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Old December 4, 2019, 01:52 PM   #1
kst8fan
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Scope for a 30-30

I’ve got a new Henry case hardened 30-30 and I am looking to put a scope on it. Will be used for deer season in January. I should note that I’ll be shooting Leverevolution Ammo from Hornady. I would like either a 3-9x40 or a 4-12x50. Rings and base recommendations are appreciated as well.
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Old December 4, 2019, 01:54 PM   #2
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Neither. Both are way more powerful (and heavy) than you'll need for a 30-30. That light, short gun needs a scope that matches it. Look at Leupold's 2-7 scope. It won't overbalance that little rifle. At 30-30 ranges, you don't need more than 7x. In fact, you'll likely find that you'll keep it around 3x for most of your hunting.
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Old December 4, 2019, 02:10 PM   #3
T. O'Heir
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A 4-12x50 is nearly as big and heavy as the rifle. Even a 3-9x40 will be kind of big.
Notice how high these are. Too high changes how you hold the rifle.
http://www.skinnersights.com/scope_mounts_31.html
Henry USA says you need a Weaver 63B base for their .30-30. Which Henry you have matters though.
Then think a low magnification scope like those used on shotguns.
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Old December 4, 2019, 03:53 PM   #4
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My 30-year-old model 94 Winchester still wears it’s 30-year-old Bushnell sportview fixed 4 power. It will definitely get you in the bullseye at 100 yards. A 4 power scope in whatever brand you decide to go with should serve you well.

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Old December 4, 2019, 04:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kst8fan View Post
I’ve got a new Henry case hardened 30-30 and I am looking to put a scope on it. Will be used for deer season in January. I should note that I’ll be shooting Leverevolution Ammo from Hornady. I would like either a 3-9x40 or a 4-12x50. Rings and base recommendations are appreciated as well.
I got the bright idea I wanted a 1x4 on my 30-30. It now has a 2x10 and I think its ideal. 3x9 works well too.
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Old December 4, 2019, 05:49 PM   #6
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I shoot out to 600 yards with 6X scopes. Something with 1X, certainly no more than 2X on the low end will be a huge help for close range shots. Most 30-30's aren't shot past 200 yards. Having more than 3X or 4X at the top end is a waste. Anything above 2X makes it hard to find game up close and 1X is significantly better. I run 1-4X24's on my AR's for that reason and still shoot them at 400 yards on 4X.

Lever actions, especially Henry levers, are already among the heaviest rifle options out there. Most of them with just iron sights will weigh about the same as most bolt guns scoped.

A 1-4X scope can come in as light as 8 oz. Going up to 3-9X40 will be closer to 15-16oz. More magnification can get you up over 20 oz. Instead of a handy carbine you'll turn it into a heavy pig to carry around.

More magnification, without a huge front objective is a handicap in low light. A 4X scope with a 20mm objective lets through all the light a human eye can use. If you move up to a 10X scope you need at least a 50mm objective to let in as much light. Above 10X, or with an objective smaller than 50mm and you see better in low light with less magnification.
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Old December 4, 2019, 06:05 PM   #7
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I mounted up a 3x9x40 on my moms Henry 30-30 and she hasn't had one complaint. We also have similar setups on a Marlin 336 in 30-30, Marlin 336 in 444 and Winchester 94 in 30-30.

I don't know why people have such a big problem with this because if you wanted to keep things light and handy you wouldn't mount a scope period.
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Old December 4, 2019, 09:18 PM   #8
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Musicmatty, how do you get a good cheekweld with that rig? It may get you in the bullseye from the bench, but you'll have issues getting on target when time is short.....
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Old December 4, 2019, 09:24 PM   #9
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Neither. Both are way more powerful (and heavy) than you'll need for a 30-30.
This. ^

Though I don't think a 30/30 needs more than 4x at the most ...... and it needs to be mounted as low as possible, with a cheek riser to match your eye to the new sight height. I like a scout set-up, on a lever gun, myself.
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Old December 4, 2019, 09:39 PM   #10
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I just put a Bushnell Trophy 2x7 on a 450 Bushmaster. Nice little scope for less than $90. A fixed 4x would be nice too.
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Old December 4, 2019, 10:06 PM   #11
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Way to classic looking of a gun to ruin those great lines, and case hardened look with any scope!
Marble's tang mounted peep maybe, but scope, absolutely not!
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Old December 5, 2019, 12:54 AM   #12
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There is absolutely no reason not to put a 3x9 on a 30-30, the gun is quite capable beyond typical brush hunting and 9x will magnify a deer out to 200yds quite nicely. Ive used a 3x9 on a 3030 for years, and recently put a new Leupold VX-R 3x9-40 on my 32yr old Marlin. The thing to look for in a scope especially for a 3030 lever gun is as wide of a field of view (FOV) as you can find at the lowest scope setting (34feet with the above Leupold) for fast target acquisition in brush and heavy timber. A 3x9 on a 3030 will transform the lever gun into a very versatile hunting rifle fast handling in the brush and 9x for a clear shot out to 200yds.

