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Thread: 30-30 deer rifle?



  1. #1
    Tenderfoot
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    30-30 deer rifle?

    Hello I was wondering if anyone could give me some unbiased opinions on the 30-30 caliber for deer hunting. I currently hunt with a marlin 1895 GS for 2 years now. I've only been hunting for 2 years and have taken 2 deer this year. Done a lot of damage to the meat and was considering a smaller caliber for deer. Is the 30-30 enough to take the biggest bucks? Or should I go with a 308 or 7mm. Reason why I'm considering a 30-30 is because I want another lever action, currently have 2. Thank Dan.
    1895 GS

  2. #2
    Site Contributor Contributing Member
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    Welcome from Goldthwaite, TX! I'd be very comfortable with my 30-30 out to about 150 yards with either 150 or 170 grain bullets. Are you gonna be using a scope or iron sights? I haven't had a chance to pull down on a deer with my 336, but I know it's capable if I stay in practice. Glad you're here. John
    gunrunner likes this.
    "Windage and elevation, Mrs Langdon. Always remember, windage and elevation!" John Wayne as John Henry Thomas in The Undefeated

  3. #3
    Marlin Marksman
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    My last whitetail was a 138lb doe taken on a dead run at 127 yards (by my rangefinder) with my 30-30 using Hornady Leverevolution 160 grain ammo. DRT! I couldn't have asked for more than that.
    "What ever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve." (Napoleon Hill)
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  4. #4
    Gun Wizard
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    the .30-30 has been making good clean kills on deer for over 100 years.
    practice, know the range limitations (typically 150 yd or less) and practice, you will do just fine
    Old 45-70 likes this.

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  5. #5
    Tenderfoot
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    I'm planning to put a scope on, I've been using peep sights from skinner sights on my marlin guide gun and my Henry golden boy. Both deer I took this year with my rifle were 100 yard shots, I've been wanting to gain a slight advantage with a scope and a smaller caliber for less damage.
    1895 GS

  6. #6
    Sidewinder
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    Dan: A 30-30 has likely taken more deer than any other rifle in history. If you are damaging too much meat, you need to study deer anatomy a little closer, A shot to the heart/lung area from the side will yield the backstraps,hams, tenderloins,and neck with no damaged meat. You MIGHT lose a couple ribs. The 30-30 will take the largest deer that ever walked; the old Alaska sourdoughs used 'em on Grizzles.
    Exactly how is a .308 a SMALLER caliber??

  7. #7
    Gun Wizard
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    Chevy!,a 30/30 will kill any deer that walks this earth!I personally have shot a pile of deer with mine as well as many others here.For that matter,there are not many critters in north america that the 30/30 has not taken.If you put the bullet where it belongs this rifle will show any deer his maker.Plus meat damage is minimal compared to the other calibers you mentioned.
    gunrunner likes this.
    - Fran-

    Better to be thought of as an idiot,than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!

  8. #8
    Tenderfoot
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    Bad bob, I was comparing the .308 with my current 45/70. I'm not doubting a 30-30 will kill, i do a lot of bow hunting and have taken many deer with a recurve, it's the stopping power I'm considering on a smaller caliber than the 45/70
    1895 GS

  9. #9
    Gunfighter
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    Welcome to MO. I would say that more whitetail deer have been killed with a 30 30 than any other caliber. Keep it under 200 yards and it will kill any buck that you can hit in the boiler room. I favor 170 gr. bullets, and keep most of my shot under 100 yards and it hasn't failed me yet.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin, Feb. 17, 1775

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  10. #10
    Marlin Marksman
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    I`ve taken deer with my 30-30. I`ll confess The longest shot was roughly 85 yards. Some folks out here in brush country still hunt Elk with them ,not as many as in the old days but still some do. And still some do fill there tags If an animal presents itself within the range of the 30-30 which I would say 150 yards with good bullet placement
    Cougarz likes this.

    30-30 : Helping bad fisherman eat since 1895


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