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

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by sixty7chevy, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. sixty7chevy

    sixty7chevy Member

    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?
  2. Abel

    Abel Well-Known Member

    The length won't matter. But beware of the newest Marlin 336 models made by Remington.
  3. sixty7chevy

    sixty7chevy Member

    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.
  4. Abel

    Abel Well-Known Member

    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. :)
  5. Aren't we all

    Aren't we all Well-Known Member

    The stocks are a bit oversize and some have some I've seen have pretty spotty QC
  6. TnBigBore

    TnBigBore Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. whalerman

    whalerman member

    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.
  8. dc.fireman

    dc.fireman Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Abel

    Abel Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. DAP90

    DAP90 Well-Known Member

    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?
  11. whalerman

    whalerman member

    I always appreciate hearing from Mr Abel. Thanks.
  12. mongo356

    mongo356 Active Member

    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.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  13. WTBguns10kOK

    WTBguns10kOK Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. Abel

    Abel Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. whalerman

    whalerman member

    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.
  16. Abel

    Abel Well-Known Member

  17. CZguy

    CZguy Well-Known Member

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

    whalerman member

    Thanks again, AbleMan and CZ, you're absolutely right. Enjoy the day.
  19. sansone

    sansone Well-Known Member

    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
  20. Badlander

    Badlander Well-Known Member

    I cut A 336 30-30 to 16.25" very handy rifle. Shoots as well or better than before.

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