want som input on a good swamp gun


August 9, 2007, 04:04 AM
most of my life i hunted with a rem 870 12 slug gun in the swamp . i am looking to switch to a rifle for dear season .longest shot is about 50 to 70 yards on a good day . i am thinking about a 30-30 and the most i can spend is about $ 700.

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August 9, 2007, 05:17 AM
Look into a Marlin 336 lever gun in .30-30. Not sure how much they cost, but they're good guns, and I believe they should be under $700 easy.

Personally, I like older Winchester Model 1894's, but they stopped making them. Not sure how easy it would be to find a used one.

August 9, 2007, 07:42 AM
Marlin 30-30s are running 175-225 used,I guess 350 to 400 or so brand new.
There is also a stainless model that runs close to 600 but it seems a bit bright and shiney for hunting .
There was a time only a couple of years back that the winchesters were about the same price . I understand there are many older winchesters that should command a stiff price but there are also many newer run of the mill winchesters built for the chain stores that have a real plain jane finish and I believe the price is overly inflated on these.
Consider a peep sight ,I believe that is the hot setup for a lever gun.

To answer your original question, Yes yes yes on the 30-30 lever gun!

August 9, 2007, 08:40 AM
I suggest you at least consider the CZ carbine in 7.62x39. Ballistics almost the same as the .30-30, weighs under 6lb, superb standard open sights, and just a very high quality handy little rifle. Findable new for under 500.

Smokey Joe
August 9, 2007, 10:59 AM
Short range, mud, water, mess--Sounds to me like it's a situation just made for an SKS. Drop one into the mud, clear the bbl, and keep right on shooting. And for $700, you could buy 3 of 'em with money left over for ammo!

August 9, 2007, 11:59 AM
Regolith has the perfect idea I was going to suggest a Marlin Lever myself. Are you looking towards bolt action, tube fed, or magazine fed?

August 9, 2007, 03:52 PM
tube fed or bolt action no longer than an 18inch barrel the $700 includes the scope

August 9, 2007, 04:46 PM
I'd go with the SKS or maybe a saiga.

August 9, 2007, 06:52 PM
boondock....you shouldn't need a scope at 50-70 yards, bit if your dead set on one it should be possible to find a good 3x (you wouldn't really want anything higher for that range) scope for under $200 or so. So, a new Marlin 336 + scope would run right about $600 or so.

August 9, 2007, 06:56 PM
I need to jump back in here.
Everyone can make their own choice based upon what works for you but for my way of thinking the sks isn't a very good choice compared to the marlin 30-30 .
The sks is $100 or so far a rough example on up to nearly $200 for a pretty decent condition.
A used Marlin is $150-200 almost anywhere and a cosmeticly beat up but perfect functioning gun is down around $120 so the cost difference is almost a non issue .
The marlins generally have decent triggers and the sights are better than the sks sights. There are some aftermarket sights for the sks but quality,availability,and mounting choices are marginal .Wonderfull peep sights for the marlin are just perfect and many of the marlins are drilled and tapped at the factory.
A scope wouldn't be my choice on a "swamp gun " but mounts that work are available for the marlin . Any scope mounts I have seen for the sks are tacked on clumsy messes.
Ammo for the sks has decent power for deer (close up) but you have a choice of ball (bad hunting ammo) or "softpoint" which I am not very impressed with. The 30-30 is loaded by every ammo company out there with many different reasonable priced proven hunting bullets. On paper some of the new polimer tipped loads seem to offer some great results
The marlin is lighter with better ballance than the sks.
I enjoy playing with my SKS ,but I wouldn't try to use it for hunting if I could lay my hands on a marlin 30-30

August 10, 2007, 03:23 AM
the sks is out of the guestion it is a good gun for havin some fun at the range
. i found a marlin 30-30 with a a fairly cheap 3x9 scope on it at a local gun store used for about 350. i think that is what i am going to go with .

August 10, 2007, 07:49 AM
The Marling 336 get a used one and save a bundle because you're gonna be in the swamps anyway. $350 for a Marlin that will be much more accurate than an SKS that also has a really solid scope-mounting option. Spend $160 on a good Burris 2-7x35 Fullfield II Rifle Scope at riflescopes.com and for around $500 you will have excellent glass on a great rifle.


Or spend $220 on a Nikon Monarch scope and for somewhat more than $550 you'd have even better glass.


But, I would check a bit more as you can do better than that for a used Marlin.

August 10, 2007, 08:08 AM
Best swamp gun I have ever used is a Savage O/U made by Valmet. It is a 12ga over a .308 Winchester. You can carry Tungsten Matrix fine shot for ducks and such as well as have a buckshot Rifle combo for the deer and piggies. Try and find a used one to get within your budget.

Valmet eventually imported these guns under their own name and Savage stopped selling them.

Marlin 30-30 with a quality 1.5x5 scope, quick release mounts and good open sights should fill the bill nicely also. Boats are tough on scopes, so put the scope in your day pack and use the open sights, when you take a stand you can put the scope back on. Same thing when it is rainning. I think Leupold makes a good set of quick disconnects now.

XS sights makes some good mounts and sight combos, here is a link that will take you to their sight. Be sure to download the catalog as it shows some options not readily findable online.


Have fun

August 10, 2007, 08:26 AM
Don't bring any rifle ammo, slugs or buckshot on a DUCK HUNT without permisson from the game warden of the county your hunting in. Same thing with handguns. I've talked to 3 wardens and they all said NO, and the Texas parks and wildlife office said talk to the warden of my hunting area.
Congrats on the Marlin its a great choice. The 30-30 has no trouble knocking down ram at 200 meters.

Big Daddy K
August 10, 2007, 10:30 AM
The 336 is on sale is $339.00 at Acadamey and I found one for $316.00 at wal mart. Weaver base and rinds about $50.00. That leaves enough left over for a pretty good scope.

I like the 30-30 but I love the 44 mag. Marlin makes a lever gun in 44. Ruger also makes a mean little 44 mag carbine.

Landlocked Pirate
August 10, 2007, 11:09 AM
My local Walmart has the Marlin 336W 30-30 for $316. Just bought one myself.

August 10, 2007, 03:35 PM
The 336 is a choice I doubt if you will ever regret. I have an old one in 35 Rem. that my dad bought over 50 years ago. I have added a 44mag, 38-55, and several varients in 45-70. Never had one in 30-30, but the 35and 38-55 are really nice handling, accurate calibers with a little more horsepower.

August 10, 2007, 04:43 PM
The last thing I'd want on a swamp gun is a scope, but you'll learn the first time you drop it in the drink. A good ghost ring setup would be my choice, but it's your baby...

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