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Upgrading 30-30 Win. Truck Gun Becomes A Bear of a Project

Montana-based Grizzly Custom turns Roger Eckstine’s lever-action pawnshop truck gun into a work of art. Functionally, the Marlin also became faster and smoother to handle and shoot.

In the February 2003 issue of Gun Tests we published a single-page feature entitled “Mike’s Ultimate Truck Gun.” In that, we described how gunsmith Mike Montgomery had taken a pawnshop refugee 30-30 Winchester Marlin 336RC and upgraded it. First, it was modified for faster handling by shortening the barrel and stock. The action was checked and tuned. Montgomery changed the sights to a Williams adjustable rear peep sight and light-gathering filament Firesight up front. Also, the magazine tube was shortened, reducing capacity to four rounds. Total for the Truck Gun conversion at the time: $225.

It can be hard to give up on a rifle that has been in and out of one’s pickup truck for more than a decade. So we sent Contributing Editor Roger Eckstine’s truck gun (left) to Grizzly Custom Guns in Columbia Falls, Montana for renovation. As a result, his 30-30 Winchester Marlin 336RC went from being a shop-worn tool to an American classic shown right. The rifle is at the 50-yard bench at Houston’s American Shooting Centers. In it, Eckstine’s favorite 170-grain Winchester SilverTip loads were sneaking up on 1-minute-of-angle accuracy. Speed and versatility were enhanced by action work and the application of fresh components, such as a big loop lever and an XS Sight Scout rail. This enabled us to use a variety of sighting options, including the $482 Trijicon RMR Dual Illumination reflex sight from

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