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Thread: Actual hunting experiences with the 30-30.

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    Default Actual hunting experiences with the 30-30.

    Tell me bout your hunt use of 30-30.

    What did you keel with your 30-30?

    What kinda terminal performance?

    What kinda gun?

    Range?

    Limitations?

    Why you don't like it? or Vise Versa?

    Recommendations?

    You don't hafta tell how accurate your gun is. There seems to be so many that shoot 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards, it's depressing.

    I got 3 of'em, so what're they good for?

    Stuff like that.

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I've pole-axed a number of white-tailed deer as the third generation owner of a Marlin 30-30. All that took place in the big oak woods in E. Tennessee so range was limited to 100 yards or so and a bunch were killed at less than half that. That gun will shoot 6" groups on a good day but it's killed more deer than most people will ever see.

    I've not hunted with it in years now. My son toted it his first year hunting caribou and never got a shot in range. I've got a soft spot for it- I might poke a black bear over a bait one day if the mood strikes and the bear cooperates.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    I use my winchester model 94 with lyman peep sights for Sitka blacktail in southeast. Love the gun, perfect for the brush when most shots are under 50 yards and you know that none will be over 100. Never have needed a follow up shot with the 30-30. I use 150grain bullets. Really fun gun to hunt with and gets the job done well for close quarters.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Thompson Center Contender, 10" barrel and 150 grain factory loads. I have taken 3-4 whitetails from 20 yards to 100 with it. Always did well and am going back to it as my NY deer gun this fall. She will d 1moa at 100 yards if I do my part.

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  5. #5

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    I killed my first dozen or so deer with a 30-30 back in the late 50's and early 60's, all horseback hunts down on the border for mule deer and coues whitetail. Back in those days the border was pretty sketchy, and often I couldn't tell you whether I was in Mexico or the US. Glory days in big country for a kid and a broken down old horse. The 30-30 wasn't an ideal round for either species, but you hunted with what you could get your hands on. It was also what REAL cowboys used in those days, especially when you were a kid ambitious to grow up on that path. It taught me a whole lot about stalking game with little cover, as well as the importance of knowing the animals and their habits. All factory 170 grain loads, yellow box or green didn't matter.

    Bought a brand new pre-64 M70 in 270 and got serious about hunting, even as my folks made the big decision that I was NOT going to grow up cowboy and moved my skinny butt away from the border and into a big city. Good decision in retrospect, but hard on hunting ops, and I eventually parted with that great M70 in favor of gasoline for girl friends. Was reloading by then, but not for the 30-30, which had gone down the road to help pay for the M70.

    Didn't get back into hunting until I married young with one in the oven and no money. Hungry mouths to feed, I managed to borrow a 94 in 30-30. Owner had a reloading setup and let me use it to cut costs further. Ruined me for life on the 30-30. He hated jacketed bullets in the 30-30, and since he was providing me free cast bullets, he passed along the prejudice and it stuck. He had an old Ideal mold for 190 grain bullets, and until I got out of 7 years of college, all deer were taken with the 30-30 and those cast 190's (Lyman #2 alloy at around 1800, IIRC). Limit was 2 deer but with 2 kids by then and similarly starving friends, I "helped" fill a whole lot of other tags besides my own. I assume the statute of limitations is passed by now, but we also stretched the season quite a bit.

    Came to AK in 75 and picked up a 94 and Marlin in 30-30. Dinked around with jacketed bullets, but still didn't like them. Couldn't begin to find one of those 190 grain molds, so cast gas-check 170's and shot them a little faster (also Lyman #2 alloy). Dinked some deer with the combo, but the 30-30 kept falling further and further back in the rack as I shot lots of other rounds. A brief forray with the 30-30 in the Contender sent me off onto the 30 Herret. Only 94 I own now is a 25-35. Love the round, and dinked a few deer with it, and frankly prefer it to the 30-30 for deer. No reason for it, any more than there's a reason in the world I should prefer cast bullets over jacketed in the 30-30. Frankly I preferred the Marlin 30-30 over the M94 for accuracy and function. Seemed to hold up lots better in the cold and snow, as well as rain and mud.

