Where I hunt deer we have the perfect mix of woods close hunting, and open field hunting. I’ve shot deer from 15-150 yards. This next fall I’d like to make a challenge for myself if hunting deer with open sight 30-30. I have a 1939 Winchester model 94, and a 1937 model 64, both in 30-30. My thoughts are to see which one groups better with opens or the marbles tang sight I have in my parts box, then take that out next fall. Part of me loves the nostalgia of a lever gun in the woods, but the 280ai I’ve killed deer and bear with for years is just too dependable to overlook. What do you think of this challenge? Worth’s try or not? Post any pics of your 30-30 deer and any stories.
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The 30-30 is the classic deer gun and this would be a most worthy challenge. If I were to take such a challenge it would be with my late Dad’s 50s era Winchester 25-35 since that is what he used as a teen.
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Hunted with a Marlin 30-30 for years before I picked up my Tikka 270Win. Our our ranch is more long shots, so the extra that the 270 has over the 30-30 helps.
My Marlin has a poor 3-9x40 on it & I've been meaning to pull it off & just go irons on it.
The Tikka has a Nikon telescope (4-20x50) on it for my poor eyes.
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If the max range you expect to shoot is 150yards, the 30-30 is perfect for that. My 94 is very svelte and light weight, so she handles very nicely.
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I love hunting with a lever gun. I use a marlin 44 mag or marlin 30-30. Also use a pistol and bow for a challenge.
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Where I hunt, I can expect shots from 15 yards to 300+
If I have not scored with my bow (like this year) I will use my Encore with either a scoped 30-06 good for shots past as far as I can see, or the open sighted 45-70 barrel. Most places, the 45-70 is fine, but I always have that nagging feeling I’ll see one way out there with the little short range blaster in my hands.
Of course, it’s called hunting, not getting so…..
Agreed. At 150 yards or less, you'll be just fine with the 30-30.
And Hornady LeverEvolution ammo makes the 30-30 shoot even better. And the tang sight may prove to be a vast improvement.
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Back in the day I had a Marlin 336CS .30-30 with a Williams peep sight for hunting.
Got my handloading start with it too using Mequon benchrest hand dies.
Windage adjustable tang sights are nice but can be a PITA catching in brush. They also aren't as quick as peeps as they require unfolding.
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My hunting partner has done pretty much the same thing. Low light is his nemesis, sights disappear as much as 40 minutes before legal end. He has gotten to where he hunts field edges early and late. It’s not solved everything but, sacrifices are made.
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Those are nice old rifles. I have one that was manufactured a bit earlier than yours.
It was purchased used by my grandfather, and then passed down to me from my dad.
I have shot it a few times and it shoots great. Quite accurate.
Dad said grandfather knocked down a lot of deer with it.
I think it is a great challenge. I have a 1972 Marlin 336 in 30-30 that I had set up with a scout scope, but I took it off when I bought a Ruger Gunsite Scout in .308. I put a set of skinner sights on it, and I plan on taking a deer with it in that set up at some point....There is just something that feels right about it.
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30-30 has taken more Deer, Elk, and bear than ALL other calibers combined.
It's up to the Hunter, not the rifle.
I second the Skinner Peep sights, put them on your lever gun and you will find they work fine. I have them on my 1886 4570 and a Henry 22, once the right front sight is installed they are hard to beat.
Loves my Marlins- I hunt exclusively within 40-50 yards so I do all my hunting with .44 mags like this gem.
If I ever start hunting somewhere new with longer range, I have a pile of Marlin 30-30’s to pull from.
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