Marlin 336y "Spikehorn" review, ultimate compact deer rifle?

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Marlin 336y "Spikehorn" review, ultimate compact deer rifle?

Postby yuppiejr on Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:45 pm

Reviewed is a recent production (RM serial number prefix) Marlin 336y "Spikehorn," 30-30 lever action rifle. While designated a youth rifle the length of pull is only about 1" shorter than a typical 336 model, barrel is 16.25" long instead of 20 and you lose one round in the magazine to 5+1. The latest models have a checkered stock and include an optional hammer offset for mounting a scope, basic Allen nylon sling, user manual and trigger lock in the box.

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/PDFs/Rele ... 010111.pdf

I picked this rifle up for a variety of reasons... first, I like short guns (it's the same length and weight as a 16" carbine/midlength AR15 shown below for reference)... I don't own a rifle with a barrel over 20"... second, I wanted something appropriate for deer that is suitable for packing a long distance and hunting in thick woods (all sub 100 yard shots). Third, I've got kids and this seems like a good first deer rifle some-day for a young shooter that, hopefully, Daddy has properly broken-in when it's their turn to carry it.

I spent a fair bit of time at the shop comparing this to a 336c model (20", 30-30) and felt the shorter barrel, while it would result in a slight loss of velocity, was faster to swing and significantly handier for the conditions I intend to take it hunting. A total of 5" shorter than a normal 20" 336 rifle though the weight is similar at 6.5 pounds. I'm 5'10" and didn't find the short stock at all uncomfortable to shoulder, when compared to my AR15 adjustable stock it's exactly the same LOP as I usually have it set in fact. I am not going to spend a great deal of time describing the Marlin 336 lever action rifle as it's been covered exhaustively elsewhere... This is a Marlin 336 with cross bolt safety, a short barrel/magazine and stock, drilled and tapped in the same locations and supporting the same aftermarket accessories as the rest of the line. I have only found one of these in the local shops I checked on the north side, there seem to be a few versions out there with or without stock checkering and either a smooth plastic or rubber recoil pad... mine is the checkered walnut stock with a smooth recoil pad.

The fit and finish was overall average, wood to metal were not perfectly aligned at the handguards where it meets the receiver (similar to the other current production Marlin/Remingtons I checked) but not functionally significant. I'd estimate the trigger is 5-6 pounds, similar to my AR, heavier than my Remington 700 in their factory configurations - but was short, clean and consistent... same as the other 336's I checked. Sights are properly lined up, certainly better than the Marlin 795 I purchased earlier in the year that looked like it was assembled by a cross eyed drunken monkey. The bluing is very dark and well applied throughout and the finish of the "walnut finish" wood including the checking is adequate but not beautiful, the stain is fairly light and looks like a quick in-out job to keep the cost down. The bolt machining was surprisingly crude in the non visible areas but does not seem to effect function, I did give the parts that interact with other metal a light once-over with some metal polish and a towel to take the factory rough off and smooth up the action a bit. The rifle comes in the usual dark/dirty looking factory lube and appears to have been test fired so I broke it down for a good cleaning and re-lube.

Off to Gander to pick up some of the 30-30 ammo they have on sale (for a change, cheaper than everyone else..) and am shopping for a replacement set of sights before I zero the rifle, I've never been a big fan of the blade/leaf style and would prefer aperture sights like the Wiliams Firesights or TruGlo set that mounts to the receiver tap-holes and add another 5-6" of sight radius. Range report to follow as soon as I can get back over to Bill's some evening.

Image

Marlin Spikehorn 336y next to a BCM Midlength 16" upper based AR15 rifle with stock set to my normal LOP.

Image

Stock (internet) image of a 336y "Spikehorn" above a standard 336c rifle in 30-30 with the 20" barrel.


Coming soon... sight upgrade project, additional photos (particularly of the poor bolt machining...) and a range test using Federal Fusion 150 grain, Federal Power Shok 150 grain and Remington Core Lokt 150 grain SP ammo.
Last edited by yuppiejr on Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Marlin 336y "Spikehorn" review, ultimate compact deer rifle?

Postby 870TC on Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:55 pm

Stock is "walnut finished" hardwood.

Might try looking here for sights http://www.skinnersights.com/

The tactical sight looks nice to me.

Brockmans sight is worth looking at , http://www.brockmansrifles.com/sight_options.asp
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Re: Marlin 336y "Spikehorn" review, ultimate compact deer rifle?

Postby forcefed on Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:39 pm

That little thing is pretty cool! I wish they came in pistol caliber's though. I really really want to get a lever gun in .45LC, .357, or .44Mag
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Re: Marlin 336y "Spikehorn" review, ultimate compact deer rifle?

Postby rugersol on Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:55 pm

870TC wrote:Stock is "walnut finished" hardwood.

Might try looking here for sights http://www.skinnersights.com/

The tactical sight looks nice to me.

