Largest game taken with a .30-30?


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AKElroy
December 6, 2013, 01:08 PM
I would love to hear some stories about the largest game taken, or the largest game you would consider taking with a .30-30. Pics would be great.

What would you confidently hunt with the good ol' .30 WCF?

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.455_Hunter
December 6, 2013, 01:10 PM
I am certain some huge bears have been dropped by the good old .30/30. Probably been used in Africa as well for unplanned shots on large game.

HankR
December 6, 2013, 01:33 PM
I'd think distance (bullet drop) would be the sticker. What game at what distance maybe?

hipoint
December 6, 2013, 01:42 PM
I don't think there is an animal alive, including a blue whale, that could take a fairly close shot to the brain with a non-expanding bullet... I would not be surprised if the inuit have done this from time to time.

AKElroy
December 6, 2013, 01:49 PM
I've taken texas hill country deer at 200 yards with 170 grain corlokds, but none any farther were ever attempted. I am curious to hear what ranges folks are comfortable with.

I personally use my .30-30's when most shots will not exceed 120 yards or so. The 200 yard shot was unplanned on an injured deer stumbling ever farther away while I pondered using my last buck tag to take the useless animal. He snapped his leg clean on a feeder panel. The feeder went off with him directly under it, and he panicked, tangling his leg on the fence on his way out.

When he was at the edge of a thicket 100 yards or so behind the feeder, he was still falling every other step, and was about to be both out of sight and range. The 170 grain pill was aimed at his spine above the shoulder, and hit his boiler room 8"-10" below my POA. The shot made me look like a hero, but the truth is he was moving so much I just guessed and pulled the trigger, and Lady Luck was smiling on us both. When field dressing, his front right was snapped clean and floppy. Yotes would have had him for sure if I let him go.

William51962
December 6, 2013, 04:41 PM
9 Point Whitetail, 150 lbs live weight, 30 yds

jmr40
December 6, 2013, 05:01 PM
WD Bell considered the 7X57 perfect for elephant. He killed 1,100 with one. Poachers take them quite often with FMJ 223's. With the right bullet, placed properly, at close range I'm sure a 30-30 will take any animal on the planet. The only real limitation of any round is it's accuracy and effective range.

Patocazador
December 6, 2013, 06:22 PM
9 point whitetail at ~100 yards. Weight was estimated by several people at 250# plus. Antlers thick but stubby.

AKElroy
December 6, 2013, 06:41 PM
I opened this thread because I missed a terrific buck last week. No reason other than I was excited and flubbed the shot. The rifle is my go-to lefty .308 savage weather warrior, accustock/accutrigger, big, crystal clear, bright 5x15x50 scope, awesome trigger. Groups 1/2 MOA now that the barrel is shot in. I have missed two deer and two pigs with it in the last three seasons. I don't get it.

My 336 is another story. I've taken more pigs than I can count, and numerous deer. Never missed an animal with it in the three years I've had it. I am heading out next weekend with just the Marlin. Apparently, fit, comfort and confidence have something to do with hunting accuracy. Who knew.

Dr. A
December 6, 2013, 07:08 PM
Back in 2008, a buck at 159 yards. 170gr. core lokt with 34 grains of BL-C2

http://i460.photobucket.com/albums/qq322/DavidKSU88/005.jpg (http://s460.photobucket.com/user/DavidKSU88/media/005.jpg.html)

Shot this doe about 3 years ago at 259 yards: Leverevolution ammo

http://i460.photobucket.com/albums/qq322/DavidKSU88/2011-01-01_07-53-26_438.jpg (http://s460.photobucket.com/user/DavidKSU88/media/2011-01-01_07-53-26_438.jpg.html)

25 years ago I shot a 5x5 Elk stepping out of a barn in Colorado. I'd spent the night delivering a foal. Walked out and there was a herd on the other side of the corral. About 75 yards. The landowner knew I was a hunter, and that time was precious. I needed the meat. He gladly let me shoot one. One shot and he dropped. (kept my 30-30 in the truck). My partner at the time dropped one as well with the same rifle. We had to track that one a little ways. Sorry, but no pics on that one. Shot him with Core lokts as well

AKElroy
December 6, 2013, 09:30 PM
That is a monster buck. Nice.

horsemen61
December 6, 2013, 09:36 PM
I've killed all my deer with a 30 30 so I'm a fan I once saw a youtube video so I can't prove if it is real or not but a guy killed a moose on the video with a 30 30

MCgunner
December 6, 2013, 09:55 PM
For me, deer and pigs, all, but one with a 12" Contender in .30-30. I shot one deer with my Savage 340 that I no longer have. That was an accurate gun, 1MOA. Not bad for a cheap rifle.

