Dating marlin 336
Toward the end of the season my father loaned me the Glenfield, and the day before Thanksgiving I took a big mule deer doe with one round of Monkey Wards factory ammo.
Since then I’ve owned, handloaded for and hunted with several other .30-30’s, including a Marlin 36 (not 336) rifle with a 24-inch barrel, a pair of Savage 99’s, and an ancient outside-hammer drilling imported by the original Charles Daly firm.
While .30-30’s can be very accurate, many are used with the factory open sights so sub-inch groups are uncommon, though I’ve yet to encounter one that didn’t shoot inside minute-of-deer. Handloaders handload because they must and, like most hobbies, practicality has nothing to do with it, whether in saving time or money.
Iron-sighted .30-30’s tend to remain sighted-in for years—even decades—so there’s no reason to burn a box of ammo every year while attempting to rezero a cheap scope. Many hunters think of the .30-30 as an Eastern deer cartridge, because the wide-open West “requires” scoped rifles chambered for longer-range cartridges.
(“Glenfield” was a Montgomery Ward trade name for items made for them by other companies, in this instance a Marlin 336.) He’d hunted as a kid while growing up on a homestead in central Montana, but quit after going away to college—until I started becoming interested.The local “Monkey Ward” store was only three blocks from our house, and back then they sold actual firearms, ammunition and other shooting stuff.My father’s eyesight wasn’t great, so he also bought a Japanese 4X scope (not named Glenfield but something suggesting astronomy), plus two boxes of store-brand ammo.It finally happened at Whittaker Guns in Kentucky, a store that would satisfy the “needs” of almost any avid shooter.
But I’d never owned the quintessential .30-30, a Model 94 Winchester, despite owning other 94’s, including an octagon-barreled .25-35 made in 1898, and .32 Special and .38-55 carbines.
This began to seem like a gross dereliction of duty, so I started looking around.