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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!
After doing extensive research online I was sure I wanted to get a 336 30.30. But upon reflection I have started to wonder if this is the best idea for me given Ive never even shot a gun before.... My hesitation stems from the price of ammo and not any other reason (I love lever actions, wouldn't get any other gun except for maybe a revolver that matches the amp if I go with 357). I never thought the price of ammo was a big deal but since this is my first gun EVER i figure is gonna take hundreds, if not thousands of rounds to get proficient at it (I was shocked when I read about people shooting thousands of rounds in a period of months, I never realized one could shoot that much). I know from my research that the question that arises here is WHAT DO YOU WANT THE GUN FOR? hunting or plinking? Well, the thing is, I want a gun capable for hunting (30.30 advantage) as well as for self post-apocalitic self defense lol (only half kidding about that) but I realize the gun is no good if the shooter is no good (357 advantage). I WOULD LIKE TO GO HUNTING BUT THAT WOULD PROBABLY NOT HAPPEN ANYTIME SOON SO BY THEN I COULD GET MY SECOND RIFLE PERHAPS... also bear in mind i have a jeep and barely go mudding.. Im one of those guys that really needs to know they have the capability there even if its not practical or will barely be used..... (i know..)

SO

AS A FIRST EVER RIFLE (and gun of any type) SHOULD I GO WITH A 30.30 OR A 357?
Which one would I be able to practice more with? (Im a college student i.e., broke) and Im not really sure if there is a substantial difference in the price of ammo. Also I apologize for my ignorance but what is loading? when people ask if your loading your own rounds?? I read that but I don't think it is what I think it is lol... Also I thought of a .22 but the rifles get more expensive and I don't think that would satisfy my post-apocalyptic anxiety lol I want something more powerful than that...
I WILL BE SHOPPING AROUND IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS AS IMA HAVE TIME (SPRING BREAK!) SO IF I FIND A GOOD OFFER ON EITHER ONE THAT WOULD PROBABLY END UP BEING THE DETERMINING FACTOR, JUST WANNA KNOW WHAT PEOPLE THAT KNOWS ABOUT THIS STUFF THINK OF THE PROSPECT OF SOMEONE WHO NEVER SHOT A GUN GETTING EITHER ONE OF THIS RIFLES.
if u stuck with it and read the entire thing I appreciate it a lot and look fwd to ur feedback!!!!!
 

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If you want to stick with ONE gun that can be used for fun shooting and hunting, the 30/30 is a much better choice. It is an excellent cartridge for your first rifle. The 357 is really a handgun cartridge, although it is pretty cool in a lever-action rifle. Before you buy anything I would try shooting several different handguns and rifles. That way, you can make an informed decision.
 

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Well, lets hold off on the apocalypse for a year or two. Start off with a lever action in 22 long rifle. - the Henry is a good quality, low cost starter rifle.
With the 22 you will be able to shoot enough to become proficient in a relatively short period of time. You will be able to try open, receiver and scope sights at low cost.

Welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
William Iorg- Oh ok that's a good alternative I was kinda hesitant on the .22 because of the price I had seen for the marlins but I see that the Henry's go for a lot less THANKS!
ALSO
broom_jm - thanks for that idea haha I know this must sound dumb but I hadn't even consider trying to shoot them first (duh)!!! thanks a lot guys!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
cvc944 - "I would buy both now, because guns may get really expensive really quick" GREAT INSIGHT!! thanks a lot I really like this option but this one is contingent on getting good deals (in my situation)
 

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<style type="text/css"> <!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --> </style> > Ive never even shot a gun before.
> I love lever actions, wouldn't get any other gun


Try shooting a lever action while laying on your stomach.


I think that is the biggest weakness compared to the bolt actions that usurped it in the 1890s/early 1900s. Same with pump shotguns, it's great weakness compared to a semi-auto is using it laying down.


Hunting and self defense use sometimes requires that you be laying down.


> AS A FIRST EVER RIFLE (and gun of any type)


I would go first with a gun safety and instruction course at a local range. Though you might not find a lever action for rent.



Then a lever action in .22LR and a Ruger Single Six in .22LR.


Being in FL, you might end up wanting to hunt hogs, so, you might think about caliper choice along those lines.


