.44 mag vs 30/30 in 16 inch barrel

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ed76, Jan 4, 2021.

  1. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    I can’t speak to the impact of barrel length but in general I prefer a 30-30. Similar performance inside 100 yards but the 30-30 can stretch out a bit further. Especially with the polymer tipped ammo. The downsides are less capacity and more expensive ammo.
     
  2. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have both but I have always used the 30-30 because it’s a bit flatter shooting. It’s never been fired to the point of being empty, hunting and it’s a “loaner” rifle at our farm. More people have hunted with it than any other rifle I own.

    That said, my 44 magnum loads out of the rifle do have a bit more energy at the muzzle.
     
  3. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    It's funny how much perceptions vary depending on perspective. In the world of handgun hunting, the .44Mag is a 100yd cartridge. In the rifle world, same thing, even with the additional 300-400fps. In the handgun world, the .44Mag has been used to take all the African Big Six and with the right bullet, will penetrate stem to stern on 2000lb buffalo. In the rifle world it barely competes with the .30-30 as a deer cartridge. A result of using kinetic energy to measure a cartridge's effectiveness, no doubt.

    IMHO, the .44Mag is a 150yd cartridge out of a rifle. Standard 240gr loads will approach 2000fps and that makes a big difference over a handgun. The .30-30 is going to lose a bit in a 16" barrel but it's far from spitwads. It is at least a 200yd cartridge.

    The .30-30 shoots flatter and has more range but the .44Mag can take larger critters. Much larger. Problem is that the bullets one might use on the largest critters are not compatible with most .44 leverguns. The stupid-slow twist of the Marlin basically limits one to elk and moose with bullets up to 300gr.
     
  4. mcb

    mcb Member

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    The ballistics between these two cartridges are less of a concern for me than the ergonomics of the rifle they are chambered in. If I am carrying a 16-inch gun I am likely hunting rough terrain and/or heavy cover. A M92 in 44 Mag (or any of the other cartridge it was/is chambered in) is lighter, and more maneuverable than lever-guns chambered in 30-30 like the Win 94 or Marlin 336. Combine that will the increased capacity (5rds vs 9rds for most 16-inch guns) the 44 Mag in a 16 inch gun just seem more utilitarian to me than a 30-30 in a 16-inch barrel. Not to mention is shares ammo with the 44 Mag revolver on my hip.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
  5. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I can't express how handy a 16" 92 action is. I literally giggled the first time playing with one.
     
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  6. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    I got one of the Henry X lever guns in 44 Mag. I mainly got it for the 44 special option suppressed. However, now I am seriously thinking about a suppressed 30-30 also. Once you get used to cutting down the noise, you want it on everything.
     
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  7. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Couldn't agree more. The M92 is so handy in the hands.
     
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  8. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    For the 30-30, do you prefer the 170 grain or 150 grain loads? I generally prefer to stick with more velocity with 150 grain. Never used it on game so one of you might have more experience with that. I have other options like 44 Mag if I want the big & slow option. The published velocity for the 170 grain loads just seemed to me to be slower than I wanted to go.


    Here is Paul Harrel's video on 30-30 vs 44 Mag. His velocity and foot pound numbers are interesting.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
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  9. Risky buisness

    Risky buisness Member

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    Just me, but I take a non traditional view of the 30- 30. My favorite projectile is the speer 130 flat nose I dont use IMR powders, BLC2, and other Hodgen offerings are the better offerings to propel the 130 @ 2700+.
    But, I load, and dont purchase the fairly anemic factory cartridges for my use.
    With this combination a 3" high 100 yd zero is very adequate to 300 yds.
     
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  10. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    I have both for deer/hogs either will work. The 44 definitely has an edge on versatility.
    From round ball at 700fps to 320gr @ 1500
     
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  11. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    There are very, very few shots I would take with a 30-30 which I would pass with a .44mag. But I can enjoy less expensive and more plentiful factory ammo, use less powder, and fit more rounds in the tube for plinking with the 44 than the 30-30.

    The only 336 I have left is my father-in-law’s old rifle, which of course, we enjoy and honor. Every time I bring a Dirty Thirty through the door, it never seems to stay. But I will always have 1894’s in 44mag on hand.
     
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  12. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    My 30/30 16" Trapper gets over 1900 fps (handload) with a 170 grain JSP. My SBH .44 mag gets 1500 plus fps with a 200 grain JHP bullet. The Marlin 20" M94 gets 1744 fps with a 240 grain JHP. I've killed deer with all three and put them at about equal. Even the SBH dropped a buck at 90 yards.
     
