Best 30-30 Rifles of 2020 – Rated & Reviewed

by

Are you looking for the best 30-30 rifle? If so, you’re probably not alone. You’re one of the many shooters who might be looking for a new rifle that will be reliable for your intended application for the long term. In order to find you the best one for your own use, we’ve put together a list of five 30-30 rifles that are currently considered the best on the market.

While the list is subject to change between now and the next year, this gives you an opportunity to check out what’s popular among seasoned rifle users.

Before we unveil the list, we’ll talk about what an effective range of a 30-30 rifle might be and what kind of characteristics to look out for while looking for a rifle for your own use.

Comparison Chart of the Best 30-30 Rifles

PRODUCTDETAILS
gm2-table__image

Henry Lever Action .30-30 20" Barrel with Walnut Stock

  • 20-inch barrel.
  • Walnut finish stock.
  • Best overall 30-30 rifle.
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Marlin 336TDL Texan Deluxe .30-30 Win. Lever Action Rifle

  • Single-stage trigger.
  • Best 30-30 rifle for the money.
  • Magazine capacity of 7-rounds. (6 +1)
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Henry 30-30 Steel Case Hardened Edition .30-30 Winchester, 20" Barrel

  • Best 30-30 lever-action rifle.
  • Drilled and tapped for scope mounts.
  • Barrel measured at 20-inches in length.
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Youth Marlin 336Y, Lever Action, .30-30 Winchester, 16.25" Barrel, 5+1 Rounds

  • Includes a 5 +1 magazine.
  • Barrel measured at 16.25 inches.
  • Weighs approximately 6.5 pounds.
View Latest Price

What is the Effective Range of a 30/30 Lever Action Rifle?

The answer here will depend on how much the bullet weighs. Heavier 30-30 rounds will weigh right around 150-170 grain. But the rifle will have just enough power behind it to make sure you’re able to knock down a deer or a big game target from as far as 200 to 250 yards. However, it should be noted that while it is an excellent deer rifle it is not suitable for other big game like elk or large bears.

How to Choose a New 30-30

There are some characteristics that make a good 30-30 rifle stand out. It is important for you to find one that will work to your advantage and will have the potential to last you years or even decades (provided that you take excellent care of it). A good 30-30 rifle is best used for hunting purposes. But it should not be written off as useless for other uses like target shooting. Here’s what you need to look out for while looking for a 30-30 rifle:

Price

Of course, we begin by talking about price. This is one of the most popular things that most budget shoppers look for. They want to find something that’s affordable. Meanwhile, they’ll need to look for something that is reliable in performance and excellent in quality. This combination is not hard to find by any stretch of the imagination. But if you’re on a budget, it’s best to find the best 30-30 rifle you can afford in terms of quality and performance.

Accuracy

It’s important to find a rifle that will give you consistently accurate shooting. Sure, finding a scope to tack on to ensure you can go out a little farther is fine. But you’ll need to find a rifle that will be as accurate as possible without the aid of any additional sights or optics. Remember, the most effective a 30-30 rifle can be is when it’s hitting targets at about 200 yards out.

Fast Lever Action

These 30-30 rifles have lever actions. These are proven to be somewhat faster than your standard bolt action rifles. Especially when it comes to loading it from the magazine tube into the chamber. This will work to your advantage if you’re looking to quickly load your rifle into the chamber and knock down your target before it gets away for good.

Review of the Best 30-30 Rifles

The following is a list of the five best 30-30 rifles. As you go through each one, it is important that you make a note of the characteristics and features of each one. At the same time, get a good idea of what you want in a 30-30 rifle.

If one of the five below matches your ideal rifle, then you might just have a winner on your hands. Now, let’s kick off our list by unveiling our “best overall” 30-30 rifle:

Pros

  • Light Trigger Pull Weight
  • Quick Loading Lever Action
  • Stock is Solid and Super Durable
  • Excellent For Deer Hunting Applications
  • Super Accurate Thanks to the Ghost Ring Sights

Cons

  • Sight May Be a Little Stiff to Adjust.
  • Still Some Recoil Despite the Lack of a Recoil Pad 
  • Stock May Resist Some Weather Conditions But May Damage From Oils or Cleaning Solvents

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were satisfied with the rifle itself. One of the best features that they were satisfied with was the ghost ring sights. They were able to quickly lock on to their target and be able to land consistently accurate shots. Aside from that, they were able to easily get a shot off without the trigger giving them any grief.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is obviously our best overall choice. But it might be the best in its class in another category: accuracy. Aside from that, the lever-action is also a fast-loading kind of lever. So not only is it accurate, you’ll be able to shoot these kinds of shots at such a ridiculous speed you’ll wonder why you didn’t have a rifle like this in the first place.

