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Old November 21, 2013, 02:04 PM   #26
Sarge
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+1 on Post 22, Wyosmith. I've used both quite a bit and like you, I own chronograph. The x39 has certain advantages and with 154 grain SP's, it gives up nothing to conventional 30-30 loads. The Hornady 30-30 load is whole 'nother ballgame.
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Old November 21, 2013, 02:36 PM   #27
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I'd probably go with an SKS or a new Mini-30 with the heavier profile barrel. Apparently they are significantly more accurate than the older Mini's.

The difference in power between 7.62x39 and 30-30 isn't that great with factory loads. Remember, that most 7.62x39 ammo is chronographed through 16'' barrels, one of the most common barrel lengths for this caliber, where as 30-30 is often chrono'd through significantly longer barrels. From load data on the web I am seeing about 2300-2400fps through a 24'' barrel with a 150 grain projectile in .30-30. Where-as through a 'Kalashnikov' I am seeing 150 grain loads listed at around 2150-2250fps for the 7.62x39. 30-30 has about 150-200fps advantage with a barrel that is roughly 8'' longer. Cut the 30-30 barrel down to 16'' and the velocity would be so close, it wouldn't matter.

You also have to take into account that the 7.62russian often uses spitzers as opposed to round and flat nosed bullets. Meaning the 30-30 bullets will tend to lose velocity faster. Even the 'pointed' 30-30 bullets typically have lower BC's than the spitzers in 7.62x39, my guess is that the 7.62russian bullets tend to have longer Ogive than the 'pointed' 30-30 bullets, making a measurable difference in BC.
Hornady's 160 grain FTX 30-30 bullet has a BC of .33
Hornady's .312 cal (yes I realize this isn't the exact diameter of the .310 that the 7.62x39 uses but Hornady only makes 123 grain bullets in .310) 150 grain bullet has a BC of .361 despite the 30-30 bullet having a 10 grain weight advantage and smaller diameter, which is another advantage, when comparing BC.
The 123 grain V-Max/Z-max is barely trailing behind the 30-30 'spitzer' with a G1 BC of .295 despite the 160 grain .30-30 bullet having a 37 grain weight advantage and being .002'' smaller in diameter.
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Old November 21, 2013, 04:07 PM   #28
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I've chrono'ed handloads of both out of 20" barrels( well 20" & 20.5" ) and the 30-30 will easily outperform the 7.63x39 with 150g bullets by over 100 fps.

Boomer

Edit...

I was just looking at Hogdens load data page and their hottest 150g load for 7.62x39 runs 2192 fps and their 30-30 150g loads hits 2512 fps. Both with 24 inch barrels. Just food for thought.
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Old November 21, 2013, 06:35 PM   #29
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I was just looking at Hogdens load data page and their hottest 150g load for 7.62x39 runs 2192 fps and their 30-30 150g loads hits 2512 fps. Just food for thought.
Not that OP asked, but I thought I'd mention that Buffalo Bore has .357 magnum ammo that they list at 158gr @ 2153 fps (out of a Marlin carbine w/ 18.5" barrel). If this data is accurate, it's sort of in the same ball park as the options Boomer listed. With the advances in powders and bullets over time, it's likely more potent than older .30-30 loads that accounted for thousands of deer decades ago.

A .357 carbine is definitely a step down as a deer rifle, but it could do the job. For other purposes--HD, casual target shooting, and even small game hunting (with 38 specials)--it could do well. With standard ammo, it's cheaper to shoot than .30-30s. Its shorter length and higher capacity might make it preferable to a .30-30 for HD.

If deer hunting was my top priority (as it seems to be for the OP based on the subject heading), I'd take a .30-30, but if other uses are more important, I'd consider a .357 carbine along with the SKS or Mini-30.

Last edited by idek; November 21, 2013 at 06:59 PM.
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Old November 21, 2013, 06:45 PM   #30
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how about the CZ carbine?

a bolt will make the round the most accurate, it is almost as short and handy as a lever gun
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Old November 21, 2013, 07:19 PM   #31
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^^John Wayne might look at that. I'd take one!
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Old November 21, 2013, 07:32 PM   #32
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I would love the CZ carbine! No doubt it would drop a deer!
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Old November 21, 2013, 07:45 PM   #33
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a bolt will maketheround the most accurate, it is almost as short and handy as a levergun
My friends Remington 788 in 30-30 really came alive as a deer gun with 150g Hornady SST's.

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Old November 21, 2013, 09:41 PM   #34
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Mini

I'd buy the Mini if money were not an option, and the lever if trying to save a few bucks and didn't intend to shoot much.

