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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Indiana is seriously considering letting us rednecks use rifles for deer hunting next year. This is as good of an excuse to buy some new stuff for hunting season without the wife going to crazy. Honey I need it for hunting. I really dont need anything as my muzzleoader currently will cover for firearms and muzzleoader season and it packs some serious energy.
Here is my dilemma. A do I
1.) Setup up my Marlin 30/30 with a decent scope
2.) Get a 300 blackout upper for my ar
3.) Use this as an excuse to buy a 308 bolt gun since I have no
Centerfire cartridge.

On number 1 PRO's

I already have the marlin 336 and I want to shorten the stock, put a mount on it with some quick release rings and a 1-4 or 2-7 leupold, burris scope. Total around $350-400 ish. I already have about 200 rounds. Quick follow up shots, fairly short rifle

Con's are shots 250 yards and under which I hardly ever get a shot past 75 yds unless I get a new hunting spot on a field edge. Wasted opportunity to get a new gun.

pro's on #2.
I absolutely love the ar15 platform. Its light, very short, easy to carry, the 30rd magazine makes a great rest for shooting prone, low recoil. The 300 is a 223 with the brass cutoff before it necks down and then stuff in a 100-240gr 30cal bullet in there. Advantages are with the 110-130gr lead its very similiar ballistically to a 7.62x39. Stuff in a 220-240 and its going subsonic which is great if I ever get a suppressor. Would sound like a suppressed 22lr. I can think of plenty of good uses for that especially if shit ever goes down.Also great for sbr builds. 9-12" barrels lose little velocity to 16" barrels unlike 223. They say most of the powder is done burning within 7-8". Everything is the same except the barrel. Uses standard ar magazines, bcg bolt carrier groups etc and im not worried about scratching it up. Barrels are $130-180 and a complete upper is around $400 and I already have a really nice burris xtr 1-4 30mm scope I could switch over very easy. I haave plenty of used 223 brass also. Just take off my 5.56 upper and slap it on.my favorite rifle to carry. Free practice with my go to rifle platform++

cons. Not as much energy as the 30/30 and ammo prices about the same as 30/30. Probably 200 yds or less. Adding another caliber and already I already have a 7.62x39

3.) Pro's. A new rifle to the collection and it would be my only real Centerfire cartridge. Long range capable++ it could be my sniper setup since I dont have one yet. Ruger american or savage 111 can be picked up new from $280-350. Not the top of the line but bare bones guns that have lots of good features, most will shoot moa or better with good ammo. Shtf sniper rifle. I have a browning 5-15x40 scope just sitting in the safe all lonely.

cons are bullets are $2-5 more per box than 30/30. For the most part I doubt I will get many chances to take really long shots.

I want to here your opinions.
 

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Indiana is seriously considering letting us rednecks use rifles for deer hunting next year. This is as good of an excuse to buy some new stuff for hunting season without the wife going to crazy. Honey I need it for hunting. I really dont need anything as my muzzleoader currently will cover for firearms and muzzleoader season and it packs some serious energy.
Here is my dilemma. A do I
1.) Setup up my Marlin 30/30 with a decent scope
2.) Get a 300 blackout upper for my ar
3.) Use this as an excuse to buy a 308 bolt gun since I have no
Centerfire cartridge.

On number 1 PRO's

I already have the marlin 336 and I want to shorten the stock, put a mount on it with some quick release rings and a 1-4 or 2-7 leupold, burris scope. Total around $350-400 ish. I already have about 200 rounds. Quick follow up shots, fairly short rifle

Con's are shots 250 yards and under which I hardly ever get a shot past 75 yds unless I get a new hunting spot on a field edge. Wasted opportunity to get a new gun.

