Marlin 336: A v. C


December 23, 2006, 03:31 AM
Please pardon this question about minute differences in rifle design.

But sometimes, small differences can make a big difference (

In the past, I asked about differences between Marlin 336C v. 336W (
I understand those now.

But I have one more detail to consider before investing in a 336.

The difference concerns a minor, but potentially significant, difference between A and C.

Specifically, the C has a "blued steel barrel band".
The A has a "blued steel fore-end cap".

The barrel band of the C wraps around both the fore-end and the barrel.
The fore-end cap of the A ostensibly does not. It only covers the fore-end.

So, to the question: does that difference make any significant difference in the performance of the rifle?

If so, or not, what motivated Marlin to offer two rifles with those different treatments on the fore-end?

I'm asking as much out of intellectual curiosity as practical implications.
(For example, WildDog stocks is planning to introduce a synthetic stock that will fit the C but not the A.)



PS: happy holidays, yall.

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December 23, 2006, 04:17 AM
PS: I just noticed that the new Marlin 308MX ( has the same fore-end cap configuration as the 336A.

Hmmm. Evolution?

December 23, 2006, 07:33 AM
The A suffix indicates it is a rifle. I think it can potentially be a bit more accurate as there is less interference with the barrel by the mag tube.

December 23, 2006, 10:17 AM
The band toward the end of the barrel will probably affect accuracy more than the band on the forestock of the 336C. I am not a big fan of barrel bands, and my 336XLR and 1894 Cowboy do not have them. I believe the hanger style attachment is a better system. In fact, I am awaiting return of a 336C that has been modified to a configuration similar to a Guide Gun with the hanger style magazine attach point. The band on the forestock remains, and I expect it to be very accurate (other changes were also made).

In answer to your question, I would expect the 336C and 336A models to be equivalent in terms of accuracy. More will depend on the individual rifle than whether the forestock is of the banded or capped style. Of course, that's just my opinion and others may have more insight into this.

December 23, 2006, 12:20 PM
how is the Henry rifles compared to the marlin that your interested in?

December 23, 2006, 12:45 PM
Another difference is that the 336A had a walnut finished hardwood stock and the 336C has a walnut wood stock.
And the 336C is available in a cool caliber - .35 Remington

December 23, 2006, 06:12 PM
TX_Shooter, my sense is that a Henry makes good guns. I read lots of good comments about them from Henry owners (at least .22 LR Henrys).

But, after handling a Henry .22 yesterday, my sense is that they may not be quite up to the same level of quality as a Marlin. Don't take my word on that though since I've not even seen a Henry centerfire rifle.

WileyJ, good point about the walnut "finish" hardwood v. walnut wood. I hadn't picked that one out. For me, I'm not so concerned about walnut v. hardwood, but maybe I should be.

(I'm still considering eventually replacing a wooden stock on a 336 with a synthetic one, perhaps one of wildwest's (which will fit an A) or one of Wilddogs (which probably will only fit a C or W). That's part of why I'm trying to tease out the differences between A & C.)

Z_Infidel, thanks for sharing your opinions. I'm curious, though, if you don't mind sharing this: what motivated you to have the modification on your C to "the hanger style magazine attach point"? Is there an advantage, or was there some damage that had to be repaired, or ... ?


December 23, 2006, 06:18 PM
I've revisited the Marlin pages again this morning after reading Z_Infidel's comment about the Guide Gun. (Which may be on my list eventually...)

I've noticed something interesting: when looking at the 336s, the new XLR's (including the 308MX), their cowboy action rifles (1894 .45 Colt and 1895 45/70), their 1894 centerfire rifles (five of them), their big bore lever actions (all five of them) and their .22 LR lever (39A), only three of them have barrel bands: 336C, 336W and 1894C.

All the rest have fore-end caps instead of a barrel band, again, including those new XLRs.

Hmm. There's something interesting there. Why not more barrel bands?

Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of this, but I'm really curious now. Is this purely an aesthetic consideration? Is it consumer driven? Is it simpler to manufacture? Or is there some perhaps slight but signficant advantage to a fore-end cap?

If a barrel band was superior, I'm hard pressed to believe that they wouldn't have used that technology on their big bore lever actions and XLR's.

I'd love to have been a fly on the wall in a Marlin conference room when this was being discussed in the design phase...:scrutiny:

There's a Marlin representative that hangs out over on the Marlin Owner's Forum.
Hope he'll offer some insight on this one.

