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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

About a year ago I picked up a 336-RC in 30-30, didn't want or need one, but the pawnshop owner knew I had Marlinitis, and it was just a matter of time. He was patient, and I finally brought it home for a song. From what I can tell it was a closet queen, shot little if at all. I'm a huge 35 Remington fan, so I just put this one away for awhile. Eventually I started to shoot it once in awhile, and started playing with handloads. My 13-year old son took to it right away, and I could never figure out why. No checkering, nice wood but plain, hard rubber buttplate.

After several months of toying with it, I found a few handloads that would go under 3/4" at 50 yards for five shots, and I started to warm up to it a little more. Then a co-worker gave me an old box of Rem 150-grain Core-Lokt's, and I decided to see if the gun liked them. It pains me to say it, but those cheapo factory loads blew my handloads away, three-shot groups were ALL under a half-inch, some were close to one-holers.

But the trigger was horrid for a Marlin, long, gritty, and way too heavy. How I shot good groups with that awful trigger is a mystery. Well, I got it out today, after working on a few other guns, and tore it down and stoned the sear notch. It smoothed right up, and I took a coil off the hammer spring. Now the trigger is half the weight it was before, around 5 pounds, and slick, no creep at all.

I think this gun is going to get shot a lot this year, and my son will be delighted when he tries the trigger. I had assumed it was a mid 80's gun, no CBS, but I got a wild hair and looked up the serial number today. It's a 1964 RC, 99% condition, and the slender forearm feels like an old friend. For a gun I never thought I wanted or needed, it's quickly becoming a favorite! Anyone else got an ugly duckling that became a swan?

Papajohn
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

Once you start shooting them its real addictive.
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

My '67 Glenfield 30-30 quickly became one of my top three favorite rifles.
At 50 yards with open sights it will stack bullets if I am having a good day. When you figure in the handling qualities it is probably the most deady rifle I own. And I am a man with alot of rifles..... :D
 
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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

At the moment I have ten 30-30's ; 8 Marlins , a Savage and a Winchester. Seven years ago the only 30-30 we had was the Winchester 1894 take down that was built in 1905. They get shot quite a bit and even hunt with a couple of them .
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

At the moment I have ten 30-30's ; 8 Marlins , a Savage and a Winchester. Seven years ago the only 30-30 we had was the Winchester 1894 take down that was built in 1905. They get shot quite a bit and even hunt with a couple of them .
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6pt,
Do you have a bolt gun in 30-30? I almost bought a Rem 788 in the chambering one time. Always wondered what the performance of that round would be like in a bolt rifle , especially with spire point bullets.
spurgon
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

Over the years, I've seen several bolt guns in 30-30, mostly the Savage/Steven models. (Model 340 I believe.) I've always wanted one to play around with pointed bullets and to see what it would do but the ones I've seen have been in very poor condition. They looked heavily used and abused by the owners. I guess that means they were pretty tough rifles and used quite a bit. If I find a good one sometime, I'll probably pick one up.

One day toying around with my 30-30 CB, I loaded some Sierra 168 Match Kings into 30-30 cases with RL-15 powder. I had to single load them because they were so long. They shot pretty well, but not much better than standard 170 RN stuff. I didn't try them at long range but might have to do that again sometime.

Good shooting.
 
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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

spurgonmalinois said:
At the moment I have ten 30-30's ; 8 Marlins , a Savage and a Winchester. Seven years ago the only 30-30 we had was the Winchester 1894 take down that was built in 1905. They get shot quite a bit and even hunt with a couple of them .
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6pt,
Do you have a bolt gun in 30-30? I almost bought a Rem 788 in the chambering one time. Always wondered what the performance of that round would be like in a bolt rifle , especially with spire point bullets.
spurgon

No I don't have a 788 in 30-30 . Would like one but they have gotten a little pricey. Had a chance at a Model 54 winchester in 30-30 that was made in the 20's i believe . Friend of mine had it and wanted $800 , should have gotten it , but well you know how that goes. He is a winchester and colt collector , and if I remember correctly yhis one had two extra holes . Most of his other stuff is 95% or better.
 
