need another opinon on marlin 30-30

Discussion in 'Rifle Talk' started by marlin123, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. marlin123

    marlin123 Guest

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    hello, everyone im thinking about getting a marlin 30-30 4 deer hunting this season im hunting in thick trees and brush and i dont know alot about the gun but ive heard good things so just send me a private messege or just write a reply and let me know your opion. :D
     
  2. wwb

    wwb Super Member

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    A .30-30 has all the oomph you need out to about 150 yards... especially on them little puppy dogs you've got down in Texas.

    If you're a decent shot with open sights, it's good as far as you can keep all your shots in a 6" circle. With a low power scope, like a fixed 2.5X or a 1.5-4.5X variable, sighted in 1 inch high at 100 yards, it's point & shoot to 125 yards, and hold a couple inches high at 150.

    For open sights, I actually prefer the Winchester 94... its carrying & mounting characteristics are a little better than the Marlin. If you're going to scope it, it's not a contest - get the Marlin.

    Either rifle will serve you well, as long as you don't try to shoot a deer over in the next 40.
     

  3. moontroll

    moontroll Guest

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    I like the 44 magnum for 100 yards or less.I personaly dont like the 30-30,for over the 100 yard distance the .32 or 35 rem would be my choice.The marlins are nice but so are the Winchesters,I prefer the pistol grip stock of the Marlin. http://www.marlinfirearms.com/ go look at them.
     
  4. mike .308

    mike .308 Well-Known Member

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    As far as lever actions go, Marlins are good guns. But a 30-30 is a very marginal cartridge.
     
  5. wired

    wired Guest

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    For the kind of hunting it sounds like you'll be doing, you've got an excellent one picked out. The .30-30 lever action has probably killed more deer in this country than any other cartridge/rifle combo. Both the Marlin and the Winchester are very popular. Pick whichever feels best. I'd agree with wwb on the sighting choices, though. Put a compact fixed-variable scope on a Marlin, and you've got almost the ideal brush gun for deer.
     
  6. vashooter

    vashooter Well-Known Member

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    Re: re: need another opinon on marlin 30-30

    Ha ha ha... I always find it funny when people knock the 30-30 as a "marginal" deer round. :roll: The 30-30 has taken more deer than probably any cartridge around. It is an IDEAL woods range cartridge- out to 200 yards (and now out to 275 with Hornady's new Leverevolution ammo); mild recoil, plenty of power at that range, and is chambered in perfect woods rifles- mainly wonderful Win. 94's and Marlin 336's. They are short, light, have fast repeat shots, and swing on game better than any other type.
    Will the 30-30 drop a buck in it's tracks at 300 yards? No, but if you tailor your hunting gun and caliber to the terrain you hunt, then you wouldn't be using a 30-30 for long shots.
    I would say that the 30-30 is getting towards the minimal end of the deer cartridge scale, but that doesn't mean it's marginal when used in the right context. Heck- look at the 44mag as a deer round- plenty of people use that to hunt with and it has even less power.
     
  7. luv2safari

    luv2safari Moderator

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    Within its limits, the 30-30 is fine as a deer round, but the 44 mag is folly IMO. I don't think any of the popular handgun cartridges are adaquate for deer. They just don't have the treminal energy necessary...its all on paper. Handguns are designed to be a last ditch self defense weapon; they still aren't heavy enough for big game hunting. The Contenders in rifle calibers are the exception.

    I know, many hunters use handguns with success, but they sure as heck never brag about the wounded ones that got away...same with those who shoot deer with punny little rifle calibers.

    I don't mean to sound confrontational here, but I've seen too many disasters happen when the hunter is under-gunned. With all the media hunter-haters around these days, we need to clean up our act in every way possible, even if it means giving up a marginal way to take the quary. There are many alternatives to marginal hunting weapons now, and we don't need to be adding to our image problems...all you Bambi Torturers! :evil:
     
  8. wired

    wired Guest

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    As has been said, the .30-30 is a great round for what you want. One other thing needs to be pointed out, though. Practice. Before you take this thing deer hunting, spend a lot of time on the range and shoot hundreds of rounds of ammo before going hunting with the rifle. Shoot at 8" paper plates at woods-type ranges from FIELD POSITIONS (not a bench rest). If you can't hit the paper plate with all your shots, don't shoot at a deer at that range from that position. Either get closer or practice more. Know what YOU can do with the rifle. It'll do its part if you do yours, that's one thing you don't have to worry about.
     
  9. hummer

    hummer Active Member

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    well, from experience, my dad lost 2 huge deer with his marlin
    hit both in the neck area, found one deer 2 days later, bullet broke in pieces,even the 170 gr load is"marginal" for deer.
    though handy to carry and accurate, its not my weapon of choice, i use and old 303 service rifle with a 3-9 power scope
    very good deer and even moose round, also i use a 25-06 handy rifle for deer and varmint,though it has a 120gr bullet
    is far more effective on deer. 30-30 to me would be a good
    rifle for shots under 75- 100 yards if your shot is placed right.
    also good for kids being small in stature.
    marlin rifles in larger cals are great however, i own a 444 marlin
    model 1895, tons of power and still will get out to 125 yrd
    with the new ammo from hornady, maybe even 200 yards is possible
     
  10. JPShelton

    JPShelton Well-Known Member

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    Re: re: need another opinon on marlin 30-30

    Well, from experience, albeit limited to 7 seasons......

