Watch: 30-30 vs 44 Magnum in Lever Guns


Watch: 30-30 vs 44 Magnum in Lever Guns

Here’s one for the “Why bother?” category: Pitting two Marlin lever-action rifles against one another, chambered for completely different cartridges (44 Remington Magnum and 30-30 Winchester). But then again, why not? After all, it’s guns, ammo, Paul Harrell, and my favorite cartridge of all time, the 44 mag.

The Marlins involved are a 336 in 30-30 and an 1894S in 44 mag, both with 20-inch barrels.

I cringe when I see firearms, especially those with wooden stocks, lying directly on a concrete bench. Yikes! Give those guns something kinder to lie upon.

Naturally, the 30-30 flings its bullets much faster than the 44 mag, and has a considerably higher energy — but I can attest that the 44 magnum with good 240-grain jacketed bullets is one heck of a fine game-getter. I’ve taken numerous deer and hogs with it, and have never lost one. FYI, many of those animals were taken with the Winchester white box 240-grain JSPs he uses in this video.

Comparing numbers is tedious and often pointless. Paul knows this, so he does some actual shooting to compare bullet drop at 50, 100, and 200 yards.

For terminal performance, he begins by shooting concrete blocks. It’s not the most useful comparison, and in this case not so revealing. Therefore, we move on to the tried-and-true “meat target,” a concoction of various materials intended to represent an actual critter.

In the end, there’s not a heck of a lot of difference and no clear winner, which I predicted from the get-go, but it’s good info to have when you’re making a decision on a hunting or home defense firearm, or even a truck gun.

If you like guns and ammo, I think you’ll enjoy the video.

Avatar Author ID 61 - 1107243910

Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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