I recently shot an old 30-30 Marlin lever action and really liked it. I was thinking of trying to find one to pick up to use in the woods at my in-laws and am wondering if anyone has any recommendations (model, when made etc) for what I should look for?
Ideally I would like to keep it under $400 if that helps not sure if I can even touch anything new for that price but if I can and there is something good out there, let me know.
You'll pay a bit more for a Henry but, they are more than worth it. Fantastic rifles, smooth as butter action. Many purists don't like the tube loading and prefer the receiver loading gate like the Marlin. I'm the opposite. I don't like the loading gate style as I usually get my finger tip or glove caught trying to get the final round in. (I guess I wouldn't have made a good cowboy) After I fire what I want, I just drop that many back in the tube. It's also much easier to unload by dumping the tube and ejecting the one chambered round, as opposed to cycling out each round. Just my preference.
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Marlin 336 RC. I'm partial to the straight-stocked "Texan" variant. I prefer the Marlins to the Henrys as you don't have to fuss around near the muzzle to load the gun. I prefer them to the Winchester because they are easier to take down, don't throw brass in your face, and give you the option if installing a scope, if you must do such a thing to a lever-action rifle.
If you look around, you can still find good deals on older used ones. The 1894s and 1895s have gotten expensive, but there are so many 336s out there that there are still deals to be had. If you don't care about fit and finish, they also sell the 336W at Walmart and other big box stores. The wood and finish aren't as nice, but it's the same basic gun.
I prefer a Winchester 94. If you can find a nice pre-'64, most like them the best. A mid-seventies is fine for a shooter though, with most of the stuff they messed up corrected by then.
There is nothing wrong with a Marlin, and if you want to scope it, they are easier, but I just like the feel of the 94.
I was going to suggest a used 336 or 94 as well! I usually see a lot of them at various places for 400-600. I ended up finding a post 64 Winchester 94 for under 400. I know everyone raves about pre 64 and quality but you can find some good deals on post 64s. Mine is a mid 70s make in pretty good shape.
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in your pants
I recently bought a new Winchester made in Japan.
Its like butter and the fit and Finnish is superb.
Used JM marked 336s can be had cheap. Get rid of the factory sights and add the Williams receiver sight and your accuracy will increase drastically.
Hornady LeverEvolution works well in mine.
If your can find one, the RC model is nice.
End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
Don't discount one in 35 Rem. either!
Check any of them for rust, especially in the magazine tube.
"Practice like you want to play in the game"
either the win 94 or the marlin 336's, older models, can be had for your price range. I love my winchester 94s. I've picked up most of them right around that $400 pricepoint. .
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You should be able to find a Winchester 94 post 1963 in that price range or slightly more. Look for one made around 1971 and before the stupid rebounding hammer that came out sometime in 1977.
The sweet spot for late Winchester 94 is 1972-1976. They improved and or reworked some of the cost cutting moves of post 1963 94s. I would avoid the 1964 - 1969 94s.
The marlin 336 are better pick if you want to mount a scope or a red dot. Just beware if they are not cycling ammo faily smooth you could be setting yourself up for the infamous Marlin carrier jam. If the issue is not fixed very soon. If it happens on the Marlin 30/30 it is not fun to unjam one once this cluster fxxx happens.
....Shredding lead both barrels
Another vote for a nice pre-remington Marlin 336. They can be had at extremely reasonable prices if you’re patient. Check local pawn shops as they seem to show up frequently
"You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget”.
I got my first 336 in 1970.
The so called jamming is operator error and being clumsy racking the leaver.
load the thing smartly and with authority and not all whimpy and scared.
There are quite a few Marlin 336's on the used market. I see more Marlins on the used gun racks then Win 94's.
I've had the 336 in 30-30, and now currently have a 1964 336 in .35 Rem that shoots very VERY well with Hornady Leverevolution 200gr FTX loads.
The older Marlin 336 models in my opinion had much better quality stocks as well. I bought one of my sons a newer 336 and the difference between the old walnut stocks and the new ? stocks were obvious.
Mine is a mid-90s Marlin 30AW, pretty sure that was the package deal, maybe slightly 'cheaper' option. Came with a just below decent Simmons 3-9x40 & a sling, and have had no problem dropping a few deer with it.
Never had a single problem out of it.
The Enemy's gate is down.
I haven't been impressed the quality of a lot of the Henry rifles. I'd either pick up a used Winchester 94 or an older JM marked Marlin. The very newest Marlins seem to be having less issues than the first Remington produced ones, so they should be o.k. as well.
|Throwin sparks |
Lots of good info, but I would wonder what quality issues people have had with the Henry’s. I LOVE mine in 45-70!
Several years ago I bought a 1973 336 in 35 REM for around $400, just for reference. It is in very good shape.
35 REM might be a better option for a “woods” gun. They seem to have a cult status on the Marlin owners forum. The ammo is more expensive unfortunately.
|Still finding my way|
Mossberg has a 30-30 lever rifle out as well.
^^^ There it is! I was wondering if anybody would remember that Mossberg makes a lever gun. Never shot one, but would like to, just to be different. Kinda like the "tactical" looking 464SPX for some reason. It's a gun out of place. Probably soon to be a banned "assault weapon."
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