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Old 08-23-2012, 11:49 AM   #1
St.Regis
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30/30 Club

I just picked up a Marlin 30/30 lever action from the original owner. He didn't hunt much with it and the gun is pretty much in excellent condition. I think he purchased it in the early 1970s. No scope, just open sights with a ramp rear sight and a shrouded front sight. I don't plan to scope it.

I never have used a 30/30 before, but I'm looking forward to some deer hunts with it this season. The former owner gave me a great deal, so I have to bring him some venison!!

I don't know much about this gun or loads used for hunting and I know some folks on here are 30/30 fans. I've read mixed reviews about Leverevolution ammo. Some say 170 grain is the ticket, others say 150 grain is fine too. I might also have the opportunity to hunt bear this fall - is this gun adequate at moderate ranges? Best "all around" ammo for both bear and deer would be my preference.

I've read they are a 100 yd. gun, but the former owner says it's very accurate at 150 yd. range. I haven't sighted it in yet, so I really don't know.

Any advice from from 30/30 fans would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:52 PM   #2
Huginn og Muninn
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I applaud your decision not to scope this rifle. I would prefer a Williams FP receiver sight over the standard ramp sight, however as I find they provide a better sight picture and are quicker to use. If you haven't tried one, this would be the perfect rifle for it and the receiver sight would make 150 yards a more positive shot, depending on your eyes. The 30/30 is easily a 200 yard deer cartridge; more with the Hornady ammo you mentioned. You will be range limited on deer by the sights, not by the caliber.

I have my grandfather's 30/30 at the gunsmith as we speak receiving a new firing pin and look forward to using it on those bad weather days.
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:02 PM   #3
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I just got a model 94 Winchester in 30-30.I have yet to hunt with it yet but It is a much faster gun to get on target with the peep sights compared to my scoped savage bolt action. Also I like the fact of having a classic "Deer Rifle"
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:49 PM   #4
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Great caliber for deer hunting, 30/30 has more wallop then anyone might think. Brief little story. My first whitetail fell to my fathers trusty Marlin lever action which by the way he never used in my presence. Corner lot on my grandfathers property. Lot was used as a hay field at the time, on the edges of the field lay barbed wire fence which stretched a 1/4 mile east and a 1/4 mile west. There were a couple of rolling hills on one of the northeast edges with a few scattered crab apple trees mixed in. It was, I believe, if I am correct a day before Halloween which I remember distinctively. Because I always looked foward to hunting that time of year. I had seen active scrapes in a nearby pasture that I had to walk through to get to my sitting spot which I had been sitting in for the last 5 days. Every night I would see the same group of does come to those nearby crab apple trees I spoke of earlier. I sat in the north west edge on the ground in between some thorn bushes facing east low to the ground with that 30/30 in my lap. Just about dark every night those deer would pop over the barbed wire fence and forage in the field.
I would sit and watch with the eagerness a 17 year old boy would have deer hunting, hoping and waiting a buck would come out. I would never leave my spot until well after dark as not to alert the deer to my presence. Which must of worked because on the 6th evening something happened that seemed like the most rewarding and exciting day. There was a low pressure system that had brought a lingering fog in the late afternoon autum day. I call it a low pressure system now which may or may not be accurate but at the time was just a foggy late afternoon. Something felt different to me that afternoon, which I am sure every red blooded American deer hunter has felt at least once in his or her life. The feeling that this was the night. MY heart was pounding as I sat in the thorn bushes watching the crab apple patch. Taking a deep breath to calm myself I looked ahead and saw horns come over the fence, I managed to control myself for a second only to see another set of horns jump the fence into field. Now I was hyperventilating. While these two bucks were coming out I believe two does came out as well, can't be certain I was so worked up at seeing the two bucks I had all could do to remain calm. Trying my best to compose myself I immediately raised that old 30/30 on the first buck and BOOM the first shot wrang out. I missed and the deer scattered like all hell broke out. In my clumsy way I waited a brief second to see what I would do next. In my disbelief that first buck was still standing broad side sniffing the air while the rest of the pack was two countys over. I knelt down on one knee and fired again BOOM, still the buck stood facing broad side, only this time he moved further into open meadow. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, a third chance and this animal didn't even know I existed. So, once more I knelt down on one knee, put the 30/30 where I thought it should be and fired. I just about cried, I missed and thought to myself that was it, he will be long gone after this one but he just stood there like something had a hold of him. He continued to nose the wind with no apparent fear. Thinking to myself this has got to be my last shot. Final and last time I put the cross hairs on his neck like someone had guided me to do so and fired the shot. The deer @ 130 to 140 yards did a complete back flip when that slug hit him and lay dead where it landed. I must of yelled a big hooooray I think and threw my arm in the air. I was what every deer hunter ever was at the moment in time in my life and will never forget any of it. I became a deer hunter at the age of seventeen.

