Thread: 30/30 Vs. .270
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:11 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,142

Originally Posted by Gangly View Post
It depends on the area you are hunting. If you are brush hunting, the 30/30 is far more maneuverable, will "get on the shoulder" quicker, is a larger round so doesn't deflect off of branches as much, and has more than enough power to take deer out past 200 yards which is twice the distance that most people will ever shoot. Realistically, 50 yard shots are the most common and therefore rifle functionality, not ballistics, should be the determining factor. Choose a round that fits within your recoil acceptability bracket and select a rifle based on the type of hunting you will be doing. A 270 is a good round, but it will not perform noticeably better than a 30/30 unless you are hunting an open area that allows you to reach out and hit deer at distances greater than 200 yards which is very uncommon despite what you hear from the keyboard hunters on the internet. If you want a 30/30, the Marlin 336c is a FANTASTIC lever action that has been around forever and is very reliable. If you are wanting a 270, any quality manufacturer will provide you with a quality firearm.
There is very little in this post that I agree with, except that the 336 is a fantastic leveraction. Personally, as a 15yr veteran of cowboy action shooting and a hobby lever action gunsmith that has rebuilt and tuned dozens of leverguns for action competition, I HATE toggle link rifles (i.e. Win 94). The Marlin is simple, rugged, and accurate. Hone the carrier cam on the lever when you first take it out of the box, and you'll have a heck of a fine weapon that will last the ages, even shooting HOT loads.

Frankly, go place some branches 10ft in front of your 100yrd target and try out your "the larger round doesn't deflect off branches as much" theory. You'll sing a different tune after ACTUALLY firing it, instead of just passing on an old wives tail. Linear momentum (bullet weight times velocity) is what allows a round to penetrate brush. The .270win has 20% more momentum than a .30-30win, and frankly, in my own experience with hunting in the brush, there is NO cartridge out there that does well at penetrating brush. ON THE OTHER HAND, a flatter shooting cartridge will let you shoot through the gaps, so your line of sight to target is actually where your bullet is flying, in which case, the .270win has the advantage. In the last 10yrs, there have been dozens of articles supporting this fact (which is why I went out and tried it with my own rifles). The smaller caliber, faster flying cartridges have a REAL advantage in brush shooting, contrary to the old stories about big slow bullets punching through brush. Better to not hit the brush at all.

Beyond that, you have absolutely no evidence to support that most shots are taken under 50yrds. Maybe this is true in some densely wooded areas of the country, but in my 20yrs experience, I've had more 400yrd opportunities than 40 yarders. In the last week since our season has been open, I've had shots on 3 deer under 50yrds. I've had no less than 7 deer per day within 400yrds (for those of you keeping track, that's 50 opportunities over 50yrds, and 3 under 50yrds).

I'm also not a big believer that a bolt action has a disadvantage in the woods. I have NEVER felt as if I were "slow to shoulder" with any rifle, and frankly, a compact/lightweight sporter .270 can be just as light and short as a levergun. My personal opinion about guys that think they need quick follow up shots should have placed the FIRST shot better. I also, just a few days ago took an unassisted double in woods with visibility under 50yrds with a bolt action .30-06. Took 3 shots before the deer could disappear (2 on the 1st doe, 1 on the 2nd).

Personally, I've used a Marlin 336 in .30-30 out to 250yrds without any arguement in the past. Granted you have to pick the right bullet, and you have to know your trajectory, but it can easily do the job at that range.

If I would have ONE rifle, out of these two, it would be the .270. A sporterwieght .270win can do anything a standard .30-30 levergun can do, and still have the advantage of longer range shooting. The .30-30 levergun, as much as I love them, is at a distinct disadvantage beyond 200-250yrds.
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