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  13. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I've got a Marlin 1894FG in .41 Magnum... stability isn't an issue, even with 250grn bullets, when driven at Magnum velocity... but I understand what you are saying. I bought a .45 Colt Marlin and got shotgun patterns the first time out, but I was shooting lazy Unique loads with heavy bullets. I won't make that mistake again. I doubt the Marlin in .44 would have problems, either, at Magnum velocities, and even with heavy bullets.
     
  14. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    The 30-30 has proven more than enough for all American game for over 100 years. And it has much more range. I don't like passing on shots because they are out of range. I love mine and have no interest in a 44 Mag lever although I did think about it to go with my 44 Mag pistol. I favor the 30-30, but there are good arguments the other way. I don't agree with some of them. I have always said that pistol cartridges belong in pistols and rifle cartridges, well you know. But I would agree that the difference in these two isn't much inside of 75 yards. After that bullet drop is a big factor.
     
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  15. lobo9er

    lobo9er Member

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    Another 44 MAG vote. Deer won't know the difference but I think the 44 has the cool factor. either will serve just as well as the other. good luck.
     
  16. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    I don't know about the .41 but the .44 is 1-38". It's pretty well proven not to work for bullets over 300gr.
     
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  17. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I see what you are saying... that's what my .45 Colt one was, too. I'm not really sure you would want to go over 300grn in the first place, you still need some velocity...
     
  18. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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    Not much I can add to the discussion except personal preference. I'm not a fan of the .30-30 cartridge; nothing wrong with it, but if I want a centerfire rifle cartridge, it will be a higher pressure round with far better ballistics. The .44 Mag, on the other hand, is one of my favorite handgun cartridges. That it gains hunting effectiveness when shot from a carbine just bring smiles. I prefer my Henry Single Shot to a lever action, but that's just me. So my vote is .44 Mag.
     
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  19. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Inside 150 yards, I'd take a .44 mag carbine with a stout charge of slow burning powder behind a 240-300 gr bullet. At more extended ranges, the higher initial velocity and lower drag of the .30-30 bullet gives it the edge, especially with newer numbers like the flex tip "leverevolution"
     
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  20. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    I would, absolutely. It's still going to gain 200-400fps over handgun velocity. I've long thought about having one built with a standard 1-20" twist barrel and the action tuned to feed the heavyweights.
     
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  21. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    My answer is both! I am fortunate enough to have both and enjoy using them as they best fit the particular area I am hunting. I have a Marlin 1984 P that is awesome for tight brush. I also have a Marlin 336 LTS that is handy and provides a bit more distance. While I really like the 150's and 170's depending upon what the rifle likes best, I also shoot a lot of the Speer 130 grain SP's. They easily get to 2500 FPS in a 20" barrel and stay over 2400 FPS in my shorter barreled guns. This really adds some distance and deer seem to drop a bit faster when hit by the 130's. So I guess I like the .44 for up close and the .30/30 if I might need more range. If I am ever forced to go down to one, it would be the .30/30 because it can handle both scenarios.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2021
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  22. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    I thought it was interesting that Paul Harrel found the 30-30 had the highest ft-lbs of energy with the 150 grain load he shot.
    I lean toward a higher velocity in the 30-30 myself especially if you can get well above 2000 FPS. I have not tried the Speer 130 grain loads. I will have to look for that once the ammo shortage recovers a bit.
     
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  23. shootbrownelk

    shootbrownelk Member

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    Especially if you're shooting Hornady FTX ammo in that 30-30.
     
  24. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    It's out of a 24" barrel but according to Hornady a 160 grain Flex Tip drops about 12" at 300 yards with a 200 yard zero, and still retains over 1000 ft-lbs of energy. It's a reasonable 3" high at 100 yards. You'll lose some in a more typical 20" barrel but even so a 44 Mag isn't going to come close to keeping up with that.
     
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  25. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

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    When I buy a gun I give a lot of thought to its intended use. If you want to primarily hunt deer the .30-30 would be my preferred choice. I love pistol cartridges in rifles for economy and range shooting. I think it is also OK for deer at reasonable ranges. I have a Marlin in .45LC that holds 10 rounds (can't do that we a .30-30) but it is like flying an airplane with a limited range of travel. Since you are talking the same model gun for both caliber that coolness factor evens out. I think, in the end, I would opt for the .44 - but it is YOUR rifle. I am so glad that we all have choices and don't all just shoot a .30-06 or something like that. Makes the whole shooting and hunting thing a lot more interesting.
     
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