If you own a Jeep, assuming it is a CJ/Wrangler for your first rifle you might want to consider one that breaks down and can be easily stored in a toolbox behind the back seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
WOW! you guys are so helpful everybody keeps bringing something new to the table thanks a lot jbee Ill keep that in mind, tho as far as shooting laying down... TOO BAD! lol I really like the lever actions (even if they might not be the most practical sometimes) Do they still make lever actions that break in half? Ive seen some but in older versions (I don't see why they would stop doing that but just asking) AND did u mean the .22 is good for hogs? or that if I wanna hunt hogs then choose a bigger caliper??? Im pretty sure u meant the second just making sure
THANKS ALOT!
 

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Get a .22 first, let me add to the chorus. Marlin model 39 :D and you should be good to practice as much as you want. Somewhere around 5 or 8 cents a pop, maybe, I haven't kept up on .22 prices for bulk ammo.

The .30-30 is a much better choice for hunting pigs. I have shot pigs in traps with a .22 and it works great, but not so much for stalking up on foot. :eek: .30-30 ammo is not real expensive when all you are shooting at with it is game (save a few targets now and then to check zero).

So you're gonna need TWO lever actions... and, you're welcome! :p
 

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WOW! you guys are so helpful everybody keeps bringing something new to the table thanks a lot jbee Ill keep that in mind, tho as far as shooting laying down... TOO BAD! lol I really like the lever actions (even if they might not be the most practical sometimes) Do they still make lever actions that break in half? Ive seen some but in older versions (I don't see why they would stop doing that but just asking) AND did u mean the .22 is good for hogs? or that if I wanna hunt hogs then choose a bigger caliper??? Im pretty sure u meant the second just making sure
THANKS ALOT!
Don't give up on the .357 lever concept, although a M94/.357 is hard to find, and Marlin .357's are pretty hard to get these days too. The Rossi's are actually quite nice, shoot well, and they're priced reasonably. If you need to produce a high rate of fire from a prone position, you are already in way more trouble than firepower will likely solve anyway.

I have a Ruger 77/357 that I like a lot, (I just couldn't find a Marlin or Winchester anywhere, and I wanted a scoped .357). It has limitations relative to a lever gun, but I can live with the detachable magazine, and accuracy is very good. I also suspect my loads with 170gr Speer/180gr Remington HP's would be OK for deer and pigs, if I needed it to be so. The handgun/rifle concept is better in concept than in practice. I have three such combinations in three different cartridges, plus.22LR. The rimfire is the only one that works really well, the others have little more than cartridge compatibility. The rifles don't shoot well with the same loads the handguns do. They shoot, but not well.

The .30-30 is not a bad idea either, and for a modest sum, you can get into handloading to cut cost dramatically. My M336 Marlin shoots well with everything from Trail Boss and 100gr Plinkers, through cast 150's, to 170gr jacketed. Very versatile. Scoped it can shoot with a good .308 out to 200+ yds.

If I were to buy a couple firearms for general fun shooting, I'd go with a 10/22 in .22LR, and a Ruger 22/45 with a bull barrel, and worry about the apocalypse and zombies some other day.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
TMan, thanks for ur input! Im almost embarrassed to ask but what is hand loading??? and the two firearms that u would get are probably the most practical option but I really want a lever action!! lol ALSO since Ima start shopping around next week (and considering my assessment of a used rifle would be veryyy limited i.e., making sure the lever and trigger are not super wobbly) should I even gamble my luck in pawnshops or should I go straight to dealers where a knowledgable person can tell me about the actual state of the rifle (Im assuming the used guns in dealers are gonna be inspected more rigorously)

- nvm about the hand loading I found a couple of videos on youtube.... It gives me the impression that hand loading might be more equipped for someone that knows what the heck his doing lol but anyways it is a good alternative, considering the investment and the general expertise it requires I think I would be very interested BUT when I'm a little more ahead in my learning curve
 

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Hand loading is making your own cartridges. Only centerfire cartridges can be hanloaded- 22 rimfires can't. I would look at getting into handloading only after you know you really enjoy shooting. Reloading equipment and components aren't cheap, but they will pay for themselves if you shoot a lot.

One of the advantages abou tthe .357 Mag rifles is that they also shoot .38 Special. The Marlin lever action in .357 I gave my son in law shot both equally well. .38 Special ammo (especially the lead bullet kind) is way cheaper than .357 mag.

