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Thread: Winchester 94, OR Marlin 336, in 30-30

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    Default Winchester 94, OR Marlin 336, in 30-30

    My Fellow Americans:

    Even at my advanced age, there are still a few things left, that I donít have a stubborn and cantankerous opinion on.

    Which 30-30, is BEST, Winchester Mdl 94, or Marlin 336?

    All things considered.

    Scope mounting,
    Accuracy,
    Action Strength,
    Function,
    Reliability,
    Weight,
    LOOKS,
    Tradition,
    or anything else, that would effect your opinion.

    I am blessed, or CURSED with one of each. Iím not gonna advocate for one over the other, myself, but if you have a preference, Iíd like to hear what it is and why.

    Thanks,
    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    My Fellow Americans:

    Even at my advanced age, there are still a few things left, that I donít have a stubborn and cantankerous opinion on.

    Which 30-30, is BEST, Winchester Mdl 94, or Marlin 336?

    Growing up with a 30-30 model 94 I have a taste for em.



    All things considered.

    Scope mounting,
    Accuracy,
    Action Strength,
    Function,
    Reliability,
    Weight,
    LOOKS,
    Tradition,
    or anything else, that would effect your opinion.

    I am blessed, or CURSED with one of each. Iím not gonna advocate for one over the other, myself, but if you have a preference, Iíd like to hear what it is and why.

    Thanks,
    Smitty of the North
    Here's how I view a 94:

    Lightweight(lightest of the two), and perfectly balanced
    No scope needed and perfectly suited to a lyman peep.
    Reliable....beyond any gun ever made.
    Fast, and wickedly deadly from the offhand firing position
    Real Rifling, not that micro groove crap.

    Hard to turn your nose at the legendary Winchester Logo...........

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    Personal preferance....Marlin is a bit heavier as a result of being a stronger gun. 94 has good balance but both are prone to breaking firing pins. All in all, pretty equal if you look at the pre-64 94 but I gotta go with the 336 in 35 Rem...a better round for sure!!

  4. #4

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    Owning both too, I'd part with the Winchester before the Marlin. The Marlin has proven lots more accurate from the bench with almost any load, and for me it's also easier to shoot well offhand due to the balance- a little more weight in the barrel is a plus for that. Both mine are mounted with peep sights and both are blazing fast for quick shooting. But when I'm not shooting fast, the Marlin is the clear winner.

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    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    happy trails.
    jh

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    Winchester wins the classic looks and design, but for me, form and function go to my Marlin. Fast shooting, accurate, never a malfunction and quick to clean and disassemble with one screw. Love my hunting 30-30 and my cowboy .357.

  7. #7

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    On every feature the Marlins wins hands down, Now make that a 35rem and the 94 in 30-30 is not even in the running. A 200gr CLRN at 2188fps is ausome and that for a 18.5" barrel a ture 20" can get 2250fps.

    There is a spesial run 336 in SS and in the guide gun configuration with out portting and its really nice for you 30-30win loves. REALY NICE.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Reliable....beyond any gun ever made.
    Pretty bold statement....
    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    94 has good balance but both are prone to breaking firing pins.
    Not according to the above...

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    Pretty bold statement....

    Not according to the above...
    Yip, pretty bold.

    I remember finding an old 30-30 propped up against the back side of an old barn that came with some land my friend bought. The stock was grey, and every inch of the rifle was rusted. We sprayed it down with WD-40, brushed the bore and it fired every time.

    No matter how cold it gets, those model 94's always fire.

    I've routinely dryfired my model 94 for over two decades........no broken firing pin yet.

    1.3" groups at 100 yds. with a peep sight.

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    I've replaced a few firing pins in both models over the years. I don't believe one is stronger than the other in that respect. The 336 is much easier to mount a scope on if you are talking about the older 94's. I also have a preference for the 336 in the easier takedown for cleaning, and the smoother, slicker action. The 94 is a Winchester, but the 92 and 86 were smoother actions in the Winchester lineup. Balance seems pretty close to me, but I prefer the longer rifle length barrels over the carbines. I like peeps more than scopes on the older lever guns myself.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Both great but my hands grew around a Winchester and thatís what I far prefer. I donít think one is any better than the other and after seeing what my crazy uncle has done with his Winchesters and never heart one no way I buy that Marlin is any stronger. I have both too but would trade the Marlin for another Winchester! Things I like the Winchesters for are the elliptical arc of the lever, no bump on the action where my hand goes when packin it, lighter, and just looks and feels better/slicker to me.
    Andy
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Its a blond,redhead thing. I could live out my life with either and feel good about it. I did just pick up a mod.64 in ruff shape and no butt stock,fun project I'm sure
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Which 30-30, is BEST, Winchester Mdl 94, or Marlin 336?

    All things considered.

    Scope mounting,
    Accuracy,
    Action Strength,
    Function,
    Reliability,
    Weight,
    LOOKS,
    Tradition,
    or anything else, that would effect your opinion.
    IMO, both are great gun designs. Few sporting rifles have the legendary history that these two share. They have proven time and again to be effective workhorse rifles and there is not a lot to choose between them IMO.

    The 94 AE is as simple to mount a scope upon as the flat top 336 is. Comparing the 336 to the original top eject 94, there's no comparison. The 336 is easy and secure with lots of options and the 94 is an amalgamated mess with a side mount scope.

    I've owned several 94s and a lone 336 (add a couple of 1895s to the group). Hardly a significant sampling size, but if there is any significant accuracy difference between I think it is as much due to the quirks of the particualr rifle/rifles in question as it is to their design characteristics. I've seen very accurate rifles in both designs. Either design is more than sufficient for hunting accuracy as the past century has demonstrated beyond any doubt.

