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Author Topic: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30  (Read 9582 times)

GaBoy45

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Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« on: October 31, 2010, 05:41:20 PM »
So I want a lever rifle in a trapper format. Can't decide between .357 Mag or .30-30. I like the mag capacity of the .357 versus the .30-30. And I like that some loads, like Buffalo Bore 180 grain equals or surpasses standard.30-30 loads under 200 or so yards. 200 yards is really the only accuracy I'm looking for. Anything further is just gravy. If I go with the .357 I'd probably go with a Rossi or Puma. Had a Rossi when I did CAS. Couldn't break it and it just got smoother the more you shot it. But .357 or .30-30?
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2010, 05:56:46 PM »
Intended targets?  I have a few levers in 357, and while it's true you can push them to nearly or slightly past 30-30 muzzle velocities, the differing BC numbers between the short fat pistol slug and the longer slimmer rifle slug show up fairly quickly.  

Also-  Remember that most slugs intended for pistol velocities will act like varmint slugs at rifle velocities.  Two that do hold up well and stay together at high impact speed are Hornady's XTP and Speer's Gold Dot slugs.
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2010, 06:02:36 PM »
Here's a decent write up of the 357 in a lever action format, along with more info on it in general. -

http://www.leverguns.com/articles/taylor/357magnum.htm
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2010, 06:15:32 PM »
It really depends on your needs- hunting and general purpose shooting, or self defense and general purpose shooting. If you are more interested in a pig/deer rifle, 30/30 is a better choice, but if it's self defense and then hunting, the .357 is a better idea.
If you handload the .357 is the choice regardless. You can tailor loads to your gun, and some of the newer powders make safe loads in .357 fully the equal of 30/30 at any reasonable range.
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GaBoy45

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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2010, 06:20:33 PM »
It would be for a truck gun. As in self defense mostly. I have a Marlin 336 in but it is a family rifle and not to be shortened or anything. I like the Winchester action as it is lighter to me.
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2010, 06:31:26 PM »
Well, I'd definitely say the .357 then. Remember you can shoot cheap .38 specials through it, too? Makes for fun (and cheap) practice.
Don't doubt some of those .38 loads from the rifle, some of the +P loads get up around .357 velocity from the longer tube, but are easy to shoot really fast in the rifle.
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2010, 06:32:16 PM »
With that use in mind, a 92 action 16" carbine in 357 would be the cats meow, IMO.
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2010, 07:48:26 PM »
the price of ammo would drive me toward 357 magnum levergun as far as a fun shooter + truck gun goes...especially if it isn't your only rifle.

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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2010, 11:58:54 PM »
With that use in mind, a 92 action 16" carbine in 357 would be the cats meow, IMO.
This is exactly what I'm thinking about as well.  For a Tactical Lever Action rifle, I think this might be a great way to go.  The .45 Colt is nice, to be sure.  But I like the higher velocity, flatter trajectory if the .357 Magnum.

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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2010, 12:03:39 AM »
I'd get the .357,  then a revolver to go with it. 
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2010, 03:02:32 AM »
With that use in mind, a 92 action 16" carbine in 357 would be the cats meow, IMO.
That's what I have, a slicked up cut down Puma. A lot of fun. I just need to get some sights on it, it's like shooting a musket now.

GaBoy45

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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2010, 10:03:27 AM »
Going to look at the local gunshops and see what they have in stock or can order. Looks like a trapper in .357 Magnum is the way I'm going to go.
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2010, 11:00:46 AM »
Going to look at the local gunshops and see what they have in stock or can order. Looks like a trapper in .357 Magnum is the way I'm going to go.

Sounds good, I've wanted one for some time now.
Is .38 Spl reliable in all .357 levers? For some reason, I remember something about it not always being so with Marlin's or perhaps other manufacturers too. If that's the case, is it due to the OAL differences between the two cartridges?
:hmm 

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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2010, 12:20:42 PM »
JD,

I don't want to pass bad information, so if anyone knows, please correct me, but I have always thought the ammo to avoid in Marlin lever guns was any lead round nose. This has to do with the micro-groove rifling Marlin uses.

Rob
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2010, 12:37:40 PM »
Go 357 or 44 mag. 45 colt is almost always loaded to wimpy standards so you don't blow up great grandpa's Colt SAA. 30-30 does nothing for me these days. having owned a pair of winchester trappers in 357 and 44 I can vouch that they're very light and handy. 44 kicks a bit but I think the more modern Marlin has a butt pad which would help. Add LeverEvolution ammo and BOOM! you got a winner.
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2010, 04:57:40 PM »
JD,

I don't want to pass bad information, so if anyone knows, please correct me, but I have always thought the ammo to avoid in Marlin lever guns was any lead round nose. This has to do with the micro-groove rifling Marlin uses.

