That doesn’t mean you should just settle for any old optic, though. No, to get the most out of your Marlin 366, you need a high-quality scope.
But with so many scopes out there, how do you know which one’s best?
Well, to help you with your search, we’ve assembled a list of the best Marlin 336 scopes. But first, let’s go over some background to help you identify and understand what makes a good scope.
What Are Scopes for Marlin 336?
There are a few things that you should look for in a scope to use with your Marlin Model 336:
Eye relief is the distance from the scope at which you get a full sight picture.
Longer eye relief allows you to mount the scope further forward on the gun and makes shooting more comfortable. It also provides room for the gun to kick with recoil without bashing into your eye or brow bone. So yeah, we like long eye relief.
3.5 inches is the industry standard, but a little bit longer is ideal.
It’s also important to know that the eye relief measurement given by manufacturers is the optimal positioning. However, there is also space to the front and back of that distance that provides a clear image.
This space is referred to as the eye box.
A larger eye box gives the shooter more wiggle room for eye placement while still allowing for accuracy. This makes it faster and easier to line up shots and allows for more comfortable shooting.
.30-30 Winchester and .35 Remington have an effective range of only about 200 yards. You don’t need a super high magnification scope.
In fact, having a low enough magnification is far more important so that your field of view is large enough.
You want a minimum magnification of 3x or less. You can get away with a maximum magnification of 4x, but you really want one of 6x or more. Higher magnification adds versatility.
All of our picks have a 3-9x magnification range or zoom ratio.
Wide Field of View
Similarly, you need to make sure that your field of view is large enough. Field of view refers to the real-world horizontal distance that you can see in your sight picture. It’s measured at 100 yards. As magnification increases, field of view decreases.
If your visual field is too small, it’s easy to lose your target, especially when it’s on the move. Therefore, a larger field of view allows you to zoom in more without as much risk of losing your target.
A larger objective lens does not guarantee a larger field of view. The construction of the eyepiece is what matters.
Since the Marlin Model 336 is a hunting rifle, light transmission is essential.
As a general rule, the more light that the scope transmits, the better you can see in darker conditions. In other words, it allows you to see better in dim woods and allows you to shoot earlier and later in the day. A larger objective lens allows more light to transmit.
However, more light isn’t all that matters. Scopes should also transmit the right wavelengths of light for the best, brightest picture.
You should also keep in mind that too much light can cause glare. A sunshade or anti-reflective lens coating will help you manage glare.
What Are The Different Types of Scopes for Marlin 336?
Since the Marlin Model 336 is a hunting rifle, most Marlin 336 scopes are very similar. They are, after all, optimized for hunting. However, they do fall into one of two camps:
Variable Magnification Scopes
Variable magnification scopes allow you to adjust the magnification power. This allows you to optimize the magnification for various sized targets and different distances.
They do tend to be more expensive, however, and making adjustments takes time.
Fixed Magnification Scopes
Fixed magnification scopes have a single magnification power that cannot be changed.
Fixed magnification scopes tend to be cheaper, but they don’t offer the same versatility as variable magnification scopes. They’re great if you know your targets will only fall within a small range of distances.
When hunting, however, you never know how far away a target may turn up. For that reason, we’ve only recommended variable magnification scopes here.
How Do Scopes for Marlin 336 Work?
There are three main parts of a scope that you should know: the objective lens, the erector system, and the eyepiece assembly.
The objective lens is the lens at the frontmost end of the scope. Light enters the scope through the objective lens.
The objective lens also focuses the light down for its journey through the other lenses.
After the objective lens comes the erector system, or magnification lens system. This system includes the magnification lens and the reticle.
In a fixed magnification scope, the magnification lens is stationary. In a variable magnification scope, however, you move the magnification lens with the power ring around the outside of the scope. As the lens moves forward, magnification increases. As it moves backward, magnification decreases.
All of the scopes on our list are second focal plane (or rear focal plane) scopes, which means that the reticle is positioned behind the magnification lens. That causes the reticle to stay the same size as you adjust magnification.