Yes, the 30/30 is a great rifle.
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Edb 46 er View Post
Great caliber for deer hunting, 30/30 has more wallop then anyone might think. Breif little story. My first whitetail fell to my fathers trusty Marlin lever action which by the way he never used in my presence. Corner lot on my grandfathers property. Lot was used as a hay field at the time, on the edges of the field lay barbed wire fence which stretched a 1/4 mile east and a 1/4 mile west. There were a couple of rolling hills on one of the northeast edges with a few scattered crab apple trees mixed in. It was, I believe, if I am correct a day before Halloween which I remember distinctively. Because I always looked foward to hunting that time of year. I had seen active scrapes in a nearby pasture that I had to walk through to get to my sitting spot which I had been sitting in for the last 5 days. Every night I would see the same group of does come to those nearby crab apple trees I spoke of earlier. I sat in the north west edge on the ground in between some thorn bushes facing east low to the ground with that 30/30 in my lap. Just about dark every night those deer would pop over the barbed wire fence and forage in the field.
I would sit and watch with the eagerness a 17 year old boy would have deer hunting, hoping and waiting a buck would come out. I would never leave my spot until well after dark as not to alert the deer to my presence. Which must of worked because on the 6th evening something happened that seemed like the most rewarding and exciting day. There was a low pressure system that had brought a lingering fog in the late afternoon autum day. I call it a low pressure system now which may or may not be accurate but at the time was just a foggy late afternoon. Something felt different to me that afternoon, which I am sure every red blooded American deer hunter has felt at least once in his or her life. The feeling that this was the night. MY heart was pounding as I sat in the thorn bushes watching the crab apple patch. Taking a deep breath to calm myself I looked ahead and saw horns come over the fence, I managed to control myself for a second only to see another set of horns jump the fence into field. Now I was hyperventilating. While these two bucks were coming out I believe two does came out as well, can't be certain I was so worked up at seeing the two bucks I had all could do to remain calm. Trying my best to compose myself I immediately raised that old 30/30 on the first buck and BOOM the first shot wrang out. I missed and the deer scattered like all hell broke out. In my clumsy way I waited a brief second to see what I would do next. In my disbelief that first buck was still standing broad side sniffing the air while the rest of the pack was two countys over. I knelt down on one knee and fired again BOOM, still the buck stood facing broad side, only this time he moved further into open meadow. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, a third chance and this animal didn't even know I existed. So, once more I knelt down on one knee, put the 30/30 where I thought it should be and fired. I just about cried, I missed and thought to myself that was it, he will be long gone after this one but he just stood there like something had a hold of him. He continued to nose the wind with no apparent fear. Thinking to myself this has got to be my last shot. Final and last time I put the cross hairs on his neck like someone had guided me to do so and fired the shot. The deer @ 130 to 140 yards did a complete back flip when that slug hit him and lay dead where it landed. I must of yelled a big hooooray I think and through my arm in the air. I was what every deer hunter ever was at the moment in time in my life and will never forget any of it. I became a deer hunter at the age of seventeen.

Yes, the 30/30 is a great rifle.
Great story! You were looking over the rear sight at those bucks weren't ya?
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Old 08-25-2012, 05:58 PM   #6
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I would go with Remington 170gr core lokt ammo.You would be covered for both Bear and deer and I have had great results with the ammo.You should practice with it in your rifle to see how it shoots for you.The 30-30 should be good for 150yds if you can hold it steady.
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:27 PM   #7
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Great story! You were looking over the rear sight at those bucks weren't ya?
What I do know for certain is that I was shaking with what deer hunters call, "Buck fever".
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:30 PM   #8
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Great rifle, I have a 35 rem in the marlin and a 30/30 in a win 94.
Like a few have said 170 gr and up are your best bet for deer and bear. I like the federal partition load and it has been used with great results. Rem Cor lokt is great stuff as well I use it in both the 35 and 30/30.

I would get a Williams FP receiver sight like someone else suggested they are awesome sights and much better than standard rear sight on the rifle.

I have also used the Hornady LE ammo and its very impressive especially out of my 35 rem.