Somebody a lot more savvy than me has declared the Mini30 the new American carbine (or words to that effect) and I agree.

Hey I like levers, and a lever 30-30 would very well accomplish what you describe. But I think the mini30 is more versatile, as long as the game you point it at is not much bigger than whitetail, bbear and hogs.

The mini will take a scope easily, and should come with rings. There is a defined support net with Ruger, though I am not a fan of the the "New Ruger". Ruger does sell a factory h-cap mag now (20 rds) which is pricey but works. There is a world of aftermarket accessories, to include folding stock, which will not happen with a traditional lever. Import FMJ ammo is affordable, and good quality hunting ammo is no more than the .30-30.

My Mini30 is suitably accurate to take the noted game out to 150 or so, and will shoot good ammo into 3 MOA or less at 100, and that is all I expect from it. R/P 125's show promise for less, but I only ever bought a box and then started loading for the rifle.

I am not a fan of the SKS, especially at the going prices. For $100 bucks they made a good beater and truck rifle. Too long and heavy for what they were supposed to be...a carbine, but affordable. Not now. And not for me.
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Old November 22, 2013, 03:31 AM   #35
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I've had a Marlin 336C .30-30 for over twenty years, and have used it exclusively for Whitetail Deer hunting. I view it as a 100 - 150 yard and in rifle, and it is capable of superb accuracy.

Where I currently live, semi-autos can NOT be used for hunting, but I do have a couple of Russian SKS's that I plink with at the range. While not quite as accurate as the Marlin, I think it makes a good all purpose rifle. I don't know much about the Mini 30 other than what I have read, and that is a mixed bag.
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Old November 22, 2013, 06:16 AM   #36
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Before the big invasion of foreign Russian and Chinese junk there were no 7.62 bolt guns available. I cut and welded an Arisaka action and added a "Chamber area" to a .311 7.7 barrel. The gun accepts mini -.30 magazines. I tried factory ammo and got not bad results. I went deer hunting and loaded up 150 grain .303 bullets and got not real bad results. I loaded up .308 bullets (Remington Corlokt) and the results were unbelieveable. I pity any horse fly that sits on my target at 100 yards. I have shot a few deer with this gun (One right between the eyes @ about 70-80 yards) and broke a shoulder on one that was running past me. That deer went right down. If you load I would not go 30-30. I don't know how accurate a mini-.30 is, but there are a lot of rumors started by one bad rifle. How about an AR in 7.62x39?
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Old November 22, 2013, 06:54 AM   #37
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7.62x39 or 30-30 for Deer Hunting

Back to the op for all around only ONE rifle I'd go with the semi auto mini 30. However I think every one need at least one lever gun. My way of solving that dilemma would be to buy both & buying the mini first.
I will also mention that I'm a fan of the SKS and they are NOT junk. Just very underpriced & under valued historically. Even at current pricing they're still the best bang for the buck out there.
So to again answer your question, buy the mini then later get the 30-30. I would be willing to bet the 7.62 will be shot the most no matter which type you get.
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Old November 22, 2013, 03:09 PM   #38
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Just food for thought, but you could buy a Marlin 336 30-30 and an SKS close to what you would pay for a Mini-30.

I have never heard anything that great about Mini-30's. I would love to have one to try out though. I also hear the new ones are more accurate.

My Marlin 336 in .35 is a MOA rifle at 100 yards with LE ammo. It is not that hard to find another Marlin as accurate.

You could just buy a springfield Socom and be done with it!
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Old November 22, 2013, 07:06 PM   #39
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Its an easy choice for me. I would pick the 30-30 lever action hands down over any semi-auto. The 30-30 has been killing game bigger than deer for over a hundred and fifteen years. I reload and like to recover my brass. I can load light loads or lead bullet loads that do not rely on gas pressure to operate the action. And if I were silly enough to bust off a full power rifle round in my house I am certain the 30-30 would do the job. But I have a winchester 1200 pump with slugs and buckshot that will do a better job for home defense. And Shotgun Joe told me thats all I need.
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Old November 22, 2013, 08:46 PM   #40
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7.62x39 or 30-30 for Deer Hunting

This forum is awesome. Thanks for all the great advice. After considering your suggestions, I went ahead and bought the new in box Ruger Mini 30 (Model 5806). I paid $850.00 out the door. At first, it sounds expensive, but I know it will gain value over time because these rifles are difficult to find in New England. It included two 5 round magazines, 2 scope rings and a scope rail. It looks like the one on this link: http://www.ruger.com/products/miniThirty/models.html

I will share a range report soon.

