Is 30-30 adequate?

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by colmustard, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. colmustard

    colmustard New Member

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    So I may have the option of going on a big game hunt with my new in-laws in the future out in Colorado. They hunt elk for the most part along with deer. I have a old Marlin 30-30 lever action with a 3x9 scope on it, do you think it is adequate enough for elk or should I go and get a 30-06 or 308 bolt action?

    I do not really have much experience with rifle hunting since I live in Ohio, we use shotgun :)
     
  2. Argyle_Armoring

    Argyle_Armoring New Member

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    The 30-30 has been good enough for the past 118 years. Why wouldn't it be good now?
     

  3. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    The 30-30 with an experienced hunter behind it who knew enough to severely limit his shots would be fine. For most hunters something heavier would likely be better.
     
  4. colmustard

    colmustard New Member

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    I feel confidant with it and am pretty accurate with it at the range. I also know it is Americas deer rifle and that it has no issues with deer. But elk hunting is something I have never done before and I did not want to take a rifle that would not be humane to use. My in-laws use old 300 savage lever guns and they seem to do well. Also I have other (non-scoped) options like a ww2 mauser 8mm that is very accurate, also of course the moisin. Just looking for some expertise and ideas. This hunt may or may not happen, if it does it may be this or next fall. Just planning ahead. :)
     
  5. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    You tell me !...................
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i2iUdHab2o[/ame]
     
  6. SRK97

    SRK97 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do a quick search for Hornady LeverEvolution, it's supposed to be good stuff.
     
  7. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

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    Germans were very methodical, practical and extensive with their research in caliber performance in regards to hunting. They have found out that any round that has a minimum 6.5 mm bullet traveling at 2000 jewels at 100 meters will take down larger game. This includes boar, large red deer, fallow deer and larger elk type deer seen in Northern Europe. They made this a requirement in hunting. So...

    1)at least 6.5 mm (.264) bullet.
    2)travels at 2000 jewels at 100 meters.

    Yes on on both: Winchester .30-30 9.7 g 728 m/sec 2,388 fps 2,560 joules
    Still, I would still shoot close to medium range with the round.

    For .308: Winchester,NATO,FN .308/7.62x51mm 11.7 g 3,744 joules which is better for long range.

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/elk_cartridges.htm
     
  8. hairbear1

    hairbear1 Active Member

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    Depends on what ranges your shooting them at. If your going to be shooting at ranges out to 200yds + then I'd be opting for the .308 or 30/06 but if it's around 50- 100yds in thick bush then the 30/30 would be ok.
     
  9. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    WITHIN IT'S LIMITS- the 30-30 is fine for deer, elk, moose, and medium bear. That limit is range.

    Typically a 150 grain flat tipped bullet, it sheds energy pretty quickly. A Federal 150 FN has 2019 FPS at 100 yds, and 1358 ft lbs. Zeroed at 50, I will be -0.3 inches at 100. At 150, not as good, but so-so. At 200, things are dropping fast. Stay this side of 150, do your part, rifle will do it's part.

    As said up there, the Leverlution ammo can add some range to the 30-30, but it will not be a 400 yd elk rifle.
     
  10. spottedpony

    spottedpony New Member

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    In heavy timber the 30-30 would be just adiquate for elk, barely. the problem as much as being a bit undergunned is greenhorns expect to hit the woods walk a hundred yards point theyre rifle at a big bull shout bang and the elk drops dead.
    In all my years of elk hunting i've seen more elk wounded and not found by inexperienced hunters packing grandpas ole lever action 30-30 than any other caliber made. Most bullets for that caliber are too flimsily constructed for thick skinned big boned game at anything over 50 yards. Personally i'd go with the 06, decently scoped, and a good nosler partition bullet 180 gr. if the rifle shoots it well. After you are properly armed, are YOU capable? If you can run a 12% grade as fast as possible, in winter gear with the temp around freezing, in two feet of snow, breating hard, adrenalin pumping and heart pounding, slip up behind a tree and centerpunch a target at 100+ yards without any hesitation, then your acclimated. THEN you're ready for an elk hunt.
     
