Lever action rifles call to mind images of cowboys, frontiersmen, and explorers holding their own against the wilderness and other threats. They are fast shooting, accurate, and reliable. Introduced in 1948, the Marlin 336 continues the historic trend of lever action rifles. Even though the classic design of the lever action rifle hasn’t changed much, that doesn’t mean that a modern scope can’t be mounted on it. Check out the list below of the top ten best scopes for Marlin 336 rifles!
Lever action rifles like the Marlin 336 are best suited to scopes with generous eye relief, fast target acquisition, and good light transmission. Those features integrate seamlessly with the fast action and quick follow up shots that lever action rifles are capable of. While you can certainly still take your time in between shots with a Marlin 336, having a scope adaptable to faster shooting is always a good idea.
Scout scopes and red dot sights are both right at home on a Marlin 336. They meet most, if not all, of the criteria of a good lever action rifle scope.
If you don’t have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated scopes for Marlin 336:
- Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 1.5-4.5x32mm Riflescope
- Trijicon RMR Type 2 3.25 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight
- Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm
- Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight
- Burris Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm
- UTG 2-7X44 Scout Scope
- UTG 6″ ITA Red/Green CQB T-dot Sight with Offset QD Mount
- Sightmark M1 2-7×32 Scout Scope
- Nikon Active Target Special 3-9x40mm Riflescope
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Scout
Table of Contents
- Scout Scopes
- Red Dot Sights
- Choosing a Scope for the Marlin 336
- Best Scope for Marlin 336 on the Market Reviews
- 1 Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 1.5-4.5x32mm Riflescope
- 2 Trijicon RMR Type 2 3.25 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight
- 3 Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm
- 4 Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight
- 5 Burris Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm
- 6 UTG 2-7X44 Scout Scope
- 7 UTG 6″ ITA Red/Green CQB T-dot Sight with Offset QD Mount
- 8 Sightmark M1 2-7×32 Scout Scope
- 9 Nikon Active Target Special 3-9x40mm Riflescope
- 10 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Scout
- Putting It All Together
A scout scope is mounted further forward on the barrel of a rifle than a traditional scope. One of the main reasons that this is beneficial for a lever action rifle is that the scope will not be mounted over the balance point of the rifle. That makes carrying it a much easier task and assists in being able to quickly shoulder the rifle for a shot.
The other major reason the forward mounting of a scout scope is beneficial is because it allows you to shoot with both eyes open. This benefit is two-fold. One, it improves your peripheral vision while shooting which means you won’t lose track of what is going on around you on both sides. Two, it makes recovering from recoil much faster and much easier which in turn leads to a faster followup shot.
Red Dot Sights
Red dot sights are an excellent choice for shooting a Marlin 336 at short ranges. They do not typically provide any magnification, but they do provide the ability to get on target fast. With an illuminated dot as the aiming point, red dot sights are effective in almost any lighting conditions and usually have adjustable brightness settings for a custom feel to the sight.
Choosing a Scope for the Marlin 336
There are a few things to keep in mind while shopping for a scope for a Marlin 336 rifle. It always pays off to really give some thought to the shooting situations you face the most. Doing so allows you to look for the features that are important to you and for a scope that will be able to handle your specific needs.
A generous amount of eye relief is an important feature for a scout scope to have. Most red dot sights feature unlimited eye relief and can easily be mounted at any point on top of a rifle. Many hunters and shooters don’t really think much about eye relief when shopping for a scope. To be fair, the eye relief on the vast majority of modern scopes is perfectly fine for most normal shooting situations.
Eye Relief is the distance between the rear lens of the scope and the shooter’s eye that is required for the shooter to see the full sight picture of the scope.
Two situations that do call for ensuring a scope has adequate eye relief is for rifles with heavy recoil and for scout scopes.
Fast Target Acquisition
Having the ability to rapidly acquire a target while shooting with a Marlin 336, or any lever action rifle, is critical for both hunting and target shooting. Field of view, eye relief, glass quality, reticle design, and magnification levels all factor into the process of target acquisition with any scope. When shopping for a lever action scout scope, look for one that has low magnification, a large field of view, a generous amount of eye relief, and a simple reticle that is easily centered on a target. Field of view and eye relief are not applicable to red dot sights.
The more light that passes through a scope, the brighter and sharper the image will be for the shooter. Light transmission has a lot to do with the diameter of the objective lens and the quality of the glass used in the scope. Luckily, most modern scopes, from budget models to high end versions, use quality glass. The coating used on the glass also has an effect on its light transmission capabilities so always make sure to find a scope with fully multi-coated optics. Just be aware of marketing speak that some companies use when describing their glass coatings.
Keep those three things in mind while shopping for a scope for your Marlin 336 and you’ll be in good shape to make a final decision. Now keep reading to see the top ten best scopes for Marlin 336 rifles!
Best Scope for Marlin 336 on the Market Reviews
1 Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 1.5-4.5x32mm Riflescope
Although this scope is not specifically designed as a scout scope, the Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn 1.5-4x32mm Riflescope functions as one quite well. The magnification level is ideal for the purposes of a scout scope and allows for fast target acquisition while the IPX4 waterproof design can stand up to even the toughest conditions.
The Dusk & Dawn Brightness (DDB) fully multi-coated optics on the Bushnell Banner help to produce a clear and bright sight picture. With a simple Multi-X reticle and fingertip adjustable elevation and windage turrets, this scope is a great budget option for any Marlin 336 owner who wants to add optics to their weapon.