Who Will Use This Most

This rifle is for the hunter that places accuracy to a high standard. At the same time, it’s also a favorite for those who want nothing more than a fast loading time. To most, it’s the perfect rifle to use when you want to go out in the field and find the perfect deer to knock down.

What Could Be Improved and Why

The sight adjustments for windage and elevation might need to be loosened up a bit. This way if your shots appear a little off, you can make the appropriate adjustments to make it perfect. The last thing you want to do is miss your big target just because your shot was a bit off.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a 30-30 rifle that is considered one of the best in the business, the Henry Lever Action in our point of view fits that bill. You get reliability, fast loading, and accuracy in one 30-30 rifle. There might be other rifles that will give this a run for its money, but as of now, this reigns supreme.

Pros

  • Affordable For Most Budgets
  • Lever Action is Smooth-Moving
  • Trigger is Easy to Pull, No Grittiness to Report
  • Very Accurate Shooting From 100 to 200 Yards Out
  • Sights Are at a Nice Size and Don’t Obscure the Target

Cons

  • Sight Might Be a Little Off For Some Users
  • Some Were Not Happy With the Blued Finish
  • Wood Stock Might Damage Due to Oils and Solvents

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers were quick to report that they were able to hit their shots accurately using the sight. It’s small but delivers pinpoint accuracy like nothing else according to one user. Some have also said that the lever-action was easy to operate and the pulling was quite smooth.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is affordable and functions as if it should be priced higher. But either way, every budget shopper at least deserves a rifle that is functional, easy to use, and can take on the big targets out in the field. Plus, it’s another hunting rifle that might be something that can be passed on from generation to generation. Why not give the gift of a reliable hunting rifle like this and pass on the joy and love for hunting?

Who Will Use This Most

This might be another rifle that can be used by beginner hunters and 30-30 users simply because it is simple to use. Plus, it’s one of the best rifles you can find to where you can pull back the lever, load up a shot really quick, and concentrate while your target slowly steps its way through the line of fire. Only then will you land a shot on the targets that have long eluded you. 

What Could Be Improved and Why

A possible improvement that could be possibly done is to add a little something to the mix for the budget shoppers. For example, a nice sling attached to the rifle should do the trick. Especially when it’s for a hunter that’s out in the field and needs to use their hands for other tasks (like dragging a deer back to their truck or using binoculars to set up shop for the day). 

Bottom Line

The Marlin 336TDL Texan Deluxe .30-30 is the one rifle you can count on when you’re out in the field. It’s also the one rifle that fits most budgets. If you’re looking for an excellent hunting rifle that will be reliable in performance and keeps your bank account intact, you might have a winner on your hands with this one.

Pros

  • Excellent For Deer Hunting
  • Can Accept Most Scope Mounts
  • Made in the USA, So It’s Built to Last.
  • Sight Helps the Shots Become More Accurate
  • Lever Action is Quick Enough For Fast Follow-Up Shots

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers were looking for a rifle that allowed for fast follow-up shooting. They got their wish with this rifle. The lever action was smooth, quick, and fed a round into the magazine without any jamming issues. One user said that he was able to hit his target on the second shot after barely missing his initial shot.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle is an American made high-quality rifle that is manufactured under strict guidelines for quality. So that means you have a rifle that not only has some longevity, but it also functions and works as a rifle should. Aside from that, you can also make easy customizations to the rifle without having to make any permanent alterations. If you have a scope you want to add on, install a mount and the scope itself and you’re in business. 

Who Will Use This Most

This rifle will be used by those who want nothing more than to get their follow-up shots off quickly. This is important if you’re looking to land your shots the second time around just in case you miss. The last thing you want to do is lament about the one target that got away from you.

What Could Be Improved and Why

One of the things that may warrant a possible improvement despite no obvious cons on the list would be to include a scope. It can be a generic brand scope that can be sighted in to help you land targets at various distances. It’s just another added convenience that should be included so you can get your hands on a really reliable, fast operating rifle that will definitely give you a better chance at scoring your bag limit.

