7 best rifles .30-30

Like the first smokeless cartridge in America, introduced in 1895, the old 0.30-30 is not just old – it is older, as modern American cartridges go. And yet it remains as effective as ever. In fact, with today’s loads, the .30-30 is a better offshore offshore cartridge than at any other time in its history. I also used it in the African field game. So why not get a rifle at 0.30-30? Its only real limitation would be the achievement, as the cartridge is best used within 200 yards. But if you know how to hunt – and hunt – this is rarely a problem. The 0.30-30 combination of mortality, low repulsion and the fact that it is usually wrapped in handy weapons is what has made it one of the most recognizable and trusted big game cartridges of all time.

photo of cartridges .30 / 30
.30-30 is a classic that is still quite capable. Richard Mann

When most people think of Winchester 0.30-30, lever action rifles come to mind. After all, the cartridge started with the Winchester 1894. But the .30-30 is occasionally offered in bolt-on rifles as well. These days, with Marlin currently being rebuilt under Ruger management, you have the option to purchase a brand new 0.30-30 coming from Winchester or Henry. These are both great options, but there are also thousands of 0.30-30 rifles used there. It is almost impossible to look online or visit a gun shop and not see some for sale. But before you buy, take a look at this list of the best 0.30-30 rifles.

Winchester Model 94

Winchester Model 94

There is no rifle on the planet that feels and treats like a 94. It is thin and fancy and seems to just want to jump over your shoulder. And if it weren’t for 94, it might not have been .30-30. The cartridge debuted with the rifle, and now it’s hard to think of a more American combination. The weapon was fired immediately. He offered quick fire, repeated in a useful package, and became so widespread that so far he has made bees everywhere and done almost everything.

photo of Winchester 94
Although not known for its accuracy, the .30-30 can shoot very well, even without a lever-action rifle. Richard Mann

Winchester has offered the Model 94s room for the .30-30 Winchester in countless configurations. Some were simple, some were ornate, some with short barrels, some with long barrels; millions have been sold. But in 2006, American production ceased. Now all 94s are manufactured in Japan. That said, they are done quite well. There are currently five versions available, with 20 to 24 inch barrels and prices ranging from $ 1300 to $ 2230. If it’s more than you want to pay, your best option is a used 94. Excluding fancy or highly collectible pieces, prices will be between $ 500 and $ 1,500. The Winchester 94 is pulled from the top of the action, which limits the connection of the rifle scope. A later version of what Winchester called the “angle-eject” is a bit more goal-friendly. 94 is not the best rifle ever made, but it is a rifle that I think everyone should have at least one.

2. Wild 99

photo of Savage 99
A Savage 99 vintage with room for 0.30-30. Rock Island Auction Company

Although it lacks the cowboy pull of the Winchester 94, the 99 without the hammer is arguably the largest lever action rifle ever produced. Finally discontinued in 2003, the unique five-shot rifle cartridge – later converted into a detachable cartridge – and its field-mountability are what really distinguish these lever guns. Also, as with the bolt-on action and single-shot 30-30, the 99 magazine allowed hand-held chargers to use pointed bullets at 0.30-30.

Prices for the 99s used are all over the map. Some patterns were very simple, while others were carved from thin wood. Removal versions were also offered. You can find one in a yard sale for a fraction of what it’s worth, while at the same time others can bring in thousands of dollars. 99 has become a very collectible rifle, so you have to be careful when buying; many of them have been reintroduced and refined and may not be completely original. This may not affect functionality, but you could end up paying a lot more for a 99 than it’s worth. For a beautiful and mechanically sound Savage 99 at 0.30-30 Winchester, expect to pay from one to two prizes.

3. Marlin 336

photo of Marlin 336
The most popular Marlin 336 rifles were configured this way, and some were packaged with a cheap rifle already mounted. Richard Mann

Introduced in 1948, the other famous lever weapon in America is the Marlin 336. An updated version of the Model 36, the main difference between the Marlin 336 and the Winchester 94 was that the Marlin was thrown sideways. This made it natural for field mounting. A 336 version known as the Model 30 Glenfield was also offered. It was essentially the same rudimentary-looking rifle and a solid wooden stock. Many Glenfield were sold through chain stores. When Marlin and their parent company Remington went bankrupt in 2020, production of the 336 ceased. Marlin was bought by Ruger, who reintroduced the 1895 SBL Model this year, and if we are all lucky, will soon revive the 336 as well.

photo of Marlin rifle 336
A great custom Remington 336 era store (top) and a laminate flooring model. Richard Mann

As with the Winchester 94, there are many 336s on the market used, in a wide variety of styles. Depending on the manufacturer’s condition, variation and year, prices of the 336 can range from $ 500 to $ 2,000, with the “JM” mark, pre-Remington Marlins costing more. Lever arms have also become very popular for personalization, with features like scout field rails, AR-style defenders and even lifting versions. Where deer hunting on wooden ridges and brush scratches is common, you will find a happy and successful hunter riding a 336. This is something that will probably never change.