  11. Gh0zt36

    Gh0zt36 Active Member

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    Underwood is rated at the same ballistics and uses the same bullet as Hornady . But from my experience underwood are very conservative in their stated ballistics and even your average is going to be higher than stated ballistics.

    http://www.underwoodammo.com/30-30winchester160grainflextipexpandingboxof20.aspx

    And underwood *IS* the good stuff.
     
  12. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    One of my brothers has shot one or two elk with a 30-30 and with a couple of different muzzle loaders and one with a bow. The key is to limit your shots. Broad side shots at fairly close range(100 yards or less). It is really more about accurately hitting the correct spot(elk do not have bulls-eyes marked on them).
     
  13. cottontop

    cottontop Guest

    I personally believe that the .30-30 is marginal for even deer, not to mention elk. But that is me and I'm sure I will get a lot of flack on that. In that class of cartridge, the .35 Remington is much more adequate for deer and elk. To answer your question, I think you would be better off w/ the 30-06 or .308, however, your 8mm Mauser would be more than adequate though you would be handicapped with only iron sights. If the 30-30 is all you have and you can limit your shots to under 100 yards, then use it.
    ct
     
  14. limbkiller

    limbkiller New Member

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    Lever ammo and limit your shots to 200 yds. or less on broadside shots it will work as good as a cannon. The problem what if you see that big bull at 300 yards and need to angle the bullet in. Not a good choice. And yes cottontop you will catch some flack. I used to guide for elk, bear and other critters in Montana. The best elk gun inside 350 yards was a .270 with someone behind the gun who could shoot. 30-30 marginal for deer is absurd. My favorite deer gun is the .220 swift with broadside shots inside 300 yards. Have killed 20+ deer with it and only one took a step. The problem is broadside. Sometimes you need to angle the shot. Getting sidetracked here. Sorry. Buy a .270, .280 remington, .308, 30-06 for your hunt. Just don't buy some big magnum as it is not needed for anything in North America but big bears. ANY GUN GOOD SHOOT THEM GOOD. Period.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
  15. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    Inside 150-200 yds a 30 30 will do what it's done more than any other two calibers over the last 100+ years. And that's drop game.
     
  16. cottontop

    cottontop Guest


    In all actuality, the .30-30 is not marginal for deer (maybe elk, but not deer). But, there are some on this forum who believe that the .243 is marginal for deer. The 30-30 AND the .243 are both adequate for deer, just marginal for elk. The OP should use the 30-30 for elk if that is what he has and limit his shots to 100 yards give or take. With it's rainbow trajectory I think that 200 yards is pushing it, but should be ok if properly sighted in. The 30-30 has been known to be a leg breaker when pushed to distances beyond it's limit.
    ct
     
  17. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    A 150 grain 30-30 and a 150 grain 30-06 are almost identical bullets.The difference is that the 30-06 has as much energy at 250 yards as a 30-30 has at 25 yards, lots of people shoot animals at 250 yards with a 30-06, so if you shoot an animal at 25 yards with a 30-30, there is no difference at all between the two rounds.Like everyone says, a 30-30 is good but limit your distance.
     
  18. readygirl

    readygirl New Member

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    .416 Ruger Alaskan, at a minimum for Elk........:D
     
  19. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not really! Even with the best ammo out there if you get the 'BIG TROPHY' bull even at under a 100 yards it would be iffy! I have seen a few elk killed with a 30-30, but most of them were cows or young bulls at a range of less than 100 yards, and I have had to track MANY ELK that were wounded with many more powerful rounds. If you limit your shots to 100 or less yards, perfect presentation, perfect shot placement, and small animals the answer is yes. I don't think you want to buy an out of state license for $500+ and use a 30-30, just my advice. I lived in CO for 50 years and hunted elk most of the time.:)
     
  20. colmustard

    colmustard New Member

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    Ok you guys gave a ton of good advise. I will think about my options. I do not have a problem with iron sights, so my 8mm my be the ticket. Or if I am in the brush seems like 30-30 is ok. Then again it is nice having an excuse to purchase a new rifle and I have been wanting a 30-06 for a few years! Come to think of it, I do have a garand... :). Just playing.