    My dad wasn't in to small game hunting. The only hunting he did was deer hunting. So my first gun was a Marlin 336 in .30-30, which I received as a gift on my 11th birthday.

    I also got a set of RCBS reloading dies and about a thousand once-fired "Dominion" brand .30-30 cases. I grew up near the Sierra Bullets factory when they were still in Santa Fe Springs, CA, and my dad bought bullets there by the pound, including what has proven thus far to be a "lifetime supply" of 170 gr. .308 flat points for the .30-30. I never had any bullet break-up issues whatsoever with that projectile. I shot five deer with that rifle / bullet combo. Four were one-shot kills. The one that wasn't was my fault, as I put the first round too far back. The second was "on the money" and dropped the buck in it's tracks.

    I used this rifle in the San Bernardino Mountains in an area of radically different terrain types. One location that I liked to hunt was on a mountain that was virtually treeless. I sometimes had to wave good-bye at deer that I saw when I hunted with that 336, but I learned a lesson because of that. I learned that the deer that I didn't shoot wasn't the only one in the mountains. Can't shoot that one? No problem! I'll just find another one that I CAN shoot..........

    The 336 wasn't my choice. I used it those seasons that I did because it was all that I had. Once I turned 18 and could buy my own guns, I bought a bolt-action .30-'06 and never looked back.

    In my own use, the supposed advanatage of rapid second shot capability that lever guns have wasn't terribly useful to me, since the first shot normally got the job done and there was no need for a rapid second one.

    Nowadays, my "brush gun" is a Long Branch No.4 Mk1 Lee-Enfield that I paid about a hundered bucks for. it was imported by Century Arms of St. Albans, VT and they fitted the refinsihed barreled action to a Bishop sporting butt stock and fore-end. It is a more accurate rifle than my 336 was and is a more pleasant to shoot, because it weights more, has a stock that fits me well, and is a physically longer rifle, so the muzzle blast isn't so "in your face." It is a rifle that I enjoy shooting for the sake of shooting it, and I never felt that way about my 336. The "Enfield" is very easy to shoot off-hand and unrested because it "hangs" well and is heavy enough to reduce arc-of-movement issues. The .303 has more oooomph than the .30-30 but I don't think a deer shot at woods ranges would notice.

    They aren't my cup o' joe, those 336's, but if it were still the only "deer rifle" I owned, I expect that I'd still manage to fill my deer tag with it. I'd rather shoot just about anything else, but if the 336 floats your boat, then go for it!

    But before you do that, another gun you might want to consider is a Savage M-99. I had one of those for a few years -a takedown version in .25-35 that I used as a plinker and never hunted with, aside from a couple of coyotes and jackrabbits I killed with it. But in shooting it, I came to like the M-99 very much. If I ever buy another lever action rifle, it'll be a Savage M-99 in .300 Savage or .308. The only reason that I sold it was because a fellow who collects them saw me shooting it at the range one day and offered me three times the amount that I paid for it. Since I could just as easily plink with a .250-3000 as a .25-35, I sold the rifle with the intent of buying another 99 in a more common caliber.

    Savage hasn't made 99's for many years, so you'll be shooping used, but you'll wind up with a rifle that will do the close-quarters woods thing and also the longer range stuff that a lever action .30-30 can't do.

    -JP
     
  11. Wyo. Coyote Hunter

    Wyo. Coyote Hunter Super Member

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    Hello, in response to your question on the Marlin .30-30 as a deer rifle. Suppose we have used the 30-30 on a dozen head of deer sized game, a few coyotes and one mountain lion. Both the model 94's and the Marlins have been used. We have a 32 Special as well in 94. We have tried 2 or 3 '94's in .30-30 and 4 or 5 in the Marlin version. My choice would be the Marlin for the simple reason it can easily be scoped. While there may be a very few situations were open sights are better, I have found darn few times when a scope isn't the best sight. I just picked up a nice Marlin in 30-30 with a 24 in. half magazine from my cousin. I sold it to him ten years ago, and by chance he sold it back to me. It is my favorite rifle in this caliber. We have shot antelope to 150 yards with no problem. In country where one can see the game's reaction after taking a hit, we have noticed the old .30-30 seems to put game down more readily than the much loved 243's or 6mm's.
    Marlin just brought out a stainless steel laminated stocked version of the rifle I have. It looks great. That is the one I would spring for if I needed a new one and couldn't locate one of the older blued models. It also comes in .45-70. May have to get one of those.!!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. vashooter

    vashooter Well-Known Member

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    Re: re: need another opinon on marlin 30-30

    Well, I have to point out that a neck shot isn't a good shot to be taking on a deer. :roll: If you don't hit the spinal cord the deer will take off and go for a good distance. An ethical (and smart) hunter wil ALWAYS try his or her best to place a bullet in the vital area (heart/lungs) for a quick, humane kill.

