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Marlin 336: C v. W?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by AStone, Oct 8, 2006.

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  1. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Summary of this post: in comparing the Marlin 336C with their 336W, is there any difference in terms of materials & workmanship in the most important parts of the rifle: the action, barrel, etc?
    ___________

    Background for those who want it:

    In the last couple of weeks, I've taken a new turn in my months long (nearly year long) search for that do-everything-cause-I-can-only-afford-one centerfire rifle.

    I've been impressed and inspired by a project by THR's George Hill that he calls CAR: cowboy assault rifle, a modification of a Marlin 336 in .30-30.

    George's THR thread is here.

    The full story with images is here.

    As a former Marlin 336 owner who regrets ever having sold it :( ,
    even if it was out of necessity at the time, I want a CAR. :D :evil: :D

    So, I've started looking around for Marlins, both new and used.

    Marlin currently produces three 336 versions: A, C, SS (stainless) & W.

    New, W is about $100 less than C. I've started looking into why since it's not entirely clear on their web pages about 336C & 336W.

    This afternoon, I read through a bunch of THR threads from the archives about this issue. It seems that the main differences are stock (C is walnut, W is hardwood) and some hardware, like less expensive sights, barrel rings & buttplate on the W. (For example, see post #9 in this thread.)

    Since I would put a synthetic Ramline stock on it, it seems foolish to purchase a 336C with that beautiful walnut furniture. The buttplate also doesn't matter, and I can always upgrade the sights.

    But still, I have trouble believing that a walnut stock and slightly better external hardware would increase price by $100.

    So, I'm posting this to double check with our Marlin experts: I want to make sure that the most important parts of the 336W are the same as the 336C with no quality shortcuts: the action, barrel, etc.

    My concern is that Marlin may do for the 336W what Remington does with its 870 Express series. The latter are good guns, but some corners were cut in materials and workmanship to bring the price down.

    Thanks in advance for any information. Sources appreciated.

    Nem
     
  2. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Member

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    I know the W has a gold trigger, and is sold at discount stores like Wal-Mart. I figured that's why they call it the "W"-for Wal-Mart :D
    But I too did a lot of looking before buying my C model, since I like nice Walnut stocks. All I could find is stocks, front sight shield, hardware, etc. too. Don't waste your time calling Marlin, I don't think they are going to admit they build an inferior product. I'd suggest ask a gunsmith over on the gunsmithing page?
     
  3. dogngun

    dogngun Member

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    I suggest you shop for a used Marlin-there are millions of them, they are very inexpensive, and you can examine and handle the gun as much as you like before you buy it. I have a1961 336SC (short magazine) Marlin in .35 Rem that I bought for $175. It's very smooth, high quality, shoots great, and is a fine defence weapon in addition to a super hunting rifle. I have added a butt cuff and a Limb saver recoil pad, and replaced the rear sight with a newer Marlin Buckhorn sight, larger so I can see it better. They are excellent "offhand" shooting rifles, very quick to point, fast handling, and a good alternative to the black rifles.
    I don't there is any difference in the rifles you mentioned other than the cosmetic differences.
    The basic action and the materials are identical.
    Mark
     
  4. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    ScottsGT and Dogngun both were more or less correct.
    There is NO difference in the finish or internals of the actions, barrels, ect.

    The only difference is in the stocks and the distribution chain.

    I too suggest that you look for a good used gun. Especially with the Marlins, most are shot little, hunted with a lot, and put up "wet", so they get a lot of external wear, but not enough shooting to ever "break them in".

    Id bet that most 20-30yr old Marlins have never had more than 200rds through them.

    If the bore's are clean and free of rust or pitting, and actions likewise (internally, at least), the worse the outside finish looks, the better the purchase price..(for you at least).

    Be aware, that Marlin can and will refinish a rifle for you, and they usually look like new when returned. Prices are actually below what a local gunsmith will charge, too.

    The Marlin rifles (USED) are perhaps the best value in a hunting rifle on the market. Used one's in my area, with a scope of some description are running around $225-300, depending on caliber. A .35Rem will run you perhaps $50 more due to scarcity. Vast majority are in .30/30.
    A local pawn shop has about 10 used ones to pick from!

