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Posted: 1/18/2006 10:44:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 10:49:21 PM EDT by SpecialOperator]
So, hearing that Winchester is closing one of it's plants, I was interested in buying a Model 94 in 30-30, but I hear some bad things about pointy bullets and tubular magazines. I would use this gun for primarily plinking and possibly varmint hunting, but also as a good "all purpose" rifle, much like my Remington shotgun. My questions are thus:

Is the tubular magazine that much of a downfall re: ammo?

Accuracy?

Reliability?

­Power?

Is lever action "fun"?

I don't have the ability to try one at a range, but think of me as a revolver and pump shotty kinda guy. My caveats are ordered as follows:

1. Reliability
2. Accuracy
3. Fun factor (price of ammo included here. Cheaper=More fun)
4. Utility

I see Wally World has them for under $400 new. Good price?

Finally, if I didn't buy one of these, I would buy a Ruger MKIII instead. Ignoring the "What would you use it for?" question, which firearm is the better buy according to aforementioned caveats?

Link Posted: 1/18/2006 10:52:17 PM EDT
I have one Model 94 in 30 WCF (30-30) that's over 100 years old that functions perfectly and has never to my knowledge failed to chamber and fire a cartridge.

I have one that's 30 years old and functions and has functioned perfectly.

I'm going to buy one in .44 mag this week if I can scrounge the money because I've always wanted one, and I see no reason it wouldn't be just as reliable and a perfect brush gun.

Oh, pointy bullets bad! Very very bad!

Sorry to hear about Winchester going under. I for one have enjoyed their firearms more so than most manufactures.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 10:55:03 PM EDT
I've had one of the Ranger models (20" barrel) since the early 90s with no problems. Power wise, the 30-30 is most often put on par with the 7.62x39 and has a great rep for being a deer killer in brush.

I believe Hornady just released a new line of ammo for lever-action rifles (including the 30-30) so people are still making advances with the cartridge.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 10:55:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 11:03:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
Get a Marlin... far better quality.


ANdy



Can you explain that? Smooth action? Less moving parts? Maintenance? Etc...

Link Posted: 1/18/2006 11:14:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
Get a Marlin... far better quality.


ANdy



John Wayne never carried a Marlin!
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 11:16:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/18/2006 11:17:52 PM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 11:18:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 11:21:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wump:

Originally Posted By vito113:
Get a Marlin... far better quality.


ANdy



John Wayne never carried a Marlin!



John Wayne never had to take a Winchester apart.

Marlin all the way.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 11:22:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
Get a Marlin... far better quality.


ANdy



Maybe so but who would want to name a Pub "The Marlin"?
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 11:28:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 11:48:32 PM EDT


John Wayne never had to take a Winchester apart.

Marlin all the way.



Okay guys, all the way over here I can feel the breeze generated from your dicks swinging around.

I gather from the above statement that the Marlin is easier to break down and reassemble? Is that an accurate assumption?
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 11:55:06 PM EDT
From everything I have heard...Marlin is the way to go. Especially if you are Dutch. People tend to hesitate selling the winchesters to crazy dutchman.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:00:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
From everything I have heard...Marlin is the way to go. Especially if you are Dutch. People tend to hesitate selling the winchesters to crazy dutchman.




It must be those wooden shoes...
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:02:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 12:03:00 AM EDT by mattimeo]

Originally Posted By SpecialOperator:


John Wayne never had to take a Winchester apart.

Marlin all the way.



Okay guys, all the way over here I can feel the breeze generated from your dicks swinging around.

I gather from the above statement that the Marlin is easier to break down and reassemble? Is that an accurate assumption?



Well...

For me? Doesn't matter.

A) I hate lever guns.
B) I've been inside enough 94s that it's a cake walk to reassemble them.

But in all honesty, the Marlin's a bit easier to get in and out of. Less learning curve.

I also consider the action to be a stronger, smoother, more reliable design.

But, YMMV. To each his own. They're both fine guns, and if you don't have a pre-determined bias, I say that you should let cost be the deciding factor, so long as you know you're getting a good deal.

edit: spelling
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:03:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 12:04:38 AM EDT by Stealth]

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
From everything I have heard...Marlin is the way to go. Especially if you are Dutch. People tend to hesitate selling the winchesters to crazy dutchman.



I thought it was only the French that loved to buy the Marlins. I didn't know those crazy Dutchmen were involved as well.


