Finally, American

I’ve owned a couple of lever-action rifles before, but they weren’t in the proper caliber.  Allow me, then, to present you with something I think should be given to every immigrant on becoming a citizen, the Winchester Model 1894 in .30 WCF (.30-30):

I took possession of it a couple days back, was intending to shoot it at TDSA, but never got to it because

I will be taking care of it next week, you betcha.

As for the .30-30 cartridge:

And yes, I now have rifles which shoot each of the above venerable cartridges:

Makes me wanna wave the Flag, or something.

Proud to be American, properly armed at last.


  1. To quote Bull from El Dorado: “Took ya long enough to think of that one”.


  2. I hope you didn’t have to mortgage your house to buy it!!!

    I bought mine many many years ago for $100 at a flea market. Holds a 1 inch group at 50 yds with open sights. I thought about getting a second one recently (on the basis of 2 is 1, 1 is none) and got the sticker shock of my life. Almost two grand for some old beat up rifle that looked like it had be chained to a bumper and drug down a gravel road. OMG !

    That said, I’ll never purchase another gun from Cabela’s “gun library”. They have the most over-priced junk I’ve ever seen. And when I’ve taken near mint antiques in for a possible trade, the most ridiculous low-ball offers imaginable. F those guys.

    Congrats on the most American of Rifles.

    1. +1 on Cabelas “gun library”. Only one I have been to is Ft. Worth. Turned out one of the guys working there went to high school in the next town over from mine, so we had a nice chat. There used to be some interesting stuff to see that “gun library”, but ever since they were bought by Bass Pro, that went to shit too.

  3. When I moved from Jersey to Oklahoma some 40 years ago (and raised the intelligence level of both states) my first firearm purchase in the land of the free was a lever gun. I couldn’t decide between a Winchester 94 or a Marlin 336 so I compromised and bought one of each. Both lightly used, both priced around a hundred bucks, and both are still in the collection.

  4. I forget the name for those iron sights, but they’re hot.

    I like open sights.

  5. Congrats!
    Over the years, I have had more than one opportunity on decent pre-64 model 94’s, but could never quite reach for my wallet. Regret that now. My consolation is that I fell into (what was left of) a 1960’s vintage 336 Marlin 30-30, curved grip. Owner was literally a little old lady who just wanted to get rid of it. Alrighty then.

    I was thinking of parting it out, but then the light bulb went on. Called 1-800 Marlin and sent it in for repair. Had them switch it over to a Cowboy model in 38-55 (parent cartridge of 30-30). Have kept all the paperwork. Otherwise it will drive some future collector nuts because the serial number is in the wrong place.

    Bore diameter is .379, so yeah, cast boolits and handloads.

  6. Congrats, nice rifles, Kim. What brand tang sight is that? Does it have a windage adjustment too?

    1. It’s a Marble peep. No windage adjustment on this one — you need to dope the wind and adjust your aim, just like in the old days.

  7. Ah, the venerable .30-30, the American brush cartridge that just will NOT die. Underpowered and anemic compared to more modern offerings, hamstrung by the need for blunt bullets due to the tubular magazines present on nearly all rifles so chambered, and yet it still keeps kicking.
    Much like other old American ideas such as the representative republic and individual liberty, the .30-30’s death has been proclaimed many times, and its shortcomings expounded at length. Yet like them, when properly applied and utilized, it keeps on keeping on, showing its worth and utility.
    Yes, I am fine tuning a hunting load for my 6.5 Creedmore for hunting season this fall. But if the need arose, I would not feel underserved in the slightest by taking out instead any of my three venerable .30-30s.
    I have examples in both Winchester and Marlin, along with an ancient and cantankerous J. Stevens 325A bolt action (one of the few capable of safely accepting Spitzer bullets). Any of them would be more than adequate on game animals, if I do my part.

    1. Try Hornady’s Lever-evolution ammo in your tube-mag rifles – better ballistics and no increased danger of premature detonation.

      1. I would, but as mentioned, I am currently loading for other rounds, and I’m not paying current prices for factory ammo (when I can find it). I have a sufficiency of .30-30 ammo currently, and plenty of brass and conventional bullets for it, should I start loading it now, as well.
        I’ll leave the Leverevolution bullets and ammo for those who truly need them more for now.

  8. Kim, that’s a fine looking shootin’ iron. Well done.
    I know of an upcoming estate sale, one of the offerings is a Marlin 336c chambered in .35 Rem. I priced the ammo. Pass. Full stop.
    Also in the estate sale is a 1937 vintage ’03 Springfield. Asking price will probably be nosebleed, but dang, that would be nice to have.
    There’s also a 1972 vintage Mossy 500A 12ga pumper with a 30″ barrel. I could go for that.
    I’m still waiting to see the listing of the various and several “handguns” …
    More later .. enjoy the lever-gun.

    1. The advantage of the .35 Rem is the ability to use heavy .357 Magnum bullets if you handload. Plus, it’s fun round.
      I picked up one very worn example with a broken stock years ago. Someone had pinned the stockback together with wooden dowels, but the fix was coming apart. I got it for cheap. One tube of superglue later, carefully wicked into the break around the pins, and 24 hours of curing while in a vise, and it was once again fully functional, albeit even uglier than before. (Had that not worked, a new stock would have been in order) My redneck repair has held together over a decade and a half since then.

  9. Your shoulder is in better shape than mine if you are shooting .45-70 out of that High Wall with a steel buttplate. I have a Decelerator pad on mine to tame the recoil from 30-06.

    1. The long and heavy barrel tames most of the recoil and it’s more a shove than a kick, but it’s still quite stout. My record is seven rounds…

  10. I was able to pick up an 1894 in 25-35 about 10 years ago from a ranch sale in Arizona. Made in 1922 with a Lyman 1A sight. I got about 100 rounds, 500 brass and dies for the boolits. It was original to the family that owned the ranch, passed down from father to son. The condition is “ranch perfect” meaning the action is butter smooth, the stock has a hundred scratches on it and the bluing is , well, not so blue.

    Barely kicks, punches holes at 1″ intervals at 150 yards and will snot-knock a javelina or coyote into the dirt just like that. Got no use for it anymore, but every time I pull it out to sell it I convince myself I don’t need the money and put it back. That gun put food on the table for 80 years, so I’d like to see it go to a shooter who hunts and ain’t none ’round here.

  11. 🙂 One of my first unpapered private purchase freedom guns after escaping the Dark & Fascist State of New Jersey was a 336C in 30-30. Traveling the wildly divergent landscape of the East Coast, it’s my go to trunk gun for jurisdictions that are pissy about handguns and autoloaders.

  12. Haven’t bought any more .30-30s of any flavor since the used lever action market went the rest of the way nuts after the Covid craziness got rolling. Somewhere around 8 or 10 or maybe 12 cluttering up the place (about evenly split between Winchester and Marlin, though there was a cute .30-30 Savage 99H carbine here for a short while. Broke the rule, sold it and have regretted it ever since), plus there’s a low grade infestation of a couple or three .32 Specials.

    Still, even back when they were relatively cheap and plentiful, the pictured example would have attracted my attention. Nice score, Kim!

    And if you think that Browning .45-70 kicks, I picked up a Winchester-marked one a couple of years ago through CDNN; the folks that specialize in getting rid of overruns and other stuff that didn’t sell in the firearms market. Trapper model with short, rather lightweight barrel and scrawny carbine buttstock. Can’t for the life of me imagine how a batch of cringe-inducing beasts like that ended up at CDNN.

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