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Old 04-11-2011, 03:06 AM
samuraiBSD samuraiBSD is offline
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Default Marlin 336 vs Marlin 336BL



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Since I last came here, I've been looking into my "situation" a bit more. Previously I'd considered such items as M1 Garands and M1As. I realized that these rifles, while powerful, were practically useless for my purposes. I won't ever need (much less be able to) take an 800 meter shot, with or without glass on my weapon. I also considered an SKS, and realized, while the cartridge size made a lot of sense for my AO, I would rather have something more accurate and a little...well...nicer.

I came to the conclusion that a lever action in a decent caliber would be the best bet. First, it's legal pretty much anywhere, so whether I'm in Pennsyltucky or California, I'll be able to use it. I also like the idea of not having to use magazine loading devices...just load the rounds one by one, with some extras held on a butt cuff. It also lets me top off. I also realized that in a real survival situation, I won't be in need of a high volume of fire. if I need more than 7 rounds of anything, I probably shouldn't be in that situation in the first place. In TEOTWAWKI situations, I'll be avoiding conflict altogether. In a more "natural disaster" situation where all I have to worry about are a few looters trying to come in and take my stuff, the mere presence of an armed opponent will scare off most attackers, and the ones that aren't deterred can be taken care of in short order. My longest shot will probably be less than 200 meters anyway.

If you're scrolling through on a tl;dr impulse, start reading here.

I came down to the .30-30 caliber (over .45-70, which, while awesome, isn't available enough in commercial loads for target practice at a reasonable price). There's a reason leverguns in .30-30 just won't die: they work. my only dilemma now is this: Should I go for the less expensive, 20 inch barrel 336C/W/SS/whatever, or should I get the slightly harder to find/more expensive 18 inch 336BL, which has a large loop lever and is obviously shorter. Will 2 inches really make that much of a difference in tighter quarters? Will I notice *that* big of a difference with the big loop? Am I losing necessary velocity by chopping 2 inches off the barrel? I equate this problem to computer processors. Sure, one is 500 MHz faster, but will I see a real world performance gain from that? What are your opinions? Thanks, all.
Old 04-11-2011, 03:33 AM
stevetexas stevetexas is offline
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I vote for the full length gun with the normal size loop unless you expect to be wearing heavy gloves alot.

Just pick the one you like.
Old 04-11-2011, 03:57 AM
whirlibird whirlibird is offline
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Go with the longer gun.

I have a Marauder length .35 that's actually too short to be practical, but it's definitely loud. Realistically, 2" isn't enough to make a difference in packability unless you have an actual size restriction such as a storage lock in your car like the police.

However the extra 2" of sight radius does make a difference. Especially if you add a receiver or tang sight to the back.

Finn Aagaard did an article on a "Clifton Scout Marlin" rifle that Brett Clifton made up as a scout rifle. While it lost out against the rattle battle rifles when it came to 'suppressive fire', it didn't lose out in accuracy or handiness. Plus it was much lighter and legal everywhere. (January 1995 issue of Rifle magazine, worth a look)

Personally I'd rather have a good .30-30 levergun than an SKS, the round is more powerful and better for hunting which also makes it more effective for defense. The ammo is available anywhere, even out here in the sticks unlike the .30 Russian. And with a good handload, it gives up nothing for small game procurement as well as pest control.

It may not be fancy, it may not be tacticool, but a good levergun is worth it's weight in gold even today. You can even mount a tac-light on one, if you feel you must.
Old 04-11-2011, 04:10 AM
samuraiBSD samuraiBSD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whirlibird View Post
Go with the longer gun.

I have a Marauder length .35 that's actually too short to be practical, but it's definitely loud. Realistically, 2" isn't enough to make a difference in packability unless you have an actual size restriction such as a storage lock in your car like the police.

However the extra 2" of sight radius does make a difference. Especially if you add a receiver or tang sight to the back.

Finn Aagaard did an article on a "Clifton Scout Marlin" rifle that Brett Clifton made up as a scout rifle. While it lost out against the rattle battle rifles when it came to 'suppressive fire', it didn't lose out in accuracy or handiness. Plus it was much lighter and legal everywhere. (January 1995 issue of Rifle magazine, worth a look)

Personally I'd rather have a good .30-30 levergun than an SKS, the round is more powerful and better for hunting which also makes it more effective for defense. The ammo is available anywhere, even out here in the sticks unlike the .30 Russian. And with a good handload, it gives up nothing for small game procurement as well as pest control.

