Marlin for defense?


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Mendel5
August 10, 2006, 05:53 PM
Looking to purchase a Marlin 336W in 30-30 ... would this round be effective for home defense? I know it'd be good for hunting, but I want to stick to one firearm, if possible.

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ArmedBear
August 10, 2006, 05:59 PM
Can you use that to hunt in Indiana? I thought you had to hunt with slugs there.

.30-30 will take care of any human predator, same as animals. I wouldn't use it in a condo, or wherever a rifle bullet could go through walls and hurt someone, like your own kids. But it'll certainly take down someone who wants to kill you, if it comes to that.

Cosmoline
August 10, 2006, 06:03 PM
Numerous threads have gone over and over this. Personally I wouldn't hesitate to use 130-150 grain HP's from a .30-30 for self defense. Indeed I'd take a .30-30 any day of the week over any handgun. It's an exceptionally effective cartridge against all medium soft-skin game. Any firearm bullet will penetrate modern interior walls, so you're better off with a firearm that gets the job done with less chance of a miss and less need for followup shots.

Mendel5
August 10, 2006, 06:13 PM
Right about the slugs in Indiana .... I'm thinking about possibly out of state.

El Tejon
August 10, 2006, 07:04 PM
Unless predation permit, but I recommend 6.5 Swede for that.:D

Remember Rule #4, with a centerfire rifle overpentration into my neighbor would be a grave concern for an urban subdivision dweller like me.:uhoh:

TomFromTheShade
August 10, 2006, 11:17 PM
The 30-30 is a fine choice for almost all big game hunting out to about 200 yards. Some people will tell you that it is marginal on elk and moose, but plenty of them have fallen to the 30-30 over the years. As for humans, think of it like the 7.62x39. They are about equal in my book and that AK round is a fine fine bad guy killer.

MechAg94
August 11, 2006, 11:00 AM
A levergun is also more effective than a pistol after you run out of ammo.

HorseSoldier
August 11, 2006, 11:16 AM
30-30 should get the job done in a defensive shooting scenario . . . but a 45-70 Guide Gun would really get the job done . . . :)

Magnum Wheel Man
August 11, 2006, 11:18 AM
have you considered the 410 lever gun... I think it would be an awesome home defense gun, but 410 slugs only marginal on deer, but at least legal in your area...

Father Knows Best
August 11, 2006, 03:15 PM
In my not-so-humble opinion, the best choice for a home defense firearm is a Marlin or Winchester "thutty-thutty" lever action rifle. They are compact, lightweight, quick-handling, reliable, more powerful and easier to hit with than a handgun, and can be used effectively in hand-to-hand combat, if necessary. Compared to black rifles and many modern handguns, they're also a whole lot more "friendly" to the media and politicians (prosecutors) in the event you have to pull the trigger, and that may help keep you from winding up on the wrong end of an indictment, or save your @ss when you have to face a jury. The scared homeowner forced to use his trusty old deer rifle to protect the homestead just plays better to typical American media and legal audiences than does the prepared, well-trained suburban commando with his military-style, scary looking weapons.

The Marlin 336 also happens to be my first choice of 30-30's. It is extremely well built. There are some great new ammo choices out there, too, like the new LeveRevolution ballistic tip ammo.

Fosbery
August 11, 2006, 03:33 PM
I use a Marlin for defence, but mine is in .357 magnum. I get 10 shots instead of 6 and I can practice with .38 special. I must admit I've never shot .30-30, never even seen it this side of the Atlantic. Is it comparable to any other common cartridges?

Father Knows Best
August 11, 2006, 03:43 PM
I actually prefer the pistol caliber lever guns for home defense, also. The Marlin 1894 in 44 magnum is my favorite.

the .30-30 was introduced in 1894 as the .30 Winchester Central Fire (.30 WCF). It became commonly known as the .30-30 because it was .30 caliber and original loadings back up the bullet with about 30 grains of powder. It was the first commercially successful smokeless powder cartridge. It was launched along with the Winchester model 1894 lever action rifle, which it was designed for. It is generally classified as an "intermediate" cartridge and is roughly equivalent ballistically to the 7.62x39 ("Russian") cartridge. It is much higher velocity that handgun rounds but still slower than full power rifle rounds like the .30-06, .308 (7.62x51 NATO), etc. Until recently, however, 30-30 ammo always used ballistically inefficient round or flat-nose bullets, because the 30-30 is used in tubular magazines where a pointed bullet can set off the primers of other cartridges under recoil. Hornady has recently introduced a line of ammo for lever guns that uses soft plastic tips to give ballistically efficient spitzer-type shapes and is still safe for tubular magazines.

