Lever Action Tactical and Plinker


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bad_dad_brad
March 5, 2003, 10:10 PM
Given the potential in my State of Illinois, regarding the banning of so called assault rifles, I have been doing a bit of research in what might be the next most effective rifle that is politically correct and still can defend my house.

Tomorrow I am going to buy a simple lever action Winchester 94 Ranger in .30-30. I checked out the Marlin equivalent the other day, and I liked the Win better. $309 bucks and if I have to store my AR-15 in Indiana, I think I will have a very effective CQB handy little rifle in the Ranger. It points well!

I really like the way you can pop off a few shots, and reach in your pocket, and load a few more rounds quickly. I sometimes think the lever action rifle is a most effective and underrated rifle, a distinctively American design, and hey, it is a cowboy gun, and so it is P.C., even though it is as deadly a tool as any semi-auto centerfire.

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mashaffer
March 5, 2003, 10:27 PM
I think I would opt for a Marlin or Rossi in .357mag. Just as effective within 100 yards and lighter more compact ammo. I also think that the ability to top off a live weapon is a great feature of the lever (in addition to the simple fact that they handle quite naturally to me).

bad_dad_brad
March 5, 2003, 10:53 PM
mashaffer,

Appreciate your opinion, but I can't imagine the .357mag revolver round being more effective than a .30-30 shot from a 20 inch rifle barrel. I don't know about the Rossi, but the Marlin felt pretty heavy to me in comparison to the Winchester.

Since I don't have any .357 revolvers, the familiar caliber is not an issue. I like the .30-30. It is accurate. It is powerful. It probably has taken more deer than any other round in 20th century history. I sort of consider the deer the same as a human in regards to weight of the animal.

I am sticking with my purchase decision unless somebody comes up with a better arguement.

Sam
March 5, 2003, 11:26 PM
They will have a better hard time coming up with a better argument. That old 30WCF is a good round, the 94 a handy carbine. A winning combination and plenty effective too.
I'll take the 30WCF over a pistol carbine any day.

Sam

cheygriz
March 5, 2003, 11:41 PM
The 94 in .30-30 calibre is an excellent choice.

But you might also consider a good .303 Lee-Enfield. They're extremely rugged combat weapons. Ten round magazine, filled quickly with stripped clips. More range and power than a .,30-30, but heavier. And you could prolly get one for $150 dollars or less.

Just a thought!

Manny
March 5, 2003, 11:56 PM
Sounds like a darn smart move in my book. 30-30 ammo available darn near anywhere ammo is sold, and is probobly more acceptable to non-gun folks than any other rifle. I'd probobly upgrade the sights to some sort of peep though.
Manny

Psssniper
March 6, 2003, 12:12 AM
marlin 45-70cb
a thing of beauty
with a lot of firepower

chaim
March 6, 2003, 12:38 AM
I absolutely love my 30-30 Winchester 94. However, since you used the word "tactical" I'm thinking maybe another caliber may be better.

For hunting 30-30 is an exceedingly good round. It is also fun at the range, though in that light a rifle it does "kick" a bit and it isn't cheap (though it is among the cheaper regular rifle ammo at about 50 cents a round).

However, I'm guessing you're talking about defensive use given the use of the word "tactical". The 30-30, being a full powered rifle round, will have an overpenatration problem especially for indoor use.

A .357mag lever rifle will be very good. Out of a 16-24" barrel it will be far more powerful than out of a 4-8" revolver. For home defense it won't be as likely to give you liability problems due to overpenatration, especially using .38s. Also, it will be far cheaper to practice with (either with .38s or magnums) and you can get in more practice if you use indoor ranges (most of which don't allow rifle rounds). Out of the barrel lengths the lever rifles come in you will have enough power to stop most animals that people may hunt in the Continental US.

A .44mag rifle will be even more powerful and have all the same advantages (though it won't be as cheap to shoot).

Slick
March 6, 2003, 12:39 AM
I've been considering exactly this same thing, I'm glad to see so many positive responses.
Why kind of accuracy can you expect at 100 yds from the lever action 30-30s?
Slick

Gordon
March 6, 2003, 01:00 AM
Marlin 336SS with Ashley(xo) front sight, ghost ring, scout mount and Leupold 2.5 scout scope in nickle finish with Leupold nickle finish lever release rings WHOOOOO DAADDDDYYYY. who needs 'assault rifles? 30-30 makes alot of sense being slightly better than an AK round, but the mag pistol rounds will work under 50 yds or so. Unless BIG game is the game, then 45-70 guide gun is the hot set up.:D

Ed
March 6, 2003, 09:47 AM
I love my mod 94. Get a Lyman Tang site for it. Improves sight radious greatly and helps you get better grouping, Plus it just looks cool. I'll have to sat that the 45-70 Guide gun is cool too, shot mine yesterday and Love it. But anyway, get the 30-30.

six 4 sure
March 6, 2003, 10:39 AM
I too sould suggest adding a .357 lever-gun to your collection. They are cheaper to 50rds of 38 cost about the same as 20rds of 30-30. If you reload, this isn't as big of an issue.

