You can give the 30-30 quite a boost by handloading and it has to be done by someone that really knows what they are doing. You're dealing with a lever action 30-30, and bad things can happen very quickly if not careful.
Special precautions have to be taken when dealing with tubular magazines and pointed bullets touching primers: BOOM !
Remington, do you have any favorites (as far as manufacturer) or guidance (are there any negatives?) regarding ghost rings and red dots? It's a topic that's come up lately among my circle of friends and family and I'm trying to become a little more well versed. I just read great article by an African PH regarding both as excellent ideas on dangerous game rifles , but he only hinted at pros and cons of each. Could you lay it out at least in a general sense?
I am by far no expert on the matter but here is my experence.
Both dots and ghosts are made to use with both eyes open. The only ghosts I've been exposed to are the Mossberg factory ghost rings on the 835 12 gauge, M-4/AR15, M-14/M1A, H&K MP5s. I have what was formerly Ashley Express ghost ring and post (big and bright night sites) on my personal gauge. I belive Cabelas sells em and posibly Bass Pro. My M-4 has the A-2's and M-1A has mil specs Ghosts are genrally tough and will take a bunch more abuse than dots.
Red dots are realy cool but with the exception of one brand you have to rely on batteries. Battery life on the lastest ones are some ungodly amount now but can still go out. I used a Aim Pont 3000 and then the Mil Spec Aim Point (when they became avalable) for several years on my M-4. I beat up on em pretty good and they kept on ticking. In my opinion dots are faster than ghost rings. You don't have to line anything up just put the gun to your shoulder, put the dot on target and squeeze. Finally got fed up with em because of the dag-on batteries. If your going to buy dots buy quality dots. I have seen the el cheapos crap out quick and bump.
My latest adventure is with the low powered scopes namely the luppy 1-4X20. At one power you can keep both eyes open for the close stuff and I always have the option to crank it to 4 power if i need to stretch it out.
Best of luck to all have fun and keep on a hunting.
As far as 30-30 goes, I would be interested in trying some of that new "Leverevolution(sp?)" ammo that is talked about quite often. They are pointed bullets with a soft tip of some kind designed especially for tubular magazines. It apparently is working so well that Marlin for example is chambering new calibers in their lever guns for this type ammunition. I would like to see how it performs out of my 30-30 rifle some day.
I have read of hand-loaders using pointed premium bullets in their 30-30's, but making sure it is in the chamber, with the rest being the standard blunt nosed ammo in the magazine.
gost rings are great for fast targeting. Sometime factory sites on lever actions aren't the best
the other suggestion is to have the length of the stock adjusted to fit you. there isn't much on lever actions that you can improve on that you will notice a difference. I use a 45-70 lever action and the thing I notice most is that it is very quick to pull up and aim. This the length of pull can mean the difference between pulling up smooth or catching on stuff and re-aiming.
Another idea is that if it feels front heavy, maybe get the barrel shortened, but if it feels ballanced, don't mess with it too much.
Sometimes the triggers on lever actions could be better.
Having a gunsmith smooth out all the internal parts can also make a lever action feel effortless.
Just throwing some ideas outh there.
Oh yeah. I sling goes hand and hand with lever actions, and an ammo belt might bring some more nestalgia to it.
Understanding wind currents and thermals in hilly, broken terrain can often be incredibly frustrating. I've found that collecting and storing milkweed seed pods during the late summer has made me a better hunter in the bluff country that I hunt. These little feather like seed dispersers will float on the lightest of air currents and will show you what the wind is not only doing right at you're location but more importantly down range. I like to use the off season to float them...