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Winchester 94 for self defense or plinking?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Golden_006, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. Golden_006

    Golden_006 New Member

    I could get one cheap. Not sure if I want to add any new rifles at this point in time however, since I'm going to be moving soon and I work in nyc/ not sure I want to deal with commuting far any more. Do these have any utility besides deer hunting anyway . . . like for plinking or self-defense or state-of-emergency rifle?

    I'm in no hurry . . . my brother (who is not interested in firearms) inherited it and my father won't let him sell it unless it's to me . . . I'm curious about the gun.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  2. ar10

    ar10 New Member

    If you don't want it you can ship it to me. I'll pay for the shipping :)
    If it's a pre 64 model you'll have good collector gun. Starting in 1964 Winchester started stamping many of the parts in the 30-30, but the newer models are still good rifles. I shoot targets with mine all the time, and they're just a good rifle and easy to carry in the field.
  3. Golden_006

    Golden_006 New Member

    Who said I didn't want it? Not sure about right now. Plus my father has it and I'm anticipating a hard time getting it from him, even if I'm willing to pay for it, since he hunts . . .

    I doubt it's a pre '64. Are all of the pre '64s shiney like some of them I've seen? This one has black metal and no shine so I'm guessing post '64.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear New Member

    The 94 in .30-30 is not a fun plinker unless you handload special plinking rounds for it. The recoil isn't like a big magnum, but it's unpleasant due to the weight and design of the gun. It's made for opportunistic fast shooting, not high-volume shooting.:)

    It can be used for self-defense.

    A pistol-caliber lever gun is better for both.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  5. X-Rap

    X-Rap Active Member

    The mod. 94 is probably the best bet for a 50 state legal personal defence long arm.
    They are very accurate and powerful enough to 100 yds in any of the caliber offerings.
    I shoot 110 hollow (flat) pts. in my 30-30 and probably always will since that is the niche the 94 fills in my arsenel.
    I would suggest a Williams or similar reciever sight to enhance the sighting, a sling. and butt cuff to hold ammo on board, especially in locals that don't allow loaded weapons in public and vehicles.
  6. essayons21

    essayons21 New Member


    After about 10 rounds you will be done for the day unless you are a recoil junkie or wearing a recoil pad. Thin metal and wood stock on a light gun makes for stiff recoil.

    It is a handy rifle for self defense, as it is light and handy, points well, has a relatively large capacity, quick action, and a powerful round.

    I disagree. If I was forced to choose between a rifle or pistol caliber carbine for self defense I would always pick the rifle. The difference in terminal ballistics is huge. The only reason to use pistol calibers for home defense is if you are using them in a pistol, where the difference in size and weight is worth the loss of terminal performance.

    The 30-30 would be classified as an intermediate caliber rifle cartridge nowadays, and is ideal for home-defense applications. With proper bullet choice you can achieve outstanding terminal ballistics without as much risk of over penetration that you would find with higher-velocity, spitzer type rifle rounds.
  7. essayons21

    essayons21 New Member

    I have a Model 94 made in the late 1940s with 99% original blueing. If they are well taken care of and stored in a good environment some will keep the blueing. Easiest way to tell if yours is a pre-64 is to check the serial number. If it is less than 2.7 million it is a pre-64.
  8. wishin

    wishin New Member

    If you can get it cheap, why not! Besides, you can never have too many guns.;)
  9. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Active Member

    I think they can be a great target/plinker. I can shoot 40 - 60 rounds out of mine and have no problems. I think recoil is a subjective thing.

    These rounds from Remington are great plinking rounds and turn a 94 or 336 into a powder puff:


    These are also very easy on the shoulder:


    Anyways, I am a levergun nut and think they are very effective rifles and like mentioned above can travel to almost any state and not draw the ire of L.E.

    I would grab it if I were you.

    Good Luck,

  10. goon

    goon New Member

    I'd probably get it. I have a Marlin 336 right now that's filling the same sort of role. At 300 yards the 30-30 drops about 3' - but that's still enough that you could pose a serious threat to someone trying to do you harm at that range. I don't feel underequipped with mine, but I do still want a .45-70.
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    No way no where!

    A 30-30 with any commercially available bullet is going to over-penetrate just like any other hunting rifle bullet going over 2,000 FPS.

    It will shoot through a deer and keep right on trucking, and a man isn't any thicker then a deer.

    There are many spitzer type bullets loaded in various calibers for varmint hunting that will penetrate far less then a 150 or 170 grain flat-point out of a 30-30.

