Marlin 336 vs 1894c


August 25, 2008, 08:10 PM
I am still hellbent on owning another Marlin lever gun (along with my 39A) and I again ask your patience while I post another question. As I waffle back and forth drooling over models I realize I need to get some input from the hands-on bunch. 336 or 1894c? why?


If you enjoyed reading about "Marlin 336 vs 1894c" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 25, 2008, 08:19 PM
You of course need both. 336's seem to be in better supply at gunshows and such so it's easy to pick one of those up. 1894C's are harder to find at the shows (but I did a few years back) and you have to be prepared to jump on them.

August 25, 2008, 08:27 PM
Never mind, I got my wires crossed.

August 25, 2008, 08:28 PM
I say both even though I am lacking an 1894c myself...

August 25, 2008, 08:45 PM
You need both for different reasons!!! Now y'all pay attention to the lecture here....

The Marlin 1894/94 models are built for pistol cartridges, e.g. 357/38, 44, 45, 32, 32-20 and so on. 1894c is the carbine model.

They are NOT based on the Browning designed Winchester of 1892 or 1894. Winny 92s are pistol cartridge/94s are rifle cartridge (although some 94s were made for 357, 44 and 45....avoid these). These are excellent rifles but of complex construction and top ejectors which interfere with scope mounts.

The Marlin levers are as strong as Winnies but side eject and are easier to take down, clean and maintain. Properly tuned the 94 Marlin is WAY FASTER than a 92 Winchester. Cowboy action champs use either the Marlin or Uberti 1873.

The 92 Winchester does have the advantage in 454 Casull but that's it!

The 336 line began with the 1893 Marlin, a square bolt, side ejecting lever in rifle calibers. later came versions 1936 and my favorite the 36, also square bolt. The 93's were redesigned in the late 1930's with the round bolt as the Model 336. That's what you buy today, a modern design from the 1930s!!

The 1895 Marlin later was made to cover 45-70.

I now own 7 Marlins and have owned as many as 15. 1x1889 in 32-20, 2x94 in 357 (1 carbine, 1 Cowboy), 1x94 in 44mag, 1x45LC, 1x36 in 32-40, 2x336 (30-30 and 38-55) and 1x95 in 45-70. They are the best lever rifles ever made.

Now for the quiz.....


August 25, 2008, 08:48 PM
The 1894C is OK, but it's a USRAC Winchester built on the wrong platform.

Pssst, I wouldn't want to embarrass you by saying this out loud, but the 1894C is a Marlin, not the abomination that you think that it is.

OK, everyone else can listen now.

The OP needs both a 336 and an 1894C to go along with his 39A. Don't waffle, you really do need both.

August 25, 2008, 10:10 PM
You of course need both.

I say both even though I am lacking an 1894c myself...

You need both for different reasons!!! Now y'all pay attention to the lecture here....

The OP needs both a 336 and an 1894C to go along with his 39A. Don't waffle, you really do need both.

Oh you guys are biiiig help. I am however detecting a pattern here. ;)

August 26, 2008, 10:29 AM
I love my 336. I can't believe how well it shoots. I've been getting 1 inch groups at 100 yards. I know it seems wrong to do but I put a 4x scope on it and boy does it make the perfect brush gun. Its easy to carry, accurate out as far as the round is capable, and a ton of fun to shoot. Im sure a 1894c would be just as fun though. The 336 is one of my favorite guns to play with.

August 26, 2008, 10:35 AM
Pick your catrdrige Grasshopper and the path will become clear to you :neener:

August 26, 2008, 10:41 AM
would you consider choosing the 1894 Cowboy in your favorite caliber instead of a 336 or 1894C? :D

August 26, 2008, 11:29 AM
If you plan on hunting with it buy the 30-30. If you are just going to punch paper by the 357 mag. The Marlin 1894c is very hard to find and more expensive. Marlin only makes them in small batches so you might have to wait a long time until they make more. The 336 is in constant production so it is very easy to find in stores.

August 26, 2008, 11:30 AM
I don't see why you need both if you are not going to hunt anything deer sized or shoot at 100 yds or over. If you are get the 336 for that, but still get the 1894c because it is more fun and cheaper to shoot with .38 spcl.

