After a bunch of research, days of reading forum posts, reviews, and watching videos from various lever gun owners, I have finally decided that Marlin was the way to go. Ten days ago, I actually purchased a 1976 Marlin 336 chambered in 30-30 at a gun show. Here in the lovely cesspool – er – state of CA, we have to wait to pick up our firearms.
Why a Marlin over a Winchester 94? Several reasons, really, made my decision an easy one. First, the Marlin fetches a much lower price, normally. Same rifle, lower price? Yea, I’m all over that. Also, the Marlin features side eject, which makes it easier to mount a scope. I won’t be mounting a scope, but the side eject was still a better choice, I believe. At the very least, it allows less of the elements into the receiver. Also, more of the 94’s “guts” come out when the lever is pulled, something I did not like. The 336 breaks down easily whereas the 94 does not.
Also, because my weapon was made in the ‘70s, it has no safety. The hammer can be half-cocked, stopping the trigger from moving, which is about as safe as it gets with the earlier models. I like that. Not that I’m against safety, I just like a simpler weapon. The most effective safety always lies with the shooter, anyhow. Right, guys?
So, why 30-30 instead of a handgun caliber, or maybe even the 45-70? The simple answer is that I don’t believe the hype. If you do enough research, you’ll see that the venerable 30-30 is capable of taking some pretty good game. I don’t feel that I need a 45-70 for almost any situation. Besides, if the 30-30 doesn’t drop whatever I’m shooting at the first time, I have six more chances. The odds are in my favor no matter what the target. The handgun calibers are all much weaker, and I want something that goes boom. That isn’t to say I won’t pick up guns in those calibers in the future, but for my first one, the 30-30 sounded perfect.
I was going to pick the carbine up today, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I’ll have the gun in my hands on Thursday. At that point, I’ll update the blog and include a few pictures.
What are your thoughts on the Marlin 336?