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Winchester 94 vs Marlin 336

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by GVMan, Dec 19, 2006.

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  1. GVMan

    GVMan Member

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    My Father in Law wanted a Winchester 94 in 30/30. After a little shopping around I have found out that they don't make the 94 any more. A couple of salesman have pointed me in the direction of the Marlin 336. Is this a comparable rifle? Is any particular variation better than the other?

    Here is a pic for those unfamiliar with the style of the 336
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
  2. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

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    There are millions of Winchester 94 rifles out there. They are not going away any time soon.
    I like the Marlin my self, but if you are drawn to a Winny, buy it.
     
  3. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    If you Google it, you will find that there have been a lot of Win 94 vs. Marlin 336 comparisons made on the Web over the years.

    Personally I'd say they are comparable... but I'd wager that if your father-in-law specifically said Win 94 he probably is well aware of the Marlin 336 and made his statement as such on purpose. Lots of people swear by one or the other for a variety of reasons.


    The Winnys are still out there, although they won't get any cheaper over time.
     
  4. RevolvingCylinder

    RevolvingCylinder Member

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    He wants the Winchester 94 so you need to get him the Winchester 94. I too prefer the Marlin 336.
     
  5. hoghunting

    hoghunting Member

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    I also choose the Marlin. Ask F-I-L if he knows about the Marlin.
     
  6. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I like Marlin and Winchester equally. I like some points of each better than the other, but they always come up even in my estimation. Some Marlin guys think that's heresy too. Which would I choose... I wouldn't feel undergunned or cheated with either one. They're both great guns. America wouldn't be the same without both.

    The above stated, if your father-in-law said Winchester '94, you best get him a Winchester '94. They're out there. They can be found. Unless he picks up a Marlin and likes it just as well. Hey, I know how to settle it once and for all... get both.:cool:
     
  7. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    I've always found the Marlin to have a much smoother action. It's design isn't over 100 years old either. Not that that matters much. Takes a scope mount better too.
    Never really liked the Win94 I had. Too much felt recoil for the power of the cartridge.
     
  8. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    I have shot both.

    I feel that the Marlin is the better Gun, but I would never trade my Win for one, mostly because it was a gift from my Grand-Pa, but i also feel that the old Win's had a better fit/finish, and handled better. The marlins are, in my experience, more accurate, and more rugged, but I'll take my Ole winny any day.
     
  9. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    I personally prefer straight stocks. I looked long and hard to find an older 336 RC for that reason. The Winchesters mostly have straight stocks, to my understanding. But I favor the Marlin because of the side eject. So I'd ask your FIL what his specific interest in the Winchester is. Maybe it's the brand, maybe the configuration ... If the latter, he might be as happy with a 336 RC (if you can find one; they're tougher to find than used 94s).
     
  10. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    I think the 336 first came out in 1893??? or something like that..

    The name has changed many times since it first came out, but it is basically the same. It has gone through several cosmetic changes and a few mechanical ones, but it basically the same gun. I think it was 93, 36, 336. I really like Marlins and would pick one hands down over the Win. I have a Win and really like it though.

    The Marlin is just stronger, simpler, and easier to clean.

    Matt
     
  11. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    I have shot them both, and I prefer the Marlin. That being said, if "Pops" wants the Win 94...well look around some. You will find a 94 for sale at a reasonable price point.
     
  12. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Marlin 336C

    :D
     
  13. Frog48

    Frog48 Member

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    I dunno about your area, but finding a brand new Win '94 is nearly impossible here in San Antonio.

    I was looking for one myself. But after looking over the Marlin 336 (previously I was not familiar with it), I like it alot.

    Walmart has the 336A on sale right now for $300. Academy always has them in stock for $315.
     
  14. MrDig

    MrDig Member

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    Try Gunbroker.com
     
  15. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    As was said, if he wants a M-94 specifically, as opposed to just a good "thutty-thutty deer rifle", they're out there. After the New Haven closing, prices seem to have gotten a little out-of-hand for about anything Winchester, but they did make over a million of them. Around here a nice used plain vanilla M-94 can bring more than the cost of a new Marlin, if you can find the right sucker...er...investor.

    Personally, I think that for most practical purposes the Marlin is the better machine. The mechanism is simpler, it's factory drilled and tapped for both receiver sights and scope mounts, you can clean it from the breech without having to virtually detail strip it first, and they're widely available at a sizable discount from MSRP. Oh, and they're also still made chambered for one of the best all-around medium range, medium game cartridges ever: the .35 Remington.
     
  16. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    My first center fire rifle was a WIN 94 back in '71 had it for less than a day and sold it to my uncle. I'm a lefty when I ejected the cases I got them bounced off the top of my head. BTW the last Marlin rifles I looked at were not drilled for receiver sights. I'm going to do some shopping for an AR and I will double check on that fact
     
  17. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    My opinion... be it a Win.'94, Marlin 336 (in either of its three incarnations), or Savage M340... they're all good .30-30 deer rifles.

    The older ones are drilled and tapped for both set-ups. I'm not sure about the newer Marlins.

    My first center fire rifle was
    I'm left-handed with a rifle because I'm left-eye dominant. My Winchester 94's a 1971. If I'm cycling the action in a hurry with the rifle to my shoulder, the cases eject up and back and roll off the brim of my Stetson. To me, that's part of the cool factor.
     
  18. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    The Marlin is a superior rifle, but either will work fine.

    Many like the Winchester because it's a bit lighter and "quicker" feeling, but they're pretty close, and whatever you're used to will work well for you.

    I like the way the old straight grips like the 94 look, but I like the way the 336 feels in my hand.

