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Which is better? Marlin or winchester

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May start a war but which would be the better buy? A Winchester model 94 in 30-30 from 1973 or a Marlin 30-30as which is the lower end version? I have a chance to get either not both.

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Neither. Get an old Marlin or Winchester. Either one will exude quality unavailable on later models.

I do not either is "better" so to speak. They are just different.

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Between those mentioned, I would probably buy the 1973 1894 Winchester simply because they are no longer producing them.  They were still decent rifles in '73.  Also, I spent my youth watching westerns on TV and Saturday matinees and the '94 Winchester was iconic.  Granted, the pre-64 Winchesters are the pick of the litter, I have a 1976/77 production 1894 that has been a great rifle since I bought it new.  Then when you get your pocket filled back up, get the Marlin.  Just my opinion.

Edited by tacops
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Either would be a good rifle. I just prefer the feel and handling of a Winchester. Marlins always felt kinda fat to me. Go with the one that feels more comfortable in your hands. ;)

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I have always preferred Marlins but Winchester’s have stronger actions.  If you want to goober up a lever action with a scope then Marlin is the way to go.

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1 hour ago, 1madss said:

Lots of used Marlin 336 around in 30-30, usually around $400

I regularly see '94's in that price range too. Some newer and some 70's models. I have 2 70's era in 30-30. '94's and 30-30 are iconic.

I do agree the Marlins are easier to scope than the older Wins. My Dad hunts with a .444 Marlin lever gun thgat is scoped. Never done him wrong. 

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I have also had both. The Pre-63 model 94 Winchester  I still own almost anyway was given to me by my grandfather as my first deer rifle when we moved to the Ranch/Farm in 1967 from Illinois and it was one of the only guns they didn't get to steal when they burglarized our house back in 86 because I had loaned it to a friend and it was at his house. I killed about 30 deer with it over the years and passed it down to my son when he began hunting deer and he killed about 20 deer with it and now my youngest grandson Logan began his hunting career with it when he turned 11 last year. He has killed 4 deer with it so far. 3 last year and 1 this year. It has been a trouble free accurate gun since I got it in 67 and the 150 gr Silver tips rounds have always been the deer getters for it. They did steal a Marlin 30-30 /w/scope and it was also a great gun and I did kill several deer with it but didn't really have it long enough to give a fair assessment of it except to say it shot well and function flawlessly. Like a few others here have said, if I was looking for a 30/30 I would hunt down a pre 63 model 94 Winchester first and then begin looking for an older model Marlin 30-30 with or without a scope cause you will probably want to choose the optics  you prefer................JMHO

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To be technically correct, the answer to the question is to buy a 99 Savage.:D

Edited by gregintenn
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   I had a pre-63 Winchester 30-30 when I was a kid. I never needed a scope back then, I had 20-15 vision. When I moved to Nashville to go to school, some punks broke into my house. I didn't have a gun safe. They got the 30-30 and my great grandfather's cake gun. A break top S&W 32 that one of his prisoner's wife brought to the jail, inside a cake. My Grandpa said "This cake is too big for one man. We'll share it with everybody." He did not arrest the woman. The punks in Nashville were arrested. My guns were never recovered.

If I had both the Marlin and the Winchester side by side, I would pick the one with a smoother action.  

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21 minutes ago, Will Carry said:

   I had a pre-63 Winchester 30-30 when I was a kid. I never needed a scope back then, I had 20-15 vision. When I moved to Nashville to go to school, some punks broke into my house. I didn't have a gun safe. They got the 30-30 and my great grandfather's cake gun. A break top S&W 32 that one of his prisoner's wife brought to the jail, inside a cake. My Grandpa said "This cake is too big for one man. We'll share it with everybody." He did not arrest the woman. The punks in Nashville were arrested. My guns were never recovered.

If I had both the Marlin and the Winchester side by side, I would pick the one with a smoother action.  

You were luckier than I have been. At least they caught the punks that stole your guns. mine have been gone since 1986 and not one gun or person has shown up or been arrested. I lost a lot of guns when they took them but the only one I would care about getting back is my dead sons Winchester Pump shotgun. Not because it is a great gun but because it was my oldest sons 1st gun I bought him for Christmas in 1984. 

Edited by bersaguy

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I've only owned the Winchester, not a fan of 30/30 anymore, but here my views between the two.  If you are going to use iron sights only get the Winchester, if you want a scope, get a Marlin.  The side mounted scope works, but it does make it a bit awkward.  Either one will do it's job within its capabilities,  one thing though, if you intend to extend your range out beyond 150 yards, get something else.

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On 12/22/2017 at 6:40 PM, 1madss said:

Lots of used Marlin 336 around in 30-30, usually around $400

New 336W out the door at my WM before taxes and background check is $354 as of 12/23/17. Not sure about the Y model, we had a few once, and have never heard of a -as. 

Home office doesnt give us much in the way of leverguns. Henry Golden Boy, H-1, and Big Boys, and the aforementioned Marlin, but that's it. ($399, $274, and .44 mag variant $736, respectively, again as of 12/23/17) Oedipal/pharonic dimwits  prolly don't know one end from another, and took away our ARs and pistol gripped shottys 'cuz (corporate p/c whine mode on)"They looked mean"(corporate p/c whine mode off)

Oh, and I mention these prices as a point of comparison, not to sell.

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Depends on if you want to put a scope on it, if so then Marlin. Personally I like the slimmer 94 Winchester.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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A few good points have all ready been covered here but here it is as seen threw a gunsmith's eye. The 336AS is only a cheaper version due to colored hardwood rather than walnut if my recall is correct. from a practical perspective, the Marlin is a better gun simply due to the ease of servicing the internal parts. Swapping out the ejector on the Marlin is dam near an eyes closed affair along with R&R the extractor. That's due to the simplest bolt removal in the industry. If it was any easier, you would have to have a 98 Mauser in your hands. Dropping the bolt out of a Marlin by only removing the lever pivot screw gives you cleaning rod access straight into the chamber. In a Win 94, NONE of the above operations should be attempted by a mediocre hammer & screw driver guy where as a 12 year old could be coached threw the 336 tear down with ease.   Look at the Winchester follower. Those late 60's 70's area 94 had the crappiest stamped followers that were either bending or cracking so much that Winchester got tired of stamping out replacements and FINALY put out a nice cast replacement some time in the 80's. All the AE's had the better cast followers. If that 1973 unit has the cast black chrome receiver, forget about it ever getting a factory black finish. Those castings were so bad with silicone from their lost wax manufacture, they were impossible to blue so they got a weird one of a kind factory black chroming. The Winchester is a slimmer, handier open sight gun but for all the above reasons and others mentioned falls way short of the practicality of the 336 design. You just can't beat an average Joe nearly Military style R&R design.    

Edited by xtriggerman
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