The 10 Best Scopes for a 30-30 Marlin 336

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First introduced by Marlin Firearms in 1948, the Marlin 336 is one of the most popular centerfire lever rifles still in production. If you asked ten different deer hunters to name their idea of the most iconic deer rifle, I’m betting that more than half would say a lever action 30-30 Marlin 336. The first deer rifle I ever fired and carried into the woods as a teenager was a Marlin 336 chambered in 30-30.

what's the best scope for 30-30 marlin 336

Having grown up in North Carolina, the lever action 30-30 was the most popular deer rifle during my youth and the gun of choice for deer hunting in heavy cover where the average shot on a deer was 100 yards or less.

The shorter barrel (compared to most bolt rifles of that era) made it easy to handle in cover, the lever action was more than fast enough for rapid follow-up shots, and the 30-30 caliber was more than sufficient for ethically taking deer at 100 yards or less. While more popular as a deer cartridge, the 30-30 is also used for hunting Black Bears as well.

Even today, the Marlin 336 is still a popular option for deer hunting with new and experienced hunters alike. The timeless lever-action design still appeals to hunters and shooters as a lever action rifle was the traditional weapon of the cowboys and frontiersmen of the past. Even today, one of the questions I’m routinely asked at my day job is: what’s the best scope for 30-30 Marlin 336 lever action rifle?

In a hurry, here are my top 10 picks for the best Marlin 30 30 scopes:

#1 – Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32
#2 – Simmons 8 Point 3-9×40
#3 – Burris Fullfield E1 3-9×50
#4 – Leupold FX-3 6×42
#5 – Vortex Crossfire II 3-12×56
#6 – Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12×40
#7 – Vortex Diamondback 3.5-10×50
#8 – Leupold VX3i 3.5-10×40
#9 – Simmons AETEC 2.8-10×44 illuminated
#10 – Meopta MeoPro 6×42

Honorable mentions:

Nikon Prostaff P3 3-9×40 BDC
Weaver K-4 Classic 4X38

Marlin 30 30 scope

Each scope that I’ve suggested as a possible option for a 30 30 lever action rifle has both pros and cons. Let’s get into why I think each of the rifle scope models below is a good option for a Marlin 336 30-30, and then I’ll go over what to look for in a Marlin 30-30 scope in a buyer’s guide down below.

Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32

Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rifle ScopeWhen discussing Marlin 336 scope options, the smaller and lower-powered scope models should always be part of the conversation.

Built on a 1-inch tube, the Vortex 2-7×32 offers a compact and lightweight scope option for the Marlin 336. Given that most shots with a 336 take place under 100 yards, it’s not necessary to outfit one with a higher magnification scope.

The 2-7 power range offers more than enough magnification for shots out to 75 yards or longer. The 32mm objective is small enough so the scope can be mounted closer to the bore, yet offers enough light transmission for a bright, clear picture.

With an overall length of 10.71 inches and a weight of 14.3 ounces, this Crossfire II scope is small and light enough not to slow down or interfere with the maneuverability of the lever-action 336 in dense brush.

This scope is available with either a Vortex V-Plex reticle or the Dead-Hold BDC reticle. I’m a fan of the Dead-hold BDC reticle as it offers a serious amount of versatility.

Pros Cons
Outstanding 3.9 inches of eye relief

A very wide field of view of 42-12.6/100 yards

The Dead-Hold BDC can be used to extend the range of the rifle

Great Warranty

Built like a tank, but it also means that this scope weighs more than most models with the same dimensions.

A fixed 100-yard parallax (Not a deal-breaker, but I prefer an adjustable parallax if possible)

Here are the best prices and deals I could find for the Crossfire II 2-7×32 models:

Simmons 8 Point 3-9×40

Simmons 8 Point 3-9x4o Rifle Scope

When you start shopping for a Marlin 30 30 scope, you’re most likely going to see a number of suggestions for scopes in the 3-9 power range. This is due to the overall popularity of that specific scope magnification range.

If you want a decent 3-9 optics for your 3030, then the Simmons 8 Point 3-9×40 might be worth checking out. It’s a no-frills 3-9 scope that offers better than average optical quality and features at a price that won’t break your budget.

This scope offers an optical quality that exceeds the price, coupled with 3.75 inches of eye relief, and Simmons patented TrueZero windage and elevation system.

The 8 Point scope offers a good value at a good price.