Go for an EGW i-piece '0-MOA' picatinny base with Warne Maxima "low" rings and it will clear the rear sight (without having to flip it down) and still offer enough cheek weld for shooting.


You can get the EGW base and Warne rings at Midwayusa and right now midway has a good selection of scopes on sale.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1018662029?pid=767766

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1592119587?pid=729329

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Old December 5, 2019, 02:37 AM   #13
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reason

Bigger is not always better, and if you mount a 50mm bell on your lever rifle, you will be sorry. That big bell up front will require you to giraffe your head up off the comb of the stock for an awkward shooting position, and as noted, the bigger the scope, the more it weighs, and a 50mm scope weighs plenty.

Despite the fact that a lot of 3-9x40mm scopes have ended up on lever rifles, particularly the easily scoped Marlins, my personal belief is that optic is too much scope as well. And, I think that the 3-9x40mm just looks oversized on a lever carbine. If one must have a variable, I'd consider a tidy 2-7x33 as the top end. The lower powered variables with 20mm bells are not bad choices either. The simple fixed 4x is about all you will need for most shots at whitetails with a 30-30 offering simplicity and ample magnification for the reach of your 30-30.

I used to crow loudly about "no scopes on your lever carbines" but do so no longer. Main reason, I cannot run iron sights like I used to. Another, a half decent scope of near any kind will offer more shooting time in the AM/PM than any iron sight, particularly a peep. There is much good shooting done with iron sights, but a lot of it, particularly at any distance, is done on large target faces under ideal lighting conditions. Picking a sulking whitetail out of cover in marginal light will find iron sight hunters coming up short and having to pass shots, or make poor shots, that a hunter equipped with a scope might ethically take and make.
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Old December 5, 2019, 08:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Musicmatty, how do you get a good cheekweld with that rig? It may get you in the bullseye from the bench, but you'll have issues getting on target when time is short.....
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Jim, that’s a fair question. 30 years ago this was my first rifle and set up with a scope. I guess being this is my only rig to work with back then, I learned how to live with it and make it work. It now has become my favorite go to rifle when heading out to hunt deer. I guess we learn to adapt with what we have to work with

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Old December 5, 2019, 11:06 AM   #15
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3-9x or more magnification is too much for my taste.
There are many reasons, but weight and height are big ones.


For a .30-30 (well, most lever guns, really), my upper limit is generally 2-7x for a variable, or 4x for a fixed power.

Whatever you choose to go with...
My personal preference is for Leupold. If the budget is limited, or I'm feeling cheap, I'll buy Redfield. (Modern Redfield, made in Oregon by Leupold. -NOT the Philippine Redfields, or older Redfields.)

I prefer Warne steel bases and Weaver Grand Slam rings. They probably make one/some for the Henry, but I don't know for sure. The soft aluminum bases have rarely had the right slot spacing for my use, and I've had two of them suffer galvanic corrosion, since they were mounted to (and with) steel.


Just remember:
No matter how big the image in the scope may be, the target is still just as far away and crosshairs represent the same point of aim.

My four longest shots on game (out to 650 yards) were all taken with magnification below 5x. Last year, I dropped two doe antelope out of a herd with two shots, each at 425-450 yards. After it was said and done, I realized that I had left the 3.5-10x50mm scope (on a .270 Win) sitting at 3.5x.

Magnification doesn't improve the rifle's performance. All it does is artificially inflate a hunter's confidence ... until magnification is too great, and the dancing image can't be steadied.
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Old December 5, 2019, 01:29 PM   #16
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I get a couple 50# bags of dog food every couple month's. Have a little Ford Explorer sport pac to haul it in, works very well. Of course if it made me feel I could get a class 8 commercial vehicle and it would do the same thing! I have a perfect 30-30 scope IMO. It's on a 30-06. very old 2 3/4x straight power Redfield! Now I could put say a 6-24x50x on it and do pretty much the same thing!
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Old December 5, 2019, 01:39 PM   #17
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I get a couple 50# bags of dog food every couple month's. Have a little Ford Explorer sport pac to haul it in, works very well. Of course if it made me feel I could get a class 8 commercial vehicle and it would do the same thing! I have a perfect 30-30 scope IMO. It's on a 30-06. very old 2 3/4x straight power Redfield! Now I could put say a 6-24x50x on it and do pretty much the same thing!
I trophy/cull hunt for bucks. I dont have time to go back and forth between binos and rifle. I want enough scope power to make that determination.
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Old December 5, 2019, 02:26 PM   #18
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I use a 1.5X mini ACOG on my 336.
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Old December 5, 2019, 04:06 PM   #19
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A 1-4 variable. Such scope would be more than sufficient for the rifle caliber commented. When it comes to scopes and mounting hardware? In this case. A Compact scope model having excellent eye relief and mounting hardware suggested by the scopes manufacture.