Be careful about used guns. There are two types of used guns out there. The good guns that good people needed money for but didn't have, and the junk guns that someone either "bubbaed" or could shoot worth a hoot. So where ever you buy, make sure they have a return policy or a warranty.

Be safe!
 

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I think I hear a desperate cry for help.
ManUToster needs a mentor. I'm 3,000 miles away, but there must be someone on the board that is closer and can lend this noob a hand.
Anybody?
..
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
lol yeah thanks! I gotta say Im kinda proud of myself all the research is paying out. I found a marlin 357 mag at a local gunshot for only $575, I was ready to buy it in the spot, upon some closer inspection the allegedly NEW marlin had a few problems. Im not sure if this problems are serious, maybe it would've been worth buying it and just fixing them. For what I had read online you wanna stay away from wobbling triggers; the trigger in this rifle was all over the place (even for someone with no experience, it didn't feel right) it had about a quarter of an inch of loose movement before it'll get firm and shoot. I found signs of rust in the barrel (on a second gun shop they told me this can happen to new rifles if they are store for more than 6 months) but at the time I thought that was really dubious on a new gun. The action of the lever would get jam and it had a scratch on the receiver. I was shocked after asking 3 times to hear that it was new, I decided to pass. I just ordered a gorgeous henry .22 with the octagonal barrel at budsgunshop.com for only $350, I think this is going to be the best option for me to start shooting; I played around with some henrys at the store and the action felt super smooth, only reason I didn't buy was it had the brass receiver and so It was $500 which I thought wasn't worth it. I had a couple of friends criticize the .22 and call it a strong bb gun, but since Im new to the shooting scene Im really not ashamed, also I do see it as a useful rifle if you wanna hunt small game and not pick up the pieces of meet from nearby trees as It would probably happen with a 357 or 30.30. The .22 is also quieter, and like many mention in this thread is THE intro rifle. It will allow me to practice a lot and well... is beautiful lol. Next one will probably be a marlin 30.30! but who knows, too soon to tell
 

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I had a couple of friends criticize the .22 and call it a strong bb gun, but since Im new to the shooting scene Im really not ashamed, also I do see it as a useful rifle if you wanna hunt small game and not pick up the pieces of meet from nearby trees as It would probably happen with a 357 or 30.30. The .22 is also quieter, and like many mention in this thread is THE intro rifle. It will allow me to practice a lot and well... is beautiful lol. Next one will probably be a marlin 30.30! but who knows, too soon to tell
You made a good choice by not listening to your friends on the .22LR. I learned to shoot rifles with a .22LR bolt action. Ammo is cheap and you can get it by the brick or the case at midwayusa.com. and like you mentioned it is great for hunting squirrels and other small game.
The .357 is a good round. Personally I have a .44 mag. It's fun to shoot and I can use the same ammo in my .44mag revolvers. I happen to like the .44 mag better. Geting a .357 or .44 mag is going to be which one you like. For hunting deer size game I'd get a 30-30. They are fun to shoot and doesn't have a lot of recoil.
 

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My advice would be start with a .22 lr of whichever action you prefer. Learn to shoot safely and then get a centerfire and learn to reload. There's a lot of "conversation" going around about the .357 Magnum from a carbine being a hunting round. I wouldn't hesitate to use a .357 with good bullet/handloads on deer or pigs out to 100 yards or so...
Paco Kelly's Leverguns.com • View topic - What's wrong w/ a .357?

P.S. if your friends think a .22 lr is "just a strong BB gun" have them stand out at 50 yards and catch some of those BBs you'll shoot at them...:D
 

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What William Iorg said.

I totally agree. If you don't own a rifle now and have very little shooting experience, get a .22lr. lever action. They are a ton of fun to shoot and nothing is cheaper to shoot. With a .22 anyone can afford to shoot thousands of rounds and you can build your marksmanship skills working toward big game hunting. Get a .22 and get the mechanics of shooting down first before you buy a big game rifle.
 

