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I received this question from a contact form.

Hi. I watch alot of your youtube clips and enjoy them alot. I have a marlin 336 30-30. What is your opinion on maximum range with this? I can shoot ok at the range at 100 and 150. I am considering purchasing a handloader and a 24" barrel marlin to shoot varmit (coyote and groundhog for a farmer) at 200 yards. I really want to keep the variety of ammunition low in my collection. So far got 20 gauge 22lr and .30-30. Otherwise, would you reccomend a caliber that could be good or varmit and deer and is a common and inexspenive caliber. Deer are 100-150 lbs here in NY.
First thing, check the local laws. Some states do not want you using anything less then a 223 or 243 on deer.

After that, the 243 is the smallest caliber I recommend for deer. Besides the 243, there is the 25-06, 7mm-08 and the 308. There are a lot of people that like the 25-06 because it shoots flat. The most popular rounds are going to be the 243 and 308.

I do not know your age, height, weight or sex so recoil should be taken into consideration. Something like a savage, or weatherby vanguard in 243 or 308 is going to be hard to beat.

Do any of the members of this community have any other suggestions?
 

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Actually the 30-06 would be the best bet, It can take any game in North America(including the big bears) and you have more bullet weights than any other hunting round coming from the factory...from 120 up to 220 gr bullets..and you can find 30-06 in every mom and pop country store.....anywhere....
 

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Actually the 30-06 would be the best bet,
The reason I did not recommend the '06 is because I do not know the persons sex, size, weight and shooting experience. Going from a 30-30 to a 308 is not going to be a big step. Because the recoil difference between the 30-30 and the 308 is going to be minimal.

However, with some remington mountain rifles, and other light weight rifles, there is a LOT of recoil difference between the 30-30 and the 30-06. Other calibers between the 30-30 and the 30-06 include the 270, 284, 7mm magnum and the 280 / 7mm express. But because of age, sex, size, weight and experience considerations I did not recommend those calibers either.

With the 308, just about anyone can shoot a rifle of that caliber and shoot it well. Whether its a 14 year old teenager, or an experienced marine sniper, the 308 is an all around good caliber with low recoil.



you said it all kev.
Thank you.
 

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Kev,

All your points are very valid and I agree with them...I was looking at a more narrow perspective of a long term survival caliber....I own and shoot .308s in bolt rifles and automatics as well as other calibers and I concur....
I wasn't trying to denigrate what you were saying.....
 

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.30-30 to the rescue!!!!!

Actually, the .30-30 will do just fine both a deer and varmit rifle as long as one doesn't get rediculous expectations.


First of the reason gun writers say the cartridge is washed up is that it can only 1000+ foot pound energy levels out to a 275 yards. Unlike the wonder magnums out to 600+ yards. Is this really necessary? Well you see the general concensus among hunters and in many cases game laws in many states, that a 1000+ foot pounds of energy is needed for a "clean kill". But do you need a thousand foot pound of energy to achive a kill at a given distance? No, for our great, great, grandfathers shot and killed game one with rifle cartridges, many of them black powder based, that produced alot less energy than this, yet they talked highly of the ability of their respective cartridges to do the job.

The reason state law gets in to this mix is they state in most cases they want a cartridge that producess a 1000+ foot pound of energy at 100 yards. Why, well for anybody that hand out on this board with any regularity they will see some poster that advocates using a .22 for everything including Grizzly bear. Just because they heard it done once or twice by the Eskimos.

The thing is though you don't hear how many of those Eskimos have been mauled or killed when they fail. Granted the reason the Eskimos were so sucessful with such a small caliber is that they were professional hunters in every sense of the word, for if they fail to catch there game then they didn't eat or have clothing and other products from their kills. But then you get some yahoo that thinks he can do the same even though he goes to the supermarket for 51 weeks of the year for their and the result is alot of wounded game running around. So the state sets a baseline on the energy at a given distance but it doesn't prevent you from taking a shot futher than that as long as you use your head and weight what type of game your going for. For what it takes to kill a buffalo, isn't neceesarily needed to kill a squirrel.

