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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two 1970's Marlin 336 in 30/30 with scopes (a Weaver and a Bushnel). Good hunting guns.

I found this Marlin from 1949 (they started back in 1948 from the war years with the Model 336). It has some honest wear, but the action is good and crisp. It looks stock to me, but I'm no expert. I cleaned it and found little dirt or powder. It has a 3-digit serial number.

I like the post-war guns due to the workmanship. I think it's a good chance that a former G.I. worked on these guns. My oldest S&W is a 1951 pre-27.
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1949... I have it's brother/cousin, also a 3 digit s/n 6xx.

Until the rules were changed in CAS to limited them to handgun calibers, I was using this old soldier in local matches.

It was gifted to me by a relative that got it in trade with a few other guns. He had absolutely no interest in lever guns... so when he asked me if would like to have it, I couldn't blurt out a resounding "yes"' fast or loud enough.

That was almost 40 years ago... jeez, where has time gone?

Looks like the front sight on yours has been changed to a much higher one with a white bead.

Waffle tops and fish belly forends... what's not to love?

As my signature line states, I'm a chronic "Marlinitis" sufferer.

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When I told my buddy that I was going to put some rounds thru my waffle top perch belly, he asked me if I was drinking this morning! I then explained to him what that meant. Just in case you don't know. waffle top comes from the wavy groves on the top of the receiver. It prevents sun glare when you're looking down the barrel. Perch belly comes from the thickness for on the forearm. Just look at the photo above. The Winchester 94 forearm is much thinner and lighter!
I personally like both the JM Marlins and the Winchesters!
 

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Got to love the old Marlins. Mine is not quite as old as yours is, I think 1957 if I remember correctly.
I like to look of the Winchester's straight stock better, but Marlins fit me the best. Always wanted a Marlin with a straight stock.. I think they call them a "Texan"?

At one time there were several of us that shot 30-30's with cast lead, and reduced loads. The 30-30 is one of my favorite cast lead / reduced load cartridges.
We used to shoot them quite often, and maybe its time to break them out again, and see if any of us can still see open sights well enough to shoot.
Thanks for sharing everyone.
 

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Model 27 and Model 19 (early builds)
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I went to the range today to test fire the Marlin waffle-top. I used some lower power Winchester ammo 150 g. (most of my 30/30 ammo is 170 g.).

It fired perfectly so I am a more than happy new owner. The sights were off, but I knew that would be as the ramp was dialed down to zero. I made some notes so I'll correct the sights.

New guys may note that the Marlins eject from the side of the rifle (scopes are easier). I am also a Winchester Model 94 guy. It ejects up from the receiver (scopes are for people that can't shoot well ;) ). Just kidding.

1974 Marlin 336c (c=carbine) with scope [side ejection port]:
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Older pre-1964 Winchester 94 with an ejection action going up. It makes it harder to attach a scope, but it can be done.
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Got to love the old Marlins. Mine is not quite as old as yours is, I think 1957 if I remember correctly.
I like to look of the Winchester's straight stock better, but Marlins fit me the best. Always wanted a Marlin with a straight stock.. I think they call them a "Texan"?

At one time there were several of us that shot 30-30's with cast lead, and reduced loads. The 30-30 is one of my favorite cast lead / reduced load cartridges.
We used to shoot them quite often, and maybe its time to break them out again, and see if any of us can still see open sights well enough to shoot.
Thanks for sharing everyone.
Yep... "Texans" Not a good pic of it, this is my 1968 336T...

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As for open sights and aging eyes, I've been systematically changing out the semi-buckhorn rear sights on my Marlins and Henrys with Marble Arms "bulleye" appeture rear sights, that are way less expensive than Skinner apeture sights, and they retain the classic lever gun look. They take the place of the buckhorn sight and uses the existing sight elevator:

MARBLE ARMS RIFLE LONG BULLSEYE REAR SIGHT | Brownells
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Winchester 94 with side mount.
That is a great photo. Can I copy it to use on the other gun forums (crediting it to you)?
 

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Closest I have to that is a 1940 Winchester 94. Looks to be in great shape. Definitely a good grab on a little piece of history.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
..Closest I have to that is a 1940 Winchester 94. Looks to be in great shape. Definitely a good grab on a little piece of history.
Wow, I would may have bought the 1940 Winchester 94 for a decent price. That said, I have also missed buying a bunch of great old guns that sell today for twice+ the old asking price.

Who knew? Not me.
 

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Great looking Marlins! I like the old waffle tops too. There was one posted on a local trade board for $600 and it came with a hard case and box of 30-30. Sold the day it was posted.
I've owned several Marlins and even more Winchester 94s and like 'em both. The 336s are heavier than the post war 94s, but they are easy to mount a scope. I don't know if I'd like a side mounted scope as on the older 94s but a good receiver aperture "peep" like the Lyman or Williams type are quick to use and easy to adjust. I prefer them over the Skinner type as they are closer to the eye.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
..I've owned several Marlins and even more Winchester 94s and like 'em both. The 336s are heavier than the post war 94s, but they are easy to mount a scope...
Hey John,
I agree. The Marlin 336's are obviously heavier. I like the weight as a positive for good hard steel in the rifle. If anyone is worried about two extra pounds on a rifle, they need to get in better shape. ;)

I am a solid fan of the Winchester 94. I like them. It's just that it was my first rifle, and it then grew to 7 rifles:

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I paid more for two old S&W revolvers than these 7 Winchester 94's. I also have 250+ rounds of good 30/30 ammo.

I cashed a $2500 check today just in case something(s) come available. It's not likely, but I like a good reserve just in case.
 

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Nice collection of Winchesters! There is something a little more iconic about a Winchester than the Marlin.

I love them both, and wish I had bought more of both, back when they were cheaper and more available.
I would like to have an older 30-30 Marlin with the Ballard style rifling. Since I shoot cast lead, that might be a move forward, in accuracy.. Maybe?? Mostly I just want an old Marlin..

Not to hijack the thread.... but here is a funny story..
One of my shooting buddies has a late production 80's vintage Marlin in 30 30 and it will out shoot my Pre 64 Winchester, with cast lead.
Both had Lyman peep sights and a Lyman 17 A globe sight up front. Much to my surprise, the micro grove would out shoot the coveted pre 64 Winchester.
The Marlin needs a little larger bullet in order to shoot right, sized at 310 if I remember right.
We took turns shooting each other's guns and the Marlin would win by a little bit every time. Smaller, and more consistent group size was the determining factor..
I need to get the 30-30 out, and knock the dust off of it. Load some reduced loads with cast and get to the range..
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I like both the Winchester and Marlin lever-action rifles. It goes back to the mid-1970's when I bought my first deer rifle Model 94 (~$100) from the local hardware store (still own it). I am from a small town and never knew about the Marlins until many years later. Things just got out of control, and I bought more of them (most at much lower prices than today). I never sold any of them.

One thing on the Marlin Micro-Groove is that was a cheaper and faster method for Marlin. They also marketed it well (it does work). Here:
"In 1956, Marlin also incorporated its proprietary Micro-Groove rifling system into the Model 336 and other centerfire Marlin rifles.[2] This rifling system, which used an increased number of relatively shallow rifling grooves, cut down production time and significantly extended the service life of machine tooling.[4]" Wikipedia quote

It was from here:
https://leverguns.com/articles/fryxell/microgrove-barrels.htm

Mostly, the old lever-action rifles are just fun to shoot. They are still good deer rifles in the GA mountains. I always bring one to the local range with a few handguns.

One big plus on the Marlin is that can be field striped in the field (it's easy). Not so with the Winchester.
 
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