Home » Scopes and Optics » Best Scopes That Fit The Marlin Model 336 [2024 Review]

Best Scopes That Fit The Marlin Model 336 [2024 Review]

L.p. Brezny | Updated February 26, 2024 | Why You Should Trust Us | How We Earn Money
Cover photo for Best Scopes That Fit The Marlin Model 336 showing a scope mounted on a rifle

When selecting a rifle scope for the Marlin 336 and its close variants, there are specific scopes that work well with it. And if you don’t get that right, well, you’ll just be splashing the cash for nothing.

But don’t worry as I’ve already field-tested a selection of scopes that balance its ability well with this rifle. And the good news is that you don’t have to spend a life savings to get good glass. So, let’s get started.

My Picks For 336 Scope

Henry 32-20 resting on white board and grass
The lever-action rifle retains a short receiver that goes well with smaller and sorter scopes. ( Pictured is a Henry 32-20 owned by the author. )

Best Scopes for Marlin 336

1. Bushnell AR Optics 1-4×24

Bushnell AR Optics 1-4x24 product image

Don’t let the name on the scope fool you. This scope is compact in design for use on the smaller receiver of the AR-15, and M-16. That means that it is a nice fit for the Marlin 336 short receiver, and when the barrel length moves down into the trapper series at 16 inches, it is an even better fit.

Affordable, and tough as nails. I have shot this scope for years on both rifles and heavy recoiling slug guns (shotguns). I can attest to the fact that for a little over $200, you’re getting one pile of great operation glass that will control any and all of the cartridges chambered in the lever-action rifle.

This scope is 13 x 2 x 1 inch in size. The air-to-glass surfaces are hard-coated and scratch-resistant as well as waterproof. The objective lens is 30 mm, which is ample for shooting up to 300 yards regarding light-gathering abilities.

Standard one inch are the best scope rings for this scope and are easy to apply to this scope in terms of mounting. With the Marlin having a drilled and tapped series of scope base holes in place, mounting this scope even at home should not pose a major problem at all. This scope features a large “throw down” lever when changing magnification levels on the run.

The company priced it just right, and with how field-tough this scope is, it’s a good choice for this shorter-range big bore rifle.

Bushnell AR Optics scope mounted on a rifle

My Thoughts:

As a seasoned hunting expert with a penchant for firearms, I can attest to the impressive capabilities of the Bushnell AR Optics 1-4×24. This scope delivers razor-sharp images, even when you’re up against the most demanding conditions. Its multi-coated lenses work wonders in boosting light transmission and curbing glare, offering brilliant, high-contrast target visuals.

Constructed to be robust, the Bushnell AR 1-4×24 scoffs at rough handling and adverse weather, proving to be a steadfast ally for both hunters and marksmen. Swift target acquisition is assured, thanks to the rapid-focus eyepiece, while the Drop Zone-223 BDC reticle facilitates spot-on bullet drop compensation. Time and time again, this scope’s performance in the field will leave you thoroughly impressed.

What catapults this scope ahead of its rivals is the exquisite equilibrium it strikes between top-notch performance and cost-effectiveness. While this scope retains the resilience and sturdiness you’d anticipate from a premium optic, it doesn’t drain your wallet. Its compact form factor ensures compatibility with a diverse array of rifles, providing adaptability for a multitude of shooting situations.

The Drop Zone-223 BDC reticle presents precise holdover points tailored for .223 caliber ammunition (though is compatible with many more), granting you a leg up over scopes equipped with generic reticles.

Combining its user-friendly design with exceptional performance, the Bushnell AR Optics 1-4×24 emerges as an unparalleled option for both seasoned sharpshooters and novices alike.

2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II SFP

Vortex Optics Crossfire II SFP product image

Moving into a somewhat larger scope, but still very workable on the Marlins full-length barreled receiver is the Vortex Crossfire II.

This is a scope that has more meat to it as it is a heavier larger scope, but it is still a 2-7x32mm objective lens unit. This scope is again a great price range optical system as it is in the ballpark of about $1xx on the low end, to just $3xx when fully equipped.

Sub-tensions in the reticle are the Dead-Hold BDC system. Find the mark that fits the impact point of your bullet, and you know where to aim lacking any massive hold over guesswork, or DOPE card reading in the field.

Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32mm on a hunting rifle

This scope has a long eye relief and wide eye box for fast target acquisition. Turret adjustments are in MOA clicks and the main tube housing is of a one-piece aircraft-grade aluminum construction.

The Crossfire series of Vortex scopes are all very much field-ready and designed for the hunter from the main tube up.