    I've got three Marlins,(.30/30, .35, .45/70) and all three will shoot at or near MOA with ammo that "suits them". One is a "Glenfield m30" so dosen't have a gold trigger or walnut stock (birch) and has the "half-magazine. It was sold new in the early '70 by K-Mart. It still shoots very well, indeed!
     
  5. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Thanks for the responses and advice, folks.

    On that recommendation, I called every gun shop & pawn shop in this town and the one across the river today.

    Only 1 used Marlin 336 found. $300+, and they weren't even sure if it was an A or a W.

    Maybe it's because it's hunting season. I'll keep trying.

    I did look on GunBroker, and there are a number of them. But I'd really like to handle and look at one before buying.

    Speaking of the 336A, anyone know how it differs from C & W?

    Nem
     
  6. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Member

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    A is the same as the W, but without the gold trigger.
     
  7. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Nem,

    I'm a 336 fan too, though I haven't spent as much time exploring details with them as with 870s. I'd add one more vote to looking for a good used (pre-crossbolt safety in this case) 336 in .30-30, with the same confidence as looking for a good used 870. The 336 is another great design, simple, robust, easy to fieldstrip, clean and repair if necessary, easy to keep running forever with spare parts that will fit in a twist of waxed paper stored in the buttstock.

    Hunting season always cuts into availability of good used guns, around here there are a pretty good number of people who don't own a gun year round- they buy one, hunt with it for a season, and then sell it when hunting season is over. Hereabouts it's mostly 870 Express guns as far as shotguns are concerned, and for rifles a lot of them are Marlin 336s. For a while a good used 336 could be had for $100, those days are long gone, with prices now more like $250. I'd suggest waiting till spring, or taking a chance on an offering from one of the online brokers. Or perhaps someone here who runs across a buy good enough to warrant the cost of shipping could tip you as to the dealer who has it? Nothing like networking...

    lpl/nc
     
  8. chad1043

    chad1043 Member

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    Marlin 336...

    I don't post here that often, cause I really love my other forum...

    http://www.marlinowners.com/board/

    IF you wanna get all the information you need, check them out. There is even a For Sale section towards the bottom... I bought a 30-30 from there. They are all really great guys.

    Peace,
    Chad
     
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I understand that money can be quite tight, but it seems to me that the expenses involved in selling the gun and finding another one (when everyone else is also buying them) would quickly chip away at the money. Just driving the thing 15 miles down the road starts costing enough to eat into $250. And sighting the thing in costs money, too. With someone's used rifle, you never know, whereas you know if your OWN gun is shooting straight.

    Why do people do this?
     
  10. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    Lots of people still live from paycheck to paycheck. Getting $100 or $200 for a used rifle can make a big difference in your life when your kids are hungry, the car is out of gas, the rent is due, and it's still another week 'til payday. You hope that things will get better in time for you to find another rifle before next hunting season.

    I'm also in favor of buying used. New guns are a crapshoot these days. Far too many have problems new from the factory. Used guns may have problems, too, but I've had much better luck with them. You just need to know how to evaluate a used gun.

    Under Marlin 336's and Winchester 94's aren't too hard to find around here. That would be my recommendation.

    But why on earth take off the wood stock and put some plastic fantastic thing on it? It won't affect your accuracy at all, and a well finished stock will stand up to any reasonable use and storage. If you really expect to abuse the gun, then go plastic, but if you're going that far you should also go with stainless steel.
     
  11. ScottsGT

    ScottsGT Member

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    The guys I knew in the past that did this were the kind of guys that lived for today. Drank their paycheck up on Friday, pawned everything on Saturday to make it thru the week. They were'nt hunting until next year, and "that rifle in the closet is worth 6 cases of beer."
    These are the guys that never get ahead in life, much less even, and cannot plan ahead and think of tomorrow.
     
  12. George Hill

    George Hill Member

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    Don't cut into a new rifle. Do up a used one. If you are getting a new rifle, get the XLR version and leave it as is because it is sweetness. No need for alteration. Scout out your local shops for a cheap used one then go to town on it.

