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30-30 vs. .357 lever gun

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by CalamityJane, May 20, 2006.

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  1. CalamityJane

    CalamityJane Member

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    I really want a lever gun, and am trying to decide between these 2 calibers. What would I give up/gain with each?

    Any and all comments appreciated. Thanks.

    CJ
     
  2. Old Time Hunter

    Old Time Hunter Member

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    30-30 best all around caliber, cheap to shoot, rifles a dime a dozen. The .357 is a plinking round in a rifle, you can hunt with it, but it is at the very low end of necessary threshold to be viable.
     
  3. KaceCoyote

    KaceCoyote Member

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    Well .30-30 is the most successful deer cartridge in history, and has probably taken more deer than all other centerfire calibers combined. It hits hard, and puts a big hole downrange. Its expensive however, and has somewhat of rainbow shaped arc once it gets downrange.

    .357 Is cheaper, you can also fire the .38spcl. .357 is better to reload for, and thus potentially target shooting fodder. If you hunt deer, .30-30. If you dont hunt deer, .357.
     
  4. absolute0

    absolute0 Member

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    As with so many questions in life...the answer is it all depends on what you want to do with the rifle.

    A 30-30 levergun is a fine short to intermediate range (read 200 yds and closer) hunting gun for light skinned game and general knock around use.

    The .357 makes a great plinker, home defense or light duty utility rifle for the farm, cabin or truck. Some states allow deer hunting with a .357 but in my opinion it's the equivalent of a .410 bore shotgun for upland game - strictly an "experts" gun in this application.
     
  5. deadin

    deadin Member

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    I totally agree with the previous opinions. While the big bad .357 may be a great handgun cartridge, it's really a pip-squeek when it comes to rifles.

    Dean
     
  6. SHOOT1SAM

    SHOOT1SAM Member

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    Get the best of both worlds: a .35 Remington

    Sam
     
  7. Nhsport

    Nhsport Member

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    Hey- I spend time over at AR15.com so I say "GET BOTH"

    The marlin 30-30 is a great gun (I think it better than the win 94) Toss the clumsy scope and put a Williams or Lyman peep sight on it. The mount holes are allready there it just bolts on (screws actually)
    Haveing said I like the marlin better I will tell you my Win 94 (got it free) is a fine cast bullet gun, not sure if the marlin "micro-grove" would work so well.
    The chain store ammo for 30-30 is cheeper than any centerfire rifle save the 5.56(223) but still $0.40 + each.....stock up in the fall before hunting season when they run sales. If you reload you can roll your own for about 20 cents.
    Not super flat shooting but a proven game getter.
    The .357 lever guns are a hoot. Real cheep to shoot with cheep 38sp loads or reloads and decent power with full house .357 loads. Wouldn't choose this gun for deer hunting but it would be good for pests and could take deer sized game in a pinch. I would think a flat point cast lead 160 or 180 gr bullet would work better in real life than on paper.
    I am not a fan of the Rossi handguns (I think they are second rate S&W knockoffs) but the Rossi/Puma pistol caliber lever guns are very nice and a great value. Being a lever gun I think the best deal is the peep sight again,check for mounting holes (I think they all come drilled and tapped,but not positive)
    If you handload or plan to soon I would recomend a lever gun in 44 mag. Factory ammo is about what 30-30 cost but lead bullet reloads will be 1/3 of that if you use lead bullets. The 44mag out of a rifle is somewhat less powerfull than the 30-30 and not as flat shooting but stiill a fine hunting cartridge. The big flat nosed lead slugs have proven themselves to be great game killers that get results if you can put them on the target.
    I own a Marlin Cowboy model in 44mag and it is a great gun . The cowboy model was pricey but I liked the looks and at the time the only marlin 44 with cut rifleing suitable for lead bullets. I believe all the marlin .44 rifles have this barrel. (something to watch for on used marlin .44 guns,whats the point of a 44 if you can't shoot lead?)
    Lots of 45 colt (long colt) guns out there (thanks cowboy action shooters),factory 45colt ammo is on the mild side but for modern guns (marlin,win,rossi) think of it as the equivilent of 44mag if you reload. (don't take my word for it,read the loading manuals and gun owner manuals and follow standard good reloading practise) .
    Lots of good calibers out there in lever guns,many are getting to be a pain to find ammo for but if you reload it opens up a whole lot of choices (35 rem,444marlin,32win sp, 25/20 ect)
    I know there is a full sized marlin 45/70 in my future (no guide guns for me,but many find them to be a hoot)
    As the other gentleman said, the key here it to identify as close as possible the type of shooting you plan to do with this gun, then choose your caliber
     
  8. riverdog

    riverdog Member

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    Actually, the long barrel in a Marlin 1894C allows 158 Gr .357 ammo to exit the barrel at ~1800 FPS, that and a good bullet (158 gr Gold Dot is my choice) makes it much more than a plinking rifle. Still, the 30-30 with 170 gr soft points is better for hunting.
     
