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One rifle to survive them all

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by JTab09, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. JTab09

    JTab09 Monkey

    Hi all,
    I've been lurking about the forums here for a couple days now, feeling things out like a blind man at an orgy so to speak. And the thing I like about this place is the wide variety of views and opinions here, debate sharpens the mind and provokes thought.
    So bottom line up front. I've recently acquired a Marlin 336 in 30-30. To me, it's the ultimate survival gun.
    It's a manual action first of all. No gas system to gum up or jam. It's lighter than most other fully loaded systems available.
    After this we will have two major arguments; accuracy at range (ballistics), and magazine capacity. As others have articulated their arguments for the various systems, so I will only mention my opinions on the Marlin 30-30.
    Ballistics first: location location location. I live on the eastern seaboard. While hunting in most wooded locations, one is rarely afforded a shot of more than 100 to 150 yards. As far as SHTF situations, if you are fighting in an urban environment or any type of cover, you probably won't be taking shots of more than 150 yards anyway in the interest of ammunition conversation.
    Magazine capacity: while the lever guns do have a limited capacity; most situations I have been in or can imagine, less than 3 or 4 shots was adequate to resolve it. I understand the SHTF application of having a higher capacity, however in a survival situation I am going to try to GTFO of there as rapidly as possible. Putting a single round on target into a bad guys leg is going to definitely slow that guy down, while his screams of pain will certainly give his compadres pause to consider the benefit in chasing such a dangerous prey.
    Simply put. A black rifle or AK, is a great tool for soldiers engaged in sustained combat with a well established resupply apparatus,
    and a .300 winmag with a floating barrel and a 1500 dollar stock is an awesome tool in the hand of a trained sniper with spotter in an environment where you can see a mile in a straight line. For the average joe by himself trying to get along in the woods of NC and provide for his loved ones, I can't see picking an AR over a rifle caliber lever gun.
    Thoughts and debate are welcome!!!
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    You will get No Argument from Me.... My first Centerfire Rifle was a Winchester 94 Saddle Ring Carbine in 30-30. Carried that, in the Mountains, for two years. Later in my life, I acquired My GodFathers Gun Collection when he went into the Old Folks Home, and he had a Marlin 336, in that bunch. I still have both weapons, in the Weapons Locker. Purchased a DPMS AR-10 with a 24" Stainless Bull Barrel, as my "Reach out and touch something" Weapon, this spring, to cover the Long Distance Shooting, but the Marlin and Winchester, are the goto Weapons, for anything around the Cabin. ...... Welcome to the Monkey Tree... Glad to have you hang'en out on a branch....
    AmericanRedoubt1776 and kellory like this.
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    First off Welcome to the Monkey... most of us were lurkers at first in some form....:cool:
    I like a 30-30 as a brush/heavy wooded, or rugged terrain type of hunting rifle... which was my first love in weapons....
    But in a SHTF situation I would rather have an AR platform as the situation may dictate the need for more ammo under certain circumstances, especially in offensive or defensive use. I would still use the 30-30 as a game taker or a limited close support type of weapon in defense only. But if I was in need of a defensive/offensive weapon in a tactical sense to either defend the AO or take the offensive advantage in whatever the mission is ... the more ammo available is better to me... I would rather have less magazine changes or re-loads when engaged... since, unless you have great intel... you never know if it is one scavenger or a team coming to clear you out....but that is just my humble opinion.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
  4. DarkLight

    DarkLight I self identify as a Blackhawk Attack Helicopter! Site Supporter

    As with the others, first of all welcome.

    For me, the first and foremost thing is "have something". Any rifle is better than no rifle.

    That having been said, I also live in NC and I'm a suburb dweller. Realistically, my rifle won't be used on anything longer than 100 yds either but I grew up being taught that "if I can see it and the weapon can get the bullet there, I can hit it". I'm not trying to brag, certainly not the point, just that I have a specific tool and have learned how to use it to it's fullest capability.

    Things to consider at 100 yds. (in numerical order, no other reason):
    Terminal velocity: ~2500-3200 fps
    Impact force: ~850-1275 ft/lbs

    Terminal velocity: ~2400-2500 fps
    Impact force: ~1200-1600 ft/lbs

    7.62x39 (Soviet)
    Terminal velocity: ~2350 fps
    Impact force: ~1150 ft/lbs

    7.62x54 (Russian)
    Terminal velocity: ~2600 fps
    Impact force: ~2300 ft/lbs

    .45 auto (just for comparison...still at 100 yds)
    Terminal velocity: ~650-900 fps (including +P ammo)
    Impact force: ~270-380 (really not that much greater at 50 yds)

    .45 auto (still for comparison...only 50 yds)
    Terminal velocity: ~800-1600 fps (including +P ammo)
    Impact force: ~270-400

    .45 auto (still for comparison...at the muzzle)
    Terminal velocity: ~900-1000 fps (including +P ammo)
    Impact force: ~300-500

    Why did I include the .45? Because many, including LEO and Military, consider it the "gold standard" man stopper (not looking to get into a pissing match, promise, but there's a reason the Army moved from .38 to .45 in the Philippines). How much "damage" does it do upon impact and how effective it is at stopping the other guy. Compared to the .45, ALL of the rifle calibers (I assume your rifle caliber lever round comment was in comparison to say, .22LR as opposed to 5.56 or 7.62) impart MUCH more kinetic energy to the target and get it there quite a bit faster.

