30-30 afficionados


June 7, 2009, 08:22 PM
Dear 30-30 afficionado's, please convince me to buy a lever gun in 30-30. I'm thinking about a Marlin 336, "well used" for a fun gun, truck gun, drift boat gun, deer gun, whatever gun. I love the nostalgia and clean lines of these. I'll use it with an old weaver k-4 scope 4x. I'll be reloading for it after I accumulate some brass from practicing with it. So, really talk it up for me. Tell me everything you love about yours and what you've done with it. I've read the entire "30-30 for elk" thread but I could stand to read more on this also. Thanks, Jeff (future 30-30 owner).:)

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June 7, 2009, 08:28 PM
Next to a good .22, I think everyone should have a 30-30. They are just plain fun.

I have a 336 and a Winchester 94. Great rifles.

They always seem to bring a smile to my face when shooting them.

June 7, 2009, 08:43 PM
Sort of like asking us what does love smell like. It is hard to describe, but once you're there, you'll know.

June 7, 2009, 08:52 PM
Just get it... and have fun with it... great caliber... lots of fun, and reliable... and, nastalgic too...

June 7, 2009, 08:56 PM
And now for something completely different...


June 7, 2009, 08:58 PM
I've had both Marlin and Winchester leverguns and they are very reliable. Marlin's are a little more robust with the solid receiver but the Winchester carbine is a little lighter to carry and is quick to the shoulder.
The new LeveRevolution bullets add another dimension to the old 30-30 or 35 Remington for performance too.


June 7, 2009, 09:29 PM
Where do I start?? :D:D:D

Very light, dependable and incredibly handy carbines (both Winchester and Marlin), lightning fast follow up shots, tolerable recoil by basically anyone, very accurate (almost always), rich historical heritage.....in a SHTF situation or heavy HD scenario (such as your farm is surrounded :evil::D) you can keep the gun topped off without stop shooting :evil::evil:

The cartridge itself is very capable within its intended range, much more than the cold energy numbers would suggest...you do not have to worry about exploding or deviating bullets if you hit bones.....the round will give you, reliably and predictably, all it has in penetration and/or expansion.

Despite the occasional nonsense that you will read even here on the THR where some think that the thutty-thutty is just a bit more than a pop gun and its bullets could innocently bounce off Bambi, the round has more than its fair share of successful nastry critter defense stories, including the great bears....I can tell you that even if I were a Kodiak Grizzly I would not enjoy for a second standing at 100 yards or less from a very capable shooter and its 30-30 carbine....

The new leverevolution ammo allow the good old 30 WCF to literally jump cartridge category...a reliable 300+ yards whitetail cartridge...

To sum it up, outstanding performers, both rifles and cartridge, still going strong after 114 years...as personal choice I would go for a Marlin rifle, a bit stronger than the Winchester and way easier to scope...before the gun craze of 2008, your run of the mill 336C used in good shape would go for $200-250, $400 new.

Do I need to try to convince you even more??? :D

June 7, 2009, 09:39 PM
Every time I think about selling my old Winchester I think of a dozen reasons not to. I think mostly because I see it hanging on the wall every day I might miss it.

June 7, 2009, 09:46 PM
This ones for huntin (Rem 700LH BDL 30-06)
This ones for lookin (Pre 64 Winchester 94-30-30)
This ones for truckin an kickin (Marlin 336C 30-30)

June 7, 2009, 10:24 PM
Winchester 1894s and Marlin 336 30-30 most endearing qualities are they are handy, not to heavy, not to long, fairly low recoil, slim rifle that will do the job within reasonable range. Easily stored for use in pickups, boats, canoes, small airplanes, snowmobiles, horses.

My Marlin 336 has a 2-7x scope on it and my Winchester 94 just has stock iron sights on it.

June 7, 2009, 10:25 PM
so I am seriously contemplating putting a peep site on my marlin model 30... what do you think of these?