    The Marlin is a side-eject with a solid top with tapped holes for a scope mount. The Winchester is a top-eject (later models are "angle eject"). The Marlin is just a bit more "solid" and smooth, IMO and in the opinions of others.

    Later 94's, particularly low-end models, seem to have a marked drop in quality and workmanship. My hunting buddy's ancient one is smooth and solid, but his Marlin is even more so. Newer 94's I tried before they stopped making them were not so solid or smooth feeling -- like the Express vs. the Wingmaster.

    Bottom line? See what they feel like to you. Decide if you might ever want a scope (if so, just get the Marlin). The Marlin was a better deal than the 94, though, when they did still make the 94, IMO. Also in Gun Tests' opinion, though. You got a better gun for the same money.
     
  19. Matthew Temkin

    Matthew Temkin Member

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    The Marlin is a better, more robust gun.
    But my pre 64 model 94 with a Williams peep sight sure does feel "woodsy"
    Mine took a lot of gunsmith work---free of charge thanks to my friend who runs a local gun shop--which would make me leery of buying another one.
    For all around deer hunting I use a Winchester Model 70 in .308, with a Marlin 30-30 in the car's trunk as a backup.
     
  20. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    tapped for receiver sights.....

    336s manufactured prior to 2001 were tapped for both scopes and side mounted apeture sights (like the Williams Foolproof or the Lyman).

    2001 and newer is tapped for scope only

    (source.....the people at Williams)
     
  21. McCall911

    McCall911 Member

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    I would prefer a pre-1964 Winchester Model 94 any day of the week.
    Otherwise, I like the Marlin 336. Late model Winchester 94s just don't cut it for me!
     
  22. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    Sorry to hear that Marlin isn't making their LAs with a factory provision for receiver sights anymore. The last new one that I bought was my 1895G about 5 years ago, and it is.

    That's a pity, IMO. I know that the popular trend has been toward optics on about all types of hunting rifles over the last several years, but to my mind a receiver-mounted scope on a light, handy 'brush carbine' messes with some of the very qualities I chose it for. For one thing, it makes secure hand carry at the natural balance point awkward, if not impossible. I don't know about everyone else but, even though almost all of my LAs are equipped with swivels and a carry strap, when I'm actually hunting or woods bumming with one of them it's nearly always being carried in one hand or the other.

    Of course, there are still the Williams Guide, XS, Brock, Wild West Guns, and other 'peep' sights that use the holes provided for the scope mount so the option for easy DIY isn't gone entirely. Most of these complicate things a bit by making a new, higher front sight necessary, but that's generally not a big deal to do when there's a ramp involved.

    mustanger98, while I agree with you in principle the original topic was 94 vs 336 and, IMO, when most folks think of a 'thutty-thutty' that's what comes to mind first. Personally, I've got fond memories of a certain Savage 170 and remember a boyhood friend's 340 that would shoot MOA or a tad better with his handloads and a side-mounted Weaver K4. It convinced us that the .30-30 had a whole lot more potential than it was given credit for when you could top it with a good spitzer.
     
  23. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    mainmech48, Did you notice I mentioned the Savage 340? I have one of those too; it's a good shootin' rifle. And wasn't the 170 Savage's pump offering? Sounds to me like you and your friend knew a long time ago what Layne Simpson wrote about fairly recently about handloading spitzers in .30-30's. Mr. Simpson was shooting his handloads to 300yds and making one-shot kills on deer. He was shooting those in a T/C Contender so I'd say he could run 'em a bit hotter than recommended in a levergun too. And I have some fond memories of a certain 336 too... that's the one that originally turned me to leverguns. I tend to reach for my old Winchester because I have a lot of fond memories with it too, plus it's lighter to carry in one hand. I've shot spitzers in both the '94 and 340, but it needs more development.
     
  24. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Yeah. With the prices of non-trashed pre-64's, I'm thinking that the 336 is a better choice for a working gun these days, if you don't already have the Winnie.:(

    A rule of thumb: Winchesters are some really nice guns. However, Winchesters haven't been made in over 40 years.:)
     
  25. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    Yep, the 170 was a pump and one of the few practical alternatives to a LA in .30-30 or .35 Remington that a southpaw kid could afford back in the day. A nice used Remington 141 cost a good deal more (by 1/3 to 1/2) than a used 170, and most of the ones that did turn up were in .25 or .30 Remington. Since factory ammo was both more expensive than .30-30 or .35 Rem. and harder to find, you can see why a 15 year old kid making $0.75/hr at a grocery chose the Savage.

    Terry (the kid with the 340) did most of the reloading and experimentation for our bunch. As he was the only child of a successful orthodontist/dentist, his weekly allowance was more than most of us grossed at our part-time jobs. This made him the only one of us who could finance a "real" reloading set-up with an actual press, scale, and powder measure, so he did most of our R&D when it came to trying 'exotic' loads.

    The biggest problem with his spitzer loads at the time was reliable expansion with the factory bullets and powders available to us then without pushing the pressures into dangerous levels for our rifles. There weren't many choices out there, and almost all of those were designed for the .30-06, .300 Savage and .308 at velocities we could rarely get within spittin' distance of in relative safety. While this alone made the results he got mostly a matter of academic interest to us, we were still impressed with the groups.

    We did try a few of his milder loads in our tube mag rifles, out of curiousity. We had to use them as a sort of 'manually-operated double' for obvious safety reasons and did our field testing on clay banks and the occasional varmint.

    Boy, what we wouldn't have given to have that LEVERevolution technology, or even the range of conventional bullet choices and cannister powders we have now, back then!
     
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