    Again, the comparison is between the .45 and the rifle rounds.

    All of the rifle rounds are in the +2000 fps range and they all deliver (or can) upwards of 1000 ft/lbs of force on target. You can get hollow point and unjacketed .223, for example which CAN be used to hunt in NC (not 5.56 though, yes, I checked...I live here too).

    With regards to gas impingement vs. actuator arm (piston) vs. lever action vs. bolt action...they all have their pro's and con's and people have their personal preferences.

    The AK works when caked in mud as long as the barrel is clear. The AR platform now has many after market piston replacements for the gas impingement system and they really aren't that expensive. They bring the "reliability" factor of an AR way up, from high to stratospheric or from meh to reliable (depending on your stance in the AK/AR debate).

    A .30-30 (Marlin 336 specifically) is going to run you $350-500 (gunbroker). Locally (for me) it would be $450-800.
    An AR platform rifle is going to run you $850-1500+. AKs are all over the place, from $550 to $2500 (7.62x39). 7.62x54 can be had for under $150 and that WILL drop whatever you hit. Of course, I don't know that I'd choose a Mosin Nagant as my first choice of hunting rifle unless I'm POSITIVE of a head shot, but I digress.

    I guess my overall point is that all of the above (and more) are tools, and if you train with yours to become proficient in its use you will be effective, regardless of the platform.

    Fixed a couple of things (.38/9mm and NATO/Soviet).
  5. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I would like to echo what the others have said and Welcome as well. 30/30 is a fine and proven round. Don't know if you reload, However this should be a easy round to work with.
  6. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    To support your claim. I once used a Winchester 30-30 in a conflict with three Grand Theft Auto crooks. One went to jail, one went to the hospital and the other was captured later.

    I used 5 rounds and the LEOs where kind enough to assist in the clean up of brass.

    The case on my part never went to the Grand Jury.

    That was a pre 1960 Winchester 94.
  7. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    I got my Winchester 94 when I was thirteen years old. Still have it. A 30-30 is a fine gun by any standard.
    Sapper John, Brokor, HK_User and 3 others like this.
  8. bfayer

    bfayer Keeper Of The Faith

    AR parts are everywhere. A lever gun is fine until a part fails. What then?

    As for those that say a semi auto is not as reliable, while I understand your point of view, if an AR gas system fails it works just fine in manual mode no different than a lever gun. Having said that there is not much to fail in a DI AR.

    An AR can be stripped and reassembled much easier than a lever gun If repairs are needed. I have seen lever guns go down hard because a screw fell out. Not a lot of screws in an AR and the ones you have are staked and need not come out to service the gun.

    As for ammo, I would guess there is more .223/5.56 ammo in north america than any other except .22lr.

    Add a .22lr conversion kit and you have a highly versatile, reliable and repairable firearm that has a very good chance of having ammo available for years to come.

    As for me I would prefer that all the bad guys have a 30-30, because the effective range of a 5.56 is much better :)
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
  9. Legion489

    Legion489 Shining the Light of Truth

    OK, first a little history. The 7.62x39 is SOVIET, Not NATO. The 7.62x51 NATO (.308 Win) is NATO.

    "7.62x39 (Nato)
    Terminal velocity: ~2350 fps
    Impact force: ~1150 ft/lbs"

    Second the US Army went from the .38 "Long" Colt (which is a 9mm Luger equivalent) to .45 ACP AND used the .45 "Long" Colt too.

    "Why did I include the .45? Because many, including LEO and Military, consider it the "gold standard" man stopper (not looking to get into a pissing match, promise, but there's a reason the Army moved from 9mm to .45 in the Philippines)."

    If you are happy with the .30-30 and shoot it well, I got no problem with that. I might not choose a .30-30 as my primary gun, but a lot of dead deer show it works just fine.What YOU like and YOU shoot well is a lot more important than what any one else thinks.
    Sapper John and DarkLight like this.
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Just a NOTE, here: There are MANY Western States that do NOT allow 5.56 or .223 projectiles to be used for hunting Big Game.... In many the 6mm is a Minimum Caliber, for Big Game Hunting.... .
  11. DarkLight

    DarkLight I self identify as a Blackhawk Attack Helicopter! Site Supporter

    Understood. I was addressing the specific state (NC) in which the two of us happen to reside.
  12. DarkLight

    DarkLight I self identify as a Blackhawk Attack Helicopter! Site Supporter

    Thanks for the catch, derped on the Nato/Soviet thing...I knew that. Ditto for the .38/9mm goof. I knew it was .38 but it honestly didn't click until you mentioned it. I didn't know about the .45 Long Colt though.

    kellory likes this.
  13. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Nothing wrong with a 30-30 lever gun. I grew up with a Winchester Model 94, like most everyone else here.

