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.30-30 Winchester (.30 WCF )


In 1886 France adopted the 8mm Lebel, the world’s first smokeless military cartridge that changed cartridge design forever. Notable military followings were Germany’s 8x57 Mauser in 1888, the Mauser designed 7x57, the conversion of the .303 British to smokeless powder and the American 30/40, all adopted between 1892 and 1893.

Although military powers saw the advantages of small bore smokeless cartridges, hunters were a little slower to accept these new concepts, feeling much more confident with the wide caliber black powder cartridges. In 1894 Winchester introduced to the hunting market the model 94 lever action repeating rifle, designed by John Browning and chambered for two already popular black powder hunting cartridges, the .32-40 and .38-55. In 1895, Winchester made a somewhat radical move, chambering the 94 rifle in the Winchester designed .30 Winchester Center Fire, Americas first smokeless powder, jacketed bullet hunting cartridge. 
Winchester's initial load for the .30 W.C.F featured a 160 grain metal patched bullet (RN-FMJ) loaded to a velocity of 1960fps from the  M94’s 24” barrel. Following its introduction, the Union Metallic Cartridge Company (U.M.C) began manufacture of .30 WCF ammunition but labeled their ammunition using the traditional means of cartridge designation- calling the cartridge the .30-30. Dominion and Western also followed this method of cartridge designation. This described the cartridge as being of .30 caliber, loaded with 30 grains of smokeless powder.

It soon became apparent that the .30-30 was a relatively flat shooting cartridge in comparison to traditional hunting cartridges. Zeroed at 200 yards the 160 gr bullet rose 6” at 100 yards while typical black powder cartridge projectiles had an MRT of over 12” at 100 yards for the same zero. Although the older cartridges fired wide 300 to 500 grain bullets boring large holes in game, in the hands of less experienced marksmen, the .30-30 became a far more reliable killer simply because it’s flatter trajectory allowed superior shot placement.
The .30-30 was not without criticism. Experienced hunters of the day were not at all keen on the light 160 grain small bore projectiles for use on heavy bodied game. Western’s initial load, the 160 grain FMJ round nose bullet would have produced rather abysmal wounding in comparison to the wider bores. Many hunters stayed with their favorite .45 and larger caliber black powder cartridges, refraining from using small bores until the later arrival of the mighty .30-06.

Within a few years of its introduction, .30-30 ammunition was made available in a range of styles and bullet weights. Regardless of controversy, the .30-30 became immensely popular among mainstream hunters of the U.S. The Western cartridge company promoted the .30-30 as a potent cartridge by showing pictures of Grizzly bear on ammunition packets, alluding to its prowess on large game. The .30-30 cartridge saw a great deal of use on medium weight deer species and was used on game up to the size of moose and grizzly bear, regardless of whether it was truly suitable for fast, clean killing of large game. The Dominion .30-30 labeling also proved more popular than Winchester’s .30 WCF designation and in 1946, Winchester changed the cartridge designation to the .30-30 Winchester.
To a great extent, the compact and lightweight lever action rifles produced by Winchester and Marlin outweighed any short comings of the .30-30 cartridge. Although ex-military .30-06 caliber rifles eventually became readily available, the compact lever guns maintained vast appeal, especially as a saddle carbine.  The portability of these rifles, the low recoil, adequate trajectory and wounding along with the ability to fire six shots as fast as one could work the lever all contributed to the success of the .30-30
Over 100 years on, sales of .30-30 caliber rifles remain steady. The .30-30 cartridge is now more appropriately appreciated for close range hunting of medium game while the lever action rifles that house the .30-30 are still considered by many hunters, to be the ultimate in portability. The .30-30 is immensely popular throughout the U.S, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In Europe, the .30-30 was suitable as a chambering for break open rifles (due to its rimmed design). Although the .30-30 saw some use in Europe, it never achieved the mainstream, utility type use as experienced elsewhere.


