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The 30-30 round?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by RobertFBurnett, Mar 10, 2008.

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  1. RobertFBurnett

    RobertFBurnett Member

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    Hi all, you've all been so very helpful in Rifle Country in other threads I just needed some help choosing between calibers.

    In a earlier post I was comparing a Marlin 45-70 lever to the pistol caliber models, and we pretty much settled on the pistol cals due to its not a dedicated hunting arm so the 45-70 ammo $$$ settled that. What I forgot to ask is whats a 30-30? The reason I ask is the Sporting Goods shop where I probably would be buying this rifle frequently has Marlin 30-30s on sale (If you live in So-Cal I bet you know the place) at the exact same price as the .44s and .357s. I have read on here that the 30-30 is a decent Deer Cartridge, but .44 Mag out of a rifle is too, so now I am a bit confused.

    So never one to pass up a possible deal whats the deal with the Marlin 30-30? Especially compared to his brother the Marlin .44M

    RFB
     
  2. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    My experience only; Your Mileage Will Vary.

    Pistol-cal rifles/carbines I limit to about 75 Yds. I have taken a white-tail deer a measured 176 Yds away with my .30-30. The Hornaday
    Lever-revolution ammo is supposed to extend this range, but I have not tested any.
     
  3. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The .30-30 (which the developer, Winchester called the .30 Winchester Central Fire or WCF) was the first sporting smokeless powder round. Winchester's competitors were caught on the wrong foot -- they had guns that could be chambered for the round, but didn't have their own smokeless powder cartridges. So they chambered their rifles for it, but called it the ".30-30" (since the case held about 30 grains of smokeless powder) to avoid putting "Winchester" on their rifles.

    The .30-30 will launch a 150 to 170 grain bullet (flat nosed, because it uses a tubular magazine, where the point of one bullet would rest on the primer of the next) at around 2000 to 2300 fps. Generally speaking, it is good for deer-sized game to about 150 yards, but that can be stretched to 200 if necessary.

    The Hornady company recently developed new ammunition for this cartridge -- the LeveRevolution rounds. These cartridges have a sharp but soft polymer tip, and better ballistic coefficients than the old flat-nosed bullets. They offer a significant improvement over conventional .30-30 ammunition.
     
  4. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    when she was hunting regularly (before the kids were born) my wife would take deer at 200 yards no trouble with her 30-30. i never figured out the trjaectory for long range shooting like she could with that rifle, i ended up with a 300 win mag. shoot MUCH flatter. anyway, i did shoot a couple of deer with the 30-30 before my wife ended up with it. it did a great job, much faster, more humane kill that the one i shot with my .357 magnum (pistol). light recoil, quick action, quick handleing, really not much bad to say about a 30-30. and ammo is pretty cheap. also. i also bought some of the hornady "levereveloution" ammo to try, havent done it yet (to cold up here in michigan) from the balistics, it should make a 300 yard gun out of it! i have not shot a pistol caliber rifle, but if it were me, and i was going to use it for HUNTING, i would buy the 30-30. if it would be a target gun, well almost anything kills paper, and a pistol cartridge shooting lever rifle would have a lot of appeal to me.
     
  5. jpsimms

    jpsimms Member

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    I have used marlin lever guns in .357 and 30-30 for mule deer, both are sufficient, but you will be more pleased with the 30-30 for hunting, as the range is more, although if it will see mostly target or plinking use, the .357 allows you to use the .38special round also, a bit cheaper than .357, so it makes it versitile ie. hunting or plinking, but in my opinion the 30-30 is a better round for a general use rifle/brush gun.
    hope that's helpful
     
  6. Z_Infidel

    Z_Infidel Member

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    As far as how the .30-30 compares to the pistol cartridges in a lever gun, you may have people claiming that there are loads that put the .357 Mag in .30-30 territory. However, in order for the .357 to approach the performance of the .30-30 both the gun and ammo will be more expensive. And while the .357 & .44 Magnums will be quite effective within their range, they lose energy faster than the .30-30. As mentioned above, the .30-30 with conventional ammo is a good 150 yard deer gun. The LeverEvolution ammo extends that range to 200+ yards. The magnum pistol cartridges won't get you there by any stretch.

    You can find quality .30-30 ammo for prices ranging from $9 to $25 (or more) for a box of 20 rounds depending on brand and where you buy it. You can usually find LeverEvolution ammo under $20.
     
  7. psalmsinger

    psalmsinger Member

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    .30-30

    I love my 30-30 rifles (Win 94 and Marlin 336). I have a tang-mounted peep on the 94 and, somewhere along the way, Ackley Improved the chamber. The 336 has a scope and unmodified chamber.

