Marlin 336 vs. Winchester Model 94

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Marlin 336 Details

Barrel: Blued or Stainless (508mm)
Calibre Reviewed: 30/30
Overall length: 978mm
Magazine Capacity: 6
Safety: Hammer block
Weight: 3.18kg
Our Review: Click Here

Winchester Model 94 Details

Length: 965mm
Barrel Length: 508mm
Weight: 2.72kg
Magazine Capacity: 6 plus 1 in the chamber
Our Review: Click Here

Marlin 336 In Action

Winchester Model 94 In Action


Having reviewed both of these rifles previously, lets pit them up against each other in the ultimate lever gun showdown: The Marlin 336 vs. The Winchester Model 94, both ever popular with Aussie and worldwide hunter, both big names in the firearm industry and both chambered in 30-30: Let’s get it on!

What I am reviewing this time round is two of the top selling lever guns ever. With designs dating back to 1893 and 1894 respectively, they have both truly stood the test of time. Although much has changed in the years between then and now, the basic elements that have led to these designs being utilised for so long definitely remain the same.

As previously discussed, both of these rifles offer fast repeat shooting, have reasonable magazine capacity and are fast handling, leading them to become popular choices with the cowboys of the old Wild West. Now, where would western movies be without the classic lever action rifle? They are every bit a part of cowboy folklore as burlesque houses, single action pistols and chewing tobacco. However, with all of this being true, how do these two rifles really stack up against each other?

More Details

If one were to investigate the similarities to begin with, we would find that both rifles have similar looks and specifications. Both have the same length barrels, are within 15mm of the same overall length and both have that classic style that stirs something inside of most gun nuts soul that screams “I just need one of them!” They both have 6 shot magazine capacity, both have unsurpassed popularity worldwide and are both comparable in accuracy. From a negative perspective, both could also do with a trip to the gunsmith, which each rifle having a particularly heavy trigger and the Winchester also suffering from a rough action.. However, this is where the similarities end.

The Marlin 336 has a much stronger and simpler action, owing to its flat top receiver and not having ever incorporated a top ejection port into its early design, unlike the Model 94. This in turn allows for a much stronger single piece scope mount to be added, unlike the Winchester which only has the accommodation for a two piece top mount. However true this may be, the Winchester strikes back with a time proven design and a slimmer receiver that encompasses a flat base. Although the mechanism is more complicated than that used in the Marlin design, it does make for a comfortable, convenient and slightly lighter rifle overall. A consideration of a lighter rifle would generally be the felt recoil, but seeing as the rifles in the spotlight are chambered in 30-30, this would not be something I would be worried about.


Depending on who you talk to, there are many opinions and views given for and against both of these fine models of lever guns. I will leave it up to you, the fine reader, to decide for yourself which make and model you prefer. If you need further reading, please don’t hesitate to consult one of my previous articles on the subject, and look out for my upcoming feature article on lever guns, their history and their place in the Aussie bush hunter’s arsenal.

If it where up to this reviewer to make a solid decision on which gun I would prefer to purchase, I would have to lean more to the side of the Marlin. This however, is not for any of the above mentioned reasons, but simply because I already own a Model 94, and the Model 336 is just another gun on my list.

Until next time, happy and safe shooting!

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