What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

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What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

#1

Post by carlson1 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:58 pm

What is the BEST lever action rifle to buy in 30-30? I know very little on lever action rifles. I am thinking around a 16” barrel.
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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

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Post by 03Lightningrocks » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:00 pm

Winchester Model 94 is my favorite. It has that old west look and feel. Classic rifle IMHO.

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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

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Post by C-dub » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:01 pm

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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

#4

Post by ghostrider » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:08 pm

that's a rather open ended question (you knew you were going to get this response, didn't you....) :-)


what is the intended use:
# hunting
# paper punching
# wall hanger
# safe queen

# just need one cause you don't got one? :-)

scoped or iron sights? jacketed or lead bullets?

the 'right' answer is one of each: Winchester, Marlin, and Henry :-)

seriously, though: The Winchester 94 has 'name recognition' but depending on the model (side eject vs top eject) there can be issues with mounting a scope - not an issue if you stick with iron sights. The Marlin 'issue' is original JM Marlin vs 'Remlins' and used JM Marlins can command a higher price. Also, there is some indication that Marlin microgroove rifling works better with jacketed vs lead bullets (not sure about polymer/powder coated bullets, though).

No experience with Henry rifles, but I'm sure TAM will be along shortly to provide more detailed info. :-)
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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

#5

Post by Setxjeff » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:22 am

I really like my Davidsons special brush gun. Mossberg 464 marinecote 16" barrel 30-30
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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

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Post by narcissist » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:48 am

Years back bought my wife a Marlin 30-30 with a 20 in barrel, stainless steel. Even with open sights it is a tac-driver, she shot a nice 7 point trash buck about 90yds away (dropped in its tracks) proud moment. I've never had another open sight rifle so accurate in my life. Winchester-Marlin-Henry all of in which you can't go wrong with.
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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

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Post by cheezit » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:39 pm

If your in the used market you can sometimes come across a JM stamped marlin. Don't know if I would buy a newer one.

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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

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Post by puma guy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:04 pm

Marlin, Winchester, Henry are all worth a look. I am partial to Marlins, but only the JM marked rifles. Remington still cannot match the workmanship of Marlin. Remlins, as they are affectionately called still vary in quality, from acceptable to looking like a hammer and chisel were used in the process. Winchester 94's have clanky triggers due to their design, have open top receivers preventing drilling and tapping for a scope and are only available with straight stocks; Henry's have no loading side gate on the receiver, though they are now making a new model now that offers that design. Marlins are drilled and tapped (except for older vintage models before the late 50's) and are available with straight or pistol grip stocks. Your best bet is to handle them all and decide. I have four Marlins centerfires; two 336 Texan (straight stock) 30-30's, an 1894 .357 and a .444. If I was going to buy a Marlin 336 I'd buy a JM model in .35 Remington instead of 30-30. Gun shows and pawn shops are a good starting place to handle and view. Good luck and good shooting!
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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

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Post by carlson1 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:34 pm

cheezit wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:39 pm
If your in the used market you can sometimes come across a JM stamped marlin. Don't know if I would buy a newer one.
I think that is what I want in a 16” barrel.
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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

#10

Post by Grayling813 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:00 pm

Are the current Winchester Model 94’s still worth buying?
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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

#11

Post by Nuts » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:11 pm

I wouldn’t buy a new Winchester. Look in the receiver and if it’s a stamped feed ramp, pass it by. Pre 64 Winchester ‘94’s have a machined feed ramp and the quality is far above anything newer.

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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

#12

Post by puma guy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:26 pm

carlson1 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:34 pm
cheezit wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:39 pm
If your in the used market you can sometimes come across a JM stamped marlin. Don't know if I would buy a newer one.
I think that is what I want in a 16” barrel.
A JM 336 with a 16¼" barrel in 30-30 or .35 Rem is a particularly hard rifle to find. The Model 336LTS Carbine (made 1988-89; only in 30-30) or the 336 Marauder Carbine .35 or 30-30 (1963-64). Not a lot of them made and them that gots 'em tend to keep them, even though they do come on the market from time to time on Gunbroker. They command a premium price; 2-4x the price of a decent 336. Maybe your best bet is to have an 18 or 20 inch model cut down. I sold Marlin 336's back in the 1960's and early 70's (probably a couple thousand rifles), never saw a single Maurauder. They were probably marketed in deep woods states, more so than Texas. The Marlin Glenfield Model 30 would be a perfect model to reduce the barrel length since the early ones have shorter magazines. You can find them for $250-350. There's a Marauder and an LTS on GB.
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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

#13

Post by carlson1 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:08 pm

puma guy wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:26 pm
carlson1 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:34 pm
cheezit wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:39 pm
If your in the used market you can sometimes come across a JM stamped marlin. Don't know if I would buy a newer one.
I think that is what I want in a 16” barrel.
A JM 336 with a 16¼" barrel in 30-30 or .35 Rem is a particularly hard rifle to find. The Model 336LTS Carbine (made 1988-89; only in 30-30) or the 336 Marauder Carbine .35 or 30-30 (1963-64). Not a lot of them made and them that gots 'em tend to keep them, even though they do come on the market from time to time on Gunbroker. They command a premium price; 2-4x the price of a decent 336. Maybe your best bet is to have an 18 or 20 inch model cut down. I sold Marlin 336's back in the 1960's and early 70's (probably a couple thousand rifles), never saw a single Maurauder. They were probably marketed in deep woods states, more so than Texas. The Marlin Glenfield Model 30 would be a perfect model to reduce the barrel length since the early ones have shorter magazines. You can find them for $250-350. There's a Marauder and an LTS on GB.

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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

#14

Post by Deltaboy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:19 pm

I have a Pre 64 Whinny and a 1987 Marlin! Mossberg making a good looking one too!
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Re: What Would Be The BEST 30-30 Lever Rifle

#15

Post by jason812 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:26 pm

03Lightningrocks wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:00 pm
Winchester Model 94 is my favorite. It has that old west look and feel. Classic rifle IMHO.
:iagree:

My dad bought one in the early 70's when he was a kid and shot his first deer with it. My brother shot his first deer with the same gun and my dad eventually gave it to him. My nephew a couple of years ago was gifted the hand-me-down rifle and killed his first deer with it. Three generations have shot deer with that rifle. It could have been mine but I always liked bolt actions and shot my first deer with my dad's (now mine) .270.

It still looks as good today as it did when I was a kid. They don't blue rifles now days like they did back then.

My brother and I both have Marlin 1894's. His in .357mag and mine in .44 mag. The old Winchester just seems like a class above them. So I might be biased but I would find an old Winchester over any new lever action.

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