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Which Cartridge Has Taken the Most Deer?

By Jeff Johnston

The Maybe it is a Myth Statement: “More deer have been taken with the .30-30 Winchester cartridge than any other.”

While this quote is often uttered as fact among hunters, what is not revealed is how it was calculated.

Fact is, I own a Marlin 336 rifle chambered in .30-30 Win., but I haven’t shot it in 20 years because it’s ballistically inferior to modern centerfire cartridges like the .308, .30-06 and .270 Win. Of all my hunting friends young and old, I don’t know a single person who routinely hunts with a .30-30. And it’s not like the 30-30 was the only choice for deer hunters of the golden era; While it was conceived in 1895 and offered in the Winchester Model 94 rifle ever since, the .30-06 was introduced in the 1903 Springfield a mere 12 years later (although sporterized versions didn’t become readily available until around 1920). I have read, however, that before about 1960 it was rather unusual to see anything other than lever-action rifles in the field or in gun stores. But these same accounts also report that during the years from 1900 to 1960 it was fairly rare to see a deer. In reality, the golden era of deer hunting began in the 90s when bolt action rifles and modern calibers had taken over the popular rifle throne, and it’s still going. American hunters kill 6-8 million deer per year these days, and I’m betting most are not killed with the .30-30. It is widely believed that the .30-06 is America’s—and the world’s—most popular hunting caliber. In my estimation it would not take many 1-million deer years to top any numbers the 30-30 put up during much leaner times. Nonetheless, all this is speculation:

So I want to know: Is this myth true?

What I Do Know
In general there is no requirement for indicating the caliber with which U.S. hunters harvested their deer, so the best way to form an educated opinion of the statement’s validity is by asking those whose fingers are most on the pulse of American hunters’ gun and ammo choices. That is, firearm and ammo manufacturers. But this of course only reveals what is popular now, and not 30 to 40 years ago. But still it gives us a starting point.

What the Manufacturers Say
While most manufacturers will not reveal their actual sales data, knowledgeable company staffers made the following statements:

Hornady Ammunition: “The 30-30 Win. 160 gr FTX LEVERevolution was our No. 1 [selling] hunting ammo last year, excluding all varmint ammo.”

Meaning: Perhaps the .30-30 is still more popular than I thought.

Federal Cartridge Co.: “We currently sell about twice as much 30-06 as we do 30-30. I’m sure it’s not all for hunting, but given the total deer kill and total bullets out there, it shouldn’t even be close.”

Meaning: The .30-06 kills many more deer today than the .30-30, and so the statement might well be false.

Winchester Ammunition: “The .30-30 Win continues to be at the first or second position in hunting ammo sales in recent history. I would argue that over history the 30-30 Win. as a single caliber versus any other single caliber, is at the top for deer harvested in the USA.”

Meaning: The .30-30 was and is still very popular, and is likely the top deer slayer of all time.

For the first time in BullShooters Blog history, I can’t find a definite answer to the gun-related question; Although I doubted it, because neither I nor my friends use the .30-30, there is a really good chance that it HAS taken more deer than any other cartridge due to its popular dominance in the early to middle part of the 20th century, and its ongoing strong sales in the U.S. market. But there is one other group of people who would better know what American hunters take most deer with, and that is, YOU, American Hunters. So, please comment on this blog post and help us take the BS out of BullShooters.

The Question For You
Of all the deer you know to have been killed by hunters including yourself, roughly what percentage of them fell to the .30-30 Win.? All helpful comments will be entered into a drawing for 30 percent off of a CVA firearm. It offers its Apex switch-barrel rifle in many calibers, but NOT the .30-30 Winchester!

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187 Responses to Which Cartridge Has Taken the Most Deer?

Danny Fielder wrote:
January 02, 2015

Of the white tail I have harvested theyhave all been taken with my Marlin 30-30

Jon wrote:
December 20, 2014

The 30-30 is a fine deer cartridge, esp in a Marlin. I'd gone through a 30-06 and a .270 and various milsurps when I got the 30-30, and I am home now. Easy on the ears, shoulder, and wallet. Short enough to carry with one hand muzzle down, and doesnt drag in leaves. Handy in the tree, pretty, and lethal on the deer. It's accurate & effective further than most have any business shooting at game. I figure it's a good <200 yard rifle, a little further under right conditions.

Augie P wrote:
November 28, 2014

i have taken 100[%] of my deer with my marlin 336 30-30......my brother has the same gun and has taken 100[%] of his deer as well......my father has a 1954 winchester 94 30-30 and to the best of my knowledge he has taken every deer with it.......i don't know where the author is from but in upstate NY, unless your hunting a corn farm or apple orchard you very rarely get shots over 100 yards.......about 75[%] of the guys i am friends with hunting with a 30-30 of some sort.......i highly doubt many guys are using them in the midwest, just doesnt make a lot of sense

Karl wrote:
September 13, 2014

Hunters don't use the 30-30 because of its on paper ballistics. We use it because of the way it kills deer. Rapid expansion and energy dump makes it a deer slayer. Take a can of soup or a bottle of soda out to your range and shoot it with a 30-30 at 75 yards. Watch what happens. It does the same thing inside a deer. A 30-30 is safer for hunting, too, since it won't travel 1300 yards or blow through trees. They sold 6,000,000 for a reason.

jerry wrote:
June 15, 2014

i got my first rifle at the age of 12 it was a Winchester model 94 in 30/30 and so for 24 years now its been my go to gun i have killed deer hogs and varmits with mine been the best gun I've ever owned as my dad bought that gun for me! i killed my first deer in 1994 it was a 12 point field dressed 132lbs buck deer and i have it head,neck,shoulder mount here on the wall as i wanted my first deer to be special i hunted hard for him! so the 30/30 has been perfect for me and will go with me when i die!!

dennis taylor wrote:
April 06, 2014

The 30 30 win.family of cartridges is larger than most people realize,219 zipper is an excellent long range varmint round,25 35 is good for varmints and with proper shot placement will take deer and elk is need be,30 30 is the most versatile brush round there is and is more than capable of taking black bear,the 32 win spl.is about 10[%]better than the 30 30 the 32 40 is about 10[%]less than the 30 30 and the 38 55 and 375 win will drop anything walking around on the north american continent.All of these fine rounds were based on the 38 55 cartridge and Winchester did all the homework for us over a hundred years ago and all we have to do is take advantage of it.

Bob wrote:
February 09, 2014

I wouldn't know from my own past experience,as I have the misfortune of living in the communist state of Illinois. I have killed about 1/2 of my deer with a .44 mag ruger super redhawk.(since they got just too close) ,the rest with bow,shotgun or muzzleloader. If I could afford toget out of state I would be using My .300 savage 99.

Jacob wrote:
January 22, 2014

My grandfather bought a 30-30 Winchester 94 about 55 years ago, and between him and people he lent it to over the years(mostly his brothers), it's taken tons of deer. He prefers it to the really nice Winchester 70 in 30-06 that he won, because the 30-06 is more than what's really needed at the distances they hunted in Pennsylvania, so it wasn't worth lugging around the extra weight of the 30-06.

mr obado wrote:
November 21, 2013

i am currently aware of only three animals to have fallen to the .30-30. most in my location are done in by .270, .308 and .30-06 as well as 7 rem mag and .300 win mag. some .264 .22-250. most by .270

adam wrote:
September 02, 2013

you must take into account that even though the 30-06 was around does not mean there were viable bullet options that allowed it to be used on game effectively. a big thing missing in your thinking is the vast number of areas where men simply shot deer when they needed meat and that in turn is what cause the rapid decline in the number of deer, they were hunted nearly to extinction in some areas. the 30-30 was usually only 1 of 3 guns many poor families had and in america from 1900 - 1950's that was a lot of people. they had a shotgun, a .22 and a 30-30.

Irving Cryderman wrote:
April 22, 2013

Any round that kills the animal quickly, and you shoot straight is the best round. I have killed deer with a 30/30 and most of them with a 30.06. Both awesome rounds, keep shooting straight and shoot often.

tom wrote:
April 13, 2013

The only rifle I tote into the woods year in year out is a 1974 glenfield 30-30. I've used Hornady's lever evolution,Remington's core lokts and federal's power shok and recovered every whitetail I've had in the crosshairs. My furthest shot is 100 yds But,thick cover in Minnesota's swamps often keep shots much less than that.