December 23, 2006, 07:08 PM
Like wileyj said, the stock is the big difference between the 336A and C although like he also said, the 336C is available in .35 Remington where as the 336A isn't. I like both and think you would be happy with either. I personally like the 336SS because of it's Stainless Steel receiver, barrel and other SS parts.

I think a 336SS is going to be my next rifle purchase, well, right after I gather the money up since I just bought a AK-47!! :evil:

December 24, 2006, 02:10 AM
I've been researching "barrel bands" on the Internet, Googling various combinations involving that term.

Found this snippet in this older review of Marlin 39 & Winchester 9422 .22 lever guns ( (Emphasis mine.)
The stocks of both rifles are straight-gripped affairs, with both brands’ earlier versions being uncheckered, and later versions on both checkered. Marlin’s forearms are fatter, hand-filling chunks of wood which may aid in off-hand shooting, but do not add to the aesthetics. They are also longer, contributing to a “big gun” feel. Nineteen Nineties’ versions of the 1897 had slimmer, more attractive forends that imitated the older 1920s guns. On both, a metal tip rather than a barrel band holds the forends.

Winchester’s forends are shorter and more graceful, but attached with a barrel band, which, at least in centerfire guns, is said to detract from accuracy. Their magazine tube is also held to the barrel with another “accuracy-robbing” barrel-band, while the Marlin’s is a dovetailed arrangement.Then, later, another reference:
The “accuracy-robbing” barrel-band issue on the Winchester does not seem to affect rimfires as it does centerfire lever actions. No references are cited for that assertion that barrel bands are "accuracy robbing", at least in centerfires.

But I am all the more curious. :scrutiny:

December 24, 2006, 02:19 AM
Here's another reference to problems with accuracy caused (in part) by barrel bands
in an article entitled "The Lever Action" by Chuck Hawks (
Another disadvantage is that lever actions are generally regarded as being a little bit less accurate than a good bolt action or falling block rifle. This may be partly because of their two piece stocks, partly because their bolts lock at the rear, partly due to the rear sight mounting slots cut into their barrels, and partly because the forearms and magazine tubes of most models are attached to their barrels by barrel bands.Again, no reference cited for that assertion about how barrel bands may contribute to inaccuracy.

But given that C. Hawks has alleged it, now I'm REALLY interested. :scrutiny: :scrutiny:

Dave Markowitz
December 24, 2006, 08:53 AM
Barrel bands or anything else hanging off the barrel affect how it vibrates when shot. Sometimes the effect isn't significantly detrimental, other times it is. It's hard to tell without shooting a particular rifle.

However, given the intended use for a .30-30 lever action, if you get a rifle that groups in 3" or less at 100 yards, worrying that it doesn't shoot MOA isn't productive. A Marlin 336 with the right ammo should do this whether it has the second barrel band or not.


buzz meeks
December 24, 2006, 03:00 PM
I have owned Marlins with both bands and caps but now only own one Marlin, a 336 with the band. The cap, I seem to recall, actually attached to a lug on the bottom of the barrel whereas the band is really just a friction fit with a screw that passes between the barrel and magazine. It would seem then that the band might affect the barrel less. In fact, it could be opened up around its inside diameter so it does not touch the barrel at all. But the forend cap hangs off a lug on the barrel and that has got to add more variables. In the end does it matter? I have seen both examples shoot really well.

December 24, 2006, 03:57 PM
Dave said it and I'd agree, the difference is probably too small to matter if it does infact exist at all.

Most of the Marlins I've owned have had the forend caps. The 336's I have had all were banded and accurate. My best ever 100 yard group (9/16") was shot with one. Sub <2" with just about anything was the norm except for one that hated Remington Corelokts... It'd take a lot of convincing for me to change my notion that better than that would be needed for ethical hunting at ranges I'd take a shot on game, though there are exceptions.

Knowing you're a lever guy the chances are high you'll own a few before you're on the wrong side of the grass. As far as I know there ain't now cure for leveritis except gittin another and another... :) :D

December 24, 2006, 05:37 PM
Good ideas all. Sounds quite reasonable. Thanks for your input into this.

I'm betting you all are probably right: this may indeed be a minor and insignificant issue with Marlin levers.

Still, I have a lot of interest (call it an academic interest, based in my professional life) in how small changes in the design or structure of a system - be it a natural system or a mechanical one - can affect it's overall performance. Sometimes, small changes have little to no effect, but sometimes the effect can be huge.

So, I'm still hoping others may chime in with their own experiences. The more evidence we have, the better.

