scope advice for a marlin 336


August 2, 2012, 11:22 PM
I am new to the world of optics and am looking to scope my newly purchased marlin 336.

I have heard that fogging and weather can affect what kind of scope you want to get.

I live in Juneau, Alaska and need a scope that can handle crappy weather. Cold and rainy is the usual around here. I also wear glasses if that affects anything.

So far I have looked into some scopes and the 4x seems to "feel" right.

any advice on what i should be paying for rings and a scope for low light hunting?

Im seeing Leopold scopes charging an arm and a leg, are they actually worth it?

Id prefer the price point to be 150$ or so, but you could talk me into spending more.

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Texan Scott
August 2, 2012, 11:45 PM
Especially if it's a 30-30, look into peepsights, like Lyman or Williams. Really good ones can be had for less than most any decent scope, and at 30-30 ranges especially, they're just as accurate without fogging or breakage worries.
(SORRY! I know this is not what you were asking! Just suggesting an alternative you might not have considered. If you've already given it thought and decided against it, feel free to ignore me. It works for my wife, and I NEVER question her judgement!)

August 2, 2012, 11:52 PM
4x might be a little more then you need on a 30-30.
You can probably throw a rock that far and hit it.

I'd look at something like a 1-3x variable for most excellet wide field of view and low light conditions..

Consider an animal 100 yards away looks to be 25 yards away through a 4x scope.


August 2, 2012, 11:55 PM
Weaver V3, 1-3X20. It's small, compact, good glass and I've had it in some pretty adverse conditions without ill effect.

August 3, 2012, 12:01 AM
texan scott is on to something there. i have a set of skinner sights ( on my 336 and they are absolutely PERFECT for a lever action. they line up fast, dont add any weight to the rifle, extend your sight radius by about 7-8", and i can still get groups at 100 yards that are almost as good as a scope.

as far as scopes, if i were to put one on my 336 it would be a lower powered variable. i have been the victim of an overscoped rifle and it is really frustrating.

Im seeing Leopold scopes charging an arm and a leg, are they actually worth it?

YES! after years of crappy scopes i finally broke down and baught a leaupld this one ( actually, and they are well worth the price you pay. right now it is on my 30-06 but i have already decided that if/when i ever put a larger scope on that rifle, that scope will be going on the 30-30. another couple of good options:

lifetime warranty and free shipping...not too shabby!

August 3, 2012, 12:02 AM
*double tap*

August 3, 2012, 04:01 AM
@Jeb and Texas Scott

I have seen those sights and am intrigued. I love ghost ring sights but was not sure how accurate they are.

What kind of groupings are you getting realistically? From sitting at a bench to standing up and shooting standing up?

Id just like something a little more accurate than the standard irons so that i can make...prepare for an oxymoron humane kills.

Do i need to get the full set or is just the 59$ rear sight needed? Is it hard to assemble? thank you for your time.

August 3, 2012, 08:17 AM
I went with this on a guys advise that has used them for 25 years in all kinds of environments. His latest gun is like mine a 45-70 Lever action 1895 type.

I waiting for the to arrive hopefully today if not Monday.

August 3, 2012, 08:35 AM
100 bucks will buy you a nice used 4x Leupold M8. It will be a far better scope than any thing you buy new for $150.

August 3, 2012, 10:38 AM
Simmons 44MAG in 2X-7X is a a very god scope for your Marlin. Very bright and crisp optics!


August 3, 2012, 10:59 AM
Parroting some other posters, I also vote for a good aperture sight for a "traditional" lever-action carbine. I have a Williams "FoolProof" peep sight mounted on several of my rifles. Realistically, at 100 yards I would expect a good scope to deliver somewhat tighter groups than a receiver sight, everything else being equal. But, a good peep and the ability to use one well will typically keep a three shot group well under three inches at 100 yards; will never fog or break, will be much faster to get a well-aimed shot off than you'll ever get with factory irons and will keep those great carbine handling qualities uncompromised by a pound or two of glass sitting on top of the receiver.

You will probably only need to buy the rear receiver sight; the stock front bead usually works well with it. I assume newer Marlins are still drilled and tapped for a receiver sight (they used to be, anyhow) and, if they still are, installing a peep sight is very easy to do.

If you do opt for a scope on your Marlin lever-action, I would get a 1x5 variable, made by a quality manufacturer (Leupold and Burris come to mind).

August 3, 2012, 01:40 PM
Since you mentioned low light hunting, you want a scope with fully multicoated lenses and a fair-sized objective lens. A 32 mm objective lets 2.5 times as much light in as a 20mm. A 40mm lets in 4 times as much as a 20mm.
Nitrex, Nikon Prostaff, Burris FFII can all be found for $150 or less in 2-7X32 or 3-9X40 or so.
Talley lightweight rings or a DNZ mount should be a good way to mount it.

August 3, 2012, 02:04 PM
I mounted a Bushnell TRS-25 red dot on my Marlin 336. I love it. Great for low light, very quick to put on target. Not traditional but very small light and effective.

August 3, 2012, 04:29 PM
A lot of good suggestions. I'd second the peep sight motion, if your eyes are good enough. I've been reluctantly swapping out my peeps for scopes the last few years as my eyes age. I've got a Burris Short Mag (now called the Timberline) 2-7 on my 336. It's a great compact, scope. It's just right for the 336, except I had to get someone to customize the mouting rail to get it to fit. I have a Nikon Pro Staff 3-9 x40 on my 336 XLR with the DNZ one piece mount, which is a knockout combination.

Texan Scott
August 3, 2012, 04:39 PM
Hacker, you MIGHT need to replace the front sight, depending on how high the rear sits. If the rear sits low, probably not. A good peep has interchangable rear aperatures... the larger the hole, the faster it is to aquire; the smaller the hole, the slower (but more precise). Personally, I've never even TRIED the 'target' aperatures, because anything consistent and under 3" at 100 yds is 'good enough' for me (good enough to hit an apple from a football field away... or a deer heart.) I have also never shot an animal from that far away... I get closer. (I've also never been accused of being 'a good shot'... even in the service, I never quite made marksman). I've just always done what works for me... and I like not adding unnecessary weight, bulk, or fragility to my rifle.

August 3, 2012, 05:03 PM
My Marlin 1894 and 1893 wear no glass, and the 336 only does because it came to me that way from Dad with a vintage 4x Redfield, and Williams mount...The 1894S has stock iron, and the 1893 has it's original Marlin-Hepburn receiver peep...

Love the peep the best...

August 3, 2012, 06:09 PM
This is a great scope for a Marlin:

But it costs as much or more than the rifle. I don't remember them being that much.

I am with the others that suggested a peep sight. I really like the XS and Skinner peeps. They work well for me at levergun ranges.

August 3, 2012, 09:00 PM
I use a 2-7x32mm scopes on a 336. 2x offers plenty of FOV and 7x is all you ever need on the upper end of magnification with a 30-30. The Nikon ProStaff is a nice $150 scope:

August 3, 2012, 09:16 PM
I used an old weaver k3 with the post and crosshair for 3 decades until it would not hold zero. I can't recall ever needing "more" scope.

August 3, 2012, 11:04 PM
I have a Weaver K4 on my 336 and like it just fine. It's great at 100-150 yards and that's all you need IMO for a 30-30. Not sure how it'd be affected by your weather conditions, but I've used it in some pretty cold weather, just not -40F.!

August 4, 2012, 10:41 AM
Thanks for all your input fellow highroaders!

I have decided to purchase the skinner tactical sights. I will let you know how the installation and shooting goes. I hear it can be a bit of a PITA if you have to replace the front sight because of this, but hopefully its worth it.

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