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Discussion Starter #1
First, hey to all from KY. I have almost no hunting background (a little waterfowl in West KY as a kid) and now want to buy the right gun and start hunting wild hogs. I need to know it all - what gun, what ammo, where to hunt, how to hunt, etc. I'm trying to keep it simple and are leaning towards a Marlin 336 in .30/30. What do you think?

Send me a tip or two - greatly appreciated!
 

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Kdub and others are the authorities on hogs. You could never go wrong with a 30/30 I like .45 Colt or .44 mag which will work plus you could get a Ruger Blackhawk/Super Blackhawk and use the same ammunition. I like the rifle and handgun same ammunition combo. If you went with the .45 Colt you would need speciality ammunition from Buffalo Bore or Corbon or go with the .44 mag and your ammo choices go way up.
 

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First and foremost, welcome to ShootersForum! Rules are simple: Be nice and join in!

I've only killed 3 hogs, but had a neighbor who hunted them as though they owed him money. From all of the articles I've read and the guides I've hunted with, the 30/30 is probably among the smallest cartridges that will get the job done consistently, presuming you keep the distance to 150 yards, or so, and of course your shot placement is good.

Personally, if I didn't have a gun and was planning to buy one specifically for wild hog huntin'...it wouldn't be a 30/30. I'd look for a long action caliber such as a .270 Winchester, 30-'06 or 7mm Remington Magnum. Cartridges in this class will give you longer range, more power and better penetration. Two of the guides I hunted with said they absolutely want an exit wound because very few hogs drop when hit so they will need to be tracked, most likely. One hole going in isn't going to leave much of a trail, usually, but the one going out tends to be a little bigger.

If you aren't up to the recoil of a standard length cartridge a 308 Winchester would do the job, as would classics like the 7x57 and 6.5x55 (or their respective modern equivalents, the 7mm-08 and 260 Remington). If you keep the range less than 100 yards, you could go with a 44Mag in a lever-gun or maybe get you a Thompson/Center Encore in 300 Win Mag. and shoot 'em at 400 yards...the possibilities are endless!

I'm sure our good buddy Tang, (forum member) will be recommending something based on the 50 BMG case in a little while...that might be a little bit of over-kill, but hogs are tough critters and the truth is, you can't really kill somethin' TOO dead.

Be prepared to get about 100 responses to your question, with everything from a 22LR to the ear all the way up to a .458 Mangle'm for those stem-to-stern shots. If you stick with the first three I recommended, you won't go far wrong.

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the good info. so far. To JMort - good idea on the crossover of ammo. I also have a Taurus Judge so the .45 Colt idea is interesting. Want to stick to a lever gun if possible, thought about one in .45 Colt or maybe .45/70 Govt. - but can be hard to find (both gun and especially ammo).
 

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Just keep in mind that the 45 Colt is limited to around 25K psi and does not have the range of the 44 Mag, let alone some of the center-fire rifle cartridges mentioned. That means your range is going to be limited to perhaps as little as 75 yards. Versatility and crossover of ammo is great n' all, but I'd rather have something I can reach out to 200 yards or more and know I've got enough gun to make a clean kill.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the .45 Colt info. What about a Marlin Guide gun in 45-70 Govt. or 444 Marlin? Do these have enough long range knockdown? This new gun will be for hogs and maybe deer. Nothing exotic.
 

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Sounds to me like you are fond of lever action guns. If you are only going
to buy one gun, why don't you consider a nice little bolt action in .308 or
30/06 or even a .270. Put a scope onto it and you would have a rifle that
would be good for a lot of different game and longer ranges.

Zeke
 

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I don't think you could find a better gun for hogs (or deer) at ranges up to 200 yards than the one you mentioned, a Marlin 336 in .30/30. It will get the job done just fine and be handy and quick to use. With 170 gr. bullets, especially the Federal Premium load with the Nosler Partition bullet, it would quickly and efficiently send any porker to Hog Heaven.
 

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Thanks for the .45 Colt info. What about a Marlin Guide gun in 45-70 Govt. or 444 Marlin? Do these have enough long range knockdown? This new gun will be for hogs and maybe deer. Nothing exotic.
With the right ammunition you could kill anything on earth with 45-70 or .444 If anything they are "too much gun" if there is such a thing - Mr. Tang excepting (Tang likes lots of power) Really, and I would defer to most anyone, the 30-30 would be a perfect hog and deer gun in my opinion. If you have a Judge and you can easily get a .45 Colt lever action from Marlin or Henry you would have a good combo. But at that point you might want to consider reloading for .45 Colt.
 