Bottom Line

The Henry 30-30 Lever Action is probably the deer hunter’s dream rifle if there ever was one. It’s fast, reliable, accurate, and has the potential to be dependable for many years. You’d be crazy to pass up on the opportunity to give this rifle a closer look.

Pros

  • Best For Youth Hunters
  • Solid and Durable Wood Stock
  • Recoil is Reasonable and Decent
  • Very Smooth and Quick Lever Action
  • Length of Pull is at the Right Length For Smaller Sized Hunters

Cons

  • Recoil Pad Could Be a Bit Thicker
  • Not For Many Average Adult Hunters
  • Sight Adjustments Might Be a Little Stiff

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were hunters who were looking for a rifle for youth ages 10-14. This rifle fits most youth sizes and still provides a good deal of punch for big game hunting. One user said his son was quite satisfied with the rifle and didn’t deal with a lot of recoil. He was able to land a whitetail buck during a youth hunting day awhile back.

Why it Stands Out to Us

When kids get older, they want to get in the habit of taking on new and exciting activities. Hunting is an ageless past time that is passed down through generations. For the youth in your family, we look for a rifle that will best fit them as they start out hunting for deer. This rifle is the closest that we can get to being a youth-friendly gun. The recoil is modest, the shooting is quite accurate, and it’s long enough to handle most smaller sized shooters.

Who Will Use This Most

This will obviously be used by those who have a son, daughter, or grandchild who is starting out their young hunting career. It’s the rifle that will be used when you want to pass down the hunting tradition from one member of your family to the next. It just might also be the rifle that they’ll use for their children in the future. 

What Could Be Improved and Why

Since this is a youth rifle, perhaps adding some more thickness to the recoil pad would be a good idea. Even though the recoil is reasonable, it can still be a nuisance for some users. The less recoil they can deal with, the better they can handle the rifle in general.

Bottom Line

The tradition of hunting is a timeless one. Especially when you’re spending it with your kids or grandkids. Help them begin their rite of passage with a rifle like the Youth Marlin Lever Action 30-30. This rifle will likely be passed on from generation to generation and will create a lifetime of memories in the process. 

Pros

  • Recoil is Reasonable
  • The Stock is Durable and Solid
  • The Rear Sight is Easy to Adjust
  • The Fit and Finish Are Really Nice
  • Excellent For Hunting Deer and Varmint

Cons

  • Recoil Pad Should Be a Bit Thicker
  • Sight Adjustments Might Be a Challenge at Times For Some Users
  • Wood Stock Might Damage Easily if Exposed to Enough Water and Cleaning Solvents

What Recent Buyers Report

Many new buyers were satisfied with the rifle for various reasons. Thanks to the adjustable sight, they were able to make the adjustments they needed in the event if their shots were too far off. One buyer, in particular, said that it was easy to zero in up to about 100 to 200 yards.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This rifle might give our best overall choice a run for its money. The difference here is that the sight might be a little smoother to adjust. Meanwhile, it can reach out and touch something at quite a distance. Aside from that, it looks like it can pass for an ageless hunting rifle that can be passed down from generation to generation and still look good.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be used by hunters who want something that’s slightly easier to use. Expect this to be used by beginners who are just starting out with a rifle like this. It will be easier for them to use the lever-action and be able to make sight adjustments when the situation warrants itself. 

What Could Be Improved and Why

One of the things that could improve is making the recoil pad a little thicker. This way, you get reduced recoil and it saves your shoulders a lot of grief from all the constant abuse it’s taking due to the recoil itself. A nice thick rubber pad should just about get the job done.

Bottom Line

If you’re a beginner that’s looking for a 30-30 rifle for hunting purposes, the Mossberg Rifle M464 30-30 might just be right up your alley. With a quick lever action, accurate sights, and just enough firepower to knock down the big targets, you know that this is a rifle that won’t steer you wrong. 

Best Uses For a 30-30 Rifle

The 30-30 rifle is something that might be used for general purposes. But nonetheless, it remains one of the best rifles for hunting deer, varmint, and even hogs to name a few. That’s because it has just enough stopping power to stop these animals right in their tracks. But for some, they can use it for casual target practice using paper targets or clay pigeons. 

Conclusion

Finding the best 30-30 might be easy if you know what you’re looking for. This is one of the most reliable rifles that any hunter can have. Especially when it comes to knocking down whitetail deer. Find a rifle that fits your personal preferences and needs so you can be able to land the trophy buck of your dreams and live to tell about it for years and decades to come. 

Leave a Comment