Winchester 1894 vs Marlin 336


November 9, 2007, 09:14 PM
Which do you prefer the Winchester model 1894 or the Marlin 336. It's really close for me, but I think I prefer the Winchester. I like the old 1893 Marlin more than the 336, as I like the thin forends and straight grip of the 1893. If you had to choose which would you take.


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November 9, 2007, 09:18 PM
Can I vote twice?

I prefer the 94 Winchester for collecting and nostalga.
That is what I own.

But for a hunting gun, the Marlin is superior in many respects.
The first of which is the ease of dissembly for cleaning.
Take out the lever screw and shake it and the bolt falls out.
Then clean the barrel from the rear end.

To do the same with a 94 Winchester takes a good gunsmith half a day.

November 9, 2007, 09:27 PM
The marlin wins, hands down in every aspect with the exception of carrying. The 94 is lighter and balances better in the hand for carrying. Sorry folks, but that's the way it is.

November 9, 2007, 10:00 PM
The Marlin is probably a superior rifle. Can mount a scope effectively. Supposidly a stronger action and it probably is stronger.

The side eject Winchesters can too, but the older ones must use a side mount or a forward mounted pistol scope.

I personaly own a Winchester 94 with a receiver sight, and it is an excellent rifle.

November 9, 2007, 11:00 PM
Marlin. Better handling, more solid and easier to clean.

Also - at least on mine - it is irritating to have to consciously pull the lever up on the Winchester for the trigger to work. The Marlin just clicks right into place.

November 9, 2007, 11:03 PM
Marlin's look better, feel better, easier to disassemble, and they are easier to scope.

94's are more of a collectors item though.

November 9, 2007, 11:19 PM
Aesthetically, I like the Winchester '94's a lot more than the Marlins.

Mechanically, the Marlins are superior, due to ease of disassembly and cleaning (I'm not too interested about the ability to mount a scope - the range limitations of the cartridges normally chambered in these firearms means that open sites are acceptable).

They're both great guns.

Pine Cone
November 9, 2007, 11:28 PM
While I like the looks of the Winchester, the mechanics of the Marlin are better. Since the semi-demise of Winchester the prices of the W1894 have jumped in my area to almost double the price of a similar condition Marlin 336 so when I had the choice earlier this year I got the Marlin.

November 10, 2007, 07:11 AM
What RCMODEL said sums up my feelings perfectly. I have a 94, dad has a 336. I like to look at mine hanging in the living room, but I'd rather take dad's gun hunting. I'd always wanted that 94 though, so I'm keeping mine.

November 10, 2007, 07:22 AM
I have a 1975 Marlin 336 in 30/30. It has a thin forearm , a straight stock and no push button safety!!!:D It took me four years to find the one I wanted. The one you are looking for is out there, don't give up the search!:)

November 10, 2007, 09:28 AM
Winchester 94's and Marlin (insert model of your choice) will always be compared. Some will go with one, some with the other.

I have handled both.

I like the Marlin 336, especially the older ones and if I could I would buy one for the right price.

The Model 94 was the first centerfire rifle I ever shot...and I am sure that there are more people in the WORLD that can say that than any other rifle except mebbe the AK-47 :p my 94 will never be removed from my possession. period.

And on a more humorous note...the pub WASN'T called the was called the WINCHESTER. :neener:

November 10, 2007, 09:30 AM
I like the Marlin - but intend to one day also have a '94.

November 10, 2007, 12:10 PM
I have a Win 94 trapper (16" barrel) and I think it handles better than the Marlin 336's I've seen. I prefer the Winchesters slightly.

November 10, 2007, 12:29 PM
As others have said, I like the aesthetics of the 94, but earlier Marlin actions can be silky smooth and are basically a stronger and more simple design. Where Marlin fails, in my opinion, is in the the stocking department and this goes way back. Marlin has always had ugly, chunky, stocks which they try to dress up with poorly executed. mickey mouse checkering. In fact, some of their guns would look better if the checkering was left off. With all the money they're making with current popularity of their guns, Marlin should hire some one to design really nice stocks for them.

November 10, 2007, 12:53 PM
The marlins always seem to function smoother but are a bit heavier. I kept the '94 just because it is near a mint saddle ring trapper with nice color case hardning on the receiver and not made anymore. Choosing between it and a 336 Marlin to hunt and shoot, I'd take the 336 any time.


November 10, 2007, 01:02 PM
I missread the poll. I voted for the Win.1894 because I THOUGHT I was voting for the MARLIN 1894(no I do not live in Florida!). Between the two I MUCH prefer the Marlin 336. Sorry 'bout that.

November 10, 2007, 01:06 PM
The Win 94 is a superior design. The Marlin is neither stronger nor simpler.

The 94, like the Win 92, uses compound leverage, where the Marlin uses a fixed fulcrum.

Superior bolting. The locking block has more surface area where it contacts the bolt than the Marlin does. It also completely blocks the path of the bolt. The Marlin uses a LARGE square notch cut out of the bottom of their bolt that is over 50% of the vertical thickness of the bolt. Marlin's bolt is a round peg in a round hole; while easier to make, I'll take the rails of the 94 thank you.

Better carrier design...large surface area contact between lever and carrier, compared to line contact with Marlin. Carrier rises at END of forward lever travel, Marlin carrier rises at BEGINNING of return lever travel.

The combination of simple leverage at beginning of extraction and carrier rise timing leads to a non-smooth, bumpy feel with the Marlins.

Rattling, looseness...these are manufacturing issues, not design issues.