So where am I going with this? First off, most game taken in most places than the southwestern United States where SOME game can only be taken at long range most shots are in the 100 to 150 yards relm. While not hunting , not waring camoflage clothing and not having any scent block I've gotten to 50 yards of deer. More that close enough for the .30-30 to do the job. For the most point if you can close to within 300 yards of deer size game and hit the animal in the areas your supossed to, then you should have deer chops.

As for taking out varmits with the .30-30 I'll point you over to WWW.Leverguns.com . Click under articals and look under articals by PACO. There are two very good articals about .30-30 ammo and custom loads. One is called the 7.62X51R revisited and the other is .30-30 varmit loads. There is one load using the 100gr plinker bullet from Speer or Hornady over 39 grains of A2015, that will achive close to 3000 FPS! It's a good cyote killer to 300 yards+.

Between the to articals there isn't any game on can't take as long as the work with in th basic paramiters of their ammo. But by being a hand loader one can expand that peramiters emeancly.


As for how far can one shoot a .30-30 to take two legged varmit? With a 220gr bullet over 38 grains of H450 for 2000 FPS. One can shoot out to 800 plus yards. But one will need to get better sights ( both front and rear) or mount a scope to shoot out there. For the bead front and buckhorn rear is goos for close quick shots on game, but lousy for more precision shots.


Rifleman 336
 

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I sent the question out. I purchased the 336a marlin during the middle of deer season a few weeks ago. I was considering purchasing another rifle and making it a dedicated long distance rifle. I really like my .30-30. I have had good results in 100 and 150 yard targets so far. I have a burris fullfield II 3x9x40 scope on it. I wanted to keep my calibers to a minimum at home. Was considering the 336xlr (stainless 24" barrel) with a bipod and experimenting with some handloads, or maybe a 24 r savage shotgun/rifle under-over in 12 or 20 / 30-30. I only took a few shots with the hornady 160gr bullet at 100 yards. About 1.5" or so while sitting and using my knee as a arm support. Looking to be relatively successful at 250 yards with woodchuck and coyote. Also wanted to keep my 1st 30-30 an open sight. With a fast light load (3000 fps 110gr or so) is this possible? Deer will be 150 yards max and critters 200-250. What would the ballistic drop be about for that fast 100gr combo? Also, how to 336's barrels hold up to faster velocities? With those faster bullets, is a 24" barrel needed to optimize the velocity or the standard 20" ok?

I would like to keep the coyote pelt for personal uses. So a clean exiting hole isn't a problem. The 2nd rifle will be used for deer too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Savage, Ruger model 77, Weatherby Vanguard

I sent the question out. I purchased the 336a marlin during the middle of deer season a few weeks ago. I was considering purchasing another rifle and making it a dedicated long distance rifle. I really like my .30-30. I have had good results in 100 and 150 yard targets so far.
The best rifle for you is the one that you can shoot well and is large enough for the game you wish to hunt.

Some of the calibers I recommend are the

223 <-- good for varmints but in some states its illegal to use on deer, nor do I recommend this for deer.
243
6mm
6.5x55 Swede <-- as recommended by wulfbyte
25-06
Caliber X <---- This is for any caliber I forgot to list
308
270
280
30-06

After you get to the 30-06, accuracy decreases unless you have had training, such as police or military sniper training. The average person will shoot their best in the 308, 270, 280 range with a good solid heavy rifle. Once you get to the 300 winchester magnum accuracy decreases quit a bit, mainly due to recoil flinch.

Regardless of what anyone recommends, the best rifle and caliber for you is the one that you can shoot the best.

A rifle such as a Savage, Ruger model 77, Weatherby Vanguard (Howa) or winchester model 70 in any of the calibers listed above should serve you well. The light weight Remington mountain rifles will kick a lot more then a heavy Weatherby, winchester or Ruger. I have a Remington Model 700 BDL mountain rifle in 280 and it kicks a whole lot more then a weatherby vanguard in 270, maybe 2X more. This is because the remington is a lot lighter then the weatherby.

But - be sure to check the local and state laws. Some states do not want deer hunted with anything less then a certain size caliber. And in some states you have to use a shotgun and not a rifle.

Sure as I post this, someone is going to come along and recommend a caliber I forgot. So I inserted Caliber X.

As for the barrels and the faster 30-30 bullets, I do not know the answer.
 

