Best scope specs for 30-30


November 1, 2010, 07:58 PM
I have a Marlin 336c that I want to scope. I know many purists think it is blasphemy to scope a lever action, but my eyes aren't as good as they used to be. Anything over 50 yards with open sights is not going to be doing the deer any favors.

So my questions are this:

Best size objective lens: 32mm or 40mm. I probably won't ever shoot anything over 150 yards with it.

Best magnification range 2x7 or 3x9 or neither?

Best type of scope rings/bases? individual bases or one-piece mount? I prefer Leupold rings/bases.

Does the 336 need a shorter scope than a bolt action?

I'm looking at the new Redfields. I have always been a Nikon Buckmasters.

If you enjoyed reading about "Best scope specs for 30-30" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
November 1, 2010, 08:04 PM
A 2-7x32 is about perfect for a Marlin in my opinion. A one piece mount should be sturdier. You might check out the Vortex Viper 2-7x32. They are on clearance at a few online dealers. I just got one and think it is an excellent scope for the money.

Jim Watson
November 1, 2010, 08:07 PM
I think a 2-7x32 would LOOK good on the Marlin but I think the vast number of 3-9 variables keeps the cost down. I think most bases for Marlin lever actions are one piece, they are just riding on top of the flat receiver.

November 1, 2010, 08:40 PM

Exit pupil 7 or greater at even the highest power. Small compact scope that will "fit" the gun. All the power you will ever need at 6X, with a huge FOV at 1.5X.

November 1, 2010, 08:53 PM
I have A Nikon prostaff 2-7x32 on A 336SS and A Weaver V3 1-3x20 on my 336SC shorty. Not sure which I like better.Both are nice. 3-9x40 would be to much IMHO.

November 1, 2010, 09:21 PM
Right there with you on the eyes. Astigmatism stinks..

I have this little scope on my 1894 Marlin in 44mag and I think it's just about the perfect little lever gun scope. Makes a good useful little gun great and in my opinion it looks pretty good mounted. Only gripe i have is, and this may sound ridiculous, it almost has too much eye relief

November 1, 2010, 10:25 PM
Leupold VX-II 2-7x33 in Talley low height

November 1, 2010, 10:25 PM
Ridiculous because i don't know that i have ever heard of anyone complain that a scope had too much eye relief..May just be me though, I am pretty tall and that is short gun.

November 1, 2010, 10:52 PM
2-7x variable with a 40mm objective if you can find it.

Nice Leupold with reach... if you find that 200 yard shot you'll have time to dial it up.

November 1, 2010, 11:00 PM
IMHO a 3-9x is way too much glass for a 150yd rifle. A variable in the 1-4x range would be plenty. The Leupold VXII 1-4x is a lot of scope for the money.

November 1, 2010, 11:02 PM
scoping a 30-30 is like wearing a condomm when you are 70....why??? if your eyesight is that bad you dont need to be shootin....

November 1, 2010, 11:21 PM
Not saying this is the definitive scope for your application, but something I'd take a look at. I do not have one, but although Simmons is considered a very inexpensive scope, their new "true zero" flex erector tube is quite innovative. It's light and small and in keeping with a quick handling lever action.

I have Nikons on my other primary go-to guns. I am assembling my 336rc as I right this (waiting for some stock finish to harden). I'm scoping mine with Weaver Pro-View Marlin mounts. They are low and use 4 screws per base to lock down the top ring, much like the new "Sure Grip" system. My 336 will be wearing a Weaver steel tube (from the El Paso days) 1.5x Micro-Trac. It's heavier, but hell for strong and uses a four point suspension that is as robust as they come. Micro-Trac was one of the toughest and most repeatable adjustment systems made. But I suspect that the Simmons system is equally rugged? Covered by a lifetime warranty?

The back-up scope for the 336 is either another Weaver 4x (I do have a pile of them :)), or a really compact Apache 4x w/o turrets. Since nothing sticks out, it is easy to carry and smooth against you arm/hand while walking. Apache scopes are rare and a bit finicky about wet, but out here it's mostly dry 9 mos a year.

My point is before you go spending big bux on Leupold or even Redfield or something, grab a smaller lightweight scope and see if you like the idea/combination? Maybe you'll find it just isn't to your liking? If not, you are not into the test a lot of money and you can probably get more than 1/2 back on the 'Bay for the pieces and parts. All these options are pretty short tubes so they fit easily.

The 336 is pretty short between bases. You can get a rail that will spread out the bases for a longer tube, but it cantilevers the front base out in front of the receiver, so I stay away from that scenario. However, the rail will accept Leuplod QR bases if you want. I prefer a short tube scope that fits the base spread drilled into the top of the receiver.

