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Thread: 30-30 versus

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    Default 30-30 versus

    Ok, so I'm headed down to Florida on Thursday and I'm seriously considering going into my forbidden money and bringing back a Winchester Model 94 in 30-30 as a float hunt/moose/carry around the cabin type gun. The more I carry and shoot my Rossi 92 in 357, the more I want to go back to a 94 in 30-30. (I had one once, my first center fire gun. I regret selling it, although I sold it to a friend who gave it to his son, one of my Eagle Scouts from a troop I was Asst. Scoutmaster in. He killed his first deer with it and now won't part with it for me to buy it back-even at a profit-anyway, I digress).

    This desire to buy another 30-30 also comes out of an earlier thread discussing rebarreling my 92 to a 32-20, but I can't do that until I find a replacement for the 357 lever gun, which, until recently was planned to be a 44 magnum.

    Which brings up the title of the thread. 30-30 versus. I know the 30-30 isn't the heavy hitter that many folks here say you have to have for moose (i.e it's not a 338 etc.). What other calibers in a lever gun can I use on something as big as a moose out to 200 yrds? (That's assuming a 30-30 would do it-I consider 200 yrds to be the outer limit of any bullet from any lever gun, if, for no other reason than bullet design limitations in a tube magazine.) I quickly ruled out 45-70 solely on the basis that the ammo is cost prohibitive. To my knowledge, that leaves pistol ammo-44 and 454, unless you guys know something else. (And 454 ammo ain't exactly cheap.)

    Anyway, I focused this question on caliber rather than gun because I already know I'm buying a lever gun (most likely a Winchester or Rossi) but I'm unsure of on the 30-30 part. Is a 30-30 up to being used a short range brush gun on the game up here (sure, it'll kill white tails all day long-my grandfather carried one for 50 years), and it it better, up close, say for black bear etc, than the 44 I would have bought?

    Here is the quandary, I need to settle this int the next few days because, even if I don't buy in FL, and use gunbroker instead, I need to buy the ammo while I'm in FL. There was NO 30-30 ammo in Anchorage last week, but I can order online, have it shipped to my mom's home for next to nothing, and bring back 50 lbs as checked baggage. (I'm coming back with 50 lbs of something no matter what lol. Probably brig back some brass and projectiles, too.)

    So yeah-there you have it. Thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Here is the quandary, I need to settle this int the next few days because, even if I don't buy in FL, and use gunbroker instead, I need to buy the ammo while I'm in FL. There was NO 30-30 ammo in Anchorage last week, but I can order online, have it shipped to my mom's home for next to nothing, and bring back 50 lbs as checked baggage. (I'm coming back with 50 lbs of something no matter what lol. Probably brig back some brass and projectiles, too.)
    Or maybe not. Online folks are all zero stock, too. Even on projectiles etc. Guess I'm stuck with my 243.

  3. #3

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    I know you hit a snag with no ammo to be found, but was wondering why you did not mention Marlin? I have a 336 Marlin in 30-30 and it shoots fine. I bought this gun just because I did not have a lever gun. I took this gun home and bought a few boxes of ammo for it planning on just plinking with it from time to time. It shot so good I decided to take it hunting and now have dropped two deer where they stood with it. Neither of them took a step. It is not my go to gun when going on a hunt but is a fun gun that will get the job done within reasonable range. Also you used to see a lot of 35 Rem. in lever action rifles around. One of them would fill your needs if you could find ammo for it.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    357mag from a rifle ainít the same as 357mag from a handgun. Truthful 30-30 real world up close stopping power is about a dead even with your Rossi 357 when well loaded. Same thing happens when you chop down a 30-30, I had a 10Ē 30-30 contender that didnít kill as well as my 6-ĹĒ 357 Blackhawk. You get a slightly heavier bullet of larger caliber to almost the same velocity from a 20Ē 357mag rifle as a 20Ē 30-30 rifle. 30-30 has a range advantage but bear on the fight Iíd take the 357 from 20Ē of barrel.
     
    Well loaded 44mag or 45 Colt from a rifle are both quite a step up from 30-30 or 357 at close ranges. Again 30-30 is a bit better at say 150-200 yards but now mostly just due to bullet drop . .. . If you can hit it at range with the 44/45 it will die similarly but itís harder to judge their drop. I love 30-30, I cut my teeth with it too but up here Iíd rather have 44/45.
     
    By the way 45 Colt runs just fine in the 454s, just like 38 rund in a 357mag. 454 from a rifle is a bit under 45-70 power, itís par or above the 45-70 of old but todayís 47-70 ainít like old 45-70 anymore.
     