pro's on #2.
I absolutely love the ar15 platform. Its light, very short, easy to carry, the 30rd magazine makes a great rest for shooting prone, low recoil. The 300 is a 223 with the brass cutoff before it necks down and then stuff in a 100-240gr 30cal bullet in there. Advantages are with the 110-130gr lead its very similiar ballistically to a 7.62x39. Stuff in a 220-240 and its going subsonic which is great if I ever get a suppressor. Would sound like a suppressed 22lr. I can think of plenty of good uses for that especially if shit ever goes down.Also great for sbr builds. 9-12" barrels lose little velocity to 16" barrels unlike 223. They say most of the powder is done burning within 7-8". Everything is the same except the barrel. Uses standard ar magazines, bcg bolt carrier groups etc and im not worried about scratching it up. Barrels are $130-180 and a complete upper is around $400 and I already have a really nice burris xtr 1-4 30mm scope I could switch over very easy. I haave plenty of used 223 brass also. Just take off my 5.56 upper and slap it on.my favorite rifle to carry. Free practice with my go to rifle platform++

cons. Not as much energy as the 30/30 and ammo prices about the same as 30/30. Probably 200 yds or less. Adding another caliber and already I already have a 7.62x39

3.) Pro's. A new rifle to the collection and it would be my only real Centerfire cartridge. Long range capable++ it could be my sniper setup since I dont have one yet. Ruger american or savage 111 can be picked up new from $280-350. Not the top of the line but bare bones guns that have lots of good features, most will shoot moa or better with good ammo. Shtf sniper rifle. I have a browning 5-15x40 scope just sitting in the safe all lonely.

cons are bullets are $2-5 more per box than 30/30. For the most part I doubt I will get many chances to take really long shots.

I want to here your opinions.
.308 all the way in my opinion. Target shooting ammo is cheaper than either of the other two choices "think military surplus". If the SHTF the .308 is a NATO caliber so acquiring ammunition should be a breeze "provided you are a better shot" than the OPFOR. If you reload or know anybody who does you can dial up rounds for anything from woodchucks to elk;) My opinion only.



Tom
 

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Small's; I'm a 308 guy myself ( ruger scout ). Ammo cost is now better than you think, I bought a 500 round case of lake city ( federal ) 762 X 51 well under $300. Save the brass and reload. I can load down to 100 yd, or up to 400 yds. I put a fixed 4x leupold on it and can hold 2 moa easy at 100 yds. I started loading 130 gn Speer hps over14 gns imr trailboss powder for 22 mag performance for plinking, it's a hoot...
 

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I'll take a stab at this one. I have two of the guns that you have listed. Scoped Marlin 336c is a great choice for use as you have discribed. The new Leverlution ammo is awesome. I also use a Savage 110 in a .308. I have shot dear from 20 feet on out to 400+ yards with this gun. Practice and know your ballistics for success. You can count one one shot kills with either of these guns.
Joemama
 

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If you decide to go the 308 bolt action route, I personally would stay away from the Ruger American, Savage Axis, and Remington 770. I have no doubt you could kill all the deer you would ever want with them, but they seem like the Yugo of firearms to me. I would look around for a Used Ruger 77, Winchester 70, Savage 11, or Remington 700. My current favorite rifle is a $250 Ruger 77 308 I bought at a gun show a couple of years ago. I cut the barrel to 20 inches, and took a 1/2 inch off the butt stock and refinished it. Its my idea of the perfect woods deer rifle, till I decide something else suits me better. Before it my go to gun was a t/c contender carbine in 30/30 so I know that 336 marlin will get the job done, you might as well get a scope for it to. I don't know what your minimum caliber will be in Indiana, but anything centerfire is legal in Missouri I would just load some 60 grn Nosler partitions in that 223 upper for those 75 yard and under shots on days when you want to pack the AR.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would love to use the 223 for deer bit they are saying a minimum caliber of 243. I really like the m77 action. I have one in 22mag and I really like the scout rifle alot. Im probably gonna scope the 30/30 for now as I dont want to pony up the cash for a real nice 308 at the moment.
 

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This is the 21st century--no sense shooting flat-nosed bullets with garbage ballistics. If you are going to set up a new rifle, set up a good one. Since you mention "sniper rifle", "rest", and range it sounds like you'll be stand hunting. .308 all the way. 308 is a fine medium action round, but a .30-06 will do everything a .308 will do and then some, but the action is longer and heavier. Longer and heavier is good for a "sniper rifle". My "sniper rifles" weigh 14 pounds. Each. Heavy wood stocks, bulky actions, long, fat barrels, 0.3 moa with worked hand loads if I do my job. 0.3 moa with hunting bullets. One is .308, one is .300 win mag. But I've been shooting long range competitions for 50 years+, load my own, and generally have figured out every possible way to mess up save to shoot myself. You can easily take short shots with a "sniper rifle", but you'll play hell making long shots with a lightweight rifle. I've taken deer at 12 yards with a .300 win mag.