June 7, 2009, 10:32 PM
Yes. Peep-sight that bad-boy.

June 7, 2009, 11:00 PM
Dammit, STOP POSTING GUNPRoN! ;) I just got a Savage 30-06 a few days ago, and now I'm wanting a 30-30 lever too....

Nice lookin' boomsticks all :)

<rationalization mode on>
Y'know, I *AM* missing two types of action from my collection, I have single-shot, pump, bolt, semiauto rifle, semiauto pistol, I'm missing a lever action and a revolver, once I get those two, *THEN* the collection will be complete.....

And no, my Ithaca 49 doesn't count as a *real* lever-action, wait a tic, I do *unofficially* have a lever-action, a Winchester 1892 in 44-40, it's my father's deer rifle, but he lets me use it whenever I want, it's just that the ammo is too bloody expensive, almost $50 for 50 rounds.....
</end rationalization mode>

June 7, 2009, 11:11 PM
MacTech, is your savage a 110? I have one in 270 left hand bolt, leupold base and redfield scope- tack driver sub inch groups at 100 yards from a bench- better than I can shoot!
savage makes a good rifle!

and for the sake of this thread i should mention 30-30s :)

they are a great all around rifle- the leverrevolution ammo really does take them up a notch or two!

June 7, 2009, 11:18 PM
Just buy one. Everything about them is right. Not much more to say than everything is good and fun. I'm really glad I picked one up when I did. Great shooter and a fun rifle. I would like to get a tang sight to try shooting a bit further with that rifle but we'll see how that goes.

June 7, 2009, 11:18 PM
You'll soon be wishing that you had a 45-70...

June 7, 2009, 11:20 PM
i want a 45-70

June 7, 2009, 11:21 PM
Absolutely. It just feels authoritative.

"Git over there by that durn tree you varmints!"



June 7, 2009, 11:24 PM
If I were you, I would not write off a model 94. Of course, it would be both difficult and criminal to receiver scope a 94, so the K-4 would need to wait for another mount. You can side-mount it on a 94, but that creates a butt-ugly monster. If you can track down a 94 Trapper, you can barrel scope it with an EER pistol / scout scope using the existing buckhorn dovetail & a purpose built mount form Brownells or Midway (B-Square?). Compared to the Marlin, the 94 is faster handling, thinner, and quicker to shoulder for me. The strait grip also looks better to my eye. The Marlin is easier to scope, easier to clean, and more accurate. Still, when nostalgia strikes, I love the feel of the 94 & the deer don't seem to notice it lacks a scope when I do my part.

June 8, 2009, 04:01 AM
I just bought a used Marlin Texan 30-30 with a straight grip for $249 at Scheels in Sparks, NV. mechanically excellent but with some appearance wear. I have yet to try it out. I hope to put a Williams Foolproof on it.

June 8, 2009, 03:35 PM
I haven't written off the trusty 94 and the scope is just cause I have it, it's not a priority. It seems that the marlin is easier to disassemble and that kind of swayed my decision but if I find a nice win, I'd get it. It is sounding even better to get one and reloading will making fun times cheaper with lead bullets.

June 8, 2009, 03:52 PM
30-30 is a fantastic gun in a light and handy carbine, capable of multiple shots on target from a politically correct package. Can handle most game in North America with the exception of moose / grizzly bear, however I am sure they have been taken with the 30-30.

Ammo is easy to find, I have even seen stop and shops that sell 30-30.

June 8, 2009, 04:07 PM
I have 2 right now. A Marlin 336 SDT and a 336Y I found recently. Both are handy as heck especially the Y model. Easy as pie to reload, even with a hand press and powder scoops. Bullets of all kinds and weights are available (I am playing with Speer 130 HP's and FP's, Sierra 125gr FHP and Hornady 130ge PSP pistol bullets). Factory ammo is common and especially around deer season very cheap due to the big 3 manufacturers of ammo offering rebates of usually $5.00 a box. Makes it easy to stock up and I cannot reload for $5-6.99 a box of 20.

