30-30 LEVER ACTION IN AFRICA
I recently became interested in lever action rifles and their potential for hunting African game.
As an African hunter I see mainly bolt action rifles (with the odd double and falling block) in the field, it is very seldom that one sees a lever action rifle being used to hunt in Africa.
As a kid growing up in the seventies I was fed a steady diet of spaghetti westerns and my life ambition was to become a cowboy – I guess that one could call me an African cowboy!
The child inside me said that I needed a “cowboy rifle” for my collection and after looking through various gun dealers I found mainly Rossi, Marlin and Henry rifles available for sale in South Africa. After doing some research I settled upon two possible calibers – 30-30 Win and .45-70 Government.
The .45-70 shoots up to a 405 grain bullet and is suitable for North American big game whilst the 30-30 shoots up to a 170 grain bullet and is very popular with american deer hunters and has been known to have been used on game as large as moose.
I decided that my first purchase would be a Marlin 336 in 30-30 and I purchased one from Zimbi Books and Guns in Pretoria in November 2013.
I received my licence for the rifle in December 2013 and I have been testing the rifle on the range since. Loaded with 170 Gr Federal Power Shok the rifle produces a very respectable 2200 fps at the muzzle and 1894 fps at 100 yds. (This compared to a .308 Win at 2600 fps at the muzzle and 2427 fps at 100 yds)
Loaded with 170 grain Remington Core Lokt the rifle produces similar velocities.
At an average of R280.00 per box, ammunition is affordable and allows for plenty of range time!
For someone used to shooting big bore rifles, the 30-30 has virtually no felt recoil.
I have found that the rifle, with open sights, is very accurate at 100m and easily hits the “kill zone” when fired standing from the shoulder. The rifle is also nice and compact which should make walking and stalking through thick bush easy.
I plan on using the rifle for hunting Warthog and Bush Pigs this year and I will keep you posted on the results.
If you are interested in hunting with lever action rifles please post your comment below.
A worthwhile read is Don’t Give Up On the .30-30! by Randy D. Smith.
January 7, 2014 / firstname.lastname@example.org / 1
Categories: Rifles and Calibers