Due to the tube loaded magazines of the model 94 Winchester and Marlin 336 rifles, .30-30 ammunition  must be loaded with round or flat nosed bullets to avoid detonation of bullet primers in the magazine under recoil. These low BC projectile designs limit the effective range of  the .30-30 to around 200 yards, after which, shot placement becomes difficult to estimate due to the heavily curved trajectory not to mention wind drift. Low BC’s also cause a rapid loss of velocity, effecting both disproportionate to caliber wounding as well as mechanical wounding. This makes it very hard for bullet manufacturers to develop optimum bullet designs.

For over 70 years the two most common factory loadings for the .30-30 have been a 150 gr bullet at an advertised 2390fps and a 170gr  bullet at 2200fps. These velocities are taken in 24 - 26” as opposed to the  20” carbines carried by hunters. True velocities tend to average 2100fps for the 150 grain loads and 2050fps for the 170 grain loads. Velocities of the 150 grain bullet are kept within 50fps of the heavier 170 grain bullet to ensure that factory rifle iron sights can be used with both loads, otherwise, the two loads would be so vastly different that all rifles would have to be fitted with micrometer peep sights. Naturally, being so close in velocity to each other, of the two factory weights, the 170 grain bullet offers the single advantage of increased sectional density - without sacrificing velocity and without any difference in bullet construction which could potentially limit expansion.

The .30-30 can be hand loaded well beyond factory specifications. 150 grain bullets can safely be loaded to produce 2400fps and 170 grain bullets to 2200fps. Inside 50 yards, a 150gr FN or RN bullet hand loaded to 2400fps can produce fast kills but past 50 yards (2200fps), speed of killing decreases. Animals shot at and beyond 100 yards may show little to no sign of a hit, falling only after running considerable distances. 

Of all the factors affecting fast killing with the .30-30 shot placement is far more influential than bullet choice or velocity. Unfortunately many iron sight .30-30 users don’t have the luxury of precision shot placement however; it is worth looking at typical results that can be expected with varying shots. The fastest killing chest shot with the .30-30, using either factory ammunition or hand loads is one that strikes slightly forwards of the front leg, at or close to the intersection of the scapula and humerus bones. A shot in this area destroys the autonomous plexus, a major nerve center of the body, causing instant death, shot after shot.

A .30-30 bullet that strikes directly in line with the front leg at mid to upper chest level may cause hydrostatic shock transfer to the spine out to 60 yards (fast hand loads produce the greatest amount of shock) with better results on game above 50kg (110lb), up to body weights of around 80kg (180lb). Often game will drop instantly as a result of a small amount of shock transfer but not lose consciousness, attempt to rise but die from blood loss before rising any higher than knee level. 

At all ranges, from 0 to 200 yards, .30-30 bullets that strike behind the line of the leg into the rear lungs, missing the heavier shoulder muscles and scapula blade, fail to deliver both energy as shock and highly traumatic wounding, allowing game to run some distance before collapsing. For this reason and due to the fact that with iron sights, it is often difficult to ensure precise shot placement, it is wise to choose a bullet for the .30-30 that will exit game and leave a good blood trail.

With factory loads, wound channels through lung tissue tend to be around 1” in diameter with exit wounds only as large as, or slightly smaller than (due to elasticity of hide) the expanded bullet diameter if no major bone is struck near the exit point.

A fast hand loaded 150 grain bullet creates a lung wound less than a quarter inch larger than typical factory loads with exit wounds averaging .75” as opposed to just under or around .5” for factory loads.  Although the difference in exit wounding may seem small, bleeding from exit wounds as a result of full velocity hand loads is much more profuse than exit wounds created by factory ammunition. This is one of the main advantages of using hand loads in the .30-30, free bleeding exit wounds which give the hunter a good blood trail to follow.

To re-summarize the difference in performance between factory loads and hand loads; hand loads do show some advantages in lieu of ideal shot placement. Nevertheless, shot placement is the most influential factor regarding killing performance of this cartridge.

The .30-30 is an adequately clean killing cartridge of medium game, up to 150kg (330lb) at close ranges, particularly inside 75 yards, for reasons of shot placement, not reduced wounding capacity. On heavier animals, the .30-30 may produce adequate penetration but is not nearly as fast killing as a higher velocity 30 caliber cartridge or wider bore. Wide wounds are the key to fast, humane killing and hunters are urged to always keep this in mind, regardless of what a cartridge like the .30-30 may be capable of achieving.