    You would also be hard pressed to prove that a pistol-caliber .44 Mag lever-gun is any less effective then a 30-30 at SD range.

  12. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline New Member

    Recoil in a .30-30 94? I never noticed much.

    As far as self defense, the .30-30 softpoints are excellent and proven time and again against medium-size, thin skinned game. That is precisely what a human being is. They'll work! So will a .44 Mag shooting XTP's. But it's easier to find proper expanding rounds for a .30-30 rifle than it is to find them for a pistol caliber carbine. Hornady loads some designed for long barrels and they'd sure do the job. Others are going to be designed for a handgun barrel and handgun velocities. I'm not sure I'd entirely trust them. The .30-30 is loaded in a an array of offerings that are tried and tested hunting rounds. You don't have to do any math or research on them. I'd simply lean towards a lighter LHP load than the 170 partitions.
  13. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd New Member

    Did you realize that within 100 yards a number of pistol caliber carbines are as powerful as a .30-30 or as close as makes no difference? Inside 50 yards there's only a hair's difference between a 125gr .357 Magnum load from a carbine and a 125gr 7.62x39. Would the 7.62x39 be sufficient for you? If so, then so would the .357 from a carbine, not to mention the .45 Colt, .44 Magnum, carbines.

    I think you're thinking of the performance of say, the 9mm in a carbine.
  14. X-Rap

    X-Rap Active Member

    RC I haven't tested the 110 HP's on any medium but all my target backing is sheetrock and I know of no bullet that I have fired that didn't penetrate multiple layers. From any gun.
    That being said I realize that spacing and angle all have an effect but penetration is an inevitable circumstance of shooting a round effective enough to do its job.
    There are probably few prefered HD rounds that if fired from the inside of a house would not make it to the outside.
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    All I am saying is that there are a lot of very fast & light varmint bullet loads in other calibers that are far more likely to blow up inside the BG then a 30-30 hunting bullet designed to shoot clear through a deer or elk.

    If you miss & hit sheet rock, all bets are off, as sheet rock is dry and doesn't blow up a varmint bullet like blood filled tissue.

  16. _N4Z_

    _N4Z_ New Member

    I have both 30-30 and .357mag leverguns. Mine are Marlins, but thats just one of those Ford/Chevy things.

    For self defense either is going to stop a bad guy flat. For that matter, where I live, either is going to stop anything walking about that poses threat.

    For plinking (shooting steel gongs)? I use both, but the magnum get much more range time then the 30-30. Not because of recoil though. Because I find it much easier to load up a bunch of .357 then I do a batch of 30-30. The mags are also more bang (number of shots) for less money. The 30-30 does smack steel with more authority then the magnum, but that's just what my eyes and ears tell me.

    Back to the SD issue. I found this link to a site that has done some testing of the .357mag out of a carbine. Interesting at the least.

    http://www.diyballistics.com/.357 Mag Carbine Tests.html
  17. robinray649

    robinray649 New Member

    my 2 cents

    I don't think the levergun gets enough respect as a pdw. I have a Winchester 94ae trapper in 357 mag that I use on a regular basis. I use 148 sjsp rounds and couple it with a Ruger Security Six in 357 mag. When I run my fences this is the duo that I carry. As for hunting, I haven't shoot any deer, I have spoiled the day for a number of yotes over the years. The longest shot I have tried was about 125 to maybe 150 yards. I have a couple of friends who do hunt deer with their lever 357's and have had good luck with it. I do not feel under gunned in any way with my levergun. I would also say it is what I usually have at at side during the day.
  18. Snakum

    Snakum New Member

    I cleaned, lubed, and sighted in a friends 94 last week and I loved the feel of that thing. Almost bought one. Field carry and snap shots were a joy with it. Pretty sweet.

    One thing though, it really does give you a pretty sharp rap with 150gr SPs. Was surprised. I guess it's due to the light weight.

    Still, it'd be a very nice little deer gun or plinker or HD weapon, imho.
  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    All I can say is, if you think a 30-30 Winchester 94 kicks, you haven't shot enough rifles that really kick.

    It seems to me they are not even half as bad as a 7mm or 300 Mag.
    Heck, my 20 ga shotgun kicks harder then my 30-30!

  20. AKElroy

    AKElroy New Member

    I've always thought my 94's are soft shooters. They are loud w/ impressive flash, but most shorter carbines share that trait. I wonder if some of the recoil complaints are attributable to the blast & noise more than the shove.

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