Hunting Rifle


February 6, 2011, 05:18 PM
Hey guys,

I just need a word of advice, I am looking to get a lever action rifle soon. This would be my first rifle, and I want it to be a lever action. I've also never hunted before, I was wondering if that would also be a decent hunting rifle. I've been looking at the Marlin 336, not looking to break the bank, but want something decent, and I don't want to start with a .22 lr


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February 6, 2011, 05:32 PM
Well you are looking at the right gun then. The marlins are great, the mossbergs are good too. I don't know about the rossi's but out of all I would say the marlin.

February 6, 2011, 05:33 PM
Ooh ooh forgot, if you can find a savage 99 in good condition, it is definitely a cut above the others. I love my 308 99e!

February 6, 2011, 05:42 PM
do a search for the 336 club its fun stuff

February 6, 2011, 05:45 PM

The Marlin 336 is a fine gun. However, the caliber selection is somewhat limited in most lever action platforms. Therefore, my question is; what types of game at what anticipated ranges are you expecting?

If it's whitetail deer in timber under a hundred yards, you're just fine. If it's pronghorn antelope at a significant fraction of a light year, we're gonna have to talk.


February 6, 2011, 05:48 PM
Hahaha....I'm looking to just hunt deer here in Florida at no real significant distance. I was looking at the 30-30 caliber.


February 6, 2011, 06:00 PM

Yer good to go with the 336 in .30-30. Have fun!


February 6, 2011, 06:01 PM
Marlin 30-30. They must make half-a-dozen varieties. Pick the one that looks right to you and go for it.

February 6, 2011, 06:01 PM
Thanks guys! Would this be an ok rifle to put a scope on?

February 6, 2011, 06:16 PM
Yes, sir. I must agree with the previous posts. The venerable ole' 30-30 is a classic for a reason. Not just because it's old- but because still has a legitimate place in the armory among modern cartridge advancements. I took mine out and smoked an axis doe with it a couple months ago.. along with a ringtail cat and 3 coons all in the same evening. Apollo- look into Hornady LeveRevolution when you make your purchase. I bought my first box this past year and they are strangely accurate from my old Winchester 94. And one lucky bullet dropped that axis in her tracks with a clean pass through.

February 6, 2011, 06:28 PM
I would consider a peep sight or the standard Iron sights if you are staying under 100 yards. But if you really want a scope I think I would look for a 4x fixed power.

February 6, 2011, 07:34 PM

If you're young & the eyes are sharp, the irons will do. Just put in the range time to learn how to use them. However, if there are other circumstances, there's nothing wrong with glass.

You don't need high magnification, not at all. But, that does not mean you don't need good glass. Fine resolution & excellent color rendition will allow you to pick out the small patch of fur, or tip of a rack, in heavy cover & know that it's a game animal.

My personal suggestion would be a Leupold 2-7X in a solid mount.


February 6, 2011, 07:39 PM
The nice thing about variable X glass is that you don't have to use it on high power if you don't want to. That's why I have a 4-12 on my hunting bolt gun. at the range I like the 12 sometimes but when out in the field it goes to 4X and stays there most of the time.

So 900F makes a good suggestion, and yes quality makes a big difference.

February 6, 2011, 08:07 PM

Based on what you have told us in your first 3 post , if you choose anything other than a Marlin 336 in a 30-30 then you would have made the wrong choice ;)

Seriously a 336 or a Winny in a 30-30 are perfect based on your criteria. The Marlin would be cheaper and I think made a little sturdier than the Winny, but they both are fine rifles.

There have been several threads on the board here as of late toughting the merits of the 30-30, and even the people who might not be fans of the 30-30 would have a hard time denying it wide range of uses. ....and no one who is right in the head denies it's longevity. ;)

It is one cartridge (along with a 22LR) :) that I think everyone should own.

Hope you enjoy whatever you decide to go with....Tentwing

February 6, 2011, 08:36 PM
A 336 is a fine choice, I have several, and like them better as a utility rifle than my two Winchester '94s. I had two Mossberg 464s and sold them because of sticky feeding. The wood on mine looked like it belonged on a BB gun too.

The factory irons may be all you need, and all my 30-30s are just that. If you feel you need an upgrade, a Williams peep sight may be worth looking into:

If you feel you really want a scope I agree with lower power. Burris Fullfield II in 2-7x35 may be a good choice if you don't want to pay Leupold prices: . Or a Bushnell Elite 3200 in 2-7x32 : . Both the Burris Fullfield II and the Elite 3200 are fairly highly regarded.

Good luck!

February 6, 2011, 08:51 PM

Where in Fl are you? Not Apollo Beach, by chance?

My friend, I've hunted in Florida all of my life, and I have significant number of rifles that I can use. Among them is an old 336 in .30-30 that I inherited from my brother, and I can tell you, not only is a 336 in .30-30 a good choice, it may be the perfect choice. Whether you are prowlin' and growlin' in the woods, or perched in a tree stand, it is short, handy, and effective. As for a scope, mine wears a Leupold Vari-X IIi 1.5-5x20, the same scope that my 444 Outfitter wears. Just get a low to medium power variable or fixed and you are good to go. I would avoid the see-through rings. .30-30 ammo is plentiful and pretty cheap. (I like the Remington Core-Lokt's in 170 gr.) And don't let anybody look down their nose at you because you are using a lever or a .30-30, because that model and cartridge are older than dirt and still around for a reason...THEY WORK!!!!!

If all of my centerfire rifles were taken away except for my 336 .30-30, I'd stuff that bad boy full of shells and go hunting and never look back or consider myself undergunned or handicapped in the least.