I have a Win 94 trapper in .357 and it's probably my favorite gun. Best of all with hot magnum loads, it hardly kicks at all.

As far as accuracy of the 30-30 I once managed a 1" 3 shot group at 100 yards with iron sights. I still have the target somewhere. I hate to admit this, but I think there was more luck than skill involved with that group.

Six

foghornl
March 6, 2003, 10:59 AM
I have shot both the Winchester 94 [brother's weapon] and several Marlins, and I happen to prefer the Marlin. That Chevy vs Ford vs Dodge thing, I suppose.

I have been able to keep 3 shots in 2.25" at 100yds, although I suspect my Marlin Model 30A is capable of better than that. A shooting buddy once got 4 shots in 1.5", with one flyer that was just barely on the paper.

So, in my experiences, the lever rifle is a good choice.

DillHarris
March 6, 2003, 11:24 AM
I love my model 94. It's an older model top ejection. I think the whole Marlin vs. Winchester debate could go on forever. With the 20" barrel I don't think (could be wrong) you can get the Marlin with a straight grip stock. I really like the way the straight grip stock shoulders and points, just seems natural to me. Of course some folks would say that about the semi-pistol grip of the marlin. I think it's about the "handiest" rifle out there. I'll second the "American Design". The 30-30 lever action hasn't stayed popular for close to 110 years with out having something to offer. I think it is the perfect balnce of power/low recoil in a light, utility rifle. Good move on your part.

bad_dad_brad
March 6, 2003, 07:21 PM
Well, I bought the Winchester 94 today. I will pick it up tomorrow! One day waiting period in Illinois for long guns. I bought some Winchester .30-30 ammo - 150 gr power points (a hunting round). It ain't cheap. I am going to have to find a good source for FMJ plinking ammo.

She is plain, but somehow she is beautiful. I am very happy!

Slingster
March 6, 2003, 07:51 PM
Jeff Cooper extolled the virtues of the lever action carbine as a home defense weapon in those jurisdictions that don't allow so-called "assault weapons" or are strict on handgun ownership.

After a correspondent from NYC wrote him about his .30-30 M94 Trapper home defense gun, Jeff dubbed it the "Brooklyn Special," and in response to another correspondent he tagged the .44 Mag Trapper as the "Kansas City Special." Both had ghost ring rear sights, of course.

Jeff has also promoted the .30-30 lever action with ghost ring sight as a less-threatening, more "politically correct" long arm for police (as opposed to the M-16 or AR-15), and had the Gunsite Gunsmithy offer the "Gunsite Police Rifle (GPR)" as a custom job.

Sir Galahad
March 6, 2003, 08:23 PM
If you look through old police department photos in various books, you'll see that the Winchester 30-30 was a weapon they armed a lot of cops with. Not just in rural areas, but in cities as well. If I remember correctly, the 30-30 was issued to Alcatraz tower guards until they got M1 carbines. If cops after 1927 were REAL lucky, their departments bought a few Thompsons to supplement the shotguns and 30-30s. But the 30-30 was a "had to have" for most. A lot of "private" police forces (like coal and steel police in company towns and company police in western mining towns) used 30-30s to a great extent.

Ya gotta love the 30-30. It's timeless. And the pistol caliber levers are great ideas still of value, also.

twoblink
March 7, 2003, 02:45 AM
I'd go 357Mag if you have a revolver.. better logistics.

KPersimmon
March 7, 2003, 06:35 AM
<<If you look through old police department photos in various books, you'll see that the Winchester 30-30 was a weapon they armed a lot of cops with. Not just in rural areas, but in cities as well. If I remember correctly, the 30-30 was issued to Alcatraz tower guards until they got M1 carbines. >>

I don't know about Alcatraz nor the past use of .30-30's as police weapons, but my great-grandfather was a tower guard in a Texas prison for some years and carried a Winchester Model 1892 in .44-40. I recall that grandad stated that Model 92's were pretty common in prisons throughout the country because they were, at that time, rather cheap and could be counted on to "get the job done." His big beef was when the administration pushed a switch to the .351 caliber Model 1907 Winchester semi-auto, a gun that he said he "despised."