  9. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    you can get 30 30 roudn for 6 to 8 dollars a box at Academy, or at gunshows, from jsc or barnaul, or if you have handloaders there. So the price is compareable to 357. however, if you use the new leverrevolution tipped rounds from hornady, you can get an extra 100yds of range to the round. So you could make a hard hitting kill shot out to 300 yds with a scope, as long as you are good with it, and have shot at that range before, and know your scope well. it is a 150 to 180- grn bullet, usually soft pointed, and still hits with 1000 or so lbs of energy , at 300.
    357 i would not shoot at anything outside of 100 yds, it s just not carrying enouhg energy. the olny advantage is , you can put a lot of rounds downrange.
     
  10. MLH

    MLH Member

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    hey Rangerruck

    how much are those new rounds from hornady. Haven't found any and was wondering what the price was gonna be on them.
     
  11. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Hunting 30-30
    Plinking .357/.38 Spl
     
  12. 9mmdude

    9mmdude Member

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    The new leverevolution ammo from Horady makes the 30-30 a good 250 yard rifle. On the Marlin Forum Wyostillhunter clocked it at over 2300 FPS out of a 20 inch barrel.

    http://www.marlinowners.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=12438

    The new Leverevolution rounds are $14.99 at midwayusa but they are on backorder status right now.

    The .357 will push over 1800 FPS out of an 18 inch barrel with Federal 158 Grain JSP. Good for close in hunting but the 30-30 wins hands down in the hunting arena.
     
  13. Matt King

    Matt King Member

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    The 30-30 is a better all around round. You can hunt deer as well as varmits. I think it Is the second all around best rifle round after the 30-06.
     
  14. Nathanael_Greene

    Nathanael_Greene Member

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    I have both, and my preference is...to have both.

    Seriously, if I had to pick just one, it might be the .357...but on the other hand, it might be a 30-30.

    Tough question.

    .357/.38 ammunition may be cheaper, but at least around here it's a lot easier to pick up a cheap used 30-30 rifle than a cheap used .357 levergun, so unless you're shooting a lot, the overall cost-of-ownership difference may not be that great.
     
  15. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    The predrilled holes for aperture sights were discontinued not too long ago. Unless you find a sight that mounts in the scope mounting screw holes, you'll have to have the receiver tapped for the sight holes.

    The other option is to look around for a used one in good condition.

    I agree that a lever rifle with a scope seems to be a bit of a contradiction--aperture sights are the way to go!
     
  16. Rock_Steady

    Rock_Steady Member

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    I've got them both too - the .357 is fun for plinking and I will be keeping it as the farm SD/varmint/knocking around gun, and maybe use it to swat come squirrel. The .30-30 has proven itself for me in the deer arena and with 170 grn slugs will be taking out bear if I ever see one during season. New, you will pay almost the same price for either. I'm gonna have to get ahold of a chrony to see how well the 158 grn slugs work out before I decide to hunt whitetail - up close - with this rifle.

    --Rock
     
  17. CalamityJane

    CalamityJane Member

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    Thanks everybody for all the great replies! This is exactly the kind of info I was wanting. This would be mostly for farm SD, fairly close-up varmits (inside the fence or out around the barn), fun plinking; I don't hunt, and if I ever have to, I'll figure that out then, I guess.

    And as more than one person suggested, there's always the "get both" road. Maybe it's more a matter of "which one to get first". :D
     
  18. riverdog

    riverdog Member

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    Cool.
    I got both :)
     
  19. Spec ops Grunt

    Spec ops Grunt Member

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    There is the .44 magnum and the .35 remington.
     
  20. roo_ster

    roo_ster Member

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    I picked up a Rossi 92 in .44mag for the wife a while back for less than $200 (used).

    It is one heck of a sweet shooter.
     
  21. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Member

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    Calamity Jane,

    With your name there is another thing to think about. Are you into SASS (Single Action Shooting Society, Cowboy Action Shooting) If you are then the .357 is the one to get first. You can load .38 loads into .357 shells with lead bullets and have a great time.

    I have both. However the .357 Winchester Legend gets the Cowboy nod. The 30/30 is for hunting and side matches at the Cowboy shoots... The 30/30 can only be used at side matches with lead bullets.
     
  22. mountainclmbr

    mountainclmbr Member

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    no comparison between the two in power. The 30-30 is the superior round, by far.
     
  23. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    You can get some pretty hot .357 ammo that approaches 30-30, although it is assuredly only a 100 yard round. Check out Buffalo Bore's website for the ammo.
     
  24. YodaVader

    YodaVader Member

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    In this case my preference would be for the 357 mag. A friend let me borrow his 357 mag Marlin and it was an extremely FUN rifle. The accuracy using the aperture sight was great. The report mild. Recoil very light.

    Someone above mention 1800 FPS out of the 18" barrel with a 158 JSP, might be lame compared to the 30-30. But at 100 yards the bullet will still have more power than a lot of 357 handguns at the muzzle -
    Hornady Data:

    158 XTP

    1800 fps 1136 fp energy muzzle
    1469 fps 757 fp energy 100 yards

    For the uses you mention above the 357 seems like the perfect choice to me. I also reload 357s and enjoy 357 handguns so the lever in 357 would just be the icing on the cake for me! Unfortunately , just don't see many 357s lever actions in the gun shops or even the shows. One of these days!
     
  25. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    I have to agree, the .357 is a fun gun to shoot.

    But I would have to own both eventually.

    JohnHSa is absolutely correct about receiver sights on lever guns. They increase accuracy a great deal, but still allow the rifle to be fast handling and compact. Just what a lever gun should be.
     
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