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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

I read in "Rifle " mag about someone rebarreling a 788 to 30-30AI. Think it was in one of John Barsnes's articles. Anyway this 788 in AI was a tack driver.
All BS aside a 30-30 can be a very accurate cartridge. I have seen groups that I and others have shot with lever guns and cast bullets , that were way better then the average deer rifle will shoot with jacketed bullets.
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

I know what you mean - your experience is very similar to mine.

Years ago I bought a late 40's vintage 336 SC in 30-30 that had no checkering but was in 97% shape, nice bluing and wood and it had been shot very little if at all. The price was cheap and I bought it as a backup to my bolt action rifle. For many seasons it went unused, until one year in the middle of a hunt I was just plain tired to the weight and the awkward feel of the bolt gun, and picked up the Marlin. It was so light and handy! I took it in the field that daym and the next, and the next, and never looked back. That was several years ago, and I have taken quite a variety of game with this old Marlin, now my #1 choice for hunting of all rifles I own.

MadDog
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

I don't keep a lot of guns mostly because I don't have much money to tie up in them. And I sure don't have more than one particular type of gun. That is except for Marlin 336's. I have two of them. I think that says a lot.

My favorite of the two is a late 70's model without the crossbolt safety. It is all original and chambered for 30/30. I replaced the stock sights with Ashley ghost ring sights and I replaced the hammer spring with a Wolff lightened spring. I slicked up the action and cleaned her up real good and she now serves duty as my truck gun.

My other one is a newer model and it does have the crossbolt safety. I did some work on it also and have a 1-3x20 Weaver scope on it. I use it for deer hunting. It's chambered for 30/30 also.

The only reason I would get rid of one of these is if I can find a pre-safety 336 chambered for .35 Rem. Then I would sell my newer model and mount the scope on the .35.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

I've never been a collector, but I always thought I'd like to have one gun of each type, SA revolver, DA revolver, autopistol, bolt rifle, etc. I lucked into a good deal on my 35 Rem. 336C, and decided it was all I'd ever need. But Marlinitis is an insideous disease. Before I knew it I had an 1894SS, then a second 1894C, then the 30-30 mentioned above. Am I done? I tell myself I am, but I know better than to go into a pawnshop with my wallet! And I still have a hankering for an 1894CL in 218 Bee, but they're kinda pricey. If you had told me several years ago I'd find a way to justify having four Marlins, I'd have said you were wrong.

And yet the hardest part is picking which ones get to go to the range with me! :p
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

Well, I have three Winchester 94 Carbines ranging in date from 1911 to 1989. One Winchester rifle Canadian Centenial Commereative, two Winchester Model 64s, a 1938 deluxe and a 1951 standard model, one Marlin 336 with a straight stock and my pride and joy, a Winchester Model 54 with factory installed Redfield receiver sight. What can I say, I like the 30-30 round. It is my fun gun round and I shoot only cast bullets loaded to full power.
I did have a Winchester 94 NRA Commereative musket but the damn thing thougt it was a shotgun. So does the Canadian Centennial and I have a tang sight on that one. I have come to the opinion that Winchester makes their commemerative for looking at and not shooting. The Model 54 is kind of ratty looking with the wood finish about gone, the checkering is worn flat from years of use and maybe there is 50 percent of the original blueing left on the metal. But the bore is as shiny as a silver dime that some kid has rubbed mercury on and it is a tack driver from the word go. I've never run a jacketed bullet through that rifle since I bought it, but with the creepy two stage trigger and a cast bullet load (RCBS #30-180-FN and 28.0 gr. of W-748, bullet weighs 190 gr.) from the bench it is a consistant one inch shooter. (Bullet is oven treated and water quenched.) In the 56 years I've been hunting, I can only think of maybe two or three deer where I would have needed more gun.
Paul B.
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

PJ, Them old 30-30s can be addictive, my last bought 30-30 came from a pawn shop at $150 otd wasn't bad until I started finding things wrong with it, needed a few parts some bought some made. But a 1949 with no top holes and a pristine ballard bbl, it does shine with the cast bullets I have in mind to make it a shooter with. Dressed it up with a vintage Redfield peep made for a Winchester but modified to the marlin, it sports a one piece firing pin and a reduced hammer spring all good it has the second mainspring notch. The trigger now breaks at 24oz and no creep. Only draw back is it won't cycle upside down but I don't plan any hunts in the southern hemisphere ha ha, if I do I'll fix it.
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

The "plain Jane 30-30" is a favorite because it works.