Personally, I would agree with the others that one of the pistol calibers would be better-suited for home defense when used in a rifle/carbine such as originally mentioned in this post, but I can't speak for everyone. However I do know, from an ugly personal experience, what a modern-load .30-30 can do to the human body and believe strongly that the use of this particular cartridge would be dangerously reckless against an adversary in an urban environment.

bedlamite
March 7, 2003, 08:21 AM
I can't knock the 30-30, my 336C with a 2-7 Tasco WC does a consistent 1.5moa using handloads. But for urban settings, the pistol caliber would be preferable, I've got a 16" 94 Trapper in 44mag, and 9+1 rounds that have almost as much punch in that small of a package is real nice :D

bad_dad_brad
March 7, 2003, 07:55 PM
Well I picked up my new .30-30 Winchester 94 today. I am in love. After closer inspection, I am not sure it is the Ranger but perhaps the Traditional as the stock appears to be in walnut - mox nix as the action and barrel are the same.

I just love the way the extraction puts a flat spin on the cartridge. That John Moses Browning. Another timeless design. This is a smart little rifle. Has a grip safety intergal to the lever, and that rebound half cock! Cool. The lever action might be old, but it isn't any less ingenius. The trigger is very good as well.

I am impressed.

FYI the .30-30 cartridge was the first smokeless powder sporting cartridge. The .30 is the caliber, the 30 is the number of grains of powder. The bullet nose is flat for obvious reasons. Duh, that tubular magazine thing!

All about the .30-30:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/30-30Win.htm

I name all my long guns. In the tradition of the U.S. Marine Corp, I give them girl's names. My new 94 is named Wendy. It will be a pleasure to take her virginity.

TallPine
March 7, 2003, 08:17 PM
bad_dad_brad:

Try to find some "cowboy" ammo for the 30-30 - lead flat nose with lower velocity, doesn't kick much and the "overpenetration" will be much less.

Plus it is usually a couple bucks a box cheaper. PMC is one brand that makes it.

It will hit at a different place (lower) than hunting rounds, so you have to sight accordingly.

I would NEVER use full power 30-30 hunting loads for defense in an urban or suburban environment. You will shoot your bad guy plus about three more houses.

There was a another long thread on this very topic recently.

Congratulations on your Model 94! You will love it.

bad_dad_brad
March 7, 2003, 09:11 PM
TallPine,

Thanks I will check into it.

Mannlicher
March 7, 2003, 09:35 PM
There is a lot of stuff being tossed around about the performance of .357 pistol ammo in a Carbine, and about "full power hunting" ammo in a .30/30 carbine. Most of it is innaccurate.

Do a little home work, and then take one of each out hunting/shooting. Don't bet the farm on stuff you read on BBS, when you can do the research yourself.

MolonLabe416
March 7, 2003, 09:36 PM
A good lever gun is an excellent choice for the scenario you described.
I'd consider adding good ghost ring sights. Ashley Outdoors, Wild West Guns, and Jim Brockman all make excellent sights. All have a web presence.
I'd also add a butt cuff. Other than that, if your trigger is good and she loads smooth, she should be good to go.
Enjoy.

TallPine
March 8, 2003, 09:53 AM
There is a lot of stuff being tossed around about the performance of .357 pistol ammo in a Carbine, and about "full power hunting" ammo in a .30/30 carbine. Most of it is innaccurate.

What, specifically, is "innaccurate" ?

Have you ever seen what a 30-30 does to a deer?

bad_dad_brad
March 8, 2003, 03:21 PM
I did a lot of research on the .30-30 and I sure don't feel under-gunned.

I am not a big fan of handgun cartridges in rifles, unless, like the trappers and cowboys of old, you had a revolver in the same caliber. The big bores are okay, but those 9mm tactical rifles? What is with that?

Blueduck
March 8, 2003, 07:26 PM
Never got the chance to shoot a Winchester or Marlin Lever action in a pistol caliber. Can someone tell me if the length of throw is appreciably shorter than the 30-30's ???

seeker_two
March 8, 2003, 08:31 PM
Excellent choice, bdb. The .30-30 has put more than a few BG's in their place. I'm considering finding one as my own "Homeland Defense Rifle".

As for ammo, Winchester & PMC both make hollowpoint ammo that's touted for hunting & for SD. I've been told that it's as good as anything coming out of the barrel of an AK or an AR. And a lot easier to top off than either.

In a recent magazine article (can't remember where I read it), Ashley Emerson went through the Thunder Ranch Tactical Rifle course w/ a Winchester .30-30. Was easily able to keep up w/ the AR's in the crowd, and even finished the course near the top. And the Winchester had no failures (unlike some of the "tactical carbines" present...:D )

Good shooting...

bad_dad_brad
March 8, 2003, 09:43 PM
Well here we go. Try to buy something simple and already I am trying to complicate things.