And I'm still struck, also, by the fact (that I mentioned above) that regardless of actual effect on gun performance, Marlin seems to be using bands on only three guns now: 336C, 336W and 1894C.

That's very interesting to me. Anybody want to venture a guess as to why they've done that? (Oh, yes, speculation can be fun.)


December 25, 2006, 10:36 AM
You had asked why I decided on the mag tube attachment modification. The answer is that I wanted a shorter barrel and even shorter mag tube, similar to the Guide Gun configuration. In discussing my options with the gunsmith, we decided the hanger type attachment would be better than trying to affix a barrel band since the tube is no longer the same length as the barrel. Any accuracy problems that might be a result of the band on the forestock will be mitigated by the overall "accurizing" package the smith has done on the rifle. If you woud like more info on the work I've had done, let me know.

This 336C will be a very handy, accurate carbine. I have a 336XLR scoped, which will be my "go anywhere in any weather and light conditions" rifle, while this 336C will be my everyday "go-to" gun.

As observed already, my XLR and 1894 Cowboy models have no barrel bands. But keep in mind, the 336C is the "top of the line" 336 so I doubt the forestock band is seen as a major problem. I still believe the band at the front of the barrel is more of an issue, which is one reason I did away with it on my gun.

John C
December 25, 2006, 03:29 PM

In regards to your question about the trend toward barrel bands in lever actions, I think the answer lies more in consumer tastes and aesthetics.

The lever action rifle, in it's current form, is a consumer item. It also has a long history. People who buy them do so because they forego performance for compactness or nostalgia.

Before anyone gets offended, let me point out that modern riflemaking has come to the point that a properly put together lever rifle will shoot 1 to 2 inches at 100 yards. When we talk about accuracy degredation, the current technological threshold of riflery is less than .25 inch at 100 yards. My point is that lever rifles aren't the technological edge, and the accuracy degredation of a barrel band, if any, is minute. Also, the cartridges used in lever rifles don't have the inherent accuracy of the bench-rest cartridges, so again, they are as accurate as they 1) can be, and 2) need to be.

As to my point that lever rifles are consumer items and purchased at the expense of performance, the answer lies in the fact that lever rifles are both plenty accurate and powerful to 'get the job done'. They also are economical. No point in buying a chevy 3500 with a 454 if all you do is commute to work 45 miles each way. If you need performance you'd either buy a .338 lapua magnum on a custom receiver, or an AR-15, or a 6mm BR. A lever action is one of the compromises between the three. Of course there are an infinite number of other compromises.

So in the end, I'd just get the rifle that "fits" you the best. Overall length, magazine capacity, wood quality, sights, weight, etc.

I have to say that I have a fondness for lever rifles. I have my grandfathers model 94 with a redfield sight that he bought in the 1930's when he was a hardrock miner in Nevada.

A year or so ago I found a marlin model 36 (forerunner to the 336) in a gunshop. It had 80% finish condition from honest wear and use, but the wood was in good shape and no sign or pitting or rust anywhere. The action was tight and the bore pristine. $275. I couldn't justify it at the time, so it got away. I wish I'd just laid down the plastic and paid the price later. However, you do that too much and you really pay the price.

I have to say that I really enjoy your threads, Nem-870. You clearly have a sharp intellect, and your probing questions really bring out the information.

Merry Christmas to all.


December 25, 2006, 04:31 PM
I have a couple of questions.... what is the difference between the 336C and just plain 336? And what is the difference between the the precursor 36 and the plain 336?

Is it just year of manufacture and a slight name change? Or are there real differences between the three? Thanks.

[EDIT: Found my answer later on. Model 1893 from 1893 to 1935; Model 36 from 1936 to 1948, Model 336 from 1948 onward.]

December 26, 2006, 01:34 AM
John C, thanks for your thoughts and kind words. Points taken about accuracy and fondness for levers.

Tubeshooter, re: "what is the difference between the 336C and just plain 336?"

There really is no "just plain 336".

All 336's have a suffix: currently they are A, C, SS or W. (Other letters have applied in the past.)

A full description of each of the current suffixes is available in these pages:

* 336A (
* 336C (
* 336SS (
* 336W (

Z_Infidel: "If you woud like more info on the work I've had done, let me know."

Yes, please. Details are good. It's my thread, so posting here is encouraged, or by PM, as you choose.
I'd appreciate hearing approximately how much that 336C gunsmithing job is costing,
because it's similar to what I have in mind. (I think I may cut and crown to 18.5".)

Keep those cards and letter coming in.

Levers rule.