Using an accurate scoped rifle, the .30-30 continues to produce the same or similar diameter wounding from zero to 180 yards. Bullet expansion throughout the brands tends to be adequate and although disproportionate to caliber wounding is greatly reduced  beyond 50 yards or so, mechanical wounding is still thorough. Beyond 180 yards, trajectory curvature makes shot placement very difficult, regardless of wounding capacity.

Again, it must be re-iterated that among fans of the .30-30, the greatest benefit of the .30-30 is the compact lever action rifles. In this regard, the pros and cons of cartridge performance can never be regarded as being of foremost concern. The .30-30 is in many instances, relied on for utility purposes, a tool that is required to perform basic tasks in a reliable manner.

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Factory Ammunition

Current factory loads from Olin (Winchester brand) include the 150 grain SilverTip, 150 grain Hollow point, 150 grain PowerPoint, all at an advertised at 2390fps, along with the 170 grain SilverTip and 170 grain PowerPoint bullets at an advertised 2200fps. As mentioned above in the performance section, true velocities from 20” barrels tend to yield 2100fps (150 grain loads) and 2050fps (170 grain loads).

Olin’s 150 grain HP bullet is designed for rapid and complete expansion on lighter game in semi open country. This bullet has been engineered to blow up in such a way as to make up for the .30-30’s mild velocity and kinetic energy. Light rib bones and body tissue are enough to cause bullet blow up leading to small multiple wound channels. Although not prone to exit, fragments can and do exit lighter game at acute angles with the risk of inflicting severe wounds to other animals not directly in the path of the shot. The 150gr HP does not show any increase in speed of kills over other designs when shots are placed behind the foreleg, even though energy transfer is complete, animals may cover considerable ground before succumbing and will leave no blood trail. Nevertheless, this is still an adequate light game load. 

Both the Power point and SilverTip bullet designs are fast expanders, performing similarly to each other with cross body shots on lighter medium game. As suggested earlier, velocities being near equal, the heavier 170 grain PP and ST give slightly deeper penetration than their 150 grain counterparts without any loss of wounding potential. Of the two bullet designs, the SilverTip is slightly superior, producing a more optimum balance of expansion versus deep penetration. 

The PowerPoint expands on impact, loses momentum and continues to expand throughout penetration. The SilverTip performs differently in that its hard aluminum tip is driven into the lead core on impact, causing explosive expansion. Wounding through vital tissues is thorough while at the same time, the hard aluminum tip wipes off the frontal area of the shank allowing deep penetration. Although both will make it through to vitals of medium sized game from most angles, the Silvertip gives slightly more penetration retaining a frontal area of around 13mm as opposed to around 17mm for the PowerPoint, the 170gr bullets of both styles retain between 110 and 130 grains from raking shots on game weighing up to 80kg (180lb).  Penetration on heavy bodied game is often adequate however, as with all .30-30 ammunition, whether factory or hand loaded, wounding becomes less optimal as game weights increase.

Current offerings from Remington include the 150gr soft point Core-Lokt at an advertised 2390fps and the 170gr soft point and hollow point Core-Lokt at an advertised 2200fps. Again, velocities tend to be around 2050 to 2100fps for all loads when used in 20” barreled carbines. As a general rule, throughout the calibers, Remington’s Core-Lokt bullet is somewhat tougher than other conventional bullet brands however in the .30-30 line of ammunition, the Corelokt is very soft. The .30-30 soft point Corelokt 150 and 170 grain projectiles both develop a large frontal area of around 17mm while retaining around 80% weight, giving similar performance to Winchester’s Powerpoint bullets. The 170 grain HP bullet is, like its competition, designed for maximum expansion and wounding on light bodied game and is best utilized on game weighing under 60kg (130lb).

