View Full Version : Recoil: 44 Mag vs 30-3- Carbine

July 31, 2012, 06:42 PM
In the shortest versions of these weapons which has the harder recoil? Thanks!

July 31, 2012, 08:33 PM
44 Mag and 30-30 in the same configuration carbine will be about equal in recoil. They both generate about the same energy, and that whole "equal and opposite" thing applies. The 44 mag might technically have a little less recoil, due to lower pressure and less powder being burnt.

July 31, 2012, 11:01 PM

This chart shows some data regarding .44 and 30-30 recoil.

I've copied and posted the relevant data below. The numbers in parenthesis show grains and muzzle velocity. The other numbers (from left to right) show gun weight in pounds, recoil energy in foot pounds, and recoil velocity.

.30-30 Win. (150 at 2400) 7.5 10.6 9.5
.30-30 Win. (160 at 2400) 7.5 12.7 10.5
.30-30 Win. (170 at 2200) 7.5 11.0 9.7

.44 Rem. Mag. (240 at 1760) 7.5 11.2 9.8
.44 Rem. Mag. (275 at 1580) 7.5 11.4 9.9

Since the gun weights are the same for all of these, it gives a nice apples-to-apples comparison. I don't what the specific barrel lengths are, but it likely wouldn't make a significant difference. As Scorch said, it appears to be about a wash between the two.

August 1, 2012, 09:42 AM
Although they have similar recoil energy, the .30-30 Win come back a bit quicker, due to the higher muzzle velocity.

Increased rifle weight, good stock design/fit, and modern recoil pads can minimize "felt recoil" dramatically.

August 1, 2012, 09:47 AM
Any felt difference in recoil between the two would most likely be to stock config/drop differences - especially if one has a squared-comb type carbine stock & the other doesn't.


August 2, 2012, 04:59 PM
Thanks guys. I know all my questions are about recoil. Reason being I have a bad shoulder and want a carbine type lever action that wont make it worse. I have owned several AK rifles would not want anymore recoil than the 762x39

The 30-30 sounds good but apparently max capacity in its shorter versions is 5 rounds?

August 2, 2012, 05:30 PM
The 44 will have more recoil. Read idek's post. That is showing recoil with both guns in 7.5 lb rifles and the recoil being basically equal. But most44's will be at least a pound lighter than most 30-30's, so the recoil will be even more apparent. The individual load matters a lot. There are some pretty hot loads with heavier bullets available for the 44 than are possible with the 30-3

I own both and the difference is not huge with most factory loads, but noticeable. When you move up to some of the hotter loads such as those offered by Buffalo Bore or Double tap, or hot handloads the 44 will rap you pretty good in a 6 lb rifle.

August 2, 2012, 06:32 PM
That's a good point about gun weight.

Comparing Marlin's offerings, their 336 30-30 is listed at 7 lbs., and their 1894 44 mag. is listed at 6.5 lbs. I don't know how accurate those estimates are (my 1894c weighs 1/2 pound more than they claim), but 30-30s probably will run a bit heavier.

Henry offers both guns with octagonal barrels, and these are both heavy, listed 8.68 lbs for the 44, 8.3 lbs. for the 30-30. They also have a standard barrel 30-30 at 7 lbs.

Of course, there are other brands, including winchester, uberti, rossi, and mossberg that make/made rifles in these calibers. The point is that the amount of recoil energy is about even to begin with. The other factors: gun fit, gun weight, and ammo selection, are what will ultimately determine which feels better on the shoulder.

August 3, 2012, 07:28 AM
I have both in a marlin 1894 and 336 as Scorch said recoil is about the same i find the 30-30 to be a little sharper but that probably has more to do with the recoil pad than the cartridge.

I don't find recoil to be significant in either although it does depend how short a barrel you're talking about.

I fired a 16" 30-30 win 94 and the recoil was noticeable.

August 3, 2012, 08:06 AM
Don't forget the .44 can also use the much less recoiling .44 Special rounds.

August 3, 2012, 03:45 PM
When I started getting interested in leverguns my first instinct was to buy the Marlin 357 carbine. The more I read about it and for that matter all the handgun based leverguns it sounds like it is very hard to find new ones that operate without flaw.

I have also picked up that leverguns that use rifle cartridges do not have these kind of problems.

Is that a fair judgment? 30-30 levers have consistently smooth operation?

August 3, 2012, 03:47 PM
Don't forget the .44 can also use the much less recoiling .44 Special rounds.

If there is a significant difference in recoil that may be the way for me to go. So the 44 Special ammo is what about the same power as a 357 load?

August 5, 2012, 05:16 PM
Having read Chuck Hawks' and many other charts over the years, they've all baffled me. This is one of those "real world vs data" things. The felt recoil from my .44 Mag Rossi 92 trapper (16"), while abrupt in heavier loads, is much less than my same configuration 94 Trapper .30-30. "Boom" vs "Ka-Boom!" If anything, the 92 is maybe 1/2-3/4 pound lighter, otherwise similar dimensionally. As others have said, neither is overly objectionable--especially when extended to 20" where they shine more anyway as useful platforms IMO--but the 94 is more obnoxious. Relatively speaking, I'll shoot the .44 shorty all afternoon compared to the .30-30.

August 5, 2012, 07:03 PM
I would say go with either one. Start reloading for the one you get. Tailor the loads for you.

