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#155705 - 11/19/08 05:17 PM Advice from the gun guys (or girls)
Jesselp Offline
What's Next?

Registered: 07/19/07
Posts: 262
Loc: New York
Hi folks,

I approached hunting as an adult, so have fairly limited experience when it comes to hunting and firearms. So far I've hunted both deer and waterfoul with a Mossberg model 500. It's been a reliable shotgun and for deer I have a rifled barrel and 4x scope, and I'm confindent out to a little under 100 yards with sabot slugs.

I'm thinking it's time to pick up a rifle for deer hunting, and I've come across a used Marlin 336 levergun in 30-30 with a Tasco 3-9x40 scope, sling and case for sale by a guy not far from my new home. His asking price is $300 for the whole thing.

What do you think? Good price? Am I actually gaining much performance over my current shotgun with rifled barrel setup? It kills me to practice with my current rig, as the sabot slugs are very expensive. I suppose a 30-30 might get me to shoot more as well.

I'd appreciate your thoughts.
A blog about adventure
in and around New York

#155708 - 11/19/08 05:43 PM Re: Advice from the gun guys (or girls) [Re: Jesselp]
Desperado Offline

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
There is a reason the .30-.30 cartridge is still in production after all these years. Because, within it's limitations, (Deer etc. within effective range) IT WORKS.

If it ain't broke don't fix it has never been more true. I own two marlin .30-.30 rifles with the tasco scope you are mentioning. It was a combo offered in the late 80's I think.

Both are on "semi-temporary loan" to my nephews. both have taken deer the last three years with them and love them so much, I may forget to ask for them back.

Just be sure of you shot placement and enjoy!
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.


#155709 - 11/19/08 05:56 PM Re: Advice from the gun guys (or girls) [Re: Desperado]
clearwater Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1027
Loc: Channeled Scablands
Try it out first from sandbags and see how much difference in
accuracy you get from your current gun. I think you'll be pleased
unless there is something wrong with the set up.

#155710 - 11/19/08 06:27 PM Re: Advice from the gun guys (or girls) [Re: Jesselp]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
The good ole .30-30 has taken a jillion deer over the years. Given your east coast location it should work for you. As an extra added bonus, it kicks a lot less than a 12ga slug...

#155711 - 11/19/08 06:42 PM Re: Advice from the gun guys (or girls) [Re: clearwater]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
I have a Marlin 336 in 35 remington. I bought it used in 1989 after it had been worked over good by a gunsmith, including a new hi-luster bluing job and trigger work, for $145. I put a Weaver 2.5 to 7x variable on top of it, and it kept groups below one minute of angle using standard 200 grain factory ammo. This was before the micro-groove adaptation Marlin made to their rifling. It is a great little carbine.

For a used Marlin 336 in good condition with the scope and accessories you mentioned, I would likely be looking to pay a little less than what he's asking. See if you can get him down a little closer to $250. Out east 30-30s are generally more popular and desirable, though there are certainly plenty good lever guns on this side of the Mississippi as well.

Generally, you will want to limit your effective shooting range to a maximum of 150 yards with that gun, unless you can judge bullet drop well. The 30-30 has the dubious nickname of leg breaker, as many of those who shot that round notoriously shot at deer too far awaywithout adjusting for bullet drop, usually resulting in a leg hit wounded animal that quickly hobbled into the bushes to die a slow death, rather than in the vitals for a clean, quick kill.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#155712 - 11/19/08 06:43 PM Re: Advice from the gun guys (or girls) [Re: OldBaldGuy]
MDinana Offline

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Originally Posted By: OldBaldGuy
As an extra added bonus, it kicks a lot less than a 12ga slug...

Um... yes. But that little 30-30 does have a hell of a kick if you're not expecting it. I saw a guy on the range, standing, almost fall over (OK, he hadn't fired before, and didn't really seat the rifle well).

Anyway, if you hold it like you would the shotgun, you'll be fine.

My brother has a Win. 94 30-30, which is very similar to the Marlin. I'd say it's probably a fair deal. We've (my brother, dad, and I) found that our Win. is VERY accurate out to 100 yards with iron sights. Given that we found the rifle cleaning out my grandmother's house upon her death, that says a lot - the rifle probably hadn't been fired in 35+ years.

#155718 - 11/19/08 07:00 PM Re: Advice from the gun guys (or girls) [Re: Jesselp]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1990
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Jesselp
I've come across a used Marlin 336 levergun in 30-30 with a Tasco 3-9x40 scope, sling and case for sale by a guy not far from my new home. His asking price is $300 for the whole thing.