Brockmans sight is worth looking at , http://www.brockmansrifles.com/sight_options.asp

I put a Skinner rear sight on my .338 MX ... I took the corners off ... other than that, I like it very much. I also ordered a replacement front blade ... but ya had to file the dovetails, not the bottom, and I couldn't do it with hand tools. He sent me a new one fer free ... still couldn't do it. So I ordered a Brockman front ... VERY nice!

If it weren't fer the money, I'd've got Brockman, fer both.

I see now, they got a "tactical" front ... looks like a complete replacement ... don't believe he had that, when I bought from him. I'd consider givin' that a try ... if I had it to do over, again.

Congrats on the new gun! :cheers:
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Re: Marlin 336y "Spikehorn" review, ultimate compact deer rifle?

Postby rugersol on Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:59 pm

forcefed wrote:That little thing is pretty cool! I wish they came in pistol caliber's though. I really really want to get a lever gun in .45LC, .357, or .44Mag

I don't understand, in what way, this ain't what yer looking for? Image
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Re: Marlin 336y "Spikehorn" review, ultimate compact deer rifle?

Postby forcefed on Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:19 pm

rugersol wrote:
forcefed wrote:That little thing is pretty cool! I wish they came in pistol caliber's though. I really really want to get a lever gun in .45LC, .357, or .44Mag

I don't understand, in what way, this ain't what yer looking for? Image


You never disappoint! Probably out of my price range anyway. I have been looking at the Rossi's, but we will see.
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Re: Marlin 336y "Spikehorn" review, ultimate compact deer rifle?

Postby yuppiejr on Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:24 pm

rugersol wrote:
forcefed wrote:That little thing is pretty cool! I wish they came in pistol caliber's though. I really really want to get a lever gun in .45LC, .357, or .44Mag

I don't understand, in what way, this ain't what yer looking for? Image


Yep, the Marlin 1894 is chambered for 44 spc/44 mag pistol cartridges, 10 round tubular mag with a 20" barrel (blued, blued + walnut, stainless steel) while the 1894c (blued) / 1894css (stainless) is an 18.5" barreled model in 38 spc/357 with a 9 shot capacity.

The base/blued model of either starts around $500-$550.

Fleet Farm and Dick's both carry and stock a reasonable assortment of Marlin stuff including lever guns or there's always the online/FFL transfer option if the price is right. :)

That Rossi model 92 also looks pretty nice, at least $100 cheaper than the Marlin in the .44 magnum variety....
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Re: Marlin 336y "Spikehorn" review, ultimate compact deer rifle?

Postby cobb on Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:58 am

Sound a lot like the Marlin Marauder that I have chambered in .35 Remington. A very nice, compact and fast rifle in the deep brush.
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Re: Marlin 336y "Spikehorn" review, ultimate compact deer rifle?

Postby yuppiejr on Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:29 am

Right now I'm looking at the XS Ghost Ring set for this rifle, the Skinner and Brockman look great but the price is significantly higher and the XS set seems to get high marks for ease of installation and durability:

http://www.xssights.com/index.php?nID=s ... &sID=rifle

$81 bucks at Midway

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/920514 ... steel-blue
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Re: Marlin 336y "Spikehorn" review, ultimate compact deer rifle?

Postby rugersol on Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:25 am

yuppiejr wrote:Right now I'm looking at the XS Ghost Ring set for this rifle, the Skinner and Brockman look great but the price is significantly higher and the XS set seems to get high marks for ease of installation and durability:

http://www.xssights.com/index.php?nID=s ... &sID=rifle

$81 bucks at Midway

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/920514 ... steel-blue

Them are nice sights ... I had 'em on my 1895GS (got really drunk and traded it off Image).

Fer my .338 MX, I wanted a smaller aperture fer longer shots.

I don't see where the "ghost ring" is threaded fer different apertures (like the Skinner) ... which would be purdy dumb, on their part ... as it's otherwise a very nice set.

edit: came across this ... interesting idea ... if it works with the factory front blade, it'd be a very inexpensive way to get into a peep/ghost (can't help but think he'd do a lot better business if he made his front blades to fit from the bottom, and not the angled sides ... then again, if I had it to do over, I'd jest get a Lyman front ... I presume they fit from the bottom ... but the couple I got, were a perfect fit, from the factory) ...

Image
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Re: Marlin 336y "Spikehorn" review, ultimate compact deer rifle?

Postby yuppiejr on Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:48 pm

Well, newbed the gun on my FIRST trip to the range today.. guess they are not kidding about making sure the last round in the mag is ALL the way forward before you crank that lever. I didn't even fire a shot before I had the gun jammed beyond an easy range fix... oops. :) At least it wasn't jammed with one in the chamber. All better now and I see what I screwed up. /RTFM
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Re: Marlin 336y "Spikehorn" review, ultimate compact deer rifle?

Postby marlin89 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:57 pm

I just bought a marlin 336y. Very disappointed in this rifle. Right out of the box the loading get was chipped and scratched, the reciever looked terrible half of it had a nice dark bluing and the other half looked like they ran out. I took it to the range and never had a gun jam as much as this one. Marlin needs to improve there quality control fast before they lose more die hard customers like myself.
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