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30-30 question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SSN Vet, May 12, 2006.

  1. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Well-Known Member

    Disclaimer....I don't know a lot about rifles

    Question....after reading threads about .308 vs. 30-06 vs. 300WM vs. 7mm and such, I was wondering if 30-30 fell off the face of the earth?

    Is there a good "rifle 101" thread like on the shotgun forum?
  2. ball3006

    ball3006 Well-Known Member

    Because the 30-30 is about 100 years old....

    and old news. Nothing exciting about a lever action rifle that has done a good job killing game since then. Those other two pairings are old hat too......why would a "rifle 101" post be in the shotgun forum........chris3
  3. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Well-Known Member


    the shotgun forum has some great "shotgun 101" threads..

    but I think I found what I was looking for....thanks.

    If I understand correctly.....

    People who want a lever action buy either a 30-30, or a hand gun cartridge gun like a .357 Mag, .44mag, or .45

    If you don't specifically want lever action.....30-06 or .308 or the others are all much higher powered and therefore rule the roost.

    Is this the case.
  4. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

    A 30-30 will kill with the best of them. I never feel underpowered or outgunned with my old Marlin 336.

    Too bad the ammo price is higher than the rest of my guns.
  5. roscoe

    roscoe Well-Known Member

    You can get lever actions in the 'pointy' calibers, like .308, but they are not the traditional-looking Winchester style because the bullets must sit on top of each other rather than end-to-end like you can with 30-30 and pistol calibers. The Browning BLR, Winchester 88, and Savage 99 are all much loved lever guns in 'pointy' calibers.

    Recently Hornady has come out with a 30-30 round that has a polymer point and is suposed to be good out to 300 yards. That is a long way.
  6. Desk Jockey

    Desk Jockey Well-Known Member

    IMO, it all depends on what you're hunting or where you're hunting it.

    If I'm hunting deer and don't expect to shoot over 200 yards, my .30-30 will do just fine. If I'm hunting deer and expect to shoot up to 300 yards, I want more power.

    If I'm hunting elk, I'd consider the .30-30, but only inside 100 yards. Maybe a touch longer with the new Hornady ammo. But I'd much rather use a .30-06 or larger for elk, especially if I expect to shoot up to 300 yards.

    When I was a kid in PA, I shot a lot of groundhogs (and a few deer) with a Model 94 .30-30. I still think that a lever-action .30-30 is just a heck of a lot of fun to carry and shoot. But I'd like to pick to up a Model 88 .308 to fill the gap between my .30-30 and my .300 WSM.

    There's a lot of useful general info on Chuck Hawk's pages: http://www.chuckhawks.com/index2d.rifles.htm
  7. hoghunting

    hoghunting Well-Known Member

    There's nothing wrong with the 30/30. You can only write so much about a subject, and after 100 years, its all been covered. I used a Marlin 336 for years on deer and hogs before I was convinced by articles that I needed more power. Now I do use more power, but I know the 30/30 will do the job if I use it.
  8. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    I carry a .30-30 Winchester on my saddle. When I was a boy on the Circle H ranch, I used to kill deer that way -- ride up on them while looking for cattle, pile off the horse, and nail one. The only time I ever killed two deer with one bullet was with a .30-30.

    Frankly, the .30-30 is hard to beat. I contacted Hornady and was told that LeveRevolution bullets will not be available to handloaders until 2007. I'm waiting with bated breath.:D

    The .30-30 has some great assets. First of all, the rifles are not that expensive. Next, theyr'e not that hard to shoot -- lots of people have .300 Mags and .338s and never shoot them because of the recoil. The .30-30 just begs to be shot. And as a handloader, the cost of store-boughten ammo isn't a consideration with me.

    Finally, the rifle is light and handy -- just the thing to slip in a saddle boot, or pick up when going out the door.
  9. _N4Z_

    _N4Z_ Well-Known Member

    Not a big fan of the 30/30 lately. Been shooting different brands and wieghts thru my Marlin336 (150gr, 170gr, Winchester, Remington) and best group it's made at 100 yards rested was around 6+ inches... :barf: Now 6" is probly good nuff to down a deer, but my AK in 7.62x39 makes tighter groups with inexpensive Wolf ammo, and that bothers me.

