.30-30 Bolt Action?


July 30, 2011, 11:58 PM
My wife wants a .30-30 bolt action rifle. Basically it boils down to a .30-06 has too much recoil and she's not interested in any cartridge that her father didn't use. That ... limit's things a wee bit. (No, my FiL didn't have any .308's.) I believe there was a Savage made in that chambering? Others? I suppose, if it came to it, building a mauser action with a .30-30 barrel would work as well.

I hope to convince her to give a 7mm-08 or .308 a try eventually, but in the meantime, I'm looking for information.

I have tried searching THR. but not come up with anything. Please feel free to give me pointers to previous threads.

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July 31, 2011, 12:07 AM
find a Remington 788 in .30-30

they tend to be quite accurate and have a bit of a cult following

i had one in .22-250, they have one of the fastest lock times of any production bolt rifle ever

or maybe try a TC break action in .30-30

July 31, 2011, 12:17 AM
The Savage 340 and the Remington 788 were available in 30-30. You can still find them around but will usually pay a premium for the Remington as there were'nt many made.
Remington's "managed recoil" loads are available in quite a few cartridges these days to help with the recoil shy shooters such as women and children. Of course if you are a handloader it's quite simple to make up some soft shooting loads. Unless she is really hung up on the ol 30 WFC there is little reason not to go with a modern 243,260,270,308, 25-06 ish type of cartridge which are much more available in 2011.

July 31, 2011, 01:47 AM
I think i have seen the Savage/Stevens in 30-30 and also CZ's I believe, but am not sure on the CZ's.

July 31, 2011, 02:03 AM
I've seen a couple used ones float thru my favorite gun stores in San Antonio (The Powderhorn). I was tempted, even though I'm a mil-surp lover. Seen both Savage and Sears branding. Good luck!

July 31, 2011, 02:43 AM
My brother Dave had a bolt-action .30-30, probably still does, but I couldn't tell ya what it is. Pretty old though, it's been at least 35 years since I last saw it. Maybe longer.

July 31, 2011, 03:13 AM
Inexpensive: Savage 340 or variation
Something of a collector's item: Remington 788
Definite collector's item: Winchester 54

July 31, 2011, 07:49 AM
Buy her a 30-06 and load them light or buy the reduced recoil ammo. You end up with 30-30 recoil. There are a few rifles out there chambered in 30-30, but they are selling at collectors prices, way more than they are really worth. And that is if you can find one.

Both the Savage 340 and Remington 788 used detachable mags. Often those guns do not come with working mags and finding working mags for them guns is also expensive.

Peter M. Eick
July 31, 2011, 08:05 AM
Not a bolt but Ruger #1's are available in 30/30 on the used market. Classic gun and high resale value.

July 31, 2011, 08:17 AM
CZ boltie in 7.62x39... cheap ammo, low recoil

July 31, 2011, 08:28 AM
They are out there
I picked up a Savage Stevens 325 C 30-30 bolt action a while back.
Somebody had woodburned wildlife scenes into it, but it doesn't look all that bad.
It's a good shooter.
Maybe you can find something like that on gunbroker?

Sav .250
July 31, 2011, 09:52 AM
If you have the time and Gun Shows in your local area, give them a try.
I`ll bet you`ll find what your looking for. :)

35 Whelen
July 31, 2011, 09:57 AM
Definitely one of the Savage 340's or a variation thereof. A friend of mine owned one and it was insanely accurate. I handloading some Nosler Ballistic Tips at about 2300 fps for him, and he now had a legitimate 250 yd. deer hunting rig.
They can be had for $200 - $250...sometimes less.

Good luck,

July 31, 2011, 12:10 PM
Thanks for the information, all. I appreciate it.

Frozen North
July 31, 2011, 12:20 PM
Is she dead set against a lever 30-30? If her father had a 30-30, it was most likely a lever. If she is attached to the caliber for nostalgia, I bet a Marlin or Winchester lever would make her very happy. Who doesn't want a deer rifle just like dad's?

Model 94 Winchesters are a fantastic choice for ladies. They are very good for smaller shooters.

July 31, 2011, 12:47 PM
.30-30 isn't all that accurate long range, and bolts are made for accuracy at long range. It's kind of a catch-22. Is there a particular reason she wants a bolt?