Pros Cons
The price point is a big plus

Surprisingly, decent glass for the $

Very lightweight for a 3-9 scope

Compact 40mm objective lens

A non-adjustable 100-yard parallax

The power adjustment ring can be hard to turn at first, but it loosens up with use

Here are some of the best deals I could find on the Simmons 8 Point 3-9×40 scope:

Burris Fullfield E1 3-9×50

The Burris Fullfield E1 series of scopes is the workhorse scope series within the Burris scope line. The E1 offers good quality optics and features at a very reasonable price. Is it the cheapest 3-9 scope model in this list? No, but it’s a quality scope that will last a lifetime with proper care.

This scope comes with the Burris E1 reticle that functions as a standard duplex when needed but also features BDC functionality for bullet drop compensation. I like this reticle option as it’s very flexible.

This scope model features better than average glass that is crisp and clear, even in low light conditions. As an added bonus, it’s covered by the Burris Forever warranty program.

Even though the 30-30 is a light recoiling rifle, this scope has a history of durability and will hold up to a lifetime of recoil on a lever-action 30-30.

Pros Cons
Excellent low light optics for this price range

The E1 reticle can also extend your shooting distances if you learn the reticle

Great Warranty

Like many 3-9 scopes in this price range, it has a fixed 100-yard parallax setting. (Not a deal-breaker though)

While the eye relief is listed at 3.1 to 3.4 inches and seems fine to me, some people have complained about the eye relief being “too short.”

Here are the best deals I could find on the Burris E1 Fullfield 3-9×50:

$122.00
$133.49
in stock
8 new from $122.00
as of May 29, 2024 1:48 am

 

Leupold FX-3 6×42

 

Leupold FX3 6x42 Rifle Scope

A fixed power scope has always been a good choice for a Marlin 336 lever gun as they are simple to operate, very light, and very compact. The first Marlin 30-30 rifle I ever shot was equipped with a 4X fixed power scope, and it was a highly effective combination.

The Leupold FX-3 6×42 is a fixed 6X power scope that is built on a 1-inch tube. This scope model offers outstanding optical quality, but it comes at a higher price point than most of the other scopes on this list. This model also offers excellent low-light visibility via Leupold’s patented Twilight Management system.

The FX-6 comes with a standard parallax setting of 50 yards, but Leupold can also adjust the parallax point to another distance if you prefer. The FX-3 weighs 13.6 ounces so it’s a lightweight option for most any lever action 30-30.

Pros Cons
Excellent optical quality glass

Excellent low light scope option

Comes with a fabulous warranty

Pricey but worth the cost if you prefer a fixed power scope

Not a heavy scope but not the lightest fixed power scope on the market

Here are the best prices I could find on the Leupold VX-3 6×42:

 

Vortex Crossfire II 3-12×56

Vortex Crossfire II 3-12x56 IR Rifle Scope

While some people may look at the 3-12 power range on this Vortex scope as being too much, I’m a huge fan of this power range for a lever rifle. This power range offers more magnification range than a standard 3-9 scope, without having to move up to a higher-powered and heavier 4-12 or 4-16 scope.

Now, this scope does have a 56mm adjustable objective which is on the larger side as most of the other scopes on this list feature either a 40mm objective or a 42mm objective. The 56mm objective means that you’ll need either a set of higher rings or maybe see-thru rings. Another potential downside is the larger objective also adds overall weight to the scope.

However, the larger objective also pulls in quite a bit of light during low light conditions, and this scope features an illuminated reticle. These two features make this scope a good option for hunting in areas with a heavy leaf canopy or where a specific low light scope is needed.

Vortex advertises this scope as a “hog hunter” model but I’ve had customers at my day job who love this specific scope on a lever-action rifle. This model is built on a 30mm tube and features an adjustable parallax that will focus all the way down to 10 yards.

If you’re looking for an illuminated scope for a 30-30, then this scope might be worth checking out.

Pros Cons
The 3-12 power range can be a big plus if a 3-9 is on the smaller side for you

Illuminated reticle

Adjustable parallax that focuses down to 10 yards

The larger 56mm objective lens will require scope rings that are higher than usual or see-thru rings (which I like as well)

All the extra features come at a price, and it’s the weight. This scope weighs nearly 22 ounces, which is much more substantial than most of the other scopes on this list.

Here are the best prices I could find on the Vortex Optics 3-12X56 IR:

Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12×40

Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12x40 Rifle Scope

As you shop for the best scope for a Marlin 30 30, you are bound to come across some recommendations for the Leupold brand of scopes, and I would agree with those suggestions.