Rob

 I'm a little unclear on that one too. Some have stated LRN and/or cast bullets can be used if bullet dimensions are just right. Or something close to that statement. Personally, I've used LRN .22 LR in my Marlin bolt action (with micro-groove) for years with no issues. But that's just me, I'm not saying it's "right".
 I do remember reading something years ago in my fathers 336 manual about using caution (or don't use) fully jacketed ammo, and of course anything with a point (excluding LeverEvolution these days). In addition, I believe micro-groove is only used in Marlin's 336 series currently and maybe a couple of other lever models. The rest of Marlin's lever actions use "Ballard" type rifling last I checked.

I think I'll visit the Marlin site and check out their manuals.  :hmm

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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2010, 07:06:15 PM »
 Just checked out the Marlin 1894 Manual. It states the following:

Quote
Ammunition Note

If your rifle is chambered for 44 Rem.
Magnum, it is designed to handle 44 Rem.
Magnum factory-loaded ammunition
(except wad cutters and shot shells). It will
also function with 44 Special cartridges
that are within the length parameters
shown below. (NOTE: Since 44 Special
cartridges are shorter than 44 Rem.
Magnums, their use can cause a lead
buildup in the forward part of the chamber.
Be sure to thoroughly clean the chamber
with a wire brush after using 44 Specials.)
Minimum overall cartridge length -- 1.535"
Maximum overall cartridge length -- 1.610"

If your rifle is chambered for 357 Magnum,
it is designed to handle 357 Magnum factory-
loaded ammunition (except wad cutters
and shot shells). It will also function
with 38 Special cartridges that are within
the length parameters shown below.
(NOTE: Since 38 Special cartridges are
shorter than 357 Magnums, their use can
cause a lead buildup in the forward part of
the chamber. Be sure to thoroughly clean
the chamber with a wire brush after using
38 Specials.)
Minimum overall cartridge length -- 1.400"
Maximum overall cartridge length -- 1.590"


If your rifle is chambered for 38 Special, it
is designed to handle 38 Special factoryloaded
ammunition (except wad cutters
and shot shells). It will function with 38
Special cartridges that are within the
length parameters shown below.
Minimum overall cartridge length -- 1.275"
Maximum overall cartridge length -- 1.550"

Ahhhhh, that answers some questions I had.

Vern357

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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2010, 07:35:58 PM »
One plus for the .357 is that they have a lot better resale value from what I have seen.
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2010, 10:36:14 PM »
From what I have personally seen in the ROSSI/PUMA rifles:
.38 Specials run better than .357 Magnums with Semi-Jacketed rounds.  Sometimes the Mags will hang up in the feeding.  However FMJ or any load that doesn't have exposed lead around the front seem to run just fine.
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2010, 11:34:57 PM »
Good info..

I've been eyeballing a Marlin 1894 .357 at a local shop for some time now. I had questions about the ammo usage too, so that clears it up for me. so thanks.
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2010, 07:42:06 PM »
I owned a Marlin 1894 carbine in .357 Magnum and it was a fun, handy little gun.  It was just perfect for keeping around the farm where I used to live -- hell on varmints.

As mentioned above, the velocities reached by some .357 loads do not make them the equivalent of the .30-30.  From an effectiveness standpoint, I think the advantage of the magnum is capacity.  The .30-30 is a better choice for medium to large game though the magnum will do the job within its effective range.  Also, the .30-30 makes a fine defensive rifle with the proper ammunition.  I have a 336C with a slightly shortened barrel with a ghost ring sight zeroed for Federal 125 gr JHP ammo.  This was designed for coyotes and is a good choice for defensive use.
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2010, 12:34:00 AM »
i have a .357 puma, and a marlin .30-30. i like the marlin just out of preference. i dont really know any of the actual stats associated with the different rounds, so  im not entirely sure how a .357 can be better than a .30-30.
 
our puma has a really hard time loading .38s soft points(i dont even think they had a jacket at all). usually the worst problem i get is that the rounds will hit the inside of the reciever and cause me to have to poke them down to get them back on track or in line with the barrel.  i havnt gotten to try any other types of  .38 rounds though.
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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2010, 03:01:09 PM »
I had a rossi .357 for a while. Sold it because I never shot it. It was fun and easy to shoot but I don't regret selling it because it wasn't very reliable. Typically, acoording to my research, if going to be used seriously (which it sounds like you are) it needs to be gone over by a competent gunsmith, and typically it's cowboy action gunsmiths that know this rifle (http://www.stevesgunz.com/.

That's the turn off to the nice cheap .357 lever action rifle, you have drop another couple hundred bucks to get them reliable and then you might as well have bought a basic AR or something.

ETA: These guys do some really cool work with serious use lever actions: http://www.superiorfirearmsllc.com/photo-gallery.html?view=album&album=5504185057578779681&page=1

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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2010, 05:22:05 PM »
I was enjoying the thtread and started thinking about getting a lever gun so i went over to GunBroker to take a look. That was a mistake:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=198501403

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Re: Lever gun: .357 Magnum or good ole .30-30
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2010, 05:56:07 PM »
I'm wanting a 92.
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