Remington also currently produce a 55 grain .224” saboted accelerator load at 3400fps and a 125 grain managed recoil load. The saboted load can be plenty of fun and very effective on light bodied game however, the major difficulty is sighting in. The difference between the POI of standard .30-30 loads and the accelerator load can be over 12” in height along with over 12” of windage adjustment. With scoped rifles, these factors can be overcome and the .30-30 turned into an acceptably accurate for moderate range varmint rifle. With iron sighted rifles, Saboted ammunition is a no go.  

The velocity of Remington’s 125 grain managed recoil load is the same as the 150-170 grain bullet weights to ensure the load matches iron sights. This style of loading is certainly not new and reduced loads have been around since the .30-30 was first created. As a medium game load, the 125 bullet is not nearly as effective as the full penetration (exit wounding) produced by heavier loads and kills can be somewhat delayed which can be of great concern to younger hunters. This load is best used for practice or use on very light bodied game.  

Federal offer a variety of loads for .30-30 users. Federal’s lightest load features a 125gr flat nose hollow point bullet at an advertised 2570fps for realistic velocities of around 2400fps. This load does its best work on game 20kg (44lb) and under. Although a high velocity 125 grain bullet may seem a good means of increasing shocking power to the .30-30 for use on deer, results tend to be poor with slow kills on larger animals.

Federal’s traditional loads include their 150gr soft point at an advertised 2390 and the 170gr soft point at 2200fps, producing velocities and results similar to the Winchester and Remington soft points projectiles. 
Federal’s premium .30-30 loading features the 170gr Partition which stands apart from its competition, expanding just as fast as any .30-30 soft point bullet, but out performing conventional loads regarding penetration. This load is capable of tackling heavy bodied deer species in a more consistent manner than traditional .30-30 loadings, albeit with the same limitations regarding potential wound diameters.

Hornady’s two .30-30 traditional loadings include the 150 grain round nose Interlock at 2390fps and the 170gr flat point Interlock at 2200fps, both giving similar velocities to other brands. The 150 grain Interlock is slightly stouter than the Core-Lokt and PowerPoint bullets and is generally a good lighter medium game bullet. The 170 grain Interlock, tends to develop a larger frontal area than the 150 grain bullet, limiting its ability to penetrate much further, making it not particularly well suited to woods / bush hunting game above 60kg (130lb).

Hornady’s most recent invention is the 160 grain Leverevolution FTX. This is a pointed bullet designed specifically for use in lever action rifles. The FTX projectile is of a very similar construction to the Hornady SST but features a soft rubber tip to prevent detonation in tube magazines. Muzzle velocity is rated at 2400fps from a 24" test barrel. Unfortunately, velocities produced by 20" barreled carbines average around 2200fps.

The FTX was made in an attempt to produce a flatter trajectory although it struggles to achieve this. The BC of the FTX is .330 which is somewhat higher than the 170 grain Sierra at .248, but only a touch greater than the 170 grain Speer at .298. Nevertheless, Hornady have done their best to optimize the trajectory of the .30-30 and as designs go, this is to a great extent - as good as it gets. The FTX is able to produce clean kills out at ranges of between 180 and 200 yards and while its trajectory is steep, shots at this range can be achieved with scoped rifles and iron sighted rifles alike, though with iron sights, much practice is needed. The FTX projectile expands immediately upon impact, often creating a larger wound through vitals of medium game than its competitors. In some instances, where major bone is struck, wounding through vitals can be fierce. That said, like all .30-30 caliber projectiles, kills can be delayed in the absence of any immediate nervous effect. The FTX is not an exceptionally deep penetrating projectile, best suited to lighter medium game if raking shots are to be expected. To this end, as a lighter game load, the FTX stands apart from other factory brands.

Note: Update. Hornady have recently announced the creation of a 140 grain copper alloy (similar to GMX and Barnes) bullet with flex tip. The 140 grain MonoFlex bullet has a rated velocity of 2465fps. This load has not been tested at this time of writing.

