Charles holds a Master’s degree in Physics Engineering (optics and photonics specialization), has been teaching physics at school for almost 15 years and recently has star read more
Last updated: January 11, 2023
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Not all scopes you buy to use with your Marlin 336 lever-action rifle are as good as they are described. Some may be hyped up above their capabilities, and it’s your job to avoid them if you want the best scope for your Marlin 336. To successfully avoid any scope that may be a waste of your money, you need to know how the features of each affect usability.
These scope features include the construction, length and weight, magnification, field of view, the objective lens diameter, the adjustment system, and the reticle. The last five of these scope features can tell you everything you need to know about the device’s capabilities in terms of viewing your targets. As for construction, you get to understand how well the scope holds up to accidents as well as constant use. Lastly, the length and weight do factor in since you’re the one who will need to carry the scope alongside your rifle. Remember that the best scope for your Marlin 336 shouldn’t be too heavy or too big for you to carry around and handle. Also, some scopes with top-notch features are listed below. As such, once you have familiarized yourself with all the features, you can go ahead to make a non-regrettable purchase. We decided the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40 FireDot 30mm Riflescope to be our Editor’s Choice.
Other features: Rear Focal Plane, variable magnification, waterproof, fog-proof, 3:1 zoom ratio
To start our list of scopes off, we have the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 FireDot 30mm Riflescope, which is remarkable in a couple of ways. One of them is the Firedot duplex reticle in the device. This works well with the rear focal plane design when you’re adjusting the magnification to suit the distance to your target.
Also, don’t forget that the reticle can be illuminated, and that may be handy when there’s minimal light at the hunting ground. Further, the twilight light management system is added to boost the visibility of any targets you come across.
Concerning the weight and length of the product, the scope is rather average. As such, you won’t hear users complaining about these stats. That being said, you won’t hear Marlin 336 users praising the weight and length either.
Also, you’ve probably already deduced that the scope has a 40mm objective lens diameter. This is one of the larger options where Marlin 336 compatible scopes are concerned. Consequently, you should be very confident about the light-gathering capabilities of the purchase.
Marlin 336 rifle users looking to buy this scope should also look forward to the fog proof and waterproof design. As such, if you have to run through a shallow pond or water body in pursuit of your target, there’s no need to worry about damaging your scope.
Additionally, you can heap lots of praise on the field of view as well. Remember that it’s going to vary according to how high or low you have your magnification. Another positive of the scope is the scratch-resistant lenses.
What are its best features? We liked that scratch-resistant glass is used to make the lenses. If you add that to the fog proof and waterproof construction, you find that the scope is extremely reliable even in challenging environmental conditions. Other positives we liked are the illuminated reticle and the twilight light management system.
What could be improved? Some of the scope’s buyers have mentioned that due to the button as well as the battery’s positioning, it can be challenging to use.
Other features: variable magnification, SFP, Hi-Lume multi-coated lens, fog resistant, shockproof
The next scope offering to feature on the list is the Burris 200261 2-7x32mm Riflescope. It comes with a 1-in tube diameter.
Also, if you’re looking for long eye relief in your scope, you can’t go wrong with this purchase. The field of view isn’t disappointing either. Another element that most of the scope’s users will find acceptable is the weight, which seems relatively average.
As for the exterior size, this scope is more compact and may be easier to carry than a lot of the competition. Additionally, this scope being shockproof means that you needn’t worry about breakages even where the internal components are concerned.
Potential scope buyers may also appreciate the multi-coated lenses. Remember that you’re looking for superior image quality and clarity, and having multi-coated lenses helps a great deal with that.
If you find yourself in the hunting ground when visibility is limited due to fog, there is no need to worry. Additionally, you needn’t call off a hunt just because it’s raining. The scope can handle both of these situations relatively easily.
Further, since you’ll have moving targets, variable magnification may also be ideal for your needs. It’s also worth noting that you have minute of angle adjustments in this scope. Once you figure out how to work these adjustments, hitting the target is almost a surety.
Why did it make our list? The scope features minute of angle adjustments that allow you to have more accurate shots. Also, the product is rated as protected against water and fog. Another pro is the multi-coated scope lenses, which bring about richer and brighter images of your targets. Finally, this whole scope can handle shock without taking damage both on the exterior and the interior.
What is not ideal about it? Since the reticle is not illuminated, the scope might be more challenging to use in some scenarios.
Other features: SFP, aircraft-grade aluminum, waterproof, shockproof, fog-proof, fully multi-coated glass lens, ring mount, 150 hours of battery life
Another scope option is the Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5×32 Riflescope. If you’re preferential to the Dead-Hold BDC reticle design, this scope may just be the option you’ve been looking for.