    :evil:
     
  13. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    ok... in bolt guns, it is common for a cheap synthetic stock to weigh more than a wood stock. pardon the thread hijack, but how much lighter than wood is a synthetic stock on a lever gun? anybody ever actually weigh the two?
     
  14. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Chad, thanks for the heads up on that Marlin Owners forum. Nice resource. I suspect I'll enroll there, too. (Oh, dang, just what I need: yet another web forum to participate in... :rolleyes: )

    I hear you, and understand your objections. For me, there are two factors in my plan to go synthetic:

    1) weight. George Hill noted that when he put a Ramline synthetic stock on his cowboy assault rifle based on a 336CS, it decreased the weight a bit.

    Here is his description:

    I like that, especially since .30-30 has such a low recoil, I can deal with a lighter rifle. (I'm not that big a person - tall and thin - and ounces add up when carrying in the back country.)

    Admittedly, that may only be necessary if I wind up with a used 336C or other model with a walnut stock. I'm not sure how much lighter the hardwood stock is than walnut. But in any case, the other factor for me is ....

    2) I have liked synthetic stocks for a long time. My first was on a Rem Nylon 66 in .22 as a kid. Now, both my CZ 452 and my 870P have synthetic furniture, and both my handguns have synthetic grips. I like their look, durability and feel. I don't plan to abuse my guns - just the opposite, I like taking great care of them. But in a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI scenario (which I expect - trust me, don't get me started...), I think the synthetic furniture will hold up better with less care than wood.

    I'll admit I could be wrong, but that's my working hypothesis.

    Wood is beautiful, but synthetic is more durable over the long run, me thinks.

    And all of you recommending going with a used one is good advice. I'm going to try to do that.

    Lee's suggestion is a tough one, though:

    <little boy stomping his feet and pouting his lips>

    But I don't want to wait until spring! I want to start on this now! :mad:

    :D ;)

    Nem
     
  15. AStone

    AStone Member

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    I'm now an official member of MarlinOwners Forum under the name ***. (I could have registered under the name ***-336, but thought I'd give the numbers a rest. Besides, regardless of what centerfire rifle I get, my main long gun will still be an 870. ;) )

    It's a bit slow over there, but nonetheless, I can tell there's good people and information floating around.

    I'll post something up as an introduction in a few days...weeks...after reading a while.

    Looking forward to owning a 336 again soon.

    Nem
     
  16. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    ArmedBear,

    "Here" for me in this case is beautiful downtown Fayetteville, NC, home to Ft. Bragg and environs, and to more pawn shops per square inch than anyplace else on the eastern seaboard other than Jacksonville, NC (home of Camp Lejeune, USMC). A good number of troops seem do this, maybe not every hunting season but every tour of duty at least. Many times it's more out of curiosity- they want to try different rifles/shotguns/handguns, and can't afford to accumulate a collection, so they trade in and buy something else. Troops who live in barracks on post can't store their firearms in their rooms, they have to be checked into the unit arms room and signed out for use. Moving them can be a hassle also, and so they just sell them when it's time to PCS- especially if they are going overseas. Tree suit guys are accustomed to 'issue' weapons and pretty much seem to have the same attitude about firearms in general- one is about as good as another.

    There are a fair number of folks hereabouts that do have a really short-term outlook on things, or who are really financially pressed as well. They do look at any asset not in immediate use as a source of money for something else- be it rent, groceries, shoes for the kids, or beer. I was surprised when a couple of different pawn shop owners told me that sort of thing went on regularly in their experience, it is so foreign to the attitude of 'gun people' in general. But not everyone who owns a gun is a 'gun person' it seems, and pragmatism rules with a heavy hand sometimes.

    Different strokes, in other words...

    Sorry for the thread drift, Nem- keep looking and a good candidate will turn up, I'm sure.

    lpl/nc
     
  17. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Lee,

    No problemo about the thread drift. It's just natural. The main point of a thread will always continue to plow through the drifts as long as it's of interest to folks.