August 26, 2008, 12:25 PM
Get the 1894c for now and then go to the 1895 later!

August 26, 2008, 01:31 PM
It all depends on what you want to use the gun for. If you want to hunt big game, get the 336. If you want a fun carbine that shoots relatively inexpensive ammo get the 1894C.

Small game, and deer-size game within its effective range (75-100 yds IMO)
Relatively cheap to shoot
Good to have around a farm or other rural property for varmints, plinking, etc...
Makes a fine defensive carbine
Lots of fun

Plenty of power for big game, again within its effective range (LeverEvolution ammo extends the range a bit)
Lots of them available both new and used
Reasonably priced ammo
Works as a defensive arm in the right environment
Lots of fun, although not exactly a plinking gun

Figure out your priorities and choose accordingly.

August 26, 2008, 01:41 PM
I vote for the 1894c. I have a 1894SS .44mag and love it and am looking for a 1894 in .357mag.

IMHO If you already have the caliber ammo in hand gun it's a no brainer.

they made a limited edition 1894c Stainless but it eludes me like a leprechaun. I'd love to get one to partner with my S&W 686

August 26, 2008, 02:59 PM
For hunting in the deer woods, the 30-30 336 is hard to beat.

August 26, 2008, 09:05 PM
I think the last few posts sum up the situation, I'm not a hunter except for the eradication of varmints, I do love shooting and I recently decided I wanted more bite than my 39A, I've been lurking in the 336 and 1894 "clubs" for quite a while and it simply must be a lever Marlin for me.
That price jump from 336 to 1894 means I have to delay the purchase a bit, I just want to make sure it's on an equal plane quality-wise with the venerable 336 30-30 and worth the wait.

as always,

August 26, 2008, 09:12 PM
Well, I've had 'em both, and the only one I regret selling was my 1894 Cowboy. The 336 was never fun to shoot. 'Nuff said.

August 26, 2008, 09:59 PM
IIRC, in the other thread we sort of thought that your situation would be best served with a 1894.

I still lean heavily toward the 336. They're still cheap enough that you could have one and a bolt action .22 magnum for any kind of "varmint" use.
And they're much more available.

A 336 in 30-30 is my general purpose rifle.
I take either it or my NEF 20 gauge with me when I go any significant distance into the woods.

August 26, 2008, 11:31 PM
1894C: because you'll need to get a .357 revolver to go along with it. It's a gateway gun...

I own both, but shoot my 1894C a lot more because ammo is cheap, I can shoot it on the pistol range, and it's just plain fun to shoot. Also, easy for new shooters if you ever drag them to the range.

You do need to get a 336 (or any good 30-30) at some point. It's one of those guns that everyone should have in their collection along with a 1911, 4" .357 revolver, .22lr rifle, 12ga shotgun, etc...

August 27, 2008, 12:32 AM
That is the one good thing about reloading. I can load up a .30-30 with blue dot and be within a few cents a round as I can if I load .357/38 special and I get about the same recoil as well. The .30-30 becomes a lot more fun at the range when you load it down. If you don't reload though ammo costs make the price difference between the two rifles shrink with much use. Even cheap .30-30 is $0.70 per shot while you can get .38 special under $0.30 a shot. After 1000 rounds the difference in the price of ammo offsets any difference in the price of the rifles.

September 3, 2008, 04:39 PM
The 1894 is subject to the dreaded "Marlin Jam" disease...The 336 is immune.

September 3, 2008, 04:56 PM
I don't see anybody mention that the 336 costs about half as much as an 1894, all other pro's and con's aside. though my 1894's get out a lot more than my 336.

September 3, 2008, 05:01 PM
The Marlin levers are as strong as Winnies

Don't insult the Marlins.:)

I have an 1894C. It's a really accurate target gun or plinker with .38 Special, and can be loaded really hot with .357 hunting loads.

One day, I might get a 336, but mainly for hunting if I hunt in the right conditions, not as a fun gun. As greyling22 says.

September 3, 2008, 06:46 PM
The "dreaded" Marlin jam happens mainly to cowboy shooters who cycle the action very fast for thousands of rounds. This is actually known as "feed two" error and is easily solved by replacing the carrier. Sometimes Marlin will supply the part; they now make a better carrier that avoids this problem.

