I believe the 336S was stainless steel with microgroove rifling. As far as I know they all had MG rifling and were otherwise 336's.
I like the way you thinkYou have a lot of choices with the 336 in 30-30 win caliber. That was made in the 24 inch bbl as the 336A pre safety, then the newer XLR 24 inch bbl in stainless........ lots of 20 inch barrel models , either straight grip or pistol grip walnut, also Stainless Steel metal.
You can go handy and look for a 336T...Texan with 18.5inch bbl.....or wait for a 336 Maurder with 16 inch bbl.
But ...really you NEED one of each....but get started soon....best of luck
The Mod 336 MG rifling started in 1955/1956---other models came with MG rifling a few years earlier. I have a 1955 Mod 336A 35 Rem with Ballard rifling---its a real good shooter with both jacketed and hard cast bullets. The CBS safety started around 1983/1984---these rifles can have that safety removed, if desired, with a saddle ring insert.Marlin started the micro-groove in the 336 in 1953 iirc. It's been around a long time. My 336c that I hunt with is from 1985 and has good fit/finish and overall quality.
I think the main differences, other than the safety (not really needed IMO on a lever gun), is who made them. When Remington took over, they changed the manufacturing process and made it more assembly line fashion. Previously, one man assembled an entire gun ensuring each step. Under Remington, quality went down and eventually ended with Remington's troubles. The new rifles are manufactured under Sturm Ruger ownership. I have heard good things about these rifles but do not and probably will not own one. I prefer the original Marlin pre safety's from the 1980s and earlier.
This is all well and good, if the one person assembling your rifle is actually good at his job!🤣. My 2020 .30-30 is actually the best shooting Marlin I’ve ever owned. It’s fit and finish are 99% perfect too. It’s more accurate than my late JMs, that’s for sure.When Remington took over, they changed the manufacturing process and made it more assembly line fashion. Previously, one man assembled an entire gun ensuring each step.
The new rifles are manufactured under Sturm Ruger ownership. I have heard good things about these rifles but do not and probably will not own one.
My gunsmith will sell me a Mayodan made Marlin 336 for $999.00 if/when he gets one from his distributor. In the meantime, I scratched my 30-30 itch with this 1949 Winchester Model 64 Deluxe Deer Rifle:You are probably better off waiting for a new one. At least, you can send it back, if there is an issue. Like Redthies stated, you know what Ruger is doing with the new Marlins. So, you have an idea of what to expect.
Great story, I am glad I am not starting a collection of Marlin lever action rifles today, I bought almost all of mine in very much shooter condition at a time when the market was high only for collector grade rifles. I think the model 36's may be the best way to buy right now, they seem to be less sought after.You can get great rifles, you just have to be intentional about what you are looking for. Are you looking for collector condition? Expect to pay collector prices.
A shooter/hunter that's seen honest wear and modification over the years will come a lot cheaper.
During O's reign, after the Remlin debacle... The last time JM's went nuts... I picked up my current favorite. She's an early 1st year 1948 336 RC. It had a cracked butt stock and metal externally in about 70% due to heavy carry wear. The old waffletop was also drilled and tapped for a scope and it sported non-original swivel sling studs. I paid next to nothing online when the market was stupid... The gun suited me fine as it shoots like a laser beam with a beautiful, crisp trigger and I'm a hunter/shooter, not a collector.
Ironically, the 1st year I hunted it, it fell out of the treestand on the way down and broke the already cracked stock. Now, she wears a replacement with a soft buttpad. It's very much not factory, but guess what? I like shooting it even now.
LOL a couple months ago I went to a store to buy boots and wandered through the bolt action rifle section before leaving. Suddenly I saw a used Winchester Model 70 Super Grade in 99% condition. I managed to leave the store without it, but when it was still on my mind 3 days later… thankfully it was still there. I’m a sucker for a beautiful wood stock:It is like that sometimes. If you got an itch, it is hard not to scratch it. Sometimes, I can walk into a LGS and not even know that I had an itch. Until, something catches my eye. That itch seems to stay, until I take the sparkle in my eye home. On a recent visit to a LGS, I told the clerk that I was trying to avoid going in the section that has handguns, because I might end up taking one home. He stated, "Now, why would you want to do that?" Over the last couple of years, that has happen 3 times, which may not seems bad to some. But, all stemmed from something catching my attention. Luckily, nothing caught my attention, that time.