Additionally, the reticle in this scope is placed on the second focal plane. Consequently, you won’t see any changes to the size of the reticle even as you’re making magnification adjustments to suit varying situations. If this strikes your fancy, it is one reason for you to shortlist this scope for purchase.
Further, a unique reason to opt for this scope is the broad field of view. Nonetheless, a large FOV is not to everybody’s preference, and there are several other options if this doesn’t seem impressive to you.
If you like the Trijicon AccuPower 3-9×40 Riflescope’s construction, you won’t be disappointed by how this scope is made either. This is because the aircraft-grade aluminum construction can hold its own even against some serious bumps and accidents while you hunt.
Another mark of scopes with a superior design is that they are waterproof in addition to being fog proof. This scope ticks both of those boxes quite easily.
Notably, the scope is non-illuminated, and this is something you should know about before purchase. Since the battery doesn’t support lighting, it is no surprise that it can support other scope functions for about 150 hours.
It should also not slip your attention that the manufacturer uses fully multi-coated lenses in this Marlin 336 rifle scope.
Why are we impressed? Multi-coated lenses are always welcome in any piece of optical equipment. The battery life can also be a reason to prioritize this scope over others. As for the field of view, you may be impressed that it is more expansive than what is in other scopes of this caliber. Further, this purchase is fog proof and waterproof in addition to being durably constructed.
What negatives must you be aware of? The reticle being non-illuminated may make it unusable in a few hunting situations. Another disappointing aspect is the eye relief may not be comfortable for a lot of people.
Other features: SFP, aircraft-grade aluminum, fully multi-coated optics, ring mount, weather-resistant, shockproof
If so far none of the other scopes have ticked the right boxes, you may want to look at the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Scout. This is one of three aircraft-grade aluminum construction picks on today’s list.
Additionally, the scope has been effectively sealed to prevent any moisture from getting inside the elements. You should also be impressed by multi-coated optics any time you come across scopes, binoculars, and any other optical equipment. By that metric, you should find this scope impressive as well.
Another way this scope is remarkable is in the eye relief you get. If you want a more comfortable scope use experience, this tool will definitely make it to your shortlist.
Why is it special? This scope is well made both on the interior in terms of the glass used and the exterior where the durability of the body is of concern. The long eye relief should make use of the scope more comfortable. Additionally, the scope’s fog proof, shockproof, and waterproof design are commendable.
What are the flaws? The objective lens is relatively small, and that may hinder light gathering in the scope. Additionally, if it gets dark, you can no longer use the scope to get clear images.
Other features: variable magnification, SFP, waterproof, fog proof and shockproof, fully coated optics
The Barska AC11204 3-9×40 Huntmaster Riflescope carves out a market for itself among budget shoppers. The quality also seems very decent for the price. One con, however, that you will note as soon as you look into this scope is the short eye relief.
Besides that, you’ll enjoy having variable magnification with the reticle remaining the same size, no matter the magnification adjustments. As shown above, the scope also reserves a place among the shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof picks in the market.
It’s also commendable that fully coated glass is used to provide the images that you see through the eyepiece.
What do we love it for? For the price, you get tones of value since you get a waterproof, fog proof and waterproof scope. Further, you get fully coated glass the same as you would get in more expensive scopes. Another pro is the relatively large objective in this scope’s design.
What were we disappointed with? Except for the short eye relief, nothing else strikes us as a con.
Other features: SFP, fully-coated optics, waterproof, fog-proof & shockproof
This Simmons 510513 Blazer 3-9x40mm Riflescope may also be deserving of a place on this scope’s list. Notably, this tool doesn’t qualify as an extended eye relief scope for marlin 336. This is because the eye relief is only rated at 3.75 in.
If you don’t mind the small eye relief, you can go on to check the scope’s positives. One is the SFP positioning of the Truplex reticle.
Also, if you’re making the right minute of angle adjustments to the windage and elevation of your shots, you’ll have high accuracy ratings. Additionally, you can rely on the fully coated glass elements if you need optimum visibility of your targets.
One area where the manufacturer outdoes other scope makers is in the weight of this tool. You’ll thus find it easier to take this scope hunting with you since it adds minimal weight to your hunting equipment set. Hunting trips can sometimes lead to long treks, and as such, you might find yourself appreciating the lightweight telescope more and more.
Lastly, you might like this Simmons 510513 scope for its affordability.
Why did it make our list? We liked that this scope is protected against water damage. The scope can also work in foggy conditions and is shockproof. Additionally, this Simmons 510513 is slightly lighter than other scopes. If this isn’t enough, you can add affordability as a benefit. After all, not many such scopes can be bought for -$100.
What is not ideal about it? More extended eye relief than what is available in this model would be quite welcome. This scope doesn’t work well for low light situations.
