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Old December 18, 2000, 06:41 AM   #1
Join Date: February 12, 2000
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I want to get a Model 94 Trapper, the Ranger Compact length of pull seemed too short to me and I want a 16" barrel. What I want to know is what caliber should I get it in?

30-30 Win
.44 RemMag/44 S&W Spec
.357 Mag
.45 Colt

I'm thinking about 30-30 Win. But I don't own a revolver, and I'm planning on getting one someday. So should I maybe go with the 357 which is probably the caliber of the revolver I'll get or stick with the 30-30?
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Old December 18, 2000, 07:23 AM   #2
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I shoot a 94 in 44Mag for Cowboy Action matches. I considered the 357 but may want to take the rifle deer hunting.
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Old December 18, 2000, 07:59 AM   #3
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From personal experience I would get the .45Colt. Very nice and easy shooting with plenty of knock down for a 100 yard shot. Especially if you can get some hot loads for it. You could also then get you a single action revolver in the same caliber and be good to go.

If you've never shot the .45Colt give it a try and you will be pleasently surprised.

I got the Trails End model in October and with 11+1 capacity it is very nice. Groups well also.

If you are leaning towards a revolver in .357 then I would certainly go with that caliber as to have a matching set.

best of luck,

Guns don't kill people; bullets kill people!
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Old December 18, 2000, 12:23 PM   #4
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I replied at I see you're posing this question to a number of boards!
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Old December 18, 2000, 02:18 PM   #5
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Well, it depends on what you want it for. I have had the .45 Colt Trapper and currently own a Ranger Compact 30-30. Both are excellent guns, but I'd go with the 30-30 if you're planning to hunt deer primarily. It seems to have more range than the .44 mag. and more power than the .45 Colt.

When I did have the .45 Colt Trapper, I didn't see any significant benefit of having rifle-pistol complatibility; my logic was that if was going to the trouble of carrying a rifle, I may as well have rifle-class performance for my efforts. I did get to shoot the .45 more though, since it was cheaper to practice with.

For self-defense, I feel much better with my loaded 30-30.

As for a .357, I'm not really sure what use it would have other than to be something with which to practice with.

Hope this helps.

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Old December 18, 2000, 02:58 PM   #6
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Poodleshooter, It's the only way to get the best answer!
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Old December 18, 2000, 04:58 PM   #7
Jay Baker
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I have a Winchester Saddle Ring Trapper in .30-30. (Mine is real Winchester, not USRAC.) I suggest the .30-30, if you're going to hunt deer. I use the 150 gr. Federal, or Rem., in mine, and have had very good performance on mule deer, up to about 140 yards (longest shot), in some fairly thick coniferous country. That Trapper is very handy.

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Old December 18, 2000, 07:41 PM   #8
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I shoot a .30-30 94, and I love it. It is accurate, and fun, and if I did cowboy action shooting I would probably use it. My father has an old 94 in .25-35, that I have never shot, so I cannot say anything about it.
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Old December 18, 2000, 09:20 PM   #9
Eric of IN
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.30-30, but that's just because when I think of a Winchester Model 94, I think thutty-thutty.
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Old December 19, 2000, 12:53 AM   #10
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The more involved you get in this game, the more DIFFERENT calibers you're gonna want to play with. Get your 94 in .30/30. It will be much flatter shooting and more capable as a hunting cartridge than the revolver cartridges.
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Old December 19, 2000, 01:17 AM   #11
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What do you want it for? The .30-30 is great for deer hunting, but I'd worry about overpenetration in close quarters. My Winchester is in .45 Colt, which is just about right for home defense. I've actually outfitted mine with a tactical light, which works surprisingly well with the rifle. I'd post a photo, but I can't get this reply box to accept it.
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Old December 19, 2000, 04:44 AM   #12
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It's for my collection, plinking, self-defense, knowing how a lever-action works...

I've never shot a 30-30 and I'm not a hunter(so that's not a factor). I'm really undecided between .357 and 30-30, I just listed the others because the Model 94 can come in those and I didn't know if any of those were a better choice. I also would like to know if six 30-30 rounds is better then nine 357/44/45 rounds?
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Old December 19, 2000, 05:19 AM   #13
Dave McC
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"Are 6 30-30 rounds better than 9 38/357/45 rounds"?

