30-30 Lever Gun - 18" or 20" barrel?


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sixty7chevy
August 12, 2011, 04:34 PM
I'm in the market to acquire a new lever gun for some close quarters hunting when I want to give the bow a rest. I'm leaning towards a Marlin 336. I love the wood on the BL models but I see that they only come in an 18" barrel. I'm a firm believer in that the gun is only as accurate as the shooter and I'm aware of how a longer barrel gives a little more muzzle energy, however, I would like some quality input on the difference in accuracy from the two lengths as well as is a 2" difference really that relevant for my purposes?

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Abel
August 12, 2011, 05:46 PM
The length won't matter. But beware of the newest Marlin 336 models made by Remington.

sixty7chevy
August 12, 2011, 05:52 PM
I was unaware of that thanks for the heads up. I trust Remington though in the bolt action department. Are they not as sharp when it comes to levers? Please inform.

Abel
August 12, 2011, 07:04 PM
They are dullards in the leveraction department. But, they've only been doing it for a short while. Maybe they'll get it right after a few years.

There are tons of 336's on the used market, so you're in luck. :)

Aren't we all
August 12, 2011, 07:10 PM
The stocks are a bit oversize and some have some I've seen have pretty spotty QC

TnBigBore
August 12, 2011, 07:43 PM
Remington is producing some awful leveractions at this point. I would not buy one at all. There are too many good used Marlins on the gun auction sites and at pawn shops etc. 20" is the standard barrel length for most Marlin 30-30s though they have been made from 16.25" to 24" in the past. I think 20" is about right for most purposes. It is short enough to be handy, but long enough to give a decent sight radius if you choose to use open sights. I would not worry about velocity loss or gain with the various barrel lengths. You are not using a 30-30 because you want maximum velocity. The deer will nto know the difference. I would simply advise you to look for an older Marlin 336 in good condition and set it up with a Williams, Lyman or Redfield receiver sight or a compact low powered scope like the Leupold 1-4x20mm, 1.5-5x20mm, 2-7x33mm, etc. You will not be sorry.

whalerman
August 12, 2011, 07:48 PM
When did Remington take over Marlin's lever action production? And how does a company instantly ruin the manufacture of an already in production weapon? I can see it taking place over a period of time, but to do so so quickly, I don't understand. Did they change the work force? Did they change the materials? Did they change the machining? Did they change the process? I doubt it. So how did they ruin it so quickly? Are we talking Remington hate here. Or maybe just resistance to the change?

I'm not saying you guys that are running down the recent production Marlin's don't have a point. I'm just questioning.

dc.fireman
August 12, 2011, 08:19 PM
whalerman - visit the marlin owners forums, for some very in depth discussions on the new 'Marlin-gton' 336's. It's quite a story, especially if you're seeking to learn a text book operation on how to ruin a legendary rifle. In short, they were bought by the Freedom Group, who sought to close & relocate the factory elsewhere, in an effort to save money/increase profit for the shareholders.

In the 2-3 week period when they started telling their employees they weren't invited to move with them, they replaced them with unskilled minimum wage workers, and basically threw a bunch of parts together - whether they were intended for that firearm or not. The silliest example I saw had a dovetail front sight notch cut into the underside of the barrel - along with the correct one in the top side of the barrel. There were several examples posted in that forum, this was just the one which stood out to me.

In short, I won't be buying any new Marlins, sight unseen - it will be in my hands for inspection prior to me taking delivery, and paying for it. YMMV.

Abel
August 12, 2011, 08:41 PM
Remington was bought out by Cerberus Capital Management. They also bought Marlin and relocated production to NY and hired a group who had never constructed a 336. I'm not sure what they pay these folks. I am certain that in a few years, they will have most of the kinks worked out. But these first runs have been below average.

DAP90
August 12, 2011, 11:04 PM
Out of curiosity, when was the factory moved and new workers brought in? Or phrased another way, up until what date did Marlin produce rifles of decent quality and when did that stop?

whalerman
August 12, 2011, 11:45 PM
I always appreciate hearing from Mr Abel. Thanks.

mongo356
August 13, 2011, 12:15 AM
I was one of the lucky ones. I managed a 91prefix "JM" stamped 336BL. Here are some groups from my Marlin 336BL w/ factory ammo. 6" orange dot 1st day to the range open sights at 100yards rested across the hood of my Chevy.*Fly on the upper left for size comparison. :evil:

BTW- I am really liking this lever gun, but I too have read some scary things about the new Marlingtons. Just look it over close if possible.

WTBguns10kOK
August 13, 2011, 01:45 AM
My old Glenfield (18") levergun is way more accurate than a new Marlin 336C (20") I shoot sometimes. Above advice is sadly correct on all counts.

Abel
August 13, 2011, 07:36 AM
Out of curiosity, when was the factory moved and new workers brought in? Or phrased another way, up until what date did Marlin produce rifles of decent quality and when did that stop?

The factory moved last year, but Marlin has been owned by Cerberus since 2008. Any serial number that shows pre-2009 is usually safe. But I really prefer the pre-crossbolt safety versions that were made prior to 1982 or 1983.

whalerman
August 13, 2011, 09:04 AM
Alright guys, I have a 336XLR in in .30-30, stainless. It says Marlin Firearms Company, North Haven, Ct. It has an eight digit serial number beginning with 9321....

Just bought it. Looks to be well made. Well fitted. Pistol grip. Do I feel bad or do I feel happy? Haven't had it out to the range yet. Will certainly do so soon. Obviously not an 18-20" barrel. This is a 24". I like the sight radius and it doesn't feel too heavy.

Tell me what I did.

Abel
August 13, 2011, 09:54 AM
Its a 2007.....You are in the possession of a genuine Marlin-made Marlin.

http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,67196.0.html

CZguy
August 13, 2011, 10:03 AM
Just bought it. Looks to be well made. Well fitted. Pistol grip. Do I feel bad or do I feel happy? Haven't had it out to the range yet. Will certainly do so soon. Obviously not an 18-20" barrel. This is a 24". I like the sight radius and it doesn't feel too heavy.

Tell me what I did.

One of the keys to happiness in life, is deciding if you like something, rather then listening to the opinions of others. ;)

whalerman
August 13, 2011, 10:21 AM
Thanks again, AbleMan and CZ, you're absolutely right. Enjoy the day.

sansone
August 13, 2011, 11:15 AM
The marlington bolt guns, current production rifles are looking fine. Maybe because remington has more experience with bolties?

almost forgot the OP:
20" gets my vote

Badlander
August 13, 2011, 01:59 PM
I cut A 336 30-30 to 16.25" very handy rifle. Shoots as well or better than before.

Smokey in PHX
August 13, 2011, 06:34 PM
I have a lot of 30-30 caliber rifles, most of which are Mod 94's and one Mod 99 Sav. I recently picked up a 336W, made in 2009 by Marlin. It is well put together and after a very quick check at the range yielded groups very similar to mango356's target.

That is not bad. It is MOA of deer or elk to 200 yards. That is OK for me now without messing around with screws or anything. I think there is potential for tighter groups in this rifle. I am very satisfied with this one.

Smokey in PHX
August 13, 2011, 06:41 PM
Forgot - on the initial question - barrel length: I have these rifles in several different barrel lengths. I see no disadvantage in a short barrel as compared to a long barrel for what these rifles were designed for. My tightest groups are from a short barreled Sav 99 and a long octogon barreled Mod 94.

sixty7chevy
August 14, 2011, 01:27 PM
Thanks for all the replies fellas, and certainly appreciate the heads up on the new marlingtons! I wanted a marlin for the fact that it was a Marlin. :D

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