The Leupold VX Freedom scope series is designed as a more budget-friendly mid-range scope within the Leupold line that offered very good optics at a reasonable price. While the VX-Freedom scopes are not the least expensive scope series on this list, they do offer a very good value for the cost.

Built on a 1-inch tube, the Freedom 4-12×40 model offers enough magnification to handle a shot from almost any distance. As with most all Leupold scopes, this 4-12 Freedom scope performs very well during low light situations and offers excellent light transmission.

The 4-12 model is compact enough to fit nicely on a lever-action brush gun yet offers enough scope for most any hunting scenario.

Pros Cons
Impressive low light performance

At 11 ounces, it’s very light for a 4-12 scope

Backed by Leupold’s outstanding warranty

Comes with a fixed 100-yard parallax

Only available with the Tri-MOA reticle (which I like but some don’t)

Here are the best deals I could locate for the Leupold VX-Freedom 4-12×40:

 

Vortex Diamondback 3.5-10×50

Vortex Diamondback 3.5-10x50

The Vortex Diamondback scope models are a step up above the Vortex Crossfire II scope that I mentioned previously. The entire Diamondback line is really geared for hunting and is built like a tank to stand up to a lifetime of recoil.

The 3.5×10 configuration may be the ideal power magnification for most hunting situations as the 3.5 power is low enough for short-range shots and the 10X power offers enough magnification to push a 30-30 or .35 Remington round out past 100 yards if needed.

The optical quality on the Diamondback series is slightly better than the Crossfire II scopes and offers a crisp, clear image.

This model is built on a 1-inch tube and comes in weighing 16.2 ounces.

Pros Cons
Excellent magnification range for any lever action rifle

Offers a good weight to the magnification ratio

Offered with two very effective reticle options

Fixed 100-yard parallax

The eye relief is 3.3” inches, which is a bit on the shorter side. It’s fine for a 30-30, but I wouldn’t suggest it for a heavier recoiling caliber

Here are the best deals I could locate for the Vortex Diamondback 3.5-10×50 scope:

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10×40

Leupold VX-3i 3.5-10x40 Rifle Scope

The 3.5-10 power range has been one of Leupold’s most popular power ranges for several years. The VX-3i series is a step above the VX-Freedom series in terms of glass quality, and that is reflected in the price.

This scope is built on a 1-inch tube, weighs in at 12.6 ounces, and the 40mm objective pulls in plenty of light.

Like most of the Leupold scope models, the VX-3i series also uses Leupold’s Twilight Management system for premium low-light performance.

While this scope model usually costs more than the Leupold VX-Freedom series I mentioned above, it’s still not a terribly expensive Marlin 30 30 scope option.

Pros Cons
Clear optics with excellent low light performance

Covered by Leupold’s second to none warranty program

Manufactured in America

One of the more expensive options on this list

Comes with a fixed 100-yard parallax setting (This isn’t a deal-breaker, but I prefer an adjustable parallax if possible)

Here are the best scope offers I found for the Leupold VX-3i 3-10×40 scope:

Simmons AETEC 2.8-10×44 Illuminated

Simmons Aetec 2.8-10x44 Illuminated rifle Scope

If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly scope with an illuminated reticle, then this Aetec 2.8-10×44 with an illuminated reticle might be worth checking out.

While this scope model is equipped with a power range that is a bit out of the ordinary, the 2.8-10 range is an excellent all-around range for a 3030 lever rifle. The 10X magnification offers more than enough power for longer shots, and the 2.8 magnification works well for close-in shots in thick cover.

Built on a 1-inch tube, this Simmons Aetec scope weighs in at a hefty 16 ounces and is 13.4 inches long. While this scope seems to perform well in low light dawn and dusk situations, the low performance is not as good as the Leupold scopes I highlighted above. However, that’s to be expected as this Aetec scope costs less than half as much as a Leupold.

Pros Cons
Optical quality is average, which is about what you would expect for the cost

The illuminated reticle is a deal at this price point

Much heavier than expected for a 1-inch tube in this power range

The illuminated reticle does not have an auto-shutoff feature

The eye relief is advertised as 3.5″, which is right on the edge of being a bit short.

If you are shopping for a Simmons Aetec 2.8-10×44, here are the best prices I was able to locate:

Meopta MeoPro 6×42

Meopta MeoPro 6x42 Rifle Scope

If you are not a fan of turning knobs to focus your scope or turn the power up and down, then this Meopta MeoPro 6×42 scope might be something to consider.