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If you really want a lever gun, there are lots more options today that you might think. There are at least two new cartridges (the .308 Marlin Express and the .338 Marlin Express) specifically designed for lever guns you might want to look at. Although, they too might be a little more difficult to find ammo for... You might also want to look at the .35 Remington. It's still about the same effective range as a .30-30, just a bigger diameter bullet and typically heavier (everybody I know uses 200gr bullets in them). Also, be aware that a .45-70, .30-06 and all those other cartridges will have a bit more recoil than a .30-30 (some have a lot more recoil).
 

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Thanks for the .45 Colt info. What about a Marlin Guide gun in 45-70 Govt. or 444 Marlin? Do these have enough long range knockdown? This new gun will be for hogs and maybe deer. Nothing exotic.
Both of those classic big-bore cartridges will definitely do the job, although they won't have the same flat trajectory, at longer ranges, as you would get from a smaller caliber and faster bullet. Also, as one user explained, they will kick quite a bit more than a 30/30.

If you're adamant about sticking with a lever-action, a 30/30 will do the job. With the Leverevolution ammo, using the FTX bullet, you could reach out to around 200 yards. My first hog was taken at 250+ with a .270 Winchester. It was a 225lb sow that ran in a 30 yard circle and then expired. I'm not sure the same outcome could have been achieved with the 30/30, but all of the rounds I mentioned earlier, as well as many others, could duplicate that performance.

I guess the point is, there are many different ways to approach the problem. Personally, I prefer a bolt-action rifle with a scope of 2-7x or 3-9x firing a cartridge with a point-blank range of ~300 yards. I practice at that distance so I feel confident making shots out to perhaps 350, with a little hold-over. I have only harvested 3 big-game animals at more than 300 yards, (and that was when I lived out west) but it's nice to know my gun and my shooting skills are up to the task.

There is nothing more frustrating, to me, than seeing a nice buck or wild hog at 200 yards while I'm carrying my 44 carbine, because I know I can't be sure of a good, lethal hit, at that range. With a 270, 30-'06, 7RM or other such cartridge, the only limitations are your ability to shoot the gun well out to 300 yards, or so. That is what I based my recommendations on. YRMV
 

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If you really want a lever gun, there are lots more options today that you might think. There are at least two new cartridges (the .308 Marlin Express and the .338 Marlin Express) specifically designed for lever guns you might want to look at. Although, they too might be a little more difficult to find ammo for... You might also want to look at the .35 Remington. It's still about the same effective range as a .30-30, just a bigger diameter bullet and typically heavier (everybody I know uses 200gr bullets in them). Also, be aware that a .45-70, .30-06 and all those other cartridges will have a bit more recoil than a .30-30 (some have a lot more recoil).
I couldn't agree more. Nothing wrong with the venerable 30/30, but there are better choices available todat with the .35(try the LE ammo!), .308ME and .338ME. I've seen NIB prices as low as $399 for some new Marlin .308MEs. It is an excellent all around cartridge with performance pretty much on a par with the very fine .308 Win. And, fact is, that a big boar hog is tougher than a typical black bear. The shield on a big boar can be 3" thick and tough as nails.
 

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your thread says you want to start with hog. personally i like the 45/70 with 400 gr pills @a mild 1400=1500 fps.all pigs here are in thick cover and 75 yds is long shot.the 45 will stop them in there tracks. if you want to shoot something else like deer that you havent mentioned,you would be better off with a scoped bolt action from 243 to 30/06,which is quite ample for the task.use the right tool for the job. i will concede money is the big factor sometimes or the the wife. good luck and good shooting.
 

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You could always try a drop block .30-06. They're short and handy like a lever action and if you practice then you can reload them as fast as a lever action. There is alsp the Marlin 45-70s, nice handy little guns.
 

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If its a lever gun you seek I have two suggestions: 1) Browning BLR in your choice of caliber 2) A Marlin lever gun in again, your choice of caliber. Our pal mattsbox had a Marlin on the trading post a while back. He may still have it laying around. If youre only interested in a lever gun because they are generally shorter, look into a Remington Model 7. They are offered in various calibers and are shorter and lighter than their big brother the Model 700.
 

