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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, you Marlin Lever Action lovers are gonna love this one. Gun Tests Magazine just ran an article comparing 30-30 lever-action hunting rifles, the Marlin 336W and the Winchester M94, and the Marlin won hands down (dang, and I'm a Winchester guy, too).

The article said the Marlin shot better, handled better and had overall better workmanship (fit and finish were very good). The Winchester was more expensive (by $40), lacked the Marlin's checkering, front sight hood, sling swivels and trigger pull. Also, fit and finish were not quite as good as on the Marlin.

Both rifles sported 20" bbls with both the highest velocity and accuracy (not by much, though) going to the Marlin.

Gosh guys, this looks pretty good for Marlin but I wonder - the Winchester was the Ranger Model, their lesast most expensive 94. The Marlin was the 336W. Upon looking at the different model offerings from Marlin I wonder if a more fair comparison would not have been between the M94 Ranger and the 336A?

Oh well - I guess I need to stock up on a bunch of 30-30 ammo and see how well my two 94s in that caliber can actually shoot. This be Mikey.
 

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I've owned both and also favor the Marlin.......this is really a matter of preference, but to me the marlin is much simpler to detail strip and clean.....Nothing wrong with a Winchester.....but if both sat side by side, in the same condition, for the same money, I'd take a new Marlin over a new Winchester every time.........
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Big Paulie - I wonder about which has the stronger action, honestly. I have heard that both have equal strength and have also heard that the Winchester is the stronger action. I have owned both and haven't had any pressure problems with either make of rifle.

Three of my Winchesters are Big Bores in 444 and each has been put through the process of heavy load development with heavy hardcast Beartooth Bullets and their load data. I have never had a popped or flattened primer, my cases eject and resize easily, the rounds demostrate exceptional accuracy, and the rifles just keep eatin' that stuff up. For me, the Winchester 94 is the rifle of choice and when all things are considered, my preferance may just be based on appearances, considering the equitability of both makes.

You are not talkin' to an advocate of 'load'em high and see what breaks'. I prefer enjoyable shooting and I just really enjoy shooting lever actions.

The article never mentioned action strength but gave the Marlin the thumbs up on its sights, trigger, handling abilities and workmanship. I do like the looks of the older Marlin actions that are re-produced these days for the CASS and also like the looks of the older Model 30 (??) and who knows, I may own one someday (like when I have time to shoot everything I have now - lol). Mikey.
 

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While modern M94s designed for cartridges like the .444 are strong enough, older M94s used cast iron receivers and are not as strong as modern ones. I do not know when the changes were made to current metals and heat treatments, except that the original BigBore .375s from the late 1970s were made of stronger metal than earlier ones were. Consider this when talking about the strength of M94s.
 
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