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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    Excellent black bear gun for hunting over bait, wife killed her first few bears with it

    Sent from my SM-G920I using Tapatalk

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    Lots and lots of deer. A huge black bear. My son killed his first bull moose with a trapper model. Heck, I have even taken deer with my uncles model 94 in .25-35.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    SOTN, it's funny that you ask that. I have a Marlin 30AS that I used to hunt whitetails in MT with. I now hunt moose in a burned area where visibility is usually 30 yards or less so this past fall I decided to take the iron sight 30-30 over my scoped rifle to hunt with. I knew I was somewhat under-gunned but figured if the right opportunity came along (very close range, broadside), the 30-30 would be plenty lethal against a bull moose.

    This past fall while waiting for a 25" bull to come out of the willows, I heard a bull smacking its rack against a birch tree about a 1/4 mile away. After a bit, I realized that bull was coming my way. Eventually, he came near to me, stepped out from the willows, walked across the birch shrubs and stepped into my shooting lane. I shot him in the vitals (at 17 yards) and he fell over like he'd been hit by a train. I jumped up to finish the job and he rolled back up and turned around to go back to where he had come from. I put another round into his lungs and he stumbled a bit but trotted off.

    I put 4 more shots into him (1 lung, 2 shoulders, 1 neck) as he ran off (yes, I was in a hurry). He swam across an oxbow, reached the willows on the other side, and walked in. I waited almost an hour for him to fall over but he just stood there. As darkness fell, I eased out of there and back to the vehicle. I went in the next morning and found him in the thick willows, laying there but still alive. I finished him off with a shot to the head. I recovered 4 of the bullets and they all mushroomed and held together perfectly. The other 2 were pass through shots in the lungs. I am now in the market for a 45-70.

  9. #9

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    I have had a thoity thoity in one form or another most of my life. We bought our first house in 1978 and I sold my good guns so as to have a down payment. I had a Savage 340 in 222, an H&R 12 GA once shooter, a 514 Remington 22 and model 94 in 30-30 left to hunt with. I killed a little buck and a big doe in Northern Missouri with the 30-30 that fall. They died as quickly as any deer that I have ever killed. I used Remington 150 grain Core Lokts. I traded that gun for a Marlin 1894 in 44mag and thought I was moving up in the world as a result of that trade. I know better now.

    The only 30-30 in my stable now is an early H&R Handi-Rifle. I have declined offers from folk who want to buy it enough times that I reckon I'll just keep the old thing till I become a turd in the woods. Some folk look down on the Handi-Rifles as if they are better than nothing but just barely. Heck I would hunt anything in the lower 48 with my once banger in 30-30 and not give it a second thought. I'm even crazy enough to admire it whilst we waited on the critters to show.

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    I have an H&R 30/30 too. 18" barrel from a Survivor model and put a regular stock on it. I just loaded up some 150 grain loads for it but have not tried them yet. I think it is going to make a great treestand gun on my property whereas 70 yards is going to be a long shot and 20 the norm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rilasp12 View Post
    SOTN, it's funny that you ask that. I have a Marlin 30AS that I used to hunt whitetails in MT with. I now hunt moose in a burned area where visibility is usually 30 yards or less so this past fall I decided to take the iron sight 30-30 over my scoped rifle to hunt with. I knew I was somewhat under-gunned but figured if the right opportunity came along (very close range, broadside), the 30-30 would be plenty lethal against a bull moose.

    This past fall while waiting for a 25" bull to come out of the willows, I heard a bull smacking its rack against a birch tree about a 1/4 mile away. After a bit, I realized that bull was coming my way. Eventually, he came near to me, stepped out from the willows, walked across the birch shrubs and stepped into my shooting lane. I shot him in the vitals (at 17 yards) and he fell over like he'd been hit by a train. I jumped up to finish the job and he rolled back up and turned around to go back to where he had come from. I put another round into his lungs and he stumbled a bit but trotted off.