The .30-30 is the classic American deer rifle. There was a time when a .30-30 lever action was found in almost every American home. They are still quite common, and .30-30 ammo remains one of the best sellers in the U.S.

Cosmoline
August 11, 2006, 03:48 PM
One major plus of the .30-30, and the edge it has over the 7.62x39 for home defense, is the common availability of tried and tested HP and SP rounds in the 125-150 grain range. The .30-30 has been putting expanding rounds through soft skinned game for over 110 years now. The x39, in contrast, is a military round with a history of relying on FMJ rounds. There are some expanding rounds out there for it, but they have nowhere near the track record of the .30-30's expanding rounds.

I would not advise the 160 grain leverevolution rounds for home defense. They do shoot flatter at 100+ yards, but this isn't a factor here. I'd go with a lighter weight HP

Mendel5
August 11, 2006, 03:48 PM
Except in Indiana you can't hunt deer with anything but a slug gun ... so much for using it for deer.

VeT|Us
August 11, 2006, 03:50 PM
You really dare to use your Marlin for defence in the UK?
I think I'd prefer a katana og a blunt instrument when facing those restrictions present in the UK.. Eitherway, I commend you for beeing a sheepdog in a nation of sheeple.

goon
August 11, 2006, 03:53 PM
Fosbery - the 30-30 is about like a rimmed 7.62x39 only a little more powerful. It throws a .30 caliber 150 grain bullet at about 2400 fps. Ballistics suffer a little at long range because for the most part you have to use flat or round nosed bullets because most of the rifles that fire it use tubular magazines. Hornady has started making pointed nose bullets with soft polymer tips that help take care of this but most of the ammo I still see for it is round nosed.
It is a very popular round in the US.

Fosbery
August 11, 2006, 04:34 PM
Right, cheers for the info :) Over here we generally use .240, .270 and .308 for deer.

Of course, I have never actually used my Marlin in anger, but I am confident I would do so if it were nescessary. Assuming I was actually acting in self-defence (me or him, or near enough), I doubt I'd have legal trouble.

Nematocyst
October 21, 2006, 03:28 AM
I wouldn't hesitate to use 130-150 grain HP's from a .30-30 for self defense.
Indeed I'd take a .30-30 any day of the week over any handgun. I've been looking at Marlins for a while now. Will probably buy a 336W soon.
Seems the right one for me (given stock & barrel modification plans).

Also looking into 1895G for a useful gun for the Alaska move...

aspen1964
October 21, 2006, 04:30 AM
any good lever action hunting carbine makes a good defense gun as well...one good minor point even though it may not arise is the ability to recharge the magazine while the gun has one round chambered and cocked ready to fire...

Nematocyst
October 21, 2006, 04:37 AM
Perhaps a minor point, but a relevant one, Aspen.

ugaarguy
October 21, 2006, 07:02 PM
Nem, what are your thoughts on going with a '94 (Winchester or Marlin) in a handgun chambering? The ability to top off the mag with loose rounds, already mentioned is a relevant benefit. The ability to grab the lever carbine, clip a loaded & holstered handgun, in like chambering, onto your belt, and shove a handful or of loose rounds into a pocket that will feed both is appealing to me. You're also looking at a guide gun in 45-70. Between the lighter 45-70 loadings and the hotter 357 Mag, and even more so 44 Mag loadings how much of a gap in utility/effectiveness/ballistics is there? I don't know the answer to this as most ammo and ballistics websites are blocked here, but it might be worth looking into. Of course the 30-30 is a classic mid level do all round, and it's very hard to argue against. I know you're in the potential purchase debate process Nem; and I hope those thoughts help with your decision.

Nematocyst
October 21, 2006, 08:37 PM
UG, you make good points as usual. (Thanks also for your thoughts on my decision process on the .30/30 in another thread, especially your convictions about the importance of fit ... with which I agree 100%...more there soon....)

I think your ideas here about pistol caliber carbines are very reasonable. Indeed, if I weren't so far down my handgun path already, I'd probably go that route. But at this point, since I'm not shooting any handgun rounds that would make good carbine rnds, too, trying to switch over would be too much right now.

I think I'm just going to stay with the handguns I've got (and am getting to know well) and go with a carbine in a rifle caliber.

.30/30 of course has my main attention right now, but several discussions that I'm watching/participating in elsewhere on .45/70 suddenly has my attention. I'm especially fond of the 1895G with that 18.5" carbine barrel.