Possibly, depends on the use environment, which includes range and target.

Look at it this way. The 30-30 round is similiar to the 7.62X39 Russian round that goes with the AK series and the SKS. If you think you've a use for one of those, you've a use for a 30-30.

OTOH, the 30-30 is a bit too likely to overpenetrate to make it a good choice for a HD tool, so mine stays unloaded while I depend on other tools for HD. However, a light, handy carbine in a pistol caliber is an excellent choice there.
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Old December 19, 2000, 07:18 AM   #14
Tom B
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I have the Trapper in 30/30 and with a butt cuff and 5 extra rds it makes a great truck gun. I use the 125gr ammo in it. 44mag would be my second choice. I have other lever actions in 30W 32WS and 35Rem. I love them all and say if your are going to get a rifle - get it in a rifle cal.
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Old December 19, 2000, 11:21 AM   #15
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Why this dislike of carbines in handgun calibers?? My Winchester will add a couple of hundred FPS over my Ruger, it's much easier to aim and handle (esp. at two AM when the window breaks), and it holds 11+1 rounds of .45 Colt. It's better than either a .30-30 (let alone a .45-70) or a handgun for defense (considering such factors as overpenetration, recoil, ease of aim, stability, etc.). The ONLY thing it lacks is concealability, but that doesn't matter for home use. Arguing that rifles should be in rifle calibers ignores all the advantages of carbines in handgun calibers.
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Old December 19, 2000, 02:37 PM   #16
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I've looked seriously at the 94AE in .307 Win, but ammo might be a problem. Have you considered that one ?


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Old December 20, 2000, 10:56 AM   #17
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AMH, look at it this way, the 30-30 will lose velocity in a 16" barrel and the 357 will gain velocity. In all reality the 357 will have the same performance as the 30-30 in these circumstances. Certainly a lot cheaper to shoot for fun. Get the 357 and enjoy. If you get into hunting, buy the gun then to suit the purpose. By then you'll probably a much better shooter from all the 357 plinking.
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Old December 20, 2000, 03:45 PM   #18
Tom B
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NO No No No No! Get the 30/30 first and then get the next lever in a pistol cal and you will say "my what a mild shooting round"!
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Old December 20, 2000, 05:12 PM   #19
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Thats easy 30-30!
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Old December 20, 2000, 09:51 PM   #20
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If you think the 30-30 and the .357 will be anything close to "equal" in a 16" barrel, it's time to go back to ballistics school.
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Old December 21, 2000, 09:32 AM   #21
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I have to concur with johnwill. The 30-30 will only loose velocity by going to the "16 barrel from the "20. Also, if you shop well. You can probably find 30-30 ammo for the same price as .357
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Old December 21, 2000, 12:28 PM   #22
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get a Model 1892

I love lever actions. Two of the best calibers chambered in the '94 are no longer available and weren't very common even when they were - the .375 Winchester and the 7-30 Waters. Perhaps the ultimate was the '94 in .307 Winchester, put a tang sight on that baby and with practice you'd have a legitimate 250 yd deer rifle.

If you're looking for a lever action bullet hose for general fun and plinking get a 16" Rossi Model 1892 in .38Spl/.357Mag to go with your future revolver (perhaps a Ruger Blackhawk or Vaquero?). IMO the type '92 action is better than the '94 for pistol cartridges, looks nicer too, plus a '92 is what The Duke always carried. -- Kernel
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Old December 21, 2000, 03:43 PM   #23
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Over on a gent named Paco has done some work with lever guns in 357. His results are quite interesting, to the point of him saying that the 357 is another thing entirely in a rifle. Check it out, I think you'll find it interesting. If I had plans to buy -only- a short range handy deer rifle and a revolver AND had plans to reload, get the 357 in both, and get a blackhawk. Both can be pushed very hard. Blackhawk could be the strongest 357 made; up there with the flyweight freedom arms 357. I see used ones everywhere for 250 clams.

Jerry V.
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Old December 22, 2000, 12:06 AM   #24
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Go with the 30-30 Win. It's a good deer caliber, and should be a perfect gun for you. Get another one later in a different caliber...

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