If the scope thing does not work out, you can go to XS for their ghost ring system, maybe with a fiber optic "fire sight" front and get a long sight radius with good iron sight performance :)

And a 336 with Hornady LeverEvolution ammo is capable out to 200 yds, although you'll need a fair bit of practice to get that all dialed in :)

November 1, 2010, 11:45 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. I think I'm going to go with lower power in a 32mm scope. I really like the features and pricepoint of the new Redfield Revolution scopes.

That Vortex Viper looks good too.

Brocluno, you have some good ideas and I will keep those in mind.

November 1, 2010, 11:48 PM
A 2-7x32 or 3-9x40 is a good way to go. I personally love sigthron scopes great glass and replacement warranty, but bushnell and nikon are just as good.

November 1, 2010, 11:52 PM
As with others - 2-7 or 3-9 is fine. Just personally, I leave just about all of my hunting scopes at 5x all the time, so anything that has that in it's range is fine :).

November 2, 2010, 12:03 AM
I put a Bushnell 4200 3 - 9 on mine. Got the scope from overstock at a pretty decent price. I thought it would look funny but it turned out pretty good. I decided on the 40mm since I hunt hogs in low light.

- Custom steel rail from EGW
- Leupold low QRW
- Bushnell 4200 3-9

Wish I had pics ...

November 3, 2010, 11:56 PM
I like this little Bushnell that I put on my Marlin 336C in 35 Rem. The 30-30 and 35 Remington don;t need much. This is a 2-7x32 with Burris Zee rings and a one-piece Weaver base.

The scope stays set on about 4x most of the time.

November 4, 2010, 06:36 AM
scoping a 30-30 is like wearing a condomm when you are 70....why??? if your eyesight is that bad you dont need to be shootin....

What about people who hunt in dark areas like in the woods? Scopes work great on any rifle. Why do people scope in-line muzzle loaders?...Because its useful. I shoot a longbow during archery hunts, but I don't rag compounders who choose to use pulley systems, drop-rests, and fiber-optic sights.

November 4, 2010, 11:13 AM
Personally, I'd opt for a good fixed 4X ... and probably hunt the auction sites for a second hand Leupold M8. I've got a couple of these and they are simple, work well, and have a bulletproof warranty.

November 4, 2010, 11:30 AM
I run a Weaver K4 on my 1895G.

November 4, 2010, 12:47 PM
I just recently picked up a Nitrex 1.5-5 from natchez shooting supplies for my 336. It was about $140 and has a $50 rebate making it a screaming deal.
I used the Talley low rings also, no need for separate base and rings.
This scope previously sold for $400, reviews online are great.

I don't see any reason to spend more on a scope than on the rifle. But then again, some people spend more on a car stereo than on their car.

November 4, 2010, 12:58 PM
I don't see any reason to spend more on a scope than on the rifle.
For a 30-30 I would agree. On a long range precision rifle you'd be dead wrong.

November 4, 2010, 01:01 PM
Burris 2-7x35 Fullfield II about $170.00.

November 4, 2010, 01:02 PM
I have found the Leupold 2.5x Scout Scope to be perfection for the 336C. Using the LeverEvolution ammo, I can shoot more than accurately enough for 200 yard shots. It's my skill (not the rifle nor ammo) that limits me to 200 yards (closer is better just stating my outside ethical limit). For this distance or closer, a 2.5X fixed power is adequate.

November 4, 2010, 02:01 PM
because i don't know that i have ever heard of anyone complain that a scope had too much eye relief..
I bought this Nikon 1.65X5X36 ( to go on a 94 .30-30, but failed to check what the eye relief was before ordering. The eye relief is 5", and I could not use it on that rifle as it would not mount far enough forward. It works great mounted forward on an AR though, so all was not lost.

November 4, 2010, 02:22 PM
I think a 2-7 would be a good fit for that rifle.

as for people making the asshat comments about scoping a lever action, I would challenge any of you to outshoot a marlin with factory open sights versus a lower power scope at 100 yards.

you are absolutely FOS if you claim to shoot better with that type of sight than a scope.

but I know...I know... your grand pappy could shoot the balls off a gnat at 300 yards with his old 30-30 with an open sight made from an old tin can.

November 4, 2010, 02:47 PM
scoping a 30-30 is like wearing a condomm when you are 70....why??? if your eyesight is that bad you dont need to be shootin....

Being able to see is one thing. Being able to see distance AND the sights with the same prescription is another.

You'll find out if you live into your fourties.


Anyway, to address the OPs question, First try a peep sight. It will increase your depth of field, possibly enough to make iron sights practical. If you must use a scope, 3x9 is too much scope for a 30-30. I'd try a 2.5 fixed, if you can find one. Otherwise a 1x5 variable will do. On a 30-30, it's more important to get a LOW enough low power than a big high power.

El General
November 4, 2010, 04:53 PM
Weaver has a throwback steel tube K4 that would look good on any lever.