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I sent the question out. I purchased the 336a marlin during the middle of deer season a few weeks ago. I was considering purchasing another rifle and making it a dedicated long distance rifle. I really like my .30-30. I have had good results in 100 and 150 yard targets so far. I have a burris fullfield II 3x9x40 scope on it. I wanted to keep my calibers to a minimum at home. Was considering the 336xlr (stainless 24" barrel) with a bipod and experimenting with some handloads, or maybe a 24 r savage shotgun/rifle under-over in 12 or 20 / 30-30. I only took a few shots with the hornady 160gr bullet at 100 yards. About 1.5" or so while sitting and using my knee as a arm support. Looking to be relatively successful at 250 yards with woodchuck and coyote. Also wanted to keep my 1st 30-30 an open sight. With a fast light load (3000 fps 110gr or so) is this possible? Deer will be 150 yards max and critters 200-250. What would the ballistic drop be about for that fast 100gr combo? Also, how to 336's barrels hold up to faster velocities? With those faster bullets, is a 24" barrel needed to optimize the velocity or the standard 20" ok?

I would like to keep the coyote pelt for personal uses. So a clean exiting hole isn't a problem. The 2nd rifle will be used for deer too.
Ok as far as open sights are concerned the 100 grain bullet. It should work as long as you keep this in mind that you test your rifle with this spacific load. Needless to say ALL rifles are INDIVIDIALS, so testing your rifle for wether not it likes it. After you find out your getting good groups, The drop is as follows out of a 20" barrel. When sighted in 3" high at 100 yards, it will 0 at 300 yards and 20" at 400 yards. If you sight in for 1.5" at 100 yards it will be 11" at 300 yards. Obviously with a longer barrel you'll get more velocity. So a 24" XLR won't hurt either.:D::D:

A couple things though, First of one should STRONGLY consider better front (Sqaured VS. Factory Bead) sight and flat topped rear versus the "buckhorn" that the gun equipped with from the factory. The standard sights are good for deer sized game to 300 yards, but when going for a ground hog a better sight is called for. Two I see your consider getting a Bi-pod your rifle. I'd be wary about that idea for if you clamp it to the barrel on the XLR, it can trow the shot. Or if it's mounted on the mag tube it could "kink" the mag tube and or throw the shot. Now one can mount it on the sling swival. I my self I just use a old backpack stuffed with old towels or rags for range or still hunting. Then for out in the field long term then its stuffed with the usaual bric a brac.

I hope this helps. If you have any more questions you can PM me anytime.




As far as barrel durability I can't awnser that for I've yet to wear out my barrels.

Rifleman 336
 

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Being some from NY I'd say .30-30 is all you need. You'll never need anything bigger, even for black bear really ,and Black bear is as big as they get. I guess for "varmints" In this state I would suggest .243 or .270 really. Anything above 30-06 in this state is huge overkill for game. I guess if you planned on going hunting out of state someday something in .30-06 or .308 would be nice.

I know with just the cheap Winchester .30-30 power points my brother has taken deer at 200 yards easy.

.223 is the smallest allowed for New York state.

100-150lbs? That's on smaller deer maybe, unless we're talking field dressed. One of the bigger bucks we shot was 190lbs dressed (9 pointer). 150 might be a good average weight but they get allot bigger. Of course the younger deer weigh less.

I still laugh when I see guys out hunting with .300 win mag planning on shooting 150-200 lb deer.
 

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I really do like my 30-30. Between the 30-30 marlin, 20 gauge 870 remmington, and my 925 marlin 22lr there nothing I can't hunt in NY aside from longer range duck hunting.

As far as a survialist terms. What ammunition would you find most common in people's homes? The 223, 243, or the 308? I was considering the ak round in rifle too, but I hear that round is very similar as far as range and weight as my 30-30. I do agree that the 223 is rather light, but in a bad situation that 223 round would do alot better than a 22lr. I was looking for quality affordable bulk 223 ammunition, but seems it's not that cheaper compared to other popular deer size calibers. My wife is getting into to hunting. For now my 20 gauge slug in my hand and the 30-30 in her's should be fine for hunting hardwoods forests, abandoned small farms, and small field edges.

As far as accuracy does the ar15 or ruger mini-14's have enough barrel length to shoot a woodchuck at 200 yards. I also like the mini-30, but I have heard some not so good news about the autloading.
 