(edited to add smiley - )
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:09:36 AM EDT



They're both fine guns, and if you don't have a pre-determined bias, I say that you should let cost be the deciding factor, so long as you know you're getting a good deal.

edit: spelling



About how much should I be looking to pay for a Marlin 336 or a Winchester 94 Legacy?

I've seen $385 for the 94 at Wal-Mart but nothing solid on the 336.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:12:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SpecialOperator:



They're both fine guns, and if you don't have a pre-determined bias, I say that you should let cost be the deciding factor, so long as you know you're getting a good deal.

edit: spelling



About how much should I be looking to pay for a Marlin 336 or a Winchester 94 Legacy?

I've seen $385 for the 94 at Wal-Mart but nothing solid on the 336.



WalMart price is not a bad one. As to suggestions on price, I'm not much help. I've spent far more time fixing firearms than selling them, so i'm not always in touch with going rates.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:35:29 AM EDT
Ilove my 94 ,but I would have to agree that the marlin does seem better(stonger better fit and finish) 10 years and Ive never had a reason to take my 94 apart ,I just hose it out with gun scruber and its good to go
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:48:41 AM EDT
Hornady is now making "pointy" bullet ammo that is safe to use in tubular magazines.

www.hornady.com/story.php?s=198

LEVERevolutionTM is the most exciting thing to ever happen to lever gun ammunition. Hornady, the leader in ballistic technology, brings you an innovation in ammunition performance featuring state of the industry elastomer Flex TipTM Technology that is SAFE in your tubular magazine. Its higher ballistic coefficient delivers dramatically flatter trajectories for fantastic downrange energy increases and amazing bullet expansion at all ranges. It truly is an evolution in lever gun ammunition!

Up to 250 feet per second faster muzzle velocity than conventional lever gun loads.
Exceptional accuracy and overwhelming downrange terminal performance.
Patent Pending EvolutionTM bullet featuring Flex TipTM Technology.
Up to 40% more energy than traditional flat point loads.


Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:55:40 AM EDT
Vito is absolutely right...

Having owned both; the Marlin is a better gun IMHO.

Probably better off buying a used, pre-safety model '94.
I have seen pre '64 models for under $400 in excellent shape.
Seem to be much better made than the newer ones.
They are probably not angle eject. The cartridge casing flips out over your shoulder.
They don't have the stupid crossbolt or tang safeties either.
Buying an older Winchester is like buying a pinned and recessed S&W.



For lever guns I have:

'94 trapper in .45LC. Nice, fun little gun...got it used for $200...
Marlin '39 in .22Lr...
Original '76 Winchester in 45-60....


Traded my Marlin 336 for a Smith and Wesson K-22 Masterpiece in the original box..
I had to have it, but felt guilty about buying it, so I traded for it, as I rarely shot the Marlin.

I can always buy another 336. Their are a ton of them out their.

But my next lever will probrably be a guide gun in 45-70

Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:00:02 AM EDT
Okay, so you guys have steered me towards the Marlin 336. However, I'm not interested in searching for an old collectors piece. As I have very few guns, I don't want to buy used...yet. So, how much should I be looking to pay for a basic 336?
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 1:12:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 1:12:56 AM EDT by pv74]

Originally Posted By SpecialOperator:
Okay, so you guys have steered me towards the Marlin 336. However, I'm not interested in searching for an old collectors piece. As I have very few guns, I don't want to buy used...yet. So, how much should I be looking to pay for a basic 336?



Don't be afraid of buying one used. Most of these guns have only had a few boxes of shells at the most through them. If the bore is in excellent shape, and the gun functions smoothly, I would say you are good to go.

You could pick one up for less than $300 used around $400 new.




Link Posted: 1/19/2006 2:04:37 AM EDT
I picked up a Marlin with a cheap scope for new under $300 here. It drops deer just fine.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 2:48:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2006 3:00:07 AM EDT by yekimak]
I cannot say for certain which is the better gun, but I will say that the 94 is a damn good gun. I like it because it feels thinner and less chunky to me than the marlin, and I got it for a steal and do not have a reason to get the Marlin. Both are fine, but it is obvious the Marlin won out, they ain't closing.

Get one and you most likely will not be disappointed, but even if you are, someone is going to buy it from you, the value ain't going to go down.