It may not be fancy, it may not be tacticool, but a good levergun is worth it's weight in gold even today. You can even mount a tac-light on one, if you feel you must.
Well, that was my idea. A .30-30 isn't necessarily fitted with all the bells and whistles, but it also doesn't really need to be. The SKS is a fine combat rifle, but honestly, combat is the last thing I want to be dealing with if something goes down, and I'll be avoiding it at all costs. A .30-30 can handle anything I have any business doing, and if I get in a hardcore firefight, an SKS or M1A probably wouldn't have saved me anyway. The long-term availability of such a prolific round was also a factor. I've never been somewhere that didn't have .30-30 on the shelves. I've had times where 7.62x39 wasn't present, though.

It sounds like the full length is getting the vote so far, but I'm still interested in hearing opinions.
Old 04-11-2011, 10:27 AM
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Full length.

You are not going to be able to stow the slightly shorter version anywhere that the full size version cannot go as well.

The 30-30 needs everything you can give it in order to make the most of the round. Going with the shorter barrel is a poor choice in my opinion since if and when you do shoot you want it to be maxed out.

It is a great choice between power, recoil and use. The round itself though is basically the same bulk as .308 or most other full size rounds. You will be able to carry the same amount of both types of rounds for roughly the same bulk/weight. This means you are choosing to limit your power because you want the format for the round. Not a bad idea at all, just saying that the round is not your main driver.

The 336 is already an extremely small and handy package. The balance is great and with practice yo can swing shoot it just fine. It does take time for them to loosen up or you need to get them tweaked a bit. With a new 336 or without the right practice you will flip the rifle to the side to work the handle. This means a loss of target during the cycling. A worked up 336 though can easily be worked while still staying on target.

My personal preference is the 30-30 and I have built up around it for many of the same reasons you stated. The Hornady Leverevolution ammo gets you out past 200 yards nicely.

You can get into reloading for the round pretty cheaply and since the brass is easy to hold onto you can keep supplied easily.

Also read through the thread at the top of this board for the 30-30 build.
Old 04-11-2011, 06:19 PM
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I have several examples of SKS and marlin 336 rifles. I would lean towards the SKS rifle. The SKS can be found used in good shape, but it's used and you take a gamble. I have SKS rifles that are very accurate. The factory open sights need to be replaced or a quality scope mount and quality scope need to be added.

I do believe a 6-10 shot lever gun is a close second to a military carbine.

Lever guns are slow to reload. The more shots in the tube, the better off you are. .357 magnum is a decent choice. 44 magnum might be a touch better. However, nothing wrong with the .30-30 either. I have a couple .30-30's, a 357, and 45 long colt lever gun.

Far as the big loop goes. I hunt is about 20 deg weather. The regular loop gun with some 1/4"-3/8" thick gloves keeps me pretty warm and still have enough room in the loop. Anything real thick will be troublesome to shoot with. If you have some real big hands, maybe the loop would be a good choice.

I go with a 20" over a 18" gun. Everything is a compromise. The gun is already consider a compact hunting rifle. Loosing 2" slows down a slow bullet already and if you're going to use iron sight, you're loosing about 15% of your sight radius.

I do end up in the woods more with a .30-30 over the SKS. However, if you see a good chinese type 26 SKS, I'd pick it up. I like the yugo SKS, but they do weight a bit more. My favorite marlin is a glenfield model 30 (economy version of the marlin 336). It has a lyman 66 peep sight with a lyman fiber optic front sight. The front sight has a 3/8" riser block to make the sight work, however they do make a tall front sight that will line right up without modifcation. It is a 20" model with a 4 shot tube. I only keep it loaded with one in the chamber and two in the tube. It is just a oy to handle all day due to it's light weight. The 18" model might have a slight upper hand in that department, but putting a scope on it takes away from the light weight factor.

Keep in mind, new marlin 336's do not have the peep sight holes on the side to mount the lyman sight. You can still use a XS sight, which comes with a nice front sight. A low powered scope with a thicker recticle can be a very fast gun to mount and get a sight picture. Take a close look at eye relief ranges and find a wider one. The burris fullfield II 3-9x set at 3x is a good choice for a fast sight picture. I got that on a 2009 336 marlin.

I'd pick a good used 336 marlin over a new one. The closing of the marlin plant in CT makes me nervous about their quality. Remington will also have some sort of learning curve on how to make a "marlin" lever gun. Also, I'm sure they'll have pressure to start producing a product, so early models may not be as good as one purchased a year or two from now.