The fixed 6x offers enough magnification power to comfortably deal with both short and longer shots. 6X power easily offers enough magnification for shots up to 100 yards, which is an ideal range for most Marlin 336 rifles.

The optical quality of this Meopta is impressive as it’s one of the brightest and clearest fixed power scopes I’ve ever seen.

This scope is available with 4 different reticles so there’s a good chance that you can find a reticle option that meets your needs.

While the fixed scope market is slowly disappearing, this Meopta 6×42 is definitely a major player in the fixed power scope market.

Pros Cons
Outstanding glass for a fixed power scope

Very lightweight and compact compared to a variable powered scope

Top tier optical quality at this price point

Not exactly a budget-friendly scope, but worth the price

Not equipped with an adjustable parallax feature

Here are the best scope specials I could find for the Meopta MeoPro 6×42:

Honorable Mentions

Nikon Prostaff P3 3-9×40 Matte BDC

Nikon Prostaff P3 3-9x40 Rifle Scope

The Nikon Prostaff P3 series was introduced as a budget-friendly family of scopes with a scope model to meet most any need. The P3 3-9×40 is ideal for a lever-action 30-30 rifle like the Marlin 336 as it’s a compact design that uses the Nikon BDC reticle.

The BDC reticle can be configured to work with most any 30-30 or .35 Remington bullet and can extend the accuracy of the round out to and past the 200-yard mark. This scope is designed to fully integrate with the Nikon Spot-ON application for bullet drop compensation.

This scope is listed as an honorable mention as Nikon is no longer making scopes so this particular Nikon scope can sometimes be a challenge to locate.

Pros Cons
In addition to integrating with the Nikon Spot-on BDC calculator, this model will also accept Nikon custom BDC turrets

The optical quality is better than average for a scope in this price range

The Nikon BDC reticle is user friendly and can be used as a standard duplex reticle if desired

Generous 4″ of eye relief

Can be hard to find as Nikon is out of the riflescope business

Features a non-adjustable parallax that is factory set to 100 yards

Here’s a list of the best prices and deals I could still find on this Nikon P3 3-9×40:

Weaver K-4 Classic 4×38 Scope

Weaver Classic K-4 4x38 Rifle Scope

The Weaver K-4 is a fixed 4 power scope that is part of Weaver’s Classic scope family. It’s really a no-frills scope that is incredibly simple and effective.

I have owned a few of these K-4 scopes over time, and they are/were a great “bang for your buck”. This model is/was very well built and extremely durable. I had one on a lever-action .22 for years that took a beating, including a fully submersed dip into a creek about 3 feet deep while being attached to my rifle (The wearer also took a nice dip as well). All that hard use and it never lost zero or had to be serviced.

This model is listed as an “honorable mention” because the parent company who owns Weaver discontinued all Weaver rifle scopes. As such, this particular model is extremely hard to find new these days.

Pros Cons
Very easy to sight in and operate

Featured a fantastic field of view (FOV) of nearly 22 feet, which is very impressive.

Excellent eye relief for a fixed power scope

The focus was non-adjustable and set to 100 yards.

The later models offered turret caps that were made of plastic and were prone to breaking. (Mine were older versions with metal caps)

Here are all the best deals I could find on the Weaver K-4 scope model and, most were pre-owned models:

Marlin 336 History

The Marlin 336 was introduced in 1948 and was an evolution of the older Marlin 1893 lever action series of rifles. Over the years, the 336 carbine rifle has been offered in a number of different calibers, but, today, the Marlin 336 is only available in 2 calibers:

  • 30-30 Winchester
  • .35 Remington

The 336 lever action models have been offered in a variety of configurations that included different barrel lengths, different cartridge capacity (total round count), and different materials. At one time, a special budget-friendly version was exclusively made for Wal-Mart.

Marlin 336 Scope Options

The success of the Marlin 336 led Marlin to offer a number of other lever action rifle series such as the Marlin 1894, Marlin 444, and Marlin Guide Gun series.

Marlin was the sole manufacturer of the 336 until 2010 when Remington Arms acquired Marlin Firearms. Today, the Marlin 336 is manufactured by Remington Arms under the Marlin brand name.

Buyers Guide for Marlin 336 Scopes

Here is a quick guide that offers some advice about what to look for when choosing a lever action 30-30 rifle scope. Remember that these are just suggestions and you are best served to tailor these recommendations to your own needs.

Scope Magnification Range for a Lever Action 30-30

First, there is no one size fits all scope magnification or magnification range that is the absolutely optimal configuration for a lever action 336. There are simply too many variables involved to proclaim a specific scope magnification as being ideal.