Too much scope will hurt a deer rifle. I use 3x9 for groundhogs beyond 600 yards. Even my old eyes have no problem taking deer with clean head shots out to a measured ("measured" is the secret) 670 yards with a 2.5x7, and it's still more scope than I need. Magnification kills field of view, so choose compromises carefully. A couple weeks ago I fit a 1.5x4.5 to my woods rifle. 1.5x4.5 is enough scope for deer out to 500 yards, though .35 Whelen isn't quite accurate enough for me at that range unless conditions are perfect.

Shop used. I flip many rifles in excellent calibers for sniping deer for $200-300 buy/$400-$600 sell. Be patient and find a motivated seller. I'd try flipping a few rifles until the right one comes along.

.223 and derivatives are barely marginal for deer, especially if they have any size. On the other hand, a sporterized AK with hot hand loads is an excellent woods rifle. One of my regular hunting buddies has killed hundreds of deer with an AK and hot handloads with real hunting bullets. A well smithed AK with a worked load will shoot 1.0 moa, minimal recoil, fairly quiet, fast follow-up if you suck as a hunter, cheap practice ammo, and would love a throwback Redfield 1.5x4.5 shotgun scope. I've seen what the combo can do, and out to 250 yards or so, there really is nothing better for the money for deer and varmints.
 

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.308 all the way but why limit yourself to the bolt action? Few average hunters can shoot up to the accuracy their weapons are capable of so that old argument that bolts are more accurate goes out the window out to and under 200 yards. Browning still makes a great BLR model 81 in lever and in .308. Winchester also has good lever and semi autos in the .308 but I love the older models 88 & 100s. Your least expensive route is your 336 with a decent scope as qwerty described and the 30/30 has likely killed more deer than any of the other calibers. I don't care for it but it is up to the job.

I kind of doubt if your state will finally approve rifle calibers that it will allow semi autos so sticking with the tried and true bolt or lever guns will be a smart choice. I would feel completely well armed with a .308 against any animal in north America.

GaryL
 

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Id say the cheapest way is the 336 scoped. I have all 3 cal u ment and 30/30 is a proven round the new revolution cart. is awesome. F that blackout too much hype. 308 is more common but 30/30 is still a great round(proven for years). I have a 336 with a Nikon 4.5-14 and out to 250yrds with the new ammo is awesome. If you need a 30 rd mag to take a dear. Quit now!!!!!! My 308 is a Rem 700 and you will pay more for a set up 308 or 300BO then the 30/30 scope imo. As far as just dear hunting is concerned. Now overall is a total different story.
 

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I also am a .308 guy. I have a Remington 700 that I built as a bench gun for long range. They are probably the most reliable and accurate out of the box gun you can get in .308 along with Savage. The Savage 110 Is also an excellent rifle and please correct me if I'm wrong but I think the Savage models come with a free floating barrel type stock and the Rem does not. It does improve accuracy. The Remington 770 is like a Rem 700 "light" It's a cheaper made and less expensive version of the 700. The ADL version of the 700 no longer in production and was replaced by the SPS (special purpose). The BDL was the slightly fancier version of the 700. You can still find ADLs for sale in ads, auctions and pawn shops sine they made millions of them.
A well placed .308 will knock down an elk no problem and most certainly a deer. I use the same ammo for match shooting and hunting Federal Gold Medal Match in 168 gr BTHP. Its the most accurate ammo I have found. Black Hills was a close second.
My rifle is not one you'd carry around the woods since it weighs slightly under 19 pounds haha but a stock version of the Rem 700 is a manageable gun. I'm mainly attesting to the accuracy, reliability and knock down power of the gun with a given round. This target is a few years old but I had a good day and was able to cover a 3 shot group with a dime!
the boyz 010.jpg new 133.jpg new.jpg
 

