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30-30 expectations

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by coondogger, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. coondogger

    coondogger Member

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    Or lack thereof. I sighted in two rifles this week. One, a Ruger American bolt action in 6.5 Grendel. At 100 yds it shoots tight groups (about two inches) on center with 130 grain GameKings with H335. Good enough for me. The other rifle is a Marlin 30-30. Using 150 grain flat nose rounds motivated by IMR 3031, the best than can be hoped for is a 6 or 7-inch group vaguely referenced to the center.
    Yet the 30-30 is my go-to deer rifle because for shots around 70 yds in New England, it gets the job done.
     
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  2. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    Any Rifle - should be capable of 4 MOA, and 3 MOA with the proper load.

    Keep looking.

    Also, try a control round, like a Remington/Winchester/PPU 170 gr. SP.




    GR
     
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  3. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    My 336 as well as my dads and every other rifle I have experience with may not be a target gun, but they are 2-3” capable hundred yard guns. In fact I know of one gun used to kill a buck at 400+a few in 1990. Not only did the shots land on the buck but they also landed on a doe that he was tending so that the hunting for the year would be done and freezers full. Most marlins seem to like 170gr bullets from what I have seen. Elevation was the ONLY issue with those shots and was a quick adjustment.
     
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  4. Hog huntin Harry

    Hog huntin Harry Member

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    My 336W hates 170 grain Winchester power points and 170 grain Remington Core-lokts, but it loves Winchester 150 grain power points. At 100 yards I regularly get 1.9 - 2.5 inch groups depending on my shooting position.
     
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  5. Stevel

    Stevel Member

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    I have better luck with 170s than 150s in my 336. Realistically ave 2" or so.

    To the OP: My guess is you could tighten that 6" group up by trying a different powder, bullet combo. As you say, not that it's needed for your situation, but for a margin of safety / certainty for an odd shot that presents itself.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
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  6. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I have shot five shot groups from the bench under 1.5 inch at 100 yards with my son's 336C and my 336W (both with 4x scope sights) using Winchester Super X 170gr Power Point factory ammo bought off the shelf at WalMart. (To simulate hunting conditions I left the action open and waited til the barrel was cool between shots.)
    I have shot my reloads with 170gr bullets, 30 gr IMR 3031, with almost equal accuracy to the Winchester factory ammo.
    My experience with reloading 150gr for Marlin .30-30 microgroove barrel soured me and made me swear off.

    A lot of folks in Southwest Virginia and Uppereast Tennessee hunt with military surplus sporterized rifles that allegedly do six inch groups at 100 yards. At brush hunting ranges, you'll get a deer. At the old home place on the mountains, I did good to find 60 yards clear to do sight checks, second growth woods.
     
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  7. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    OP is that a scoped 30-30 or open sights?
     
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  8. EIB0879

    EIB0879 Member

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    I have used an old 336 in 30-30 in the last few years. It loves the 160 gr Leverevolution rounds. I can consistently get three shots under an inch at 100 yards. I have killed WT deer, javilena, and axis deer with that load and usually the are DRT. Had a hard time finding the load lately but scored three boxes last week. Another load I like is the Federal Premium load with the 170 gr Nosler partition.
     
  9. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    I saw a friend connect with a 30-30 w /leverevolution on a deer at 235 yds. Just a little low broke the leg/ lower shoulder. I think that is about max range for that combo.
     
  10. EIB0879

    EIB0879 Member

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    Yeah if I'm hunting a place with more than a 150 yard shot I'm using a 30-06 or 270.
     
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  11. Hog huntin Harry

    Hog huntin Harry Member

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    I myself limit my shooting with a iron sighted 30-30 and a 150 grain FP to 180 yards. With a 4x scope and 160 grain Hornady FTX sighted 3 inches high at 100 yards I'd be confident out to 250 yards, although I would pass anything less than a perfect lung hit at that range. Unless I'm hunting in thick brush I'd prefer a Winchester model 70 featherweight chambered in .270 Winchester.
     