However, we can look at history and current popularity to help narrow down the bestselling scope power range. The most popular power range for a lever action carbine is still the venerable and classic 3-9 power range.

The 3-9 magnification range offers the ability to take close-in shots on a 3X or 4X power, while the 9X power gives the shooter the ability to stretch the range out on a 30-30 or .35 Remington out to and past 100 yards.

However, the fixed power scope models in the fixed 4X and fixed 6X power range are still popular too, especially with new hunters and younger hunters who want a simple scope configuration that is easy to use.

Personally, I shot my first lever action 30-30 using a fixed 4 power scope, and my own first Marlin 336 (I had a 336C actually) was topped with a Weaver K-4 scope.

30-30 Rifle Scope

At my day job, we are also starting to see a trend where hunters are opting to go with a little bit more magnification power over the traditional 3-9, by moving up to a 3-10 or 4-12 scope configuration.

This trend is, in part, tied to more modern 30-30 ammunition, which can accurately extend the range of the caliber out past the traditional 100-yard limit that was historically imposed on a 30-30. When I first started hunting deer with a 30-30 (Although trying to hunt deer is a better description), I can vividly recall one of my Uncle’s standing at my tree stand and repeatedly telling me to keep my shots at deer under the 100-yard mark as the 30-30 “ran out of juice” out past 100 yards. With the modern 30-30 ammo of today, that is no longer true.

At the end of the day, I would suggest outfitting your Marlin 336 with whatever power scope you like and works on the rifle.

Scope Eye Relief

Eye Relief is a technical term that basically means the optimal distance between your eye and the scope where you can see a full field of view. Eye relief is normally measured in inches.

Typically speaking, with centerfire calibers that produce recoil, the longer the eye relief, the better. Otherwise, you run the risk of the scope impacting your face or eye from recoil.

However, the most popular calibers for the Marlin 336 are the 3030 and the .35 Remington, and both are considered to have a mild recoil (especially compared to some of the magnum calibers).

As the recoil is minimal on those calibers, the eye relief distance for a 30-30 riflescope is not as critical as it would be on a scope mounted to a heavier recoiling rifle.

Now, if you happen to have one of the Marlin 1894 lever action rifles in a higher caliber, or a Marlin Guide rifle in 45-70, then the scope eye relief distance will be something to very much pay attention to. Otherwise, you may experience the phenomenon known as “scope rash” or “scope bite”, and it is not a pleasant experience at all.

Fixed Power or Variable Power Scope for a Lever Action Rifle

Although I briefly touched on the topic above, it is worth diving into a little bit deeper. As you are shopping for a scope for your lever action rifle, you will most likely see two styles of scopes:

  • Variable powered models
  • Fixed powered models

The variable power models are more popular and they dominate the scope market in sheer numbers as they offer the obvious benefit of having a power range that can be adjusted from a lower range up to a higher range if needed.

The fixed power scope models are a dying breed these days in the U.S. but are still quite popular in Europe. When I was a teenager, fixed power scopes were really all that was available, unless you wanted to spend a small fortune.

However, as I touched on previously, the fixed power scope offers something that a variable powered model does not have, and that is simplicity. Fixed power scopes have no power range to adjust, no knobs to turn, and are basically a look-through and shoot solution. This is one of the main reasons that fixed power scope models are still on the market.

Don’t let the simplicity of a fixed power scope fool you. As I have mentioned before on this site, I had a distant Uncle who was a hardcore big game hunter that traveled all over the U.S., and even to Africa to hunt different species. His trophy room was amazing and looked like something right out of an outdoor magazine. Everything game animal he bagged was taken with a Winchester Model 70 (in different calibers) with a 4X or 6X scope mounted. He never hunted with any scope other than a fixed 4 power or fixed 6 power.

His reasoning was simple:

  • They were point and shoot. Nothing more.
  • A fixed power scope has very few moving parts, which meant less to break or fail.

His logic always made a certain amount of sense to me.

Illuminated Reticle or Non-Illuminated Reticle for the 336?

When you began shopping for a 30-30 scope, one question that might be worth asking yourself is related to the reticle. That question is: do you want or need an illuminated reticle, or will a non-illuminated reticle work for you?

While most of the scope models that you consider for a 3030 rifle will be non-illuminated models, you will come across some illuminated reticle options. I have even noted a few of my favorites above.

An illuminated reticle does offer some benefit, especially in low-light shooting. And, if you think about it, most game animals are most active at dawn or dusk, so low light situations are pretty common in hunting.