Other features: SFP, CR2032 battery, 6061-T6 aluminum construction, waterproof, 31 hours of battery life, LED illumination
Another scope you can check out as a potential match for your Marlin 336 rifle is the Trijicon AccuPower 3-9×40 Riflescope. This scope gives the editor’s choice a heck of a run for its money. Nonetheless, owing to a significant increase in price, especially in comparison to most other Marlin 336 scopes, this pick features second on today’s list.
If you’ve used guns and rifles for a while, you probably know that bullet trajectories aren’t straight. They are subject to gravity, and as such, the resulting arc may result in you missing your targets.
However, the minute of angle adjustments allow you to account for the arc trajectory so you can hit a bulls-eye with ease. This is another 40mm objective lens scope option. While this is remarkable in itself, its coupling with a multi-coated lens allows for excellent light transmission.
Like the Leupold VX-Freedom, an illuminated reticle is also a benefit of the scope. Nevertheless, the illumination feature only works thanks to the CR2032 battery included. Notably, this scope’s battery can last up to 31 hours.
Things can also get hairy on a hunt. Considering the construction of most rifles, you expect your Marlin 336 to still be in tip-top shape when you come back home. This is an expectation you can extend to this Trijicon AccuPower 3-9×40 scope as well since it’s made of Aircraft-Grade Aluminum on the exterior.
Regarding the scope’s weight, there is no reason to be impressed since most other options are lighter. However, given the differences in human beings’ strength, some of you won’t even feel the extra weight.
Why are we impressed? We like the accuracy that the minute of angle adjustments allow in this scope. The scope’s exterior construction and the multi-coated lenses on the inside are both impressive. We also liked the CR2032 battery and its reliability in terms of battery life. Finally, the 40mm objective lens diameter is worth mentioning where the positives of the scope are being noted.
What negatives must you be aware of? The scope’s weight can be a problem if you already feel your hunting kit is heavy. Additionally, the price means that a lot of people won’t be able to afford it. Lastly, eye relief doesn’t seem impressive.
Things to Consider
The Marlin 336 is a remarkable rifle for hunters and range shooters alike. That said, its capabilities can only be brought out by the right scope, which can be tricky to find. However, scope searching can actually be a bit simpler with the right tools and information. These tools and information are ripe for picking in the section below, which also qualifies as a buying guide.
Why buy a scope for your Marlin 336?
If you’ve used any rifle, whether, for hunting or target practice, you know that shooting long range is not easy. However, it is possible with the right scope of which some excellent options are mentioned above. As such, if you plan to buy or already own a Marlin 336 rifle, it makes sense to buy a compatible scope as it will significantly improve your marksmanship.
Features to consider when choosing the best scope for Marlin 336
The scopes on offer will give you different benefits. After all, the manufacturers are trying to one-up each other so they can have more sales. This is where differences in features come from. Nonetheless, it could be advantageous to know what features there are as well as how they could be most beneficial to you. If you consider the features in this fashion, you will find it easier to pick and choose scopes from various vendor sites. Without further ado, the features that will help you make your selection are listed below.
The biggest reason to get a scope is to magnify your targets and make it easier for you to sight in and shoot them. If the magnification is right, you can make all the windage and elevation adjustments needed for you to hit the target. Nevertheless, the required magnification is determined by the distance to the target.
An example is that 4x magnification may work at about 300 yards. However, at 600 yards, you’ll struggle to hit your targets. As such, it makes sense to buy scopes that are in line with your distance needs. For 1000 yards, scopes with about 10x or more may be more effective.
Also, lucky for you, there are variable magnification options such as the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 FireDot 30mm Riflescope. With these, you can reduce magnification when targets are closer or increase magnification to better see objects that are further away.
Objective lens diameter
You can as well judge the scope by the objective lens, which collects the light needed to accurately view targets. The size is crucial here, and you will note that larger objective lenses allow for brighter and more detailed images to be seen.
You will also see the lens coating as a huge factor when selecting both scopes and binoculars. The rule of thumb is that more layers of coating usually deliver better-looking images. This is because the coating layers reduce both reflections and light loss. As such, you can rank coated, fully coated, and fully multi-coated lenses in ascending order in terms of image quality.
You get more clearance between the eyepiece and your eyes with the two scopes mentioned above compared to the rest of the list. This allows you more comfortable positioning without sacrificing the visibility of your targets.
Additionally, you should be aware of the recoil of your rifle when selecting eye relief. Without enough distance between you and the eyepiece of the rifle, you could end up injuring yourself when you shoot.
Field of view
The field of view’s size is another area that potential scope users need to know about. Whether you are served better by a small or large field of view depends on what you plan to shoot at with your rifle. With more expansive fields of view, you can see more information around your targets. Also, should your targets make a run for it, you won’t instantly lose sight of them.