The sights on my basic Winchester 94 are very hard for my old eyes to pick up. That tiny black bead on the front post, seems almost impossible to see, except only in the bright light of day. My only complaint.

Looks like I am going to have to look at some ghost rings. Life is so complicated.

44
March 9, 2003, 10:39 PM
For most of the same reasons, I bought the 16" Marlin 1894P 44mag. Only 34" long, under 6 lbs, fast and handy, and always topped off.
But the 30-30 is looking like a better choice, as these unpredictable times keep moving toward possibly a big change in the armed civilian's role, with these outside enemies coming onto American soil. 44

bad_dad_brad
March 9, 2003, 10:53 PM
44,

Being a "big bore" handgun cartridge, I think it will do the job.

But of course, just about any centerfire rifle cartridge will have more energy. There are a few exceptions.

The .30-30 is a powerful round, but the .44 magnum in a carbine ain't no slouch.

I see no reason for you to buy a new lever rifle, I think your Marlin will serve you well.

BusMaster007
March 9, 2003, 10:58 PM
These are terrible photos of two 94's I recently acquired:
StepDad's '50-1 and Dad's '68-9, both in .30-30.
The early model is all original; the late model is refinished (had to be because it was in terrible shape). The refinish on the receiver looks like olive drab in 'real life'. The synthetic stock and bbl. band swivel; large lever loop and sight hood, etc. are all matte black. The Lyman #2 peep sight is standard blue. Came out pretty good!

BusMaster007
March 9, 2003, 10:59 PM
Both guns:

larryw
March 9, 2003, 11:22 PM
Slingster.

I'm a big fan of your slings. What is your recommendation for a good carry/shooting sling for a '94 lever action?

thanks,
Larry

longspurr
March 9, 2003, 11:56 PM
I see in several newspaper articles that more & more of the Bad guys are wearing body armor. Normally I would second the suggestion to buy a pistol caliber carbine for home defense, but It all depends where you live and what the bad guys are up to.

For some of our urban areas, California, Illinois, New York perhaps a 30-30 is a better choice than a pistol caliber. Armor penetration [ most levels] don't ya know.

longeyes
March 11, 2003, 01:12 AM
A couple of years ago I bought a Marlin 336 in .30-30 for all of the reasons mentioned so far. It was my first rifle. I thought of it as being a kind of "PC" AK, American-style, that would be good to have "just in case" to supplement a shotgun. Later, because I couldn't seem to hit squat with the original iron sights (yes, the "old eyes" problem), I got some Ashley ghost-rings and that helped a lot. Good overall package for what I was interested in: close- to medium-range contact, which I define as 50 yards tops. I picked .30-30 because I wanted a real rifle cartridge with some major hitting power for self-defense and the ability to defeat body armor. I favor hollow-points, which are availabe in 125g (Federal)and 150g (Winchester) weights.

megatronrules
March 11, 2003, 01:34 AM
I love lever actions. They look as innocent as a gun can. The Duke carried one for god's sake :D Doesnt get any more friendly than that! They also come up to shoulder,for me better than any rifle I have tried. This includes, SKS,AR,AK and Mini 14's. They point great, they really do. They are short, and handy as well. 30-30 cant be beat. Good cartridge that will be here for years to come. Good choice. I want one of these myself. :)

KPersimmon
March 11, 2003, 09:12 AM
Well okay then...I suppose just any high powered cartridge would do for home defense, if it eases your mind from such worries as BG's wearing body armor and other more or less imaginative scenarios.
The cartridge would do, that is, until you actually shoot someone with it--and then you'll have to live with the results.

Andrew Wyatt
March 11, 2003, 03:44 PM
30-30 isn't "high powered" by any stretch.

It'll work just fine on thin skinned air breathers, and isn't too likely to over penetrate, either.


Kpersimmon, what's your problem with the 30-30?

TallPine
March 11, 2003, 04:06 PM
Kpersimmon, what's your problem with the 30-30?

The same problem that I have. But I have to say that I relied on one for home defense for years but luckily I never had to use it against a home invasion. Probably would have taken out the bad guy, several walls, the china cabinet and refrigerator, plus one or more neighbors houses.

The 30-30 may not be "high-powered" in comparison to 7mm mag or 300 Win mag, but it is no weakling.

Have you ever shot a deer with a 30-30? Pretty damn sobering to see the kind of damage that it will do. I've seen it take out a 3" section of backbone and just keep right on going. Not just break the backbone, but a whole section just missing - turned into tiny bone chips.

