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NELS-BELLS

Need advice on what type of 30/30 cartridge to buy for daughter[

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My daughter, who is 13 now, got a new 30/30 Marlin lever action for Christmas last year from her grandparents. The gun did not come with a scope although we are considering getting one. What magnification of scope would be my next question. She hunts deer from a stand where the longest shot is maybe 100 yards. I'm a bowhunter and don't know much about rifle ammo, especially a 30/30.

What type of bullet would you recomend for deer hunting?

Thanks

Nels

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I would recommend putting a scope on the gun. I'd go with a variable 2X7 Leupold or Nikon. Have her keep it set on 2X unless she needs to dial it up for a longer shot.

As for ammo - I'd go with the Hornady Leverevolution. The ammo increases the accuracy and ballistics for the traditional 30-30.

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The new Hornady's are nice and will help with long range accuracy but it doesn't sound like you're going to be taking very long shots. I haven't used one for hunting for a while but when I first started deer hunting years ago I used a 30-30 and just shot the cheap 150 grain ammo.

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I used a Marlin 336C for nearly 25 years. The ammo I used was the plain old 150gr. round nose cartridges. Although I outfitted mine with a 2.5-7x scope, I personally think it is a waste of money. Taking shots beyond 100-150 yards would be irresponsible and for that reason I'd lean more toward a fixed 4x scope with a nice wide field of view.

Bob

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I think Bob hit it right on the nose! 30/30 should not be shot over a hundred yards. With that being said shoot the cheapest namebrand i.e. Remington or fedral ammo. You do not need to use anything else. I shoot a DPMS 308 and I shoot the cheapest fedral I can get and I think it holds very nice patterns i.e. 3/4" moa @ 100 yards. Get her a fixed 4 power scope they would be a great fix for this gun, but make sure you get the rings that you can still use the iron sights and that will be a great set-up! Happy Hunting

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Just my 2 cents-

Shots of 50 yards and under are most common in Minnesota. This is just my opinion, but I would rather be sitting with a scope dialed at 2 or 2.5 and know that I have the option of dialing up if needed. The higher power isn't necessarily used for shooting long shots but for seeing if that deer sneaking through the trees at eighty yards is a doe, nubbins, spike or larger buck. I currently have a 2.5-8 power on my 30-06 and have shot 90% of my deer at the lowest setting. There have been 3 ro 4 times the higher power came in handy to check out the headgear. There also have been times when the deer that popped out trotting 10 yards away may have been tough to find in a 4X fixed. I used see-through scope mounts for many years but decided to replace them with standard mounts. I rarely used the iron sights and it seems the scope is more firmly seated and sighting is more natural than a scope mounted a couple inches high.

You are probably right on ammo. For most stand hunting in Minnesota, the cheap blunt nose bullets would work (I used 170 grain when I shot a 30-30). Just depends on if you want the increased ballistics of the pointed-nosed Hornady or not. Now there is the option.

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I'm not 100% certain, but if your daughter is a new hunter, 30/30 rounds might also come in the reduced recoil rounds. I would also be more focused on training her to be patient and wait for her closer shots before allowing her to poke out to 100 yds with a 30/30.

Just my opinion.

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For someone new to hunting it might be a good idea to use rounds with a FLAT nose. In a tube magazine rounds stack in line. Flat nose bullets eliminate the chances of accidental discharge in the magazine if bullet tip would come in contact with the primer of the round in front of it in the magazine.

This suggestion is mainly looking at a safety issue when using a tube magazine firearm.

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Thanks for all of replies. Great advice as always from this forum. I didn't know you could get loads with softer recoil. I'll have to look into that. As a bow hunter I am all for being patient and waiting for the right shot. I'll be in the stand with her for at least a couple more years. I think we will sight the gun in with the open sights and see how accurate she is before spending the money on a scope. If she wants a scope, she will have to do some more babysitting. grin

Thanks again,

Nels

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Nels, I'm pretty sure that Remington makes a reduced recoil round for the 30/30. I was looking at it for my daughter when she gets into my gun.

Mine has the fixed 4 power scope and I like it, but for shots under 30yds its a bit close. I like the 1-5?x scopes or the 2-7x. That would be best.

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I think the benefit of a scope is the ability to see much clearer in the early and late light. If you get a decent scope the light gathering capability will really jump out at you. In my experience that means spending $150+ on a scope. I use a 2x7 redfield widefield on my shotgun and love it.

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I think nothing else says whitetail deer hunting better then a 30/30. I personally would stick with 150gr or 170gr round or flat nose bullets. They’ve work great and packs the right amount of punch. If you’re gonna go with a scope. I’d recommend using regular scope mounts vs. see through type. I’ve used them before and they seem a little awkward at first. Plus, I can almost guarantee you wont’ remember to use the iron sights, when a deer is that close. As for scope power 2-7X and at least 32mm is what I would use.

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