35 Whelen
December 7, 2013, 02:58 AM
I opened this thread because I missed a terrific buck last week. No reason other than I was excited and flubbed the shot. The rifle is my go-to lefty .308 savage weather warrior, accustock/accutrigger, big, crystal clear, bright 5x15x50 scope, awesome trigger. Groups 1/2 MOA now that the barrel is shot in. I have missed two deer and two pigs with it in the last three seasons. I don't get it.

My 336 is another story. I've taken more pigs than I can count, and numerous deer. Never missed an animal with it in the three years I've had it. I am heading out next weekend with just the Marlin. Apparently, fit, comfort and confidence have something to do with hunting accuracy. Who knew.
Just my opinion, you have WAY too much scope on that rifle for deer hunting. a little 2-7X or even 1.5 - 6X would be all you'd ever need for deer hunting. Heck, my go-to elk rifle, with three bulls to its credit, wears a good quality 4X Burris.

Other than that, sounds like you're more comfortable with your Marlin. How accurate your rifle is from the bench matters very little in the field. The vital area of most Texas deer is easily 12", so if you can hold a 3" group @ 100 yds., with a given rifle shooting from field positions, you should be good out to roughly 400 yds. and that's the rifle you should use!

35W

T.R.
December 7, 2013, 11:32 AM
It's an old myth that 30-30 has a rainbow trajectory. It shoots fairly flat with this zero: 2 inches high at 100 yards = right on at 150 yards. This trajectory is for any 170 grain soft tip bullet.

150 yards is a long shot for the hunter of forests and foothills. At this distance any 170 grain soft tip will provide reliable expansion and deep penetration. These are not ideas copied from a magazine or book; I've been hunting with 30-30 carbines for over 40 years. 30-30 is a keeper!

TR

AKElroy
December 7, 2013, 03:55 PM
Just my opinion, you have WAY too much scope on that rifle for deer hunting. a little 2-7X or even 1.5 - 6X would be all you'd ever need for deer hunting. Heck, my go-to elk rifle, with three bulls to its credit, wears a good quality 4X Burris.

Probably. It does make the rifle top heavy, but as far as magnification I keep it dialed to the low end unless I'm at the range or evaluating a deer. The scope is the one variable that is the most likely culprit; I've not missed nearly as often with the other rifles in the safe.

I opened the thread to get a little psychological reinforcement for relying on the .30-30 as my primary. I have a safe full of quality bolt guns, and while I've taken probably half the game I've harvested over the last 10 years or so with any one of four .30-30's, it was usually as a backup to my primary rifles or while sitting a really short-shot blind. Walking or driving up pigs and the occasional doe and such. The .30-30 is always present in the front seat, so it gets grabbed for unexpected opportunistic shots and really racks up the kill count.

I have a good friend that owns and operates a trophy deer operation. I do not hunt his property other than one opportunity to cull some domestic whitetail, and he has pretty strict rules on caliber and cartridge. .243 and lighter cartridges are not allowed, and he includes the .30-30 in that. I would likely need special written dispensation to tote a 7mm 08. He even has his doubts about the .308, but he let me tote it with a stern talking too.

Now, while I obviously disagree with his minimums, it does plant a tiny seed of doubt that I should keep the more powerful bolt guns as primary. The only problem with that is, at the end of the day, I have had more success taking game with the lowly .30 WCF. It is one of those weird questions where carrying it is obviously the right answer for the game I hunt and the distances I shoot, but it still feels a bit like preferring the mustang in a street race with a corvette in the garage.

Let's here some more success stories!

LeonCarr
December 7, 2013, 04:46 PM
In 1965 a guy named Jack Turner shot the then World Record Grizzly Bear while charging with a .30-30...one shot.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

witchhunter
December 7, 2013, 05:36 PM
30/30's have been putting meat in the freezer since 1894! Oh, wait did they have freezers in 1894? It is hard to beat the old 30/30! Next time you see one for sale, ask yourself how many deer has it killed before you saw it?

Don McDowell
December 7, 2013, 05:43 PM
I've shot antelope,deer and elk with the 30-30, I know of a handful of our Shiras moose that have been shot with a 30-30, and even know one fella that shot a grizzly bear with a 30-30.
Here's a picture of the neighbor kid with an elk he shot on the first morning of the season in their south pasture a couple years back, and this bull was a wee bit further than the typical 151.3 yds most internet experts think the 30-30 bullet simply disappears.
http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f358/Ranch137/leviselk.jpg

35 Whelen
December 7, 2013, 06:02 PM
Probably. It does make the rifle top heavy, but as far as magnification I keep it dialed to the low end unless I'm at the range or evaluating a deer. The scope is the one variable that is the most likely culprit; I've not missed nearly as often with the other rifles in the safe.

