.30-30 accuracy


January 29, 2011, 04:59 PM
Hello everyone. I bought a Marlin 336 rifle a little over two years ago. I love it and it is so much fun to shoot. I haven't been hunting with it yet, and rarely have time to go to the range with it here recently. I have it sighted in at 100 yds. and so far that is all the farther I have shot with it.

I wanted to know how far you can shoot with your .30-30's accurately more than once every 20 shots. How far out can you depend on your .30-30 to be accurate, what make & model do you have, what type of ammunition do you use, what scope are you using, and what range do you have your rifle sighted in at? Also, if you hunt, what do you hunt with your .30-30?

I know I asked a lot of questions but I am just curious and would like input. Thanks everyone!:)

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January 29, 2011, 05:41 PM
I'm a huge fan of the 336C. I am an ok shot and can can put a 10 round group consistently into 3 MOA. On occassion a get 2 MOA. I suspect the rifle is capable of more but for hunting purposes it is good. With the LeverEvolution ammo, I keep it sighted in at 200 yards. It shoots high (2 to 3") at 100 and 50 yards. At 200 yards, I can keep groups of 10 rounds within a 6" circle which is good enough for hunting and I consider 200 yards my longest ethical shot distance. I've tested it at 300 yards and it drops a fair bit (i've never measured it as I didn't shoot it enough at this distance), I'm guessing over 6". So, I would say you are definately good to go out to 200 yards. I use a Leupold Scout fixed 2.5 X scope and for those distances it is more than enough. I( hunt deer, hogs, black bear with it. Oh, I should add that I had the barrel shortened to 16.5" or so and the numbers above were taken with this barrel length. The 336Y model was out of production (just started up again this year).

January 29, 2011, 05:50 PM
I like a Marlin 336 and I own more than a couple. I have a couple different ways to set these up. I either go with a small scope, like a 4x20mm Burris or I use a peep sight from Williams. I never use the see-through rings because they put my head too high off of the stock.

Mine are all pretty accurate. I can get 1.5" groups at 100 yards regularly. I'd shoot a deer sized critter out to 150-175 yards. I'd feel comfortable hunting black bear, deer, pigs, even bigger stuff if it was all I had. I might want to be closer than 100 yards on elk though. More like fifty yards.

Here is a neat video:


Al Thompson
January 29, 2011, 06:12 PM
Ditto to what Abel said. I've got almost the exact same results. IMHO, you run out of ballistics before you run out of accuracy.

I do find that 170 grain bullets seem to group better, but every rifle is a bit different.

January 29, 2011, 09:54 PM
I have two (used to have three). One is a Marlin, one is a Winchester 94 and the one I'm selling is an older Savage bolt with peeps. Of the three, the bolt gun is the most accurate. Since it can take pointy bullets before Leverevolution (LE), it got that duty. It was quite usable out to 150. Now that we have LE - if your barrel likes 160 grain pills, you are good out that far with a lever.

But since I'm over 60 now, I can't see that well with open sights (Ah to be young again) so the only one I'll keep is the 336 with a scope on it. I'll likely keep any game shots in from 100 yds. But for paper, water balloons and bowling pins, stick them out there and lets see what happens :)

Peter M. Eick
January 30, 2011, 02:56 PM
I find my 94 is more accurate then I am.


Here is 50 shots in a raw at 100 yrds off the bench with my "original" pre-64 Winny-94. I have since put a peep sight on it and find that with my poor eyes, the bead front sight has to go. Next I will replace the beed with a blade.

These were 150 grn Sierras with 3031, probably 30 grns since that is what I usually load but I did not look it up.

Thinking back, I remember thinking I was canting the rifle some which caused the dispersion over the string. Also the gun got fairly hot.

January 30, 2011, 04:02 PM
The 30-30 is a good shooter though not all 30-30 rilfes can do the round justice. My Winchester will shoot a RCBS 30-180-FN with 22 grs. of 3031 into less than 2 inches at 100 yards & has done 1 1/2. The Marlins I've been around have mostly been great shooters & should do just as well.

Jim Taylor using raised "peep" sights on his Model 94 & the same above bullet hits the 1300 yard buffalo at Ralton enough to let you know it can be done. Above my home at Dry Creek was 'bout a 12 inch rock at 285 yards. My rifle would hit it most every time. While that's not bench rest accuracy, it's not a bench rest rifle.

January 30, 2011, 04:25 PM
The 30/30 cartridge is as capable of fine accuracy as any of the more modern ones. Most rifles made for the cartridge are quite accurate as well. With the right load it can hit small targets out to 200 yards with regularity.

January 30, 2011, 06:45 PM
Just wondering does anyone have a high number of rounds on any of them? By high number like 5000+ rounds?

January 30, 2011, 10:08 PM
My rifle was one of the very first new models in 1964. It was well used when I purchased it at a gun show so I have no round count but I've put several through it using cast bullet, low pressure loads. I'll guess my rouind count to be less than 2000.

January 31, 2011, 12:27 AM
My steel torso at 420 yards cant get away from the 30 30 lol. I would definitely not be trying for humane kills out there though.

Marlin 336 with 150 grainers over W748. Very accurate. Havent done many groups since load development, but it will dust cans and clays on the 100yd berm very consistently.

The 170s seem to shoot very well, but I havent worked up a load for them yet.

January 31, 2011, 02:07 AM
I have gotten 1.5 moa with my 336c with 150 gr FN and 30 grs of 3031. Keep in mind: I still consider myself an amateur shooter, and I was a bit flinchy after shooting my mosin with a t shirt on (you cant pretend that that doesnt hurt)
I think a 30-30 is an ideal choice in my area in Wisconsin because a 150 yd shot is pushing the range with the amount of hills, trees, etc. I dont think the 3030 should be underestimated because something newer and "better" has come out.
Bottom line, the rifle has better than needed accuracy, and can be a very versatile rifle. A friend of the family told me that people he talked to in canada used them on bears

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