Marlin 30-30 scopes


January 5, 2011, 10:48 AM
I have a Marlin 336 in 30-30 and I'm back and forth as to scope or not. Now that the kids are getting older, shooting is becoming a family affair, so I need to figure out something we all can use. If I had deep pockets I could buy an identical rifle for each of us but for now we'll have to make do with the one we have.

The kids would probably only fire at the range for now. Wife and I will be doing mostly hog maybe some deer. Ammo is Hornady 150gr (RN). I'm thinking either a fixed 4x or maybe a lower variable like 2-7 because right now I have no intentions of shooting this rifle at 200 yards but who knows in the future.

This is my first lever gun (all my experience is with rimfire bolt actions) so my concern is the scope hanging over the hammer. I would never finger drop the hammer on a chambered round so that's not an issue. The issue is after the gun has been cleared I don't want to be in the position of having to always dry fire to drop the hammer.

If anyone has any opinions, tips, or experience with this gun and using a scope I'd like to hear what you think, brand recommendations for optics are welcomed as well.

Thanks in advance.

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January 5, 2011, 11:07 AM
I put a Burris Timberline 2x7x26 scope on mine and used a Weaver base and Millet Angle Lock low rings.
These scopes are made for carbine style rifles so they are short,lightweight,and look very good on the Marlin without it looking over scoped as so many Marlin 336's are after the owner puts some humongous 3x9x40 scope on it.
These are very good scopes and expect to pay around $150.00 for it.

Old Time Hunter
January 5, 2011, 11:35 AM
Try a Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn series 1.75 X 4 X 32mm, it has up to 6" eye relief, very inexpensive, and works great on short rifle. It will give you years of service for little dollars. For up to a couple of hundred yards you do not need the high dollar stuff.

January 5, 2011, 11:42 AM
I've got a huge Simmons 2.5-10X50 on mine. I like being able to see the things I'm shooting and at 200 yards 10x is rather nice.

It's a pretty big scope, but where I'm at, it's pretty open land. I would just use irons if I were hunting woodland.

January 5, 2011, 11:46 AM
The hammer issue is addressed with the stock hammer spur extension that came with many late model 336's. There are aftermarket ones too.

For scope, it all depends on what your are doing? If mostly daylight shooting and the gun is still nicely blued, I'd get an older Weaver K2.5 up to a max of K4 in one of the last generation Micro-Trac steel tube El Paso scopes. They look like a natural fit, are about as tough as any scope out there, hold their zero well and will not break the bank. The downside is they have good glass and coated lenses, but are not quite up to today's best glass.

Once you get away from the blue on blue steel look, it's anything you want? Mueller, modern Weavers, Redfield, Burris, Leupold, Nikon and Bushnell Elite are all good bets. The issue is that most modern scopes are matte finished. Few models left in gloss if that matters?

Eye relief is an issue. Your rifle likely does not kick to hard, but it's easy to get an eyebrow clipped by a scope tube/bell. 3 1/2" is about minimum to prevent that, so the scope needs a generous exit pupil. So getting the scope far enough forward can be a bit tricky on this receiver unless you have added a thicker butt pad?

The Weaver system comes in two flavors, at least. One is a one piece base that extends slightly beyond the front of the receiver. The other choice is a two piece set of bases. I like the two piece because it's cleaner, but depending on the scope, you may need the one piece "rail" to get the rings far enough forward?

The receiver is already drilled and tapped, so there is plenty of meat to secure the screws and hold it all tight. A drop of Loc-Tite so the base screws don't come loose over time (and to help keep water out of the threads) and you are good to go :)

January 5, 2011, 11:53 AM
few options. first i love a peep personaly, skinner and williams makes one. second DNZ makes a one piece scope mount/rings that look pretty nice(dont have any scoped 336's so i dont have one). and third id check out the redfieds, i have a 3x9x40 and for the price i think they are hard to beat. good luck with your choices

BP Hunter
January 5, 2011, 12:07 PM
Check out this scope from cabelas. The scope was exclusively made for 30-30 lever action rifles and ballistics up to a few hundred yards using the Hornady LeverEvolution ammo.;MM;cat104752080;cat104535180

I have no experience from it but it has a 4/5 star ratings from 192 users. costs less than $50:eek:

January 5, 2011, 12:43 PM
My experience with the Cabelas and Bushnell Banners is get a better scope. You'll likely save money!

I've only had 3 scopes that "crapped out" before expected and the above two are 2 of the 3.