The round is certainly more cabale then given credit for and versitile when load by a reloader with a little common sense.

I'm just amazed at the out of the box accuracy that my 336w has.

I put a 3x9 scope on it for small game hunting with my 110 grain sierra hp.
Hitting tree rats and rabbits between the eyes anywhere from 30 to 70 yards was a regular thing.
With open sights it gave honest 1" in groups at 50 yards with my deer load.
The only changes I will make is a shorter barrel and tube. Better sights and going to the scout scope.
Thought about the trigger but I've not yet been spoiled by tuned actions or triggers yet so thats still up for debate.
I think it obvious why most gun writter put it down is because if your average hunter who only wants or needs one deer rifle knew what he could do with "plain Jane' the industry would shrink up and die overnight.
In order to sell guns they need to tote the new caliber as be the magic do all pill it helps support the shooting industry and make things cheaper at my locale pawn shop. :D
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

Trails,

Can you tell us the details of your 110 HP load?
Do you consider this bullet to be safe in the tube? Or do you limit yourself to one in the chamber and one in the tube?

Bob A
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

Bob A said:
Trails,

Can you tell us the details of your 110 HP load?
Do you consider this bullet to be safe in the tube? Or do you limit yourself to one in the chamber and one in the tube?

Bob A
Sure its a cased trimmed 2.025 and OAL of 2.515 no crimp.
H335 39 grains CCI primer
Sierra 110gr Varmint
Only sign of pressure was a small amount of primer mushroom. Have shot over 60 of theses and they shoot very flat and acuurate.
Made me forget when blasting beer bottles at 256 lasered yards at the locale dump that I was shooting my 30-30 and not my 110 tacticle savage in 300 win. :twisted:
In answear to loading them I only do 1 in the chamber and one in the tube to be safe. They are a little pointy even with that HP.
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

So from the cast bullet shooters out there, what about a lighter just goofing around load?
Bestboss
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

I don't care for the 30-30, of course that is why there are 8 of them in the safe in various configurations back to an early 1893, 26" barrel and matching mag tube. (Take that one when you want to hunt for a week) Bestboss I just buy the least exspensive 30-30 that has decent brass so I can use it for reloading.
A word of caution, make sure you stay at least the minimum load of whatever you choose to avoid squibs, they have damaged more guns than anything else as you can shoot the next one not realizing the barrel is blocked. That said, unique will work well, it doesn't have to be tipped up to keep it by the primer to work.
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

papajohn: It's funny that you bring up this thread since something similar happened to me when I bought my first rifle. I was in college and saved to buy a Marlin 336 straight grip in 35 Rem.. I went to the local Gun dealer and all he had, new, was a 336 pistol grip in 30-30. I took it anyway and brother I've been glad I did ever since. That fool gun doesn't know it's not supposed to be more accurate than a bolt action, so I never had the heart to tell it. I made up handloads with the 170 gr Sierra bullet with 4064 powder. Imagine my surprise when one load grouped at .25" at 100 yards! Many people have not believed the accuracy of this gun and have had their benchrest guns beaten by it. The 30-30 cartridge, as it turns out, is inherently one of the most accurate cartridges extant. A Rem 788 with handloads will have no difficulty shooting 30-30 handloads 1/4" and under at 100 yards.
I believe that the inherent accuracy of the 30-30 is one of the main reasons why it has been overwhelmingly successful as a deer cartridge. The bullets are designed to give optimum expansion for deer hunting, which is a big factor for its success over the years, but its amazing accuracy is also a key factor. By the way, the only gun that I still own from so many years ago is this 336RC, all the rest from this era are gone. This particular 336 is the one gun I will never sell.
 

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"Plain Jane" 30-30 is becoming a Favorite somehow.

HK how many grains of 4064 do you use? I've been playing around with 3031
and just bought some 4064. I have sierra 170 grn flt nose and did some loads at 33.6 grains of 4064. I have not fired them yet, and am planning on going to the range later this week. Let me know what you are using.
 
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