Dan Cain wrote:
March 24, 2013

In all of my years of hunting(45) I have taken all of my Whitetail deer with my Marlin 336 .30-.30. The exception being my first deer which I took with a Remington .30.06. My two kids began their hunting careers with a Marlin .30-.30. And still use them to this day. As far as the myth of it being just a 'brush gun' good for no farther than 100 yards, I have taken several deer at over 200 yards. My son's first deer was 208 yards and my farthest being 246 yard neck shot. In my family, the .30-.30 is the dominant caliber used. If I start hunting somewhere a longer shot is needed then I will consider using something else but from 20-246 yards my Marlin .30-.30 so far has everything else beat. Of course this is Texas so depending on the region you might have to opt for a longer shooting cartridge, I just haven't found that place yet.

Phil wrote:
March 23, 2013

Since the areas I hunt in NY are thick and rarely allow shots over 100 yrds I use my Marlin 30-30 almost exclusively. My sons hunt with 7mm-08 and I have taken a couple of deer with .223 and 7.62 x 39 but my 30-30 is my go to deer riffle and has been for over 20 years

matt wrote:
January 25, 2013

seems like it depends on the region. I live in the North East and know people who hunt with a .30-.30. I own one myself as well. i have never hunted with it. I like to go target shooting with it, but I wouldn't hesitate to try it to take deer. I was always told and thought they were good brush hunting guns. Good for closer range shots in the thick woods. I could see why people would use something more adapt for long range shots out in the mid west. In the woods of New England I'm sure its taken many many deer.

Duane Fitts wrote:
December 12, 2012

I live in Colorado and most of the hunting here is for elk and mule deer. I have now hunted for 35 years and have been in dozens of different camp and have never seen a 30-30 in a single camp. I have one my grandfather gave me an have taken 1 whitetail in Nebraska it's just not a gun for here in the west.

john C [(]Tucson, AZ[)] wrote:
November 30, 2012

I began hunting in the woods of upstate NY for big Whitetails, and there were a few guys carrying .30-30's. I think because they were inexpensive and on sale every season. I shot a .270 Win then, as I do now in the West. I'm looking for versatility and quick kills, and the .270 wins. Most guys I hunt with carry .270 or .30-06. But in the west, a .30-30 is very limited due to long shots and tougher game such as Elk.

Jack (upstate NY) wrote:
November 25, 2012

I bought my first 30-30 a used marlin 336 when I was 16,(now 53) I used it for 24 seasons and shot between 25&30 deer then handed it down to my son when he turned 16, he's now 29 and he has shot a few deer with it. I now use a 300 savage, that I got when my father past away. My brother (52 yrs old) has always used the 30-30 and has shot alot of deer with it. I bought another 30-30 that I will pass to my granddaughter when she starts to hunt.

Jeff wrote:
November 24, 2012

Live in the mountains of East Central Nevada and I used my uncle's winchester 94 .30-30 to kill my first mule deer, despite having a .270. It was easier to shoot when I first started out. I'm quite used to the .270 by now and I acquired a short barreled Marlin .30-30 here recently. I plan on using both to take quite a few deer in the future as they're both great rifles and cartridges and either one packs enough punch to knock a muley to the dirt.

sshamberger wrote:
November 21, 2012

Well got my first deer two days a go, 10 point 200 lbs, used an old marlin 30-30 with Winchester 180 grain, straight on shot just above left shoulder while cleaning found bullet next to rectum, deer ran 50 yards tettered for about ten minutes and fell. Cool to find bullet. FIrst Deer

jim r wrote:
November 15, 2012

Shot 2nd Android third deer with mod 336 when I was about 13.the rest have been with the 3006 or 308. Most of family in 7 camps use 308 or 06. Seldom see 30 30 any more at fish and game club.

Jim wrote:
November 14, 2012

My deer hunting career started with the .30-30 for the first 10 years. I moved to the .30-06 the last 15 years for a little more reach. I still take my Win 94 with me for when walking/driving because it is lighter and shorter.

glenn wrote:
November 13, 2012

I've took deer with arrow 3030 3006 270 12qa 300 win may and. 50 Muzzy. The most have fallen to 12 GA.about 60[%].

B Morr wrote:
November 10, 2012

Been hunting 35 yrs with a Marlin 30-30. Have taken about 40 deer with it and 1 with a 7 mm Mag. 30-30 is a popular woods gone in the Midwest.

D. Jorde wrote:
November 04, 2012

I've personally never taken a deer with anything but a .270 (I now shoot .30-06 with awful luck since the switch.) My wife's cousins however, all shoot Marlins in .30-30 (her uncle goes overboard with a Marlin .375) They swear by the gun and the cartridge, and have taken many deer out of the MN state park they hunt in.

A.Ritchie wrote:
October 31, 2012

54 yr.old and started out with a 336 in 30/30 which dropped many deer, in last 5 yrs I've used a 94 in 32 ws for several deer, all dropped in tracks. Can't see no further than 50 yds or so in n. ga. Mts. And these calibers work great.

Dan F. (WV) wrote:
October 27, 2012

I've been at it for 40 years. Used a .308 Winchester for 90% of my hunting time. I've never owned a 30/30.

Ed Ingarfield wrote:
October 22, 2012

I live in Nova Scotia canada. I own 2 30-30s Winchester 94 and Marlin 336. I have shot a deer with both rifles. I use the 30-30 when I am in heavly bushed areas. A friend of mine uses a 30-30 winchester no mater where he hunts. He has taken 7 deer with his trusty 30-30. I however have shot most of my deer in the past 30 years with my 30-06. I just purchased a 270 Parker Hale. However I am in the process of installing a Nikon ProStaff 2x7 scope on the 30-30 Marlin,so it could be a toss up between 270 or 30-30 rifle I chosse for my first my first hunting trip this year I am leaning torwards the Marlin.

Field Trip wrote:
October 19, 2012

I live here in North Georgia and the 30-30 is as average a rifle as a 30-06 or 270. It seem most have on in the gun cabinet.

lds wrote:
October 17, 2012

out of 12 people that i hunt with 5 of them use 30-30's 8 use lever actions

Joe Suzik wrote:
October 12, 2012

Most of my hunting is done now in NC and the most popular gun I see used and proving positive results is the .270. However back in my younger days it was a 30-06. I see less and less of the 30-30 but it may be the rifle that shot more deer because of its great history. I believe modern day is the .270

IamWhoIam wrote:
October 11, 2012

I've been hunting big game since I'm 17 and started with a Bolt Action .35 cal rifle. I fell in love with the .35 round. I hav a 30-06 but only used it a couples of times and my son used it maybe 3 times. A freind will use either a .30-.30 or a .30-06. I have several rifles in .35 that I've killed more of my deer with. I did buy a .30-.30 a few years ago, used it for one kill to break it in and it dropped the deer in it's tracks - only gun to do that. I also have used a 12ga pump for deer BUT this year I'm back to my .3 Marlin Lever. So as I'm told, the .35 round sn such a good round to use , that it's well know YET not much talk about it. The .35 is great for all areas of the woods and can handle a decent distance and I love the Lever Action! In the Brush, in the trees or head to head on the path, the 35 takes 'em all!

Mark Palmer wrote:
October 09, 2012

I shoot a 270 and have killed deer nearly every time in the woods. I know only one guy who owns a 30.30 and he doesn't hunt. 7.62X51 and 30.06 are my hunting partner's favorite caliber to use.

olen wrote:
October 08, 2012

I have a choice of over 15 weapons for deer hunting. In 32 years have put down over 50 deer. NONE with a 30-30. 30-06 or browning compound bow tops the list.

mark wrote:
September 27, 2012

A 30-30 will kill any of north americas game provided the shooter can place the shot where it needs to go

Cres wrote:
September 14, 2012

3 deer - 30.06, 1 deer - .300 Savage

Bob W. wrote:
September 12, 2012

I live and hunt in Michigan's U.P. I use either a 243 or a 44Mag for hunting and have killed many deer with these two choices. None of my friends or camp members use a 30-30. mostly 243 or 30-06.