    So either your dad was taking bad shots, or he was a bad shot. Either way- a different caliber wouldn't have helped much- those two deer would have been lost regardless.
     
  13. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Wired made a good point about shooting in general,while he pointed to the 30/30 all gun owners and shooters could use his advice,re-read Wireds advice.Great information to put in use.Drop-Shot
     
  14. hummer

    hummer Active Member

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    well , no disrespect, but my dad has probably hunted longer than some have been living, he has never lost a deer,using his 308 or 303 rifle. nor has he ever shot one on heart or lungs, ive shot most deer in head or neck area with excellent 1 shot kills
    my weapon of choice is a 303 british enfield with my 215 grain handloads, power levels of this cartridge in my p14 bsa rifle exceed 30-06 levels,and on the heels of the 300h&h magnum.
    my dad has always taken a head or neck shot, the 30-30 is in many canadian hunter opinion "a pop gun" great up to 75 yards
    not much more to us, cant give them away here, my dad sold his for 200$ to get rid of it, anyone around this area who takes a shot in the lungs or heart area is looked down upon, im not saying we are snipers but if you take your time and have faith in your weapon, a clean kill can be made easily in the neck .I f i was goin with a lever gun, id use the 45-70 or 444 marlin for more effective performance at moderate ranges.
    for long range performance in a lever gun, try the browning 81 rifle in 7mm magnum, if you really want long range
    "I f i was a deer would i rather have a broken neck when i am killed, or a hole through one of my 2 lungs and suffer"???
    what would you think??
     
  15. wired

    wired Guest

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    Re: re: need another opinon on marlin 30-30

    I'd think that having the broken neck would be a very lucky way to go if shot in the neck. With my luck, a guy who can barely hit the lungs would be shooting, miss my spine, and put me in a world of hurt to die an even more unpleasant death. I would prefer he/she didn't take the risk. I'd take the lung shot anyday.
     
  16. hodgeman

    hodgeman Guest

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    I've used a very old (probably 50's era) Marlin 30-30 with excellent success for a number of years. The gun and cartridge is nearly ideal for woods ranges with most shots occuring at less than 75 yards. As a kid I shot it with the factory open sights and now that I'm older with poorer eyesight I use a receiver sight. I find these sights to be plenty accurate at these ranges and more handy than a scope. IMHO a scope just ruins the look and balance of a lever gun and at the ranges and terrain you're talking about just isn't necessary. Although I hunt a much different area now, If I were to return to the E. TN. woods I'd have no qualms with my 30-30. On deer size game, the 30-30 has a hundred plus year track record of success as long as you keep your ranges sensible and your shooting sportsmanlike. To say the cartridge is marginal is simply inaccurate as long you keep it within its boundaries.
     
  17. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    When I jump-hunt deer,moose and elk in heavy wooded thickets and heavy wooded walk throughs I carry a 45/70 marlin but I hunt with folks that use the 30/30 and they have killed everything from deer to moose with no problems,including 1 black bear,not long shots mind you but folks that use the 30/30 don't feel undergunned at all.I have helped haul out parts of elk and moose that took all weekend from 1 shot each animal with a 170 gr federal softnose,I can only go by what I've seen and heard and so far at close distances the 30/30 has a great track record.Drop-Shot
     
  18. vashooter

    vashooter Well-Known Member

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    Re: re: need another opinon on marlin 30-30

    Don't know what to say really- I don't know any hunters who specifically go for head/neck shots on big game regularly. I've never read a book or an article either that promotes those shots as good, standard shots. Interesting thread thought all on its own...
    The 303 Brit is a good round, but it too has been the topic of a debate just like the 30/30; is it enough? Sure it is- the 303 Brit is a fine deer round - within it's capabilities and modest range. Don't know how you're handloading though- I've never seen a 303 Brit compared to the 300 H&H as being close to the same performance...
     
  19. wwb

    wwb Super Member

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    Re: re: need another opinon on marlin 30-30

    Okay, I've heard enough.

    If you're hotter than an '06, you're WAY past safe (and I don't know how you get there.... but that'll come later). A .303 British at the limit will give you about 2500 fps with a 180 grain bullet.... an '06 goes 2600+. And comparing it to the .300 H&H ???? Gimme a break.

    Powder equals power - it's that simple..... the case capacity of the .303 is such that many loads over 40 grains are compressed loads (depending on powder density) and the LARGEST powder charges are about 43 grains, for ANY powder. Compare this to the typical 55 - 59 grain powder charges for an '06, and it ain't hard to spot the bovine feces.
     
  20. jcwat

    jcwat Super Member

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    just adding my 2 cents. there is no better shot than a double lunger!!! i have taken 8 deer that way. the farthest one ever ran was approx 50 yrds. you could have traked the blood trail in a monsoon.