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A 30-30 will be just fine for any North American Game and then some and yes it will take Whitetail just fine shot 3 with mine last year anywhere from 20 yards to 130 + and all 3 fell where they stood DRT!!! No worries bro get you one and go hunting and feel confident a whitetail is gonna fall to it!!!!
 

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My first post here.....and I see this thread is a little dated but, I bought a new 336a in late summer of 2011. It came with a 3x9 mounted scope. I sighted it in using the Hornady 160 gr Leverevolution 30-30 ammo. The rifle came out of the box well made with no problems whatsoever and yes, it was made by Remington about 150 miles from where I live. The gun/scope combo shoot like a laser and I have taken my last 5 deer with it. My longest shot was 125+ yds. at a running doe. I placed the crosshairs at the base of the neck and it piled up instantly. I like the tradition of the lever gun and the gun/ammo combination are proving to be a winner. Previously, I used a Remington 1187 with slugs due to state hunting regs. When rifles were allowed in the county I hunt, I choose the Marlin in 30-30. Happy hunting!
 

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A 30/30 will work just fine.

If you are destroying meat try using a different bullet or a lower velocity. I assume that your 1895 is a 45/70. If so and you are using the lightweight 300gr hollowpoints try using a nice heavy lead bullet with a wide meplat. The will do the job and will not destroy as much meat.
 

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Or just shoot 'em in the lungs. Kills them. Destroys the lungs and a little rib meat. I'm not a fan of rib meat anyway.

Guy
That's for sure.

For the life of me, I can't understand why someone would feel they "need" a more powerful cartridge to hunt deer. "Want", sure, but "need", no.

A 30-30 bullet through the heart and lungs is invariably fatal, as in every time, and soon. The physiology of death in this setting is pretty simple: the deer has two collapsed lungs and a wide-open arterial system so every drop of blood pumped to the lungs gets dumped out into the chest cavity, gone forever from the circuit necessary to support life. No oxygenation and no circulation results in death as soon as the well runs dry, which takes longer in a deer than in a person, because the blood volume of a deer is larger. But 40 yards and a few minutes are the limits in most cases.

That's good enough for me.
 

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I was also wondering about how you ended up with massive damage using the 45-70 because I've always been impressed with how little damage it does. Well, might need to clarify that. It can do plenty of damage but I generally aim to miss the big bones like the shoulder or spine. You said you hit one in the spine and one in the shoulder and that would explain the massive damage. That big heavy bullet won't stop on any bone a deer has in it's body but will power through. This causes massive damage with ANY caliber capable of breaking the bones. The difference is that calibers like the 7mm mag, 300 mag, or even the good old 30.06 or 270 are going so fast that they cause a lot of damage even when they don't hit the big bones. It's been my experience that virtually all of the typical lever gun calibers are highly effective but cause very little bloodshot meat. My very first buck was hit in the spine while angling away and the 30-30 170 grain bullet took out at least a foot of spine and still exited the off side. Did quite a lot of damage really so it's not just bullet speed, it's bullet placement. If you went with a 30-30, a 32 special or a 35 Remington (probably my favorite but the 45-70 is a VERY close second) you will likely be very happy with the performance. I think I have a couple pic's of a typical entry and exit wound with the 35 somewhere. I'll see what I can find.
 
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Entry hole on a smallish buck. About 120lbs gutted. This is a 35 Remington with Hornady LE's. Shot was about 50-60 yards. Note placement. Centered in the vitals but didn't hit shoulder, shoulder blade or upper leg bone. Nothing but ribs.


Exit hole. That's NOT much damage at all in my opinion. I've seen deer shot with super fast "blow up" type calibers that had entry holes bigger than that. Funny thing is they acted about the same after the shot. This deer ran about 40 yards and piled up.


And lastly, a close up. The 35, 32 special, 30-30 an 45-70 have all given me similar holes if shot in the same general area. I like to think of those calibers as simply good "medium speed thumpers". In all honesty though, they barely qualify for the term "medium speed" but it's been my experience that they are tough to beat for puttin' the smack down on deer sized critters. After all, how many deer do you need to shoot through with one bullet? Also, look closely at this pic. The hole is actually smaller than you first think. A fair bit of what looks like hole at first is just a little blood that got trapped under the skin. I doubt that there is more than an inch and a half diameter area of lost meat here. Probably closer to an inch. To me, THAT sort of performance is about perfect on deer.



Oh, and the blood trail was good too.