As for me._ I personalty prefer Leupold products. "All those I own have never gave me cause to regret their purchasing"
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Old December 6, 2019, 01:34 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by kst8fan View Post
I’ve got a new Henry case hardened 30-30 and I am looking to put a scope on it. Will be used for deer season in January. I should note that I’ll be shooting Leverevolution Ammo from Hornady. I would like either a 3-9x40 or a 4-12x50. Rings and base recommendations are appreciated as well.
A carbine 30-30 is best noted as a compact, fast handling hunting gun. Capable, in the right hands, of taking any game in N. America.....

IMO, mounting any scope with an objective larger than 32/33 mm would increase the weight, ruin the well known balance, and generally defeat the utility of the 30-30 carbine.

Also, it's my subjective opinion but a 30-30 carbine or even a rifle like the Marlin 336A, Win 64, etc. just looks a lot better with a compact scope.

The three 30-30s in our family reads as follows;

Marlin 336C, Redfield Tracker 2-7X32
Marlin 336CS (1960) old Redfield 4X32 with a post reticle
Marlin 336 "Texan" XS Ghost Ring aperture, post front iron sights.
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Old December 6, 2019, 01:48 PM   #21
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I have a Leupold FX2 2.5x scout scope on one of my levers and it works pretty well, as well as being "unobtrusive." As a matter of fact this thread gave me a hankering to go fire it and I just popped off 15 cartridges of 44 mag--one of my favorite fun guns. The field of view is a bit small, but the nice thing it's easy to shoot with both eyes open.

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Old December 6, 2019, 06:46 PM   #22
The Happy kaboomer
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I agree with you 1000%. Those guys putting wienie scopes on their rifles are handicapping themselves. ALL my hunting Marlins wear big high quality scopes. 444=3x10x50 Leupold VAR-X III with heavy duplex. 35=Meopta 3x10x44, 3030XLR=3x10x40 Ziess(sp?). You can shoot what you can't see and you can get a cheek weld on the stock with these. Our legal deer shooting time is 1 hr before sunrise to 1 hr after sunset. And those goofy scopes mounted halfway down the gun can't even begin to play this game. These dialed down to 3x will give you a WIDE field of view in the woods and all allow shooting with both eyes open on running game...........WHO CARES how it looks as peformance is the name of the game.

Agreeing with Koda94.
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Old December 6, 2019, 09:49 PM   #23
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I hate those hammer extensions for the 336--even when locktited mine would eventually fall off so I ditch em altogether. Which is why I prefer a scout scope, especially for top-eject.

Quote:
You can shoot what you can't see
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Old December 6, 2019, 10:52 PM   #24
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I am in the middle of the road on this. My main hunting rifle for almost 30 years is an old steel frame Browning BLR in .308 Win. but if I was using a Marlin 336 in 30/30, I would probably use the same scope, unless I stayed with just receiver sights or even open sights.

If I was using a Remington 700 in .270 win I would and have usually used the same scope.
And the winner is: Leupold 2 x 7 vari-X II with 32mm objective.

I don't and never have had a problem with having too much power available on the top end, because sure it nice and handy to crank it up for close high high definition of the potential target. But the thing I just can't stand is not having a wide field of view for close and often running shots at game, and no brag just fact, I have killed a lot of running deer and coyotes and there is quite a bit of difference in field of view between 2x and even 3x.

My master eye is on the wrong side and I don't shoot with two eyes open very well. I have found that 3x just doesn't give me the field of view I want for an all around hunting rifle, even though I don't have a problem at all with having 9x or even 14x available on the high side. But I don't like a big bulky scope either on a trim lever action.

I have tried the 1.5 x 5 scopes a few times in the past and while I like the even wider field of view on the low side, and the compact size, I still find them inferior in light gathering brightness when it starts getting dark. and the other downside is that little 20mm objective has a lot less glass to look through and it doesn't take much in the way of rain drops or dirt to really diminish the view and the little objective is hard to get in there and clean or wipe off, also. Also, on the Browning, I use medium height rings, which are still low enough but high enough that I can avoid using a hammer spur.
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Old December 6, 2019, 11:40 PM   #25
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It all boils down to what exactly you want to do with the rifle. If you arr going to hog hunt in heavy brush with your .30-30, you might want an Aimpoint. If you are shooting 250 yards, you might want a 4x12.
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