Scope Zero For 30-30

Discussion in 'Lever Action' started by Rooster59, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Rooster59

    Rooster59 Well-Known Member

    Just curious how those of you who use scopes on your 30-30 handle setting your zero. If you expect most shots to be from 125-200 yards for deer sized game, do you zero at 200 and hold under at 100 or zero for 100-150 and hold over for 200?

    I'm scoping a 336TS with 18.5" barrel so my under/over holds may be a bit greater than rifles with a 20" barrel. I expect to use this rifle where the deer usually cross my line of sight at 150-225 yards.
  2. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

    Hey Rooster;
    I done some research on the trajectory of the 30-30.
    I have always sighted mine in at 100 yards and adjusted for any range beyond that. Mainly because the range that I use has 50 yd., 100 yd. & 230 yd. back stops. For safety sake, the 100 yd. worked out the best.
    My experience was in the vertical terrain of Pa. Allegheny Forest. Calculating vertical shots is guess work at best. The 100 yard setting served me well.
    According to the research, the trajectory of the 30-30 being +2.9" @ 100 yd. will be -0.2 to 0.6 @ 200 yd.
    It would be your choice but I've found most shots to be from 50 yd. to 120 yd. Either way, human error is often greater than the actual bullet drop.
    Just my $.02


  3. Fomdiddle

    Fomdiddle Well-Known Member

    I've had greatest success sighting all my rifles at 100 yd zero then shooting longer ranges at targets to learn my holdover. Fom
  4. Rooster59

    Rooster59 Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. That seems to be the trend given the BDC reticles are popular with some folks. I guess I'll have to do some practice at the range to get a better feel for holdover then. Our range has target stands at 100, 200, 300 on the mid-range section. There's no chance to try it at 150 unless I go to deer camp and set one up at that distance in a field.

    I have a pretty good range finder so I'm not worried about knowing what range my target would be, just wondering if it was easier to hold under a few inches at shorter ranges if you had it zeroed for the approximate max distance you would shoot.

    We have one stand location at deer camp that offers up to 275 yard shots but the deer have never been seen crossing at less than about 150+ yards. The other stand that offers long shots can get deer crossing at 25 yards or 350 yards or anywhere in between. All the other stand locations are 125 yards or less shots. My peep sighted 1895CB is the gun I take to those stands.

    All this would be elementary if I was using a 270 or 30-06 but I'd have to buy a bolt gun and that isn't an option.
  5. axxe55

    axxe55 Well-Known Member

    rooster this is how i did the last 30-30 for a friend. i zeroed it at 75 yards. his longest shot is under 125 yards. the reason is at his longest distance able to shoot it he is at most about 2" under and 50 yards about 1/2" high at most.
  6. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

    I have found that for most people it is harder to learn how to hold low than it is high. It is just counter intuitive. I have also learned most people will hold too high on the long shoots. I will admit to being guilty of this in my early hunting days. So I have come up with a simple plan for new hunters to eliminate some of the thinking on the longer shots. I simply tell guys or gals just starting out "always hold on hair". The factory 30-30 170gr flat point zeroed at 100yds is down -3.5 inches at 150yds and -11.00 at 200yds. The ideal heart shot is in the bottom third of the deer's chest cavity. At any distance up to 125yds you can consider that point blank. At 150yds a center chest hold will work and at 200yds your cross hairs should be on the top line of the deer, but on hair. Even with the 11 inch drop it should still hit vital organs. Now if you know all your shots will be on the longer side, it makes sense to zero your rifle +2.5 high at 100yds to stretch your shots to 250yds.

    Of course you can make the whole process a lot easier by simply buying a Marlin 308MX. :D :D
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  7. Rooster59

    Rooster59 Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. That's about the area I anticipated. With a 2.5x scope sighting a little high at 100 makes a lot of sense. With few if any opportunities less than 100 yards I think I'll try 2-3" high at 100 and see how that works at the range out at 200 yards. I'll bring some big paper target backers to follow the shots.

    Keeping it on hair sounds like an interesting way to compensate. Gauging what is 6" high at 200 yards when you are trying to take a shot with limited time could leave you open for some big accuracy errors.