30-30 Win vs Marlin


For Sale Access
Jan 23, 2018
Fishers, Indiana
Looking for a 30-30. Rifles (some calibers) were legalized for deer season in Indiana, and I think it'd be fun to take a non-optic lever gun when not using a muzzle loader.
Between the two (Marlin 336 and Winchester 94) any first hand experiences? I'm guessing accuracy is about 1-3 MOA on average?
Any pics of groupings, loads (commercial please), pros/cons...?


Online Training Member
Oct 1, 2005
Dallas, TX
I've had the standard Winchester 94, nice light classic rifle, kicked like a mule.
The heavy versions of the marlins are a lot softer shooting & easier to scope if you go that route.


Jul 14, 2012
When I was a kid I had a marlin 336 in 30-30 win. I remember the recoil as brutal when sighting in. I don't ever remember any recoil when shooting at a deer. With a scope, at 100y, it was way better than minute of vitals with "green box" Remington ammo. Never really shot groups with it- other than to sight in, but I'd say the combo was a 2moa setup. No problems hitting where you aim at the sighted in range, but range estimation and wind is the killer beyond that.

I still have the rifle, but it hasn't had anything more than a cleaning patch down the bore in 20+ years...
Jan 6, 2012
I have two 336 and I'd say they're both around 3 to 4 moa at 100yds, open sights with 150 and 170 gr rem coreloct. Recoil is soft to me and my son (10 or 11yo when he started shooting 30-30). Sierra makes a 125gr HP that can be loaded for varmint and a lot of reviews I read say it's good for whitetail, but I cannot confirm that. It does shoot well.

I've shot win 94's and they are more what I'd want for hanging on the wall, but the ones I've handled were not as smooth as marlins.
May 15, 2011
The 30-30 recoil is sharp and more uncomfortable than even my 300 mag. I recently bought a Marlin 45-70, it came with a nice recoil pad and is comfortable to shoot. Add a limbsaver or comparable will help a lot. With a scope my Marlin 30-30 is a 1moa, most shoot very well.
Feb 2, 2008
Oak Ridge, TN
Not sure about you caliber choices, but the Marlin 336 in 35 Rem is a favorite of mine. The 35 is also good as a pig killer. I like the action on the Marlin better also. It cycles more smoothly. Winnie cycles with three hard clunks. Hard to beat the historical significance of an old Winchester though.
Sep 30, 2010
Been planning on getting a lever gun for my son in 30-30 since he has expressed interest in wanting a lever action for a deer rifle. One thing that hasn't been noted yet in the Win 94 vs Marlin 336 is the ejection. As I understand it (I own neither and have been researching them and settled on the 336 for my son) the win 94 ejects to the top and the Marlin 336 ejects to the side which can preclude scoping the Winchester. Winchester now offers a model 94 AE (angled ejection) that can be more readily used with a scope. For iron sights and looks I prefer the Win 94 but the heavier weight, easier ability to scope, and reviews of the Marlins I am going with the 336 for his deer rifle.
Dec 29, 2017
Huntington WV
While both are fantastic guns, I prefer the Marlin. I can’t stand how the guts of the action come out the bottom of the Winchester when running the action. I also am not a fan of the rounds ejection from the top. For open sights i guess the round ejection wouldn’t matter that much but it can be problematic if you ever wanted to scope it.