While not always the best first choice, the 30-30 is stout enough for anything in the lower 48 at reasonable ranges. Deer, check, black bear, sure why not, varmints, you betcha... Plinking HELL yes! SD/trunk or truck gun uhuh...

Don't walk, run to your nearest purveyor of fine arms (or look in the want ads in your local paper) and buy one. I like Marlin but have had Winchester too... You wont regret it. Did I mention that if you are well bought they hold their value well?


June 8, 2009, 04:49 PM
Can handle most game in North America with the exception of moose / grizzly bear, however I am sure they have been taken with the 30-30.

They did indeed at reasonable distance...the 30-30 was the wonder magnum of its time...

June 8, 2009, 07:34 PM
ChefJeff1 , now that you've read just a few accolades....... visit Paco Kelly's levergun forum and ask em there.

The 30-30 is .............. well..... it just "is".

June 9, 2009, 12:40 PM
The 94's just feel right. 197 gr. home cast rounds loaded to about 2000 fps, makes for a very versatile rifle round. Get one and don't look back, i bet it'll become one of your favorites. Let us know what you decide!

June 9, 2009, 01:13 PM
And don't forget to visit:

if you need further urging...

Like the Nike ad... Just do it... NOW


June 9, 2009, 01:30 PM
Alternative view:

I can't see scoping a handy lever gun, so...

A .44 Marlin 1894 will do anything I'd want from it out as far as I'd shoot with irons; it's handier and, with the original bolt design intact, a more elegant firearm than the 336 (which is a fine rifle, just modernized).

Like .357, .44 is easy as anything to load and get good accuracy from the little rifle, and OT hardcast bullets work great. .30-30 is no easier to reload than .270; .44 is something I can whip out a bunch and go shoot. With a lever gun, I use a little bit more ammo than a boltie.:)

I'm all for lever guns. I'm just not as excited about a necked rifle cartridge in one, as I am about the KISS .44 with a good-sized holepuncher load. Or a .357 1894C, which owners damn near fall in love with.

There's a lot to be said for the Marlin .22 levers, also...:)

June 9, 2009, 02:04 PM
I love 44 mag levers. I need one BADLY:D I used to have a winchester 94 trapper in .357 mag but sold it. Nice little gun.

June 9, 2009, 04:24 PM
As a relative noob, I've come to LOVE lever guns. They've been relatively cheap on the used market, at least for me. Winchester made a bazillion post '64 Model 94's, and you can find them for around $200 on the used market. I have two of them, and just bought a Marlin 336. I'm looking to buy another .30-30 pretty soon.

I really want one in .357 magnum though. I'm looking at the Marlin 1894C, although I'd love to have a Winchester 94 Trails End in .357 mag with the large loop lever.

June 9, 2009, 10:02 PM
I used to have a winchester 94 trapper in .357 mag but sold it. Nice little gun.

The only way this statement would not be tragic is if I were the one buying it, and I wasn't. I am seriously looking for a .44 mag or .30-30 trapper.

June 10, 2009, 10:10 PM
Hi Armedbear, thanks for your thoughts. I'd go for a .357 over a .44 cause that's what I have already. I'd love a .357 levergun one day. Ps, the .270 reloading is coming along great. I loaded some 150 gr nosler partitions and put 3 shots into a tiny bit more than one hole at 100 yards.

June 10, 2009, 10:18 PM
nothing like a Marlin 336 in 30 30...... light and handy..... quick follow up shots if a whole herd of sumthin needs shootin'..... and the 30 30 round itself is man enuff to stop most any wild game that needs shootin....

June 10, 2009, 10:19 PM
oops.... double post

June 10, 2009, 11:38 PM
Marlin 1894c the smile maker. Everyone who shoots mine turns around with a smile on their face. I'll have a .30-30 someday too. But I reload the .357 magnums to stout levels as it is. This is a can't go wrong decision. Buy a lever gun in any caliber and go shoot.