    I put 4 more shots into him (1 lung, 2 shoulders, 1 neck) as he ran off (yes, I was in a hurry). He swam across an oxbow, reached the willows on the other side, and walked in. I waited almost an hour for him to fall over but he just stood there. As darkness fell, I eased out of there and back to the vehicle. I went in the next morning and found him in the thick willows, laying there but still alive. I finished him off with a shot to the head. I recovered 4 of the bullets and they all mushroomed and held together perfectly. The other 2 were pass through shots in the lungs. I am now in the market for a 45-70.
    Pretty dismal terminal performance on Moose.

    Thanks for the report.

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    I have had a thoity thoity in one form or another most of my life. We bought our first house in 1978 and I sold my good guns so as to have a down payment. I had a Savage 340 in 222, an H&R 12 GA once shooter, a 514 Remington 22 and model 94 in 30-30 left to hunt with. I killed a little buck and a big doe in Northern Missouri with the 30-30 that fall. They died as quickly as any deer that I have ever killed. I used Remington 150 grain Core Lokts. I traded that gun for a Marlin 1894 in 44mag and thought I was moving up in the world as a result of that trade. I know better now.

    The only 30-30 in my stable now is an early H&R Handi-Rifle. I have declined offers from folk who want to buy it enough times that I reckon I'll just keep the old thing till I become a turd in the woods. Some folk look down on the Handi-Rifles as if they are better than nothing but just barely. Heck I would hunt anything in the lower 48 with my once banger in 30-30 and not give it a second thought. I'm even crazy enough to admire it whilst we waited on the critters to show.
    My first thutty-thutty was a Marlin 336 T from the BX when I was a young troop at Elmendorf.

    I knew next to nothing about guns and cartridges, but everyone has heard of 30-30. I wanted a rifle and I just couldn't resist that LA.

    It wasn't long before I got a Rem 700 280 Rem. The 336 was sold a few years later, because I was seldom able to shoot it accurately. AND, it was poorly/cheaply made, as were many guns in the early 60s.

    I spose, I don't have a good reason for liking the 30 30, cept maybe the neck is is long, making it a natural for cast bullets. And the rifles I have chambered for it.

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    My first thutty-thutty was a Marlin 336 T from the BX when I was a young troop at Elmendorf.

    I knew next to nothing about guns and cartridges, but everyone has heard of 30-30. I wanted a rifle and I just couldn't resist that LA.

    It wasn't long before I got a Rem 700 280 Rem. The 336 was sold a few years later, because I was seldom able to shoot it accurately. AND, it was poorly/cheaply made, as were many guns in the early 60s.

    I spose, I don't have a good reason for liking the 30 30, cept maybe the neck is is long, making it a natural for cast bullets. And the rifles I have chambered for it.

    SOTN

    I've always liked the idea of a 30-30...even if it's not the most ideal gun for Alaska (blame all those John Wayne movies). Dad has an old Marlin .35 Rem in the safe that used to have a matching 30-30 when I was a youngster. Always wanted to track down the matching 30-30 and reunite the set.
    Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

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    I appreciate having access to so many gun knowledgeable people here on the Forum.

    I've shot my thutty-thuttys a lot, but not beyond 100 yards, and mostly at 25 or 50. And never at a game animal, discounting that snowshoe Wabbit I shot in the head at close range.

    I have turned down one shot at a whatchaboo because of the range. I should have been packin the 280. I hunt with my scoped rifles, as I don't wanna waste an opportunity, as they are few and far between.

    I often pack a 30 30 for Bear Protection when not hunting. I know it isn't a powerhouse, but , rightly, or wrongly, I've preferred it to a 357 or 44 handgun. OR, a heavier rifle.

    Is the 30 30 enough gun for that purpose? I dunno.

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I often pack a 30 30 for Bear Protection when not hunting. I know it isn't a powerhouse, but , rightly, or wrongly, I've preferred it to a 357 or 44 handgun. OR, a heavier rifle.

