Best Scopes for Marlin 336 – Reviews By An Expert

Hunting is arguably one of the most American of pastimes. There is something in the American spirit which adores the outdoors. And nothing expresses American ideals like the thrill of the hunt, the persistence, the ambition, the focus . . .

The Marlin 336 is a popular hunting rifle. What rifle scopes go well with it?



Editor's Rating


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Marlin 336 Rifle Scope Requirements

The Marlin 336 is arguably the most popular hunting rifle in the US. Therefore, any scope you consider should have features that enhance and improve the hunting experience.

The main thing a good rifle scope should have a large objective lens. Not necessarily humongous, but large enough to give you a sharp, bright image. Such clarity will give you an edge when you are hunting. All the scopes I review are in the clear in this regard as they all have a 40mm diameter objective lens.

Sometimes when hunting, you have to wade through a river or swim, or you just fall in. Other times the rain catches you unawares. And then there are the times you go hunting in foggy, misty, or snowy weather.

Naturally, you need a hunting scope that can survive in such environmental conditions. A good rifle scope should be waterproof, fog proof, and some are even shockproof. So make sure the scope is constructed from good material, preferably aircraft-grade aluminum. The lenses should also be coated on both sides.

Another thing you should consider is the eye relief. This is the distance between your eye and the lens when you are holding the gun in position, aiming. Go for long eye relief rather than shot. This will protect you from recoil-instigated black eyes whereby the gun hits back at your eye when you are firing.

1. Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 BDC

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When two major brands collaborate, you can only expect that greatness will be the fruit. And that’s what you get with the Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 BDC rifle scope, which is a collaborative effort between Nikon and Buckmasters.

The Marlin 336 is a gun best suited to shooting at close range. That’s why it’s such a great rifle for hunting in thickly wooded areas. That’s especially true if you are hunting with a .30-30 caliber. When you are shooting at such a close range, it’s best to use a scope with lower magnification power. At 3-9x, this Nikon Buckmasters scope is perfect.

It has a BDC (bullet drop compensator) reticle. BDCs are excellent reticles for someone who is shooting from a variety of target ranges. The BDC enables you to be accurate when shooting over different target ranges and you don’t have to adjust the scope’s evaluation setting.

The BDC reticle will enable you to maintain accuracy when hunting as the target range is highly variable and unpredictable. It is this versatility that makes this Nikon Buckmasters scope a perfect fit for the Marlin 336.

As a hunting rifle, the Marlin 336 is subject to a wide variety of unfriendly weather conditions. As such, you need a scope that can withstand these conditions, and this does so admirably. It is 100% waterproof, fog proof, and has O-ring sealing and nitrogen filling which prevent moisture from penetrating the interior. It is, therefore, a highly durable scope.

For a scope that will make your hunting between the dawn and the dusk easier, consider the Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 rifle scope. Its anti-reflective system of multi-coated lenses provides a high level of anti-reflection capability, which is just what you need to for dawn to dusk big game hunting.

The lenses, after being cut, are coated with multiple layers of anti-reflective compounds. The compounds improve light transmission and make the contrast better. It makes you pull out the game from its surroundings and achieves a true color rendition and flare-free viewing. The overall image quality is highly enhanced.

Highlighted Features:​

  • Has BDC reticle trajectory-compensating system which provides fast, simple aiming points for different shot distances
  • Waterproof and fog proof
  • Has brighter anti-reflective system of multicoated lenses which ensure high anti-reflection capability
  • Comes with limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty
  • 3-9x magnification
  • 40mm objective lens

2. Simmons 8-Point Truplex Reticle Riflescope, 3-9x40mm Review

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The low magnification of this Simmons 3-9x rifle scope is excellent for a Marlin 336, especially when you are hunting in a wooded area. It will do superbly when you are shooting at a target 500 yards or so away, but may not be as good for shooting at long-range targets.

This scope is ideal for hunting, especially on Safari. You can dial down its magnification power when you are shooting at up-close dangerous game and dial it up when you are making a longer shot at plains game. The scope encourages a faster, more intuitive style of shooting. It will also improve your target tracking.

The Duplex reticle is the most common type of hunting rifle scope. It is uncomplicated, uncluttered, can serve you well in all sorts of situations. The four crosshairs draw your eye directly to the center.

Many people consider it the best hunting scope reticle. It’s an excellent scope for the Marlin 336, especially when you are hunting big game, or if hunting in thick brush. That’s when you need that high accuracy level in hitting the animal’s kill zone. Simmons’ name for their duplex reticles is the “Truplex”.

At 40mm, the diameter of its objective lens is pretty big. So it transmits more light into your eye, which helps create a sharper and brighter image. Also, the scope has fully coated optics, which makes the image even brighter and improves the contrast. This is exactly what you need when you are out hunting with your Marlin 336.

The scope has Truezero fingertip windage and elevation adjustment. “Truezero” is what Simmons call their adjustment system. This adjustment system enables you to have a more accurate shooting experience.

When you are hunting, especially in the dusk or dawn hours, your rifle and scope will encounter conditions such as fog, dew, mist, and so forth. Also, if you have to wade through a river or stream, or when it starts raining.

This scope comes prepared for such eventualities. It is waterproof, fog proof, and even shockproof. You can then rest assured that it will give you a long life of service in your hunting expeditions with your Marlin 336 rifle.

