The Marlin 336 is staple among lever-action guns.
First introduced in 1948 by Marlin Firearms, the Marlin 336 is one of the most popular lever-action rifles ever. The Model 336 is in such widespread use for good reason: it’s a reasonably priced, powerful, accurate, reliable, easy-to-use, utilitarian rifle.
Indeed, the Marlin Model 336 ranks up there with other iconic guns like the Winchester Model 1894, the Winchester Model 70 and the Remington Model 700. As a result, hunters have taken countless deer, elk, bear and feral hogs with this great little rifle over the years.
Scroll down to learn all about the Marlin 336 and why it’s such a popular hunting rifle.
Marlin 336 Models
Marlin currently produces the Model 336 in the following models:
336BL: The BL stands for “big loop” and this model features a larger-than-normal loop in the lever that makes it easier for a shooter wearing gloves to operate this rifle. The 336BL has a pistol grip stock, a 18.5-inch blued barrel, and is chambered in .30-30 Winchester.
336C: The Marlin Model 336C is available in either .30-30 Winchester or .35 Remington and has a pistol grip stock and 20-inch blued barrel.
336SS: The Marlin Model 336SS has a stainless steel receiver, a pistol grip, a 20-inch stainless steel barrel, and is chambered in .30-30 Winchester.
336TDL: Known as the “Texan Deluxe,” the Marlin Model 336TDL is available in .30-30 Winchester, has a blued receiver, a 20-inch blued barrel, and a B-grade walnut stock.
336W: This model is identical to the 336C, except the Model 336W has a walnut-finished stock and a rubber butt plate instead of a recoil pad.
336XLR: Produced in .30-30 Winchester, the Marlin Model 336XLR has a stainless steel receiver, a 24-inch stainless steel barrel, a laminated hardwood stock, and a pistol grip.
336Y: Chambered in .30-30 Winchester, the youth model of the Marlin Model 336 has a blued receiver and a 16.25-inch blued barrel.
All current production variants of the Marlin 336 have cut checkering on the stock, a hammer block safety, and feature their proprietary Micro-Groove rifling. Except for the 336W and 336Y, all variants also come with a recoil pad.
The 336XLR and the 336Y have a tubular magazine that can hold up to five cartridges. All other variants can hold up to six cartridges.
Though the Marlin 336 is currently only available in .30-30 Winchester and .35 Remington, Marlin has produced the 336 in a wide variety of calibers over the years. Among other cartridges, the Marlin 336 was manufactured in .219 Zipper, .32 Winchester Special, .375 Winchester, .38-55 Winchester and .44 Magnum at one time. A small number of these rifles have also been converted over to the 7-30 Waters cartridge as well.
Scoped Marlin 336
The Marlin 336 comes standard with a folding rear sight and a ramp front sight and there are several types of after market peep or ghost ring sights available to use with it. However, one thing that sets it apart from most other lever-action rifles is the fact that it has a solid top receiver and utilizes side ejection instead of ejecting spent cartridges from the top of the receiver. This is a rare feature on a .30-30 rifle.
For this reason, many hunters choose to mount a scope on their Marlin 336 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 7 pounds, the Marlin 336 is no different. Though the .35 Remington and .30-30 Winchester are not great performers at long range, they’re tough to beat 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 arguably the most popular .30-30 rifle ever, it follows that it’s one of the most commonly used deer rifles of all time in the United States with untold numbers of whitetails falling to it over the years.
The great news is that a hunter armed with the .30-30 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, you can use the Marlin 336 on feral hogs, black bears, elk or even moose (especially when using the .35 Remington).
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 chambered in .45-70 Government is the most common.
Several different versions of the Model 1895 are in current production, including six “Guide Gun” models (1895CBA, 1895G, 1895GL, 1895GBL, 1895GS, and 1895SBL) that sport a short, 18.5-inch barrel. These rifles are extremely popular among hunters and outfitters in Canada and Alaska due to their effectiveness on big bears and moose at close range.
Chris Pratt even carried a Marlin 1895SBL in the movie “Jurassic World.”