A Cabelas "Pine Ridge" 2-7x was a nice fit on my Glenfield M30 (budget version of M336 with half-magazine and birch stock). It lasted about 3yrs. Developed a detached reticle. Cabelas wouldn't fix it, and gave me a "certificate" for about 1/3 of what the scope was selling for. I haven't bought anything from them since.

The Bushnell Banner 1.5-4.5x lasted about a year on a Marlin M1895 Guide Gun. It too, developed a detached reticle from moving zero from different bullet weights during some load development. Bushnell did warranty the scope but sent back the wrong scope. I had to pay return shipping and wait 3mos for the correct replacement to show up. (they sent a 1x-4x Shotgun scope with the silly "Circle-X" reticle). I have almost as much in the replacement after paying Warranty service fee and 2x shipping as I paid for the original scope.

I recommed either the Leupold VX-I or perhaps the new Redfield 2x-7x (made by Leupold and marketed to lower price point). Another scope that I can recommend is the Nikon ProHunter. It's been a nice scope. Nikon has dropped their policy of Minimum Advertised Price and you can pick one up for under $100. The ProHunter 4x is also a decent scope for the price. The Leupold "Rifleman" may also meet your liking. Very similar to the Redfield.

January 5, 2011, 12:58 PM
I have one of Cabelas ballistic drop scopes for L-Evo ammo. The scope is OK and the drop is calibrated pretty well. The issue is the exit pupil - it's small and you have to get your eye in the very small sweet spot, or it's black.

Cabelas sold them out last year at discount. I wrote to them asking if they were going to restock. The letter I got back siad they had gone back to the drawing board to make significant improvements in that scope line and would be coming out with an updated model summer this year.

I think the idea is great - especially for the 30-30 - but I'd wait for the improved model before going this way :(

January 5, 2011, 01:29 PM
The Vortex Viper 2-7 ( is being closed out and is a super deal right now. I have a Vortex Viper scope (different power) and it is very impressive.

January 5, 2011, 01:32 PM
I run a Weaver K4 on my 1895G. Great scope for a lever gun. Use the hammer spur and all is well.

January 5, 2011, 01:50 PM
I have a Redfield 2-7x33 mounted in DMZ game reaper one piece mounts on two different Marlin 336's. For me it's the perfect set up for the 30-30.

January 5, 2011, 03:27 PM
or maybe a lower variable like 2-7

Yes. You would really like a 2-7x32mm sized scope on a Marlin 336. And I am waiting on Cabelas to ship my Nikon ProStaff 2-7x32mm scope for my Marlin 336 30-30 right now. Redfield & Burris are other great options. I want a set of Talley Lightweight 1-Piece Low Height ring-bases for this setup. This will keep my scope low enough to get a good cheek weld, but will still clear the iron rear sight with a 32mm objective. I hate to remove the rear sight in case of an emergency. My 336 in 35 Remington has an old Banner 4x with a post-dot reticle on it. I use weaver medium hight rings and two-piece weaver bases on that setup, but I may change that scope out eventually in favor of something more modern. This Banner is from 1976, and recently let in some moisture on a wet, she needs to retire to a 22!

January 5, 2011, 03:39 PM
I have a Bushnell Banner 4x32mm on my 336 and it works great for what I use it for (whitetail in wooded areas: 50-150 yards). I really like the Banner Dust to Dark series and also have the 3-9x40mm version on my Rem700 in .270. I only buy Bushnell scopes because their price point and quality are right in line with my needs.

My suggestion would be to go and look through as many as you can at the store and see what you like the best.

January 5, 2011, 03:50 PM
Abel,my Burris Timberline with it's 27mm objective just barely clears the rear sight on my 336.
This is using the weaver base and low Millett rings.
Perhaps the Talley base sets up higher than my Weaver base.
With my present set up if I used a scope with a 32mm objective I would have to go with at least medium rings.
Just a fyi to make sure it will fit.

January 5, 2011, 04:14 PM
Yeah, I'm using medium rings with my Weaver 2.5 and it does not even have an objective bell :what:

But I have a big head :neener:

January 5, 2011, 08:26 PM
I have Marlin 336s with Nikon 2-7, Weaver K4 and Weaver 1-3x20 scopes. I like them all but the 1-3x20 is my favorite followed by the Nikon.

January 6, 2011, 04:19 PM
Thanks for all the great info.