Hand Loading

Due to the limitations of both the Winchester 94 rifle design as well as the thin walled case design, the .30-30 is rated to a maximum pressure of 42,000 PSI. The .308 Winchester by contrast, is rated to a maximum pressure of 60,000 PSI. The limitations of the .30-30 should therefore be obvious. However; with a careful load development, one can achieve the speeds stated for factory ammunition (i.e. from 24” test barrels) in shorter 20” carbines. But with such a small case volume, powder choice is a concern. A fast burn rate produces high energy in a small case and short barrel but also generates high pressure. A slow burning powder produces lower pressure, but its bulk can inhibit velocity generation. 

The following notes are with regards to a Hornady case, fitted with either a 170 grain Sierra or Speer flat point bullet, seated to the cannelure (OAL 2.550"). The charges listed are not recommended max loads. The charges shown merely indicate the bulk density of each powder for those who wish to ensure they have room within the case for experimentation with regards to optimum powder development. 

ADI 2206h (H4895): The Hornady case holds about 33 grains with slight compression at 34 grains. Book max is 30.5 grains. Though generally a very safe powder, this is a fast burn rate, therefore one should be mindful of limitations.

ADI 2208 (Varget / IMR 4064): The Hornady case is full at 33 grains and with slight compression at 34 grains. Book max is 34 grains. This is a medium burn rate powder and is very safe to use in the .30-30 as one cannot really fit enough powder into the case to overload it. Although stick powders can handle some compression, this powder does not leave a great deal of room for experimentation.

W748: This spherical ball powder appears to be the best performer in .30-30. The burn rate is the same as 2208 / Varget but being a ball powder, it is far less bulky. The Hornady case holds 37 grains comfortably with slight compression at 38gr. Book max is rated at 32 grains. In other words, W748 allows plenty of room for experimentation and with all bullet weights. 

Leverevolution: The burn rate of this spherical powder is halfway between W748 and W760 and therefore halfway between ADI 2208 (Varget) and ADI 2209 (H4350). The Hornady case holds about 37 grains while the 170 grain projectile is compressed at 38 grains. Book max is rated at 35.5 grains (compressed) for the 160 grain FTX (duplicates factory) and 34.5 grains for a 170 grain bullet. In reality, it takes around 36.5 grains or more powder to drive a 170 grain bullet at 2200fps from a 20" barrel. Note that this is above book max and cannot be condoned as a safe practice. That aside, Leverevolution powder does not offer a great deal of room for experimentation. Add a long case filling boat tail to a projectile (as per the Hornady FTX) and it becomes obvious why the factory 160 grain load does not produce more than 2200fps.

As an aside, Leverevolution appears to be more useful in both the .307 and .308 Win, achieving relatively high speeds. Many readers will be aware that Hornady's .308 Superformance loads cannot be replicated with Superformance powder, the burn rate is simply too slow. Those who have asked Hornady about this, have as I understand it, been told that the .308 loads contain a "special blend" of powder. My testing with Leverevolutuion leads me to conclude that the .308 Superformance loads may not contain a special blend of powders and are instead loaded with Leverevolution powder.

W760: The Hornady case holds 36 grains with slight compression at 37 grains. Book max is rated at 33.5 grains. It is difficult to get much past 2000fps (170 grain bullet) with this powder. 

In older rifles showing signs of wear, full power hand loads are most definitely inadvisable. It is important to reiterate that the .30-30 utilizes a thin walled case design and that even in a bolt action rifle, cases may rupture if placed under too much strain. As always, one should work up loads cautiously, taking time to observe extraction, the condition of spent cases and primers. 

In rifles of sound construction, the major difficulty with full power hand loads is matching the change in velocity to the open sights of the 94 and Marlin 336 rifles. Winchester’s more recent 94AE ( Angle Eject) rifle solves this problem as the side ejection allows for the fitting of a scope, as does the Marlin 336.  However; it is commonplace to leave these rifles un-scoped and there are literally millions of pre-angle eject 94’s in use that cannot be scoped. The simplest solution for those who wish to utilize full power hand loads in iron sighted rifles is to use Williams or Lyman aperture sights.

On the subject of sights the open sighted .30-30, though it serves well for utility purposes, is far from ideal for stalking under a forest canopy where both open and aperture sights can be difficult and slow to line up.  Poor sight definition is a common complaint of many who have decided to try open sighted .30-30 rifles for bush hunting with the goal of minimizing rifle bulk. The scoped 94AE and Marlin 336 are far more versatile in these darker terrains. 