I am considering buying a Marlin lever action rifle chambered in 30-30 in the future because your comments made me consider the importance of having caliber alternatives for times when ammo becomes scarce.

I already own a Yugo SKS that is one of my favorite range guns, but don't want to use it for hunting because It is too heavy and I don't want to alter it (remove the bayonet).
It looks great as it is...

Thanks again for all the input.
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Old November 22, 2013, 08:49 PM   #41
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And Shotgun Joe told me thats all I need.
Applause for Uncle "shotgun" Joe for his infallible home defense advice.

Who's with me?... come on... seriously...anybody?

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Old November 23, 2013, 02:21 AM   #42
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I will share a range report soon.
I will be watching for that. I love Minis and my recent 580 shot way better than any Mini 14 I'd ever fired. I hope your 30 shoots just as well.
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Old November 23, 2013, 03:09 AM   #43
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Yankeeironsitghts, Just pull all the extras off of your yugo. Put a sling on it and go hunting. I shot a deer a couple of weeks ago with my chinese SKS. I used the 154gr. SP ammo. The deer went about 40 yards after the shot and that was it.
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Old November 23, 2013, 05:21 PM   #44
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The two are very different and one will "speak" to you. I would prefer a newer Mini-30. I have one and I have no trouble breaking clays at 100 yds with a dot sight. About the same power but more versatility. The new one shoots much better than my older Mini-14. As you can see, many swear by an SKS. I had one and didn't like it. Then again, I inherited a Marlin 30-30 and didn't like it much either.
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Old November 24, 2013, 12:05 AM   #45
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My vote would be for the Mini 30.

Ruger makes factory 20 round magazines for the Mini 30 now (maybe 30's too? Not sure...) It's really a great all around rifle.

I love the Marlin 30-30 as well. I have to be honest with myself though, and if I could only have one or the other it would be the Mini 30. Despite the higher cost of the Mini 30 and it's magazines, (and noting that additional magazines are not an option with the Marlin) the ammunition is less expensive, and I believe the rifle has a greater range of use due to the semi automatic action and removable magazines.

The Mini 30 can also be a better option than an AK-47 for the simple fact that it has better iron sights and no pistol grip. Whether you visually prefer the clean traditional lines of a rifle with no pistol grip, find it easier to fit into gun cases or store in general, prefer the feel of a traditional rifle hold, or whatever, sometimes it is preferable to something like an AK-47. Also the Mini 30 comes with steel scope rings for easily mounting a 1" tube scope. However I've found that with a scope mounted you can not remove the bolt for cleaning, but it is still easy to move the bolt around inside the receiver to get it clean from all angles without the need to remove it, so no big deal.

Getting back to the Marlin 336 30-30. It's a great rifle, I'd guess it to be a little bit better in accuracy than a Mini, whether it's because of an easier trigger pull or whatever, it just seams to be the case, but either rifle will be good enough for your uses, but I doubt that either of them would make great target rifles. The Marlin is also easy to mount a scope on, and it really is an enjoyable gun... nothing quite like the feeling of working the lever and sending a beautiful 30-30 cartridge into the chamber for your next shot.

I honestly think you'll be happy with either one, and they are both very capable rifles. But I'd give the edge to the Mini 30 for it's removable magazines, semi auto action, and less expensive ammo despite the rifle costing about twice as much.

Another note on ammo. I would never buy a 7.62x39 rifle if I didn't plan to shoot steel cased ammo out of it. I don't have a Mini 30, and if I did, I'd shoot nothing but steel cased ammo, and if I found it to be unreliable with such ammo, I'd be very sad, and probably sell it... I'm not going to shell out for brass cased factory 7.62x39, and I would prefer to stay away from the surplus brass cased corrosive ammo.

Let us know what you end up deciding on

WOOPS.... I just went up and read some of the previous posts and see that you DID buy the Mini. Congrats! That's the same model I would have gone for. Please let us know how you like it when you get the chance

Last edited by mellow_c; November 24, 2013 at 12:18 AM.
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Old November 24, 2013, 12:30 AM   #46
Boomer58cal
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Best of luck with your new rifle. If you handload or you decide to start you should have a .308 bore instead of the standard .310-.311. This makes bullet selection way easier.

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Old November 24, 2013, 06:55 AM   #47
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Boomer, the Rugers are .311-.312. The early production Mini-30's were .308 but that was changed years ago. I have loaded .308's in mine to see how they worked. They work pretty well but not nearly as well as the standard 7.62x39 (.311) bullets.
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Old November 24, 2013, 12:05 PM   #48
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hodaka...

I didn't know they'd change the new ones. Good to know thanks for the info. I'd feel a lot better running surplus stuff through them then.

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