    Think it may be Marlins highly touted micro-groove rifling poo though that is in the barrel of this particular rifle. Have tried tightening the band and screws, etc. No diff.

    Not tried the new tipped Honaday stuff in it, but at a dollar a shot I think I'll pass.

    Will probobly sell it and use the money for a milsurp K31 or Mauser.
  10. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with Vern...

    I have a bunch of old Marlins and they shoot great. I think most new shooters are better served with a .30/30 than any magnum out there. I can honestly only shoot deer at less than 150 with the 336, but I really don't shoot much further than that anyways.

    I am sorta sickened/saddened by all these short/fat laser range finder scope guns that seem to be the rage nowadays. I have nothing against progress, but for a new shooter it encourages too much range. It is better to learn how to stalk than work a laser.

    I say get the .30/30 and learn how to shoot it. Eventually you will want something more and you will be ready to use it correctly.

    The .30/30 was the original short magnum ( in 1895) and still works great today.

  11. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    nothing bad about the 30 30 , it is just what it is , a hunting round for deer size game out to 150 or so yds.
  12. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Well-Known Member

    Never see them until....

    My 30-30 goes to the range with me every trip, along with my other rifles. I might leave one gun or another behind but never the 30-30. However I rarely see another one until just before hunting season starts. Then suddenly the line is filled with them, so I guess that tells the story. They aren't new or flashy but obviously when it comes to knocking down deer or hogs they certainly are useful.
  13. Nhsport

    Nhsport Well-Known Member

    You should be getting way better groups (at least 1/2 of your 6+").
    Don't know your level of experience so I will try to cover all bases.

    Set aside your handloads for the time being,lets use some cheep factory ammo and try to find out what is what.
    Go to wallmart or Kmart or whatever cheep discount house you have handy and buy a stack of cheep winchester or remington, This will likely be 170gr and should cost you about $10 a box. (get 3 or four boxes) The point is we want to compare group sizes as we try different stuff. The standard 170gr stuff will usually shoot ok to good in a rifle that isn't somehow messed up.
    Get some good copper solvent,something more potent than hoppes. I like both Sweets 7.62 or Butches bore shine. Follow the directions,scrub the bejeesus out of it with a new brush,will likely require some soaking.
    Take a magnifiying glass and a strong light and study the end of the barrel (front end) ,is there any visable wear or nicks or gouges right at the end? If the gun has been cleaned improperly or dropped this might be the case. That last 1/16" of the end of the barrel is by far the most importaint. Bad cases might need to have the crown recut or the barrel counterbored (both need a trip to the gunsmith). I had a real old,real abused,win 94 in 32 win sp that shot worse than your 6+" . I took a mouse ball,(the rubber coated ball bearing from a computer mouse) cut the rubber off and coated it with J+B bore paste. I then used it to polish the crown untill I had a bright clean ring about a 16th inch wide that looked clean and uniform with a magnifying glass.
    Gun went from 6-8" 100yd groups to about 3" . That is about the best I can do with Iron sights and my eyes.
    Eyes-- how are yours? Have you had someone else try to shoot this gun? If some snotnosed 24yo kid (with 24yo eyes)can get good groups out of this gun I would suggest a peep sight. Your Marlin likely has the mount holes drilled and tapped (unless it is 30+ years old) so go to brownells or midway and all you need is the sight and a set of screwdrivers. Some will sugest a scope but I personally think that is the wrong way to go with a lever gun ,The peep sight will work as well or better than the scope and the peep will be no more expensive than the scope mount alone.
    Is the trigger buggered up? It doesn't need to be super light but should be fairly crisp. Most Marlin triggers I have fingered are fine to very fine,your gunsmith should be able to clean it up for a reasonable price.
    Basic factory ammo.
    Heavy duty cleaning.
    Decent sights (or good eyesight and factory sights)
    Check of barrel crown and trigger.

    If going thru this long post gets you down to the 3" range (@100yds) then the next level I would suggest beter (higher priced) ammo or reloads and you might find some ammo the gun likes that will give you 1 1/2" or there abouts.

