30-30 rifle thoughts, reviews

dennishoddy

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There have been a zillion deer killed with the 30-30. It's a great round as long as the hunter recognizes its limitations. Typically it's fired through a lever action rifle and requires round nose bullets because of the tube fed magazine.
Hornady has came out with the soft ballistic tip bullets(leverevolution) that allow a much better bullet that flies better, faster and gives more range that is perfectly safe in tube type magazines.
Post pics of your rifle if you go that direction.
 

joepistol

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Rochester Hills, Mi
I've got a couple..Winchester 94 levers in 30-30.
Haven't personally hunted with it, but have read in more than 1 place, that there have been more deer killed with the 30-30 than any other firearm.
My 1st 30-30 was the 1st center fire rile I purchased, used, back in my San Diego days..(mid 70's-mid 80's) ( I think it was an early 80's mfrg.)
Guy who sold me the rifle included a couple boxes of factory ammo, a set of RCBS dies, some empty cases to load, a 1# can of 3031 powder, a couple boxes of Hornady 150 gr RN bullets, & I believe some other stuff. ( If you added the value of the "extras" h e just about gave me the rifle.)
I've fired maybe 100 rds. thru it in the 30-40 yrs I've owned it.
The 30-30 lever actions aren't benchrest rifles you'd shoot for groups, ( but I did have to try ) Still have to experiment with loads for best accuracy, but I know it'll shoot a softball sized group @ 100yds.. A baseball sized group @ 50yds, ( or smaller) which should be more than adequate for taking a deer

My 2nd rifle is an older model, (around 1910, best I can determine from serial # ) that has barrel marked " 30 W.C.F. "
because Marlin called their lever gun a 30-30 , & Winchester didn't want to put that on their rifle (until yrs. later)
This rifle was given to me by my aunt, before she passed. It was he father's ? or grandfather's ? " hunting rifle".
It has a half round barrel & cool forend front cap, & interesting butplate, like my muzzleloader.
Had my gunsmith test fire it, but I haven't fired it yet.

they're light, easy to handle, and shoot fairly accurately, which is why they have been so popular, for over 100 yrs.DSCN1918.JPGDSCN1919.JPGDSCN1921.JPG
 
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Mike A

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If you are a reloader. Why not consider the 7.62 X 39mm aka. M43 cartridge?
When the Ruger Mini 30 first came out I bought 2, & modified them for mountain Deer rifles.

Butler creek folding stocks made back carry simple & left our hands free to climb.
Iron sights set to 50 yards, used the factory 5 shot flush mag.
All together they are light weight, compact with plenty of short range power for Deer & Black bear.

The load was AA 1680 powder with a Sierra 135gr SSPB CCI large rifle Magnum primer.

I never owned a 30-30 Yet have read where the 30-30 & 7.62 X 39 both have similar power.



 

joepistol

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Rochester Hills, Mi
Funny that you should mention this.. as I also own an early model Ruger Mimi 30 Ranch model ( in SS) , bought it new shortly after moving back to MI.
Around the late 80's, to go with the SS Mini 14 I'd bought while in So. Calif. Unfortunately, this was before Ruger offered the Mini 14 in a Ranch model, so finding a scope mount was a problem..the mount I bought would always "shoot loose".

My Mini 30 suffered with the same issue my Mini 14 has.. a poor trigger. Excessive trigger pull, & not what you'd call smooth.
Found a local gem of a gunsmith (Doug Jones) and he did an excellent job of improving the trigger. Was able to shoot decent groups with it, but I
hated chasing after my brass & couldn't find a brass catcher to fit that rifle.

Years later, I tried a PSA 7.62 X39 upper, attached a scope, bipod, & brass catcher..= great rifle. Better accuracy than the Mini 30 ever shot.
Don't think I've shot the Mini 30 since.

I also use A/A 1680 and lately, Shooter's World Blackout with about equal results, using Hornady's .310" bullets.

I've put more rnds thru the Mini 30 & PSA 7.62 X39 AR than I've fired from my Win 30-30..cause they're more accurate...in fact that
PSA 7.62 X 39 upper, with a lower having a good trigger ( done by Doug) is one of my most accurate rifles.

This target is from my PSA 7.62 X 39 AR & a Combat Armory 223 AR upper, both shooting my handloads

 
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Mike A

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Funny that you should mention this.. as I also own an early model Ruger Mimi 30 Ranch model ( in SS) , bought it new shortly after moving back to MI.
Around the late 80's, to go with the SS Mini 14 I'd bought while in So. Calif. Unfortunately, this was before Ruger offered the Mini 14 in a Ranch model, so finding a scope mount was a problem..the mount I bought would always "shoot loose".

My Mini 30 suffered with the same issue my Mini 14 has.. a poor trigger. Excessive trigger pull, & not what you'd call smooth.
Found a local gem of a gunsmith (Doug Jones) and he did an excellent job of improving the trigger. Was able to shoot decent groups with it, but I
hated chasing after my brass & couldn't find a brass catcher to fit that rifle.

Years later, I tried a PSA 7.62 X39 upper, attached a scope, bipod, & brass catcher..= great rifle. Better accuracy than the Mini 30 ever shot.
Don't think I've shot the Mini 30 since.

I also use A/A 1680 and lately, Shooter's World Blackout with about equal results, using Hornady's .310" bullets.

I've put more rnds thru the Mini 30 & PSA 7.62 X39 AR than I've fired from my Win 30-30..cause they're more accurate...in fact that
PSA 7.62 X 39 upper, with a lower having a good trigger ( done by Doug) is one of my most accurate rifles.