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1KBoom,

First welcome to the site. All have given good advice on a firearm. I'm going to offer several others questions that haven't been answered as I used to live in Hopkinsville for around 14 yrs. Where in the state are you located? For some good public land hunting there is Land Between the Lakes, Ft Campbell, Ft Knox and Wendell H. Ford Reserve Training Center. You will need your Kentucky Hunters Ed card and a post permit for the military installitions. Hunting on posts offer some excellent chances and they also set there own hunting seasons. You can PM Whitehunter35 as he runs/ran Wendell H. Ford RTC . Kentucky is also full of turkeys!!!!! LBL also has axis deer on it. Pennyrile State Forest (north Christian Co.)has deer hunting on it but never hunted deer there but only small game. Look up Kentucky Game Lands and State Forests. Lots of hunting oppertunity in the center of the state at Daneil Boone National Forest.

Marlin makes excellent lever guns and their new XL7/XS7 bolt guns are inexpensive, accurate and chambered for cartridges suitable for your needs. I've hunted with my Marlin 1894S in .41 Mag and limit myself to 100yds. Have fun choosing and good hunting.

CD

ETA: If you need a place to shoot Campbell, Knox, LBL and Pennyrile have ranges and camp grounds.
 

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Ok, seeming to lean toward Levers, and new to rifles, so I say the .338 Marlin Express. More punch than a .30-30, but recoil won't be fierce either. A .444 Marlin, .45-70 Govt., or .450 Marlin will have a new shooter developing quite a flinch. Those aren't for the faint of heart.


Broom, as much fun as a BMG based case would be, I stick with my reccomendation. The .338 Marlin Express, would be just the ticket.
 

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First, hey to all from KY. I have almost no hunting background (a little waterfowl in West KY as a kid) and now want to buy the right gun and start hunting wild hogs. I need to know it all - what gun, what ammo, where to hunt, how to hunt, etc. I'm trying to keep it simple and are leaning towards a Marlin 336 in .30/30. What do you think?

Send me a tip or two - greatly appreciated!
G'day mate, welcome to the forum!

I'm not familiar with the terrain hogs are hunted in where you are from, but out here in oz the majority of country that hogs inhabit is thick and close shots are the norm. Even in open country, with the wind in your favour it is not hard to stalk in on a pig, their eyesight is very poor.

I think the Marlin in .30/30 you are leaning towards would be great. I know in America .30/30 is the classic deer rifle, well out here in AUstralia it's kind of unfairly sneered on for hunting trophy animals (everyone uses a .270 or similar flat shooter) but for hog hunting, .30/30 is a hands down favourite.

Don't be tempted by the lighter 125gr loads like I was, you can push them a bit faster, and they do stop inside an animal, imparting all their energy on the target (whatever that's supposed to do anyway?) but they will leave you wanting for penetration on raking shots in the scrub. Stick to a good bullet in the 150 -170gn range, and with good shot placement you'll be amazed at the number of one shot kills you rack up with that .30/30.

Good shooting!
 

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Just had another read of this and a lot of guys are recommending you get a bolt action rifle. Bolt actions are a great choice and very versatile, and a flat shooting cartridge makes hunting easier. But if you really want a lever action, don't be put off by the naysayers. Lever actions can hold their own, and offer some advantages as well, which are well suited for pig hunting.
Lever actions are much faster to cycle than a bolt, and generally have larger magazine capacities too. A 336 .30/30 would hold six rounds, so if like here there is no limit on the number of hogs you can shoot, you can really go mongrel when you hit a mob. (They're a declared feral pest over here, and do some serious environmental damage - again, not sure about where you are)
A marlin would be slim and well balanced to carry, and if you're stalking through the scrub and a shot is imminent, you can have a round in the chamber and the hammer down on half cock, and not have to rely on a safety catch, a definite advantage of traditional lever actions. Also the magazine can be quickly topped up by slipping a few rounds into the side with the action closed, again more convenient than a bolt which can be finicky when scoped.
Now I'll probably cop a bit of flack from the bolt action aficionados with this post, but I like bolt actions too. Fact is, I use them all the time. But lever actions and hogs go hand in hand. My current pig puncher is a Marlin 336C in .35 Rem.
 
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