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Thread: question about 30-30 Marlin

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    question about 30-30 Marlin

    There are many different models of the Marlin rifle in 30-30 caliber. Which models are the best, or worst? I am looking to buy a Marlin but don't know much about them. Your opinions would be appreciated.
    thanks
    atr
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    In my opinion, look in pawn shops for older models of the 336 or the various Glenfield or “store brand” versions of the 336. My favorite is the straight grip 336 T, but they don’t seem to be common. Some honest gun stores may have a good deal on “grandpas gun” that got traded in on an AR, you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    While there's many different models of .30-30 Marlin rifles, no one model is better than another, since they're all the same action with different barrel lengths & stock styles.

    Pick the one that floats your boat.

    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Need to know more about what/how you are going to use this? Will you use factory sights, scope or peep aperture? I have a few and they are like children, no two are alike. Picked up a beaten 336, 70's era, on armslist yrs ago. I refurbished it and it is one of my most beautiful rifles to date. I would have never guested the final outcome.

    https://www.marlinowners.com/threads.../#post-2022904

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    use will be hunting with J's and or cast with the open/factory sights....range not more than 150 yds...some brush cover
    atr
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    Look for JM stamped on barrel, not Rem. Late Rem s may be good - or NOT. What ever fits your budget, they al work. Trigger may seem funny as it is 'floppy'. Good bore is most important. If used, get 5 snap caps/dummy rnds to cycle - won't cycle or jams, take off 100$. Can be fixed.
    Whatever!

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by atr View Post
    use will be hunting with J's and or cast with the open/factory sights....range not more than 150 yds...some brush cover
    atr
    I'll go out on a limb and say that just about any Marlin in .30-30 will do the job, as long as it is in decent mechanical shape.

    If you want one that has walnut stocks and is pretty to look at, find one of the various Model 336's.

    Robert

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    Last year I bought a Marlin with 18.5" barrel, laminated stock. Beautiful rifle but honestly could not get it to shoot to my expectations. Best I could get was an average of 2-3inches at 25 to 50 yds and opened up to 3-4 at 100yds. tried different ammo, bullets, cast, no improvement but to it's credit, groups remained consistent. I realize that the accuracy I was getting might be considered adequate but being an old single shot and bolt action guy, let it move on. Not trashing the gun or Marlin/Remington. Maybe if I knew more about lever guns I could have possibly corrected something or perhaps I just don"t know how to hold and shoot a lever gun. Some guns/types aren't as forgiving as others.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master


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    The older the better. All mine are waffle tops except for one old beater Western Field one I bought for my son which is likely late 1960s vintage.

    I couldn't bring myself to touch one with the push button safety, let alone buy one.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    If the serial number is located on left side lower receiver, be very very cautious with your purchase. There were serviceable units produced but many were found to be very poor from the transition period with many different issues. Being in the right place at the right time seems to be how I scored most my beauties, and yes, I may be a little of a Marlin snob. That being said, not everything made prior to 2008 had an angelic choir sound off when you touched it. Go handle them, touch them, look down the top and check barrel timing, work the actions, de-cock them, wood to metal fit, finish condition, smile, Thank You and hand it back. Figure out scope, no scope, barrel/magazine length wanted and then one day the magic will happen. There are probably still a large amount of cherries out there that were kept clean and oiled and a couple boxes maybe through them and other than the current Dem/Rep/Covid climate you are in a good slot. The young Bubba's need a 6.5 something and the mall ninjas are into black no-ferrous, a lever gun in a rimmed cartridge, yuck! Beat the bushes, ask around, Grandpas or Uncle Bucks may be in someones closet they haven't thought about in years. You just need to beat us hoarding snobs to it!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I’ve owned over a dozen different Marlins or store brands and all served me the same. Fit and finish were mire or less equal, with the Marlin brands typically having a better grade of wood. Primary differences in the models are the barrel length and in some cases the grip style.

    That brings me to my favorite style or model... the straight grip Texan. They seem to hold a special interest for me. I’ve got them in 45-70, 375 Win, 35 REM, 30-30 Win, 41 Mag, and 22LR.
    Shoot Safe,
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  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy Prairie Cowboy's Avatar
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    I own a number of Marlin lever guns with various barrel lengths, ranging from an 1894C .357 with an 18" barrel to an 1894 Cowboy .45 Colt with a 20" tapered octagon barrel, to an 1895 .45-70 with a .22 barrel. All are Remingtons made in the last 3 years or less, and all are free from defects.

    I also own a like-new JM 336C in .30-30 with a 20" barrel made in 1969.
    In the 1980s I also owned a couple of other 336C rifles in .30-30.

    Handling and shouldering and shooting all of these rifles gives you an educated perspective of what is best in terms of barrel length, balance, and quality in a Marlin lever gun.

