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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been trying to find a deal on a .30-30 lever action with a short mag tube for a couple of years. I wanted one to suppress but I didn't want to mess with shortening the mag tube. I finally snagged one for $350 yesterday, a Marlin 30TK. Apparently it was a version of their Texas carbine made for Kmart in 1989-1990. I feel a little bad about messing with it since it's in really good shape and they seem to be a bit of a collector's item but I'm not going to sell it anyway.


My plan is to have it threaded and mount a Silencerco Trifecta flash hider for my Saker 762 MAAD mount. I know other people have suppressed .30-30s so I'm wondering if there are any tips or things to consider. For instance, the barrel is 18-1/2". Should I consider having it cut shorter (I don't want it short enough to SBR though) before threading? I don't know anything about the ballistics of the round and if losing a few inches would greatly affect its performance.


Any shared experience would be appreciated.


For some reason this photo will not post within the thread but here is a link to one of the rifle:
http://photos.digitalperspective.or...mid=103475402&mt=Photo&standardsize=1600x1200
 

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I'd sooner put a short mag tube (easy to cut down) than chop or thread a 30TK. They only made them for either 2 - 3 years. I almost made a mistake by selling mine a very short time ago, and came to my senses in time. You certainly got a great deal on it! Find a regular RC model if you're going to cut it anyway, or thread it. You can shorten a mag tube with a hacksaw, some sandpaper and cold blue pretty short without getting into the forearm, they can also be replaced pretty easy.

But it is yours to do with ad you please. But I'm bettin someone will swap rifles and offer some cash to get their hands on a TK. Where's the pictures?

Oh, Welcome to MO from Kentucky by the way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'd sooner put a short mag tube (easy to cut down) than chop or thread a 30TK. They only made them for either 2 - 3 years. I almost made a mistake by selling mine a very short time ago, and came to my senses in time. You certainly got a great deal on it! Find a regular RC model if you're going to cut it anyway, or thread it. You can shorten a mag tube with a hacksaw, some sandpaper and cold blue pretty short without getting into the forearm, they can also be replaced pretty easy.

But it is yours to do with ad you please. But I'm bettin someone will swap rifles and offer some cash to get their hands on a TK. Where's the pictures?

Oh, Welcome to MO from Kentucky by the way!
Unless it's something local I don’t think I’d want to mess with swapping it. I’ve already waited a while to find one. Maybe I’ll change my mind after shooting it but probably not. I just haven’t run across any in person with a short tube since I got my .30 caliber can a few years ago until this 30TK.

I put a link to a photo at the bottom of the first post. For some reason the photo will not appear in the thread. I do this a lot on other forums with no issues (USN, SIGForum, BladeForums, etc.).
 

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No way in hates would I destroy that gun. It kinda makes me sick just thinking about it. Hard to find, not a lot around. There are probably hundreds of thousands of plain 336’s around your area to hack up. But, hey, it’s your rifle, not mine.
 

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Photoman, welcome to Mo from Midcoast Maine! With all of the 336rc's around I would not chop up a rare one. But that is just me. To each his own and have fun with your rifle.
 

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All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms! Worked as an engineering
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TKs are rare, but in my opinion are not 'Holy Grail' guns. That may change sometime in the future. I rebored a TK to .38-55/.375 Win. that had already been modified so it did not affect me. My gun made for one less collectible TK out there. The more guns that are modified make those remaining in original condition rarer.

If you do shorten the barrel I would take it down to 16 1/4", saving you a tax stamp. Any shorter there will be more muzzle blast, and more unburned powder for the suppressor to contend with. Check the barrel twist, heavy bullets at subsonic speeds may not stabilize. There is a barrel twist calculator on line to assist you in your decisions.

Here's a link: Twist Rate Stability Calculator |

Regards, keep us posted, AC
 

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Dang, a 30TK for $350?! Someone call the police to report a theft! Seriously, congrats a super deal on a fine rifle.

I might suggest flipping it and then getting a 336RC as mentioned above to modify.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
TKs are rare, but in my opinion are not 'Holy Grail' guns. That may change sometime in the future. I rebored a TK to .38-55/.375 Win. that had already been modified so it did not affect me. My gun made for one less collectible TK out there. The more guns that are modified make those remaining in original condition rarer.