    The 30-30 round has never failed to drop a deer when I used it for that. The 94 is light enough to hike a bit with it and it shoulders fast. Follow-up shots, if ever needed, can be chambered without taking your eye from the front sight. (Assuming the standard issue lever-action with the 30-30.) Oddly, I never took the 336 into the wood.

    At the range, it is fun to shoot. It is challenging enough to keep you interested, powerful enough to keep your attention, yet light enough to keep you shooting.

    Recently, I picked up a BFR in 30-30. Of all the BFR's chamberings, this is the cartridge I thought was the coolest. While not the most powerful, I thought it would be quite useful from the shorter barrel. (I also have this thing for staying with one cartridge in my cabinet.) It also is not as punishing as, say, a 450 Marlin. I feel I could actually drop a deer with it, and the chrony and target seem to agree. Others at the range do not doubt that it can drop Godzilla. I keep walking out of my stockroom with BFR in one hand and AI reamer in the other, but I just can't seem to stop turning around and putting the reamer back, yet. The .30-30 seems to be 'nuff in there as is.

    I also reload the cartridge in both the standard and AI. Not a problem. The AI does seem to keep the brass around a bit longer and I can push a few hundred more ft/s from it.
     
  8. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    officially or unofficially, the 30 WCF is said to have dropped more deer and other critters in North America than any other caliber...


    Plus the fact that I think that dang near everyone in Texas growing up shot the 30 WCF as their first big centerfire rifle. :)


    D
     
  9. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    Ammo prices vary all over the place, geography, the store, makers and load. I took what I thought was an o.k. average of $1.00 for every 30-30 round and .35 cents for a .38 special.

    So... you buy the Marlin 1894c and happily plink away with those .35 cent .38 special cartridges and at the same time put away the .65 cents for every round you shoot (your savings). In just 615 rounds (just a bit over 12 boxes) you will have enough to buy a $400 Marlin 336 in 30-30. Your math may vary,,,,,:)
     
  10. RobertFBurnett

    RobertFBurnett Member

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    Furncliff, you have some very scary logic for a shooter. ;) I will remember your words everytime the sale paper comes out and I'm in deliberations for which Marlin to choose.
     
  11. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Furncliff has the right idea - although I, personally would forget the 38/357 and get a Marlin 39A lever-action .22 and that would really save you some money fast ... but if you just don't want two rifles - go with the 30/30. You can cut ammo cost for it a little bit by reloading but, Truth is, factory ammo for the 30/30 is usually of such high quality that reloading won't improve the performance.

    Good Luck !!!

    :cool:
     
  12. JustsayMo

    JustsayMo Member

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    If I could only have one ... it would probably be the 30-30 for the versatility. GOOD ammo is comparatively inexpensive. Each Fall Federal and Remington have Rebates and if you watch the sales you can get four boxes of very good ammo for ~$4 each. I can't reload it that cheap.

    If you do reload you load some excellent stuff for under $0.40 a round and if you use bulk bullets a little less than that -- not counting brass which I get all I want from guys that don't reload for free...

    Reloading also lets you create some very accurate subsonic loads using cast bullets. A little bit of Red Dot a cast bullet and you have a load that has the report and recoil of a 22. I shoot a lot of these loads in my Marlins. Inexpensive, accurate and fun.

    If you know YOUR limitations you can shoot a wide variety of critters too. With the reduced loads Grouse and other small game are fun and there will be something left to eat afterward. The Hornady site shows Moose taken cleanly with the 30-30... I have friends that have successfully used it on Bear and Elk too and everything on down...

    That being said I would dearly miss my 1894 in 45 Colt. I prefer to hunt with it and based on personal experience big and slow kills critters quicker than skinny bullets. I give up some range and low power loads aren't as accurate but other than that it's about equal.
     
  13. Joe the Redneck

    Joe the Redneck Member

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    "What's a 30-30?"

    Shudder!

    One step closer to the end of the world.
     
  14. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    If I understand your post correctly you stated that the 30-30 was on sale for the same price as the pistol caliber rifles. That seems odd because the pistol caliber Marlins usually sell for considerably more around here. Either would be fine and I own several 30-30's from Marlin and Winchester but you will be able to shoot the .357 or .44's cheaper and unless you are planning on hunting at ranges greater than 75 yards or so they will serve your needs
     
  15. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    The .44 Mag out of a levergun has similar ft. lbs. inside of 50 yards to the .30-30. But there are major ballistic differences. The .30-30 loadings are almost ALL tried and true hunting rounds, whether 150 or 170 grain. Just about anything you pull off the shelf is good for deer size game, though a partition 170 would be better for black bear or larger deer.