KPersimmon
March 11, 2003, 04:51 PM
<<<30-30 isn't "high powered" by any stretch.>>>

So destroying half a man's skull and blowing most of his brains out after penetrating a windshield can't be considered "high powered?" This is the short version of what I, and several other deputies, saw after a shooting with a .30-30 several years ago. The cartridge was 150-grain softpoint factory ammo. That same bullet exited the rear windshield and traveled some 50 feet before it lodged in a bank. True story--no stretch.
Another deputy, a sergeant, reports a suicide with a .30-30 in which a young man brought a rifle to the side of his head and pulled the trigger with his thumb. The result: the young man could no longer be identified by his facial features.

Look, I certainly have no problem with a person defending himself and his family. But let's be sensible. The .30-30 is designed as a deer cartridge, for goodness' sake, and we've got to remember that deer are substantially tougher than us frail human beings. So if there's a .30-30 loading which is more suitable for defensive uses than what's available for deer hunting, then I'd be all for it.

Andrew Wyatt
March 11, 2003, 06:13 PM
*shrug* to each his own.


I've got a number4 mk 1 sitting in the closet with a loaded magazine of 180 grain softpoints as a ready rifle in addition to my shotgun.

telomerase
March 11, 2003, 07:55 PM
If over penetration is a possible problem in a .30-30, get some Glaser or Magsafe frangibles. They'll penetrate the first thing they hit, but if that's the wall, then they'll turn into small-caliber chot spreads before hitting the neighbor's wall. Although your best option would be to move to an alternate universe where US citizens aren't restricted to weapons from TWO centuries back...

Gerald McDonald
March 11, 2003, 08:17 PM
BlueDuck, I have an older 94 in 30/30 and a 94 trapper in 357, not much difference in lever throw unless you short stroke it. The 357 is nice because you can pick nearly any indoor range and do a little shootin. Its iffy if it will shoot 38 spec's reliably, mine wont feed 38's reliably but I know others who have had no problems. My 357 shoots 158 or 125's to more or less the same point of aim and recoil with either is not really and issue. For home defense either will fill the bill in my opinion, but a shotgun would probably be a better choice.
Gerald

Marshall
March 11, 2003, 09:38 PM
BDB,

Congrats on your new Model 94! It probably is a Traditional. I have shot a few deer with a 30-30 lever gun before I went to bolts a long time ago. I still like to get that old gun out now and then. I think you made a wise move and smart decision on the lever gun, either caliber would have worked well. Enjoy!

;)

Blueduck
March 11, 2003, 09:53 PM
Thanks Gerald, thought my question had got lost in the mill :)

Sir Galahad
March 11, 2003, 10:11 PM
Even in California, pump shotguns are still legal. Seems to me to be the best longgun for inside the house. A 7.62x39 will penetrate almost 1/4" of plate steel at 80 feet and the 30-30 is pretty similar to 7.62x39. As far as I have seen, Glasers are not available in 30-30. Maybe they are, but they're still going to run you at least $15 to $17 for 6. And you'll need to shoot a few to see how they act out of the weapon. Contrast that to $3.50 per box of 5 max price premium buckshot. Or you could buy a 9mm, .40 cal, or .45 McPistol of some sort that will do the job at something like $12 per box of 20 premium hollowpoints. Those are still legal in California, too, as are revolvers. As far as bad guys wearing body armor, that's probably overblown to a great extent. The average tweeker would have sold that to buy crank long back if he had armor. Most professionals wearing armor are going to be hitting armored cars or banks. BUT if someone did enter a home wearing armor, as the good G. Gordon Liddy said, they will still not have bullet proof heads.

Now for riots, as I evisioned the original intent of the defensive use of a rifle, the 30-30 would be splendid. In such cases, one may have other considerations to consider besides overpenetration. Such as remaining alive. A shotgun still might be a good choice, but, on the other hand, one may not wish to allow armed thugs to get even that close with molotov cocktails. In such cases, a 30-30 rifle would be a great choice. That is, if you could not lay hands on an AK or an AR, which folks in some states cannot.

Be prepared for anything.

Marshall
March 11, 2003, 10:40 PM
30-30 isn't "high powered" by any stretch.

It'll work just fine on thin skinned air breathers, and isn't too likely to over penetrate, either.


WHAT'S UP WITH THIS???

A 30-30 not over penatrating a thin skinned two legged critter? What dream world does this happen in? I respectfully suggest you don't stand behind a BG if he is in range of a 30-30 shooter, your opinion would drastically be changed and no one would be able to say...told ya so.
;)

44
March 15, 2003, 01:04 PM
I think it's probably true that the 30-30 has too much penetration for the neighborhood. (Are there low-penetration varmint bullets for the 30-30?)

In reconsidering the 30-30, I was thinking about possibly needing more range if the civilian's defensive needs should change, with enemies actually coming onto our soil.

-----------------------
But I have not thought this through, and I'm no expert on guns or ammunition. 44

TallPine
March 15, 2003, 01:46 PM
Are there low-penetration varmint bullets for the 30-30?