If you do shorten the barrel I would take it down to 16 1/4", saving you a tax stamp. Any shorter there will be more muzzle blast, and more unburned powder for the suppressor to contend with. Check the barrel twist, heavy bullets at subsonic speeds may not stabilize. There is a barrel twist calculator on line to assist you in your decisions.

Here's a link: Twist Rate Stability Calculator |

Regards, keep us posted, AC
Thanks, that’s the kind of info I’m looking for.
 

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A suppressor is nice but always works best when shooting subsonic loads. The supersonic crack of a bullet is very loud all by itself. This article, https://loaddata.com/articles/PDF/LD-36 Haviland LR.pdf , discusses subsonic Trailboss loads, including some for the .30-30.

If the barrel is already only 18-1/2" long I doubt you would see a huge difference in velocity by cutting it to 16-1/2". However, if your desire is to shoot subsonic ammo, every little bit of velocity reduction will help. Also, bringing the weight of the can back 2" will help the balance/handling of your suppressed rifle.

As to cutting/modifying the barrel of a 30TK, you own it, if you want to do it go for it. Just because something was made in limited numbers doesn't make it highly collectible. The 30TK was a utilitarian K-Mart offering, a low price point commodity. Didn't they use birch wood for the stock? Regardless, depending on condition you may have gotten a good deal but even a superb specimen won't command a princely price. I think you have chosen a very good starter rifle for your project.
 

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Sounds like a cool project. I have never done a 30-30 but have suppressed rifles in .357 magnum, .45 Colt and 45-70. I'm also getting ready to build a couple of suppressed SBRs in 44 magnum and 45-70. Most of the traditionalists will never get it but whatever. What is your goal for a suppressed 30-30? Are you just looking for another host for your can or are you wanting something that is hearing safe? Do you reload?

FWIW if you have reservations modifying the gun you could always buy a regular 336 carbine and use a barrel extension like the one shown below. If you do plan to go through with it I would suggest cutting the barrel to the legal minimum. Just know that even a short 16" barrel is unwieldy and nose nose heavy with a can. Whichever way you go just make sure to post photos along the way.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A suppressor is nice but always works best when shooting subsonic loads. The supersonic crack of a bullet is very loud all by itself. This article, https://loaddata.com/articles/PDF/LD-36 Haviland LR.pdf , discusses subsonic Trailboss loads, including some for the .30-30.

If the barrel is already only 18-1/2" long I doubt you would see a huge difference in velocity by cutting it to 16-1/2". However, if your desire is to shoot subsonic ammo, every little bit of velocity reduction will help. Also, bringing the weight of the can back 2" will help the balance/handling of your suppressed rifle.

As to cutting/modifying the barrel of a 30TK, you own it, if you want to do it go for it. Just because something was made in limited numbers doesn't make it highly collectible. The 30TK was a utilitarian K-Mart offering, a low price point commodity. Didn't they use birch wood for the stock? Regardless, depending on condition you may have gotten a good deal but even a superb specimen won't command a princely price. I think you have chosen a very good starter rifle for your project.
I'll probably have it cut to 16-1/2". That's what I've done with other hosts like my TC Contender and Buck Mark rifles. I don't currently reload so I'll likely be shooting supersonic ammo. Eventually I'd like to shoot subsonic through it but my Saker 762 still makes a significant difference on my .308 and 5.56mm rifles with supersonic ammo. I just thought a lever action would be fun.

As far as the 30TK goes, you pretty summed up my feelings on it. I understand that it may not be super common, but it's not an engraved, gold plated rifle; it's a K-Mart special. It's still a JM barrel Marlin so it should be a good gun. This particular example is in excellent condition aside from a few light handling marks. The bore and bolt look brand new. I can't see letting loose a rifle in this condition and roll the dice with getting something with more wear. Since I got it pretty cheap it won't hurt as much to pay for the work/parts to suppress it. Threading and the muzzle device will probably be about $250.

I'm planning to get an EGW scope mount for it and hopefully a 1x or 2x optic. I'd also like to get some different iron sights. The dovetailed front sight will likely disappear with the threading job. Any sight suggestions will be appreciated.

