Gun Of The Week: Marlin Model 336 Classic

posted on October 20, 2023

Watch American Rifleman staff on the range in the above video to learn about an iconic lever-action rifle—the Marlin Model 336 Classic in .30-30 Winchester. This is a modern gun that, following the production pause after Remington’s bankruptcy, is now being made once again, thanks to Ruger.

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The iconic Marlin brand first began in the late 19th century, and the design that eventually led to the gun we have here today started with the Model 1893, which was one of the first of its kind. It led the charge for Marlin during the transition from blackpowder to smokeless powder and from pistol-caliber chamberings to larger, heavier-hitting cartridges such as the .30-30 Winchester. It offered a robust action and receiver to safely use modern high-pressure cartridges. And it was wildly successful, with more than one million guns produced. By 1948, when the first Model 336 came about, Marlin was one of the most popular firearm makers in America, and the 336 would go on to become one of the most popular lever-action rifles of all time. Thanks to Ruger’s acquisition of the Marlin brand following the 2020 Remington bankruptcy, the Model 336 lives on today, and now it’s a true classic, chambered for the all-American .30-30 Winchester cartridge.

Mariln 1893 lever-action rifle left-side view shown with TEXT GUN OF THE WEEK

With Ruger at the helm, these latest Marlin guns are the lever-action rifles America remembers, bearing the horse and rider logo, to boot. Not only is it an attractive gun with American black walnut furniture, but Ruger also focused on enhancing its performance by tightening manufacturing tolerances and using high-grade materials. This makes for a high-quality gun that can be a Sunday plinker and reliable game-getter, all while retaining the classic look and lines of Marlins past.

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The Marlin 336 Classic lever-action rifle, as you see it here, comes with a CNC-machined, forged-steel receiver that has a satin blued finish. Paired with the receiver is a blued, 20.25” cold-hammer-forged steel barrel, and recent testing from the November 2023 American Rifleman review of the Marlin has proven this gun is quite capable on target. The gun comes with a set of classically styled sights. The rear is a semi-buckhorn type with adjustments for elevation and windage, and the fixed front is ramped, contains a brass bead and is fully protected with a steel hood. In addition, the receiver is drilled and tapped for optics and ships with an offset hammer-spur extension, should you choose to mount a scope.

GUN OF THE WEEK text on image of Marlin Firearms Model 336 Classic lever-action rifle wood stock blued steel

On the range, we sampled myriad ammunition types, from tipped bullets to traditional round-nose projectiles, and the Model 336 Classic functioned flawlessly. The gun’s tubular six-round magazine took rounds through the loading gate with ease, and our testers noted that the walnut stock felt great in the hands, thanks to its high-quality checkering along the fore-end and wrist. We found the gun is quick to handle, shoots great and has the looks Marlin owners of the past have come to love. For a gun that is 75 years in the making, it appears that Ruger hit this one out of the park, and we only hope to see more Marlin lever guns bearing “RM” toolmarks in the years to come.

Marlin Model 336 Classic Specifications
Manufacturer: Marlin Firearms
Action Type: lever-action, centerfire, repeating rifle
Chambering: .30-30 Win.
Receiver: alloy steel
Barrel: 20.25" cold-hammer-forged alloy steel
Magazine: tubular; six-round capacity
Sights: hooded brass bead front; semi-buckhorn adjustable rear
Stock: American black walnut
Overall Length: 38.63"
Weight: 7 lbs., 2 ozs.
MSRP: $1,239


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