You have probably noted the field of view in some scopes above is given as a range. In the example of the Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5×32 Riflescope, that range is between 23.1 and 68.3 ft at 100 yds. This is possible in this scope since the magnification is variable.
Notably, in variable magnification scopes, the higher the magnification selected, the tighter the field of view.
Focal plane and reticle
You also need to pick Marlin 336 scope options with the reticle in mind. Some of the reticles, e.g., the Dead-Hold BDC option on the Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5×32 Riflescope, are for long-range shooting. You can thus use them for targets that are 500 yards away or even further.
However, some of you won’t need such reticles since you won’t be shooting targets at that distance. Also, reticle options are so many in the market that it should only be a matter of finding the right one. Even on the list of scopes above, no two options have the same reticle design.
Additionally, the focal plane is another point of contention for scopes. There are two options, which include the first and second focal planes. These two are also known as front and rear focal planes, respectively.
Admittedly, of the Marlin 336 compatible scopes mentioned above, only rear focal plane options are available. This would imply that the reticle would remain the same size despite magnification being adjusted back and forth.
For first focal plane options, the reticle’s size would increase with increasing magnification. Some don’t like this since the targets’ visibility may be hindered by the markings in the reticle.
Small tube sizes usually go hand in hand with short-range shooting. That said, your main picks are 25mm, 30mm, and 34mm options. While these are the standard sizes, you’ll note that the larger you go, the longer your shooting range.
Attention to detail would reveal all scopes above have minute of angle (MOA) adjustment systems. As such, you can make adjustments to elevation and windage to ensure the bullet’s trajectory is catered for as you aim. Ideally, you would pick adjustment systems that guarantee all your shots will hit the intended targets.
The Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5×32 Riflescope featured above comes with an aircraft-grade aluminum chassis. This construction would ensure minimal damage to the scope, even if you were to drop it. Of course, with such a solid makeup, you’ll be much more comfortable with how you handle the scope as it can take a beating. The peace of mind that comes with durable materials can also be nice while you’re out hunting.
Also, you may come across unfavorable weather while hunting. If your scope doesn’t have weather resistance, you would have to give up hunting every time you encounter rain, snow, or fog. This is because the resulting damage from such conditions might force you to go back to the market looking for another scope. We note that this is an eventuality that doesn’t need to happen if you just get a weather-resistant scope in the first place.
You can as well look into the mounting system of the scope in addition to its height. This component needs to be compatible with your Marlin 336, and the height needs to allow for comfortable use of the scope. Typical scope height options are low, medium, high, and finally, extra high.
Size and weight
The next scope feature to look into is the size and weight of the scopes. Remember that it’s you who will carry the scope and rifle all day as you go hunting. As such, it might do you some good for the scope not to be too big or too heavy. That said, the right size and weight is a matter that only you can decide thanks to its subjective nature.
The requirements for mounting a scope on the Marlin 336 are, of course, the scope, the rifle, and a steady working base. A workshop vise may be the ideal working base as it clamps down on your rifle, allowing you to mount the scope without any shaking. However, place a soft rag between the vise and the rifle, so it doesn’t end up damaged.
If you could also ensure that the rifle is level with the ground, it would greatly help. Remember to clean both the receiver and the base of the scope before going any further. Rubbing olive oil on these two components may also help keep rust away.
Next, you can line up the scope base with the receiver. You can then screw the scope’s base to the receiver using the holes provided. Tighten the screws until the base of the scope no longer jiggles. You may not need to tighten the screws as much if you have Blue Loctite to put in the screw holes.
The next step usually involves attaching the bottom half section of the mounting rings to the base. Ideally, there should be enough distance between both mounting rings that they don’t hinder the use of the scope turrets. These components also need to be screwed in place.
This is followed by placing the scope on the rings. After that, align the top parts of the mounting rings with the bottom ones.
Tighten the screws on the rings but leave enough space that you’ll be able to rotate the scope as well as move it back and forth. Follow that up by setting up the eye relief that works for you as well as aligning the reticle with the barrel of the gun.
After, proceed to tighten the screws attaching the mounting rings’ bottom and top halves until the scope is fully fastened. This concludes the mounting process.
You won’t see any difference between illuminated and non-illuminated reticles in terms of image quality. However, illuminated reticles may allow you to see images a little clearer when visibility is limited. As such, if you only hunt in bright lighting conditions, you may not need the illuminated pick.
Our team liked the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 FireDot 30mm Riflescope, the most out of all options listed. It features an illuminated reticle. If you couple this with excellent optics, you can use this scope at any time of the day. The rest of the construction doesn’t have any components you can complain about.
The Burris 200261 2-7x32mm Riflescope almost took first place in our rankings. The eye relief in this Marlin 336 scope is unmatched and a big reason why we like the scope so much.