I agree with the previous statements. A Marlin 336 lever, or a short action bolt in .243 or 7mm-08 would be better, depending on what she wanted to use it for of course.

July 31, 2011, 01:34 PM
I'm thinking the next range trip I should get her to try my Winchester 94 & my Marlin XS7. The former is .30-30 & the latter is 7mm-08. Either would be more sensible I know but sometimes she makes up her mind and that's that. Ah, well, that's life in a nutshell :cool:

Kendal Black
July 31, 2011, 02:07 PM
Quick answer is Federal and Remington offer reduced recoil cartridges in .30-'06. The Federal Fusion Lite Low Recoil .30-'06 launches a 170 grain bullet at 2000, which is close enough to a .30-30 as to make no difference. Of course, if you handload the matter is more cheaply solved...

As you have already read, there are .30-30 bolt actions out there but there are not many choices and you may have to hunt around a bit. .30-'06's are everywhere, in all gradations of goodness and badness, and in various weights and lengths.

I don't know it this approach is gonna fly...If she's dead set on a bolt .30-30, I guess that's the way it'll need doing. ;)

35 Whelen
July 31, 2011, 03:41 PM
.30-30 isn't all that accurate long range, and bolts are made for accuracy at long range.

This is a confusing statement.... If a 30-30 is accurate at 100 yds, then it'll certainly be accurate beyond 100 yds. The 30-30 is one of those inherently accurate cartridges much like the .308W and the 300 H&H. The one I fired/handloaded for shot the Federal 150 gr. load into well under 1" 100 yds. and the 150 Nosler BT into tiny clusters. Of course this is far less the case in the typical lever action due to their design.

Do a little research into the TC Contenders chambered in 30-30. They have a long reputation as being very accurate rigs.


July 31, 2011, 03:51 PM
Well, based on the relatively slow velocity, or perhaps coming from a lever as you say. No, I suppose that doesn't make it inaccurate, just range limited. But certainly fills a different need than a long-range bolt action, or more specifically, a longer range bullet.

35 Whelen
July 31, 2011, 04:00 PM
No, I suppose that doesn't make it inaccurate, just range limited.

Exactly. Range limited but still quite accurate. From the Lyman 49th Edition Reloading Handbook (pp. 427): "When used in the Contender this is an extremely accurate cartridge."

I'm looking to buy a Savage 340 or similar model myself. A few months ago I passed up a very nice example that was priced at $200. Been kicking myself ever since.


July 31, 2011, 05:02 PM
My local dealer had a Savage 340A in 30-30 that I heard about. After thinking about it awhile I decided it would be something good to teach my boy on and let him use to deer hunt for a few seasons given the low recoil of the cartridge. I got there too late, but he had a nice Winchester 94 carbine instead. Talk about your bait and switch (unintentional in this case). Anyhow, it worked, my boy will be learning on the 94 soon.

July 31, 2011, 10:08 PM
My brother just picked up a Savage 340. As noted, many are not going to show up with the original magazine. There were a few variations and replacement magazines aren't necessarily a drop-in fit the way were accustomed to having now. My brother's wasn't reliable until a gunsmith tweeked it a little to make it work.
But they are generally cheap and fit your criteria otherwise, and the ones I've shot were quite accurate.

July 31, 2011, 10:09 PM
You can get old model 54 Winchesters in 30-30

August 1, 2011, 06:09 PM
Reduced recoil '06 loads, perhaps?

August 1, 2011, 06:48 PM
stevens 325 C

This was my first deer rifle, if a 7 year old can shoot one your wife should be just fine.

Why not a lever action?

August 1, 2011, 08:59 PM
Do some folks make outrageous statements here to be funny or to show total ignorance? I am just curious.:confused:

August 1, 2011, 09:52 PM
Ruger produced a short run of M77 boat oars in 30/30. Nice little rifle however the boat oar design made them kick alot harder than need. I do not know if a wood stock version was ever produced. Ruger made some non traditional calibers in bolt rifles. I am currently looking at one in 7.62x54R.


August 2, 2011, 06:18 AM
however the boat oar design made them kick alot harder than need.

It also made them alot uglier than needed.:barf:

August 2, 2011, 08:12 AM
Reduced recoil ammo is made for 7mm-08, .308 Win, .270 Win, and 30-06.