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As far as a survialist terms. What ammunition would you find most common in people's homes? The 223, 243, or the 308? I was considering the ak round in rifle too, but I hear that round is very similar as far as range and weight as my 30-30. I do agree that the 223 is rather light, but in a bad situation that 223 round would do alot better than a 22lr. I was looking for quality affordable bulk 223 ammunition, but seems it's not that cheaper compared to other popular deer size calibers. My wife is getting into to hunting. For now my 20 gauge slug in my hand and the 30-30 in her's should be fine for hunting hardwoods forests, abandoned small farms, and small field edges.

As far as accuracy does the ar15 or ruger mini-14's have enough barrel length to shoot a woodchuck at 200 yards. I also like the mini-30, but I have heard some not so good news about the autloading.
First of it isn't a how long a barrel is to shoot X distance. Even though one won't have the hyper leatilty at that distance a 16" barreled AR-15 would still kill the woodchuck dead.

As far as what is the most common ammo rifle wise in the modren american home (excluding .22LR) thats easy. Gun and Ammo had a write up as to the top 10 calibers from the combined totals of all the major ammo manufactures individial production totals.

1. .30-06

2. .223 Remington (5.56x 45mm NATO)

3. .30-30 Winchester

4. .270 Winchester

5. .308 Winchester (7.62X51mm NATO)


Those are the top five I remember of the top of my head but I know .243 Winchester makes the list.

As you can see your choice might be harder than you think for there all good calibers in the top ten list.


Now I can't remember who on this post said it, but sice when is it concidered "overkill" to shoot a woodchuck with a .30 caliber based cartridge when most of the .22 ish hypervelocity cartridges have torn to chucks in two or blown hugeass holes in them making them useless for eating or the saving of the pelt.:confused:


Rifleman 336
 

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Well the reason I need a varmit rifle is because I am trading shooting varmits for a dairy and poultry farmer for turkey, rabbit, and deer hunting access. Also, I'd like to try to push the "brush gun" envelope. I've always liked going the road less travelled approach. Hitting a woodchuck with any kind of 30 caliber is going to make a huge mess. however, this farmers has had to kill 6 cows this years becuase no one is shooting woodchucks. The cows break their legs. Also, he's lost a lot of chickens and goats due to coyote.


Ideally, a 22-250 223 243 would be best. After a second deer hunting rifle (either a savage 24 r or 336xlr marlin). I am thinking of getting either one of those rounds. I have shot a 22-250 with a 6-24x scope. This rifle was one of those NEF hand-rifles. Very accurate and seemed to be good with wind too. My other option might be for a savage 24 r in 20 gauge / 223 instead of 30-30. Besides 30-30's are hard to come by. The remmington SPR 94 does come in 223 and I think the shotgun one is 12.

I am not a big fan of killing anything your not going to eat. Virtually all animals are edible, but how does coyote and woodchuck taste? Do they need to be boiled first like squirrel?
 

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Well I haven't eaten coyote, but Wookchuck is good but one should soak it in salt water several times or milk to take care of the gamey flavor.

As far as the Marlin 336 shooting varmits, as long as the gun shoot in to 2" or less at 100 yards you should have little trouble send woodchuck to the great clover field in the sky. BTW there is also the .30-30 accelerator rounds offer by Remington for varmit control. Have fun.

I wish I could have the same deal you have I' d love to be in your position.And yes I'm jelious.


Rifleman 336
 

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My gun shoots pretty well with those cheap remmington cor-lokt. Both 150 and 170 seem to do well. 170 works a bit better and that hornady stuff works great. That gamey trick also works great on gamey tasting fish too.

Drive around and ask dairy farmers about their woodchuck problem. For large farm owners, if they didn't have a single woodchuck hole inury/death or a single coyote attack they could buy a new pickup truck almost every year. For gun shy hunters, offer to use a shotgun and/or traps. I know an older hunter who got a brand new 22-250 from a farmer because he shot him so many woodchucks with a 22lr. Besides the deer, great rabbit and turkey hunting can be found near farms.

If you don't live near too many farms, then plan a hunting trip in the morning on public land near a few farms. The places I go are a little over an hour from me, but well worth it.
 
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