    Strength comparisons seem so much wasted talk IMO. With the number of rifles in service I would question the veracity of anyone who suggests that either design is prone to failure due to lack of design strength. Is the 336 stronger than the 94. I've often read that it is, but I've not seen scientific proof that's the case. Perhaps it is, but for my part I've not loaded these rifles to the point of destruction and I've pushed handloads in both designs beyond reasonable limits. I do know for a fact that a 94 chambered in 30/30 Winchester will serve for many thousands of rounds with nary a problem BTDT.

    As for reliability, I once owned a 1895 SS that would jam most times with a swift pull on the lever. It's the only leveraction that I've experienced with this issue and it was in 45/70. There is probably some naivete on my part, but I consider both designs only slightly less reliable than an anvil if given even a modest amount of care and fed decent ammo. The 94 is a lighter rifle, though I'm uncertain by how much. IMO the 94 is a much "trimmer" rifle and its feel may belie the actual difference in weight between the two. If both rifles are unscoped the 94 with its narrower & slimmer receiver feels like it could have grown in my hand. The 336 is not at all bad, but it is not as svelte as the 94. If you scope them, the handling goes out the window and so does my desire for either rifle.

    I've not had a real desire for a 30/30 for sometime, but if I do get that desire I believe that the 94 would get the nod. For me it all boils down to the handling characteristics of the two rifles and the 94 is about the best handling rifle I've ever hefted. I've lots of experience with both rifles and I can't say which is "BEST " but I can say that the 94 is preferable to me. Of course YMMV.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    If you're going to put a scope on it, the 336 hands down. If not, flip a coin or buy the cheapest one.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    The 336 is much easier to mount a scope on if you are talking about the older 94's. I also have a preference for the 336 in the easier takedown for cleaning, and the smoother, slicker action...
    As someone in 'the biz' and has handled more of these than I ever will, I'm glad to say I've got a 336Y on the way right now. I know, Mainah, its lacking the "W" emblem, but hopefully it'll do

    I'll keep you posted on our (Alaska_Lanche and I's) builds. Nothing huge, but a few mods for fun...

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    It seems, they are both popular, and the 94, more so, than I thought.

    I reely like 30-30. I like the Rim, and the Long Neck, and the bullets that are designed for 30-30 velocities. Last, but not least, that they are a natural for Cast Boolits.

    Things I've noticed so far.

    The Marlin IS heavier but I didn't weigh them. It has a beefier Buttstock and Forend too. The buttplate is wider and longer.

    I've never gotten good accuracy from either type gun. Probably, because I don't do well with Iron Sights. I don't think it was a function of individual rifles but I dunno. I owned a Marlin 336, 30-30, many long years ago, and sold it. Recently, I've acquired another one. (Both had or have straight grip stocks.) (This latest one DOESN'T have Micro Groove Rifling.)

    In between I got myself 3, Mdl 94 Winchesters, but sold two of'em recently.

    I've used receiver sights on both a 336, and a 94.

    Taking into account, the ones I've owned, and used, I've found that 94s have smoother actions. The older the guns are, the smoother they seem to be too.

    I like the idea of being able to clean the Marlin from the rear, but I'm concerned that the extractor, and/or lever screw could be lost if I cleaned them in the field. (On a hunting trip, for example.) (probably not a beeg issue, as I don't hunt with them, per se, just carry them for protection, etc.)

    A Marlin is very easy to Scope. I put one on a friends gun. I'm thinking a Scppe would be useful to find an accurate load, and could be removed later. (I don't like the idea of a scoped LA 30-30.)

    I like the Marlin I just got, and it will suit my needs, and I sure don't need two LA 30-30s. I guess, I'm not that willing to part with the 94, OR the 336. Since I don't see a clear winner, I'll probably just keep them both.

    Thanks Everyone, for your thoughts.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Smitty,

    Take that 336 and run an A. I. reamer into the chamber and pump it up a bit. It won't make a .308 but it does add some clout!!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    A Marlin is very easy to Scope. I put one on a friends gun. I'm thinking a Scppe would be useful to find an accurate load, and could be removed later. (I don't like the idea of a scoped LA 30-30.)
    Smitty of the North
    That's what I do with them. One trick on load testing with that straight grip- Use two sand bags "up front." Rest the front of the forend on one bag, then rear of the forend on another.... Or just use one wide sandbag. Get the second bag behind the lever, and it seems to raise cob with accuracy when the rear of the lever (or the butt if you get the bag waaay back) contacts during recoil.

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    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    i have owned and shot both the winchester & the marlin for years and agree they are BOTH fine firearms. the marlin (to my thinking) has a smoother, easier to work on action and is inherently more accurate. the marlin ballard rifling is great for cast as well as jacketed bullets and the flattop reciever allows low mount reciever sight or scope. as far as "snap shooting" goes they are equal.
    happy trails.
    jh

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    Win. 94 hands down.........don't need scope on it, never had never will. holds 7 rounds in the tube, has the nimble feeling that it should. as far as accuracies are concerned why compare the 2? this is a brush gun for me and holds memories of my father and grandfather using it successfully....uncles as well. Most in my family chose the Winchester over the gaudy Marlin....they just did not care for it. Winchester does not need it glamourized in matt satin, ss or whatever. As you can see I am "not" a fan of Marlins although I've owned a few but no more. The 94 .30-30AI serves me well thus far and suspect it always will. certainly I will buy another....pre-64 coming soon.

    oh,,,the 94 is just cool to break down to clean to see how it works.....to put back together, relatively simple.

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