Look at this website for the definitive answer to this problem:

The round bolt 336 has the same carrier/lever combo as the 94 and could develop a similar problem but the rifle cartridge 336 is rarely cycled that quickly plus the long cartridge length reduces that risk of "feeding two".

I have 2x336 (30-30 and 38-55) plus an 1895 in 45-70.


September 3, 2008, 06:51 PM
I have a 1894C in .44 magnum and just got a 336RC in.35 Remington. I paid 300 bucks for the 1894 and 200 bucks for the 336 from an estate. The 336 was made in 1964 and is in great shape. Left to right, Winchester 9422M, Marlin 1894C .44 magnum, Marlin 336 .35 Remington.

September 4, 2008, 01:52 AM
I've recently acquired both the 336 and an 1894c. The 357 gun was hard to find, but I finally found one on sale and pounced on the deal.

They are both great guns. If you want to hunt big game, the 336 has better terminal balistics.

For small game or hunting beer cans, the 1894c is cheap and fast.

Really, you can't go wrong with either gun. Every man should have a Marlin.

September 4, 2008, 01:54 AM
Oh, one more thing. I now have an itch for an 1895 in 45-70. Marlins can become expensive.

September 4, 2008, 08:50 PM
I started to reply, "it depends on whether you want a pistol cartridge or a rifle cartridge," but I don't want to insult you.

I had a Model 1894 in .44 magnum years ago and I had fun with it, but it was strictly a short range proposition. I gave it away. A friend has used that rifle for deer, but he bought his wife a .270.

I originally bought the 1894 for nostalgic reasons. I had seen innumerable TV scenes showing 'cowboys" (never with dirty shirts, it seems) with Winchester 1892 carbines, and they were not available. The Marlin 1894 was a competitor to the '92, and apparently there was a market. Winchester sold about a million '92 rifles and carbines.

As you no doubt know, the '92 was a replacement for the Winchester '73. The Henry Rifle and the Winchester 1866 were long on firepower, but short on range, with their .44 rimfire cartridge. The '73 introduced the more effective.44 WCF, but it was still effectively a pistol cartridge.

Colt, Smith, and others offered revolvers in the short WCF cartridges. Television and cowboy action shooting would lead us to believe that rifle-pistol combos were the norm, but I'm not so sure. G. A. Custer carried a brace of .450 revolvers and a Remington rolling block rifle in .45-70. Teddy Roosevelt carried a .45 SA revolver, but his rifle of choice out west was an 1876 Winchester--a more powerful rifle than the 1873. The Royal Northwest Mounted Police used 1876 Winchester rifles in .45-75 along with their .450 revolvers.

And later on, the Texas Rangers used .30-30 Model 1894 Winchesters in addition to their Colt SAA revolvers. I have never heard of anyone selecting a .44 WCF over a .30 WCF (.30-30) for serious use, given the choice.

The Marlin 336 is the latest in the line of their Winchester 1894 competitors, and personally, I like it a lot more than the Winchester. Maybe that's partly because my grandfather gave m his 39A.

Years ago, the conventional wisdom was that the .30-30 was low on the totem pole of game cartridges due to the flat point (short range, high trajectory), and though friends have killed deer with Marlins and Winchesters in .30-30, I've never bought one. The September issue of Rifle Magazine has an article by Steve Gash called "Shooting Synergy" that discusses the Hornady LEVERevolution cartridges. Whole new ballgame! Steve does say that performance of these bullets in microgroove rifled barrels is marginal. Go for the Ballard rifling. Don't sweat the small stuff. It will be worth the investment.

Back to pistol vs. rifle cartridges. Cowboy action has brought back the '73/'92 Winchesters and 1894 Marlins, but there's a reason those things went out of production before WWII. I treated myself to the 100th edition of The Shooter's Bible yesterday. The 200 yard mid-range trajectory figures for the .357 and .44 magnums from rifles are in the 16-19 inch range, compared to a couple of inches for the .30-30 Hornady.

I hope you find this helpful.

And I do hope you enjoy what you buy. I don't need one, but you and Hornady have me looking at Marlins.

If you enjoyed reading about "Marlin 336 vs 1894c" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!