Thursday, August 23, 2007

Marlin 336 .30-30

Last Fall I picked up a 1978-vintage Marlin 336 in .30-30. I bought it primarily for deer hunting, but it would make a formidable defensive rifle. I finally got around to taking some photos. Click on the thumbnails for larger pictures.

It's fitted with a Williams FP336 rear sight and Firesight red front bead. To allow more light onto the front sight I drilled a hole in the top of the front sight hood (not shown).

I finally got around to taking pictures of my 336 tonight. My rifle is a .30-30 made in 1978, before Marlin added the crossbolt safety. I bought it last Fall at a gun show in Valley Forge, for both hunting and SHTF.

It's fitted with a Williams FP336 rear sight and Firesight red front bead. To allow more light onto the front sight I drilled a hole in the top of the front sight hood (not shown). The sling is a British surplus L1A1 sling, which is basically a nylon version of the Lee-Enfield sling. Light, rugged, simple. It's attached using a set of Uncle Mike's QD swivels. I really wanted a butt cuff to carry extra ammo on the rifle. However, most cuffs don't work for lefties, the one I did find was $80. Instead, I picked up an Eagle Industries stock pack. Aside from 5 cartridge loops it has a zippered pouch which I put to good use.

Inside a Ziploc bag inside the stock pack, I keep the following items to help me maintin the gun in the field and to start a fire, in case I get stuck out overnight:

  • Swedish fire steel
  • 35mm film container stuffed with petroleum jelly-saturated cotton balls, for use as tinder.
  • Some .270 - .35 caliber cleaning patches
  • A couple of pipe cleaners
  • A pull-through made from the orange pair stripped from a piece of CAT5e cabling
  • A bottle of Ballistol (originally a RemOil bottle)
Lever action rifles may not get the same press as bolt actions or tactical semiautos, but remain very effective hunting and defensive arms. The Marlin holds 6 rounds in the magazine and can be topped off without opening the action.

The .30-30 is well suited for hunting medium and big game. Ammo is relatively cheap, easy to reload for, and it's available pretty much everywhere in the US. It's very easy to scrounge once fired brass around the deer season, as long as you're not in a shotgun-only state. The round itself is quite accurate. Recoil in the Marlins isn't bad (I find Winchester 94 carbines to kick too much for my comfort, however). Hornady's new LEVERevolution® ammo extends the effective range of the round beyond 200 yards.

In my humble opinion, a .30-30 lever action, whether a Marlin or Winchester, is a very useful addition to one's survival battery.


Anonymous said...

I grew up hunting whitetail deer with a Marlin 30-30 - it's a good rifle at a reasonable price - it never let me down in terms of accuracy

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post but I'll reply anyway.

I have the exact same set up as yourself. Well, not the fire sights. My SHTF / BUGOUT gun is a marlin 30-30 with the "tactical" :wankwank: but bag.

I'm no sniper so I don't need to be able to plug zombies from a 1,000 yards. If the zombies are within 200 yards and armed with bad intent I can play - within 100 yards I'll play for keeps.

Then again if SHTF don't happen my 30-30 serves me well taking game or at the range.

Do yourself a favor. Get a marlin 30-30 and don't look back

Dave Markowitz said...

I wound up removing the Eagle stock pack. After I got it to the range, I found that the padding prevented me from getting low enough on the stock to aim comfortably. It would probably be OK if I had optics on the gun.

Recently I found an elastic butt cuff to hold 5 or 6 rounds, and it only cost about $5. We'll see how it holds up.

Anonymous said...

Great to read your blog about your Marlin. I too have wanted a Marlin 30-30 and finally bought one. It was on sale for $350 including 3x9x40 scope, mount and rings at Dick's Sporting. I have wanted one for decades and I'm pleased as punch to have bought this one. In hind sight I might have bought one like your's but didn't come across any that nice. I'm happy with my new purchase and you've given me some ideas on what to use with it. Your photos are excellent you've taken the time to produce some truly eyeopening shots. I'll be back checking on what's happening and perhaps you'll have a range report on your 30-30 for us. All the best.
Ron from Massachusetts.

Allan said...

I picked up a well used '78 Marlin 336 .30-30 three years ago for $125.00. The guy even threw in a reload kit, primers and 160 rounds of nice hand-loads. It's a great gun and although a little worn, it's dead on through the sights and scope! I love mine and it appears you scored a nice one!

I bought a new Marlin .45-70 standard model that thumped like a cannon and had very little recoil. I sold it like an idiot, but I plan on getting a stainless guide model soon. That's another one to consider, because they are really fun to shoot!

It would be nice if Marlin offered their current models with the old style binding as an option. That's just a pet peeve and being spoiled by the standard craftsmanship of the 70's.

Anonymous said...

Just got a 336 30-30 I am starting to see its atributes. Its a keeper paid $225 mint condition the barrel says 1870 Micro Groove Marlin 30-30. God willing I will install sights like yours and a military style of sling

Jason said...

Whay does micro groove mean,Is there a difference between regular rifling and micro groove.

Dave Markowitz said...

Marlin's Microgroove rifling consists of a larger than normal number of narrow lands and grooves, compared with regular rifling.

Copy the following link into your browser for a picture of Microgroove rifling:

And here's a pic of conventional rifling:

Anonymous said...

Old post new response:
Been through a number a calibers and cast bullets, and have retrurned to the 30-30 for everything I hunt...
If you can't cleanly drop them with the .30-30, a 30-06 won't do it eother. the .30-30 is simply a hunters gun, and loves cast bullets.
My best has been 6 pigs in 60 seconds, an event which I could have never enjoyed without the speed and quickness of a Marlin lever action this case a beatifully aged, worn, and pristine 1949 model.

Anonymous said...

Very nice write up and great pictures. I recently purchased a Western Field 440a. Which is really a Marlin 336 sold at the old Montgomery Wards. It was made in 1968. Is in real nice condition and a dream to shoot. Got it for 299 with a 4x scope and a sling.

Steve S said...

I own a Glenfield Model 30A which is made by Marlin and is the "economy" version of the 336.

Since Hornady came out with the LeverEvolution ammo, that is all I shoot. Now, I have a Nikon ProStaff 4.5 x 15 x 40 Mildot scope mounted on it. 200 yard shots are not only possibly, they happen regularly. When sighted in for a 200 yard zero, the bullet rise is 3" at 100 yards and drops 12.2" from the 200 yard zero to the 300 yard marker. You want to shoot out to 200 yards and hit what you aim at, get the LeverEvolution ammunition (www(dot)hornady(dot)com.