.243 - .270 - .30-30 - .30-06 help


December 13, 2006, 07:47 PM
Well, here in NC you dont get many shots farther than 75 yards unless your at a clearing of some sort.

From looking at the ballistics I dont see any reason to get the .270 if the .30-06' is at my disposal.

Here is my question -

Would you rather take the .243 as a do all for deer and smaller game or the .30-30? I am looking for a grab and hit the woods no nonsence caliber but one that wont let me down with small and larger game if needed.

Thanks for the help.........

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December 13, 2006, 07:57 PM
Between the three chamberings- .30-30, .243Win., and .30-06... you can't go wrong with any of them. But, if most of your shots will be 75yds, go with the .30-30; put 'em through the lungs and you won't be disappointed. The last deer my Daddy killed two years ago... that was a handloaded .30-06 150gr Hornady round nose softpoint at 50yds or so and the deer was pretty much DRT. The deer I killed this Thanksgiving, I used a .30-30 with factory 150gr CoreLokts at closer to 100yds and it was over in just a few seconds. Both of our shots went through the lungs. I've seen .243Win. put 'em down too.

.270... It shoots flatter, but at closer ranges like you're talking about, that trajectory is only slightly flatter and it won't do anything the others won't.

December 13, 2006, 07:59 PM
Easy answer for me. I would take a .243 over a 30-30 any time. Not necessarily because at close range it is a better cartridge. But it is much more versatile overall. Generally more accurate. Much better ballistics - you can't even compare the trajectory IMO.

But re-reading your post. By chance do you mean to compare the .243 Win to the .30-'06 ? If that is the case - if you are primarily after big game, then I would stick with the .30-'06.


December 13, 2006, 08:03 PM
I have access to a .30-06 and am maily looking for a woods gun that I can keep easy access to and not worry about a scope getting banged around.

Thats the main thing that turnes me off about the .243 is that most rifles chambered for that need a scope. Are scope mounts that sensitive to worry about. I know you need to be careful with them and respect there job on that gun but when your camping things do go bump from time to time.

December 13, 2006, 08:13 PM
Seems like many new bolt action rifles are not being manufactured with iron sights any more. I think more than anything else it is because people tend to put scopes on their rifles anyway, so manufacturers have scaled back in the iron sight department.

FWIW - when I hunted in thick timber I did not worry too much about the scope on my rifle getting knocked out of alignment. I know it can happen, it just never happened to me. FWIW - I primarily use Redfield one piece scope bases and rings.

If you have access to an iron sighted 30-06, hunt primarily for big game and keep the shots within 75 yards I don't see any reason to get a .243. Scoped or otherwise. But I sure never needed a reason to purchase a new rifle.


December 13, 2006, 08:14 PM
blgoode, Get yourself a .30-30 levergun. They come standard with irons. I don't think it'll disappoint you. I suggest swapping the semi-buckhorn off for a good aperture sight on the tang or receiver. My experience is the aperture will greatly enhance the accuracy; it did with my old '94... it's wearing a Lyman #2 tang sight. I've also worked with a levergun with a Williams Foolproof w/ target knobs which give micrometer click adjustment for windage as well as elevation.

Oh, and believe it or not, a .30-30 is capable of good accuracy out to 200yds with roundnose ammo. With this new Hornady LeveRevolution ammo, it'll be accurate further out. Marlin just came out with a new version of the 336- longer barrel- to take advantage of the new ammo. Also, Layne Simpson wrote an article not long ago in Shooting Times... he was handloading a 150gr spitzer type softpoint and getting good accuracy and killing power to 300yds shooting a T/C Contender or Encore rifle.

December 13, 2006, 11:25 PM
Deer are also REALLY, REALLY small in NC.

December 13, 2006, 11:31 PM
yeah..........I didnt realise that untill I was telling guys I ran accross an 8 pointer not 25 feet away!

December 14, 2006, 12:26 AM
short woods? fast and easy swinger? follow up? all animals up to muleys? 3030 is double tough.

High Planes Drifter
December 14, 2006, 09:19 AM
You could save alot of money and get a rifle that fills your needs (from what you've posted) by buying a Marlin 336. What I have noticed is that it is indeed very rare for a hunter to take a 300 yard shot at a whitetail; regardless of what rifle the hunter is using.

December 14, 2006, 09:54 AM
At short range, it's hard to beat the 30-30. If you need to shoot at longer range occasionally, you can always look into that new Hornady LEVERevolution that is supposed to have better ballistics than standard 30-30 bullets.

December 14, 2006, 05:19 PM
Nothing wrong with a .30-30 that for sure.

If you have access to a .30-06 with iron sights tho....gosh I dont know why Id spend the money on a .30-30. The '06 will do anything the .30-30 will do and then some. Your sure not at a disadvantage with iron sites at the ranges you are hunting. If you can see it you can shoot it.

December 14, 2006, 06:24 PM
I've been a pretty big supporter of .30-30, having used one as I have and grown up with .30-30's being used, but I have nothing whatever against .30-06 because I grew up with those two. That said, if we're talking .30-06's with iron sights, I've seen some good shootin' done with an '03A3. I've heard of other 03A3's in use to real good effect. The only problem I see is the issue rear sight not being micrometer-click adjustable for elevation. However, once you have the load dead-on with the 200yd sight setting and knowing the mid-range trajectory, there's really no problem since at 100yds or so, it's only about 2-4" high. The trick is finding an '03A3 you affordably priced. This is only my view of iron-sighted .30-06's at the moment. I know others are out there without going with an '03/'03A3 or M1917.

