Expected accuracy out of Marlin 30/30


October 5, 2005, 06:54 PM
Can someone tell me what kind of accuracy is to be expected from this lever action? I bought a used one a while back and managed to get to a small range. From around 65yds the best i could get was around 2.5 inches. I was expecting a lot more but ive never owned a lever action. With my bolt actions i avg around 1.5 inches at 100yds. I wasnt expecting bolt action accuracy but 2.5 inches at 65yds seems too much.

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October 5, 2005, 07:04 PM
With a 4X scope and 150gr Remington, I was getting 4" at 100 yards out of a Marlin .30-30. I was a little disappointed myself, but I'm still new to the rifle. Perhaps I'll get better.


October 5, 2005, 07:05 PM
It depends. If you're getting 2-3" you're in the ballpark. Some will shoot much better than that, if they shoot much worse you can probably get some relief from Marlin.

October 5, 2005, 07:32 PM
A lot depends on what sights you are using, and how familier you are with the rifle.
I have three rifles in 30-30. My best 'shooter' is my little 16 inch barrel Marlin 336Y. With the Redfield 1 X 4 variable cranked up all the way, it will group very close to one inch at 100 yards, and thats with 5 shot groups.
That is with my handloads, but even with factory fodder, it will group under 2 inches all day long.

October 5, 2005, 08:00 PM
No, you can't expect MOA performance from the Marlin, but most can deliver solid 2" performance at 100 yards if you feed it something that it likes *and* shoot off a solid rest. In the field, a lot of that accuracy will go away the minute you shoot with a sling, since it pulls down/left on the barrel.

Mannlicher - funny you should mention your best shooter is a 16"er. My 16" 30/30 is also *my* most accurate, giving 2"-2.5" 100 yard 5 shot groups...

October 5, 2005, 09:07 PM
thru open sights, i get about 3" at 100 from my 336 in 30-30. w/ a scope, i can get it under 1.75" at 100 pretty consistently (but, it is an open-sighted gun, now, again). if pinned down on the subject, i'd say my marlin is a 2 moa gun... which means your groups at 65 wouldn't satisfy me. i'd start w/ a cleaning, then find an ammo preference... lot of stuff changes w/ a change in ammo.

October 5, 2005, 11:41 PM
I have a '93 made sometime between '06 and '46, (The lost SerNos.) It sure is fun too shoot, but I can't hit the broadside of a barn with that thing. The contrast of the pin-thin front sight and the fat blade is nearly impossible for me to get a good sight pic. Any way I can change the sights on the thing without getting it smithed on and altering it permanantly?

October 5, 2005, 11:48 PM
yep: http://www.baitshopboyz.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9069&PN=1 i've been going thru options on what to do to put sights on mine... that link will give you some ideas to slightly modify your existing sights, or where/what to look for in outright replacements.

good discussion for lever gun owners.

October 6, 2005, 12:41 AM
I keep my Marlin in a soft-sided gun case behind my truck seat. That makes a good little gun to pull out quickly and drop a running coyote out around 100-150 yrds. For those long shots I have a Winchester Model 70 in 30-06 that'll do the trick. Both are fine rifles to keep handy in the farm truck.

October 6, 2005, 12:54 AM
With a good scope and factory ammo it liked I'd be suprised if you didn't get 2" or better groups. I have one that shot 1" groups with factory ammo before I took the scope off. I don't do as well with the receiver sight, but the rifle is much handier in its current form.


October 6, 2005, 11:00 AM
I keep going back and forth between different sight options on my leverguns. Right now I have a ghost ring setup on my 336 and a tang sight on my 1894C, but I'm thinking of going back to the factory irons with some paint -- similar to what the one fella who posted in the linked forum did with his. I do like the ghost ring sights, especially with a post front (the white line on the XS front post makes it pretty easy to pick up in various light conditions) -- but I've found I can actually hit with more precision using the buckhorns and front bead. But for low light situations I really need the extra visibility that painting the sights affords. Plus, I think buckhorns work better than apertures for moving targets.

Carl N. Brown
October 6, 2005, 11:08 AM
My son's 336C gets 1.5" five shot groups at 100 yards with
factory ammo, using a 3-9x scope. My 336W gets similar
groups with Winchester factory loads and fixed 4x scope.
Some ammo brands/bullet weights do better and some do
worse; my son does better with 150 gr bullets, I do
better with 170 gr. AND the preference of the gun and
barrel may change over time, so checking factory ammo
for performance oughta be done every two years or so.

October 6, 2005, 09:33 PM
The author got right around 2" groups with his using a scope. I think that is right on the money. Some new loads are also being released for the .30/30, although I like the good old 170 Rems or Win Silver Tips.

Marlins are great guns and suprisingly accurrate.


October 7, 2005, 12:14 AM
I've never really taken a ton of time shooting mine off the bench, but I probably get about 3 inch groups at 100 yards without trying too hard. Mostly I practice offhand with a scout scope setup, and it shoots minute of venison just fine like that, which is all I'll ever need it to do.

October 7, 2005, 08:08 AM
Try a box of as many different brands/weights of ammo as you can find.

My Marlin 30AW (336 with a bundled sling & different wood) is best with the Rem 170-Gr, will hold a bit under 2" @ 100 Yds [1.96"]. Worst with the Win 150-Gr, over 4.5". All other brands/weights fill in the gaps.

October 7, 2005, 08:55 AM
The only ammo ive tried is Win 150gr. I bought the gun with a cheap scope and took it off because i wanted open sights but i couldnt hit anything. Ill try to get some pics.Those groups were with the scope back on. I appreciate the advice.

October 7, 2005, 11:58 AM
I've got a stock Marlin 336C with a Leupold 2.5x LER scope on the lever scout base. With factory Remington and Winchester loads, I was getting 3-4" groups at 100 yds. I too thought this was a little weak.

About this time I started handloading. The first load I tried was out of the Speer 13 manual, with once-fired brass and the 170gr Speer flat point. Five shots into 7/8"! I have been able to repeat this on several occasions. Oddly, even with the maximum Speer recommended load of IMR4895, velocity is a couple hundred fps lower than the factory stuff. I have been told the Speer manual is too conservative, but the accuracy went down as the velocity went up, so I am happy with the load as it is.

I have done some experimenting since then, and found that my gun definitely prefers the heavier bullets. Groups open up to 1.25" with the 150gr, 2+" with 130gr, 3-4" with the 110gr, and we don't even need to talk about the 100gr Plinkers. I talked to a Speer representative at the NRA show, and he recommended even higher speeds for the lighter bullets, but I won't go there until I see hotter loads published by reputable sources.

Any chance you know someone who can put together some handloads for you to try?

October 7, 2005, 02:06 PM
2.5 inches at 100 yards isn't unreasonable.

170 gr Federal ammunition.

Marlin 336T 2-7x scope.

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