I have been wanting a lever action rifle for awhile. I really did lots of research before I decided on which one to get. I was going to start with a .22lr but just couldn't see paying almost $300 for a .22, yes I am a cheap bas(well you know the rest).
I decided on the Marlin 336 as it is easy to breakdown, and it is reliable and popular (lots of parts available). Oh and the cheap part. I have read enough to know about the problems with "Remlin" rifles. So I was looking for an older Marlin. I kept up with the local sale papers (you have to love living in Texas) but no one was giving up their .30-30. I did see one for $350 but it was sold by the time I contacted the owner.
On a whim I went by a local pawn shop and there she was.
It is a Marlin 30AW made in '97. It has a birch stock and cheaper sights than the standard 336. It has a little surface rust, bore is fine. $325. The one thing that stood out as I was looking at in the pawn shop was there was no wear on the loading gate.
I took her home and did a complete breakdown and cleaning, Lots of old dried oil to clean, and the original factory "yellow patch" on some parts.
Took her to the range today, This is my new favorite rifle, any one that has handled a lever action has to know what I'm talking about. I hate the sights as they cover most of the target at 100 yards, but that is easy to fix. Oh, and now there is wear on the loading gate