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Lever Action Tactical and Plinker

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by bad_dad_brad, Mar 5, 2003.

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  1. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Member

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    Given the potential in my State of Illinois, regarding the banning of so called assault rifles, I have been doing a bit of research in what might be the next most effective rifle that is politically correct and still can defend my house.

    Tomorrow I am going to buy a simple lever action Winchester 94 Ranger in .30-30. I checked out the Marlin equivalent the other day, and I liked the Win better. $309 bucks and if I have to store my AR-15 in Indiana, I think I will have a very effective CQB handy little rifle in the Ranger. It points well!

    I really like the way you can pop off a few shots, and reach in your pocket, and load a few more rounds quickly. I sometimes think the lever action rifle is a most effective and underrated rifle, a distinctively American design, and hey, it is a cowboy gun, and so it is P.C., even though it is as deadly a tool as any semi-auto centerfire.
     
  2. mashaffer

    mashaffer Member

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    I agree with your thinking but...

    I think I would opt for a Marlin or Rossi in .357mag. Just as effective within 100 yards and lighter more compact ammo. I also think that the ability to top off a live weapon is a great feature of the lever (in addition to the simple fact that they handle quite naturally to me).
     
  3. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Member

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    mashaffer,

    Appreciate your opinion, but I can't imagine the .357mag revolver round being more effective than a .30-30 shot from a 20 inch rifle barrel. I don't know about the Rossi, but the Marlin felt pretty heavy to me in comparison to the Winchester.

    Since I don't have any .357 revolvers, the familiar caliber is not an issue. I like the .30-30. It is accurate. It is powerful. It probably has taken more deer than any other round in 20th century history. I sort of consider the deer the same as a human in regards to weight of the animal.

    I am sticking with my purchase decision unless somebody comes up with a better arguement.
     
  4. Sam

    Sam Member

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    They will have a better hard time coming up with a better argument. That old 30WCF is a good round, the 94 a handy carbine. A winning combination and plenty effective too.
    I'll take the 30WCF over a pistol carbine any day.

    Sam
     
  5. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    The 94 in .30-30 calibre is an excellent choice.

    But you might also consider a good .303 Lee-Enfield. They're extremely rugged combat weapons. Ten round magazine, filled quickly with stripped clips. More range and power than a .,30-30, but heavier. And you could prolly get one for $150 dollars or less.

    Just a thought!
     
  6. Manny

    Manny Member

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    Sounds like a darn smart move in my book. 30-30 ammo available darn near anywhere ammo is sold, and is probobly more acceptable to non-gun folks than any other rifle. I'd probobly upgrade the sights to some sort of peep though.
    Manny
     
  7. Psssniper

    Psssniper Member

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    marlin 45-70cb
    a thing of beauty
    with a lot of firepower
     
  8. chaim

    chaim Member

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    I absolutely love my 30-30 Winchester 94. However, since you used the word "tactical" I'm thinking maybe another caliber may be better.

    For hunting 30-30 is an exceedingly good round. It is also fun at the range, though in that light a rifle it does "kick" a bit and it isn't cheap (though it is among the cheaper regular rifle ammo at about 50 cents a round).

    However, I'm guessing you're talking about defensive use given the use of the word "tactical". The 30-30, being a full powered rifle round, will have an overpenatration problem especially for indoor use.

    A .357mag lever rifle will be very good. Out of a 16-24" barrel it will be far more powerful than out of a 4-8" revolver. For home defense it won't be as likely to give you liability problems due to overpenatration, especially using .38s. Also, it will be far cheaper to practice with (either with .38s or magnums) and you can get in more practice if you use indoor ranges (most of which don't allow rifle rounds). Out of the barrel lengths the lever rifles come in you will have enough power to stop most animals that people may hunt in the Continental US.

    A .44mag rifle will be even more powerful and have all the same advantages (though it won't be as cheap to shoot).
     