    The .44 mag, in contrast, is not generally loaded for rifles. Hornady custom has some heavy loads for leverguns but they're not easy to find. Much of the OTS stuff is going to be for personal defense out of a short gun, not hunting out of a long gun. So you're likely to need to handload for the game you're looking at. Plus there's a much wider range of loadings from high velocity bullets under 200 grains to enormous hardcast solids up to 320 grains and beyond.

    Simply put, the .30-30 is the one for someone who wants a tried and true, off the shelf hunting platform for 150 yard shots. It's an archaic cartridge design from the 1890's but deer haven't gotten any tougher.
     
  16. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Member

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    My .30-30 costs .50 cents per round to shoot factory, and less for reloading. Take up reloading, whichever caliber you get.

    But I'd grab one an 1894C in .357 before I'd get the .30-30 if the 1894 is on sale- you can always get a 336 for less than the 1894.

    Plus, lower recoil.
     
  17. Jeff F

    Jeff F Member

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    I think everyone should own at least one lever action 30-30. It's a damn nice shooting cartridge, pretty accurate and will get her done as it has for years.
     
  18. RobertFBurnett

    RobertFBurnett Member

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    LOL! Great, Now I'm the sign of the apocalypse! :evil:

    RFB

    P.S. here is the ad it says it ends today but they have it on sale twice a month, about a month ago Presidents day? They had them on for $379.
     
  19. Lovesbeer99

    Lovesbeer99 Member

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    Here's what I do. I shoot my 30-30 with 150gr factory loads but for plinking I load my 30-30 to 357 velocities.

    Oregon Trail 170gr cast flat nose
    7 grains unique powder (just like a 38+p or low power .357)
    These are cheap to reload, about .25 each. That's about 5.00 per box of 20


    It great for target practice and I'll bet you can still take small game with them, but I don't hunt, I just like to shoot.

    with the 30-30 you can load down, with the .357 you can't load up.

    Shoot safe - I do.
    Lovesbeer99
     
  20. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    I say go with a 357. I have one and it is the best all around rifle I own. Shoot cheap 38's for plinking, stoked up 110 grain 357 for varmints. Stoked up 158 or 180 for deer. I am curious to see how the new polymer tip stuff works out. I mean the 30-30 is a good hunting round but thats it. Its not a plinking round and inside 100 yards a deer won't know the difference. As far as price I dont know where you shop. Here 30-30 is 50 cents a round 38 is about half that. If you reload its a non issue.
     
  21. RobertFBurnett

    RobertFBurnett Member

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    Went to the store to check both of em out. One thing I noticed was the 30-30 having a slightly larger receiver felt a little better in my hand, not that it was radically different, just slightly.

    They both had zip ties holding the actions so I couldn't check that and the sights looked identical.
     
  22. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    If I could only have one...

    I would go with the .30-30. It is more versatile and a great round to boot. With all the magnum craziness of late it often gets overlooked, but it truely is one of the best rounds out there for close to medium shooting.

    There is just nothing like a good day in the field with a good levergun balanced in your hand. It is as American as apple pie and all shooters should have at least one .30-30.

    I have had some poor luck with my 1894 in .357 feeding certain rounds. I have had better luck with my .44. All of my .30-30's feed with no problem. A great round for SD is the Federal 125 HP in the .30-30. It really wallops things at close range.

    Either way you will probably be happy.

    Matt
     
  23. RobertFBurnett

    RobertFBurnett Member

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    I'm glad you brought up SD ECVMatt, while this gun would be like my 6th choice in my arsenal for HD, I always like to keep at least a box of the good stuff around in all the calibers I shoot just in case.

    Also while at Federal's website I also saw a 170gr round chambered in Nosler Partition, but I can't shoot that because its hard and pointy right?

    RFB
     
  24. Mauserguy

    Mauserguy Member

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    I recently bought one of those 30-30s at that store. Turners has the 336W on sale for the same price right now. Check that out. The difference between the 336A and the 336W is, as far as I am aware, the W has a bit nicer walnut stock.

    At any rate, the 336A that you looked at is a nice gun. A man should have a 30-30 in his closet, but I have thought about going back for the 357 for a fun plinker. Go with a 30-30 first, then reassess your gun goals.
    Mauserguy
     
  25. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    whats a 30-30? you wouldnt want to be trespassing at less than 200 yards and ask that question!
     
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