4. Savage Model 340

photo of Savage 340 rifle
A Savage 340C with room at .30-30. Rock Island Auction Company

Offered in various configurations between 1950 and 1985, the 340 was a 0.30-30 Winchester. It was a kind of very utilitarian rifle, but some of the more beautiful versions came with a tapped look. To the best of my knowledge, all 340s had a stock of black walnut and some of them were drilled and knocked for a side receiver field mount. For a time, and perhaps beginning Savage’s tradition of “packaged rifles,” Savage even offered a scanner mount and free rifle space. All 340 years set for Winchester 0.30-30 were fed by a detachable three-shot magazine, and many were sold through department stores like Sears under a different model name.

These rifles are fairly easy to find in the used market, with prices ranging between $ 400 and $ 700. A previous version known as the Stevens Model 325 had a bolt-on handle with European-style knife with delightful looks. Although by modern standards these rifles look a bit archaic, they were well made and most are very well aged. The 340 offers the advantage for hand loaders to use traditional 0.30-30 pointed bullets, which can boost external ballistic and even cartridge terminal. These rifles have never been thought of as attractive, but they have a good reputation in the lumber. A 340 would be a great rifle for a young deer hunter.

5. Remington Model 788

photo of Remington 788
A classic model Remington 788 with stretch. Rock Island Auction Company

The Model 700 is Remington’s main rifle, but the Remington Model 788, which was introduced in 1967 and offered until 1983, was a much more affordable rifle with a reputation for excellent accuracy. Aside from its dull appearance, with less than spectacular tint and birch wood, the main difference between 788 and 700 is the action. The 788 is powered by a detachable three-shot magazine and uses a bolt with rear-end plugs. This made the bolt look a little awkward while cycling. A high school friend of mine bought one and though he was a driver but his mother thought the unusual bolt made the rifle cheap. She made him take it again.

788 was cheap – but not cheap. And it was equipped for the Winchester 0.30-30 from 1967 to 1970. If you want a .30-30 Winchester bolt action, this is of rifle to shoot. I have seen prices for used 788s at $ 0.30-30 up to $ 500 and up to $ 1200. Without real collector value, they would make a great youth rifle, where you can cut stock to fit, and even cut the barrel if necessary. They can be turned into wonderfully compact and light rifles. My son shot his first deer with a 788 custom room for Winchester .25-35, which was a .30-30 based cartridge.

6. Ruger nr. 1

photo of Ruger rifle no.1
A lightweight Ruger no. 1 K1A at 0.30-30 Winchester. Ruger

In 1966 Ruger introduced their rifle no. 1, a hammer-free, Farquharson-style rifle. Since its presentation, Nr. 1 is offered in more than 50 different rooms, including Winchester .30-30. With its box enclosed, the .30-30 cartridge was ideally suited for this type of action, which would also allow the use of pointed bullets, and was strong enough for hand-held chargers to slightly increase performance.

For a time, I owned a limited edition, stainless steel, Ruger no. 1, at 0.30-30. It was a great rifle and I loaded it by hand with the 125-gauge Nosler AccuBonds in front of the 33-gauge standard powder. From the 22-inch barrel, it would do 2550 fps. With zero 1.5 inches height in 100 yards, I could keep a deer dead up to 200. If I were to do my part, the three-stroke groups, 100 yards would be under a centimeter.

photo of Ruger No. 1 .30-30
The author prepares to load a 0.30-30 cartridge with a polymer-pointed spitzer bullet into a Ruger Nr. 1 with a single stroke. Richard Mann

If you want an elegant and unusual 0.30-30, look no further than Ruger no. 1. However, if you want one, you will have to look a lot. Not much has been done, and what has been done does not seem to go on sale very often. If you find one in good condition, expect to pay between $ 1,500 and $ 2,000. They are fabulous rifles.

Henry Lever Action .30-30 Side Gate

henri rifle

Henry offers the only rifles currently manufactured in America, with lever action, 0.30-30. Henry is also the largest American manufacturer of lever-action rifles. And, when it comes to 0.30-30, they have a few to choose from. Their steel lever side action gate is more affordable and comes in two configurations. One comes with a standard lever and the other has a large loop lever. Both are retailed, drilled for stretch mounts, have American walnut stockpiles, and lack the crossover security on the latest Marlin and Winchester levers that traditionalists hate.

Henry lever guns at 0.30-30 Winchester are also unique in that while the barrel cartridge can be loaded in the traditional way through the side gate, just like with the barrel rifle, they can also be loaded through a magazine port. Although unnecessary, this excess allows much easier and safer discharge because the cartridges do not need to circulate during operation. Henry offers other weapons with 0.30-30 levers, including one with a solid case with a colored case, one with a stainless steel receiver, and one with a hardened brass receiver. Although these three versions tend to cost a little more.

Read on: The 8 best lever action rifles ever produced

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