View Full Version : Marlin 336 or Ruger Gunsite Scout as all-purpose, scout rifle

06-29-2011, 10:13 PM

I am seeking an all-purpose, centerfire rifle, suitable for hunting, plinking, light target shooting, survival, defense, etc. I have a Marlin 1894 in .44 Mag which I am very fond of, but the .44 Mag in my opinion is insufficient at medium to long range, particularly for hunting or self-defense. I consider it a 150 yard cartridge.

I am intrigued by the scout rifle concept. As a lever action fan, I have considered purchasing a Marlin 336 in .30-.30, probably used, and then adding a scout mount and scope. My concern is that a .30-.30 is also limited at medium to long range. It believe it to be equivalent to a .44 Mag at less than 100 - 150 yards, and slightly superior from 150 - 250 yards. Beyond 225 or 250 (possibly up to 300 in LeverEvolution), bullet drop is again an issue.

The Ruger Gunsite Scout is chambered in .308 Win, which certainly would perform better than the .30-.30 from, say 250 t0 400 or even 500 yards. Of concern is the recoil, noise, and muzzle flash from the short (only 16.5") barrel. This rifle is also bolt-action (I prefer lever), and, while it has superior magazine capacity, I don't consider that much of a plus (if at all) in this platform and, in any event, extra magazines are stupid expensive (on the order of $90). Also, the least I've seen these rifles advertised for is $750 from Bud's, plus transfer, etc. - a nice used Marlin, plus scout mount, could be had likely in the $400 range.

So, really, the issue is this - is the step up from .30-.30 to .308 Win worth it in a scout rifle platform? Given the limited magnification of scout scopes (most are 4X or less; the most common I've seen is fixed at 2.5X), are the improved ballistics at distances exceeding 200 to 250 yards even worth it? Does one take those kinds of shots with a scout rifle? My local range is only 200 yards, but someday I would like to be able to use this rifle for deer hunting. Is an effective range of no more than 250 yards (with the .30-.30) sufficient for hunting deer (and hogs) in Northern California? I am leaning towards the Marlin because I prefer the platform, but not if the caliber is insufficient for my needs. I am not interested in the proprietary Marlin chamberings (.308 and .338 Marlin Express), because ammo availability would be an issue in almost any scenario, disaster or not.

Thanks for any feedback.


06-29-2011, 10:39 PM
I have the 336 in 30-30 with a 2.5x fixed scout scope. Bar none, it is my most favorite rifle. I am a huge Cooper fan and am interested in the Ruger Scout and have held it at a local shop its a nice rifle. At some point I will likely get it. If I had to choose one, I'd
stick with my 30-30 as I just like it too much. With the my max ethical hunting distance is 200 yards. For that the 30-30 is more than adequate. At the range I shot my 30-30 at 400 yards and hit the 24"x24" steel 4 out of 5 times with 2 foot or so holdover with a 200 yard zero.

06-29-2011, 11:54 PM
Tough to beat a nice marlin 336. I had one that I traded for cash +a lower, that said I wish I still had it. The .30-.30 has probably killed more deer than any other caliber ever. Google the mad ogre's Cowboy assault rifle.

As far as what rail get the XS lever rail, I had one of those too and you can run either a scout scope, regular scope or upgraded irons. If I could I would trade a complete lower for a newer 336 in a heart beat.

06-30-2011, 10:04 AM
There is nothhng wrong with the 30-30. Especially since the new LeverRevolution ammo lets you use a pointed bullet. Personally, I think the 308 is a more flexible cartridge that will do anything the 30-30 will at a greater range and can be used more reliably on larger game.

If you want a lever scout, the BLR takedown works in a scout configuration:


It is not a "true" scout: It is 1/2" too long, doesn't have a composite stock and the unloaded weight usually exceeds the the 6.6 pound limit by a few ozs.

It is a little tricky to get a ching sling on one but well worth it IMO. The magazine holds four rounds and spare mags are ridiculouly expensive these days. Some people hate the trigger

Despite all that, I like mine a lot. I'm still considering having the LOP on mine shortened about a half-an-inch and having the barrel threaded for a flash hider.