December 26, 2006, 01:42 AM
Oh, OK then. Thanks.

Mine just says "336" on it; SN indicates made in '79. I guess I'll just call it a "C" for all intents and purposes - seems to be the most common. I've seen "CS" before a fair amount also. Doesn't really matter in the end, I love it regardless... just curious.

I appreciate your responding.

December 26, 2006, 02:05 AM
Mine just says "336" on it;In the end, that's probably all that counts.


December 26, 2006, 08:26 AM
There really is no "just plain 336".
There is one sitting in a local pawn shop!

Micro Groove Barrel
Straight (no pistol grip), very plain-looking stock (no engraving, hardwood?)
No saddle ring
Plastic butt plate
Gold trigger
Carbine (20") barrel
Barrel Bands
Drilled and tapped for apeture sights

Anybody have any idea about this particular model? Value? Date of manufacture? Are the straight stocks worth a premium?

December 26, 2006, 05:36 PM

Ah! A challenge! :)

I'm a relative newbie to 336 (even though I did once own a 336C in my early twenties). I'm just getting addicted to ..., er back into them now. :D

So, I won't even venture a guess.

There are much more knowledgeable 336 addicts <darn it; ahem :rolleyes: > experts around who could probably give you a reasonable hypothesis, and tell you how to use the gun's serial number to verify it.

I'll let them give this a try.

December 26, 2006, 06:42 PM
The gunsmith I had do the work on my 336C has a website here:

You can find descriptions and prices for most of the work being performed. The site also has a write-up on accurizing leverguns. Not all the work I'm having done is stricly standard, though. I will say he takes great care in his work.

The 18.5" barrel won't work due to the slot already cut for the front barrel band. You will need to go a little shorter, but not that much.

As far as general levergun accuracy, I can't argue too much with John C's comments. But these rifles have characteristics that make them desirable even to shooters/hunters who appreciate fine arms, and accuracy can be improved if need be. Plus, Marlin's XLR line is proving to raise the bar somewhat in terms of out-of-the-box accuracy.

December 26, 2006, 10:25 PM
I actually dig the Marlin 336XLR. 30/30 YUMMMM!!!

December 27, 2006, 02:02 AM
Page 2.

Z_Infidel, Mic McPherson's scheme seems simple but quite reasonable.

Please keep us posted about how your modified 336C handles and shoots.


December 27, 2006, 04:22 PM
N-870, the rifle turned out great. The balance and handling qualities are excellent, the action works nice and smoothly, and I really like the look. The appearance resembles that of a Guide Gun, but with a pistol-grip stock and XS ghost ring sights. The barrel length is just under 18 inches, and the mag tube is shorter, just long enough to hold five rounds. It makes for a very quick-handling carbine.

Today I was able to shoot it for the first time, and the results were good. I set up a target at about 70 yards and fired a 3 shot group, using my pickup truck as a rest. The 3 rounds hit within 3/4" of each other in a triangle about 6 inches off center at about 8 o'clock. I was thrilled. Four more shots with sight adjustments had me directly on center.

The gun has a very solid feel, and I can already tell the accuracy has improved. Most of the change I believe comes as a result of the "through-bolt" modification as described on Mic's site, and doing away with the forward barrel band probably also contributes.

I am very pleased with Mic's work, and the turnaround time was very fast.

December 29, 2006, 12:26 AM
During a visit to the gunshop today, I got one opinion about the difference between the A and C.

The A is listed as having a "hardwood stock". Today I learned that "hardwood" = birch.

The C, of course, is black walnut, which is significantly harder than birch.

Yes, I acknowledge that birch will scratch, gouge, etc more than walnut.

Still, I want a 336A because Marlin is producing the majority of their levers now without that extra barrel band.

(The gunshop guy, the person who orders all the guns, was surprised and interested when I pointed out that only 3 of Marlin's lever guns have barrel bands, and all the rest have a fore-end cap.)

So, just out of curiousity, how much difference is that walnut stock going to make,
(especially since I may eventually replace the birch stock with a synthetic)?

December 29, 2006, 08:35 AM
I don't know if I can answer that question directly, but here is something to think about. My 336XLR was a very accurate rifle right out of the box. True, there is no barrel band, but it also has a laminate stock. I believe the laminate is more rigid than natural wood, and that contributes to the gun's accuracy. One of the problems with leverguns is the two-piece stock and the way the buttstock attaches to the tang. The mods I had done on my 336C involved bedding the barrel and making the buttstock attachment much more rigid, and it is now a very accurate rifle. So if you consider that along with the good performance of an unmodified XLR it might point to the rigidity of the wood used as a definite factor in a Marlin's accuracy. I'm not stating this as fact or claiming to be an expert, but my experience does strongly suggest it.