Alan G wrote:
September 10, 2012

Kentucky is a short range heavy brush country. All deer taken by my hunting group has been with the 30-30's I perfer the winchester 94 -they the Marlin 336. Most kills are well under 100 yards

Ross wrote:
September 03, 2012

literally hundreds of deer here in Hawaii have fallen to the 30-30 due to "damage control" efforts on our Axis deer which have become an Invasive species. State Wildlife issues permits to agriculture farms to shoot at night with spotlights and a lot of them are restricted to 30-30, .22, or shotgun only.

Mark wrote:
September 03, 2012

Most of my Fl deer hunting is relatively short distances, dense brush. A 30.06 or 308 would be overkill. I've taken roughly 50 deer all with my Marlin 336 30:30.

Frank wrote:
September 01, 2012

Since 1985, I have taken at least 30 Deer, one Moose, 4 Elk, 2 Bear with .270 Nosler Partision. Longest shot, 325 yards, 9 pt Whitetail. 90% of deer and 100% everything else were one shot kills.

Rob wrote:
August 31, 2012

I'm 61 and have been hunting deer since I was 12. In those 49 years I've taken at least 1 deer every year and every one of them with the same Marlin 336 .30-30.

Kevin white wrote:
August 30, 2012

I have been hunting deer for 30yrs started out with a marlin 336 30/30 killed several deer with it , my father used a original Winchester mod 94 with a 26'octagon barrel in 30/30, I inherited it when he could no longer hunt with it this is a true woods gun no scope just open sights, this gun is by far the most comfortable and accurate lever I have ever shot it has taken more deer than any other gun in our camp ! As far as wounding deer I have seen more deer wounded with 30 06 and 300 wm. than I care to admit, but I don't blame the cartridges I blame the shooter , because if you put the bullet where it supposed to be it will do its job !

Alan wrote:
August 30, 2012

I have taken deer for decades with 30.06, but never have I or any of my hunting buddies taken any animal with a 30-30...

Ken V wrote:
August 29, 2012

Of all the deer taken at my camp in the past 24 years, one was with a 30-30. The other calibers that have put meat in the freezer and the score: 7.62x39(1), 12ga slug(3), 30-06(2), 308Win(16), 7mm MAG(2). I can't wait to see the results.

Don K wrote:
August 28, 2012

I have killed more whitetail deer with my 30-30 Marlin then my 30.06 or my 308. The 30-30 shoot as far as I can see were I do most of my hunting. The gun is light weight idea for still hunting in Pa.

R.Reed wrote:
August 27, 2012

I have only killed two deer hunting days...one with a 30-30 and one with 30-06....so I guess I am no help in determining which is all time number one cartridge.

Jeff wrote:
August 27, 2012

6 out of 7 of my deers have been taken by a 30/30

Jerrod wrote:
August 27, 2012

30-30 = 5 deer 7mm Mag. = 1 deer .270 Win. = 2 deer

Barry C. wrote:
August 27, 2012

In 1969 my first Michigan whitetail was taken with a Marlin 336 in 30-30 with open sights. Second deer in 1975 with .257 Roberts. Third deer, with the weapon that puts down kudu, caribou, moose, buffalo, etc., 7mm Rem Mag. But if hunting where shots are close, such as German boar in a Canadian preserve, then the 30-30 (now with a Leupold scope) comes out of the gun safe. I have spoken with only one person in recent years who uses the 30-30 for deer. Obviously, I am not an avid Michigan deer hunter. Further, what caliber has killed the most deer is little more than conjecture and opinion, but, as good a subject to argue about as any.

Tim wrote:
August 25, 2012

I have killed 4 deer with the 30/30, 3 with 35 Whelean, 2 with 300 win mag,12 with 257 Roberts,8 with 30/06 and 1 with a bow, 3 with a muzzlerloader. Most favorite is the Roberts followed by the 30/06 as I have 3 different rifles. The 30-30 is a fun gun to shoot and pratice with and cheap to shoot compared to other ones.

M. Paddock wrote:
August 25, 2012

I shot my first four bucks with a M94 30-30 but now shoot .308 most of the time. The largest was with a .22Hornet I had behind the seat of the truck when moving a stand. We had a 30-30 only weekend last year and shot three.

DivideJAG wrote:
August 25, 2012

I started hunting in 1968 alongside my Dad. He hunted since the 50's. Both of us used a .270. Have taken mule deer, elk, red stag and rae deer(Germany/Austria), wild boar (Germany and USA). All with respect for the animals we hunted with 1 shot kills. Range was anywhere from 25 yards out to spectacular simultaneous takedowns at 500 yards for two mulely bucks (not recommended, my Dad was a weapons instructor and longstanding expert rifleman and I grew up competitively shooting since the age of 9). That was a shot of a life time. Most shots on big game with the .270 around 125-150 yards here in Colorado. Any weapon is lethal when properly used and range is respected in terms of capability of the firearm and shooter. See a lot of .30-30's out here in Colorado along with the -06's and 7mm mags. Well wishes in figuring out your question. Look back to the weapons of the old West. The .45-70 is making a come back as well as it killed a lot of buffalo as a fine lever-action rifle.

James wrote:
August 24, 2012

Due to a 20 year hitch in the U.S. Navy, I got a late start in life concerning deer hunting. My first kill (11/6/2006) was using the ubiquitous Winchester 94 (chambered in .30-30 Winchester). After seeing how little damage that round did to the deer, I upgraded to the Remington 700 chambered in .270 and have taken 3 with the .270 and 8 with my .50 cal muzzleloader. This season (2012) will be my 7th season of serious deer hunting and I have stepped it up yet another notch with the Remington 700 AAC/SD chambered in .308! The round of choice was the Remington CorLokt but I will be trying Hornady Custom Lite in the .308. It's a sickness, and the only cure is to go sit in a tree!

Mark R. wrote:
August 23, 2012

I personally bought my Remington 700 30-06, from the local hardware store back in 1969 when I was in the 8th grade. (Yes, I could buy a gun back then!)I had it mounted with a Tasco 4 power scope. It wasn't until the following deer season that I actually connected on my first deer - a whitetail doe. I shot her right between the eyes at about 80 yards as she looked at me through some brush.( Yes, I had spent much of the following summer practicing on everything from paper targets to gopher to rabbits - as per my Grampa's instructions! Been hunting with that gun ever since and it is still as reliable as the day I bought it-but I have changed to a different scope when the old Tasco finally gave up the ghost. My Grampa was very instrumental in my decision making on getting the 30-06 as he convinced me it was the best all around gun due to the variety of bullets one could purchase.

Forrest wrote:
August 23, 2012

I killed my first deer at age 12 with a Marlin .30-30 Lever action at over 300 yards using accelerators. Since then my Ruger M77 .30-06 has killed one deer every year since 1987. On one occasion I used my father's .300 Win mag to make a 500 yard shot on a Mulie. Overall, the '06 takes the gold medal for the mule deer event ;-)

Jonathan wrote:
August 23, 2012

I started deer hunting with a 20gauge but now i deer hunt with a. 30WCF(30-30). Primarily fire 150gr.Remington CorLokt. I don't have enough range time with Hornady Leverevolution to decide on a verdict.

R. Stewart Ullstrom wrote:
August 23, 2012

My first deer gun at age 13 was my model 94 winchester .30-.30, over the next approximately 10 yrs. I was able to take 7 Western Pennsylvania White Tails. Then I found a new love. My .270 Win. Even shot a fine 6x7 Bull Elk while hunting high desert plains in Colorado with it. I still own my .30-.30 intact, I bought another one!!

Jack wrote:
August 23, 2012

First deer at 215 yards with 30-30 (Marlin 336) and next few with same. Also use cartridge not commented on. The 7.62x39 (Ruger mini 30) has worked well along with hunting hogs.Have never lost an animal to eigther one.Both have comparable Ballistics. Deer are typically not very large in S.C. where these were taken.Also recoil is not bad on them compaired to my brothers 7mm mag that is no fun at the range after about 5 rounds.

Shawn Craig wrote:
August 23, 2012

I've taken a handful with a Winchester mod. 98 30-30,another handful with my Rugar No. 3 .45-70 and even a handful with English field .303 british. But my favorite is my savage .25-06.