Am I correct that there are loads for that caliber ranging from 400gr heavy hitters :what: :eek: to "cowboy rounds" { = 170 - 180???).

If so, I guess that could make a good defensive Marlin, though honestly, I'm thinking: A) I don't really want to put myself through that recoil experience with heavy rounds; & B) for what I need, right now (given that my 12 g is my main defensive long gun), that .30/30 seems pretty realistic ... and inexpensive. :o

Hmm. I'm going to go eat some fish & chips while I ponder this some more...

Nem

DouglasW
October 21, 2006, 08:58 PM
I have an 1894c in .357 which I love, but am strongly considering a Marlin 30-30 for my first 'real' rifle caliber.

I have a question about the caliber itself, though: I understand there are great hollowpoint ammo choices for hunting and self-defense, but is the 30-30 round capable of more penetration than the .357 against barriers like solid-core doors, automobile glass, etc.? I'm not a TEOTWAWKI kind of guy...just wondering :p

ETXhiker
October 21, 2006, 09:09 PM
Please note, that you cannot "top off" a Win. 94 magazine, unless the mag. tube is completely empty. If it contains even one round, the loading gate is blocked by a cartridge.

While I think a .30-30 would be a great manstopper, I worry about someone using one in an apartment. A 9mm might go into the next unit, but a .30-30 (or any deer size cartrdige) might penetrate the next 2 or 3.

ugaarguy
October 21, 2006, 09:56 PM
Nem, one of my NCOs is a big time target shooter. He runs everything from an old paper cartridge rifle, to leverguns, to WWI era bolt guns, and on up from there. I fired a few cowboy style rounds he loaded up thru a modern Winchester '86 light weight in 45-70. Even out of the light weight (which is light for being big enough to chamber in 45-70 in relative terms) they were complete softballs, but I've no doubt that the 200 and some odd grain chunk of lead coming out of rifle's bore is plenty to deal with all but the biggest critters. I say that to confirm that, yes 45-70 in light loads can indeed be down right fun to shoot. Then again, if the Alaska move isn't definite the 30-30 makes more sense. It's a good caliber to have in the battery even if you do move to Alaska. If you do move up there, or if the move looks more definite, then I'd go with the 45-70 if you want it. I think the ammo cost and availabilty you already mention also helps the leaning toward the 30-30.

I think your ideas here about pistol caliber carbines are very reasonable. Indeed, if I weren't so far down my handgun path already, I'd probably go that route. But at this point, since I'm not shooting any handgun rounds that would make good carbine rnds, too, trying to switch over would be too much right now.

Familiarity is always good. I agree that higher proficiency with what you already have trumps switching over to (and trying to get truly familiar with) a new handgun and rifle simply for caliber compatability. That again points back to the 30-30 or 45-70, beating out a hangun round in your lever gun.

UG, you make good points as usual. (Thanks also for your thoughts on my decision process on the .30/30 in another thread, especially your convictions about the importance of fit
Nem, thanks for the kind words. Earlier this year the realization that fit, and subsequent resukting accuracy, beat out caliber and modern super gun hype caused some changes for me. I went from a Glock in 40 S&W that I was marginal with, to a BHP in 9mm (and a 1911 in 45ACP as well) that fit me better, and I subsequently shoot better. The purchase of an old S&W M&P in .38 Special was just so I could have a revolver to play with it. I quickly learned that getting decent with a revolver DA also really helped shooting autos.

That experience solidified for me what folks like sm always teach. Get a reliable gun, but the fit is equally important. Get an action/control layout that feels right to you. Get a good caliber that you shoot comfortably, not something bigger that leans into tolerating it and not being comfortable. Adjust grips/stocks to perfect the fit. Go shoot it a bunch and get really familiar with it. These fundamentals apply across the board to handguns rifles and shotguns, as you well know. I'm just trying to provide an outside perspective for you, and help out. Again, thanks for the encouraging words.

ugaarguy
October 21, 2006, 10:01 PM
Please note, that you cannot "top off" a Win. 94 magazine, unless the mag. tube is completely empty. If it contains even one round, the loading gate is blocked by a cartridge.

ETX, not to argue, but I've not had that experience with my '94AE Trapper in 45 Colt. The gate is stiffer and takes a bit more effort, but it will push the round back into the tube. Does the longer OAL of the 30-30 and other rifle cartridges prevent this? Does anyone know if the Marlin design is different?

Jacobus Rex
October 21, 2006, 10:09 PM
I can top off my Winchester 94 without any trouble. I've done it a lot of times.