  • Size 11.3 x 3.5 inches 0.89 pounds.
  • Battery power lithium

My Thoughts

Drawing from my extensive experience as a seasoned hunter and firearms expert, I can assertively vouch for the unparalleled quality and dependability of the Vortex Optics Crossfire II SFP. Vortex has solidified its position as a reputable brand within the optics realm, earning a name for its exceptional craftsmanship and unwavering dedication to customer satisfaction.

The Crossfire II continues the legacy, proving to be a remarkable product that lives up to the Vortex reputation. Throughout my hunting and shooting endeavors, I’ve employed this scope in a myriad of scenarios, discovering it to be a top-tier performer. The lens boasts crisp, pristine clarity, while the robust construction guarantees resilience in the face of demanding field conditions. Rest assured, the Vortex Crossfire II will not disappoint.

3. Nikon Black Force 100 1-6×24 IL MOA

Nikon Black Force 100 1-6x24 product image

I have moved again toward the small objective and compact glass sight, as it is fitting that this be considered workable for the Marlin lever-action rifle. If you don’t think I am on the right track here, be advised that currently, the US Army has contracted Sig Arms to build a combat-grade scope just like this for general application among squad-level troops.

Nikon Black Force 100 scope on a rifle

That means every ground-pounding trooper will carry a scoped M-16 / M-4, or whatever the next advance is in military weapons. Why move away from the ACOG red dot etc? Because a scope like this increases hit ability and reduces excess ammo consumption as well as develops a far more lethal soldier. 

Like the military sighting concept, this Nikon Black will do exactly the same thing and is workable on big game to all practical range limits. The small compact structure of the scope makes it easy to carry and will not interfere with mounting speed or locking in game harvesting accuracy.

Low profile capped turret adjustments in MOA graduations, a larger 30mm main tube built for rough field use (military style), and sporting an etched reticle, this scope is a mid-range priced unit that has enough advanced upgrades to make it very lethal in the field.

As mounted on a lever rifle this scope is fast to mount, sight, and in general use by even a first-time shooter.

  • 11.6 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches / 13 ounces.
  • Battery power lighted reticle Lithium.
Author with Nikon scope mounted on a short carbine length rifle
Author Photo: Author with Nikon mounted on a short carbine length rifle

4.  Nikon 3-9 X 40 BDC Reticle

Nikon 3-9 X 40 BDC Reticle product image

In this second Nikon scope, we move to the basic gold standard in whitetail or mule deer hunting optics. This is the 3-9 power system and in general, the most used glass sight of all among hunters.

When mounted on a full-size Marlin Model 336 ( long barrel) in 30-30 Win, or even 444 Marlin, the rifle scope sight is clearly quite capable of placing your bullet to as much range as you can stretch out of the cartridge being chambered in the rifle.

This scope has an enlarged bell at 40mm and that means pulling low light well early in the morning and late in the evening as well. Nikon has built world-class photo equipment for many years and moving that knowledge of glass into the scope area of production has made for a well-built and designed product. 

Nikon 3-9 X 40 scope on a hunting rifle

Mounting the BDC reticle the sub-tensions allow the shooter to “ map” his bullet impact points and then develop an E-DOPE card for use in the field. A deer walks out of a thicket at 254 yards and using the BDC aiming points the hunter that has done his homework selects the correct reticle ring for elevation and then sends the bullet downrange. The scope retains aiming points out to 600 yards, well advanced from the general working range of the cartridges offered in the Marlin 336 lever action rifle.

  • 14.65 x 3.86 x 2,99 inches, 1.16 pounds

Very affordable pricing. A great deal of practical scope for the money.

Side note: I shoot Nikon on three of my five hard-working field rifles. This fall Nikon ProStaff long-range scopes will carry the mail on two trophy whitetail hunts. I trust the product.

5. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9 X 40mm

Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9 X 40mm product iamge

This scope is in the modest price point line by Leupold, but don’t let that fool you, as these are good scopes and will return years of solid service.

Again in the 3-9 x 40mm gold standard in hunting scopes, this scope will do anything required of the 336 Marlin rifle shooter and more. 

None of us have time for broken-down equipment in the field. A day without some success is a lost day in the books, and it is not in our game plan to work that way. Therefore, the scopes selected need to be a workhorse, period. Leupold fits this requirement perfectly.

This scope is equipped with the Leupold Light Management System, MOA clicks in terms of elevation and windage adjustments, and is made from 60610T5 aircraft aluminum. Scratch-resistant lens surfaces that are up to military standards.

This total scope is designed and Machined in the USA. Glass used in these scopes is also American-made, and lens installation on these scopes is hand-fitted versus glued.

Leupold VX- Freedom scope on a hunting rifle

The scopes are budget-priced for almost all shooters.