Good luck hunting you have a great rifle there !!!

Bob
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:07 PM   #9
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Thats a great woods gun; light and easy to carry. I got rid of one just like it a few years ago and wish I hadn't. Had to move up in caliber I thought, which wasn't really necessary. Took several deer with it (Southern Zone) all one shot kills`, using plain old Remington Core-loct 150 grain and Winchester Power Point 150 grain ammo. Nice gun you have.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:37 AM   #10
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Big Spruce: Which gun (not caliber) do you think is better, the Marlin or the Winchester? I have an old Winchester 32 special and a Savage 300. Haven't used them much as both were inherited, one from my Grandfather -Father -me and the other from my brother. Just wondering how you think the Marlin stacks up against the Winchester. I suspect they are comparable, perhaps just a matter of preference?
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Old 09-06-2012, 12:53 PM   #11
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I carry a 1961 Win model 94 33-30 mounted with a Leopold when I have a chance to hunt up home.
At the risk of stirring the pot, I would never consider using that gun for a shot much over 110 yards except if I have a very solid brace for it. From a bench it shoots about a 4 inch group at 100 yards. Standing I can shoot an 8 inch group which considering the loose 4 inch group is not too bad. It is all over the place at 125 plus yards. The reason I carry this gun is it's light weight and great feel. I can shoulder it on a target faster and more consistently than any other gun I own. That said, it is not the most accurate.
The 30-30 has a short barrel and a 1/26 twist. It's just not going to set the world on fire for accuracy. Despite that it's still my favorite gun......

My shotgun (Ithaca model 87) shoots a a 1 inch group at 100 yards and can predictably reach out beyond 150 yards. But, it's as heavy as a log....not a gun for the daks.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by EagleCrag View Post
Big Spruce: Which gun (not caliber) do you think is better, the Marlin or the Winchester? I have an old Winchester 32 special and a Savage 300. Haven't used them much as both were inherited, one from my Grandfather -Father -me and the other from my brother. Just wondering how you think the Marlin stacks up against the Winchester. I suspect they are comparable, perhaps just a matter of preference?
Hey EagleCrag, sorry it took me so long to get back to this post. In my opinion the Marlin is the better gun. I think the action is of a better design. I love my 94, but the Marlin shoots better.

With all that said you are correct, its mostly a matter of preference.

You have two fine rifles, I wouldn't hesitate to use them. That 32 special is one fine round. as is that 300 savage. Both are under rated greatly. The 32 has a bigger bullet which I like. That 300 savage is an ideal rifle capable of a longer shot.

Add a Williams receiver sight to any Winchester or Marlin and its all preference after that !

Bob
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:38 PM   #13
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Lightbulb 30:30 Reborn

I don't own a 30:30 however I do reload bullets for a friend of mine. The new Hornady Leverevolution 160 Gr Bullet has brought the 30:30 of old, into the 21st century, on par with alot of other big game bullets. The bullets can be loaded to a volocity of 23-2400 FPS. The spitzer pointed bullet gives it a much better ballistic coefficiency for a much flatter trajectory out to 200-300 yards. This ammo is also available in factory loads from Hornady.
Almost all of the scope manufacturers make a "Leverevolution" reticle which has the elevation points/ bullet drop compinsating for 50-300 yards. All you have to do is zero the gun at 100 yards. The new bullets have a composit tip that is flexable which allows the bullets to be fired from a tube feed gun without the recoil setting off the rounds in line.
The 94 Win. ejects cases out the top, the 335 Mar. out the side, a serious consideration if you are contimplating a scope. Cabelas brand scope is $99.99. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:00 AM   #14
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People have split hairs over this for a long time. The Model 94's lever is hinged inside the receiver, has a flat bottom and is slightly slimmer than the Marlin 336. If you don't scope it, you have probably the most comfortable firearm for a one hand carry that is affordable to most of us. But the Marlin, again if you don't scope it, is right there too only your hand has to be slightly further forward to be in front of the external hinge for the lever and it is slightly larger, which makes for a more solid feel to some. The differences are subtle. The 94's design is more complicated internally and the 336 weighs a little more, but functionally both are excellent. The 336 was always more attractive to me, but I inherited an old 94 and hope to use it this season.

In 1982, the Winchester 94 was modified to the "angle eject" configuration, which allowed mounting a scope directly on the receiver and all model 94's since then have come from the factory drilled and tapped for a scope mount. For me, the beauty of both of these rifles is how they handle and shoot with iron sights.
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