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Marlin 336 Scope Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Thunderchicken, Feb 8, 2019.

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  1. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    I do as well. I know people who claim to have taken 200+ yard shots with open sights, but I'm not one of them. I respect the game I hunt more than to try something like that. Paper is one thing, but I don't mess around when it comes to cleanly killing game. If I can scope it, I do. If I want a "traditional" experience, I'll take my bow.

    Having said that, my pre-64 Win 94 wears a Williams peep sight in the rear dovetail and a fiber optic front bead. I've tried literally dozens of sight and scope combinations on that rifle, and that to my eyes, works the best. It wore a 4x Weaver in a side mount for nearly 20 years before I had bolt action rifles I could scope, but now it's back to open sights for plinking and close-range hog hunting.
     
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  2. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    My 336s have only ever worn two types of scope. Leupold FX-2 2.5x20 and Leupold VX-3 1.5-5x20. In fact, I have several 1.5-5x20 VX-3s and 1 2.5-8x36 VX-3 and one of those has found itself on many of my hunting guns.

    I use them for slug guns, lever actions, my pump rifles, and a .22 magnum.
     
  3. Thunderchicken

    Thunderchicken Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. It is a waffle top, and it does not have any holes tapped on the left side like I see in all the photos I find—maybe the early ones didn’t come that way? I think I will wait till I’ve tried the original sights before thinking about getting a peep sight mounted, since it looks like I’d have to get some holes added on the side even for that.
     
  4. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    So here's what I have on my pre-64 Win. and it works great. No drilling or tapping required. Only rather than the traditional "v" insert, I installed a peep insert.

    wdos-1593.jpg
     
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  5. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    30-30 will ring plates at 400 yards with consistency with a scope. I know I can't do that with irons. I won't shoot deer that far with it though.

    OP, I like a 3-9x40 if I'm planning on hunting with it. Or something like a 2-7x32 might be nice if you don't want extra bulk.
     
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  6. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I didn't know they came without holes. I would try without scope first. My dad has relatively bad eyes and shoots irons better than a lot of people. He says he lines one blur up with the other blur and hits it.
     
  7. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Member

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    I'm going to guess your dad has shot that rifle and that rifle only for a very long time?
    My dad was like this with his 1100 Remington 20 gauge, it was ht only gun he really ever shot and the only thing he hunted with from about 1967 when he got it (except for his Vietnan Navy tours) till 2003 when he bought a 20 gauge Benelli Legacy. He could shoot it very well, hit deer at over 100 yards with slugs in his smoothbore IC barrel and drop 3 quail when a covey would flush with ease. It was nice when he switched to that Benelli because suddenly he couldn't hit anything and I was often pestering him when he would miss and I didn't.
     
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  8. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Hmmm... Like another poster mentioned... if it's an unmolested waffle-top, leave it be. Interesting it doesn't have taps on the side for a peep.

    Another alternative would be mounting a tang sight on it... that would leave the receiver alone. They are a bit clumsy for anything other than bench shooting, however.
     
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  9. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    That's kind of meaningless, though - as you say, that's too far to be shooting at game with a 30-30 and OP using this as a hunting rifle. I'm comfortable going out to 150-200 with irons and that's about as far as I think I'd try taking game with a 30-30. They just don't carry energy very well out to longer ranges, and on hunting rigs I err on the side of more power being better.
     
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  10. Pat Riot
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    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Marlin didn’t install holes for scope mounts until the 1950’s - I don’t know the exact year.


    I was going to recommend XS Sights peep sights and rail until I realized there would be no way to mount it without drilling and tapping.
    https://www.xssights.com/Products.aspx?CAT=8291
    I have these sights on my Winchester 94 (peep only, no rail) and I like them very much. I plan to install the peep and rail on my 336.
    My eyes aren’t what they used to be either and the peep sights are a godsend for me.
     
  11. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    It was my Rossi 357. I complained about the front sight covering the targets. He has used iron sights more than a scope. He does like my scoped rifles though.
     
  12. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I haven't read the rest of this one yet, so just going on OP for the moment...

    No comment on the price for this particular deal... they vary with condition and for all I know, this deal could be smoking. While I'm a fan of reciever sights, I'm not sure I'd swap the barrel-mounted sight off this one. If it were me doing this, I'd tag-and-bag the original plus the side plug screws so it could be put back original.

    I've always assumed the top of the reciever was drilled and tapped for scope bases, but I honestly don't know if Marlin was doing this in 1948. If it is, I'd find a one-piece Redfield Jr or Leupold Std. With that, I'd mount a low power optic... 1.5-4.5x21mm or 2.5x come to mind... as low as possible. You'd get a better cheek weld, similar to shooting irons... better than you'll get with a big bell or see-through rings.

    I mentioned being a fan of apertures, but I've never dealt with cataracts. I hope this helps. I'm fixing to get into the rest of the thread.
     
  13. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Until today, I'd never heard of a waffle top... and in this case I'm for keeping it original too. An older rifle not having D&T's on the side is a new one on me.

    I'll just disagree about tang sights being clumsy though. While we all have different comfort zones, I used to stand up and shoot a tang-sighted '94 in .30-30 and found it a quite easy shooter. While I do recommend a hunter get a good steady rest, the bench was for sight-in, checking zero, and testing loads. I killed my first deer with that rifle.
     
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  14. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    They are for me... I shoot peeps right up close, it was how I was taught. First time I shot a tang sight... I got a busted lip! Truth being stranger than fiction, however, I'm fixing to take delivery on an 1885 with a tang sight... so I'll learn or have a permanent lisp.
     