     
    There are other better lever calibers like 307/356 Winchester (308win with a semi rim for lever rifles) or 375 Winchester (smokeless version of 38-55) but ammo is going to be an even bigger issue than 45-70 for a non reloader. The best advice would be to invest in the reloading equipment or stick with 30-30/357/44/45/454 or 45-70. If you reload one is as cheap as another but if you donít obscure lever gun calibers can be unobtainum.
     
    Me, Iíd pick 94 in 30-30 and plan on having Jes re-bored it to 35-30. Thatís a common 30-30 wildcat with easy to find 30-30 brass (I have buckets of it) bored to .358Ē so you can use 357mag cast bullets as well as some of the 356/358win type bullets.
     
    But today itís a roll your own or pay through the nose proposition with 80% of the good stuff in lever guns.
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    You might consider the 32 special in the 94 if you come across one. Same-same (almost) as 30-30, but only 170 bullets avail.

    Edit: 200 yards is a bit further than I would take a shot at any animal with my 94 in 32 WS.

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    The 30/30 has probably killed more big game animals than any other caliber out there. If you hand load you can do better than factory ballistics. Most 30/30 ammo is loaded to lower pressures because of the amount of older/weaker firearms out there. It may not be a brown bear gun. But for all other applications if you know your limitations it will work just fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cast Iron View Post
    was wondering why you did not mention Marlin?[...]Also you used to see a lot of 35 Rem. in lever action rifles around. One of them would fill your needs if you could find ammo for it.
    I didn't mention Marlin because I have 3 other Winchesters. My Dad shot Winchesters. His three brothers shot Winchesters. My Dad's Dad shot Winchesters. HIS Dad shot Winchesters...Not to take anything away from Marlins. In the new gun market they're the only American made lever gun option out there, but we come from a Winchester family. As for 35 Remington-yeah I want to be able to find and afford ammo. My handloading is, at present, limited to using a friend's set-up, and I don't want to abuse that. He's already my only source of ammo for one of my guns.

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    Well, I never would have dreamed that a 357 would be on par with a 30-30. That surprises me to learn that. BTW, Andy (or another FFL holder) What is the current rule(s) on buying a long gun outside your state of residence? I recall, in the late 90's selling guns at a Sports Authority in Tampa, I could sell long guns to someone from out of state, but not handguns; is that still the rule?

    Edit: I have a C&R License. If I buy a pre-64 Winchester (older than 50 yrs old), can I just use that buy the gun out of state and not worry about the residency issue?

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    good luck on getting 50 lbs of ammo on a plane, as I am coming your way in July and from what I've seen on the Airlines web sites, 11lbs per person of ammo is the max in checked luggage only.

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    and my ammo slots are full.

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    I don't know about a .30-30 on moose. I have always used a .30-06 180 partition on them and recover the bullet on the off side just under the hide. Thats just what I what to see. I don't think a .30-30 has that kind of steam.
    I would go with Andys advice and go with a M92 clone in a hot loaded .45/454. With a hard cast [LBT] 325 gr bullet I would go against a cape buffalo with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Me, Iíd pick 94 in 30-30 and plan on having Jes re-bored it to 35-30. Thatís a common 30-30 wildcat with easy to find 30-30 brass (I have buckets of it) bored to .358Ē so you can use 357mag cast bullets as well as some of the 356/358win type bullets.
     
    good call Andy. I'm thoroughly pleased with both my Jes rebored rifles that you can send regular mail from Alaska. Very cheap fix for the little "deer bore". I personally view the model 94 as something you use and abuse. My original 30-30 used as a kid, has been passed down to my son, but made better for Alaska shooting 375 winchester.

    In my observations, I'd have to agree with Jesse that the strengthened big bore 94 wasn't necessary for the .375 winchester. It handles it just fine so long as you don't get "stupid" with your reloading. Most folks use reloader 7, I went with the slower 10x to control pressure in the old rifle. The 35-30 is a good one, but I like straight-walling that 30-30 brass for a 255 grain barnes original. This gives 1875 fps with 32 grains of reloader 10x. I would trust this cartridge for anything in Alaska, even bear protection. All that exposed lead in the tip, that heavy pure copper jacket, it really performs like a freight train on game, even beyond 100 yds. When my son made that 150 yd shot on is bull caribou, I should have expected such knockdown power from a rifle that has more energy than a 454 casull long barreled revolver at that range.