Todd Buckley wrote:
August 23, 2012

I grew up around deer hunting and continue to enjoy the sport to this day at 42 years of age. My father always hunted with a Marlin 336 lever action and my first deer hunting rifle was the same..a trustworthy 336 that has downed many a deer over the years. I still use it to this day when hunting in regions that allow centerfire rifles. We hunt in the hardwoods of the northeast where shots over 100-150 yards are not the norm, hence, the the popularity of the 30-30 in this neck of the woods remains. Having a gun that is easy to handle and fairly short in length these conditions is great (not to mention they are more economical than many other deer guns/calibers). Which brings me to my main point, I imagine the answer to your question varies greatly by geography. I doubt very much plains hunters in the midwest fancy a nice lever gun chambered in 30-30 the way I do because they are often taking shots in excess of the 30-30's capability. And who can blame them, it is only a 150 yard gun (maybe a bit longer now with Hornady Leverevolution ammo). Ask a guy exactly my equal in every way with the exception that he lives in Kansas and I am sure his preference is 30-06. So casting a vote from the Northeast I'd say well over 50% of the deer I have seen taken over years in New York and New England have fallen to a 30-30. I think both the Winchester 94 and Marlin 336 are under-appreciated these days with all the hypegiven to long range shooting. Get closer...that is part of what hunting is all about!

Hunter Billy wrote:
August 23, 2012

30-30 wins hands down. Maybe it would lose to the long bow.

steve abrams wrote:
August 23, 2012

I shot my first muley buck at age 12 with a Model 94 Win and have killed more deer in my life with that rifle than my .270 and 30.06 combined. My two sons learned to shoot with it also and my grandfather took a bull elk in Colorado with his Model 94 back in the '40's. It certainly has it's place.

mr wrote:
August 23, 2012

A Close Cousin: At age 12 my grandfather gave me his Marlin 336 in .32 Special to use for my first deer season. The gun was already well used at the time and had a (obviously) repaired butt-stock as Pap had broken it completely off in a fall on the mountain. I didn't take a deer that first season but, over the next 20 years I was fortunate to take 19 whitetail bucks and a number of does with the .32. Only one deer ever required tracking but that was my bad not cause of the gun or caliber. Pap knew I loved the little gun so he never spoke a word about me returning it. When he passed each of the grand-kids got one of his rifles. As the oldest I had first choice, I chose of course to keep the little .32 over all the newer fancier guns. In the last 25 years I've graduated to .270 and .308 but, the little .32 remains one of my most cherished guns. PS-to this day the .32 is a real shooter to... believe it or not, 3 shot groups under an 1" @ 100 yards with hand-loaded ammo.

Mike Bacci wrote:
August 23, 2012

I've taken many deer, and when it came to that opportunity of a lifetime that, 'big buck' on a bounding run, diagonally down and away, one chance trophy. that's when my 30-06 Remington 800 BDL came through. I made a clean accurate shot and my trophy is on my wall right now. What a rack!

Rich Weible wrote:
August 22, 2012

I know of only three in my 51 years that someone I know used a 30.30(3deer).I use 30.06 now for 30years,although got first three deer with 303 British. My brother uses 7mag 15 years now.

Jimbo wrote:
August 22, 2012

I have killed more deer with my 25-06 than any other caliber.

The Beef Guy wrote:
August 22, 2012

I keep a hunting journal, by year, cartridge, gun, etc. Starting in 1980 1- .30-30, 19 - .243 Win, 3 - .308 Win, 7 - .223 Rem, 1 - .243. Haven't killed one since 2001 but will be back with .308 Win this year.

john ray wrote:
August 22, 2012

took my first deer with a 30-30,many since then,heard about all the 300 or 400 yard shots, but wonder about that,all deer i've ever seen was within 120 yards or less

Brandon wrote:
August 22, 2012

Have used the 30-30 to take a deer in the past but like many use the 30-06 most often for deer. Have taken most of the hogs I have shot with a 30-30 however so to me the 30-30 is still a great little gun to keep around.

RB wrote:
August 22, 2012

80% with the grand old .30-30 20% with .308 and .30-06 My wife and 3 brothers also love and use the time tested .30-30 It might get kicked aside alot, but I can testify to it's effectiveness. Never lost a deer, and I've made a 220 yard one shot instant kill with a 170 grain flatnose. I've no use at all for hornady's FTX bullets.

Paul from PA CO & WV wrote:
August 22, 2012

30-06 wins here! Started hunting in 1961 with 30-30; then went to 06. Have taken deer, elk, caribou, pronghorn and black bear with 06.

Skoal wrote:
August 21, 2012

I don't know anybody that has shot a deer with a 30-30 My fam takes about 5 each year we all love 7mm rem mag. I have had good luck with dads 22-250, my bros have been happy with 243 and 30-06. It really doesn't matter as long as you can hit where you aim. Long story short over all time lots of deer have been taken with bows.

d-hunter1 wrote:
August 21, 2012

I have killed deer with a 243, 12ga slugs and buckshot. One thing to think about was the old M1 Garand that was popular after WW2

Jim Sorrell wrote:
August 21, 2012

The .30-.30 was from the beginning and is still my favorite rifle to hunt with. With the advent of the Leverevolution from Hornady made it a contender again in most parts of the country. Shooting respectfully at 300 yds. If you study ballistics you will see all .30 caliber ammunition falls quick past 300 yds. If you live where its difficult to get a shot inside 300 yds the .30-.30 is not for you. I believe because of its longevity and popularity it is still ranked at the top for killing whitetails. It will surely be surpassed in time, (fancy bolts being all the rage)but not just yet.

sam wrote:
August 21, 2012

The 30-06 gets my vote as well. However, I had a co-worker argue that the 22L rifle should be considered into the mix, b/c of poaching.

Jose wrote:
August 21, 2012

I started with a 30-30 when I was based in NC back in 84, but after only 3 deer I graduated to the .270 Win and never looked back. I used a 30-06 when in Colorado before joining tha Army but now my trusty .270 goes there too just with a 170 grain instead of 150. Most of the guys I know that hunt the east coast have switched from 30-30 to other calibers such as the 7mm, 30-06 .270 and .308. Much better range and less drop.

Jim wrote:
August 21, 2012

Probably the 22 has taken the most deer. Cheapest shells to buy and can be used for almost anything. Of course the 22 was never legal for deer, but there sure has been a bunch killed with it. Most of my deer were taken with a 270. None with a 22, but a toesack full of rabbits and squirrels were shot with a 22.

Jerry wrote:
August 20, 2012

I have been hunting Deer(mule&White rail)with a Winchester 94 30-30 since 1952. It has never failed for what I bought it for. It is still in use today.

Paul wrote:
August 19, 2012

I never killed a deer with a 30-30, but after killing alot of deer with other calibers over the years (308 and 7mm-08) I shot a buck with a 35 Rem with Hornady LeverEvolution ammo and was impressed so much that I bought a 30-30 with the same ammo last year for kids to use or me on drives. I believe it will work fine. As to the question, here in WV alot younger hunters use 30-30s but I have seen alot of 30-06s used too. I would guess the 30-30 is ahead by a nose but losing ground each year to other calibers like 243, 7mm-08 and so on. Anymore, why get beat up by a 06' when there are so many other good calibers available for a young ( or older) shooter?

chris wrote:
August 19, 2012

in illinios we are not fortunate enough to get to use a rifle for for deer only a shotgun but my guess would be the 30.06 would be the most widely used.

Danny wrote:
August 19, 2012

the 30-06 has been around a long time and a lot of people use it. the 30-06 also has a lot to pick from when it comes to bullet weight.

bryan wrote:
August 10, 2012

I have killed 7 deer. 3 with my 30-06 and 4 with my 30-30. I know very few hunters that hunt with the 30-30. I still use mine.

Mavtac wrote:
August 09, 2012

My first gun was a Savage model 110 in .243. I later upgraded to accu-trigger model 11, still in .243. All 4 of my deer on last three years have come via .243. I did just buy a 30-06 this past year and have been pleased so far. All NY hunts. No one here uses 30-30, but my brother in FL has one he started on. I know a family friend in PA who loves the 30-30, but he is the only one like that who I know.

Sean wrote:
July 31, 2012

I only know one guy who hunts or has hunted with a 30-30. My grandpa, dad, uncles except one who shoots a 7mm, and myself have taken all their deer with 30-06. Using 150 gr bullets to be more precise. Other than that most people shoot 06 or 270s. I love the 30-06 it's the most versatile round from 110-220gr. However I do plan on hunting with a 6mm Remington this fall. Curious to see how it works.

john wrote:
July 29, 2012

I shot my first deer in 1984 with a 30-30 that my uncle had given me. no one else in the family would use it. every deer since then has been 30-06 12 gage or muzzell loader. I dont know anyone not even the old timers who carrey a 30-30.

