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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm mulling over a possible purchase here. Back when I bought my Saiga 7.62x39, it was $324.00 with tax at a dealer. Now I've got offers for over $450. Looking at that, I've been giving thought to selling it and buying one of the two following rifles:

Marlin 336 in 30-30. The 30-30 cartridge is a good one for hunting out to 150-ish yards. Some say it's more around 180. I'm giving this rifle a thought because I only have 150 yards of land in front of me, at the max, when I'm hunting. One offer I have is $300 dollars, cash, to buy one. This means I'll have a rifle that can easily hit the ranges I'm looking at, and still have enough money to put a mount on it (I have an extra scope), and then some left over for ammo!

-OR-

Ruger Mini 6.8 SPC, 580 series. I've heard the cartridge is good up to 300 yards! Mini's don't really seem to be breakable unless you try. The 580 series bring accuracy. The 6.8SPC means I can take deer. But, it's going to be $670 dollars (with shipping), then the FFL fee (whatever that is). So I'll have to sink extra into it. 6.8SPC is a tad pricer than 30-30. But it's twice the bullet.

What do you guys think? Are there any bonuses or drawbacks I missed on either rifle?
 

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Wow, talk about totally different ends of the spectrum. LOL

I'll jump in. It all depends on what you main purpose for a rifle is. You also need to consider ammo availability. The ammount of accuracy you want/expect etc...

Here is a link to Remington's comparison of the two ballistics http://www.remington.com/products/a...ve_ballistics_results.aspx?data=R30301*RM68R1

I found that kind of interesting when you compare the two at 150 yards. Take in mind these numbers are with a 24" barrel which neither will have, so YMMV.

I have a Marlin in .357 mag, and love it. It is a fine weapon, and deadly accurate at 100 yards, I never have shot it farther than that. I also have a 196 series Mini-14 that has become deadly accurate. The difference is that I think it takes more $ and time to get the accuracy out of a Mini than out of the Marlin. (nobody throw rocks here, I love both of mine) It also depends on the type of hunting you are going to do. The Marlin is very light and easy to lug around, much lighter than the Mini, at least mine is.

Now, IMHO if I was buying a hunting rifle I would go for a Bolt action in one of the popular calibers, .270, 7mm mag, .308, 30-06 with a longer barrel than either the Mini or the Marlin. Ooops another choice! LOL A decent bolt gun can be had for the money you are talking about.

If you are going for ability to hunt "and" cool factor, then the Mini is the one. If you are hooked on 30-30 the Marlin will fill the bill if you are in the 150 yard range on medium sized game.

One other thought which may or may not tickle your fancy. The 30-30 was originally a black powder round and can be loaded safely to decent loads with black powder. In the event of ammo becoming unavailable (worst case scenario) one could always provide for his family with homemade black powder and bullets.
 

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Ill add my two cents here.

I have a savage .30-.30 bolt action that I use for hunting. My old man gave it to me after I killed my first deer with it. He had killed tons of deer with it before it became my rifle. Anyways, I hunt pretty thick woods, so long shots just dont happen that much. At 150 yards and closer, the 3030 is just a great killing round for deer size game. I love it and despite many other, superior preforming rounds, have had no complaint with it. The Marlin you talk about will be awesome and likely be a hand-me-down deer rifle. A great choice for that price. I bet it's accurate out of box as well, likely without upgrades, which brings me to the mini.

Most people on this forum would tend to agree, I think, that the mini will need work and dollars to become highly accurate. I personally own a .223 196 series and have upgraded it. It shoots well enough, although I haven't been out this winter to really tighten it up. Due to the caliber I don't use it for deer, although I know I could in a pinch. I cant speak for the 6.8, but I'm quite sure it would be better at longer ranges than the 3030. Ultimately this is the much more expensive route.

Ammo for both, as all ammo is, is a bit pricey. I wouldn't weigh that too much into the deciding factor.

Honestly, ask yourself these questions:
What is the ultimate purpose of the rifle?
Hunting, then What kind of terrain are you hunting?
Other, what will you be doing with the rifle?

Both have their ups. Personally, I hunt using 3030, and have never thought to change. I prefer bolt when hunting though. I believe it makes you a better shot.

Hope this helps some.

~D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Went with a Marlin 30AW 30-30. Great looking rifle, great guy sold it to me. He even threw in a Weaver scope mount! Now I just have to find the rings and I'm good.
 

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Marlin makes a very high quality product. Always a great choice. With the 30-30 vs the 6.8 you have to look at bullet weight...the 3030 is shooting on average a 150 or 170 grain bullet vs the 6.8, it's like a 115 grain? You have a much more flexible round with the 30-30 currently. It's easy to get bullets from 110 on up.

Maybe it would be better to compare the 30-30 to the 6.8 with a 110 or 125 grain bullet in the 30-30. After all the 6.8 uses a necked down .30 remington case, which is of the same powder capacity as the 30-30 (.30 remington =rimless 30-30). So powder capacity should be about the same.

Which means with bullets close in weight, velocities should be very close. Only the much more efficient spitzer bullet shape of the modern 6.8 shades the old flatpoint 30-30. And watch out, with Hornady's new LeverEvolution bullet, (streamlined 160 grainer), the 30-30 has a much improved trajectory and is an easy 225 yard deer gun.