February 6, 2011, 11:18 PM
Hey Beacon,
I'm actually located in Pensacola, FL. Like I said this is my first rifle and I really want to get in some range.time before the fall. I want to start hunting this fall. I want to get used to shooting down the sights before I make the investment of a scope.
Thank you all for your help and suggestions, I will definitely keep you updated.


February 7, 2011, 07:01 AM
I'm all for keeping irons or a peep sight on a lever gun. But, close to dawn and dusk, you really benefit from a scope. Where I hunt, you don't see any fool deer just walking around in full daylight. They mostly come out right at the end of shooting light. I scope my 336 that I use to hunt my PM stands and I have a peep sight for my scouting/ground hunting 336.

February 7, 2011, 09:29 AM
I have always found the bead front that comes on levers just too big for target work at 100 yds. I don't know what Apollo's budget is, but my Cabela's catalog shows a Nikon ProStaff straight 4x32 for $95 or a variable 2-7x32 for $140, which isn't too bad. Either one would make a good scope for a 336. My inclination would be to go for the 2-7 since you could screw it down to 2x for maximum field of view in the thick woods in case you jumped one and had a running shot, or screw it up to 7x for range work.

February 7, 2011, 09:36 AM
Was at the local gun show yesterday, there were several Pre-64 Model 94's for $600.- to $700.-, the Post-64's and the 336 Marlin's were $400.-+. Don't pay any attention to post 64 bashing on this forum, they are great guns. I own both 94's and 336's.

February 7, 2011, 11:17 AM
Winchester model 94. (.30-30win)
Marlin model 336. (.30-30win.)
Marlin also has a lever action "cowboy" model that is chambered in .45-70 Govt. for more power out to 100-150 yds. or so, that is is however too much gun for deer however in my opinion.

February 7, 2011, 12:14 PM
What about the BLR? This would offer some more cartrige choices.

February 7, 2011, 12:36 PM
You can find a Glenfield model 30 anytime through a number of on-line auction companies. These outstanding carbines typically sell for about $275. in used-but-not-abused condition. I've had good luck with

30-30 is a keeper!


February 7, 2011, 01:13 PM
OK, you are starting as a new hunter. You are in the kind of environment where 100 yds will be a long shot due to brush and scrub, etc. 30-30 is fine and so is 35 Remington. Marlin 336 is fine and so are all it's store-brand siblings like the Glenfield.

Scope is a good idea, but you don't need much. 4X fixed power with "duplex" reticle will get you on target quick, have plenty of field of view, have way fewer moving parts to go haywire, etc. They are dirt cheap used. You can get a decent scope made in Japan back in the day (say 5~10 years ago) for $25 off the 'Bay. If you get a nice rifle with decent blueing, you can look for an older Weaver steel tube K4 and they will match up pretty well. The older Steel tubes are hell for tough and cheap enough too. You can always upgrade your scope when you want.

For a first hunting rifle I'd be looking at a used one from a gun shop or a pawn shop. There are tons out there right now. Find one with nice fit and finish, maybe with rings on it or even a decent scope and spend the rest of your modest budget on ammo and range time. Get used to shooting from standing, sitting and kneeling. Those are the positions you will use afield. Check over the scope base(s) and make sure they are down well. Might want to rebed them with a dab of JB Weld under and some Loc-Tite on the screw threads into the top of the receiver - loose scopes do not work well :(

If you run across one, do not turn down a Browning BLR is say .243 up to 30-30. They are fine rifles, hold their value well and shoot well. Same goes for a Savage 99. If these sorts of rifles don't show up while you are searching, they may in "hunting camp". They are always a good investment.

For a first timer, until you get used to recoil and such, I'd shy away from 30-06 or 270. Get some center fire range time in with your rifle, and maybe a few of your buddies rifles. Once you are comfortable with them, you can add a second higher powered rifle to your collection when a good deal comes along :)

Nothing wrong with also having a 22 to use as a skill builder. You can get a Marlin 39 lever in 22 so the ergonomics are similar and put in a lot of time at the 50 yd range from the field positions. The ammo cost savings will pay for that gun eventually :)

February 7, 2011, 01:37 PM
I'm on a pretty small budget for the time being. I would eventually scope the rifle, but its not an immediate requirement for me. I have been searching gunbroker, and seen seen 336 go anywhere from the the 350 to 550 range, usually depends on the scope.

February 7, 2011, 01:40 PM
Pawn shops in your area?

February 7, 2011, 05:47 PM
Yes there are, haven't started looking at them until I have cash in hand

February 7, 2011, 06:30 PM
I have bought one 336 in 30-30, pre-safety, one 336 in 35rem pre-safety with a Bushnell Sportview 3-9x40 on it, and a Marlin 30AS in 30-30 post-safety in local Pawn Shops within the past 2-1/2 years, and all were tagged $279 or less, and they're pretty-much "always available" (with stock-dings and bluing-wear but rust-free at that price) in pawnshop racks around here in Piedmont NC.


VT Deer Hunter
February 7, 2011, 06:31 PM
Remington. Model 7 or 700 great guns and love them.

February 8, 2011, 01:49 AM
apollo,i lived in the sunshine state for most of my life,started hunting early.i bought a 444,and used it for many years down there.heavy cover,close shots,and moving game were the norm,and the old marlin was an excellent choice for me.i mounted a redfield 1.75x5 widefield on it,seemed to be a perfect match.the 444 will recoil more than a 30-30,but you only notice it from the over 30 years of shooting deer&hogs,not one ever needed blood trailing after being hit with the 444.

February 8, 2011, 09:54 AM
I'll echo the support for a 336. You should be able to find good used specimens for a song. My eyes aren't what they used to be, so I'd scope mine--and a probably go with a fixed 2.5X or 4X mounted as low as possible. Given the effective range of the .30-30, anything over 4X is pointless IMHO.

February 8, 2011, 01:37 PM
Agreed :)

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