Johneasy wrote:
July 27, 2012

I have been hunting since 1958 when my father bought me a 30-30 Marlin and for the next ten years I harvested mor than thirty deer. I then went to a Marlin 35, take about ten deer. Bought a Marlin 444 and this is my favorite. And yet I have taken more deer with a Remington 300BLD 30-06 with more than forty deer with this rifle; and this is now the only one I use primary because I can up-load for long range; download w/155gr rnd for brush hunting. For me an my friend 30-06 about 5 to 1 over the 30-30.

Erik wrote:
July 25, 2012

I hunt deer in a shot gun only area (Southern MN). 12 guage slugs are the answer. Although, a friend uses a 20 guage.

Leslie wrote:
July 20, 2012

I have been hunting for about 20 years now. I killed a deer this year with my new 30-06. I have killed 2 or 3 more with my brother's 270. The other 95% were taken with, you guessed it, my first rifle. My 336cs Marlin, in 30-30.

Dick Sciranko wrote:
July 19, 2012

My first deer was taken with a 30-30 as well as my second and third. My second was with and third with a .270. My next 3 with a .30-06, but since then I've taken nearly all my deer with a .280 Remington, except a few with a 6mm Remington or a muzzleloader. Bottom line 3 with 30-30, 3 with 30-06, 19 with other.

Perry wrote:
July 19, 2012

I have hunted deer for 46 years. Killed 82 in seven states. I hunted mostly with my .270. I Killed 21 with archery. 2 with muzzle loader. 10 with a 12 ga. shot gun. 14 with my 300 WSM. 35 with the .270 rifle. I have seven brothers of which all have killed deer. Some more than others but I have no count. But not one has been killed with a 30-30. Some how we missed the boat when it comes to the 30-30. I don't believe that there has ever been one in our family. My father did have a 32 special, which one of my brothers now owns. And I did kill a Pa. black bear with it in 1973. All of my seven children have also killed deer, but again not one with the 30-30.

Bob wrote:
July 17, 2012

I've hunted deer for almost 60 yrs. My first was taken with a loaner 303 Savage at 9. Got my first rifle, Marlin 336 (30-30) at 10 and used it until my early 20's taking about 15 deer with it here in western Washington. Since then I have taken taken maybe another 15 deer, several elk, and a couple of moose in the local western states and Alberta Ca. I now own and have taken deer with rifles from .243 to .338 and yes, there's an 06 in the mix. That being said my old 30-30 now resides on the mantle but it has taken as many deer as the other put together. Everyone I know has used and taken deer with a 30-30 at some point and a couple now in their 70's still do. In conclusion I would say that the good old 30-30 is probably at the top of the heap as a deer killer, if not it could only be second to the 22 long rifle.....Bob

Dan Goodson wrote:
July 17, 2012

My first buck was killed with my M-70 in 30-06 at 200 yds. Everything since has been with and A bolt in 7mmWSM. Mule deer in CO, whitetail in ID, black bear and blacktail in CA and bull elk in MT with one shot at 150yds.

Dan Close wrote:
July 16, 2012

I am 53 and never hunted deer. I have a 1994 Centennial Model '84 Winchester in 30-30. Think I would rather buy a 30-.06. I do have a 1917 military 30-.06, but it's heavy. So, recommendations for brand? I live in Kansas, mix of 'forest' and farm land.

Bob wrote:
July 16, 2012

Crossbow - I consider it a good hunt when I have planned and worked until I see the whites of their eyes. Nothing quite like the thunk of an arrow hitting a deer 10 feet away. So as much as I like to shoot guns, I have gotten all my deer with my crossbow.

pete wrote:
July 16, 2012

It's been years since I've hunted but when I did, tally was 4 deer with 30-30, none with 30-06. I've always enjoyed shooting the 30-30 being a lighter/shorter rifle with far less recoil.

Bob Snodgrass wrote:
July 16, 2012

I have been hunting since the early 60's and I have taken 1 deer with a 30-30, but since then I have taken at least one deer every year with my 30-06.

Roscoe wrote:
July 16, 2012

I have hunted for 20 years, and have taken approximately 10 deer. Of those, 0 deer were taken with my open sight 30/30 which I hunted with when I was young, 90% taken with a scoped .308, and 10% with my open sight Finnish Mosin-Nagant in 7.62x54R. By the way, Maine captures the caliber of gun used to kill the deer when you tag it.

rick stallkamp wrote:
July 16, 2012

I have hunted for well over 30 years and have never used a 30-30, though i own a winchester 336, to shoot deer or any other big game animal. Never found it accurate enough or flat shooting enough for the perfect kill shot when it's needed. I hate to gamble when it means meat on the table. I prefer my 30-06, 270, or 243. Thanks

BW wrote:
July 15, 2012

30% with a 30-30; 70% with a .243

norm wrote:
July 15, 2012

I shot my first deer with a 30-06. and still hunt with one today . that was 45 yrs ago

Ernie White wrote:
July 15, 2012

My first deer hunt was with a M1 30cal.I got my deer with one shot. I then bought a 30-30 winchester lever action. Hunted with it for years. I just bought a Marlin l/a 30.06 this year with scope Havent hunted with it yet. Hope to do so in Nov. 2012 deer season. I hunt only in MO. I am now 69 years old. Will be 70 in Dec. this year. I can still get around good. A lot of my hunting buddys also used 30-30 rounds

Beekoct wrote:
July 15, 2012

I use a CVA 50 cal. It accounts for at least 60 deer for me in my 30 years of hunting in Indiana.

Pj wrote:
July 14, 2012

I use my 30-30 in brush hunting and y kill10 Buck but in long renge hunting y use 300 wm

michiganlouie wrote:
July 14, 2012

I live in a shotgun only zone, and rarely hunt outside of it. the only time I used a rifle was on an out of state hunt and I used a 30-06, and killed 4 deer with 4 shots (my reloads)

Scott wrote:
July 14, 2012

I have hunted with an Winchester Model 94 Ranger .30-30 in middle Georgia for 20 years. Of the 40 or so deer I have harvested, all have fallen to this rifle. I know my distance limitations with this gun and follow them. My longest shot was at 150 yards for a very nice 7 point.

Jeremy wrote:
July 14, 2012

Everyone I know uses a .30-06 as a basis out of maybe 30 or so hunters. There was one older feller that used a .30-30 and he's the only one. THere's a few .270s, 8mm Mausers, .25-06, 7mm mag and .308 guns thrown in the mix, but I bet 80% or more are .30-06. Most younger hunters I see start out with a .243

davidc wrote:
July 14, 2012

I routinely hunt during rifle season with a Marlin 30-30. Blackpowder season sees me afield with a caliber .50 percussion Hawken.

Jim in AZ wrote:
July 14, 2012

Had to go down a long way to find someone else who also uses the .264 Mag. Taken two pronghorn with it, one at 450 yds. Also a couple deer. My other rifle is a 03-A3 in 30.06. Taken deer, elk, and bison with it.

Jim wrote:
July 13, 2012

I started deer hunting 42 years ago with a 44 mag. Shot my first deer with it. Then bought a .270, and now have 3 of them. Between my brother, who shoots a .270 also, We have shot alot of deer and antelope. My dad, dead eye dick, has shoot more deer than I can count, and I don't think he ever used a 30-30. He liked to change it up using different calibers. He really liked the 99 savage's.

Darrell wrote:
July 13, 2012

I have to go with the 30/30 for the simple reason of habitat. All my relatives were from Maine,hunted thick stuff. I hunt Minnesota farm land or forests. The 30/30 is slower and less apt to veer off twigs Etc. and most shots are100 to 150 yds at most. It is a brush gun and I believe a majority of hunters hunt that kind of stuff.

Ben wrote:
July 13, 2012

I live in the Midwest and we are now restricted to slugs. Some guys I know who hunted before that restriction did so with a 30-06, but I would guess a 12 ga slug is top dog or nearly so, at least in this area.

fatt bass wrote:
July 13, 2012

have been hunting the mountains and plains here in colorado for 42 years and cant remember the last time i saw a 30-30.most of the guys i have hunted with over the years have used bolt action and pump 30-06 rifles, which we also use for elk.we have taken many deer and elk with our trusted 30-06 rifles.my brother and i also deer and antelope hunt with our 243s.my most recent purchase was a winchester 325 short mag, with 2 nice bull elk taken with one shot kills. i am looking forward to one day drawing a moose tag and am sure the 325 will get the job done.