December 30, 2006, 02:29 PM
I just bought a 336c in 35 rem. Still havnt got a chance to shoot it yet maybe next weekend I can try it out on some piggys .

December 30, 2006, 05:49 PM

I think your suggestions make reasonable sense.

Like you, I'm no expert (far from it), and I have no way to evaluate it, but it sounds reasonable.

In order to try to get a wider spectrum of opinions from a wide audience, I put up a new thread about this topic (stock materials for long guns) ( in general gun discussion last night.

It's already gotten a few responses that also sound reasonable.

We'll see how it plays out. I'm learning new stuff everyday.


December 31, 2006, 10:55 AM
You haven't bought that lever yet? I like the A model. I think it is a little more accurate. I have had both and stuck with the A.

Buy the 1895 guide gun instead in 45-70.

December 31, 2006, 04:17 PM
Jcord, nice to see you here. Funny, I just read your post about the guide gun in the 12-ga v. .45/70 thread. Interesting reading.

I probably will eventually buy a guide gun :rolleyes: , but for several reasons -
not the least of which is ammo price ( :what: ), I want a .30-30 first.

I haven't bought it yet because my new business is still not returning my investment to the level that I need it to in order to have discretionary funds to buy new guns. :(

But I'm optimistic. This is looking like a good year coming up. :scrutiny: :)

Now about your comment about your fondness for the 336A. Anything more you'd like to add to that? No matter how small or seemingly insignificant, I'd be curious and interested to hear of your preference. Yes, I know things like that can be highly subjective, but that's OK. It's useful anyway.


December 31, 2006, 07:56 PM
Another reason is the end cap is also what is on my guide gun I like things matching.

January 2, 2007, 01:01 PM
I noticed two barrel bands on certain models one at the end of the barrel and one at the fore end do both of these affect accuracy

January 2, 2007, 05:25 PM
bigcim, I'm glad you raised that question.

It's been addressed either earlier in this thread, or in a related one, but I haven't taken the time (yet) to look for it, and I wasn't entirely clear on the resolution anyway. So maybe we can clarify it now.

The general conclusion seemed to be that whereas barrel bands on a bolt action that shoots flat trajectories out to 500 yds could affect accuracy, within the reasonable limits of a .30-30 (say 150 yds), the amount of effect caused by barrel bands on a 336 is negligible. That is, since one may be shooting 2" groups at a 100 yds, and a barrel band may only cause an 1/8" error, the difference is irrelevant at 100 yds (where as at 500, that error could become 2").

Even though I understand that, I'm still interested. And again, I say, it's interesting that Marlin seems to be paying attention to this argument since only three of their current production models (336C, 336W, and one other {1894C?} have barrel bands. Whether they're reacting to aesthetics, fears of the effects of barrel bands or actual problems with barrel bands is, of course, subject to debate. Only they know the answer(s) to that.

My gut level, non-rational, non-gunsmith feeling is that the one near the end of the barrel would cause less error than the one on the fore end. Not sure I could articulate why I feel that, and I'd probably just make myself out as an idiot if I tried :o , so I won't try.

I'm fairly sure some in here will have an opinion about it, though. ;)

January 2, 2007, 05:30 PM
Where you live, I'd bag both and get the SS. Stainless steel is a happier metal between the Cascades and the Pacific.

You'll get more deflection from hitting raindrops than effects from the barrel band, methinks.

Bullets traveling at high velocity deflect remarkably easily.

Furthermore, nearly all the guns have barrel bands. Sure, they're near the muzzle, but they're attached to the mag tubes, which lie in the forestocks. You apply pressure to the forestock, you have a long moment arm to transfer that pressure to the barrel.

...if it matters...
...which I doubt...

January 2, 2007, 06:02 PM

My wallet hates you. :mad:


Yeah, I hear you about the rain drops, both their effects on bullets and barrels. It's wet out here, and projections are for it to become MUCH wetter in coming years.

Still, if I'm gonna shell out $ for stainless, I'd probably lean toward the 336XLR ( Even with its 24" barrel (which could be cut down without losing magazine capacity, says the mad man who wants a shorter gun), it's stainless, and is following the Marlin barrel band evolution.

Dave Markowitz
January 2, 2007, 07:27 PM
If you Duracoat ( a blued rifle it should be pretty weather resistant. Duracoat is available in a variety of colors.