These are my current centerfire rifle hosts (I don't know why these won't post within the thread):


I'll update here after I shoot it (before any mods) and as any mods are complete.
 

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You may want to give Morgan Richey at Class 3 Machining a shout to see what he would charge to thread your gun. I have used him on multiple projects and his prices are fair with quick turnaround. You can get a quote through the website but I have his contact info if you want it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I shot the 30TK this weekend, only 20 rounds to test function but the action was smooth and it grouped well at 25 yards with open sights. I must admit that I’m having second thoughts about threading it. The rifle is light and I think my heavy, all-stainless suppressor will very negatively affect the balance of the gun. That’s to be expected but I feel like it will be very noticeable on this gun. The problem is that I don’t see myself shooting it much without a suppressor. Maybe I’ll just throw a low power scope on it and shoot it a bit more.
 

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I shot the 30TK this weekend, only 20 rounds to test function but the action was smooth and it grouped well at 25 yards with open sights. I must admit that I’m having second thoughts about threading it. The rifle is light and I think my heavy, all-stainless suppressor will very negatively affect the balance of the gun. That’s to be expected but I feel like it will be very noticeable on this gun. The problem is that I don’t see myself shooting it much without a suppressor. Maybe I’ll just throw a low power scope on it and shoot it a bit more.


If in doubt I would sell the gun and move along. Lots of guys would love to have a 30TK in their collection and it would be a shame to modify the gun and not like the end result. Plus there are much better calibers than 30-30 for a suppressor host.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·


If in doubt I would sell the gun and move along. Lots of guys would love to have a 30TK in their collection and it would be a shame to modify the gun and not like the end result. Plus there are much better calibers than 30-30 for a suppressor host.

Even if I don’t set it up for the suppressor I doubt I’d sell it. I’ve got a couple of rimfire lever rifles (1979 39A Golden & 1982 39M) but no other 30-30s. I think it’s a good rifle to have around. I ordered an EGW rail for it and installed a good sling tonight. I think I’ll just shoot it for a bit.
 

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OR you could just leave your rifle as-is and load "Cat Sneeze" small game and gallery loads.

You aren't limited to Trail Boss!

Any fast-burning pistol or shotgun powder you have around or can sweep up off the floor around the loading machine will work. I have had best results with Bullseye, TiteGroup, 231 using the standard pressure charge listed for a .38 Special firing the same weight of lead bullet.

Accurate has several plain-based .30-30 cast bullets which have a long nose for reliable feeding, in dedicated plain-based design which are intended for this type of load.

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31-155D is designed to engrave on chambering in your 94 Winchester just like chambering a round of Eley Tenex .22 in a .22 Match rifle:

Finger Ammunition Bullet Hand Nail


The large meplat "lets the air out" of Bunny Wabbits and larger small game or varmints. When cast soft 6-8 BHN it will "rivet" when large bones are struck. Penetration is astounding, being well stabilized in common 12 inch twist barrels and giving through and through penetration even on large animals. Good for low noise culling of stock without disturbing the neighbors or other farmyard critters.


Of course, if you have any common GC design bullet for the .30-30, such as #311291 or #31141 you can cast these of soft alloy and simply load as-cast and unsized without the GC, lightly lubricated with 45-45-10 or LLA with 3.5 to 4 grains of Bullseye and you have your quiet, 900 fps "Cat Sneeze" load which hits like a .38 Special +P from a revolver and make no more noise than a .22 LR and DOESN'T REQUIRE A CAN!

Check out the minimum .30-30 charges here for 170-grain cast plain-base: Lever Gun Performance Studies

My experience has been that if you clean the bore well to remove all prior jacketed bullet fouling, and use only soft, lubricated lead bullets that these minimums can usually be reduced a further 20% and the bullet will exit the barrel every time, with very low noise. Stand by with a squibb rod in case you stick one, and check the bore if you don't see the bullet strike. https://www.brownells.com/guntech/squib-rods/detail.htm?lid=10408

If your iron-sighted .30-30 rifle is zeroed at 150-200 yards with full power hunting ammunition (to strike 3-4 high at 100 yards) these loads are close to point of aim at 50 feet if you blot out the target with the front sight bead, rather than holding 6:00.
 
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