June 12, 2009, 08:12 AM
30-30 isn't my favorite cartridge for a levergun but it is probably the most practical, versatile and economical. Utility defined.

June 12, 2009, 11:22 AM
You can buy .30-30 ammo at walmart. Can't say that for many other guns.

June 12, 2009, 11:26 AM
You can buy .30-30 ammo at walmart. Can't say that for many other guns.

Not in June 2009, anyway.:)

June 12, 2009, 11:40 AM
Exactly he'd be SOL if he got a .357 lever gun.

June 12, 2009, 11:52 AM
AKElroy, at marlinowner.com there is a 94 trapper in 30/30 for sale

June 12, 2009, 01:37 PM
Get a bolt gun in 06or .308 and then a lever gun in 30-30. Everything else in .22 long rifle and you'll have a nice, inexpensive little budget arsenal.

I would love to have an AR15 but I don't feel undergunned with my 336 in the least.

June 12, 2009, 02:49 PM
3 Marlins + Puma

June 12, 2009, 08:47 PM
30-30 fits in well with the .357 and the .22


June 12, 2009, 11:18 PM
What kind of stock is on that 30-30 you have there 22/22mag?

June 13, 2009, 02:01 PM
It is a full stock proto-type my gunsmith made for the Marlin 30-30.
In Oct, will have one for the .44mag + 45-70 made in fancy wood.Will post pictures.

June 13, 2009, 07:15 PM
I love my Marlin .30-30. It's my favorite rifle for bringing home the bacon :D


June 13, 2009, 08:14 PM
Lever guns are easy to learn to use.

They are easy to fire repeated shots fairly quickly.

Very good pointing guns, they fit just about everyone.

Not excessively complicated or prone to breakage.

I own a lot of guns that I would pass over to get to my 30-30 in an emergency. Probably in the top 1/3 of my go to guns.

June 14, 2009, 01:20 AM
I bought one made the same year I was born, just for nostagia and curiosity. The quality was pretty good back then...and it's in better shape than me. I love the fact that in a time of limited ammo availability, a carton of primers and a nice set of bullet molds can keep a small amount of .30-30 brass going for a long time. I load reduced lead bullet loads for the .30-30 and shoot in my back yard (I have about 70 yards max). The cost is low, and the fun is high, and the little ladies don't get wapped by recoil; they love it too. With the new selection of high performance ammo and bullets, the .30-30 is much more versatile than it used to be, shooting flatter and hitting harder with the right ammo. Throw in the durability, reliability, and proven track record, and the fact that it has and will take 95% of the game on this continent (unless you're hunting the big bears), it ought to do!

June 14, 2009, 01:47 AM
Not excessively complicated or prone to breakage.

Complicated is debatable; I was somewhat cavalier and tried disassembling the action of my Win 94 after I purchased it. Sure, I got it back togther, but it ain't no AK! :D

June 14, 2009, 04:54 AM
Kind of interesting how Winchester's 30 WINCHESTER SMOKELESS round ended up being called by the name Winchesters competition Marlin and UMC gave it, the 30-30 designation. Also interesting is all the names it has gone by in its long history. A good read on its history. http://www.leverguns.com/articles/3030history.htm

June 15, 2009, 06:06 PM
Well, I browsed the gun shops in idaho Falls on a fishing trip this weekend and found some nice winchesters for around $1200 - pass. I found a 336 for $389 - pass. I'll keep looking for the right deal. While looking on gunbroker for fun I saw some winchesters made in 1972, that's when I was born and got me thinking that would be kinda neat and they were cheap, like $300 or so. I don't really want to deal with the online gun thing so I'll keep looking.

June 15, 2009, 06:11 PM
1972 was a bad year for them.

They went south after the cheapening changes made in 1964, and it took a long while before they fully recovered from that mess.

If you want a 94, I'd look for a Pre-64 real one, or else a much later one made in the 80's - 90's.


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