January 2, 2007, 08:42 PM
Very interesting option, Dave. Mikey likes it.

January 3, 2007, 08:38 AM
Speaking of shortening the barrel of an XLR, I'm toying with the idea of having mine cut down to 18" or 20". Since the 336C I had modified handles like such a dream, now I wish the XLR balanced the same way. It's really not bad as it is, but having both rifles handle and feel the same would be kinda nice. I've already taken the scope off and replaced it with an XS ghost ring like the 336C. Decisions, decisions...

January 3, 2007, 04:11 PM
Z_I, that's sort of exciting. Glad I'm not the only madman around. :D

You could definitely be a trend setter here. I doubt if many if any have cut down an XLR yet.

I wonder how much real difference in trajectory, velocity, energy, etc a 4" loss would make.

Please keep us posted on your decision, and if you do it, please post some pics.


January 8, 2007, 03:46 AM
I want a 336A.

Bumpedity umpedity.

February 1, 2007, 01:54 AM
I want a 336A.So, today, I bought one.

I won't get it for a week
(it's coming from back east),
but I paid for it,
and it's mine.

:evil: :D :cool:

In anticipation of wanting (no, needing)
to take it to the range for a test run,
I bought three boxes of 150 gr. rnds, too:

* Remington Core Lokt
* Federal Power Shok
* Federal Fusion (nice box art)

Thought I'd start with 150's
and see what they'll do before trying 170's.

Sometimes, smaller is better.


March 20, 2007, 04:42 PM
I have a 30/30 and a .375 Winchester, and a matching .22. All are older pistol grip with fore end cap. The 30/30 and .22 have 24" barrels, the .375 a 20". The 30/30 and .375 have 1/2 magazines.

With the 30/30, I use a Williams peep sight on it and years ago when my eyes were still sharp won a lot of money from smarta$$es who thought their scoped bolt-action rifles were hot stuff.

The .22 also uses a peep, and on the .375 I have a wide post in front and broad squared notch on the rear. This is very quick in use.

Also owned a 45/70. Loaded it up to kill dragons, but mostly shot jackrabbits. It was a lot of fun, but I got broke enough once to be talked out of that gun for more than I paid for it.

March 20, 2007, 06:41 PM
N, you will want to read the Mic McPherson book I mentioned earlier. He has some discussion about dealing with barrel bands, attachment points, etc. in the quest for accuracy.

October 12, 2007, 06:32 PM
sign me up! I just bought a 336 this week! Can't wait to shoot it!

Fast Frank
October 12, 2007, 07:38 PM
In an earlier post, I commented that I thought the "C" stood for Carbine.

In post 19, there are descriptions of all the 336 variations.

The 336C is the only one containing the word "Carbine".

Is it possible that I was right?:cool:

October 12, 2007, 09:46 PM
Pstrsoccer, welcome to THR.

Congrats on getting a 336. Good decision.

Please come join us at the 336 club ( :)


October 12, 2007, 10:52 PM
forget synthetic or aftermarket stocks if you get an A. at least for a resonable price.

October 13, 2007, 01:47 AM
I could be wrong, but it is my understanding that in traditional lever rifle terminology any rifle with 2 barrel bands is considered a carbine. One barrel band and you have a rifle. Barrel length is less important. The correct term for a Marlin Guide Gun is a short rifle because it has one barrel band. The 336C is considered a carbine because it has 2 bands, even though the barrel is longer. If you look at pictures of lever guns from the 1800's you will notice the longer 24-26 inch barrels common at the time usually had one band. A 20" barrel was considered quite short in the black powder era and would have 2 bands and be called a carbine. I would not swear this is right but this is how it has been explained to me. I would suggest visiting (, they have some experts over there.

I do believe the extra band can effect accuracy if it is too tight or not even. Have read too many articles advising how to adjust them for accuracy. Ruger's 10-22 comes in several configurations, with and without the barrel band. Those without the band seem to be more accurate to me. I have replaced stocks on 10-22's with aftermarket stocks that did not require the band and noted a slight increase in accuracy.

October 13, 2007, 10:34 PM
Some contradictory information here that is correct both ways.

336A originally, and for most of the 336's history, designated the "Rifle" model with a 24 inch barrel and short magazine.

Much more recently 336A designated a hardwood stock.


October 14, 2007, 02:17 AM
JMR and Bruce, thanks for adding to the story.

Bruce, that's an interesting bit of history.

Do you have any links to more info on that topic?
I'd love to read more about the evolution of A, C and W.



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