If she's stuck on .30 caliber, the .308 Win, using reduced-recoil factory rounds would be perfect for her. The short-action bolt guns are great for women, though watch out for synthetic stocks that can't easily be shortened to fit smaller statures. I'm impressed with the Remington Model 7 with a youth stock.

I looked for 7mm-08 reduced recoil rounds and can't find them in most places. As good a cartridge as it is, many of the big-box stores don't carry even the regular ammo in that cartridge.

Another round that may be under-rated for deer is the .243 Win. It has the advantage of flat trajectory that minimizes holdover at reasonable ranges, and with 100 grain or other "deer-sized game" rounds, is a quick killer.

The Savage 340 is an "okay" gun, but it a bit clunky with a scope, needing a side mount, due to the cut in the receiver top. They may be fine with receiver sights, but I haven't seen many on them. I don't recommend lever-actions for beginners due to the loading/unloading situation with gloves on and in the relative darkness/cold. I've witnessed several accidental discharges.

August 2, 2011, 09:21 AM
I started hunting with a savage 340 30-30 carbine bolt with a weaver k-4. nice rifle. i still have it. but when it was time for my son to start I set him up with a winchester 70 fwt compact in .308 with a leupold 2.5x. I put a soft recoil pad on and used federal low recoil ammo. He spent a whole summer shooting my 77/22 .22lr and then switched to the .308. he never noticed the change because I limited the number of .308 rounds. I never told him about recoil and he has never "learned" to flinch. deer season rolled around and the 170 grain flat nose nosler partition (30-30 bullet) light loaded in the .308 did the job right. one shot,one deer. the only problem is now he thinks its "his rifle" . he was disappointed when I explained that it was a kids rifle and each of his siblings was going to get a chance with that rifle. I am shooting for a family tradition. all four kids take their first deer with same rifle.

August 2, 2011, 01:27 PM
My brother Dave had a bolt-action .30-30, probably still does, but I couldn't tell ya what it is. Pretty old though, it's been at least 35 years since I last saw it. Maybe longer.

Emailed my bro, his is a Stevens 325C, which has been mentioned several times already.

August 2, 2011, 01:56 PM
I've owned a Springfield 840 in 30-30 for 30 plus years,walnut stock,deep rich blewing,4x32 compact scope.will groupe 1 1/2 inches at 100 yards.I love it.I seen many variations of this rifle at gunshows for 300 or so,keep looking. biker

August 2, 2011, 02:34 PM
Buy her a 30-06 and load them light or buy the reduced recoil ammo.
+1, especially if you already have a .30-06.

August 3, 2011, 06:24 AM

The Stevens version has a classier bolt handle. Sort of like a butter knife handle. This is my pick if there was a choice between Stevens and Savage.

Both rifles are sturdy and have an excellent reputation.


August 3, 2011, 07:11 PM
Darn, I had the perfect rifle for your wife - a Savage 45 Super Sporter in 30-30. Came with very nice receiver sight and a detachable magazine. It took me a year to sell it as I have too many 30-30's and it was redundant, but it was a very nice classic rifle. In the $300 range and it will never loose any value. They have bottomed out on price and are now starting to climb. It never had a problem shooting pointy bullets including Remington 22 Accelerators :)

August 3, 2011, 10:08 PM
I picked up my Stevens Model 325 in 30-30 for less than 200 bucks few years ago. I did put a Williams FP aperture rear on it, very accurate little rifle.

I exclusively shoot the Lyman 170 grain #311291 cast boolit at around 2,000 fps. One thing to bear in mind about the Stevens 325 and later Savage 340 models, they only have one locking lug. So not to be hot rodded, keep pressures in line for lever guns like the 94 or 336.


August 3, 2011, 11:39 PM
Oh yeah, the Savage model 45 Super Sporter has 4 effective locking lugs. Two up front and one opposite the bolt handle and the base of the bolt handle. Very strong action.

August 4, 2011, 02:43 AM
Load the 30-06 light, go to the Hodgdon site and look in load data/youth loads. Their reduced load is right in the 30-30 ballpark.

January 18, 2012, 04:13 PM
A Savage 340 or a Stevens 325 in 30/30 is a terrific rifle. Very plain and very accurate. Magazines can be purchased brom Brownells if needed. They sometimes need a little filing on the tabs for an easier fit but that's no big deal. I have a Savage 340 made in 1954, it is light to carry and fun to shoot.

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