With Trail Boss the .30/30 or .44 Mag are very tame. You could shoot them till you run out of ammo. Then you will curse yourself for not having more brass to reload.

August 5, 2012, 08:24 PM
I have both a 1894 Marlin 44, and a 30-30-wihchester 94. Both weigh in at 7lbs. The 30-30 shoots Remington 170grn soft points, the 1894 likes 300grn bulets the best. We have tried several loads Speer flat points,Nosler hallow points amd eaven some Renear flat points all 300grn. Lost my loading buddy so now I shoot factory loads and Hornady Custom in 300grn hallow points shoot the best. My 12year old hunted with both rifles last year and loved shooting both.There is just a slight bit of differance, but the 30-30 has just a bit more recoil than the 44.But mothing real noticable. The 30-30 will cive you a 150yd range and the 44 a 100yd shot, but we hunt woods and small fields. See if someone will let you shoot both and then you can make a sound decisiom. Good luck and whichever you chose you wont be disapointed.

Bob Wright
August 7, 2012, 04:22 PM
If I may share one observation:

When I was in the Army, the M1 rifle had a pretty healthy kick to it when I fired it. Not too long ago I had the opportunity to fire off a clip from a friend's M1. Recoil was not near as bad as it used to be. Then it dawned on me: Then I was 145 pounds, now 190 pounds. There is a lot more of ME behind that buttplate!

Bob Wright

August 8, 2012, 08:21 PM
I have shot 125, 150 and 170 gr in my 336, the 125 Fed hp has the sharpest recoil of all. Maybe the velocity of the recoil (rifle) is greater with the 125's?

August 11, 2012, 07:36 AM
I have a Marlin 94 and a new Ruger 77/44 in 44mag.
I haven’t shot 30-30’s in years so I can’t really help on that but the Ruger being shorter and the design of the stock is so much better I can shoot max reloads all day and its pleasant. Those same rounds in the Marlin do thump a lot more but I think it has more to do with the very thin but of the stock of the Marlin. Also the lever action doesn’t fit my shoulder as well.
If you have your mind set on a lever action go with the 44 and get cowboy loads which are easy shooting or reload 44 mags to 44 special loads then they are like shooting a 22.
Or go with a bolt action like the Ruger.


August 12, 2012, 12:28 PM
I have an 1894 in .45 colt. with cowboy loads It has no recoil! I'm sure A .44 mag could be loaded down to whatever you can handel. warm them up A bit for hunting.

August 15, 2012, 09:40 AM
I've got a Rossi 92 in 357 mag and its a sweet rifle! Very little recoil and it feeds absolutely anything. I bought it used for a tremendous price so I have no idea if it's been worked on. For all I know it could have had a quality action job done.

August 16, 2012, 03:11 AM
The Marlin 336 stock seems to manage the recoil energy transfer better than the narrow Winchester 94 stocks

A 336 with a good recoil pad and a stock cut to the properly length of pull for you, would be easy on the shoulder.

If you are going to hunt deer with this rifle then get Hornady's 30-30 Win 160 gr FTX® LEVERevolution® ( yes I cut and pasted). With this load you have a 300 yard deer rifle

Just saying

August 16, 2012, 04:32 AM
Thanks for the great input guys! Im about ready to put up another question on a new thread.

August 16, 2012, 04:44 AM
Anyone have experience with a slip on recoil pad like Kick Killer?


Looks pretty cool.

August 16, 2012, 07:24 PM
The only issue is that they effectively change your stock length. I can see using one for sighting in at the bench then removing it to go hunting.

August 16, 2012, 08:08 PM
If you reload or not a pistol chambered lever gun will be more useful, but also more expensive. A .357 is a pretty sweet general purpose gun but getting hard to find.

August 19, 2012, 04:41 PM
I have shoot or owned both. My current center fire lever action is a Winchester XLT .30-30. I once owner a Browning replica of the Winchester M92 in .44M and the felt recoil was much worse in the .44M than the .30-30.
Why? If you read the stats of each round, the .30-30 should have a little more felt recoil but the curved metal buttplate on the Browning did beat my shoulder up more. If you go with a .44M, get one with a 'shotgun' stock as opposed to the cowboy style metal curved one.

August 19, 2012, 07:33 PM
The curved butt goes against your upper arm, not your shoulder.

Big Shrek
August 20, 2012, 12:06 PM
My Wifey has had numerous shoulder surgeries over the years...
consequently, she uses a Padded Shotgun Vest and recoil pads go on Everything.
Pachmyer makes some darn fine ones...and there are other MFR's...tall guys don't mind slip-on's...they help with aiming for us gorilla's ;)

If yer a short guy or have short arms...a slip on may cause more problems that it can solve.

Probably the best way to go would be to call Marlin and order an OEM Marlin pad (screw-on) for an 1895-SBL,
that is a Darn Fine THICK pad...meant for a .45-70!! It'll muzzle yer Marlin 336 recoil quite nicely!!

Even though the same rough dimension of stock is used for both, you'll have to hand-fit it to your particular rifle,
as they send 'em out a bit oversized, so you simply take it to a belt sander and match it to your stock...read up on it first, as it takes a little skill.
Nobody makes one that just screws right on unless you get lucky...even then, individual stock variation would mean you'd still have to work it a bit!

My 1952 336RC has an OEM Brown pad...which I'll probably leave on until it wears out ;)