While the illuminated reticle has benefits, it also comes with disadvantages, including:

  • The added weight to the scope
  • The need to carry replacement batteries
  • The electrical components that run the illumination are just one more thing to fail or break on the scope.

If you think that an illuminated reticle is the way you want to go with your Marlin 336, then take a look at the illuminated reticle scope models I identified above.

What is the Best Scope Reticle for a Lever Action 30-30 Rifle?

That’s a very difficult question to answer as there are so, so many different reticle options that are available now, coupled with the fact that any type of answer would also depend on the type of hunting you were doing, along with the geography of where you were hunting.

Marlin 336 30 30 rifle scopes

In my experience helping scope a Marlin 336 lever gun, the traditional duplex reticle seems to the number option. In part, this is probably due to the popularity of the 3-9 scope, coupled with the overall popularity and simplicity of the duplex reticle.

However, coming in at a solid #2 position in terms of popularity would be a BDC-based reticle. As more and more shooters learn and understand the true capability of a BDC reticle, the more popular it has become. That’s one of the reasons that the Vortex Dead-Hold BDC reticle is their top-selling reticle, hands down.

If you prefer simple and are looking for more of a point-and-shoot type of scope, then the standard duplex reticle is probably your best choice.

Scope Tube Size

Modern-day rifle scopes are available in a number of different tube sizes, but the two most popular tube sizes are:

  • 1-inch tube
  • 30mm tube

Both tube sizes feature their own set of pros and cons, but, for a Marlin 3030 rifle, the 1-inch tube size seems to the more popular choice as they tend to weigh less. Weight really becomes a factor with a shorter carbine-style lever-action rifle.

However, the 30mm rifle scope models have quite a bit to offer, if you don’t mind the minor weight increase and the need to move up a scope mount made for a 30mm tube.

FAQS

Here are some of the more common frequently asked questions I see regarding the best scopes for a Marlin 336:

Is a fixed 4x rifle scope the best scope for 30-30? That’s what my father always used on his 3030 rifles.

I probably have a bit of bias with my answer to this question as, like your father, I grew up deer hunting with a Marlin 30-30 that had a 4X scope on it.

In my opinion, a fixed 4 power or 6 power scope is a good option for a 3030 lever rifle, especially if you want an easy to use riflescope without any bells and whistles.

If most of your shot opportunities will be at 100 yards or less, then a fixed 4 power scope is a perfectly good scope option for a lever action 30-30 carbine.

Is it the absolutely “best” scope for a 30-30? That’s really a decision only you can make.

What’s the best illuminated scope for a 30-30 lever gun?

Even though the scope is large and heavy for a 30-30, and the larger 56mm objective will require either very high scope rings or even a see-thru scope ring set-up; I very much like the Vortex Crossfire II 3-12×56.

However, if that scope is a bit too large for your tastes, then have a look at the Simmons Aetec 2.8-10x44mm with an illuminated reticle. It fits nicely on a 30-30, offers a good power range, has an illuminated reticle, and is friendly on your wallet.

How much should I spend on a Marlin 3030 scope?

I’ve always tried to be careful about assigning a budget to something as that’s a very personal choice and I don’t want to infer that you have to spend a minimum of this amount to buy a decent quality scope.

I would encourage you to spend as much or as little as you want on a 30-30 scope as it’s your money to spend.

If you backed me in a corner and forced me to provide a budget number, I’d say that you can find an above-average scope for a lever-action .30-30 in a price range of $200 to $300.

What’s the maximum range of a 30-30 rifle in terms of buying a scope for it?

First, it’s important to understand that “maximum range” and maximum effective range” are two different terms.

Realistically, the maximum effective range of a 30-30 caliber is 100 yards to 150 yards. With the right 30-30 modern-day load and the right optic, you could extend that maximum effective range out to the 200 to 250-yard range. Try to go much past that distance and the 30-30 caliber does start to run out of steam.

Lever Action 30-30 Scope Options

I would also say that if you were able to gather data about actual shots taken with a 30-30 over the years, the average distance of most shots is closer to the 75-yard mark. Occasionally you’ll see or hear some internet story where a hunter dropped a trophy buck with a Marlin 3030 at 300 yards or 350 yards. Without calling anyone a liar, I’m always somewhat skeptical of stories, especially looking at the fact-based ballistic performance data of a 30-30 caliber.

In closing, buying a scope for your Marlin 336 lever gun doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. Focus on looking for the scope model that best fits your individual needs.