Puma might be a decent option for new. I have had a bead experience with a henry product. Problems happen to the best of companies, however, their way of handling and maybe even solving a problem thins out the good from the bad.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:23 PM
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Go for the 20", but buy used. Marlin is putting out garbage lately since the takeover...
Old 04-11-2011, 08:39 PM
rextex rextex is offline
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Get whatever one you like the best. I'd take the longer one with the regular size lever but that's just my taste. One thing I'd like to mention to you though is the SKS is pretty accurate not at all like the AK.
Old 04-12-2011, 01:39 PM
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I bought as my very first rifle the standard Marlin 336 when I first got into prepping for a little known reason. If you talk to ANY sporting goods store and ask them what the single most sold over the counter rifle ammo there is... they will tell you:

1. 30/30

2. 30-06

3. 5.56/223

In that order.

Now, this is NOT from gun nut stores (i.e., the type of shop I love to go to.) This is from Big 5, Cabelas, and all the shops that cater to regular hunters.

Most people do not realize that 30/30 cartirdge sales are #1 in the US.

If we face TEOTWAWKI... scavenging is going to be common. Lots of ammo will disappear guickly. But the commonly sold rounds will be found in many homes. You'd have a much higher chance of finding an empty house with a box of 30/30 or someone trying to trade that caliber... than you would 460 nitro or 32 mag, 41 mag and all the other fringe calibers... AND you'd have more availability of 30/30 simply because it is currently in more homes than any other caliber.

I bought a lot of my guns based on what the guys at the gun store counters told me. I bought a Glock 17 even though I already owned a Glock 23 because Wal-mart to Turners... everyone said 9mm sales beat out EVERY other handgun caliber by a mile.

I bought my guns in this order:

1. 30/30

2. 308

3. 12 gauge

4. 223/5.56

5. 7.62x54

6. 7.62x39

(I can't remember when I got my 10/22, but I bought it because of a sale - not buying in order. It should probably be everybody's #1 rifle.)

Except of the last two - they were purchased on the order of ammo availability post TSHTF. (and 223/5.56 in hindsight should have come before 308.)

What's missing is I need a 30-06. This is the #2 best selling ammo in the US... so I joined the Civilian Marksmanship Program and hopefully soon I can ad a M1 Garand or a bolt action hunting rifle with scope.

Ammo availability when there are no longer sporting goods stores is an important consideration. 223/5.56 will probably emerge as the most available cartridge type post TSHTF. The HUGE difference between 30/30 sales and 223/5.56 is people buy ONE box of 30/30... and they buy a couple crates of 223/5.56... same with 7.62.39 (which is a good reason to put SKS on the list) but when I first started prepping... I was only thinking about what rifle worked for me... what I could afford... and what was #1 for ammo sales. Hindsight would make me shop differently, but I don't think you will ever regret getting a 30/30... especially the marlin 336. It's a great rifle. It's also not a rifle police are as likely to confiscate. There have been many gun grabs in the US post disasters where the police and National Guard threw the Constitution out the window. People carrying Socoms, M1As etc... were even laughing in interview how the police freaked when they saw them guarding their neighborhoods with "Bigger and better guns than the national Guard had" but if they go house to house and you do the "Gee whiz, that's just Grandpa's old rifle. It's been in the family for 60 years..." you may find they just say "Just keep it in the closet and out of sight. A Marlin 336 won't scare LEO the way a Socom or M1A or even and SKS or AR-15 will.
Old 04-12-2011, 03:25 PM
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I find the 20" barrel balances better than the shorter one. I've got a similar (DRC) lever on my 1895 and find it's a little too sloppy, cycling wise for my slim fingers. I'm sure it'll work good if your wearing gloves or have hands like Wayne or Connors. I was never into the short barrels and find that the 20" carbine is just right for a "carry around" gun. And the 30-30 is more versatile for most areas unless you feel you'll be dealing with the big bears.
Old 04-12-2011, 07:15 PM
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If I had to ditch them all except one. It would likely be the lower one.

Old 04-12-2011, 08:04 PM
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my full length 336 in 35 Remington is a great brush gun, I use it where a clear 100 yard shot is almost a fantasy. In the woods where everything is fairly close, a 336 Marlin is a great choice.
Old 08-04-2013, 08:24 PM
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Go with the big loop lever action 30/30 short rifle. There is a reason militaries use short rifles. The big loop will come in handy when in cold weather, and you do not have to have huge hands to have your gloves not fit the lever. That is taken from experience. Short rifles are less likely to get snagged on brush or anything else that is out there you do not or cannot see. They aim more quickly, and are just as accurate for all practical purposes as a longer rifle. There is nothing out there a long rifle can't do that a shorter rifle also can't do. The 30/30 round is easy to find, cheap, and packs a wallop that the 7.62x39 round cannot match. A lever action loads quickly, maybe not as fast as a semi-auto, but quick enough with practice. In Most states more than six rounds in a gun is illegal for hunting. Lever actions are more accurate than semi-autos. Finally, go with the gun you like.
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