Every Man’s Hog Rifle by Max Prasac

 

Best known for their high-quality lever action rifles, Marlin offers a whole slew of firearms including bolt actions,autoloaders, and shotguns in a variety of calibers. We acquired a no-frills Marlin 336A lever action rifle in 30/30 Winchester for testing. All I can say is that there is something so basic, so pure, and so functional about this particular rifle that makes it a must-have for the boar hunter. It functioned flawlessly throughout our testing on the range and in the field, where we subjected it to less than ideal conditions and the 336A never missed a beat. The 30/30 caliber is probably single-handedly responsible for more North American game ending up in the pot than any other round. It’s easy on the wallet and the shoulder, but it hammers game with authority. This is a winning combination if there ever was one.

ERGONOMICS

Nothing quite handles like a lever action or quite as well. Weighing in at a svelte 7-lbs, the Marlin 336A is a pleasure to carry and easy to bring into play. It shoulders quickly and points naturally. The safety is easy to use and logically placed. Cycling the lever is effortless and positive, feeding ammunition from the tubular magazine that holds a total of six rounds. The open iron sights are simple to adjust and easy to acquire even in low light, a definite plus when hunting hogs or any game for that matter. The 336A even comes with an offset hammer spur (right or left-handed), for use with a scope. Speaking of which, the 336A can be ordered with a factory mounted and bore-sighted 3-9×32 power scope, taking the guesswork out of buying a compatible scope and the corresponding rings to mount it.

TESTING

Before we tested the little 336A in the killing fields, we put it through its paces on the range. We loaded the Marlin up with Hornady’s excellent Leverevolution ammo. Featuring the innovative 160 grain FTX bullet (Flex Tip eXpanding), the flexible point makes these rounds safe for use in a tubular magazine, where the cartridges sit nose to primer. The pointed nose also offers a higher ballistic coefficient resulting in a flatter trajectory. Rated at 2,400 fps from a 24-inch barrel, Hornady’s 30/30 ammo is serious hog medicine. It didn’t take us long to get the Marlin on paper from the bench on sandbags, and we ended our session with a ¾-inch three-shot group at 50 yards and just over an 1 ¼ at 100 yards. With a scope you can expect even better groups and even greater consistency.

 

ON THE HUNT

We took the Marlin to the woods of North Carolina to see if we could put some pork on the table. Unfortunately, being mid-January, the weather wouldn’t cooperate, and whole sections of the woods and roads in the area were underwater due to severe flooding. This really affected the movement of the hogs and none came within range despite lots of fresh sign indicating the contrary. Try as we did, it just wasn’t in the cards. Too bad, but that’s why they call it hunting and not shooting In conclusion, any self respecting boar hunter would be hard pressed to find better “bang for the buck” than the Marlin 336A in 30/30 Winchester. This is an excellent hog hunting rifle for the beginner or the expert alike. Easy to use, easy to master, and priced to fit nearly anyone’s budget, the little 336A left a big impression on everyone who shot and handled it. We hope to hunt with it again soon (we keep hoping for warmer weather), and can’t wait to get our mitts on other Marlin offerings. The only problem with the 336A is that we have to give it back…..

 

SPECIFICATIONS

Caliber ……………………………………….30/30 Winchester

Capacity …………………………………………………. 6 rounds

Action Type …………………. Lever action; side ejection

Barrel ……………………………………. 20-inches; 1:10 twist

Overall Length ………………………………….. 38.25-inches

Weight …………………………………………………………..7 lbs.

 

CONTACTS:

Marlin Firearms

Madison, NC

Phone: 800-544-8892

www.marlinfirearms.com

 

Hornady Manufacturing Company

Gand Island, NE

Phone: 308-382-1390

www.hornady.com

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