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Deer rifle. 243 vs 30-30

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by C-grunt, Jun 30, 2012.

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  1. C-grunt

    C-grunt Well-Known Member

    I'm looking at two rifles that are the same price as my first deer rifle. One is a Marlin 30-30 and the other is a Savage 10 243. Both are good rifle that I'm familiar with. I'm kinda torn between which one to get.
  2. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Pretty much nose to nose power-wise, on paper at least. 243 is going to be a lot flatter shooting, though the 30-30 will beat it in penetration.

    There is a penetration advantage on the 30-30, heavier bullets tend to penetrate deeper and hold together better.

    243 going to be flatter to shoot long distance though.

    Tough call, gonna depend more on where you plan on using it, and what you're gonna be shooting with it. :)
  3. Abel

    Abel Well-Known Member

    For deer inside 175 yards, 30-30. If you anticipate shots at 250, a 243 would be better. I have a 30-30 as my deer rifle, but I set up in areas that fit the rifle's limitations.
  4. mshootnit

    mshootnit Well-Known Member

    30-30 with lever evolution gets you out to 235 yds pretty easily
    243 is marginally better. 243 has a lot more utility on coyotes
  5. rule303

    rule303 Well-Known Member

    The .243 is a lot more versatile as far as range and bullet types and weights available. Hard to beat the handling of a 30/30 lever in the woods though. If you are only going to use it for deer hunting in forested or brushy areas where you won't be shooting over 150yds or so, get whichever is more comfortable for you. If you plan on hunting more open areas, or taking up varmint hunting, get the .243.
  6. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Well-Known Member

    Both are very effective against most game in most of the country. I would give the edge to the .30-30 at close range (<200 yards) and the .243 at mid-range (>200 yards).

    If there are lots of wide open spaces where you hunt, .243 would be better. If it's mostly woods, .30-30 would be better.

    In my opinion, I like the .30-30 overall more for deer hunting. Then again, the .243 would be more versatile for target shooting, too.
  7. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Well-Known Member

    Would depend on the ranges you anticipate shooting at. In Arizona, I would imagine there's a lot of open territory and longer shots may be called for. If that is indeed the case, I would give the nod to the .243 Win.
  8. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    I d get the .243, more accurate of the two.
  9. C-grunt

    C-grunt Well-Known Member

    Hunting would be both here in Az where long shots are easily possible and in Oklahoma where it's mostly woods and small clearings where I would be hunting. I also just found a Savage 270 with Accustock/trigger and Redfield for about 150 bucks more....hmmm.
  10. porktornado

    porktornado Well-Known Member

    this is a pretty easy answer. for those of you saying the 30-30 has the edge with 200 and closer...why? would a .243 not kill a deer closer than 200 yards? no, it would make it just as dead as the 30-30 would, but it would get to the deer about 1000 fps faster. so with that in mind, if you want to limit yourself to 150ish yard shots with the 30-30, go for it. if you want to kill a deer anywhere from 10-400+ yards, .243 is your choice. if you get a 3x9 or 4x12 it would do just fine at close ranges as well as any other range. check out a ballistics table for both, they do not lie. i have personally seen a 100gr SP kill a 8'6" brown bear at 150 yards and he made it about 20-30 yards. the bullet was found laying up against the hide on the opposite side. now thats penetration! go .243 and don't look back, you will have a rifle that will take anything from rabbits to elk.
  11. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Well-Known Member

    Get the .243 for hunting deer in AZ. If you try it in OK and don't like it, get a .30-30 for hunting there.

    I love the .30-30, but hunting deer in AZ requires that you be ready for shots from very short to very far, all on the same mountain side or drainage.
  12. TexasPatriot.308

    TexasPatriot.308 Well-Known Member

    2 different animals, in Texas you need different calibers cause you might have 50 yard shots in heavy woods, may have 500 yard shots in senderos or hill/canyon country. the .308 seems to do it all, think about a rifle in .308.
  13. snakeman

    snakeman Well-Known Member

    It depends on where and how you hunt. If you hunt from a stand the 30/30 is basically unbeatable in my opinion. However a good bolt action 243 will take deer cleanly out to 400 yards if you use the right ammunition and are capable of making the shot. For a first deer rilfe my vote 243.
  14. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    The old axiom comes to mind for this thread.

    Its a lot easier to make a 150 yard shot with a 300 yd rifle than it is to make a 300yd shot with a 150 yard gun.
  15. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised nobody has addressed this. .30-30 vs .243 is a fairly even playing field, as many have mentioned. So... let's look at the rifles, instead.

    A Savage 10 - great rifle; and a Marlin lev... wait, wait. A Marlin? Is it an actual Marlin, or a Remlin? If its a Remlin, you can wrap this one up. Go with the Savage. Heck, I'd much rather go with a Savage Axis than a Remlin.

    Anyway, considering your find of a Savage 270 with a Redfield scope for $150 more, this seems like an open and shut case.
  16. 303tom

    303tom member

    All I can say is, when I was growing up my dad hunted everything & we had Hi-Powered rifles out the butt & when came to hunting White-tail, Prong horn, Goat or Sheep, even Elk dad used his .243 with 100gr. JHP`s.............
  17. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    With modern bullets the 243 not only shoots flatter, but will outpenetrate the 30-30. The Savage 243 will be lighter, more accurate at any range, have less recoil and should be less expensive if buying new. The 243 is the winner in every category except 1. Everybody should have at least 1 lever in 30-30. Even if it is not as good at actual performnce it is still good enough for most uses.
  18. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Well-Known Member

    If you choose the Savage Model 10 you have the option of rebarreling to a .308 win if you decide you want a little more gun.
  19. CountryUgly

    CountryUgly Well-Known Member

    I'd spend the extra change and roll with the Savage .270. It'll do anything you can in N.A.
  20. HKGuns

    HKGuns Well-Known Member

    I'd take the .243 over the 30-30 any day of the week and Sunday. I'd take a .308 or 30-06 over both of the former however.
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