Highlighted Features:​

  • Fully coated optics
  • Truezero fingertip windage and elevation adjustment
  • Truplex reticle
  • Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof
  • 8-point rifle scope
  • 3-9x magnification
  • 40mm objective lens

3. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-9x40mm Riflescope Review

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The Marlin 336 is arguably the most popular hunting rifle in the United States. Large numbers of deer, elk, and so forth have fallen because of it. Deer hunting requires a mid-range variable rifle scope such as this one. At 3-9x power, the scope is ideal for big game hunting such as deer and elk. This magnification level also makes for rapid shooting.

Its BDC reticle will make long-range hunting a bit easier. The reticle is located in the second focal plane. This ensures that the reticle retains its size regardless of the power setting you are using.

In other words, the reticle will never seem to change size at any single time. Since its BDC reticle is located in the second focal plane, this scope will serve you best when shooting at shorter-range targets.

The lenses are fully multi-coated. This increases the amount of light being transmitted, which naturally makes the image sharper and brighter, easier to see. It has multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass services. This will increase your accuracy.

The scope has a long eye relief, so you shouldn’t worry that you might end up getting a black eye when you are out hunting. Eye relief is the distance between your eye and the ocular lens when your eye is correctly positioned (the ocular lens is the lens through which your eye peers – the objective lens is on the other side of the scope).

When eye relief is short, the recoil, especially with larger caliber rifles, will cause the gun to hit you in the eyebrow when you are firing. So when you are firing your Marlin 336, the long eye relief of this rifle scope will keep your eyes safe.

The rifle scope has a one-inch tube. It is a single-piece tube made from aircraft-grade aluminum. It has excellent alignment which helps provide you with the high accuracy and superb visual performance you need when you are hunting. The aircraft-grade aluminum makes the tube strong and waterproof.

Highlighted Features:​

  • Dead-hold BDC reticle
  • One-inch tube-3-9x magnification
  • 40mm objective lens
  • Fully multi-coated, with multiple anti-reflective coatings on all air-to-glass services
  • Second focal plane reticle
  • Fast focus eyepiece for fast, easy reticle focusing
  • Single-piece aircraft-grade aluminum tube

4. Leupold Rifleman 4-12X40Mm Matte Wide Duplex 56170 Review

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This Leupold Rifleman scope has a slightly higher magnification power than the other scopes we have looked at so far. At 4-12x, the magnification power is still low enough to enable fast shooting.

The higher resolution will improve target resolution. You will, therefore, have higher accuracy when you are shooting at longer range targets than with the other rifle scopes I have reviewed in this article.

The objective lens is equal in diameter to what we have seen with the other scopes we’ve already reviewed. The 40mm objective lens will transmit plenty of light to the eye, which will result in a sharper, brighter image. The clarity you get is just what you require in hunting scope for your Marlin 336.

It has a wide duplex reticle. The simple, uncluttered, all-purpose reticle has cross hairs that center your line of vision accurately on the kill zone of the game you are hunting. If you hare hunting in thick brush, this is the reticle you need.

The friction dials are marked in ½-MOA increments. This makes it easier for you to adjust the windage and the elevation.MOA means “Minute of Angle”. The main benefit of MOA adjustments is that they enable you to get an extremely precise zero. They also enable you to make fine adjustments at a longer range.

It has a system of fully coated lenses. This gives you a clear, bright image in any kind of light. This is the kind of rifle scope you need for your Marlin 336. The fact that it is waterproof also means it will serve you well in the forest/woods environment.

Highlighted Features:​

  • Fully coated lens system
  • Rugged, 3x Leupold lens erector system guarantees repeatable accuracy
  • 40mm objective lens
  • 4-12x magnification power
  • Friction dials marked in ½ MOA increments for easy windage and elevation adjustments
  • Waterproof-Comes with Leupold’s full lifetime warranty
  • Wide duplex reticle

How Good is a Marlin 336?

marlin 336

The Marlin 336 is one of the most popular lever action rifles in history. The biggest competition it would have would be the Winchester 1894. The reason people love it so much is its reasonable price, utility, high power, accuracy, and ease of use. As a result, it is considered one of the best hunting rifles in the United States.

The Marlin 336 is excellent for use in thickly wooded areas where you are not likely to be taking long range shots.

What sets it apart from many other lever action rifles is that it ejects cartridges from the side of the receiver rather than the top like the other brands. As a result, you won’t have any trouble with hot brass suddenly hitting your forehead or contaminants going into the receiver.

The Marlin 336 in the past came in calibers like .44 Magnum, .32 Special, and .219 Zipper. Currently, the Marlin 336 is produced only in two calibers: the .30-30 Winchester and the .35 Remington.

The rifle has a reversible hammer spur which helps with using the scope. It is, therefore, an easy to use rifle and will serve you well in hunting.

Final Verdict

If you are new to hunting and you are looking for a rifle to ease you in, you should buy a Marlin 336. As we have established, it’s user-friendly, powerful, accurate, and is relatively affordable.

Once you get the rifle, you will need good hunting scopes. The rifle scopes you have read about in this article are ideal for the Marlin 336. Check them out and take your pick of the one you find most appealing.

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