I found these two scopes on the Midway site, the VX-I is a gloss finish and I was wondering if there is a negative to that. The exact same scope in matte is $40 more. I think I'll go check out the local Bass Pro since it's just a couple miles from home. I hate going into that place but it's a good place to start.
Leupold Rifleman Rifle Scope 2-7x 33mm Wide Duplex Reticle Matte $189
Adjustment Click Value: 1/2"
Eye Relief: 4.2-3.7
Leupold VX-I Rifle Scope 2-7x 33mm Wide Duplex Reticle Gloss $169
Adjustment Click Value: 1/4"
Eye Relief: 4.2"

January 6, 2011, 05:27 PM
the VX-I is a gloss finish and I was wondering if there is a negative to that.

Nope. Gloss scopes look good on a Marlin & deer won't care either. I killed two deer this year with my gloss scope on top of my gloss finish Marlin 336.

January 6, 2011, 10:22 PM
I like shiny - actually I think that the effort put into a fine finish is worth showing off. If your rifle is in good shape and the bluing is nice - I'd go gloss every time :)

January 6, 2011, 10:31 PM
I used a Weaver 2x-7x on a Marlin for years, with an offset hammer spur (Marlin factory).

I'd look at Leupold too... I have a 4x fixed mounted on another lever action but this 2-7x caught my eye.

January 7, 2011, 04:59 PM
That's nice :)

January 8, 2011, 08:59 AM
I run a Weaver K4 on my 1895G. Great scope for a lever gun. Use the hammer spur and all is well.
+1 on the K4

These 'fit' the 336 to a Tee. The Waever K2.5 is another option. You can find these older steel tube scope at very good prices on evil bay.

January 8, 2011, 11:05 AM
I broke down last night and ordered the Viper 2X7X32 ( At half price it's a great deal.

I am interested in this Nikon 1.5X6X42 ( option, as well as this Leupold 1.75X6X32 ( option, but don't have an extra $500 laying around right now.

January 8, 2011, 12:16 PM
That link I posted was that same Leupold scope for $185.

January 8, 2011, 03:27 PM
if you go 2-7x, it should be the smallest and lightest on the market. I would even get a little compact simmons 4x.

January 8, 2011, 03:35 PM
The Vortex Viper 2-7 ( is being closed out and is a super deal right now. I have a Vortex Viper scope (different power) and it is very impressive.

As long as you realize it has a .223 BDC.

January 8, 2011, 07:46 PM
From Vortex site...

Discontinued Viper 2-7x32 Riflescope

Effortlessly shrugging off recoil, moisture and darkness! The Viper's status as a premium riflescope won't be as easy to shake. Discover a riflescope with incredible performance features like premium, fully multi-coated optics with 95 percent light transmission, heavy duty Precision Force spring systems and the glass smooth Precision Glide erector system—delivering all this and more at a price that should have pulled a few more hundreds from your wallet than it did.

* 2-7x32 riflescope is ideal for big game, muzzleloader, and slug shotgun applications.
* Dead-Hold BDC reticle has a customized design that helps eliminate guesswork on hold-over and windage corrections. Good for any hunting or shooting at varying ranges where estimating hold-over would be a concern.

I do not see, nor have I ever seen, where the marks on the Vortex BDC reticles are calibrated for .223 the way the new Nikon .223 scopes ( are. Burris ( has a similar set up that doesn't seem to be set for any particular caliber either.

I just ordered one to put on a 336 in .35 Remington. If the marks work out to be handy, great, if not, no biggie.

January 8, 2011, 07:53 PM

January 8, 2011, 10:33 PM
sounds like you will be doing some pretty up close shots occaisoinally (hunting hogs), so i would recomend a 2-7 power scope. if all you can afford is an inexpensive one, go for it. i have in the past. and with the kids getting older, wanting more expensive toys, i may have to again in the future. i still have a bushnell sportsman 3-9x32 that i put on my glenfield back in about 1977. it has served me well over the years. i think it was about $25.00 back then. like some of the others have mentioned, a hammer spur will take care of the clearance issue. they are cheap, and work very well. you will be suprised how much better you can shoot with a scope over opens, especially factory opens. of course, the other way to go is to get a good aperature reciever sight. they will also make a world of difference, as long as your eyes hold out.

January 9, 2011, 09:43 PM
The marks will work, but may not be at the same ranges as other folks. The marks may come on trajectory like 172 yds and 218 yds, etc. So what? Once you get that down in a good range session, you will be able to use them just fine. Enjoy :)

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