What Do You Look For In The Best Scopes for Marlin 336?
Aside from the features that make scopes well suited for the Marlin 336, there are also some other great features to look for in a high-quality scope:
Hunting scopes need to be able to stand up to various weather conditions. Therefore, a Marlin 336 scope needs to be waterproof and fog proof.
It should also be shockproof in order to stand up to the energy of recoil and bumps.
A single piece scope body also helps with durability, as does choosing a scope of the right material. Aircraft-grade aluminum is a great option that is both durable and lightweight.
Most scopes allow you to adjust at least windage and elevation. Some also allow you to adjust the parallax setting. These are all adjusted with controls called turrets.
Adjustment turrets shouldn’t be stiff or sticky. They should be crisp and tactile so it’s obvious when an adjustment has been made. At the same time, they shouldn’t be so easy to adjust that you can accidentally mess with your settings.
Light transmission is important, but having a clear sight picture is just as important as having a bright one.
Your lenses shouldn’t have any warps or distortions. They should transmit a crisp, high definition image. They also shouldn’t have an obvious tint.
Many scopes have coated (or multi-coated) lenses to help with image clarity and to protect lenses from scratches and scuffs.
The duplex reticle is a great hunting reticle and is very popular for Marlin 336 scopes. It’s similar to a traditional crosshair, but the lines thicken a short distance from the center. This allows the reticle to stand out against a dark or busy background without adding too much visual clutter.
BDC (bullet drop compensation) and mil-dot reticles are also common, but we prefer a simple duplex reticle.
BDC and mil-dot reticles can be distracting or hard to see in many hunting conditions. They do provide extra information that allows you to adjust for windage and elevation without fiddling with your turrets.
However, it’s hard to apply that to a moving target, so we don’t think it’s worth it. You can also learn to make similar corrections using a duplex reticle with practice.
Best Scopes for Marlin 336 Reviewed
Now let’s move on to the actual scope recommendations.
Leupold Rifleman 3-9x50mm Riflescope (Our Top Pick)
Our top pick is the Leupold Rifleman.
One of the major advantages of this black matte riflescope is its excellent eye relief. It’s 3.7 inches on low magnification and a whopping 4.9 inches on high.
It has a wide duplex reticle with plenty of room in the center opening to avoid obstructing your target.
It also has a large objective lens, plus Leupold’s Twilight Light Management system, for excellent light transmission. Leupold makes a 2.5-inch lens shade, a 4-inch lens shade, and an anti-reflection device to help you manage glare.
Waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof
Does not come with lens cover, but Leupold sells lens covers separately
Trijicon AccuPower 3-9×40 Riflescope (Best High End)
On the other hand, maybe you’re not the type of person to sweat price. In that case, the Trijicon AccuPower is an excellent high-end pick.
It has an illuminated reticle for great visibility in low light conditions. The reticle has 11 brightness settings with an “off” setting between each. It’s available in duplex, mil-square crosshair, or MOA crosshair reticle patterns, each in red or green.
Aside from the great reticle, the AccuPower also has the other features you’d expect from a high-end scope. It’s durable, has fully multicoated lenses, and boasts long eye relief and a forgiving eye box.
Last up is the Vortex Optics Diamondback. It’s a middle of the road scope as far as price goes, but it really delivers on value.
It has a fast-focus eyepiece for quick, easy target acquisition. The eyepiece also delivers a large 44.6 ft (at 3x) to 14.8 ft (at 9x) field of view.
The lenses are fully multicoated to cut glare and improve image clarity. The capped reset turrets allow you to re-index your scope’s zero to your preferred zero for easy return. They provide crisp ¼ -MOA click adjustments.
Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof
MOA V-Plex reticle (also available with dead-hold BDC reticle)
That wraps things up on scopes for the Marlin Model 336. Hopefully, by now you have all the information that you need to choose the right scope for you.
But if you’re still a little unsure, don’t worry. All of these scopes are great options. Paired with your Marlin 336, they’ll all do great. Just choose the scope on this list that works with your price point and has features that catch your interest.