Conventional projectiles from Hornady, Sierra, Speer and Remington perform relatively similarly to each other on game even though each brand of bullet behaves quite differently after impact. Although there is a common perception that .30-30 projectiles are softer in construction than most other projectiles so as to give expansion at low velocity, only Remington and more especially Speer appear to make their .30-30 projectiles noticeably softer than their other projectiles. From softness to hardness the order is Speer, Remington, Hornady, Hornady being identical to other Hornady .30 cal round nose bullets and the Sierra also being identical in relative hardness to other .30 cal projectiles in the Sierra line.

Across the board, there is not a great deal of difference in penetration on game, between the various 150 grain bullets and their 170 grain counterparts however. Nevertheless, some increase in penetration does occur and the slight increase in SD of the heavier bullets ensures optimal penetration from this cartridge, as well as minimizing the rare risk of bullet blow up that may be caused under adverse conditions. The 150 grain bullet loaded to 2400fps is well suited to hunting lighter medium game below 80 kg (176lb) in semi open country where the hunter is able to chest shoot without having to take long raking shots. The 170 grain bullets loaded to 2200fps perform slightly better with raking shots on light bodied game as well as cross body shooting of heavy bodied game.

The Sierra range of projectiles include the 125 grain FN HP, the 150 grain FN SP and the 170 grain FN SP. The 125 grain bullet, regardless of hand load velocities of up to 2600fps, does not show any increase in wounding performance or range ability due to its lack of SD and BC and to some extent, is better served as a reduced velocity practice load for youths.

The stout 150 grain Sierra develops a large frontal area while also retaining a modest amount of weight, creating the typical .75” diameter exit wounds the .30-30 is capable of producing on lighter bodied medium game. The heavier 170 grain bullet produces an equally large frontal area but continues to penetrate deeply via a combination of high shank retention (high SD) and minimal weight loss (around 35 grains). The 170 grain Sierra is an excellent performer, perhaps the best of the conventional bullet line up, producing relatively fast kills with tail on shots on light to medium sized game in tight country. On larger, heavy bodied animals, the 170 grain Power Jacket will penetrate vitals from most angles but cannot be expected to kill cleanly with tail on shots. The 170 grain Sierra does seem to be a more emphatic killer and penetrates somewhat deeper than all competing .30-30 conventional projectiles.

Speer bullets include a 130 grain FN SP, a 150 grain FN SP and a 170 grain FN SP. These projectiles are made with soft, thin jackets to maximize wounding on deer. During penetration, the 150 and 170 grain Speer bullets shed a lot of weight but also shed a large amount of frontal area, obtaining desirable penetration on medium sized game as well adequate wounding. The 170 grain Speer for example, sheds back to a frontal area of around 12mm (.472 “) but loses around 70 grains weight in the process. Although its design and mechanisms of wounding and penetration are different to the Sierra projectiles, the results on light to medium weight game are to some extent, similar. The 170 grain Speer exits medium game with relatively high velocity and although exit wounds are often small, free bleeding creates swarthy blood trails. The one projectile that really showed emphatic results across a wide range of body weights was Speer’s 165 grain RN SP, designed for the .308 Winchester. This was a hard hitting, deep penetrating violent bullet but alas, this projectile is now obsolete.

Hornady bullets include the 150 grain RN SP, the 160 grain FTX rubber tipped bullet now available to hand loaders and the 170 grain FN SP. The 150 grain Hornady is quite a reliable lighter medium game bullet, somewhat in between the Speer and Sierra with regards to its mechanical behavior. The 150 grain round nose produces clean kills, time after time on light game, with little fuss. The 170 grain Hornady is a bit ho hum, it has neither of the qualities of its competitors but for light bodied deer, is an adequate performer.