    The 1 1/2" group might remain a wish but most Marlins and Winchesters will settle into the 3" range unless they are messes up .
    Good luck!
  14. pre'64 Dan

    pre'64 Dan Member

    N4Z, 6+ inch groups? I can see why that would bother you. I think Ray Charles could have shot that. what is the matter with your gun? You deffinatly should not be shooting at deer with it. To great a chance on a bad wound for the animal. Sounds like a .32 special with .30-.30 ammo:what:
  15. The .30-30 is significantly less powerful than the .30-06, but more than enough for most big game hunting, especially now that they are loading them with modern pointed bullets which will not detonate in a tubular mag. If your hunting is within 200 yards, and deer and black bear are the largest game you might be after, the .30-30 in a lever action will serve you well. If you want longer range effectiveness and larger animals, the .30-06 is much more appropriate, and they are typically in a bolt action rifle for sporting purposes.
  16. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    There is nothing wrong with the thirty thirty except it can be a pain to reload.
    The cases are fairly thin and the long neck and gentle shoulder angle can cause the case to collapse if it is not perfectly centered in the reloading dies during the upstroke.
    When loaded with spire point .30 caliber bullets, and a decent powder is chosen, and the round is fired in a single shot or bolt rifle,(Don't load spire points in a tube magazine, ever, no matter what anybody tells you about it being OK, don't do it.), anyway, you can bring the .30/30 Winchester to the lower level of .30/06-.308 Ballistics.
  17. Old Time Hunter

    Old Time Hunter Well-Known Member

    I find the 30-30 to be the one of most accurate open sight rifles to a 100yards, just reading this and looking at two NRA targets that I shot with both of my 30-30's. One '94 AE XTR Win(pre-safety) and a Glenfield 30A(cheap 336). Both open sights...same ammo (170gr Cor-Lokt, $3.89 a box of 20 bought two cases for less than $80 bucks), Winchester group (10 rounds) five in the 10, none outside the 9. Glenfield group (10 rounds) three in the 10, 5 within the 9, and two flyers (still within a 4" group).
  18. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

    6" groups are pretty out there, but I can't say much. I don't shoot my 30-30 out to 100 yards, because I never hunt in a place where shots are going to be that long. I usually set out 12 gauge shells (already shout out of my coach gun) on a 2x4 board at about 40 to 45 steps and shoot them off. Best I've done with those is shot 5 shells off with 6 bullets. I was kicking myself for missing that one shot. Aimed a bit too high. :neener:
  19. _N4Z_

    _N4Z_ Well-Known Member

    marlin336 poo

    well my experience with the 30/30 is limited to nil.

    my experience shooting centerfire rifles began in 1986 with one of uncle sam's m16a1's on the east brm range of ft. sill. at that time i could hit man size targets at 300 meters with open sights, no problem. have used various other rifles of different caliber since, and this one is my first problem child.

    i know how to sight a weapon in, how to clean one (hopefully without causing unwanted damage), and my vision is still fairly good.

    this particular rifle was new in 2005 and has seen less than 40 rounds prior to the last 3 months. it is in this last three months that I have had a place to fire out to 100 and greater yards. it is within this last 3 months that i've discovered the thing is horribly inaccurate. as stated in my post above i've been trying different weights and brands of factory ammo. my AK clone with wolf makes much tighter groups at 100 yards, again with open sights. i do not rely on any optics.

    i will inspect the bore as you suggest Nhsport, but i strongly suspect a lemon. i also will more than likely sell it off for something else. do appreciate the input though.
  20. _N4Z_

    _N4Z_ Well-Known Member


    well looks like i need to eat some crow. apparently knowing how to clean a weapon and actually getting the job done correctly are two different matza balls.

    close inspection of the business end of the 336 barrel revealed generous amounts of "copper" colored poo on the rifling. hit it with some power shot copper solvent and BAMMO! pretty little green/blue patches coming out the other end. :eek: took some time soakin' and scrubbin', all better now.

    i shall take the thing back to the range here in the near future to see if those 6"+ groups shrink down in size some.

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