November 4, 2010, 06:57 PM
i have a 3 x 9 x40 bushnell on my marlin 336
works great in the low light when i hunt the adirondack cedars
its on 4 most always but have turned it to 6 a few times
my eyes just cant see the iron sights like when i was young
but can still see the difference between a 10 point and a hunter
slinking through the brush

November 5, 2010, 05:24 AM
I have used a 10x scope and a 4.5x.
I made my best shot to date with the 10x, but if I was hunting I would want the 4.5x hoping to reacquire the target quicker.

November 5, 2010, 07:40 AM
I agree with those who say "less is more" on this
any low X power fixed scope will do for me, 3X is plenty, not more than 32mm
mostly I prefer the more compact "shotgun" scopes on mine, 2 1/2X

why a scope on a lever action ?
because it works
light gathering, precise aiming, etc.
because I can put a green hole in a black 1" shoot-n-see dot at 50 yards w/ the scope, and cannot with open sights
some here who can, no scope required...
(your eyes may vary)

I am just old, not harmless

November 5, 2010, 08:13 AM
Ive got one of these an 1895 Guide Gun 45/70 in Talley low base one piece rings. It works great, and with a little range time, you can make the multiple aiming points of the ballistic plex reticle work for your caliber at longer ranges. They also offer it in a standard duplex style reticle.

November 5, 2010, 08:13 AM
I have a fixed power 4x-32 in my Marlin Mdl 30AW. All the scope I need

November 5, 2010, 08:24 AM
I've got a 3x9 Simmons on mine, but only because I happened to have it handy and was too cheap to buy another scope. IF I was go buy one specifically for the rifle I'd probably look for one in the 1.5-4X range.

November 5, 2010, 08:43 AM
I have two 336's I use specifically for "loaner" guns or back up guns for whitetail season. On both of them I have the Medium height Game reaper one piece scope mount and a Redfield 2-7x32 scope. I love that setup, nice compact lightweight scope but still has a good variable power range.

I have another one with a Nikon 3-9x40. I like the scope better, but on the little lever action the scope just looks & feels wrong.

November 5, 2010, 09:37 AM
I placed a Burris Timberline 2x7x26 on my 336.
I used a Weaver rail and Millet low rings.
A very,very good setup.
The scope is short,light,has great glass and good eye relief and enough magnification for 200 yard shots and looks very good on a small carbine like the 336.
I truely hate to over scope a carbine type of rifle..Or any rifle really.

Edit to add..That's saying it the way it is Natman.
Live long enough and you will all be down this road.

November 5, 2010, 09:58 AM
You might check out the Vortex Viper 2-7x32. They are on clearance at a few online dealers. I just got one and think it is an excellent scope for the money.

The exact solution for my 1894 in .45 Colt. Opted for the C3 reticle so as not to lose brush shooting capability.

November 5, 2010, 11:13 AM
A 3-9 variable on a 336, to me anyway is pretty big and bulky. I like to keep it lean and simple, a straight 4x or low power variable (just cuz it was sitting on the shelf)...

Marvin the wonder rifle:

To me a big part of the attraction of a 336 is it is a easy to handle, quick pointing rifle.

Be safe and enjoy it which ever way you decide to go on the scope.

November 5, 2010, 06:29 PM
That lupy is A sweet setup. Marvin is lookin good also!

November 5, 2010, 06:44 PM

Good luck with the choice you made, I believe it will serve you well.

November 8, 2010, 08:08 PM

Leupold FX-II 2.5x20mm. Shortest and lightest scope on the market. Low Weaver rings and you're set.

November 8, 2010, 08:57 PM
I prefer the Leupold 2.5x on mine. Fast handling and minimal added weight.

With it I can put three Winchester 170gr PP into an inch a 100yrds and spank the 200yd gong all day long.


November 8, 2010, 09:18 PM
... is like waring a condom at 70, why bother ...

Because there's AIDs and other STDs out there. Maybe you don't care, but some of us do.

... and I like the way a target looks through a scope when you are "holding over" as often happens with a 30-30 :)

November 10, 2010, 06:20 PM
some nice looking 336s. thanks for the ideas. Here is mine. It started out as a 336c 30-30 with standard wood, but I had to send it back to Marlin for warranty work and they had it for seven months. They felt so bad about it that they replaced my wood with the premium walnut that comes on the 336 selling at Cabela's for $850.

Here is the link

November 10, 2010, 07:46 PM
The Burris Timberline is a great value. I have sold a number of them in the 4x fixed version, and they are always nice and clear.
Plus, they weigh almost nothing, which is a consideration for me, at least.

November 11, 2010, 12:29 AM
For the price I like the BSA's scopes they are very clear & priced right, Have a one mounted on my Savage 243 win for coyote hunting & it serves the purpose nice.

If you enjoyed reading about "Best scope specs for 30-30" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!