Wayne Bond wrote:
July 13, 2012

I vote for 12ga. slugs. Most white tail are taken in the east and states don't all allow rifle cartriges.

Randy Jones wrote:
July 13, 2012

I have been hunting for 45 years. I have a 30-30 Marlin, Mod 94 Winchester in 32 special and I love them both. My son, brother and father-in-law all hunt with a Marlin 30-30. We have all killed many deer with them and so have several other hunters I know. The lever gun is quick handling, cheaper to shoot, and tends not to destroy too much meat. It's the perfect gun for Michigan where most shots are less than 100 yards. For shots over 200 yards I use my 30-06.

Pete wrote:
July 13, 2012

I once carried a .30-30 deer hunting but didn't see anything to shoot at. Most of my deer hunting has been with a .30-06. Occasionally a .45-70. None of the group of 10 or so I hunted with ever carried a .30-30.

Jim May wrote:
July 13, 2012

My son, daughter, and me, all hunt with the 30-30 and each of us take deer most years in northern Michigan. Usually only one shot is needed but range is usually under 150 yards, and most under 100 yards. We use the Remington core-lokt 170 grain.

Dody Fitzsimonds wrote:
July 13, 2012

I started deer hunting in the 50's. The first deer rifle I purchased was a Model 94 30-30 with which I took a few dozen deer. In the 50's 60's and 70's. Most of the shots I took were less than 50 yards. I was still a young man and loved to still hunt in the heavy cover and shot many deer this way. Now in my 60's (1 yr left) I still love to still hurt but can't do it like I used to. I now sit in a tree stand 50%-60% of the time and use a custom 30-06 as many of my shots are more than 100 yards, one was at 363 yards (and it was a 1 shot kill) most people can't do that with a 30-30 nor should they try. I hope to hunt for another twenty years GOD willing.

Roger wrote:
July 13, 2012

Over the last 5 years, I have killed 4 deer with a 59' Winchester Model 94 30-30, and 3 deer with my 308. As a kid I shot several deer with the same 30-30 which originally belonged to my father. I hunt mainly in wooded areas with shots less then 50 yards.The 30-30 has always been a great deer rifle.

Foster wrote:
July 13, 2012

I killed my first deer with a 30/30 but none since. I don't have a single friend that shoots a 30/30. This aequals about 30 deer a year with other calibers

Chuck wrote:
July 13, 2012

Kids, Kids, Kids As many of these comments seem to indicate, 30-30 is one of THE most popular rounds to kick-start kids into hunting. I see a bunch of comments from adults who started with 30-30. Why does anyone expect that to be different today. In fact, my history is similar. 30-30 many years ago. First one was borrowed. Of course, I'm a .35 Remington guy, now and have been for 30 years. I'm still using the same gun my dad bought for me when I was a teenager. I just love it!

Warren Monroe wrote:
July 13, 2012

The 30-06 is my families' all time facorite, and most used. Back in the 60's, we did use 30-30 and similar calibers, but they just didn't have the ballistics we wanted. Some of my family shoot 270, and some 308. The '06 is the dominate caliber and can account for several hundred kills over the last 50 years. There is a reason it continues to be Amerca's sweatheart.

Bill wrote:
July 13, 2012

Don't see the venerable 7mm Rem Mag mentioned much. I find it incredibly effective on everything big game in the lower 48, and LOTS of hunters use it in MT

Dean Birkeland wrote:
July 13, 2012

I have hunted deer since 1976 mostly in South Dakota, also in points west of there. Have never seen someone use a 30-30. Numerous 30-06's, 270's, 308's, 243's, various magnums. My dad killed a lot of deer, and 90% were with 30-06. Grandfather and uncles killed a bunch with .250 Savage lever actions.

Mike Lamkin wrote:
July 13, 2012

My first deer kill, 35 yrs ago, was with a borrowed 30-30. I have hunted and killed many deer since and not once with a 30-30. I own and hunt with many calibers and, most recently, have come to rely heavily on 308, although I also very much like 7-08 and 25-06. Over the years, I have alson hunted and harvested quite many deer with the venerable 30-06. Most other hunters I know and have come across in the field are toting bolt actions, not lever action 30-30s. I must say, though, that given the heavy cover in which we hunt and the generally short distances that we shoot, a 30-30 would probably kill a good many deer.

BGallaway wrote:
July 13, 2012

I have had the pleasure of deer hunting for over 50 years in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Texas. I have killed two deer with 30/30 in heavily wooded/brush conditions with open sights. I have not seen but maybe 10% killed with a 30/30 over those years. Most of mine have been 30/06 first, then .257 Roberts, then .270 Winchester then .243 Winchester and 30/30 last. They are very effective in close conditions where a light fast mount weapon is important expecially with the new bullets they are loading

crsteven wrote:
July 13, 2012

Our group in 22 years have taken about a 100 deer and about only 5 have been shot by a 30-30. One by me. 4 with a .270 and all the rest with 30-06. No one carries a 30-30 anymore. Everyone pretty much has one, they either bought or inherited, but no one hunts with them.

Dennis wrote:
July 13, 2012

I took my first buck 49 years ago with my Marlin 30-30 that has been in the family for 3 generations, and I still carry it on occasion in heavy cover. But I haven't shot a deer with it in a long time. These old eyes prefer a scoped rifle with a little more 'reach'.

Rough Stone wrote:
July 13, 2012

I and most of my friends hunted with the .30-30 in the 1960's and 1970's. These days I hunt half the time with my .30-30 and half the time with my .30-06.

Gregory Lading wrote:
July 13, 2012

I hunt with my brother-in-law, uncle, his family, my sons, and non of us have used a 30-30 to shot deer. We have 10 to 12 Hunters in our group. Been hunting for 30 years

mdbowhunter wrote:
July 13, 2012

My state has always required a shotgun or muzzleloader. I have taken many deer with these guns.

Jim Macklin wrote:
July 13, 2012

Some might claim te lowly .22 LR rimfire has killed a lot of deer. So what? A deer isn't really all that hard to kill. With a .30/30 or a 35 Remington or a 44 Magnum, from 10-100 yards, deer are easy if you have learned to stalk. With a .30/06, 270 W, or a 300 Wheatherby, deer can be killed to the limits of sight. The question now is what type of rifle does everyone feel they might need and in what caliber. The answer to that question is a MSR or civilized AR and at least a spare upper in 5.56x45 NATO if you expect to find surplus ammunition. It was cheap WWI surplus ammo and DCM/NRA surplus rifles that made the bolt action sporter #1. Before that the Winchester 95 in .30/40 Krag was supplanted by the .30/06

Hawk wrote:
July 13, 2012

It would be a toss up for me between the 30-30 and the 30-06 with the 45-70 using the 405 gr. Remington cartridge that mimics the black powder load a close second. I hunt both East Texas and the Hill Country. I've used Winchesters in 30-30 in the Trapper, Carbine, & Rifle and always was pleased.

Larry Benson wrote:
July 13, 2012

As a youngster, here in Montana, my first deer was taken in 1954 with a sporterized Springfield .06. I do own a pre-64 Winchester 30-30, but have never taken it hunting. Over the years, nearly all the deer and elk I have bagged have been with my Win. Model 70 in 30-06. I have taken many antelope with my .243, which I always have with me in the field as a back-up rifle. Out here, the .270 is also very popular as an all-round round...flat, powerful, effective in our wide-open country.

July 13, 2012


Dale wrote:
July 13, 2012

Looks like the old 30-30 is still holding its own with the newer rounds and may still be NUMBER 1! Remember there are still alot of meat hunters out there and the bulk of hunters are older. So they still use what works for them.

Gman wrote:
July 12, 2012

My first hunting rifle was a Marlin 30-30 back in the in the early 70s. Now I usually hunt with my Ruger 77 Mark II chambered for 270 Win with Hornady 140gr SSTs. I always and will always take my Marlin 336 30-30 for a backup just in case anything that can go wrong with my another gun. Where I hunt now, my shots are approx. 120yds. or less. Started taking a Ruger Super Blackhawk 44Mag fitted with a Burris Fast Fire II for a 40 yrd or less shot. I killed my biggest buck ever 2 years ago with that 30-30. Dropped it right where it stood using those Hornady LEVERevolution 160s. Wouldn't get rid of it for anything. I like and will use either one without batting an eye.