I opened the thread to get a little psychological reinforcement for relying on the .30-30 as my primary. I have a safe full of quality bolt guns, and while I've taken probably half the game I've harvested over the last 10 years or so with any one of four .30-30's, it was usually as a backup to my primary rifles or while sitting a really short-shot blind. Walking or driving up pigs and the occasional doe and such. The .30-30 is always present in the front seat, so it gets grabbed for unexpected opportunistic shots and really racks up the kill count.

I have a good friend that owns and operates a trophy deer operation. I do not hunt his property other than one opportunity to cull some domestic whitetail, and he has pretty strict rules on caliber and cartridge. .243 and lighter cartridges are not allowed, and he includes the .30-30 in that. I would likely need special written dispensation to tote a 7mm 08. He even has his doubts about the .308, but he let me tote it with a stern talking too.

Now, while I obviously disagree with his minimums, it does plant a tiny seed of doubt that I should keep the more powerful bolt guns as primary. The only problem with that is, at the end of the day, I have had more success taking game with the lowly .30 WCF. It is one of those weird questions where carrying it is obviously the right answer for the game I hunt and the distances I shoot, but it still feels a bit like preferring the mustang in a street race with a corvette in the garage.

Let's here some more success stories!
Your friend obviously knows far more about raising trophy deer than he does rifle cartridges. Don't let his lack of knowledge override your experience.

35W

josiewales
December 7, 2013, 06:22 PM
Your friend obviously knows far more about raising trophy deer than he does rifle cartridges. Don't let his lack of knowledge override your experience.


+1 on that. He sounds to me like a "30-06 or 7mm mag or nothing" kind of guy. I know lots of those kinda hunters.

AKElroy
December 7, 2013, 06:31 PM
Your friend obviously knows far more about raising trophy deer than he does rifle cartridges. Don't let his lack of knowledge override your experience.

His opinion is based on having many inexperienced day hunters with more money than skill maim and/or lose a number of trophy deer. He wants them to have all the help they can get, and he is convinced more power equals fewer run-offs. I think he would be better off setting up a range and having his customers hammer a gong at 100, 200 and maybe even 300 yards, and use their hits to determine what blind they sit in. Or maybe even whether they should get a refund and go home.

tahunua001
December 7, 2013, 06:33 PM
I've never hunted with a 30-30 but I've heard stories about elephants being taken with it... does that count?

AKElroy
December 7, 2013, 08:33 PM
I've not seen many elephants on the property, but it's good to know I'm covered just in case. :D

twofifty
December 7, 2013, 09:27 PM
An acquaintance showed me his dad's well worn .30WCF model 94.

It had been used for a few years prospecting in the Amazon basin. No moose or polar bears there - just Anaconda ;) - but still a good testimony to
the 30-30's world-wide appeal.

dcloco
December 7, 2013, 09:50 PM
Witnessed, quite possibly, the shot of a a lifetime. We were on a finger in the Marias River breaks in north central Montana. This is an area that Lewis & Clark floated through some time ago.

As we had already walked and glassed on this finger for 10-15 minutes, some 250 feet above the river bottom/wheat stubble field below, we were getting ready to walk on to the next finger. From our right, in the shadow of the next finger, a perfect 5x5 whitetail basket buck sets off on a dead run, angling away from us at at 45 degree angle across the flat below.

Gent beside me, raised his open site (yes, BUCKHORN rear site), drew a bead, and DROPPED the buck, at an easy 225 yards.

My jaw dropped open...I was stunned. Could not believe I watched this incredible shot. Elevated position, deer at a 45 degree angle away from us, and on a dead run. Bullet entered just ahead of the front shoulders.

loose noose
December 7, 2013, 09:52 PM
I've shot quite a few whitetail, in northern Wisconsin, and a few muleys in northern California, however, in 1974 I got drawn to hunt a special hunt in AZ., and the person I was going to go on the hunt with persuaded me to get a .270 (long distance shots). Well to make a long story short, I got a .270 and went on the hunt; lucked out and got a nice 6 pointer, within 75 yards. Now at that range I could have used my trusty 30-30.

My brother in law got a huge elk using his Winchester 30-30 with no problem, and his brother shot a moose in Maine with his 30-30. I do believe it is knowing your rifle, and placing the shot in the vitals.

35Remfan
December 9, 2013, 09:44 PM
I've taken a couple of deer with the 30-30.

Looking to get another 30-30. Wouldn't worry to much about going after elk with it.

Laphroaig
December 10, 2013, 10:46 PM
I remember reading about 10 or 15 years ago about the then record PA black bear that was killed with a 30-30. If I recall it weighed something like 840 lbs. The lucky hunter shot it but it ran off and died hiding in a brush pile. He and his buddies scoured the area and finally found it late in the day.

Laphroaig

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