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Newbie question: 30-30 for elk?

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by next61, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. next61

    next61 West Portland, OR New Member

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    I'm looking for an all around type of gun and Marlin 336 is looking great.
    Hunting is something that I never did, I'd like to try it and put some meat on the table; I was looking to see if a lever action in 30-30 would be effective for elk. I know it works for deer in the brush but I am considering the environment in western Oregon and how an experienced hunter would see this caliber for elk.
    I have experience with target shooting but not hunting. 30-30 is effective up to 150-200 yards but how that translates into real life experience with elk?
     
  2. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    30.30 is a bad choice for elk . it will work if you get up close and get a perfect shot and/or have room for follow shots your more likely to wound it and have to track a blood trail so you should be good tracker and know your way in the woods

    Some guy that was in my brothers hunting party several years ago took a 30.30 it was all that he had and hit a elk with it . they never found it.

    its not uncommon to have to hit one a couple times even with .300 mag to bring one down

    I use a 30.06 and i feel underpowered when it comes to these magnificent beast.
    I do eventually plan to upgrade to a 300mag for elk when if find a good deal on a semi or lefty one.

    many will tell you a 30.06 is best all around rifle for most OR and WA hunting
     
  3. JGRuby

    JGRuby Portland Oregon New Member

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    This really depends - I know several old timers that use a 30-30 for elk, its the only rifle they ever had, and they have been successful many times. As in everything ther are many variables - if you are hunting the coast most of your shots will be under 100 yards - especailly where I hunt. Eastern oregon you will need to ambush them and a rifle with longer range will work better. There have been a lot of elk killed with 30-30's but you have to know what you are doing and keep the shooting close. I think the leverlution ammunition has helped this range issue out some. I prefer to use a 30-06 or better but would have no problem if presented with an elk under 100 yards and I had a 30-30 with me. I beleive that there have been record elk killed with 300 Savages and 30-40 krag in the past. Not a whole lot more oomph than a 30-30.

    Respectfully

    James Ruby
     
  4. HollisOR

    HollisOR Rural OR, South of Dallas Active Member

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    ^^^ what he said;
    It is skill and shot placement. Loosing a wounded animal is just bad.
     
  5. next61

    next61 West Portland, OR New Member

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    Sorry but I disagree. I believe that I am in the right place to ask... as a beginner.
    I will be in the Coastal Range, I will not hunt in Eastern Oregon for elk. I'd like to be able to move easily in the brush with a short rifle and I understand that with 30-30 I have to be closer. Did any of you had a personal experience with this caliber for elk?
    Is there a rifle in 30-06 as short as a Marlin 336 (30-30)? Howa 1500?
     
  6. cyclesurvival

    cyclesurvival Vancouver Well-Known Member

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    Shooting times has an article on the New Mossberg 30-30 and they use Hornadys new Leverevolution 130gn monoflex tip on bear. SO yes you can use a 30-30 on Elk but range should be close. Brush hunting on the westside would be within the limits.
     
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  7. HollisOR

    HollisOR Rural OR, South of Dallas Active Member

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    How about a Marlin guide gun in 45/70? There are just a lot of externalities that goes with your question. There are people who get buck fever so bad they could not hit anything, there are people who can not shoot, etc. A 30-30 for the coast and a lot of other places would work with the right person holding it. Online there is no way of knowing. A .338 Win Mag in the hands of the wrong person would just torture the animal and not put meat on the table. As cyclesurvial mention the new ammo make the 30-30 a more formidable round. Probably the best person to answer your question is you.
     
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  8. HenryJ

    HenryJ Eastern Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'll second that question.
    I have a 336 Marlin 30/30. It is indeed a great deer rifle and I have had many in the freezer over the years to prove it. I have hunted elk with it, but it is under powered for the eastern Oregon elk to be sure.
    I recently picked up a Marlin 1895XLR 45/70. What a fun rifle. I thought it would be one of those hurt to shoot rifles, but it is not. It is more of a push than a whack to the shoulder. This can and has taken any large game in north America (elk , bear , moose).

    The LeverEvolution ammunition is awesome.

    Do consider the Marlin 45/70 , I think you would be very happy.
     