    Besides, such great stories and information comes out of thread drifts that sometimes, it's a good thing. ;)

    Nem
     
  18. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    To summarize 336: C v W

    I have a 336W and my son has a 336C. They both keep
    factory Winchester under 2" five shot groups at 100yds.
    The 336C is just nicer looking, and more care was put
    into the final fit and finish.

    Current 336W and 336C :
    .30-30 Win.,
    cut checkering,
    20" barrels,
    6 shot full-length magazines,
    Micro-Groove Rifling (12 grooves).

    336W
    Hardwood stock,
    forearm barrel band,
    sling swivels and padded nylon sling

    336C
    Black walnut stock,
    black cap on pistol grip,
    fluted comb on buttstock,
    forearm barrel band,
    studs for detachable sling,
    336C also available in .35 Rem. caliber.
    336SS is stainless steel version of the .30-30 336C

    What you get with the 336C is (usually) a very nice piece of
    black walnut and a better polish and blue on the steel. On
    the other hand, I will not cry if I ding or scratch my 336W.
     
  19. trainwreck100

    trainwreck100 Member

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    I'd suggest a CS if you're going the used route...it's the only one I've seen with a button safety...I'm not sure if some of the others have it or not, but I know some of the others don't, and while it appears to be a minor feature, it's handy in the field. Any 336 is going to be one of the most fun guns you'll ever have.

    Greg
     
  20. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Member

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    Big 5 seems to have Marlin lever action rifles for $330.00 on sale about once a month. I have yet to find a used one in Portland for less than $350.00, most of the time they are priced alot higher. I am presently saving my money to buy one at Big 5 in .357.
     
  21. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Carl,

    That's the best summary of differences I've read, and yet is congruent with all the other info I've seen. Thanks.
     
  22. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Oh, the 336A has a nose end cap on the forearm,
    the 366W has a barrel band on the forearm;
    the 336A comes (currently) with studs for detachable swivels,
    the 336W comes with sling swivel loops and is packaged
    with a camo padded nylon sling.

    Both 336A and 336W have the hardwood stock, unfluted comb
    and no pistrolgrip cap, and the slightly less nice polish and
    bluing on the metal parts.

    I remember the discount store version of the 336 being
    the Glenfield 30A with hardwood stock, impressed checking,
    and 2/3 length magazine; YET, I do not see them at pawn
    shops.

    Did I mention I have always liked Marlins?
     
  23. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Also, the 336A has a 24"bbl. Most are in .30/30, but a few (I've seen one .35 but didn't buy as it was exceptionally "ratty") were chambered for the .35Rem.

    My .336A (.30/30) had a gold trigger, and white lines, and inlayed bullseye.
    It was the predecessor to the current XLS. Mine was of course blued, with some nice Walnut stocks.

    My Glenfield m30 has birch stock, half magazine, and 20"bbl, and dovetailed front sight.
    An economy version, but accuracy is top drawer, even compared to ALL of my bolt actions.
     
  24. rockstar.esq

    rockstar.esq Member

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  25. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Hey Goose, are you sure about that?

    Marlin's page on the 336A says 20" barrel. Is that a typo on their site?

    Their new XLR (designed to make best use of that new Hornady LeverEvolution ammo) has a 24" barrel.

    :D

    Yeah, ain't that weird? All those months lusting after a bolt in 7mm08, now looking at .30-30 lever guns. Dang, I must be crazy. (Oh, wait, we knew that already. :rolleyes: )

    I suspect I'll eventually wind up with two centerfire rifles: one lever in .30-30, one bolty in 7mm08 (or .308...still sitting on that fence).

    Right now, I think I'm opting towards a lever gun first. In part for price (I'm so poor right now I can't afford a nice bolt that I'd like), and in part because I think for my more immediate needs (deer in the temperate rainforest v. antelope on the open desert regions of eastern Cascadia), a shorter lever gun may meet my needs just fine.

    As beautiful as that Browning is in 7mm08, I probably couldn't afford it right now either (look at that MSRP :what: compared with the MSRP for even a new Marlin).

    And, I wouldn't want to cut up a nice, new Browning to produce a cowboy assault rifle. (Guess I could do it with a used one though...hmmm, food for thought .... ;) )
     
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