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My deer gun is a Savage 111 in .270 and every deer I have pointed it at died.It's not a pretty gun but it is accurate.I have a Ruger 77 with a heavy target barrel in .243 that I use for coyotes and it's a beautiful gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Im getting ready to put up for sale my browning 5-15x40 as it just sets in the safe. Im definitely a low power scope guy. The burris xtr 1-4 30mm is by far my favorite scope. I may order this one for the 30/30. Weaver 1.5-4.5X24 Classic Extreme Riflescope Ill. German #4 Reticle Matte - Natchez Shooters Supplies or leupold vx1 1-4 hog plex or a vx1 2-7 or a burris fullfield II 2-7. I have a fullfied 2 3-9 bplex on a 17hmr and its almost dead on to 300 yds with the bplex. Its also right on with 30-06 and a few other calibers. Decisions, decisions. I probably wont be going big boy caliber yet. Heck I dont have any places to even stretch out the legs on the AR yet. When I got my first ar it was a 14.5" barrel and I put a 4 moa red dot on it and zeroed it at 50yds. I stuck a 2liter full of water out at 200yds and laid on the ground using the magazine for a rest and fired the first shot and to my suprise it exploded. So I set up a milk jug at 300yds and shot once and hit a little low as I didnt know how much it would drop at that time and the 2nd shot drilled it all using cheap pmc brass 55gr. One other time I set up a silhouette target at 400yds and shot 5 times just guessing on the bullet drop. 4 hit center chest area and one just missed the shoulder. That got me hooked. Whenever I do get a bigger cal iber it wont be a 10-12 lbs gun not that I dont want one it just wouldnt get used. If I do put a 2-7 on the 30/30 then I would have a perfect scope for a centerfire hunting rifle. Most of the time if im stalking I leave it on 1.5-2.5 and if im in a stand I usually put it on 4x.
 

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Small's ; I think your on the right track, sometimes less is more. No need to over-dress a 30-30. I don't use the variable hi-power scopes w/ AO anymore, I went back to basics, A fixed power / wide field and it's all on me. It became more of a distraction, and took away from my experience. Not that they don't have there place, like on a ridge or at the range, just not for me.

Hekkler ; that's a nice group, I picked up 6 boxes of fed. GMM 168 to try, and they didn't group as well as my loads. I shoot for groups, not bulls, here's 5 of my go-to loads...



Remington 700s are nice, all the LEO/swat use them, but I sure like my do-all Ruger scout for the field....



Did Remington send you a new trigger yet ?
 

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Did Remington send you a new trigger yet ?
Negative, that was the first thing I swapped out and replaced with a Timney trigger. Nice Ruger by the way. Hand loads are always better in my opinion. Part of it may also be due to rate of twist in our barrels. I reload as well but not for my .308 mainly .44 mag, 45 acp and .223
 

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I have used all of the mentioned long guns and calibers. I have hunted deer, elk, lots of hogs, and most of the smaller animals. Over the years, I have singled out my Remington 700 in 30-06 with a Leopold Vari-X II 2-7 power. I shoot a 165 grain nozzler bullet, and use it for everything. I will not go to the field to hunt hogs with a 30-30 as they are not enough gun for some of the hogs we hunt. I refuse to go into the brush for a wounded hog shot with a 30-30. I have seen a couple of mens legs that had to be stitched back together dealing with a wounded hog. I guess I am saying, if you are going to hunt, a 30-06 in my opinion is as versatile as you can get.
Mel
 

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Stick with your 30-30. Find the scope you like, & happy hunting!

Now, as for that SHTF rifle, you have two excellent ones already. The AR, and the 30-30... The AR needs no explanation. The 30-30 will feed you, and will take out that two legged varmint in one shot. In that SHTF scenario, anything close you fire on, anything far enough away to require a sniper rifle, you hide or slink away, live to fight another day... My .02

All that being said, DON'T let that stop you from buying another rifle! Variety is the spice of life! ;) m.
 

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As Mel & others have mentioned, 30-06. 30-30 fine for deer, but hogs, no. m.

PS: They filmed the B-flick "Pig Hunt" here in Boont / AV area!
 

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Hey Mhomadness ; been watching the weather forecast for you're area, there's a train coming, and your standing on the tracks!
I'm sure your ready, be safe up there...Dan..
 
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