Stu wrote:
July 12, 2012

I have hunted for 60 years and have never seen a deer shot with a 30-30. I have known several fellows who hunted with them, but I never saw them shoot a deer. I know before I was born my mother used one to shoot deer, and she did, but I never saw it. I've seen deer shot with 300 Savages, 30-40 Grags, 348 winchesters, and everything else from 243 to 300 H&H, 300 Win Mag, 300 Weatherby, and a few others like the 257 Roberts, and 7mm-08, but no 30-30's.

Gkwahlberg wrote:
July 12, 2012

Up to the early 1950s, the 300 Savage was one of the most popular deer rifle cartridges.

SJ wrote:
July 12, 2012

I have a hard time believing that the 30-30 is still king, but then I live out west where shots are more likely to be over 100 yards. Of those I know who do use a 30-30, the ammo is more likely to be used for hunting than target shooting and round per round will take more deer simply because the '06 may just as likely be used to ventilate paper or knock over steel silhouette targets.

ALLAN wrote:
July 12, 2012


David C. Moyer wrote:
July 12, 2012

I've taken 10 deer with my 6MM Remington. My son has taken 2 with 20 gauge slugs and one with a .223. My Dad has take 2 with .270.

Skip wrote:
July 12, 2012

Only centerfire I or my sons have taken a deer with is the .308. But we live now on the east coast, so the 12 g and 20 gauge have gotten the nod for many years. If we were allowed to use centerfire rifles nearby, I think the 30-30 would be high on the list of my choices

Barry wrote:
July 12, 2012

I've taken one deer with a 30-30. Overwhelming, the rest have been taken with a 30-06 with a 180 grain bullet. I've harvested deer with the following: 45-70, 416 Chatfield-Taylor, 444 Marlin, .308 Win, 25-06, .223,.50 blackpowder, and .54 blackpowder. But I always reach for my 30-06 when I need meat.

Vince wrote:
July 12, 2012

I've not shot or used a 30-30, and when I got started deer hunting in OK in 1965 we were limited to shotgun slugs in much of the state. I've shot antelope & whitetails with a Savage 99 in 300 Savage, and then a Rem 700 BDL in 30-06 and made clean kills out to 226 yds with both guns with no wounded deer. I will stay with the 30-06 due to it's range of offerings, from the saboted 55 gr to the 220 gr and up to 3200 fps plus its also great ability to handle reloads. With a lever action, the range is limited compared to the bolt-actions which seem to be more open to cover all ranges of shooting. I've not known anyone here in OK to use a 30-30 and consistently take home deer with the combination of fields and woods like we have which means one minute you might be in woods and then have a shot that's easily 200+ yards away.

David wrote:
July 12, 2012

When I started deer hunting with a rifle in NH, it was with a 30-30 Win. Most of my family hunted with such also. I have taken many deer with it and concider it still to this day an excellant brush gun. Although at this time in S Carolina I do more tree stand hunting using an 8 mm Mauser, but i still use the 30-30 when dogging the swamps.

Lance wrote:
July 12, 2012

Jim Carmichael once wrote that he agreed that the 30-30 probably had taken more deer than any other but he believed it wounded many more. When I began whitetail hunting in Minnesota in the 60's the 30-30 was king. I've never hunted with one...I Have taken deer with many cartridges from the /06, 8mm Mauser, .270 Win and Weatherby, 300 Weatherby etc. this year I'll carry a Marlin 336 in 35 Remington. Variety is the spice of life!

John wrote:
July 12, 2012

I started hunting with a 30-30 Win 94, took 5 deer with it. Then I got a Rem 700 in .270 Win. I have taken more deer with that rifle than I can remember. I used my son's 7mm-08 once and harvested a deer. Archery, I believe that I have taken 6 deer. Over all I have taken most of my deer with the .270 but archery is becomeing my favorite hunting method.

Bernie wrote:
July 12, 2012

Hasn't been a 30-30 in camp for about 35 years. Mostly 7mm-08, 260, 308, and 30-06. Lots of deer shot over the years, 150 or so. Can't remember one with a 30-30. Started with a 308 and went to 7mm-08 when my son started hunting. Bought him a Model 7 and I liked it so much I had one the next year. Hooked on 7mm-08.

Rinebold wrote:
July 12, 2012

My 1st deer kill was @ 12 years old and as with an old 30-30 Winchester lever action. However, that was the last, after that there were many different calibers. My top choice today is the .308, but the 06 is still very popular. I've also killed many whitetails with the little .243. I like them all!!!!

Kyle wrote:
July 12, 2012

75[%] with the good ole' .30-.30! I have come back to the caliber in recent years due to advances in bullets and propellants available to reloaders of late. However, I must qualify that I am hunting in the short ranges offered in central Texas.

Robert wrote:
July 12, 2012

My first deer rifle was an 1873 44-40 Winchester but I must say 30-06 it what has taken the most deer. Never shot a 30-30 but am building a AR in .458SOCOM. Should be a great deer gun out to about 200-250 yards, we'll see.

Nanner wrote:
July 12, 2012

I have hunted with 6mm Rem, 30-30, 30-06 and 44mag. I hated my 30-30 Win 94 and never took a single deer with it, nor do I know anyone who has taken a deer with a 30-30. My 30-06 is the best all-around gun. The Ruger 44mag carbine is a real brush buster, good to 100 yds. The 6mm Rem has taken 2 deer over the years, dropping both in their tracks at 400+ yds. The 30-06 can be loaded with RN 220gr bullets with a lower velocity that work very well in brush, but my favorite load uses a Sierra 180gr BT at around 2700fps, and has the ability to reach out and touch something. When I was young in the 60's, my dad had a man that worked for him that deer hunted every year with a 30-06. I don't remember anyone ever mentioning hunting deer with a 30-30 that I knew. A 30-30 is a good deer cartridge, but only to 150 yds, and is well suited for brush due to the flat-nose lower velocity rounds. Velocities above 2,200fps deflect too easily. This is why the 220gn 30-06 does work well in brushy areas, and make it an all-around cartridge. I've taken more deer with the 30-06 than all other cartidges combined.

Rick Wells wrote:
July 12, 2012

Comments...Well here in Ky. a handgun is legal for deer. I have taken 11 deer between 1978 to 1989 1 with a Ruger 243 at 260 yards, 1 with a 357 handgun and 9 with a 44 Mag. Handgun. Handgun ranges were from 10 to 120 yards.

Travis Fisher wrote:
July 12, 2012

Take a look at how many buffalo were killed in the 1800's I think the 30-30 might still be the king.

Bill fisher wrote:
July 12, 2012

I have taken all my deer with a .30-06, but my son took his first two deer with my M94 .30-30, the rest with other calibers. I estimate that less than 5[%] I'd the deer I've killed, seen killed or know about were taken with a .30-30 and that is probably generous. I don't know anyone over the past 40 years or so that I've hunted deer that uses a .30-30. Of course I lived in Colorado for several years and no one hunts deer out there with a .30-30. Nor in Georgia where I lives and hunted for 20 years.

Garry Evans wrote:
July 12, 2012

In Oregon, I think that most of the deer I have "seen" taken have been with a 30-06. However, In my family; the .308 is the most often used (mostly 99 Savage)I have taken probably 1/2 of mine with a .308, 1/4 with .303 and 1/4 with 25-06. We won't discuss the archery, but only the deer taken with rifle. I would say it more boils down to 75-85% of our takes with the good old Model 99.

Bill Felins wrote:
July 12, 2012

Started with 35 rem, then went to 3006, now 30-30 in thick hardwoods. I guess its about equal as to how many deer I took with each over 40 some years.

scrub-billy wrote:
July 12, 2012

In the part of WV I grew up in, open sighted .30-30's were the typical deer rifle. Many considered the .30-06 overkill for whitetails. I couldn't begin to figure how many deer were harvested. I go back to the days when we got the first week of deer season off from school excused and it wasn't unusual for 4th and 5th graders to get a Marlin or Winchester lever gun for Christmas or a birthday. Four of my five taken with a 1948 Marlin 336 in .30-30 inside 100 yds. the last one was taken with a .308 at about 250.