  12. coondogger

    coondogger Member

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    Both rifles are scoped. Actually the 30-30 was about 5” diameter grouping.
     
  13. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    Its been my experience that the Marlin 336 really likes the 170 grn bullets. And even though I no longer have it (stupid me), my old 336 would shoot well under 2" at 50 yards. Admittedly it had a Williams peep for a rear sight and was rested. I have killed both varmints and deer out to 200 yards with it, so I know it at least hit somewhat closely to where I aimed it. So you might try some factory 170's and see if that helps; Winchester was my go-to then. I also used to load a 100grn bullet for small game/varmints that was pretty accurate as well, but that's another story.

    Mac
     
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  14. forty_caliber
    • Contributing Member

    forty_caliber Contributing Member

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    Might be worthwhile to use this twist rate calculator to determine why you are getting such poor results. Take the time to gather the information and be as accurate as you can....garbage in garbage out as they say.

    As others have said, it sounds like an ammo problem. I can easily hold under 2" groups at 100yrds with my Henry Side Gate with 150gr home rolled ammo.

    .40
     
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  15. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    My 336 carbine, with Marlin branded scope, does 2.5" with 150 grain factory loads and close to moa with 170.
     
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  16. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Same here... with 2 different 336's.

    I used to be a big Speer bullet guy... I loaded for my 336 with the 170grn Speer SP and H322, and it did well enough. On a fluke, I bought some Winchester Silvertip 170grn component bullets, and loading them over the same charge of H322 my groups tightened by half. I've since switched to the Hornady bullet and IMR3031, which gives me similar results, but the point I'm making is... 1) maybe try 170's, and 2) maybe try a different brand bullet.
     
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  17. dredd

    dredd Member

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    As others have mentioned, I would definitely try the Leverevolution to compare against.

    I was given a beat up, nasty, rusted & cracked 30-30 truck gun from the 1960's.
    It loves the Leverevolution ammo.

    It is one of the few cartridges I do not currently load for.

    I came with a few hundred rounds of ammo, so I've have not worried about it yet.
     
  18. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I had a 336 that wouldn't group no matter what I put in it, different scopes, etc. I got it out of my life.
     
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  19. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    A different recipe/control round to check accuracy would help I think. Something as simple as a powder swap might do it...RL7, 5744 or 2015 might do it or a change to another bullet. Don't give up yet!

    D
     
  20. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    OP, I don’t believe 5-6 MOA at 100 yards is acceptable, I believe 2-3 is. Sometimes one can get lucky and have a rifle that does better. My son’s first deer rifle was a 336. A year later he had to have a 30-06 so I obliged him for Christmas and commandeered the 30-30. I’d grown up around 94’s and 336’s, that’s what most people in my family used so maybe the familiarity was the cause of my not having much interest.

    My son’s 336 piqued my interest because it was more accurate than what I believe to be the norm and I thought I’d like it for hogs. I hated the trigger and so installed a Happy Trigger. Well worth the money IMO. I then took off the Fullfield II 2-7 and put a VX-3 1.75-6x32 on it and installed a Beartooth comb raiser because I wanted a perfect cheek weld with a scope. The last thing I did was loosen the barrel band a small amount because I read somewhere it could help. Rifle went from 2”-3” to 1.25”-1.5” and occasionally 1”. It doesn’t like 170’s and has a distinct preference for 150 grain Corelokts.
    66E29816-CA24-45F9-8B4D-146D5F442C8E.jpeg
     
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  21. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Agreed -- depending on condition, of course.

    How's your muzzle crown? Is the bore in generally good shape? Does the stock forend have a death grip on the barrel and magazine tube, or do things rattle loose forward of the action? Is your scope base and its rings attached good and tight?
     
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  22. Stevel

    Stevel Member

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    .......
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
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