December 14, 2006, 06:24 PM
the 06' has scope only. I was thinking about getting a bolt action with iron sights but I hated to get a rifle with the same chambering.
The thing I like about the .30-30 is that it is a style that is easy to slip behind the seat of the truck. Maybe what I'll do is get the .30-30 AND look for a iron sighted bolt action later :)

Thanks for the help with my obsessions!!;)

highlander 5
December 14, 2006, 06:37 PM
the only thing that sucks with Marlin rifles is they don't drill and tap the left side of the receiver for a Williams FP sight any more.
When I looked at them a while back the holes weren't there .

December 14, 2006, 06:50 PM
So get an older 336. Problem solved.:cool:

FWIW, I've been kinda put out with Winchester USRAC for the same malpractice.:cuss:

December 14, 2006, 07:04 PM
For what you want, it sounds like the 30-30 is perfect for you.

Also, with the new Hornady Leverlution ammo they have out, it's not just a 100yd gun anymore. Of course, if it were me I'd put a low power fixed scope on it too (they're just so much better for low light conditions than iron sights), but irons would work good too.

December 14, 2006, 07:07 PM
A rifle with no iron sights is more accurate than one with'em. How much? A flea's width at 75 yard........go with what you have.....30-06

If you buy, go lever .30-30. ammo everywhere, not always true of .243

December 14, 2006, 07:08 PM
What smaller game do y'all hunt?

Here, we don't have much that's intermediate, aside from antelope, and most people don't hunt antelope. We have small game, and big game, and bigger game.

We have coyotes, but .243 is some expensive ammo, when .223 will do the job. A .223 rifle is a lot better for practice and plinking.

Also, Remington offers saboted .223 in .30-30 and .30-06. High velocity, allows either rifle to be used for varmints.

December 14, 2006, 07:10 PM
I second the 30-30 crowd. I've got two of them... one with a scope and one without. I like the scope-free one better. Good walkin' buddy, you know?


December 14, 2006, 07:22 PM
well.........I have an AR-15 for plinking and access(will be given I am sure) the scoped 06' so a good walking buddy is what I need I think :)

December 14, 2006, 07:33 PM
.30-30 lever gun is the walkingest of buddies! My hunting buddy had one, and I lugged a scoped 24" .30-06 around. We did a lot of bushwhacking on foot, and he had a far easier and more pleasant time of it, except I had a sling so I didn't have to put my gun down to pee. One of us had to be prepared to take a long shot, and one of us a quick shot, and those were the guns we had. That's how it is here, very hilly, with a lot of cover, and a lot of open space, as well.

More obscure choices might be .44 Magnum lever guns, 7.62x39 carbines like a CZ 527 carbine (under 6 lb. with iron sights), a Mini-30 or a re-stocked SKS with anything extra removed, or even a .44 semiauto like the Deerfield.

Bottom line: if you can keep the gun at or below 38" and 7 lb., it'll be a fine walking buddy.:)

December 14, 2006, 07:54 PM
With the smaller animals you mentioned I'd go 243 all the way.

December 14, 2006, 10:05 PM
I forgot. my M-94 weighed 5.5 pounds in 30-30

December 14, 2006, 10:26 PM
Yeah, I Know I'm new. But I have to agree with the 30.30 crowd when it comes to 75 to 100 yard targets. BUT. If you can't hit the same targets with an iron sighted 30.06, the 30.30 isn't going to do you any good. I'm not a ballistics specialist, but those two rounds are about just as effective if not the same with the exception the 30.06 will reach out further.

December 14, 2006, 10:41 PM
Put it like this; out to 200yds, the .30-06 and .30-30 are doing about the same thing. The difference is the .30-06 is faster. Beyond that, the '06 takes over. But if all you're doing is within 100yds, you don't have to worry about the difference in speed because one won't kill 'em any deader than the other.

December 15, 2006, 04:39 AM
Here is my question -

Would you rather take the .243 as a do all for deer and smaller game or the .30-30? I am looking for a grab and hit the woods no nonsence caliber but one that wont let me down with small and larger game if needed.Staying with that original question, and not being diverted by ".270" and ".30-06",
I hereby pronounce without any doubt or equivocation, go with the .30-30.

It'll take whitetail, mulies and even elk.

{Added by edit: I should add that to take an elk with a .30-30, which has reportedly been done, more in the past than now, I'm sure, would take some extra stalking skills. Getting close would be important, I'd say. However, I did read a story with pics recently of a kid (teen) from Maine (I think) that took a very large bull Moose with his .30-30 (http://www.hornady.com/story.php?s=473) with 160 gr Hornady Leverevolution. One shot. :what: }

And if it'll take deer, it'll take smaller game as well.

Rnds for it are available inexpensively, even in stores that have never heard of .243.

A Marlin or Winchester lever gun is faster cycling than a bolt .243.

My preference is Marlin 336 (http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/centerfire/336C.aspx).


B.D. Turner
December 15, 2006, 10:47 AM
I live and hunt in S.E. North Carolina. When deer hunting I carry a Marlin 1894 in .44 magnum about 60% of the time. I also have a scoped Remington 30/06 for the times I hunt across large fields. Eastern NC has many large fields where a 200 yd shot would be the norm rather than the exception. No NC does not have the biggest deer but we have a bunch of em and a long season east of I-95.

December 15, 2006, 10:56 AM
Consider a Remington pump(760, 7600, etc) or auto(742, 7400, etc). Iron sights, available in the calibers you listed, and more than accurate enough for your purposes. Used rifles like this can often be had for less than a Marlin lever action.

December 15, 2006, 07:26 PM
I just added a clarification to my post #27.

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