I don't own one, but I recently looked at one in a store, contemplating purchase. Our local Dick's Sporting Goods store has a Marlin 336 with scope, new, for $349. When I checked it out, it was the 336A model. I think the "A" part of that means the stock was carved by a 12 year old using a dull screwdriver. I was not impressed. But I suppose it depends on what you're looking for. I'm sure the 336A shoots just fine. $300 used might be a nice price for a well-kept 336C, but maybe not for a 336A. Make sure you know what you're getting.

#155720 - 11/19/08 09:12 PM Re: Advice from the gun guys (or girls) [Re: MDinana]
MartinFocazio Offline


Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Here's my Winchester 94 story.

My grandfather hunted every winter from 1950 until 1965 - with the Winchester Model 94 30-30. He gave it to my dad around when I was born.

In 1975, when I was 10 years old, it was the first rifle larger than .22 I ever fired and it knocked me on my azz. It's a good wallop, the 30-30.

By 1985, I was carrying that same model 94 in a soft case on my back while riding my bicycle through the suburban streets of Long Island on my way to the Mitchell Field indoor range, in the center of Nassau County.

By 1995, I had been using that old 30-30 for 20 years - and never had a scope on it. For me it became just "the rifle" and I learned how much to hold over a target and how to sight it and I got better and better with it.

In 2005, in my 30th year with the gun, I went to a Turkey shoot. This is an event where you have a domestic turkey in a box 100 yards down range and all you can see is it's head sticking out. You pay $1.00 a shot and if you kill the turkey, you win it for Thanksgiving. (they don't have them anymore, some folks seem to object to the contest for some reason).

I showed up with my iron-sight 30-30, and my buddies there openly laughed at me. They were all set up with a whole bunch of scoped rifles (had to be .243 or large, max 9x scope).
In what has since become a legendary shot, I stood, cocked the gun, held my breath, waited until I was just right - and took the head of that bird clear off.

Thinking it was a lucky shot, the guy next to me offered me $100 if I could do it again. Once he showed me the cash, I lined up, and did it again. I gave the $100 to the gun club and the turkey to him.

Never underestimate what you can do with enough practice with ANY firearm.

Unfortunately, I no longer have that gun, and in the last 3 years, my eyesight has taken a dramatic turn for the worse, and I think that I'll never make that kind of shot again. I know the gun is in good hands, having returned it to my Dad when he moved down south.

Anyway, I've become convinced that while the gun matters, your experience with the gun matters much more.

And I'd suggest that lots of practice with 30-30 is a LOT cheaper than with slugs!

#155728 - 11/19/08 10:58 PM Re: Advice from the gun guys (or girls) [Re: Jesselp]
Stretch Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 707
Loc: Alamogordo, NM
I happen to agree with Benjamin on trying to get down a little closer to $250 (though $300 might be ok if he won;t budge and you really like the gun) and to keeping your expected kill range under about 150 yards.

The 30-30 is a good brush gun in your location. These larger caliber rounds won;t deflect quite as readily after hitting a fine twig or three.

In NE Ohio where I'm originally from high powered rifles weren't permitted, though I think the .30 caliber carbine round was ok (can;t be sure now). THe 12 gauge slug was the most widely accepted. Down here in the southwest, we need a more powerful round, as the kill might be made at 250 yards or greater as soon as it would at 150. But up there? An all-around good deer cartridge I think.

#155729 - 11/19/08 11:42 PM Re: Advice from the gun guys (or girls) [Re: Stretch]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 788
Loc: wellington, fl
There is some contention about the 'brush gun' concept-the low velocity double 30, or 35 rem, manfully pushing aside twigs and leaves and reaching its target. The counter argument is that the gyroscopic stabilization of higher velocity, lower weight projectiles is superior to that of slower, heavier ones. The third position is that any projectile that encounters brush will land in a different spot that it would have had it not.

Lever action rifles are nostalgic and convenient to carry, but tend to give up some accuracy and reliability to the turnbolts-probably why one doesn't see the marine snipers zeroing in their savage 99's (my nominee for the prettiest long arm).

You can buy a lot of 12 gauge ammunition for $350. Maybe yuo don't actually need another firearm...
(The lynch mob of gun fanciers is forming up in front of my house even as we speak...word of this sort of heresy travels fast in the firearm fraternity...if they get me, browning and ruger 9's go to Blast, the remmy and mossy twelves to ironraven...pray for em...)
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

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