my first 30-30 lever action


February 28, 2011, 05:29 PM
Hey everyone hows it going? i just picked up a brand new Marlin 336a lever action in 30 30. i have always wanted a 30 30 and im just curious what range would you sight it in for. i am a very accomplished shooter and can routinely hit man sized targets at 400 yards with a 308 but i have never had the pleasure of shooting or owning a classic like the 30 30. the rifle came with a barska 3x9 which is fine for me as i have read that the 30 30 performs best at 150 to 200 yards but you cant always believe what you READ i choose to believe real life experience.

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February 28, 2011, 05:49 PM
I'd say 75 yards....

February 28, 2011, 05:57 PM
In my unwashed opinion 100 yards is fine for the 30/30 cartridge. Yes, you can kill deer at 200 yards but I'd prefer not to stretch it. Use it how it was designed to be used, woods, fence rows, small fields, etc.

February 28, 2011, 06:06 PM
Look at the ballistic chart for this popular factory load. This will show you how to sight in for a zero-175 yard hit without adjusting for bullet drop:

For black bear, hogs, and deer, I would keep my shots under 175 yards with the 30-30. But for the range, you can ring the 500 yard all day. Here is a guy on youtube who shoots pretty far out with the 30-30:

February 28, 2011, 06:25 PM
I consider a .30-30 good to 200 yds.

BP Hunter
February 28, 2011, 06:29 PM
Congrats on your Marlin 336. I have one in stainless steel. I love that weapon! I use open iron sights and comfortably keep a 3" group at 100 yards using the Hornaday leverevolution ammo.

February 28, 2011, 08:15 PM
IDK, im trying to find a chart, like I know w/ an AR if I do a BZO its dead on @ 300, I need what amounts to a 30/30 BZO

Id say 100yds, thats a good standard

February 28, 2011, 08:56 PM
I like to sight my Marlin .30-30 in for a 165 yard zero using 150gr Win PP, or Federal Fusion ammo of the same weight. This puts the bullet 2.5" high at 100 yards and -3.4" low at 200 yards. This same zero works well with 170gr ammo as well. Only +2.5" at 100yards will give you a 150 yard zero and you will be roughly 4" low at 200 yards.

Of course if your new rifle likes the Hornady 160gr LeverEvolution ammo you can sight in so that your +3" at 100 yards, zero at 200 yards and 12" low at 300 yards. When using the Hornady ammo though I like to limit the distance I shoot at game to 250 yards.

If you would like to know how the "thutty thutty performs on game scroll down the link below. The recovered 170gr Win PP bullet was fired from about 85 yards away and traveled through roughly 4 feet of Red Stag.

T.R. who shot that fine animal is a poster here as well, maybe he will be along and can offer his wisdom as well. As you can see from the pic the 170gr bullets act more like a contolled expansion bullet when travelling at .30-30 velocities. Which is why I like to reserve them for game larger than deer and limit myself to 150 yards with them. The 150gr bullets are a bit softer and expand more readily on deer out to 200 yards.

In the end though you will have to go with the ammo that rifle likes best hope this helps.

February 28, 2011, 10:15 PM
IMHO the 30-30 with standard factory ammo is good for deer sized game out to 200 yards. With the new LEVERevolution ammo and bullets it is now good out to 300 yards. I would sight it in for zero at 150 yards.

February 28, 2011, 10:19 PM
i'd say 100yd zero i used to hunt with a 336 30-30 now this was before the new hornady ammo but i got my best groups with cor locks (150gr) and if i were to start hunting with the 30-30 again i'd go with the cor locks again because i know they work

March 1, 2011, 10:59 AM
My 30/30 is sighted in 2" high at 100 yds with Williams Peep sights. No need to hold over or under, just aim in the middleof the shoulder from muzzle to about 150 yds. It ought to work pretty much the same way for a scope, though your line of sight is a little higher off the barrel.

March 1, 2011, 12:41 PM

This red stag was taken with a running shot through the chest at approx 85 yards. The animal was stopped and then it turned toward me. My last shot smashed through the chest and was found lodged against the pelvic bone: nearly 50 inches of penetration! See attached photo.

The 30-30 does not kill by high velocity. It's lethality is based upon these factors:

- excellent factory bullets which expand on impact

- excellent factory bullets which have been perfected over the past century of development

- excellent factory bullets which penetrate in straight lines whether ribs or shoulder bones get in the way

- good shot placement into the chest organs

Please don't compare velocities within ballistic charts to larger cased cartridges and reach false assumptions. Do not assume that a cartridge which is 50% faster will kill 50% better. The 30-30 is lethal because of its moderate velocity which produces straight line penetration every time. Factory soft tip bullets smash vital tissue to produce lethal results.

In my opinion, 30-30 does its BEST work under 200 yards. For larger animals such as moose, elk, and bears, I'll keep my shots within approx 125 yards or not shoot at all.

Good hunting to you.


March 1, 2011, 06:01 PM
congrats on the marlin. how much did u have to give 4 it?

March 1, 2011, 06:25 PM
what are you doing? hunting or just shooting targets? if you are hunting you need to be able to cleanly kill the animal. I wouldn't shoot at more than 150 160 yards, but you can shoot paper all day as far as you can manage.

ps I've never tried the leverlution ammo for hornady so I cannot speak to it.

March 3, 2011, 05:00 AM
170 sprn fedreal - gun loves them
160 grain leverevlution - only fair. the 170's group much better.

I am working my 336c for 200 yards. Will post results when i get some more trigger time.

March 3, 2011, 06:42 AM
I'd sight it an 1 1/2" high at 100 yds, and stop shooting at 150. But that would work for Cali coastal deer hunting. Lots of brush and cover. Don't know where you are or where you hunt?

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