Mine has not skipped a beat, and I have run about 300 rounds through it in the last year or two. I am not the best shot with irons, so I cannot vouch for accuracy being sub moa, but most get 1.5-3" groups with them from what I have read. As far as fun factor, lever guns are a hoot and I am still kicking myself in the ass for not getting one a decade ago. Ammo runs from 8-12 bucks a box up here, and should be cheaper in the states. And I can say, without a doubt, you will never find a handier long gun than a '94. They are light and flat and just seem to disappear when you are carrying them or packing them around. It can be there when you need it, but out of the way when you don't.

IS there Winchester Kool-Aid? I think I drank some.....

I love the 94, but if your idea of utility is pounding tent stakes and using it as a prybar, you might be better served with a Marlin.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:01:21 AM EDT
I know a number of well-trained, certified gunsmiths with many years of experience. They have consistently told me that the Marlin is a better designed and better made gun.

Winchester has benefitted from the best p.r. immaginable for more than a century. They aren't better, just better known.

Another thing that makes a difference to me. From my earliest days, I can remember Marlin advertising in Boys' Life, the Boy Scount magazine. I don't remember if Winchester did the same. It matters to me that Marlin spent adv money there.

Marlins were big back in the Old West Days, too. We just hear about Winchester more.

IMHO, not only is the Marlin 336 the best of the 30-30's, the Marlin Model 39 is the best lever action of the .22's.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:02:20 AM EDT
NO.


My dog knocked over a new one, broke the rear sight.


Took MONTHS to get a new one.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:35:03 AM EDT
The only advantage a Marlin has, is that it's easier to remove the bolt for cleaning. Marlins are NOT any stronger than Winchesters, some people seem to believe this because the Marlin has a closed top reciever, and the Winchesters an open topped design. This is utter nonsense, and some of these people should know better, but since they already have Marlins, swallow this nonsense whole. Everybody believes the gun they have is the "best". I collected lever-actions for many years, and have had many of both Marlins and Winchesters. I regularly correspond with lever-action collecters and accumulators. Show me a Marlin made in the last 50 years that has any collector value. We already know that such Winchesters exist, both in commoratives, and even lowly standard production models. I've seen more defective Marlins in the last 20 years, than defective Winchesters. Some Marlin 45-70s have to go to the gunsmith new, for repairs before firing moderately heavy loads because the lever blows open when such loads are fired. Their barrel quality has gotten better lately, but for the longest time, their bore diameters varied wildly. The POS Microgroove barrels are/were the biggest offenders in this area. I've seen chamber cut crooked, heavy (really heavy) reamer chatter marks in the chamber, and a host of other maladies. Neither Marlin nor Winchester rifles are perfect, I've owned both, and will continue to buy both. Marlin has one big advantage, they cater to limited production guns for the cowboy shooters, this has been a very valuable niche market for them, and they are to be commended for recognizing this market and responding so well. Winchester hasn't really applied themselves in this area at all, and now they're paying the price. And there hasn't been much available in '94s lately, outside of the vanilla models. That's what happens when you let a bunch of Europeans run an American gun company. Just like S&W discovered.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 3:39:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 5:12:46 AM EDT
i have 2 winnie 94's..
a 1970ish 30-30 and a 2003 XTR big bore .444

they are both are excellent weapons..quality, accuracy and quick handling firearms.

every man should have one.

i'll go buy a 94 in the next month for my son...
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 9:15:52 AM EDT
That settles it. I'll buy a Marlin 336A in 30-30 and mount a cheap scope...

Or, buy the one Wal-Mart is selling for $350 and save myself the trouble.

Thanks, guys.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 9:25:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:

Originally Posted By Zippy_The_Wonderdog:
From everything I have heard...Marlin is the way to go. Especially if you are Dutch. People tend to hesitate selling the winchesters to crazy dutchman.




It must be those wooden shoes...






I picked it up today - the FBI finally got their act together .


Pictures at 11 !!
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 9:28:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SpecialOperator:
That settles it. I'll buy a Marlin 336A in 30-30 and mount a cheap scope...


Good choice.
I have no idea about the strength of the action,but I do know that Marlin 336 actions are slicker than the action of my Ranger 94 Winchester,and the triggers are much better. Marlins are easier to break down,and respond better to WECSOG efforts. Older Winchesters aren't too bad though. The pushbutton safety is what really hurts them.
That said, I don't care for lever actions very much. I can work a pump rifle much faster,and with less movement of the scope relative to my eye. Levers move around too much on my shoulder when I work their actions.
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