6. Steiner P4Xi 1x-4x24mm Compact

Steiner P4Xi 1x-4x24mm Compact product image

With a move up in rice that is pushing a grand, the Steiner German-built glass is another option that we shoot here at the research center.

Steiner is used here as ultra-long-range sniper scopes, but the general level of quality and construction stays the same on all of these very high-grade glass sights.

Steiner P4Xi scope on top of its box

This compact and tightly built rifle scope is again ideal for use on a short action lever action rifle. Low turret height will keep chances of snagging when heavy brush shooting, or any need for a very quick movement into action.

The reticle in this scope is illuminated as a P3TR system. The lighting retains 4 levels of low light settings, 5 levels of daylight settings, and 2 levels of night vision settings.

This scope is a 1-4x power unit and carries a 100% warranty for the life of the owner. 

  • Len diameter 24mm
  • Tube diameter 30mm
  • Length 10.3 inches MOA 0.5 click graduations for very fine sight adjustment.

The scope is designed as a 600 yard specialized glass sight. This system can handle any and all chamberings as applied to the Marlin 336 and related variants.

7. Leupold VX- Freedom 1.5-4 X 20mm

Leupold VX- Freedom 1.5-4 X 20mm product image

This is the ideal power setting and compact size as applied to the Marlin Model 336. I shoot a Winchester 94 in 30-30 using a scope very much like this in a fixed 4x, which again is not bad either as used with the shorter-range cartridge.

This scope is calibrated in ¼ MOA adjustments, waterproof, and fog-resistant. It is also built from 6061-T6 aircraft aluminum. I strongly recommend this scope for timber hunters, or hunters hitting areas like the northern Minnesota black willow swamps or muskeg bogs.

Leupold VX- Freedom scope held in both hands

The shooting is fast and the range is close in almost all cases.

  • Weight 9.6 oz
  • Elevation adjustment 125 MOA.
  • Eye relief 4,17  inches.
  • Budget-priced.

8. TRACT Toric 2-10 X 42

TRACT Toric 2-10 X 42 mounted on a gun
TRACT scope on one of the Author’s deer hunting rifles.

Built by a newer company that is a splintering of engineers from another major company, TRACT builds good scopes. I shoot one on a 338 Lapua that is a one-mile plus rifle, and also one on a .224 Valkyrie that is a dead sure rock chuck rifle in the high elevations of the South Dakota Black Hills.

Glass, main body construction, and turret tower housing are all top-of-the-line, but at a working man’s price tag.

TRACT Toric scope on a rifle

Etched glass reticle, four-inch eye relief through a full range of magnification, and BDC reticle equipped. Need more in a scope and your just spending money.

We use these scopes in the research business and have found them to deliver the goods without failure in the field.

Remember this. Anything I review here for Barrettrifles.com is something I have currently on hand or would buy if I needed it.

Author with Nikon, TRACT, and Vortex scopes mounted on rifles
Author with Nikon, TRACT, and Vortex scopes mounted on commercial-grade test rifles (Ruger bolt guns). We use what we review and test.

History of the Marlin Model 336

Introduced in 1948 to the American Hunter, the Marlin Model 336 and other related variants have been a solid link among whitetail, bear, and even elk hunters for many years across the board. At the end of WWII, the young soldier just getting out of the service was gun-savvy, and Marlin was quick to catch on to the pending market in a good lever-action rifle.

What the Marlin retains that is different from some other lever-action rifles is that it is set up as a side ejection design and that makes mounting scope bases, blocks, or even Weaver-style rails a snap when moving to more than a set of open buckhorn style sights. With this very flexible ability to take on glass sights, what the buyer of a scope needs to understand first and foremost is that it will be important to base your choice in glass against the exact cartridge type you’re selecting in the rifle. 

Deer walking through field with trees
When this guy shows up on the move, you need a fast-handling rifle and scope combination. Time is everything here. Speed counts, but accuracy gets the job done.

For example, if you’re shooting the 45-70 round, there is little need for some range stretching system. Sure, the 45-70 is a buffalo cartridge of old and was spot-on deadly to 600 yards, but that is not as realistic as a big game rifle nowadays, because modern ballistics has generated far more accurate and deadly rounds over the past 200 years or so.

This means that with cartridges like the 45-70, 444 Marlin, and 30-30 Winchester – the primary chamberings in this rifle – it’s critical to ensure you pair the correct scope offerings with the listed cartridges. It also means that range is for the most part inside 200 yards, and a hunter that knows the cartridges well can push that effective range to about 300 yards using a whole lot of bullet trajectory knowledge, and also using a good scope sight in the process.

410 wheel gun with scope mounted
Small receivers like this 410 wheel gun make use of smaller scopes that are a good fit for the firearm.

For similar reading see our article on the different types of scopes out there.

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