    IMHO, when shooting offhand, a barrel length of 20" gives the best balance, and a pistol grip stock makes it significantly easier to cycle the action and resume your grip.
    Of them all, the JM Marlin is easily the best of the bunch. It cycles as smooth as glass, is very accurate, has the best trigger pull, and has the best walnut. The Remingtons are very good, but the JM is the best.

    So, for a .30-30, I would recommend that you buy the standard 336C model with a 20" barrel. If a Remington, buy one made in the last 1 to 3 years, and inspect it carefully in person for defects. If a JM Marlin, buy a 336C made before 2000, and likewise inspect it carefully.

    While much ado is made about the push-button safety by some, IMHO it matters little. It's unobtrusive, handy to use while unloading, can be ignored, and the half-cock can still be used as per usual. And, you can replace it with an aftermarket dummy screw set or saddle ring if you wish.
    Last edited by Prairie Cowboy; 01-13-2021 at 11:48 AM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I have owned several in different calibers, all before the Remington ownership. One .35 Rem rifle would not feed correctly, so I sent it to the factory who sent it back with a note that it had been “re-timed”. It worked great thereafter. That was in the Clinton years, late 1990s and the old boys were still working who knew how to do stuff. I don’t know how things are now for repairs, but the advice to get older Marlins rings true to me. As to caliber, since it is very hard to get even .30-30 ammo today, if you can get ammo with the rifle I wouldn’t quibble over .32 Special, .35 Rem, .375 Win, or even .444 Calibers. The pistol caliber carbines .357, .41 mag (rare) or .44 mag make good deer rifles too. .45-70 carbines are kickers - I gave mine to my son - but there were some special editions of “cowboy” rifles, heavier, with 26” barrels that were not bad.
    "You will wantonly strike a hornet's nest which extends from mountains to ocean, and legions, now quiet, will swarm out and sting us to death. It is unnecessary; it puts us in the wrong; it is fatal." Robert Toombs, Democrat of Georgia, warning of the results of the imminent attack of the Confederacy upon Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, 1861

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy Prairie Cowboy's Avatar
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    It's true that buying a JM rifle is no guarantee of perfection. I owned a new 336T (Texan) straight grip rifle back in the 1980s that would not cycle cartridges even though it was new in the box. The carrier had to be replaced to get it working.

    The JM Marlin 336 in .375 Winchester was a great rifle. With a half magazine and a factory leather sling, it had a lot of appeal and a better cartridge than .30-30 as well.

    The JM Marlin in .35 Remington likewise has a more effective cartridge with all of the same features as the 336C in .30-30.
    Last edited by Prairie Cowboy; 01-14-2021 at 04:23 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    And don't discount the 30 Glenfields, can be a fine man in a cheap suit. Back in the late 90's and early 00's I scored a few really cheap and they can be fine rifles. The 30 with 2/3 mag is an SC with pallet wood and the A's are 336C's with pallet wood.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    It's more or less a issue about barrel & magazine length, and the style of stock.

    Just for myself, I lean towards rifles rather than carbines, and a pistol grip stock rather than the straight grip.
    The newer ones have a cross bolt safety, but I never thought of that as a deal breaker.
    If it really bothered me, I'd get one of those kits to take it out and put in the replacement part that looks like just another screw.
    Other than that- all the guts inside the frame/receiver are the same.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtek View Post
    And don't discount the 30 Glenfields, can be a fine man in a cheap suit. Back in the late 90's and early 00's I scored a few really cheap and they can be fine rifles. The 30 with 2/3 mag is an SC with pallet wood and the A's are 336C's with pallet wood.
    Yes, I scored one for cheap at my lgs a while back. Great shooter with cast boolits.Click image for larger version. 

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  18. #18
    Boolit Man GasGuzzler's Avatar
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    I lucked out in 2017 and found a '51 waffle top 336RC in pristine condition and no extra holes. Added a Redfield peep sight.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Prairie Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtek View Post
    And don't discount the 30 Glenfields, can be a fine man in a cheap suit. Back in the late 90's and early 00's I scored a few really cheap and they can be fine rifles. The 30 with 2/3 mag is an SC with pallet wood and the A's are 336C's with pallet wood.
    I also like the Glenfield 30A. There is a certain amount of charm in the cheesy impressed scenes in the birch stocks. Birch may not be as classy as walnut but it's plenty strong.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Marlin before the Remington buyout used to make their 336 in a slightly cheaper version for Wal-Mart. either 336AW or 30 AW or something similar. Looks like a regular 336 except for the hardwood stock and stained wood. I have one and at first glance you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the one I have and a regular 336. Think they may have also made them for Sears also. Frank

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