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  15. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Like I said, different comfort zones... no one combination of rifle, sights, and other accessories will fit all. So it's not the tang sight that's clumsy, but rather some things fit an individual better than others.

    Oh, I got one... About 10-15 years ago, I ran into a guy who'd never seen a tang sight... he flipped the sight up, shouldered the rifle, and stuck his chin to the aperture. Good thing he didn't attempt to fire it like that. Well, you brought up truth being stranger than fiction.

    The one that busted your lip... what rifle was it mounted on? I'm trying to visualize how that'd happen.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  16. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    1964 336T .35 Rem 2 1/2 Weaver mounted low. Been shooting it since I was 12 yo.
    Today the scope pays off with my bad right eye!
     
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  17. TheotherMikeG

    TheotherMikeG Member

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    I've got almost the exact setup: a 2.5X Redfield Bear Cub with a post and crosshair reticle. Damn thing has a 26mm tube which at the time I didn't know existed. And yes, I tried jamming it into 1" rings. In the good old days I could shoot that rifle better than anything else I owned.
     
  18. Thunderchicken

    Thunderchicken Member

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    Well, I think the mystery of the rifle not being tapped for sights has the simpler explanation that I’m a moron. There are tapped holes, but they have screws in them. I foolishly assumed there would be empty holes, but clearly that would collect a “certain amount” of debris in 70 years. So, I assume I remove the screws and I can mount the peep sight. Do I remove the original rear sight, and if so, how do I go about that? I am sure this will be obvious in hindsight too, but I can’t puzzle it out.

    And for another dumb question, how would you go about attaching a sling? There is a kind of plug thing on the bottom of the rear part of the stock that looks like it’s intended to be drilled out to attach a swivel, but nothing in the front, For the amount I’ll be carrying it, I can get along without one, but I’m just curious.

    Thanks again for everyone sharing their knowledge.
     
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  19. shooter1niner

    shooter1niner Member

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    Since you have a waffle top if you were concerned with retaining maximum value I would refrain from making any permanent modifications to it. Marlin lever actions have quite a following and unmolested samples may bring a premium. If the plug as you call it in the butt stock is a bullseye do not drill that out. That is a Marlin bullseye and is part of the Marlin attraction. If there is a empty hole there the bullseye must have fallen out... You could get a sling with a loop for the butt end typically for a shotgun or mount a stud a couple inches behind the bullseye. For the front you can get a swivel attachment that attaches to the magazine tube or barrel.

    I believe Lyman model 66LA, a micrometer adjustable receiver sight will mount up to the holes you mentioned.

    I have a 3-9 Redfield scope on mine...
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  20. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

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    I discovered the Nikon P-223 in 3X32. I have them on two 30-30s and my woods walking AR. Outstanding scopes with just the right magnification.
     
  21. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Right, remove the screws and mount the peep/reciever sight. That sight, bought new, will come with instructions. You'll get a lot more out of the aperture sight picture if you do remove the original open sight. All that takes is, with a brass punch from the left side of the barrel, drive the sight out the right side. The dovetail is tapered to work in that direction. Fill the dovetail with a blank... Lyman makes those and MidwayUSA usually has them. I recommend, as I said earlier, that you bag/label your original sight and screws so they're not lost and you're not doing anything you can't put back in about five minutes.

    For sling attachment, you'd have to drill the proper size hole in that plug you noted. My question... with your rifle being as it came new in 1948, do you want to drill it? If you do, the set of QD swivels will include a wood screw stud and a front stud that clamps around the magazine tube. Plenty have been done, but usually the rifles were a lot newer.

    Edited to add that this is the first time I'd ever heard of a "Marlin bullseye", so if there's anything to it... and I'm not saying it's not, then I'd agree with not drilling it.
     
  22. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    New Lyman 66LA is made from aluminum. Williams 5-D and Foolproof models are also made from aircraft aluminum. I have experience with the Williams models... decent sights for a lower price than the new production Lymans. While I hear this or that about the aluminum Lymans, I have no experience with those to comment either way.

    Now, considering we're talking about a 1948 Marlin, would it not be fitting to use an earlier production all-steel Lyman 66. That is, if a nice one can be found. I've seen plenty listed on eBay. Barring that, I'd recommend the Williams FP 94/336.
     
  23. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    I think a Lyman 48 would be an outstanding receiver sight for this rifle. Without exception, every receiver sight I mounted required a higher front sight. If someone drilled & tapped the receiver you could mount a 1x5 or get a rebuilt weaver k3 with a post & crosshair reticle.
     
  24. EIB0879

    EIB0879 Member

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    My son's and my 336s are circa 1971. I have a 2-7x Vortex Viper (discontinued) on mine and a 3-9 x Bushnell Elite 3200 Sa on my son's. The Bushnell was to be a temporary measure but it was a good fit so I left it on there.

    My first deer rifle was a 336 and I put a Bushnell Banner 1.5-4x on it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  25. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    I've had a Williams receiver sight mounted on several rifles since I installed the first one on an early Remington Model 760 back in the early sixties. If you aim with one correctly (paying close attention to the front sight and ignoring the surrounding aperture housing), the peep is way faster in obtaining a good sight picture than conventional "irons" are and can be faster in getting a proper target acquisition than even with a relatively low-power scope.
    Another important factor imo is that any scope will detract from the handling properties of any rifle used for hunting (particularly when hunting in bushy, heavy terrain where the shooting range is likely to be close and the cover thick) to one degree or another but especially so when paired with a compact, sweet-handling lever-action carbine.
     
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