Some Rifles Never Get Old

I just spent some time shooting my old Marlin 336 (a lever-action .30-30). Every time I shoot it, I leave the range wondering why I don’t shoot it more often. It was my very first center-fire rifle, given to me by my grandfather, and it remains one of my favorites.

Almost any lever-action, regardless of the name rolled marked into the barrel, is a joy to shoot. They are light, quick, hard hitting, easy to shoot, and easy to carry. Sure, it isn’t the most flat shooting cartridge, but the zero is easy to remember and I can basically hold the sights on a 10″ target out to 200 yards.

marlin 336 JTT

A rifle like this can conjure up all kinds of day dreams in a young man as he carries it through the woods and it still does for me in spite of the fact that I am not as young as I once was. A lever-action rifle, perhaps more so than any other type of rifle, feels as though it could be taking a trophy buck in one moment and defending your homestead from marauders in the next. I have never done either with this particular rifle. Nothing even close to what could be considered a “trophy” has ever walked in front it and I am fortunate that I have never had to defend my homestead but it is comforting known that I, with it in my hands, am capable of either.

This 336 was not new when I received it but it was well cared for and I have maintained it well in turn. I seem to be getting older but this rifle never does… Neither does the freedom of owning it. It reminds me that good rifles and good men wielding them are our heritage, our birthright, and the birthright of future generations. If you give a young man a .30-30 and teach him how to use it, he might just do the same one day.

Tell me about your favorite old rifle below in the comments.

10 Responses to Some Rifles Never Get Old

  1. MaddMedic February 3, 2016 at 13:48 #

    I still carry mine in the woods every November…Marlin 336 in .32 Winchester Special. Shoots straight as I can and I reload all my own ammo for it, although you can still find it at places like Fleet Farm around these parts.

  2. Snakeman February 3, 2016 at 18:52 #

    My original Marlin Golden 39A bought with my paper route money back when I was 12yrs old back in 1960. Long gone because something new and shiny came along. But I seen the light and found a nice 1948 Marlin 39A. to replace it on gun broker last year. Price was a bit more than what I paid back in 1960.

  3. Guns2317 February 3, 2016 at 21:15 #

    Recently got a 1943 vintage Winchester 1894 model .30-30 from a friend. It is a beautiful gun, with great patina and some wear from honest work. I love it, my first .30-30 (sad to say this since I have been shooting and collecting guns now for almost 30 years) and it is a fun gun to shoot. Nothing wrong with a lever gun.

  4. Ron February 4, 2016 at 08:22 #

    I got my first MArlin 30/30 about 10 yrs ago and I fell the same way. Everytine I shoot it, I always want to shoot it more and more. The Marlin 30/30 keeps me from purchasing an AR or AK because everytime i shoot it, I know this gem of a rifle fits so many roles.

  5. chalco February 4, 2016 at 09:13 #

    My favorite old rifle is my father’s 1948 Winchester Model 70 in 30.06. I hope to inherit it some day but my older brother may get it instead.

  6. Xanderbach February 4, 2016 at 09:27 #

    I have an SMLE No1 MK3, irish army issue… It’s dated 1918, and was passed from my grandfather to my father to me. It was the first rifle I ever owned my self. Problem is- It’s so beautiful, I almost never shoot. I do have a 1948 No4 Mk1 that i use as my hunting rifle, so I live vicariously through it.

  7. ibew47 February 9, 2016 at 07:51 #

    had a few – need to replace the Winchester 30-30 I long ago sold – but I did keep one – a Marlin 39A – it is a tack driver –

    when it came time to open the gun locker for my youngest son to pick out his first .22 he picked the Marlin –

  8. Kent February 9, 2016 at 16:45 #

    Game master. 35 Remington

  9. John Snover February 9, 2016 at 17:00 #

    My dads Western Field (Mossberg 472) has been in the family since it was new more than 40 years ago. He gave it to me in 1990. I replaced the sling and had the scope rebuilt, gave it to my little brother in 2004.

  10. John Snover February 9, 2016 at 17:04 #

    My other old gun is a Remington 341A (Sportsmaster) .22 Dad bought it at a yard sale back in the 60s and taught all of us kids how to shoot with it.

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