Standard hunting type .30/30 loads are more effective than a standard military AK-47 round. Win 94's and Marlin's are at least as accurate as an AK.

I believe that a 30/30 would be just fine for defense and very useful if you live in a rural area. I'd rather try to kill an animal attacking livestock, etc. with a .30/30 than any pistol.

The only downside would be over penetration. I wouldn't use one if that was a problem for you.

Nematocyst
October 21, 2006, 11:20 PM
Then again, if the Alaska move isn't definite the 30-30 makes more sense. It's a good caliber to have in the battery even if you do move to Alaska. If you do move up there, or if the move looks more definite, then I'd go with the 45-70 if you want it. I think the ammo cost and availabilty you already mention also helps the leaning toward the 30-30.UG, the AK move is a mere thought at this point, but a serious one. I've always fancied AK. Big, big, BIG country up there, with large mountains easy to get lost in (which is a good thing). Depending on what happens on Earth in the next few years (if you know what I mean :uhoh: ), I'm definitely looking in that direction.

And I agree: that .30/30 is looking like a good rifle, whether I go north or not. IF I do go up and want to add a .45/70, a Marlin in .30/30 will offer a nice training entry (given the same action) AND will be useful even when I get there.

Familiarity is always good. I agree that higher proficiency with what you already have trumps switching over to (and trying to get truly familiar with) a new handgun and rifle simply for caliber compatability. That again points back to the 30-30 or 45-70, beating out a hangun round in your lever gun.Of course, I agree with that.

But I did have an interesting thought after writing my last post, while I was eating those fish & chips (which were excellent, by the way - cod is such good fish, followed by a serving of tiramisu from a local bakery...<ahem>): if I'm heading towards AK in the next few years, I'm probably going to want to add a larger caliber handgun to the mix.

.357? .44?

Still, seems like a good thing for me now to stay with a rifle caliber carbine.

Plus, I've always thought that if (no, when) a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI event occurs, having weapons in a range of calibers will increase the probability that one can find some ammo to shoot. :cool:

Earlier this year the realization that fit, and subsequent resulting accuracy, beat out caliber and modern super gun hype caused some changes for me. ...I quickly learned that getting decent with a revolver DA also really helped shooting autos.I heard that. DAO is my path as well.

What convinced me of the importance of "fit" was trading my SW3914 in for a Kahr K9. I knew that something wasn't right with the 3914 for me. It was a fine gun, but I couldn't shoot consistently with it.

Reading some THR posts about handgun fit, I realized it was too large for me.

I tried out several other handguns at my local gunshop, and discovered that the K9 fit me like a glove.

Ever since, my groups have improved.

I have no doubt that the same will apply to rifles. It does for my CZ 452.

That's why I lean towards a Marlin 336. For me, it fits: shoulders quickly, points comfortably, carries well. I've owned one before (and should never have sold it). It feels good, like a nice pair of gloves. Ahhh...

That experience solidified for me what folks like sm always teach. Get a reliable gun, but the fit is equally important. Get an action/control layout that feels right to you. Get a good caliber that you shoot comfortably, not something bigger that leans into tolerating it and not being comfortable. Adjust grips/stocks to perfect the fit. Go shoot it a bunch and get really familiar with it. These fundamentals apply across the board to handguns rifles and shotguns...Well said.

Nem

sm
October 21, 2006, 11:46 PM
<Raises Hand>

How did folks survive in the olden days with so few firearms choices, ammo offerings? I mean some folks only had one "gun" and that one "gun" had to put food on the table and defend the home.

I think I just figured why it took so long for Internet to come about. ;)

Marshall
October 22, 2006, 12:00 AM
Yep, it'll stop a man.

I would never use a high power rifle in an urban home defense setting, unless it was all I had and I might die. If you want a short, easy to maneuver, 5-8 shot gun, get a short barrel shotgun. Much more versatile for HD. You can shoot various slugs, various buckshot, various birdshot or any combination thereof. And I promise, all are effective. The last thing I want to do is harm a neighbor or any innocent, a shotgun cuts down the odds. And, IMO, increases the odds of harming the intruder.

Nematocyst
October 22, 2006, 12:07 AM
How did folks survive in the olden days with so few firearms choices, ammo offerings? I mean some folks only had one "gun" and that one "gun" had to put food on the table and defend the home.Steve,

I have no doubt that
you make a good point.

When all's we got is all's we got,
we use what we got.

Then again, diversity is a good thing.
(Just look at the role of species diversity
in stabilizing ecosystems
{says the ecologist}...)