    I can remember finding a copperhead snake in the backyard one morning, and went inside to fetch a rifle. All the .22lr was shot and we didn't get anymore right away (lesson 1). I should have just went back out with a shovel, but being a young boy, I took the Winchester.

    The snake was still in the same spot where I left him, as the mornings were getting colder at the end of summer. I walked over to the beastie while loading a round in the gate. It just stayed there, coiled up as I racked the lever and aimed.

    I was only about ten feet away from the snake when I fired. The snake vaporized as a cloud of dirt flew into the air, leaving a divot a little larger than a softball. Take that! It was a little overkill (lesson 2); I never found a single piece of the snake.

    For 30-30, you might want to look into one of these: Lee Loader 30/30 Win - Lee Precision

    A Lee-loader tool would be a great choice for the .30-30 cartridge as long as you are only shooting your reloads out of one gun. The Lee-loader only neck resizes the cases, and if you tried to shoot them in another weapon, they might not fit the chamber.
    Sapper John, kellory and Yard Dart like this.
  14. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    That made me grin, been there when I was a kid as well.... used a .270 once on a rattler... same effect. :cool:
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  15. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    An advantage for a 30-30 that was not mentioned is that if necessary it can be loaded with .30 grains of black powder and used something that most modern firearms can't... I have a Winchester 94 ... additionally you can still find 30-30 ammo at a reasonable price in all 50 states...

    just my opinion...YMMV
  16. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I do not reload (maybe at a later time) how does a 30-30 compare to a 30-06, for which ammo is always available, and variable?
  17. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny


    If you reload right now really isn't relevant. It's about stashing it away for the future. With a small amount safely stored out of the way, you can rest easy that you will not get caught with your pants down.

    In reloading, we measure weight in grains. There are 7000 grains in a pound. To stash away enough components (minus the cartridges, as you will be reusing them), you would need:

    -just under 11 lbs of lead/tin (90:10 ratio) for bullets, or use wheel weights.
    -2 1/4 pounds of Goex ff black powder (or use your favorite smokeless rifle powder, I like IMR Trail Boss for loading cast lead bullets.)
    -Lee reloader for .30-30
    -Lee 2 bullet mold for 150gr flat nose .308 diameter bullet, and a set of handles.
    -500 small rifle primers.
    -1 pound of beeswax (NOT paraffin) for bullet lube, and a bottle of Lee's Alox to mix with some of it.

    All of these items should fit into a .50 cal ammo can with a desiccant pack and/or oxy absorber. About $200 bucks worth of insurance. I would pack all the relative instructions to go with it so you don't have to guess or remember how much of what.

    Thanks Witch Doctor 01, for reminding me of how much fun it is to shoot black powder metallic cartridges!
    Brokor and Silversnake like this.
  18. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Kool Info GunBunny
    I'll look into that
  19. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Thank you for the answer, but i'm not sure that was the question.:rolleyes: I grew up with my Dad's 30-06. not my primary weapon, because this is a shotgun state, but I have used it. Ammo is easy to come by, and has several varieties available. I have no experience with a 30-30. how do they compare? (the problem with reloading now, is simply my wife would lose her mind if she knew I had "explosives" in the house, regardless of the relative safety. I may set up a reloader at my hunting property though, if i can afford to do so.)
  20. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Just trying to keep y'all ahead of the curve, that's all, I'm not trying to fearmonger.

    30-06 is quite a bit more powerful than 30-30. A rimless rifle cartridge, the 30-06 can propel a heavier (175-220gr) bullet for 1000 yards or more.

    The 30-30 is a rimmed cartridge, needs flat nosed bullets (for a lever gun's tube magazine, so the point doesn't ignite the cartridge in front of it), and is only really good for shots up to 150-200 yards.

    There is quite a bit of difference in the bullet type, even though they both shoot .309 diameter bullets. The nice thing about the 30-30 is the ability to reload with materials sourced from nearby. You won't be shooting anything with even marginal results out of the 30-06 with black powder!

    30-06 is a very popular cartridge, and components for it are everywhere (at the moment), so you could conceivably stock up on your favorite bullet, primer, and powder combo for it also.

    I do believe, that in the months ahead, that the lesser popular hunting calibers that were still prevalent on the shelves a few months ago, are going to be used up. The factories are going full tilt to load 5.56, 7.62, 9mm, etc, and not bothering to retool up for the lesser used hunting calibers.

    Once the stuff that was sitting in the warehouse is gone, I believe it will be gone for an extended period of time also, just out-of-sync with the rest of the buying spree/ammo drought.

    Maybe I'm wrong, we'll see.
    AmericanRedoubt1776 and kellory like this.
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