2 Trijicon RMR Type 2 3.25 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight
The RMR Type 2 red dot sight from Trijicon is an excellent option for Marlin 336 shooters who enjoy blasting away at short range targets while spending a day at the range. This high mounting red dot sight combines perfectly with the fast action of a Marlin 336 to provide extremely fast target acquisition and follow up shots.
The red dot on the RMR Type 2 is a 3.25 MOA circle that is the perfect size for maintaining precision while also shooting at a quick pace. This red dot sight features 8 brightness settings including a Super Bright setting that can even be seen on a sunny day. The scope is highly durable and resistant to shocks and comes with a tall Picatinny mount for high mounting purposes.
3 Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm
The slim design, matte finish, and light weight design of the Leupold FX-II Scout 2.5x28mm scope matches the aesthetics of the Marlin 336 exceedingly well. Weighing only 7.5 ounces, this compact scope won’t slow you down when shouldering your rifle or when carrying it on a long hunt. It features a 100% waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof design for use in rugged conditions.
Leupold’s Twilight Max Light Management System can add up to 20 minutes of extra shooting time to the scope in low light conditions while also contributing to reduced glare and edge to edge image clarity. The FX-II Scout scope is built to withstand hefty recoil with a 1 inch main tube design and the Duplex reticle allows for fast target acquisition and quick follow up shots.
4 Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight
The Strikefire II red dot sight from Vortex Optics hits the middle ground between the look of a scout scope and the function of a red dot sight. The included offset cantilever mount allows this sight to work in conjunction with existing iron sights and the flip up lens caps keep it protected when not in use.
The red dot is 4 MOA in size and can be changed between red and green colors to accommodate shooter preference and can be adjusted through 10 brightness settings powered by a CR2 battery. With fully multi-coated optics, a single piece chassis, O-ring sealing, and nitrogen purging make this scope both rugged and durable. While the tactical design of the Strikefire II might not be every Marlin 336 owner’ cup of tea, it does its job and does it well.
5 Burris Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm
With extremely generous eye relief, the Burris Ballistic Plex 2-7x32mm Scout Scope can be mounted well forward on a rifle for true scout scope performance. Acquire targets at blazing speed with both eyes open and use the Ballistic Plex reticle to make accurate shots even when holdover is required.
The magnification range makes rapidfire short range shooting possible while also going high enough to reach out to longer range targets. That ability makes the Burris Scout an extremely versatile hunting scope. The lenses are precision ground for high-grade optical glass for superior light transmission and sight picture quality.
6 UTG 2-7X44 Scout Scope
The UTG 2-7×44 Scout Scope offers impressive light transmission thanks to a 30mm main tube size and a 44mm objective lens diameter. This heavy duty scope is completely sealed and filled with nitrogen giving it rainproof, fogproof, and shockproof performance. The UTG Scout Scope is equipped with a parallax adjustment wheel on the side to fine tune the scope to each shooter’s vision.
This scope has an illuminated Mil-Dot etched glass reticle that can be changed between 36 different colors for a true custom feel. The memory function returns the reticle to the shooter’s previously selected color and brightness to save time on the range or in the field.
7 UTG 6″ ITA Red/Green CQB T-dot Sight with Offset QD Mount
For a red dot sight option from UTG, the ITA T-Dot Sight is a good budget option. It can co-witness with iron sights and features a T-Dot reticle that allows for fast centering and precise targeting. Built on UTG’s true strength platform, the ITA red dot sight can stand up against even rough use and tough conditions.
This sight comes with a bidirectional quick detach offset mount that offers mounting versatility. With zero locking and zero resettable knurled turrets, the UTG ITA T-Dot Sight will get on target and stay there.
8 Sightmark M1 2-7×32 Scout Scope
The Sightmark M1 2-7×32 Scout Scope pairs very well with the Marlin 336 in both performance and design. With fully multi-coated optics and an IP67 waterproof rating, you won’t have to worry while using this scope in wet conditions. The rapid power rotation eyepiece gives shooters the freedom to quickly dial in the magnification level even while wearing gloves.
The M1 features a glass etched illuminated reticle, a hard anodized finish, low profile capped turrets, and plenty of eye relief for comfortable shooting and fast target acquisition.
9 Nikon Active Target Special 3-9x40mm Riflescope
If you plan to do a little more controlled shooting with your Marlin 336, the Nikon Active Target Special Riflescope is an ideal option. The eye relief on this scope isn’t enough to use it as a scout scope, but it makes an excellent hunting scope. The reticle features an open circle design that doesn’t obscure the target which makes it well suited for use on moving targets.
The capped turrets on the Active Target Special scope are zero resettable and can be adjusted in ¼ MOA increments. This scope also includes an anti-reflective device which gets rid of the risk of glare scaring off game.
10 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Scout
The Crossfire II 2-7×32 Scout scope from Vortex Optics features 9.45” of eye relief and a fast focus eyepiece. Those two things combine to create an excellent scout scope for the Marlin 336 lever action rifle. Built to the typical high quality of Vortex Optics, the Crossfire II will perform admirably in even the toughest conditions.
The V-Plex reticle is ideal for jump shooting game such as wild hogs while remaining precise enough for target shooting. Considering all the impressive features of the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Scout, this scope is easily the best value Marlin 336 scope on this list.
Putting It All Together
Scout scopes and red dot sights are great matches for the rapid action that a Marlin 336 offers. However, a more standard style of scope is also useful for more methodical hunters and shooters who simply enjoy the classic and historic lever action design. Consider your personal shooting needs and use the list of the ten best scope for Marlin 336 rifles above to help inform your buying decision.