There are (or were?) some saboted rounds available, but I'm not sure that they are "low-penetration" due to the higher velocity. They are also quite expensive, and pointed IRRC, so your lever action becomes essentially a single shot.

As I have mentioned before, there are "cowboy" loads readily available for the 30-30: flat nose lead bullets with lower velocity. They don't kick much and they are usually cheaper than hunting rounds to boot. The POI is different so you have to test them and adjust your sights accordingly.

The ones I have claim 1500 fps velocity, so they are a little hotter than a .357.

I don't see why this option doesn't get more attention in these threads ...? Maybe it is too simple? :)

telomerase
March 15, 2003, 02:44 PM
>there are "cowboy" loads readily available for the 30-30: flat nose lead bullets with lower velocity. They don't kick much and they are usually cheaper than hunting rounds to boot. The POI is different so you have to test them and adjust your sights accordingly.

Although POI differences between loads are not that large indoors at 30 feet, you'd better test ANY round to make sure it feeds in your gun. And it wouldn't hurt to know where it hits, yeah...

>The ones I have claim 1500 fps velocity, so they are a little hotter than a .357.

But much too slow to penetrate armor. Even in 1975, I knew of thugs with old Korean War armor. Surplus military and civilian kevlar vests are a staple of gun shows, and anyone with an IQ over 80 has Spectra for full-dress occasions nowadays. (Of course this may not be the demographic committing home invasions).

>I don't see why this option doesn't get more attention in these threads ...? Maybe it is too simple?

No, the problem is modern construction codes that force people to live in buildings "armored" by a layer of Styrofoam over sheetrock. Your "mild" Cowboy load would shoot through a whole Dallas apartment building. That's where the Glasers come in; after they hit the first wall they burst and turn into shot (I think #8 in .30-.30, someone correct me). Plus the Glaser might stop the intruder from shooting you before he is stopped.

I will admit that someone who actually shoots the Cowboy events will probably hit the intruder and reduce the overpenetration problem...

rage
March 15, 2003, 03:07 PM
The ones I have claim 1500 fps velocity, so they are a little hotter than a .357.

I know you meant out of a 4"-6" handgun.;)

Out of an 18.5" barrel, muzzle velocity for .357 is closer to 1800 fps up to 2000+ fps, depending on load. www.marlinfirearms.com

I have a Marlin 1894C with a red dot. Really fast acquisition, light, and very accurate as far as I can see(maybe 50-75 yds.) It's probably more of a toy, but it works for me. I plan to mount it in my Jeep. However in a home defensive situation I probly would go to my G30 or Rem 870 first, depending on the threat.

That being said, a larger cal PC leverGun like the 30/30 might be handy in the future.:eek:

Nightcrawler
March 15, 2003, 04:32 PM
I recently gave away my Marlin .30-30 as a gift, but not because I didn't like it. (Someone I know needed a rifle badly.)

In any case, I've owned three leverguns. Two Winchester Trappers (16" carbines) in .357 and .44, and the Marlin. Both Winchesters had a sort of spring-loaded take-up built deliberately into the trigger; it wasn't bad, but it was annoying. For that reason I'd go with the Marlin. But not all Winchesters have it, and if the Winchester you handled works for you, then by all means, go for it! They're great rifles.

TallPine
March 15, 2003, 06:14 PM
Your "mild" Cowboy load would shoot through a whole Dallas apartment building.

But then so would a 357 magnum from a 4" barrel ...

telomerase
March 15, 2003, 06:37 PM
>>Your "mild" Cowboy load would shoot through a whole Dallas apartment building.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

>But then so would a 357 magnum from a 4" barrel ...

Not if it were frangible! My point here is that we should stick to using weaponry that is only one century out of date. Plain ol' lead was what they had in 1875; we can do better now.

Of course, I'm the sort of nut that thinks that someday, men will walk on the Moon:
http://freedom.orlingrabbe.com/lfetimes/neil_armstrong.htm

TallPine
March 15, 2003, 06:39 PM
Okay, I give up :rolleyes:

What are the parameters that we are trying to meet here?

Seems like what we really need is a bullet that will penetrate body armor but won't go through sheet rock.

Of course, then all the boogie men will start wearing drywall vests.

Or maybe the bullet could have a little parachute that popped out 25 feet from the muzzle and stopped it.

:neener:

Sir Galahad
March 15, 2003, 06:49 PM
If you're a CEO of a large company or fairly rich, then, yes, some vest-wearers might enter your home to kidnap you for ransom, etc., etc. But I doubt that some guys are going to buy vests to come in and steal your toaster oven and $45.67 in loose cash. And, again, most drugged out addicts would have pawned any vest they had. The "could be" scenarios are staggering. What if he wore a vest? What if? The chances of a high powered rifle round exiting your house are much greater than a person wearing armor breaking in. If you shoot an intruder with a high powered weapon, there is a 100% chance that round is going to exit your house. What is the chance of an intruder wearing body armor? Read "Armed Citizen" in American Rifleman and see for yourself.