  9. Slick

    Slick Member

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    I've been considering exactly this same thing, I'm glad to see so many positive responses.
    Why kind of accuracy can you expect at 100 yds from the lever action 30-30s?
    Slick
     
  10. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Marlin 336SS with Ashley(xo) front sight, ghost ring, scout mount and Leupold 2.5 scout scope in nickle finish with Leupold nickle finish lever release rings WHOOOOO DAADDDDYYYY. who needs 'assault rifles? 30-30 makes alot of sense being slightly better than an AK round, but the mag pistol rounds will work under 50 yds or so. Unless BIG game is the game, then 45-70 guide gun is the hot set up.:D
     
  11. Ed

    Ed Member

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    I love my mod 94. Get a Lyman Tang site for it. Improves sight radious greatly and helps you get better grouping, Plus it just looks cool. I'll have to sat that the 45-70 Guide gun is cool too, shot mine yesterday and Love it. But anyway, get the 30-30.
     
  12. six 4 sure

    six 4 sure Member

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    I too sould suggest adding a .357 lever-gun to your collection. They are cheaper to 50rds of 38 cost about the same as 20rds of 30-30. If you reload, this isn't as big of an issue.

    I have a Win 94 trapper in .357 and it's probably my favorite gun. Best of all with hot magnum loads, it hardly kicks at all.

    As far as accuracy of the 30-30 I once managed a 1" 3 shot group at 100 yards with iron sights. I still have the target somewhere. I hate to admit this, but I think there was more luck than skill involved with that group.

    Six
     
  13. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    I have shot both the Winchester 94 [brother's weapon] and several Marlins, and I happen to prefer the Marlin. That Chevy vs Ford vs Dodge thing, I suppose.

    I have been able to keep 3 shots in 2.25" at 100yds, although I suspect my Marlin Model 30A is capable of better than that. A shooting buddy once got 4 shots in 1.5", with one flyer that was just barely on the paper.

    So, in my experiences, the lever rifle is a good choice.
     
  14. DillHarris

    DillHarris Member

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    Great Choice!! You'll love it!!

    I love my model 94. It's an older model top ejection. I think the whole Marlin vs. Winchester debate could go on forever. With the 20" barrel I don't think (could be wrong) you can get the Marlin with a straight grip stock. I really like the way the straight grip stock shoulders and points, just seems natural to me. Of course some folks would say that about the semi-pistol grip of the marlin. I think it's about the "handiest" rifle out there. I'll second the "American Design". The 30-30 lever action hasn't stayed popular for close to 110 years with out having something to offer. I think it is the perfect balnce of power/low recoil in a light, utility rifle. Good move on your part.
     
  15. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Member

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    Well, I bought the Winchester 94 today. I will pick it up tomorrow! One day waiting period in Illinois for long guns. I bought some Winchester .30-30 ammo - 150 gr power points (a hunting round). It ain't cheap. I am going to have to find a good source for FMJ plinking ammo.

    She is plain, but somehow she is beautiful. I am very happy!
     
  16. Slingster

    Slingster Member

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    Jeff Cooper extolled the virtues of the lever action carbine as a home defense weapon in those jurisdictions that don't allow so-called "assault weapons" or are strict on handgun ownership.

    After a correspondent from NYC wrote him about his .30-30 M94 Trapper home defense gun, Jeff dubbed it the "Brooklyn Special," and in response to another correspondent he tagged the .44 Mag Trapper as the "Kansas City Special." Both had ghost ring rear sights, of course.

    Jeff has also promoted the .30-30 lever action with ghost ring sight as a less-threatening, more "politically correct" long arm for police (as opposed to the M-16 or AR-15), and had the Gunsite Gunsmithy offer the "Gunsite Police Rifle (GPR)" as a custom job.
     
  17. Sir Galahad

    Sir Galahad member

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    If you look through old police department photos in various books, you'll see that the Winchester 30-30 was a weapon they armed a lot of cops with. Not just in rural areas, but in cities as well. If I remember correctly, the 30-30 was issued to Alcatraz tower guards until they got M1 carbines. If cops after 1927 were REAL lucky, their departments bought a few Thompsons to supplement the shotguns and 30-30s. But the 30-30 was a "had to have" for most. A lot of "private" police forces (like coal and steel police in company towns and company police in western mining towns) used 30-30s to a great extent.