The Hornady FTX, as already mentioned, is a good performer on light game, creating wide, fast bleeding wounds - even though kills are sometimes delayed, as is the trait of the .30-30. Loaded to 2300fps, the FTX is not a great deal better off than its factory loaded velocities of around 2200fps, the velocities are simply too close together to show any real world differences regarding game killing. The FTX is certainly an oddity, with tail on shots on light bodied game at close woods/bush ranges of around 25 yards, the FTX creates a violent wound on impact, destroying the femoral artery with death occurring within a matter of seconds. Rumen tissue arrests the FTX, preventing the FTX from reaching vitals. Regardless of this, the FTX manages to achieve the result of producing a kill. Rumen tissue arrests the FTX with both tail on shots as well as frontal shots.

Nosler produce a 170 grain RN Partition which is the best of all worlds. As per usual, the frontal jacket and core of the Nosler is very soft for fast expansion while the rear partition maintains bullet integrity during penetration - aided greatly by the mild velocities of the .30-30. For large bodied deer, this really is the go to bullet. The Partition does not lift the killing performance of the .30-30 to new levels but does ensure deep penetration and maximize the potential for exit wounding without sacrificing vital wounding potential. For those who are true die-hard fans of the .30-30 and wish to use this cartridge on large bodied game, it pays to have these projectiles on hand.

Closing Comments

Heated debate often arises when discussing the merits and limitations of the .30-30. It cannot be reiterated enough, that the single greatest selling point of the .30-30, is not the cartridge itself but the compact, portable lever action rifles that house it. Second to this, the ammunition is plentiful and affordable, something which cannot be said of the more potent carbine cartridges. At close ranges, the .30-30 is a clean, effective killer of medium game. To those who use and rely on the .30-30, these factors outweigh any potential negative aspects of this cartridge in comparison to more potent, modern cartridge designs.
Suggested loads: .30-30 Winchester Barrel length: 20"
No ID   Sectional Density Ballistic Coefficient Observed  MV Fps ME
1 FL Win 170gr SilverTip .256 .254 2050 1586
2 FL Win 170gr SilverTip  (scoped trajectory) .256 .254 2050 1586
3 FL Hornady 160gr FTX .241 .330 2200 1719
4 FL Hornady 160gr FTX
(scoped trajectory)
.241 .330 2200 1719
5 HL 150gr Sierra FNSP .226 .185 2400 1918
6 HL 150gr Sierra FNSP (scoped trajectory) .226 .185 2400 1918
7 HL 170gr Sierra FNSP .248 .250 2200 1826
8 HL 170gr Sierra FNSP (scoped trajectory) .248 .250 2200 1826
Suggested sight settings and bullet paths           
1 Yards 25 50 100 150 200      
  Bt. path +.5 +1 0 -3.7 -10.5      
2 Yards 100 125 150 175 200      
  Bt. path +1 0 -1.7 -4.2 -7.5      
3 Yards 25 50 110 150 175 200    
  Bt. path +.5 +1 0 -2.5 -4.8 -7.8    
4 Yards 100 133 150 175 200      
  Bt. path +1 0 -.9 -2.9 -5.4      
5 Yards 25 50 120 150 175 200    
  Bt. path +.5 +1 0 -1.8 -4 -6.8    
6 Yards 100 135 150 175 200      
  Bt. path +1 0 -.8 -2.6 -5.1      
7 Yards 25 50 112 150 175 200    
  Bt. path +.5 +1 0 -2.5 -5 -8.4    
8 Yards 100 130 150 175 200      
  Bt. path +1 0 -1.2 -3.3 -6.2      
No At yards 10mphXwind Velocity Ft-lb’s
1 200 7.2 1541 846
2 200 13 1541 846
3 200 6 1742 1078
4 200 6 1742 1078
5 200 8.9 1699 961
6 200 8.9 1699 961
7 200 8.1 1635 1009
8 200 8.1 1635 1009
The above hand loads are generic. Trajectories can be duplicated using like bullet weights of Hornady, Speer and Nosler brands.

30 30 Winchester final.jpg
  Imperial Metric 
A .506 12.85
B .422 10.72
C 15 deg  
D .401 10.18
E .330 8.38
F 1.440 36.57
G .476 12.09
H 2.039 51.79
Max Case 2.039 51.8
Trim length 2.029 51.5
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