Boy, sure is a heap of doin's over something easily solved by a shotgun or proper ammo selection for a handgun. And with good marksmanship, armor is not a problem. No one has a bullet-proof head. As far as riots, etc. which is where I see the use of rifles for self-defense, you use what is effective because the cavalry ain't comin'!

telomerase
March 15, 2003, 07:09 PM
>Or maybe the bullet could have a little parachute that popped out 25 feet from the muzzle and stopped it.

(sigh) yes, exactly. That's what a frangible bullet does after it goes through the first barrier (whether that barrier be a piece of Spectra or a plate of sphagetti): it turns into a bunch of little parachutes that transfer energy to the air (and spread the energy over a wide area for the next impact; even mold-covered sheetrock can stop individual #8 shot).

For that matter, if we were real people instead of livestock, we'd have safer weapons that did indeed have ammo that self-destructed at a preset range, just like the ammo for the Army's prototype 20mm individual weapon.

As regarding shotguns: they're heavy and clumsy compared to a Trapper lever action (now look what you've done, you've got me saying good things about ancient weapons and hokey religions. But they're still no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.) And you'll probably never get your wife to practice with the shotgun. (The wife factor is the problem with the pistol; even at 30 feet the carbine is more accurate). And finally, if something is going to weigh 8 lbs and have 35 foot-lbs of recoil energy, it is morally obliged to at least go through a level II vest or medieval plate armor. JMJO

bad_dad_brad
March 15, 2003, 07:50 PM
I am always amazed at how these threads often evolve. Geez, the point of this thread was to replace my AR-15 with something a little more PC as home defender, close range hunter, and plinker if my State passes a law to take my "assault rifle" away. I chose the Win 94 .30-30 to do just that. I don't think they are going to take my "cowboy gun" away anytime soon. The .30-30 will do the job. Ammo is not as cheap as I thought though. Cheapest so far around here is 10 bucks for 20.

Ain't this a great forum!

telomerase
March 15, 2003, 08:05 PM
>I don't think they are going to take my "cowboy gun" away anytime soon.

Let's hope not, though notice that they have taken even the swords (let alone lever action rifles) away from the spineless Saxon peasants. There aren't really that many cowboys voting these days... oops, this post is going to be cast out into the political section if I don't do something fast...

Anyone have any experience with those 125-grain hollowpoints in .30-30?

KPersimmon
March 16, 2003, 09:04 AM
Up front, I don't really know what I'm talking about with this particular post, but it does seem to me that a .308-diameter hollowpoint bullet of about 100 to 125 grains might work well for the .30-30 in defensive applications. Sticking my neck out even further, I would guess that muzzle velocity should be kept down to about 1500 to 1800 fps out of a 20 inch carbine barrel.

DAL
March 16, 2003, 10:01 AM
"Boy, sure is a heap of doin's over something easily solved by a shotgun or proper ammo selection for a handgun."

Yeah, Sir Galahad, but where's the fun in that? Heck, boards like this thrive on what-if scenarios. If there's one thing I've learned in life it's that, almost inevitably, things never turn out like I envision them. But at least thinking about some possible scenarios, and doing my best to prepare for them, MIGHT help if an armed encounter should ever occur.

We gunfolk tend to go overboard on the latest whiz-bang weapon or tactic that promises to do it all (goodness know I have). More time (and money) spent training and less on gadgets would be more beneficial, but that's not quite as fun as the anticipation and execution of buying a tangible object.

I will say this, bad_dad_brad, you are on the right track with regards to a lever-action rifle, IMO. They're reasonably priced and plenty accurate and powerful for most any self-defense scenario the average Joe Citizen is likely to encounter.
DAL

mashaffer
March 16, 2003, 10:12 AM
I think it's probably true that the 30-30 has too much penetration for the neighborhood. (Are there low-penetration varmint bullets for the 30-30?)

You might try experimenting with the 100 grain plinker (I think it is a speer bullet). It might work well if your bullet seating die can position it properly. A Lee factory crimp die would put a nice tight crimp wherever you needed on the bullet shank. I could make some flat point bullets for you in the lighter weights but the jackets that I am set up to use are quite thick at the bottom and set up for big game hunting. If driven fast enough they might work fine but I can't promise anything.