    Is the 30 30 enough gun for that purpose? I dunno.
    It's a whole lot more gun that those pistollas. And a guy's a lot more likely to hit with it often and fast, compared to a handgun. I'd take a 30-30 over a handgun any day if it wasn't so danged long.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    It's a whole lot more gun that those pistollas. And a guy's a lot more likely to hit with it often and fast, compared to a handgun. I'd take a 30-30 over a handgun any day if it wasn't so danged long.
    +1.... for sure.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    My 30-30 is a Win. Md 54, bolt action. I put a lot of mule deer on the table with that rifle when I was young. We bought Winchester ammo in our house. 150 grains. If I did my job and put a bullet in the right spot the 30-30 did its job. My Granddad passed his M70 in 270 to me when I was in high school. That pretty much ended my shooting the 54 at game.

    I've got a TC 14" barrel in 30-30 I'd like to start working with some day.

    Interesting notes on using the cast lead bullets. I might give that a try.

    My lever action (94) is a .32 WS. I didn't see much difference on game. Shooting the lever is always fun. Edit: for some reason the part of the family that passed that .32 on to me only used Remington ammo. I've still got a few of the old boxes of ammo. I feed it Speer or Horn. bullets in the 170 weight. I need to spend some more time with it at the reloading table and the range/field. I have a RCBS mold for it...another project "some day".

  18. #18

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    I had a spell cast on me once that caused me to think I needed to kill some coyotes with a 30-30 lever action. I shot some 110 grainers and even some of those 100 grain half jacket bullets. I hit 2700 FPS with one of those loads.

    I did kill a few of those dumb coyotes that run in a straight line right along side of the truck at 30 yards. I let several get away as well.

    Smitty knows how to strike up a conversation on this forum. Topics that are apt to provoke some thought. I had my H&R 30 by 30 out last night just to admire. How boring does ones life have to be in order for him to clean a gun that don't need cleaning and then fondle it and admire it. I give that old H&R more respect than I do the fancy over and under 20ga that parks next to it. I can't remember for certain but am guessing that I could buy 10 H&RS for what that O/U cost. Just not much of a shotgun guy, I reckon.

    I don't have much for 30-30 ammo these days. I do have all the ingredients so maybe next rainy day I will roll some of my own for the H&R.

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    BB and Hodge:

    That was my thinking, and my hope. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

    I shoot them mostly offhand. And pretty often, too.

    Like probably most folks, I've CONSIDERED a LA 45-70, then I think, "Smitty, ya got a 30 30 or 2, and you don't don't go around Lookin for a Big Bear to shoot. Not that I'm not the lookout for any that are looking for me.

    That's encouraging. People still respect the Ole Thutty-thutty.

    I sold a 30 30, one time ago, Winchester 94. The guy said he had one in the closet, but never used it, so he sold it. THEN his wife said "Where's my Gun"?

    Smitty of the North
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    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    I had a spell cast on me once that caused me to think I needed to kill some coyotes with a 30-30 lever action. I shot some 110 grainers and even some of those 100 grain half jacket bullets. I hit 2700 FPS with one of those loads.

    I did kill a few of those dumb coyotes that run in a straight line right along side of the truck at 30 yards. I let several get away as well.

    Smitty knows how to strike up a conversation on this forum. Topics that are apt to provoke some thought. I had my H&R 30 by 30 out last night just to admire. How boring does ones life have to be in order for him to clean a gun that don't need cleaning and then fondle it and admire it. I give that old H&R more respect than I do the fancy over and under 20ga that parks next to it. I can't remember for certain but am guessing that I could by 10 H&RS for what that O/U cost. Just not much of a shotgun guy, I reckon.

    I don't have much for 30-30 ammo these days. I do have all the ingredients so maybe next rainy day I will roll some of my own for the H&R.
    I remember hearing about that episode in your Coyote Campaign.

    I've even got a picture, but it doesn't want to attach to this post. That process only works once in awhile.

    If the truth came out, I suspect that looks have most to do with whuch guns we buy.

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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