Lever Action Rifle Caliber Poll

This is a discussion on Lever Action Rifle Caliber Poll within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'd vote for the 30-30, but you really can't go wrong with either rifle IMHO. I've been hunting with lever-guns for years, but recently(2-3 years) ...

View Poll Results: Lever Action Rifle Poll - Which Caliber

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  • 30-30

    91 73.39%
  • 44Mag

    33 26.61%
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Thread: Lever Action Rifle Caliber Poll

  1. #16
    Member Array TSKnight's Avatar
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    I'd vote for the 30-30, but you really can't go wrong with either rifle IMHO.
    I've been hunting with lever-guns for years, but recently(2-3 years) have begun keeping my Rossi 45lc Carbine for dual purpose hunting/HD.
    It is really easy to handle and packs plenty of punch out to 75yds or so.
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  3. #17
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    I like the notion of the grand old .30-30 best of the two. It offers better down range ballistics and is flatter shooting. I've played around some with both. I've taken 4 deer with the .30-30 at ranges from 15 yards to 130 yards. It works very well. I've only taken a couple of deer with a .44 Magnum from a revolver at 25 yards or less. Of course it worked well too.

    A friend once had a Winchester Model 94 .44 Magnum carbine. We checked some full power 180 grain handloads over my chronograph. They gave a muzzle velocity of over 2200 feet per second, beating out the factory 170 grain .30-30 loads which don't quite make 2100 from the typical 20- inch barreled carbine.

    Only thing is, the short, blunt 180 grain .44 Magnum bullet sheds velocity rapidly and wasn't as accurate at 100 yards. Down range energy showed to be less in the Sierra reloading manual than retained energy for the 170 grain .30-30.

    One can get 1800-1900 fps from a 240 grain bullet in a .44 Magnum carbine. This seems like it would be a useful short range load.
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  4. #18
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Well.. it all depends. If you don't ever hunt with it, the 30-30 is overkill.

    I'ld go .357 without a doubt.
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  5. #19
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwalker497 View Post
    This would be a fun gun, no hunting, possibly Home Defense as well.
    This line makes it easy......go with the .44, or even a .357.

    Fun to shoot, extreemly capable brush gun, and proven home defense rifle in a proven caliber that won't over penatrate. In any HD situation, a 30-30 might be a little too much. JMO.
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  6. #20
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    I bought a Marlin lever .357 Magnum since I have 2 .357 revolvers and 2 .38 revolvers. The .357 Lever will also shoot .38 Specials. Fun to shoot, and with both rounds you have a wide range of hunting possibilities from small, medium, and large game (good brush gun for deer inside of 100 yards). For plinking, .38 Special is the least expensive of the ones mentioned so far as well.
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  7. #21
    Member Array Topspeed's Avatar
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    I voted for the 30-30 since I have a Savage model 99 circa 1935 that my grandfather gave to me. I've only fired it a few times but I know he bagged many deer with it in northern Michigan.

  8. #22
    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    I have more than few lever guns, mostly pistol calibers, 38/357, 44 and 45. 30/30 is a hunting rifle for me. Any of the pistol calibers works fine for home defense. That longer barrel give those rounds some extra punch you don't get from a short handgun barrel. If you have a handgun in any of those calibers, so much the better, as they will compliment each other. Being an avid cowboy action shooter, I have a variety of single action handguns and also some double action handguns in the above calibers. 38's will be the cheapest to shoot for fun and practice. Some guns can be finicky about what ammo they will feed. My Marlin 1894 carbine likes 38's loaded to 1.5" OAL. SO which caliber is best, that all depends on what your needs are as far use, cost to shoot, power etc. Any will get the job done for home defense in my opinion. I'd go with a carbine's shorter barrel over a full length rifle, much easier to move around a house with. I'd be very comfortable grabbing any of my Marlins, should something come calling with evil intent.

  9. #23
    Member Array bluemarlin's Avatar
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    I voted 30/30 because it is real close to the .32 win special I use in my Marlin model 336 sc (sport carbine). I hunt deer and hogs with it. Even with the old ballard rifling, it is still very accurate within 150 yds using just iron sights.

  10. #24
    Member Array Ice Man's Avatar
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    Uhhh, fun? 45-70! BIG BANG!!!

    Also a gem to handload for.
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  11. #25
    Senior Member Array Shadowsbane's Avatar
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    30-30. If you are going to get a rifle, get one with a rifle round.
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  12. #26
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    I voted .44mag but if you have or ever want a companion
    handgun the .357 mag is sweet.
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  13. #27
    Member Array deadhawg's Avatar
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    I have Rossi's in both .357 and 45 Colt, both great rifles. I will add a .30.30 one of these days. I really want one of the lever action pistols sold by Rossi, even though it has no real practical use.
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  14. #28
    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    I voted 44 mag, but have a caveat. I would buy the 44 mag lever action if I was planing on a purchase of a 44 revolver.

    44 mag (esp out of a rifle) would be fine for deer hunting (esp 50 to under 100), but the 30-30 would be better, and reaches the 200 mark.

    It is a tough call, but for me, I own a 30.06, and that is my deer gun. It really is as simple as if I plan on owning a 44 mag revolver. If so, I would buy the 44 revolver, then follow up with the 44 mag lever. I would not buy the 44 lever until I already owned the 44 revolver.
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  15. #29
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    30-30 is the most popular caliber for deer hunting in the state of Missouri.

    Lot's of brush here and most shots are under 120 yards.

    I use a .30-06 for most my deer hunting although I do have a Winchester 94 in 30-30.
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  16. #30
    Member Array jwalker497's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    I'm with the Rabbi.

    My 336 in .30-30 is a fun gun and can ring the 200 yard gong (24" square) at my range regularly if I do my part, but.... .44 Mag for defensive purposes.
    Thanks for all the replies. This would be strictly for HD. So does anyone have any numbers as to how a 30/30 vs 44mag from the same rifle stack up?? Which would be better for Home Defense? I have hunting rifles, this would not be for that. I understand the 30/30 would be better for distance shooting but which one would be more desirable for home defense, say 100yrds max. Does one caliber outperform the other in that capacity? I think it would be helpful for some energy or ballistic gel resutls for these 2 rounds.

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