Also check here for an interesting lever action rifle article. He discusses many of the applications of this type of rifle including the cowboy assault rifle.

http://www.leverguns.com/articles/lee_marlin44.htm

44
March 16, 2003, 10:42 AM
I see on page 265 of the Speer Manual #13 they have a "Varminter" bullet. Speer part number 1835, 110 grains. They show loads from 1871 to 2708 fps for the 30-30.

But there is a note about some rifles having throats too short to load it to the given 2.415 OAL. Have to check it out.

I've had really good luck with Speer bullets and this Manual 13. Mostly .308 and 44mag.

bad_dad_brad
March 16, 2003, 11:27 AM
mashaffer,

Dang it! After reading that website, now I just have to have a Marlin in .44.

So many guns, so little money.

That is a good website on lever action rifles. Thanks.

Brad.

bad_dad_brad
March 16, 2003, 04:43 PM
While I have all of you lever action experts out there listening, I am wondering if this is a good technique for fast shooting and keeping the target aquired.

I quickly cock the hammer before moving the lever to eject and re-load. Makes moving that lever a heck of a lot easier and it seems like a very natural thing to do.

I am trying to think of a downside to this but I can't. The hammer extension that comes with the 94 seems to make this a little easier to do as well.

Anybody else find this a natural thing to do to facilitate rapid fire with a lever action like the 94?

bad_dad_brad
March 17, 2003, 08:23 PM
I think my last question to lever action experts got lost, so I am floating this up so that it might get noticed for an answer. I am interested in an opinion on this technique:

While I have all of you lever action experts out there listening, I am wondering if this is a good technique for fast shooting and keeping the target aquired.

I quickly cock the hammer before moving the lever to eject and re-load. Makes moving that lever a heck of a lot easier and it seems like a very natural thing to do.

I am trying to think of a downside to this but I can't. The hammer extension that comes with the 94 seems to make this a little easier to do as well.

Anybody else find this a natural thing to do to facilitate rapid fire with a lever action like the 94?

ChristopherG
March 17, 2003, 09:09 PM
Okay, I have ZERO experience shooting levers (something I hope to remedy), but when I saw your question the first time up I'll tell you what it made me think. It cast my mind to the episode of American Shooter I saw this weekend, when they covered Guns that Won the West--including, of course, the 94 and its predecessors. They showed footage of dudes shooting these things, some at a pretty good clip, and that lever-activated bolt was shucking out the back end of the receiver with real zip. So, when I read your post, I thought: Ouch! If you get in the habit of hand cocking the thumb, I bet the day is gonna come when your lever-fingers get just a smidge ahead of your hammer-thumb, and that thumb is gonna get pinched.

But, maybe not. All I really know is, I've never seen anyone do what you're describing.

cg

six 4 sure
March 17, 2003, 11:04 PM
On several occations I've tried to hit a running jackrabbit with my .357 trapper Win 94. It's as close to rapid fire as I've come using a lever-action. I was quite easy for me to send several rounds down range in a hurry. I can see that cocking the hammer for the first shot might be of some help, but I don't know if there would be any advantage following shots(just one more thing to try to remember). Keep in mind though, this was with a .357, the recoil on it is just a tad more than a .22 so it might be a different story using a 30-30.

I would also agree that the chances of pinching something are going to increase if you try your method but, with enough practice it might be avoided.

Six

44
March 18, 2003, 11:45 AM
I hate a stiff-action gun, so I smoothed the action on my Marlin 1894P by running it a few hundred times with the abrasive Remington Bore Cleaner on the tight spots.

I followed this by a major solvent flush (spray gun) and then a flush (spray gun) with Rem Oil - and another 300 cycles. Then another Rem Oil flush, blow-out, Rem Oil and a slick grease on the operating faces.

The action is SUPER-SLICK now, and feeds and ejects like a rocket.

(But I did this on my own. I'm sure a gunsmith might be critical of the procedure.)

I hate sharp edges, so I spent a full day stoning and polishing away all the sharp edges on the lever, hammer, trigger, and so on, and re-blued them with cold blue. Now I can grab the gun ANYWHERE and not feel anything even the least bit sharp.

The gun has a whole new friendly personality. 44

longeyes
March 18, 2003, 12:15 PM
Federal gives the following ballistic data (24" barrel) for its 125g Hi-Shok hp's:

Muzzle velocity, 2570 fps; 1830 fpe (at 100 yds: 2070 fps; 1210 fpe)

Baron Holbach
March 18, 2003, 12:29 PM
The .30-30 is a great all-around round. I would not want to plink with such a powerful round, unless I'm wearing a good shoulder pad. The handgun cartridge .357 magnum, when fired from a 20-inch rifle barrel, takes on much more velocity and power than when fired from a revolver. Many rifle-toting owners who use a handgun cartridge in their rifle often use the same cartridge in a revolver.

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