Dilford wrote:
July 12, 2012

In 70 years of deer hunting I have taken approximately 75% with a Winchester 1894 in 30-30 (.30WCF. I have two of them, one rifle version made in 1907; the other, a carbine. I used a Winchester '94 in .44-40 for the first deer that I shot at age 10. In somewhat open country, I like an AR15, in 5.56mm, with which I have taken a number of deer. I have also taken deer with an AR15 in 6.8mm. I have a grandson who shoots .30-30 only. I have to say that the .30-30 remains my all time favorite deer rifle. It just feels right.

Chuck wrote:
July 12, 2012

My sons and grandsons started hunting with the 30-30. I have seen a lot of them in short range hunting. Now I see more 270's, I started using the .308 in 1966 and found it to be all I need.

Zermoid wrote:
July 12, 2012

Been hunting since 1982, used Shotgun with slug and buckshot till I moved to Pennsylvania in 1990, never got a deer in NJ, so shotgun was Zero. First thing I did was buy a Winchester 94 in 30-30, later sold it (it didn't like heavy bullets, and by 'heavy' I mean over 110 grs.) but I did get a couple deer with it. Bought a Marlin also in 30-30 and it chalked up 7 deer (it likes 180 gr) At some point 1995(?) I got a 96 Swedish Mauser in 6.5x55, which I sporterized and scoped, it's my longer range rifle for days I plan on hunting fields, it has accounted for 3 deer so far. Still trying to work up the perfect load for it, currently groups < 1 inch if I do my job right. But woods hunting I use the 30-30 as it's much more maneuverable than the Swede, even though I cut about 6 inches off the barrel that thing is still LONG! I also carry a 44 mag revolver which has finished off 1 deer, but it was first put down with the 30-30, so it also scores 0. Hope this helps ya.

Clyde H. Townsend wrote:
July 12, 2012

I bought a model 94 Winchester in 1955 and have taken at least 30 deer with that little .30-30. My first deer, however, was taken with a wildcat cartridge, the 6.5x.257 and a Japanese 6.5 rifle my brother gave me when he came back from Japan in 1946. The year I got my first deer 1953 at Durango, Colorado where I lived.

Chief wrote:
July 12, 2012

I have only managed to take deer twice in my hunting days of long ago. The first was with a Model 94 Winchester 30.30 and the second with a 1911 .45 w/230grain FMJ ball.

Ken wrote:
July 12, 2012

In my hunting party of 10 to 12 for 20+ years we have used 7mm, 30-06, 243 308 but no 30-30

Hovey Smith wrote:
July 12, 2012

In cartridge guns I have never owned a .30-30. Most of my cartridge deer have been with the .45-70 with a few with the .308 Winchester. Most of my deer have been with muzzleloaders, and I do not often use anything else.

Lyle wrote:
July 12, 2012

Maybe one person out of four that I could name has used a 30-30. Your sample is of course limited to internet users. It may be that there is some correlation between 30-30 users and non-use of the internet.

Ron Johnson wrote:
July 12, 2012

I have been dear hunting since 1954. The only rifle I have ever used (for Dear Hunting) is a Win 94 in 30-30. The last year I hunted dear was 2011, still with the old 94. I have used a .264 for Antelope.

herdbuster wrote:
July 12, 2012

Been hunting deer in PA for 50 years. First thirty were with the 30-30 Killed a grand total of ten deer (bucks) during that time. Next ten years switched to the .35 Remington, three deer (bucks) killed. The last few years been hunting the southeast pa area where only slug & ML are legal. More deer killed with those two than the others combined.

July 12, 2012


C. Jersey wrote:
July 12, 2012

Just because they sell a lot of 30-30 doesn't mean it takes a lot of deer. Maybe those using 30-30 miss a lot or just wound and they get away.

Conrad wrote:
July 12, 2012

I have hunted deer for about 40 years, and in all that time I can only remember one person who used a 30-30, and he was a young teenager. Other than that, they have been mostly 30-06 or 270's.

craig wrote:
July 11, 2012

I do not know any one shooting a30-30 Most of my hunting partners shoot 270 and 30-06 some shoot 7mm my preference is a 45-70 Gvt or Rem 280 . I started many years ago with a 30-06 as to someone shooting a 30-30 it is 0[%]

Javier wrote:
July 11, 2012

Dunno abou t deer hunting, 'cause I've never bagged one. But my 1894 (30-30) sure has taken lots of wild pigs out here in the wilds of Florida!

BOB 6 wrote:
July 09, 2012

Well here goes...my brother and I both use 30/30...1 or two deer...my Dad...30/06....ten Plus....but really the caliber of the weapon doesnt make the hunt....actually going out in the woods with my Popsand Big Bro wether I see anything or not is what makes it all worth it too me...besides...i dont care what anyone usess...as long as i get some of of that yum yum deer meat!!!....did i win!

ray simpson wrote:
July 09, 2012

I hunt with 30-30 in heavy timber but choose my 30~o6 for open fields and shots over 150 yards so I would say it really depends what location you hunt in that determens what caliber to hunt with ,but I prefer my 30~06 for a cleaner more efficent kill

Chase Mewhirter wrote:
July 09, 2012

In Iowa it is illegal to shoot any deer with a rifle of any caliber. However 3 years ago they did come out with a specific rifle season for does, but in only the.bottom 2 tiers of counties in Iowa.

DALE wrote:
July 09, 2012


Neil Stackhouse wrote:
July 09, 2012

In parts of Pennsylvania the rural areas have become so built up that the .30-30 is the best choice. I have used my Model 84 for 45 years and have taken many deer with it. Now I sit in one place and let the deer come to me. I use a .243 when I hunt elsewhere where I can shoot over 100 yards, which is not often.

nelson wrote:
July 08, 2012

here in the deep south the 30-30 is still a widely popular choice....i know of many deer killed with it annualy..though my choice is the 35 remington

Robert wrote:
July 08, 2012

I know a number of people who have 30-30s. I would guess 30% of the deer I have seen taken are with 30-30s. Foliage and visibility determine which type rifle is the best setup. Haven't hunted wide open dry areas much.

Jim Wolfe wrote:
July 06, 2012

I know of no one who has killed a deer with a 30-30 Many .270, .30-06 .243 7MM

Thomas wrote:
July 06, 2012

Well the only hunter I know who shoots a 30-06 is my brother. I would say his grand total to date is 70 to 75 deer. I myself shoot 7 rem mag and have taken closer to 90- to 100 hundred deer. Most of my hunting buddies each have a different caliber of choice. From 270, 25-06, 308, 300WM, etc. I would have to be hard pressed to pick between the 30-06 and 30-30. I do also have so industry experience to shed on this matter. I work for a sporting goods store and we sell 60% 30-30 to 40% 30-06. This is of course mostly for east Texas woods. I would have to say that terrain hunted would also slant which preference hunters have.

JoJo wrote:
July 06, 2012

I also have a Marlin 336 and I have used it to harvest a nice mule deer. I have only harvested two deer so my percentage is 50% with the 30-30! The irony is I shot my first deer with the 30-30 at about 250 yards (open sights.) My second deer was shot with a Savage 10 in .308 and 3x9 Leupold scope at a range of about 15 feet.

Guy wrote:
July 06, 2012

I'd have to say 25% of my Michigan whitetail deer was with a 30-30. With equal percentages from 250 Savage (250/3000), 30-06, and 45-70. Conditions and mood determine which I take into the woods.

Travis Hagler wrote:
July 06, 2012

I’m not a superstitious man, but I have taken 5 whitetails with a 30-30 I was given as a present by my grandfather when I was 14 (25 now). I bought a .308 savage (left handed) and have yet to see anything worth taking while having it... My wife uses the 30-30 and took her first deer with it last year. Starting to regret my decision! Total deer taken at the two camps I’ve been a part of since I started whitetail hunting: Roughly 20 Total % taken by 30-30: 30% .270: 50% (Father and Uncle have .270’s) .243 5% .308 5% (another hunter convinced me of the virtues of the .308 he has) 30/06: 10%

Bruce Youngman wrote:
July 06, 2012

The .30-06 would likely get my vote as the top rifle alternative. .30-40 Krag preceded it but didn't seem to become as widespread. Throw "shells" into the mix and I would think the 12GA would take overall honors.