Marlin 336BL versus 1984SS


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nero45acp
May 6, 2013, 04:31 PM
I'm thinking about buying either a Marlin 336BL 30/30, or their 1894SS .44 Mag., and would appreciate some input/opinions concerning these two lever guns. I would use it for a SHTF rifle, and occasional boar hunting (I've never hunted boar before, but a friend has offered to take me.). Also, current ammo shortage aside, how does the cost of .44 Mag. ammo compare with 30/30? Thanks.


nero

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C-grunt
May 6, 2013, 05:12 PM
30-30 is going to have far more range especially with LeverEvolution ammo.

I really like pistol caliber lever guns but if I were buying one to use as a general purpose rifle I would get a real rifle round.

Furncliff
May 6, 2013, 07:02 PM
As C-grunt said, it's a range game, with the Marlin 336 and Hornaday ammo having a big advantage. The 336 is going to be cheaper to buy (used) and cheaper to feed. In some areas 30-30 may be easier to find and you'll have a greater choice of bullet shapes and weights. There are way more 336 rifles out there and you should have a decent choice, this is one rifle that holds up to use real well.

Do a google search for...tactical marlin 336.

jmr40
May 6, 2013, 08:01 PM
A 44 will be cheaper to shoot. 30-30 ammo typically sells for about $18-$20/ box, while 44 mags sell for about $10 more per box. But 30-30's come 20 rounds/box while 44's are 50 rounds/box so the price per round is less.

Most of the time a standard 336 will sell for less than an 1894, especially used. The 336 BL is more expensive, so that is probably a wash. Only you can decide which is worth the money.

There are more options for premium bullets in the 44 mag. Some of the hotter premium stuff is pretty powerful, but can be pricey. Not really needed unless you want to defend yourself from a grizzly. In that case I'd take the 44 over the 30-30 any day.

As a hunting round the 30-30 is more effective on deer/human size targets at longer ranges. If the shooter is up to it 200 yards is not out of the question. As a rule 30-30's tend to be more accurate. The 44's really start running out of gas, and accuracy after 100 yards. At shorter ranges 50-75 yards, especially on larger game such as bear I'd give the 44 the advantage.

30-30 is going to have far more range especially with LeverEvolution ammo.



The 30-30 is a better long range round, but the LeverEvolution ammo is more smoke and mirror than real performance. They cheat a little on their published ballistcs. Every other ammo maker shows a 100 yard zero with their 30-30 ammo and then show drops at various ranges. Hornady doesn't tell us what range they zero their LeverEvolution ammo. Only that it is 3" high at 100 yards, it is still hitting above your point of aim at 200 yards. This makes the 300 yard drop look real good. Their zero is probably 225-250 yards. Zero a conventional 30-30 bullet at 250 yards and the difference at 300 yards will not be that much different.

The 44 holds more rounds is lighter and will be faster for repeat shots. Lever actions in rifle calibers have such a long lever throw that they are not nearly as fast for aimed repeat shots as the legend would have you believe. Pistol caliber rifles have much shorter movement and less recoil which add's up to much faster shots. All the Hollywood cowboy shooters were using pistol caliber guns, not 30-30's.

Between these 2 I'd buy the 44. I don't like the BL. It is 1/2 lb heavier than the C or SS, 1.5 lbs heavier than the 44, has a shorter barrel,and holds 1 less round, 4 fewer than the 44. If the choice were between the 336C or 336SS, I might go the other way, especially if it were for an all around hunting rifle. But for hogs and a SHTF rifle I like the 44 better.

rcmodel
May 6, 2013, 11:36 PM
I've never hunted boar beforeWhat if its a sow and not a boar?

I gotta say I have never hunted wild hogs.
Either sows or boars.

But I do own a 20" Winchester 94 carbine in 30-30.
And a 16" Marlin 1894 carbine in .44 Mag.

Either one will drop a wild pig in it tracks as far as you can hit one with open sights.

The 30-30 holds 6+1 rounds and the .44 holds 8+1 rounds.

The 30-30 shoots flatter at longer range of 150 yards.
But the .44 makes a bigger hole at typical hog range of 50 yards.
Six of one, and half a dozen of the other.

the LeverEvolution ammo is more smoke and mirror than real performance. They cheat a little on their published ballistcs.What he said.
You will be lucky if you can get the standard open sights adjusted to hit a hog at any further range then you could have hit it with 150 Grain SP from Wal-Mart.

Oh! Those were the days!

rc

shiftyer1
May 7, 2013, 12:10 AM
If it's your only rifle I would go with the 30-30.

If the .44 mag handles like my 357 lever gun......well I love mine in 357!

I'll take both:)

Walkalong
May 7, 2013, 10:43 AM
I had a Winchester 94 in .44 Mag before I gave it to my son. I liked it a lot, and as rcmodel said, it will drop deer like a rock at up to 150 yards when hit right. That was when I could see the irons. I also had a 94 in .30-30 that I gave it to my other son. It will do the same thing.

It's really a matter of personal preference. Sure, one shoots flatter, but if you know your rifle, it's not a big deal. Pretty easy to figure out holds at 150 yards and in, heck, even 200, but that is pushing it for most folks shooting either caliber at deer or hogs. I would be much more comfortable staying at 150 and in with either, regardless of what paper figures say. YMMV

3212
May 7, 2013, 12:13 PM
I had a 1964 Marlin 336 30-30 bought new.I took 16 deer with it at ranges from 30 to 150 yards.The largest weighed 150 lbs live weight.Never shot a hog.

nero45acp
May 8, 2013, 04:56 AM
Thanks all for the helpful & informative replies.

I think that I'm going to go with the 336BL. I'll probably outfit it with some kind of ghost-ring sight. Any recommendations? Again, thanks.


nero

Jsg81
May 8, 2013, 09:26 AM
I have a Skinner peep sight on me 336. I like it but beware you might have to order a new front sight as well.

Dr T
May 8, 2013, 11:19 AM
I have one of each (except the 1894 is blued).

I have the 336 scoped (but the rail is only held on with three screws. The finish to the receiver was applied after the plug screws were in place, and I can't get one of them out--this shouldn't matter for a a couple of hundred rounds since the 30-30 doesn't kick that much).

Recoil is about the same. However, I while find that while the big loop on the 336 is cute and the gun is attractive, I can cycle the action faster on the 1894. Plus, the 1894 has a much larger magazine. Mine, however, is a microgroove barrel and does not like cast bullets one little bit.

mdauben
May 8, 2013, 11:33 AM
Most of the time a standard 336 will sell for less than an 1894, especially used. The 336 BL is more expensive, so that is probably a wash. Only you can decide which is worth the money.
I'm not sure about this. I'm not sure about MSRP, but the few 1894SS guns I have seen in the last year have been selling for at least twice the cost of a new 336.

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