walnut and deep rich bluing, on a rife that from what I could tell...had never been fired. Deadly accurate, and came tapped for a scope mount. It's my favorite rifle that I've ever owned. Just wish I could hunt with it here
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:22 AM   #39
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safe rifle

How safe the rifle is rests between your ears. This thread is rolling along toward the 30-30 but the 243 is also a very good light deer rifle.
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Old December 2, 2012, 11:28 AM   #40
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Summerman, before the proud old Marlin becomes a safe queen, check out the side mounts and rings on pages 23 and 24 of the Williams catalog.

Confirm with Willliams if their SM94 works on your early Marlin without drilling. HCO rings put the scope over the bore, but clear view of sights underneath. SM71 if you have rear peep.
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:16 PM   #41
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I have Leupold base and rings on both BLRs and love it. I also have Warne bases and rings on a couple of my BAR's and they work very well. Since you have a short action BLR, most any base/ring combo will give you enough eye relief. I prefer mounts made of steel instead of aluminum but that's just my opinion.

Last edited by Big Pard; December 3, 2012 at 08:59 AM.
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30-30 , browning blr , deer rifle

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