Bonus feature: Recoil is mild enough even the kids can handle it. All of these pics are of my oldest son Emmett's second buck. I was really proud of him last year. He sat all by himself while I sat with his younger brother Jacob also pictured here and made a fine shot on this young buck. Even did it off hand because he dropped his shooting stick and still laid it in there perfect at 50-60 yards. Jacob hunts with a 30-30 but has yet to get a shot at a deer. Hopefully this year!


On a side note, Emmett and I have both spined deer with our 35's and I was shocked that while there were bone fragments scattered through the backstraps in the immediate area, there STILL was no bloodshot meat.
I just brushed the bone fragments off and trimmed a tiny bit of damage and the rest of the meat in the area was beautiful. No wonder everybody loves the 35 eh?
 

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Dave, some of the 300 gr JHP's are very explosive and cause tremendous damage. Way different from the slow expanding bullets.
 

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the 30-30 wouldn't still be popular like it is if it wasn't capable of taking deer sized animals. bonus-you can get 30-30 shells from kitchen draws to the local sporting goods store! even anti-gun people probably have 30-30 shells somewhere in their home.
 

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Everyone at our deer camp uses high speed calibers in bolt action rifle except my wife and me. We all take part dressing out deer by holding legs, etc so we all see the results of those cartridges in rib shots, or meatier locations. Shots taken at bad angles or poor shots happen but all those deer have been retrieved. The differences in meat shots are the much larger sections of bloodshot meat. The high speed rounds have caused entire shoulders to be tossed. The exact same shot with a 357 180SJHP caused loss in a tunnel less than half the diameter of a golf ball. A Rem 405SJSP was slightly larger. In contrast, a 45-70 325LE with a full frontal neck shot ruined a hefty length of neck roast.

The 357 at 1600fps shoulder shot was intended to be a rib shot. The 45-70 front neck shot was all the shooter was gonna get. The 405 round was at 1330fps with no signs of expansion. The 325LE was 2000fps with heavy expansion.

The lesson to me was speed kills but wastes meat. Expansion is useful but not necessary. An unexpanded 150gr 30-30 thru the heart/lungs does all the damage necessary.

As such, our hunting rounds are evolving toward wide meplat 170gr hardcast 30-30 rounds at about 1800-1900fps.
 

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Shot a few deer with 30-30 and the only problem I had was with the Hornady Custom Lite ammo. My son was using my rifle a couple of years back and I had it zeroed for this ammo so I hunted with it when he wasn't with me. I shot a nine point and went down within eyesight but no blood trail or exit wound. I chalked it up to the buck's size.

A month later I shot a doe solid at 30 yards but no blood trail. There was a lot of blood where I shot her but I never found that doe. I told my son after that to suck it up and shoot full power rounds.
 

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I used a 30-30 till my nephew borrowed it and got his 1st deer with it and it became his. You are fine with a 30wsf,
remember
A.shot placement is king
B. hunt to the correct distance 150-200 yrds. max
C. use good ammo try lever evolution.

Good luck Joel Lee
 
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ALL I use fer deer huntin. Well till I get a 444 anyway:flute:, then I'll have to try that once. I've never had to trail one or even have it go more than 10yrds. I take a neck shot if availible then I look fer vitals. Neck shot drops em dead and don't waste the meat I want, I don't like neck meat too many bones. I use the ribs as jercky meat right size and real tender all ya have to do is cut it out.
I'd love to hunt elk just once with it and I know I can kill one that way but I'd have to find a place the city hunters don't like you know thick brush have to walk in type place.
 

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haha it was the first word that came in my head when i read the question, is 30-30 lever action good for deer? It's like asking I'm looking to toast some bread for breakfast, should i get a toaster? :)
Had to borrow yer toaster quote I love that!!!!
 

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Dave, some of the 300 gr JHP's are very explosive and cause tremendous damage. Way different from the slow expanding bullets.
So true M700!

Learned my lesson when I first started hand loading for my .45-70. Determined at the range that the most accurate 300JHP load for my 1895GS was pushing the bullet at 2000fps. Hunting though... it proved to be a meat destroyer!! Shot a doe at 70 yds... DRT! Hit her a little too far forward in the right front shoulder. The bullet expended all its energy in the deer and didn't exit. It not only destroyed all the meat in that shoulder, it also created a nasty bruise that extended from the shoulder all the way up the neck to behind the right ear.:ahhhhh:


Since then, I've slowed the JHPs down to 1600fps. They're not as accurate or as flat shooting but they are much more forgiving in the meat destroying department.:biggrin:


Just my $.02
 

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the 3030 is an awesome caliber, ive killed two deer with it, one dropped like a sack of hammers and the other went about 20 yards before expiring. the one that ran jumped into the air like it was hit with thors hammer, and blood was everywhere, but hardly any meat damage, its probably my favorite gun!
 
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