    Ya gotta love the 30-30. It's timeless. And the pistol caliber levers are great ideas still of value, also.
     
  18. twoblink

    twoblink Member

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    I'd go 357Mag if you have a revolver.. better logistics.
     
  19. KPersimmon

    KPersimmon Member

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    <<If you look through old police department photos in various books, you'll see that the Winchester 30-30 was a weapon they armed a lot of cops with. Not just in rural areas, but in cities as well. If I remember correctly, the 30-30 was issued to Alcatraz tower guards until they got M1 carbines. >>

    I don't know about Alcatraz nor the past use of .30-30's as police weapons, but my great-grandfather was a tower guard in a Texas prison for some years and carried a Winchester Model 1892 in .44-40. I recall that grandad stated that Model 92's were pretty common in prisons throughout the country because they were, at that time, rather cheap and could be counted on to "get the job done." His big beef was when the administration pushed a switch to the .351 caliber Model 1907 Winchester semi-auto, a gun that he said he "despised."

    Personally, I would agree with the others that one of the pistol calibers would be better-suited for home defense when used in a rifle/carbine such as originally mentioned in this post, but I can't speak for everyone. However I do know, from an ugly personal experience, what a modern-load .30-30 can do to the human body and believe strongly that the use of this particular cartridge would be dangerously reckless against an adversary in an urban environment.
     
  20. bedlamite

    bedlamite Member

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    I can't knock the 30-30, my 336C with a 2-7 Tasco WC does a consistent 1.5moa using handloads. But for urban settings, the pistol caliber would be preferable, I've got a 16" 94 Trapper in 44mag, and 9+1 rounds that have almost as much punch in that small of a package is real nice :D
     
  21. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Member

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    Well I picked up my new .30-30 Winchester 94 today. I am in love. After closer inspection, I am not sure it is the Ranger but perhaps the Traditional as the stock appears to be in walnut - mox nix as the action and barrel are the same.

    I just love the way the extraction puts a flat spin on the cartridge. That John Moses Browning. Another timeless design. This is a smart little rifle. Has a grip safety intergal to the lever, and that rebound half cock! Cool. The lever action might be old, but it isn't any less ingenius. The trigger is very good as well.

    I am impressed.

    FYI the .30-30 cartridge was the first smokeless powder sporting cartridge. The .30 is the caliber, the 30 is the number of grains of powder. The bullet nose is flat for obvious reasons. Duh, that tubular magazine thing!

    All about the .30-30:

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/30-30Win.htm

    I name all my long guns. In the tradition of the U.S. Marine Corp, I give them girl's names. My new 94 is named Wendy. It will be a pleasure to take her virginity.
     
  22. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    bad_dad_brad:

    Try to find some "cowboy" ammo for the 30-30 - lead flat nose with lower velocity, doesn't kick much and the "overpenetration" will be much less.

    Plus it is usually a couple bucks a box cheaper. PMC is one brand that makes it.

    It will hit at a different place (lower) than hunting rounds, so you have to sight accordingly.

    I would NEVER use full power 30-30 hunting loads for defense in an urban or suburban environment. You will shoot your bad guy plus about three more houses.

    There was a another long thread on this very topic recently.

    Congratulations on your Model 94! You will love it.
     
  23. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Member

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    TallPine,

    Thanks I will check into it.
     
  24. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

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    There is a lot of stuff being tossed around about the performance of .357 pistol ammo in a Carbine, and about "full power hunting" ammo in a .30/30 carbine. Most of it is innaccurate.

    Do a little home work, and then take one of each out hunting/shooting. Don't bet the farm on stuff you read on BBS, when you can do the research yourself.
     
  25. MolonLabe416

    MolonLabe416 Member

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    A good lever gun is an excellent choice for the scenario you described.
    I'd consider adding good ghost ring sights. Ashley Outdoors, Wild West Guns, and Jim Brockman all make excellent sights. All have a web presence.
    I'd also add a butt cuff. Other than that, if your trigger is good and she loads smooth, she should be good to go.
    Enjoy.
     
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