This target is from my PSA 7.62 X 39 AR & a Combat Armory 223 AR upper, both shooting my handloads

Looks like another vote for the 7.62 X 39, no matter what brand launcher you use.
Triggers were not just like the M14, however I was able to get a good 4 lb. trigger without much creep in both minis.
 

dennishoddy

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I'm fortunate to have acquired two Marlin 336 lever rifles. Both JM stamped, one in 30-30 and the other in .44 magnum.
This was before lawyer triggers came about so both are as smooth as butter with a sub 3lb pull.
Don't have the paper to prove it, but the 30-30 at 50 yds is almost a cloverleaf. Haven't shot it at 100 yds yet as ammo, reloading components and dies have been almost non-existent for over two years that I've owned it, just recently getting some dies and powder to start reloading.
It came with one bullet and 19 brass cases. I got it when Father in Law passed away a couple years ago. I got him interested in deer hunting back in the mid 70's, so he bought this rifle and one box of shells. Mounted a redfield scope on it, fired it one time at a paper plate at 50 yds and hit the bull dead center. He killed 18 deer in 18 years with that rifle before deciding to stop hunting.
It sat in his closet until he passed. I'm going to kill a deer with that last live round next season to finish off that box in his memory.
I've taken 3 deer with the .44 mag using 240 grain Hornady SST reloads. It's very efficient in taking deer at under 75 yards. It's deadly past that but I put limitations on pistol caliber rounds so they can perform as designed. When the hunting rounds were ran across the chronograph, they ran just a tad over 1900fps from the rifle. The same round runs just under 1300 fps in the Ruger Super Redhawk.
That extra barrel length sure increases the velocity with the same load.
 

Bob Lee

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Jul 27, 2018
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I'm fortunate to have acquired two Marlin 336 lever rifles. Both JM stamped, one in 30-30 and the other in .44 magnum.
This was before lawyer triggers came about so both are as smooth as butter with a sub 3lb pull.
Don't have the paper to prove it, but the 30-30 at 50 yds is almost a cloverleaf. Haven't shot it at 100 yds yet as ammo, reloading components and dies have been almost non-existent for over two years that I've owned it, just recently getting some dies and powder to start reloading.
It came with one bullet and 19 brass cases. I got it when Father in Law passed away a couple years ago. I got him interested in deer hunting back in the mid 70's, so he bought this rifle and one box of shells. Mounted a redfield scope on it, fired it one time at a paper plate at 50 yds and hit the bull dead center. He killed 18 deer in 18 years with that rifle before deciding to stop hunting.
It sat in his closet until he passed. I'm going to kill a deer with that last live round next season to finish off that box in his memory.
I've taken 3 deer with the .44 mag using 240 grain Hornady SST reloads. It's very efficient in taking deer at under 75 yards. It's deadly past that but I put limitations on pistol caliber rounds so they can perform as designed. When the hunting rounds were ran across the chronograph, they ran just a tad over 1900fps from the rifle. The same round runs just under 1300 fps in the Ruger Super Redhawk.
That extra barrel length sure increases the velocity with the same load.
I find it very admirable that you want to kill a deer with the last round in the box in honor of your father in law. He must have been a great guy. :)
 

Bob Lee

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I've got a couple..Winchester 94 levers in 30-30.
Haven't personally hunted with it, but have read in more than 1 place, that there have been more deer killed with the 30-30 than any other firearm.
My 1st 30-30 was the 1st center fire rile I purchased, used, back in my San Diego days..(mid 70's-mid 80's) ( I think it was an early 80's mfrg.)
Guy who sold me the rifle included a couple boxes of factory ammo, a set of RCBS dies, some empty cases to load, a 1# can of 3031 powder, a couple boxes of Hornady 150 gr RN bullets, & I believe some other stuff. ( If you added the value of the "extras" h e just about gave me the rifle.)
I've fired maybe 100 rds. thru it in the 30-40 yrs I've owned it.
The 30-30 lever actions aren't benchrest rifles you'd shoot for groups, ( but I did have to try ) Still have to experiment with loads for best accuracy, but I know it'll shoot a softball sized group @ 100yds.. A baseball sized group @ 50yds, ( or smaller) which should be more than adequate for taking a deer

My 2nd rifle is an older model, (around 1910, best I can determine from serial # ) that has barrel marked " 30 W.C.F. "
because Marlin called their lever gun a 30-30 , & Winchester didn't want to put that on their rifle (until yrs. later)
This rifle was given to me by my aunt, before she passed. It was he father's ? or grandfather's ? " hunting rifle".
It has a half round barrel & cool forend front cap, & interesting butplate, like my muzzleloader.
Had my gunsmith test fire it, but I haven't fired it yet.

they're light, easy to handle, and shoot fairly accurately, which is why they have been so popular, for over 100 yrs.View attachment 30941View attachment 30942View attachment 30943
I love the old 30-30. It's beautiful!
 

barnetmill

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Nov 16, 2022
Messages
213
If you are a reloader. Why not consider the 7.62 X 39mm aka. M43 cartridge?
When the Ruger Mini 30 first came out I bought 2, & modified them for mountain Deer rifles.

Butler creek folding stocks made back carry simple & left our hands free to climb.
Iron sights set to 50 yards, used the factory 5 shot flush mag.
All together they are light weight, compact with plenty of short range power for Deer & Black bear.

The load was AA 1680 powder with a Sierra 135gr SSPB CCI large rifle Magnum primer.

I never owned a 30-30 Yet have read where the 30-30 & 7.62 X 39 both have similar power.



The 30-30 in '94 is a flat, compact rifle that for woods hunting will do well for deer. Some '94s can benefit from accurizing. Do not put excessive pressure on the forearm when shooting.
there are modifications to be made to the follower to speed up reloading. Do not dry fire a '94 winchester.
The older 336 JM Marlin rifles were generally more accurate than the '94 winchesters.
 
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