Ease of takedown, while convenient for the user, doesn't a better action make.

Scope use...for those of us who don't scope our levers, a non-issue.


Baba Louie
November 10, 2007, 01:51 PM
As much as I like the Marlin, I gotta go with John Browning's 94 just because... it's a JMB design.

November 10, 2007, 02:02 PM
Marlin was able to chamber the 336 for higher pressure rounds like the .356, .307 and .375 without having to beef up their receiver like Winchester did in order to accommodate this group of cartridges. In doing so, Winchester spoiled the looks of the 94 IMHO. Marlins solid topped receiver provides good support to the bolt.

As far as having a bumpy feeling action, I agree this is an issue with current production Marlins. But earlier versions--perhaps late 60's and previous are silky smooth

November 10, 2007, 02:35 PM
I voted for the Marlin.

I've repaired a number of both and fired a number of both but whereas I've actually bought two of the 336s and none of the 1894s...:scrutiny:

It's looks as though around my house the 336 is the favorite. :)

Main reasons? Always liked the Marlin side ejection and the .35Rem cartridge.

November 10, 2007, 04:40 PM
My old man was a cowboy. I grew up in a house where the only centerfire rifle was a Winchester 94. I bought my own when I moved out of the house. There ain't no other .30-30.

November 10, 2007, 04:51 PM
I voted Winchester it was THE rifle for many for a long time it was the preferred rifle of choice.

Other than ease of take down and scoping the Marlin IMO does not offer more than than the classic John M Browning designed Winchester the basic design of which goes back well over 120 plus years.;)

Marlin to me is a solid well made reliable meat in pot hunting rifle while Winchesters are more like a finely made classic with better fit balance and feel.;)

November 10, 2007, 06:48 PM
Here we go again...


The Marlin.

November 10, 2007, 08:44 PM
Uh, the best PR coup in the history of the gun world is that people think the Winchester 1892/94 design is the "original" and the Marlin came along much later.

The Marlin and Winchester rifles were all introduced around the same time. There have been some changes to each since then, but that's as true of one as the other.

This is a Marlin 1889 model. Look familiar?

This is Jesse James with a Marlin 1881.

Nothing against Winchester. I happen to love the way the 1892 feels in the hands! But the image of the cowboys all carrying 1892s comes from the movies, not history. The Winchester surely was popular, but it was not alone.:)

Here's some history:

November 10, 2007, 09:00 PM
Winchester 1894

November 10, 2007, 09:39 PM
I don't select my firearms by watching movies.
My father/grandfather/great-grandfather knew less about rifles than I do.
Ease of take-down is important to me.
I don't like to clean barrels from the muzzle-end.
My Marlins don't rattle.

November 11, 2007, 08:10 PM
I have a '94 in 32 win spl., and 2 Marlin 1895's,(one is the original 18 1/2" ported, and the other a 22"). Having grown up with the Winchester, the first thing I did with the Marlins was to block-plane that '55 Buick sized forearm down to receiver size. The Marlins now carry just like the Win and all is well.

November 11, 2007, 08:28 PM
I like both will give the nod to Marlin for the reasons already stated.

Of the three Winchester 30-30s I've had in my possession, all were very accurate and not finicky about ammo. They are rattle more and feel less sturdy but held up well to abuse and neglect.

December 4, 2007, 04:02 PM
If you want to hang it up over the fireplace and look at it...Get a Winchester.
If you want to use it...Get a Marlin.

December 4, 2007, 04:06 PM
I like the 336 it is easier to scope. I use one for pig hunting its great in the woods.

December 4, 2007, 04:09 PM
How about a Marlin 1894?

December 4, 2007, 04:31 PM
I've always liked the Marlin 36 with the square bolt. I'm still kicking my own arse for not picking up the cheap one that was tagged as a 336 RC at ye local gonne shoppe...:( But with a 336 and 94 in the safe, how many more .30-30's do I really need?

Urbana John
December 4, 2007, 05:27 PM
I've had both, and had a Browning lever in .357. I've always thought the marlin and the winchester both "cycled" the 30-30 round OK, but my favorite Lever rifle is also chambered in my favorite hand gun round----the .357 Mag.

I have both the Uberti Henry 45LC and the Uberti Winchester 357 Mag.
The way that these guns get the cartridge from the "tube"and into the receiver is different than any other rifle I've come across.

I also had a Puma in 357 Mag. and it was a total POS!!

I love both the Urberti's, but they cost me an arm and a leg!! and they are NOT brush guns.

I bought the Henry 45 because I've always wanted one, liked the way they look without the forearm----and I bought the Winchester .357 because I have 2 Ruger SS Super Blackhawks in .357

But that's just me!! Carry on with the Marlin---Winchester "thing"

Urbana John

December 4, 2007, 05:40 PM
But I feel that the Marlin is the overall better gun... But.... I just can't warm up to it. Maybe I have been shooting Winchesters too long, but the Marlin feels like it doesn't have the personality the the 94 does...

December 4, 2007, 10:27 PM
I own both and enjoy both for different reason. The Marlin is a favorite to take to the woods. It has a low power leupold VXII on it and it is good for 100 Yds off-hand at pie-plate size targets.

The 94 was my dad's. He passed away and my mom sold all of his guns except this one (I still do NOT forgive her for this, nor will I ever!! I mean EVER!). It is over 40 years old and it looks like the day it came out of the box. The only wear is on the magazine feed port. I like to shoot it, but I cannot ever think about schlepping through the woods with it.

December 5, 2007, 09:03 AM
That settles it - you have to buy both. :D

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