The other day at lunch with my wife, I heard the words that every guy wants to hear…

No, not that, the other words…

OK, let me rephrase. I heard the words every hunter or shooter wants to hear.

“I think we need another rifle. I don’t want to shoot the ones you have,” she said.

Internally, my mind is jumping for joy like a 12 year old at Christmas.

“Oh yeah? What are you thinking about?” I said very cavalier.

Basically, I got out of her that she doesn’t want to shoot black powder, which is 2 of my 3 rifles. The other is an old military surplus, 303 British Enfield. Evidently, those just aren’t sexy enough for her. But she does want a big enough caliber that I, uhm, we can be use it for deer hunting. Yay for me!

Fine. I can go sexy. Nothing’s sexier in my mind than a lever action rifle. I’ve had my eye on a Marlin for quite some time. So I do what I normally do (and what any hunter in my situation would do), I run with it. I’m going to see this one to the end. I’ll either get another rifle or I won’t, but it won’t be for lack of trying. So, I’m showing her pictures and checking auction prices.

“Oh yeah, that’s nice,” she says, barely glancing at the plethora of photos on my computer screen. Now she’s the cavalier one. Man, women are frustrating sometimes.

Well, on to the good stuff. Let’s say I go with a Marlin 336? I knew they came in 30-30 caliber, my brother hunts with one. Didn’t realize they came in .32 or .35 Remington. Not even sure what those rounds are. So which round? 30-30 or .35 Remington? More running, more research. The Marlin has a great history, being made for a century or so. Fit’s into the gun philosophy fine (of using something with a history, a story to tell).

Maybe I should look into a Winchester rifle? I’m sure it will cost more than the Marlin. That is one thing she stipulated, it can’t be expensive.

I suppose I’m going to have to let her be a part of the decision here? I know, bad thought… bad, bad thought!

So give me your thoughts. I’m probably going to have to go used since I have a price limit. And a used Marlin fits into that price limit fine. Anyone have any thoughts on 30-30 versus .35 Remington?

Meanwhile, I’ve got some convincing to do.

Keep your powder dry and “watch your top knot”.

Follow up, 1/8/2010: Here is a great write up on the Marlin 336 vs. Winchester 94 over at the Guns and Shooting site. Even the author like the Marlin in the end. Although I do agree with him that that 94 stock does look better.