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I shoot all types of rifles, and don't really agree that you can't shoot a lever from the prone position. The rifle isn't going to be flat on the ground, your elbows will be ( or you'll be shooting off a log, rolled up jacket, etc.) There is enough room to work the lever. I personally think the .357 lever would be more versatile as a dual purpose gun, more fun to plink with as most .357 levers will feed the .38 special round ( lower cost ammo), with very low recoil. For defense it holds more rounds in the tube than a 30-30. For hunting the 30-30 has more power, but a 158 grain .357 out of a rifle or carbine can be driven to 1700 f.p.s., which will be sufficient for deer at close ranges. A good 400 f.p.s. more velocity than a .357 revolver, nothing to sneeze at. I would not hunt deer with anything less powerful than a stout .357 load. If it was a rifle only for deer, black bear or large hogs, by all means get a 30-30, .44 Mag or even a .35 Remington lever. I personally hunt with a Marlin/Glenfield in .356 Win. , sort of a .35 Rem on steroids. The Marlin 336 and Winchester 94 are designed for longer rifle length cartridges like the 30-30, and while they have made them in shorter pistol length cartridges, the ones I've fired or owned didn't feed all that great. Much better to get a Marlin 1894 or a Winchester 1892 ( or one of the clones) as they are designed around the shorter cartridges like the .357 and .44 mag. Whether you get a Browning B92, a Rossi , a Moriku made Winchester or a Marlin 1894, they are fun guns to shoot, low recoil, cheaper to shoot than a rifle round and you can slam out 10 or 11 shots in a hurry if threatened by a 2 legged varmint. Levers in .22 long rifle are great also, I own 4 of them. Get a .22 and a .357 or .44 lever if you can. Just my 2 cents worth.
 

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.357 Mag vs .30-30

For hunting or self protection , what kind of terrain ? Wide open spaces ? Woods / forest ? Urban ?

Most people consider the .30-30 to be a 100 - 200 yard caliber . The .30-30 is a very popular / famous deer caliber at these distances .

.357 Mag in a lever gun , 100 to maybe 150 yards . I read the .357 does well for deer at these ranges .

I would think either would take down 2 legged varmints at those distances .

I have a Winchester and a Marlin in .30-30 .

I have a converted Winchester and a Ross in .357 . Mostly shoot the Rossie & let the Winchester " rest " .

The Rossi .357 & one in .45 LC are very fun to shoot , really like them .

It sounds like you do not reload ? If you did , it would change the economics of the ammo situation .

Buying factory ammo , .357 is probably cheaper than factory .30-30 . Some rifles chambered for .357 feed .38 Specials OK , some not as well . But .38 Specials would probably be the cheapest .

A used Marlin .30-30 , in good condition , would probably be you best bargain . If not , look for one at Walley World or Academy . Next , a Rossi .357 . Marlin .357's seem to be more scarce and more $$$ .

God bless
Wyr
 

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.357 Mag in a lever gun , 100 to maybe 150 yards . I read the .357 does well for deer at these ranges .
My great grandfather used a .38-40 for deer and bear, and thought it was a very good choice for that. He shot for the heart. Never took shots over 50yds, as he felt there was not enough punch beyond that. He could shoot crows eating fresh planted seeds at twice the distance, with open sights. He rarely missed.

If a guy had the discipline and control to shoot like Elmont, the .357 would be all he ever needed.
 

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I have both 357 and 30-30 rifles. A lot of these posts give the impression they are close in performance. The 30-30 is a much more capable round. The 357 is useful for hunting to maybe 100 yards from a carbine, the 30-30 to 200 easily. That is a huge difference, and we are only talking trajectories. Even with flat nose bullets, the 30 caliber retains more velocity and energy downrange.

The 357 will be cheaper to shoot if you don't handload, and generally cheaper even if you do. As discussed in another thread, most factory 357 is weak, to get performance close to the 30-30 you have to reload or buy pricey ammo like the Buffalo Bore type. Plain old 30-30 softpoints have been perfected through the years, and its a little tough to gain useful performance over them handloading (you can usually build a more accurate load).

For defense its kind of a draw, neither is ideal. Rifles are offensive weapons, shotguns and pistols are defensive weapons, in my opinion. That being said, the 30-30 was a popular rifle with law enforcement up to about WW I. Any round that is effective on deer will be effective on humans, we weigh the same, you know.

I vote for the 30-30, I think it is a great cartridge. Also a lot easier to find a decent used 30-30 than a 357.

Andy
 
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