  9. Woodswalker

    Woodswalker THe great PNW Member

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    For your stated area of usage, No its not Loudemboomer Clavicalcleaver Mangleum...but it and its sister the .32 Winchester Special will work JUST fine for elk. I know, I hunted with the .32 WS from age 14-18 when I bought a 30-06. In the time I took 4 deer and 3 elk, all with the 170 grain bullet for the .32WS.

    For your 30-30 I would either purchase a batch of a single lot of ammo after testing to see what you shoot well or handload with a good bullet and brew up a good load. IE, find the load that you shoot best, then buy/load a bunch of it.

    Keep your shots within the range that you can keep all your shots on a paper dessert plate, from a variety of positions and after running up a hill and snap shooting a few times.

    If you have the time, find and read Cooper's "The Art of the Rifle". It has good exercises to make you a better shooter, not just at the range.

    Keep your 30-30, its a good rifle. If you WANT another rifle...by all means get one, as noted above a 30-06 is medicine for most anything that walks North America. But learn to shoot it WELL.
     
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  10. xm193

    xm193 seatac Active Member

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    a simple 30-06 has been putting elk(meat on the table) for over 100 years, the exotic calibers are exactly that exotic i would be more inclined to suggest bullet construction than anything. a properly placed 30-06 will nail their feet to the ground!
     
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  11. BBDartCA

    BBDartCA PNW Member

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    Yes, Remington 7400 742 760 7600. Very easy to find good examples under 350 bucks. About 25 30-06 Carbines for sale on GunBroker right now. About a half inch shorter than the Marlin. Available in several calibers. Great guns too!

    I think 30-30 is a real bad idea for Elk.

    pix756006054.jpg
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  12. joken

    joken Corvallis Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Shot placement is the key so practice and practice some more. I would have no problem whacking a Elk with a 30-30.
     
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  13. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I grew up in eastern Oregon in the 60's. If a hunter didn't have a 30-30, he had a 30-06. Sure didn't stop them from filling their elk tags. Did they take 250 yard plus shots with the 30-30? Nope.
    Keep the distance reasonable and learn to shoot your rifle. If you do, you won't be disappointed.
    I've had similar conversations with people about the 30-06. If you can't do it with a 30-06, it's most likely your shooting, not the cartridge.
     
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  14. BBDartCA

    BBDartCA PNW Member

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    Good shot placement with a .22LR will take down an Elk too.

    OP is looking for versatile gun. If he is going to be shooting anything bigger, meaner or at a longer range, you can't beat the flexibility of a 30-06.
     
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  15. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs oregon Active Member

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    how about a savage 99 in 308?
     
  16. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    You can 'perk' up the 30-30 by developing some loads using 150 gr. spire point bullets but you are limited to only two in the tube due to the possibility of recoil primer detonation . I do not have any experience with the LeverEvolution bullets but they seem to have a good following but are expensive. Like most have said though really learn your rifle/load combination, practice - a lot - and call it a long shot at 100 yards. Hunt with your 30/30 like you are hunting with a muzzleloader.
     
  17. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    people take elk with a BOW.

    Look to the new plastic tipped Hornady bullets made for tubular magazines. They will greatly improve the ballistics of the 30-30.

    I own guys who hunt elk with a winchester model 94 and have no trouble bringin home meat 2 out of 4 years on average.
     
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  18. next61

    next61 West Portland, OR New Member

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    You are right BBDartCA! I am looking for versatility and ease of moving around the brush. I want a gun that I can just "toss it" into the truck and go across my field, into the woods/brush... I don't know, it's probably just a fixation with 30-30 from my part. (I grew up in Europe and a lever gun was my favorite gun to see in old western movies...)
    Howa 1500 it's another gun that comes in 30-06 and is about the same length as a Marlin 336 (20" barrel and fairly inexpensive with a scope).
     
  19. rickoshay

    rickoshay gaston or Member

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    If you really want to hunt elk get a rifle that is a better choice you will need the help.
     
  20. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    check this out. other more powerful lever actions like the browning BLR 30.06 granted will cost you some more mula but may suit all your wants . A lever action .308 would be a better choice than a 3030 as well

    LEVER ACTION