The Marlin 30-30 has been a staple among lever-action guns for the past few decades. Read on to learn everything you wanted to know about the Marlin 30-30.
The Marlin 30-30 (officially known as the Marlin 336), is perhaps the second most popular lever action rifle in history, trailing only the Winchester 1894 (which was also chambered in .30-30 Winchester).
There is a good reason why the Marlin 30-30 is so popular: it is a reasonably priced, utilitarian, powerful, accurate, and easy-to-use rifle. These qualities have helped make the Marlin 336 one of the most prolific hunting rifles in the United States. As a result, countless deer, elk, bear, and feral hogs have fallen to the Marlin 30-30 over the years.
As a deer hunter, especially one hunting in a thickly wooded area where long range shots are unlikely, you could do a whole lot worse than choosing a Marlin 30-30 as your primary hunting rifle.
Click through the slideshow to learn all about the Marlin 30-30 and why it is such a popular hunting rifle.
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The Marlin 30-30 was born in 1948 when Marlin introduced the Marlin 336 rifle. The lever action Marlin 336 is a direct descendant of the Marlin Model 1893 and Marlin Model 36 rifles and shares many common characteristics with them. However, one thing that sets the Marlin 336 apart from most other lever action rifles is the fact that it ejects from the side of the receiver instead of the top.
Over the years the Marlin 336 has been offered in a wide variety of calibers, including .219 Zipper, .32 Special, .44 Magnum, and .410 bore. However, the Marlin 336 is currently being produced only in .30-30 Winchester and .35 Remington. The rifle is currently produced with either a 20-inch or 24-inch barrel and has a full-length tubular magazine that can hold six cartridges.
Scoped Marlin 336
The Marlin 336 comes standard with open sights and there are several types of peep or ghost ring sights available to use with it. However, because the Marlin 336 ejects spent cartridges from the side of the receiver and has a flat top, many hunters choose to mount a scope on the rifle.
Realizing this, Marlin builds the rifle with a reversible hammer spur to aid with the use of a scope.
Marlin 336 As a Woods Gun
Lever action rifles are often lightweight, easy to carry, and quick-pointing. Weighing in at only seven pounds, the Marlin 336 is no different. Though the .30-30 Winchester and .35 Remington are not great performers at long range, they really come into their own at short to moderate range.
These characteristics make the Marlin 336 a great “woods gun” for hunters who need to take a fast, short-range shot on a big game animal.
The Marlin 336 As a Deer Rifle
It’s tough to determine with certainty which particular cartridge has killed the most deer in the United States over the years. However, it’s a good bet that the .30-30 Winchester is in the top three (if it isn’t number one).
Since the Marlin 336 is one of the most popular rifles chambered in .30-30, it follows that the Marlin 30-30 is one of the most commonly used deer rifles of all time in the United States with untold numbers of deer falling to it over the years.
The great news is that a hunter armed with the Marlin 336 isn’t limited to just hunting deer. The .30-30 Winchester and .35 Remington are both great cartridges for hunting a wide variety of North American big game animals.
At reasonable ranges, there is no problem using the Marlin 336 on feral hogs, black bear, elk, or even moose (especially when using the .35 Remington).
Marlin 336 Durability
The Marlin 336 is also a very accurate and quite durable rifle. There are plenty of old model 336s out there (like the one in the photo that was produced in 1949) that are still being used successfully by hunters each year.
As long as it is properly cared for, the Marlin 336 is certainly a rifle that will give you and your grandchildren many good years of service.
Marlin Model 1895
Due to the smashing success of the Marlin 336 rifle, Marlin has produced several similar rifles over the years. Of these, the big bore Marlin Model 1895 is the most common.
Several different versions of it are in current production, with a “Guide Gun” model chambered in .45-70 Government being extremely popular among hunters in Canada and Alaska for use on big bears at close range.
Chris Pratt even carried a Marlin Model 1895 in the movie Jurassic World. You could do a whole lot worse than a Model 1895 in .45-70 Government if you’re looking for a good rifle to use on dinosaurs.
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