Tiramisu calls.

(I could be stuck on chocolate chip cookies
or apple pie for the remainder of eternity,
but diversity in desserts is good ... ;) )

fungusmunkey
October 22, 2006, 12:32 AM
I can top off all of the lever actions that i have, no problem.
Maybe there was some type of issue what that particular gun?

Nema:

The 45/70 is a fine round but if AK is still a possibility and not definate i would look toward something that would fit better in your current environment. Just cause you are where you are right now!
You can always trade up if necessary in the future.

One other consideration is price of ammo, and 30-30 routinely goes on sale in most shops around here, and can be found in every gunshop in north america*
Aim surplus also has some good serbian stuff for pretty cheap as well, if stocking up is something you'd like to do.


*There are of course exceptions to every rule.

ugaarguy
October 22, 2006, 12:39 AM
I have a question about the caliber itself, though: I understand there are great hollowpoint ammo choices for hunting and self-defense, but is the 30-30 round capable of more penetration than the .357 against barriers like solid-core doors, automobile glass, etc.? I'm not a TEOTWAWKI kind of guy...just wondering
DouglasW, I'll have to do a little searching for specific rounds. Some of the heavier stuff, like the 170gr. soft points are a little better than the lighter 150s and 135s. I know several folks of my dad and grandad's generation that used the 30-30 as their only rifle in central and SE Ga. Those old leverguns have taken many a deer and hog. The feral hogs in Ga and other parts of the SE US do have some Russian Boar in their bloodlines. It's not unusual for them to weigh well in excess of 200 lbs. They're thick skinned, grisly muscled, heavy boned beast. I'm sure many others can attest that they're quite a tough critter. Trajectory may not be laser flat like many typical bolt gun chamberings, but if it'll stop a hog it'll penetrate just fine in my opinion.

Nematocyst
October 22, 2006, 01:17 AM
Trajectory may not be laser flat like many typical bolt gun chamberings,
but if it'll stop a hog it'll penetrate just fine in my opinion.Hog = BBQ.

Amen?

Amen.

Please pass the slaw & sauce.

:evil: ;) :cool:

ETXhiker
October 22, 2006, 06:08 PM
I can top off all of the lever actions that i have, no problem.
Maybe there was some type of issue what that particular gun?



Wow, you guys have me wondering now. I've had an old ('60's) Win. 94 .30-30 and a 94 "Big Bore" in.356 Win. Both guns, the cartidge that was next for the chamber was directly behind the loading gate, so that the gate would barely push in if anything was in the tube. When loading, it was necessary to have the nose of each shell follow the base of the one going in, without letting the gate close. If the gate closed, the mag. spring pushed the last shell into position behind the gate and you couldn't open it. Maybe I have missed something major, but it seemed like a physical impossibility to open that gate once it was closed with ammo in the tube. I've sold both of those guns, but I'm curious about this now. Anybody have any ideas?

Jacobus Rex, what caliber is your '94?

danang
October 22, 2006, 07:53 PM
For what it is worth...got a long time friend who is a long time gunsmith. I asked him some questions about Win 94 v/s the Marlin. The old .30-30 has been popular down here in Mississippi for all it's long life. He said that if you want a scope, the Marlin is the only one. If you want absolute reliability, the Winchester was his pick. He made the statement that in 20 years of working on neglected and somewhat abused guns, he had replaced dozens of Marlin extractors and 1 Winchester. And it was the fault of the gunowner. Just my two cents.

ndh87
October 22, 2006, 09:46 PM
A levergun is also more effective than a pistol after you run out of ammo.

Unless you forget to load it you shouldnt have to worry about this point. But then again, if you miss 6 times at HD distances, maybe you'd be better off using it as a club afterall.

roscoe
October 23, 2006, 01:02 AM
Please note, that you cannot "top off" a Win. 94 magazine, unless the mag. tube is completely empty. If it contains even one round, the loading gate is blocked by a cartridge.
I have Winchester 1894 rifles in .45 Colt and 30-30. You can load them whenever there is space in the magazine. I would have that one checked.

1973
October 24, 2006, 09:51 PM
For the record the Winchester 1894 in 30-30 (vintage unknown) I used to own did the same thing as ETXhiker's. I think I also had a problem getting in the last round in the tube at times.

ryoushi
October 24, 2006, 11:06 PM
I have a 336 in 30-30 and I love it, but the one time I felt the need to grab a longgun for social purposes it was a 12 guage shotgun. You could make many worse choices than the 336 but if you are dead set on just one gun that wouldn't be my choice.

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