If Hornady releases a lightweight LeverEvolution bullet like maybe a 125...you'll be very close to a practical 6.8 twin out of your 30-30.
 

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The 30-30 will pass the Wal-mart test in just about any place in the US. The 6.8 will not.
Hammerhead already got his gun, but for anyone looking...don't forget that you can get the "economy" Marlin 336 (I think it's just cheaper wood.) at wal-mart for $334. Thats a heck of a deal, in my book.
 

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The Wal-mart test goes like this. I tend to only buy a hunting rifle that I can get ammo at Wal-mart for. 270, 30-06, 308, 30-30, 7mm mag and so on.

I bet you will not find many Wally worlds that carry 6.8, 7mm WSM, 300 Win ultra mag. Stuff like that. I tell folks. All you would need to do is fly out west to hunt and have some rent a cop keep your, hard to find ammo at the air port on a Sunday.

And your going to be in the woods Monday morning. If you have the common rounds, you can find a Wal-mart, you will be good to go. That's the Wal-mart test. CM out.
 

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I just really despise the 30 30. A lot of people love it though. I would rather have an SKS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I just really despise the 30 30. A lot of people love it though. I would rather have an SKS.
That's because you don't appreciate America son! Apple Pie, hot dogs, cheeseburgers! Women!

On the Wal-Mart test. I don't buy anything from Wal-Mart if I can help it anymore. After actually working in that joint, I believe the day it goes bankrupt will be a fine day. One where I'll dance and sing Sinatra.
 

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On the Wal-Mart test. I don't buy anything from Wal-Mart if I can help it anymore. After actually working in that joint, I believe the day it goes bankrupt will be a fine day. One where I'll dance and sing Sinatra.
I didn't say you had to buy anything from Wally World. But I bet you would if you spent a few K on a hunt and you left your ammo at home. The point being, if you buy a rifle that takes exotic ammo, you may be out of luck.
 

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The .30-30 is definitely not the hot rod of calibers out there, but you can do lots of things with it and the rifles are rugged, dependable, simple to operate and everywhere. Ammo should available after other calibers are nowhere to be found in bad times. The Mini and the promising but very new and pretty rare 6.8 chambering might be a good choice in good times but maybe not what you should do at this time........especially since it's twice the price.
 

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If you want to see what the 6.8 is really capable of, then you need to go to 68forums.com. Most other tables on-line are based of Remingtons lame introduction of the round, read total screw up. All remington 6.8 factory ammo sucks, in accuracy and in power. The new offerings are great. There is 8-10 manufactures making ammo for it and even more manufactures making rifles chambered in it. I don't think it's going anywhere in the near future. It is also able to easily take deer at 300 yrds or less w/100-110 gr bullets out of a 16" or less barrel. In fact you only lose 50-100 fps from 20"-16" w/most loads. An 85gr Barnes TSX will hit over 2970 out of my 12.5" SBR. SSA's new 100gr accubond should hit anywhere to 2700-2800 easily out of a 16" barrel. Alot of people are pushing 3000fps from the 100-110 in the 20"ers. If you want to do some target practice, a 90gr TNT will have the same drop out to 900 yrds as a 308 or 6.5grendel, they will not buck the wind as well tho. If you use Barret or PRI mags you can load out to 2.31 COAL sometimes a hair longer. 130gr is about the limit, due to mag restriction, some people have loaded up 135's and they are popular w/the subsonic rounds as well. Some wal-marts do stock 6.8.

I think any collection deserves to have one of each if funds allow. They're both great rounds. I have both, but the 6.8 leaves the safe and the 30-30 Win94 does not.

That said, if I was going to go 6.8, I'd skip the mini and go w/a AR. Better accuracy and wider variety of options. Correct chamberings, and twist rates. Not trying to put down the Mini's as I love them. I'm currently in the process of dumping one mini and all it's gear to buy another 6.8 AR. JMO. YMMV.
 

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My 336 is chambered in .35 Remington. HELL OF A COMBO. Compared to the .223 mini I own the 336 kicks butt....:D
 

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I'm 6', 270 and I had some real bruises from my Winchester '94 after 50 shots of .30-30(wearing a tank top), I've shot a coupla hundred from my mini without changing color, I passed that .30-30 to my friends kid that was headed to Iraq for the second time, He wishes He could carry that instead of the M4.
 

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I just really despise the 30 30. A lot of people love it though. I would rather have an SKS.
Your not a Deer hunter. 7.62x39 has less energy than a 30/30. Most hunter will give a friendly wave to someone hunting with a 30/30 levergun, but some hunters will give you the "hairy eyeball" if they see you hunting with an SKS. Even though using soft point 7.62x39 premium ammo is still quite OK for deer, some old timers look down on the use of RUSSIAN military weapons for hunting.

The SKS is definately a better home defense, battlefield rifle.

I also believe in the "Walmart test" 6.8 is not an easy round to get, its the .32H&R Magnum of the rifle world, if you handload they are great, but it a pain to buy ammo in stores. If guns and ammo gets more restricted 6.8 will be really tough to find when compared to 30/30.
 
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