    That barnes original 255 grainer retained 87 percent of it's weight, it expanded to .74", and punched one inch diameter hole on the offside of the flesh, but still against the hide. The bullet was traveling all of 1600 fps at that extended range.

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    Your limitation is the distance. I am sure a 30/30 up close and personal will kill moose with a good stout bullet. That flat, slow bullet runs out of steam quick. You seem to be trying to find a gun based on ammo availability and cost instead of what you want it the gun to function for. An easy to shoot and carry lever gun that will shoot to 200 yards on a thick animal such as a moose leaves a few choices as I see it. 444, 45/70, 358, 338, 375 would be more like it. If you are going to stick to under 100 yards, then go with what ever.

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    just finished reading that moose hunting story where sidney huntington got a nice n close broadside shot on a bull moose with his 30-30. most guys just used a 30-30 for parts in the making of a "booze" distiller. I don't blaim em. Apparently, back in 1930, nobody ever heard of Jes reboring?

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    Default .30-30 In Alaska

    From what I understand the Win. 94 in .30-30 - or .30 WCF at the time - was popular with the gold miners coming up back in '98 - it was state of the art at the time: a small handy light weight high powered / high velocity lever gun. I'm sure a lot of moose, bears, and other critters fell to the .30-30 in the early days.

    A friend some years back told me he had one his grandfather had brough up when he came up way back then. Like all inherited gun stories I was skeptical but from the serial number is was actually made before 1898 so the story could be true.

    I picked up a 1894 short rifle in .30 WCF recently that was made in late 1895- early 1896 that prossibly came up for the gold rush. It looked like it had never had a spec of oil put on it yet it was rust free - it had obviously spent its life in a dry cold climate somewhere to stay in a rust free condtion for well over a 100 years.


    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    The 30/30 has probably killed more big game animals than any other caliber out there. If you hand load you can do better than factory ballistics. Most 30/30 ammo is loaded to lower pressures because of the amount of older/weaker firearms out there. It may not be a brown bear gun. But for all other applications if you know your limitations it will work just fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    You seem to be trying to find a gun based on ammo availability and cost instead of what you want it the gun to function for.
    Yeah I can see where it looks like that. What I was really looking at was "what I know." I had a Model 94 in 30-30 once before. However, you're right, ever the pragmatist, I would like to avoid buying something that ONLY shoots hand crafted "wildcat" ammo, and I know that, at the cost of 45/70 etc. ammo, I won't be buying much and will be shooting/practicing almost none at all, which is a bad combo.

    Also, what I was really looking at was the gun itself. I knew I wanted a lever gun, for all it's characteristics and attributes, and I knew I wanted a Winchester. 45/70 would require me to either a.) buy one of those Jap Winchesters (not very likely at all) b.)buy an original 1886 (cost prohibitive) or c.) buy a Marlin. (A straight handle/stock 1894-I don't like the curved pistol grip on a lever gun.)

    But that would still leave me with a gun that costs over $2 per shot. Even 454 is pretty spendy. I found 30-30 ammo last night for under $1 per round. Prices, for all calibers, are going up. Same for powder, projectiles, and brass. So I have to look at it from a sustainability point at well. How much less powder does a 30-30 require over a 45/70, 444 etc.?

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    FYI, 38-55 brass is avail allllll day long, everyday in bags of 500 brass:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/941...38-55-wcf-2125

    It is safe to use, as well as resized 30-30 or 375 win. I shot a group of 6 rounds using straline 38-55, resized 30-30, and 375 winchester brass. All bullets hit the same hole at 50 yds. I used the same 32 grains reloader 10x powder. Velocity didn't change much either, I was shooting over a chronograph.

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    Yup, 11 lbs is the TSA max for transporting ammo per person. 50 lbs may get you some attention in the airport.
    Quote Originally Posted by pacific23 View Post
    good luck on getting 50 lbs of ammo on a plane, as I am coming your way in July and from what I've seen on the Airlines web sites, 11lbs per person of ammo is the max in checked luggage only.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OKElkHunter View Post
    Yup, 11 lbs is the TSA max for transporting ammo per person. 50 lbs may get you some attention in the airport.
    That must be a new rule change, and I appreciate you guys pointing that out. The last time I flew AK Airlines (2 yrs ago), it was 50. Of late, I've been flying on United, and their limit is 11 (which, btw doesn't take much to max out), but I just thought that was the difference in the two companies' policies. Guess it was a system wide change. Still, there are two of us flying so that means 22 lbs. (Of course, I have 4 lbs of 22LR at my mom's house because I bought more than 11 lbs last time I was down lol)

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