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June 2006 Cartridge Of The Month, .30-30
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 Posted: Fri Jun 2nd, 2006 02:09 AM
   
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CB900F
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Fella's;

As the title states, the first American small-bore smokeless powder sporting cartridge is the COM.  And that cartridge is the .30WCF, or .30-30 as it's better known these days.   The round was originally brought out in conjuction with the model 94 Winchester.  Although the gun is a '94, the loading was first marketed in early 1895 and consisted of a 160 grain bullet over 30 grains of smokeless powder.  Advertised muzzle velocity was 1970 fps, a figure that's not changed much in over 100 years of loading.  In Europe, the cartridge is 7.62 X 51R, but regardless, it's still the "thutty-thutty.

It's been stated many times in many places that the .30-30 has taken more deer in America than any other single cartridge.  That's not a statement that I'm going to argue with either.  It's entirely probable that it's true, though I've never seen a scientific study done to verify the supposition.  But I do know that arguing with it would be a good way to wind up head down in the cracker barrel at the general store.

In any event, the .30-30 does business with 170 grain flat point bullets driven at velocities of 1500 to 2000 fps when being handloaded.  There are many other .30 caliber bullets, and given varying circumstances, any can be loaded in the .30-30 case, but for the harvesting of small to mid-size game animals, the 170 reigns supreme.  Spitzer type bullets absolutely should not be used in tube magazine firearms with the sole exception of the newer Hornady factory ammo.  That, and only that, ammo has a soft deformable plastic tip that is not supposed to be able to ignite the primer of the round ahead of it in the magazine under recoil.  I'm sure that Hornady has tested this extensively.   Me, I'm loadin' flat points.

Now in single-shot guns, or conventional magazines (read non-tubular), you can load anything that's available.  However, just being able to physically get a bullet into the case doesn't mean you should do it.  Keep in mind that the .30-30 was the first smokeless powder brass case, and it's thin.  Raising the internal pressures is not, repeat not, a good idea.  The industry maximum pressure for this round is 38,000 CUP, and that limitation exists as much because of the case itself as the lever action guns that predominate the firearms available for the cartridge.

 Both Speer and Hornady suggest using Winchester's 748 powder for best results with the 170 grain bullet.  Speer also makes a 165 grain flat point & lists 748 as #1 on the chart for that bullet as well.  Nosler, for several reasons, is different and states that Varget was the most accurate powder from their test barrel.  Hornady & Speer used Winchester 94's to develop data, and Nosler used a test barrel.

Here's some load data for the classic Rainbow Warrior.

Speer 165 grain bullet, min 33, max 37 grains of W748.  Velocity spread was 1925 to 2238 fps in their gun.  H322 was the next powder in their hit parade for this bullet at 27 to 31 grains giving 1886 to 2219 fps.

The Speer loading for the 170 with 748 is this:  min 30, max 34 grains giving 1833 to 2118 fps.  H322 25 to 29 grains giving 1684 to 2005 fps.

Hornady lists several powder capable of achieving 2100 fps with their 170 grain bullet.  Vihta N135 24.5 to 29.9 grains at 1800 to 2100 fps.  H335 at 29.3 to 34.0 grains giving 1800 to 2100 fps.  BL-C2 30.2 to 35.6 with the same velocity ranges.  And W748 at min 31.4 to max of 36.5 grains same velocity ranges.

This really isn't the cartridge to try to turn into a varminter or bear gun.  Let it do what it does so well & leave it at that.  Used within it's limitations of velocity and range, combined with the light, flat, lever action guns it is extremely hard to beat as a woods or horse gun.

By all means, if you have questions or would like more data, please put the question on the board, I'd be glad to reply.

900F

Last edited on Fri Jun 2nd, 2006 02:10 AM by CB900F



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 Posted: Fri Jun 2nd, 2006 11:41 AM
   
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greysmoke
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Joined: Tue Mar 15th, 2005
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CB

regarding the .30WCF

Would you say this is a type of cal that would be ideal to start young hunters off with? What is the recoil like?

Ballistically it looks like a real economical cal to load for as well?

Im pretty much in the dark here, as its very seldom seen used in SA, but im thinking in that direction for my son's first 'big' gun.

What do you think?

 

 



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 Posted: Sat Jun 3rd, 2006 12:03 AM
   
3rd Post
CB900F
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Joined: Sat Feb 5th, 2005
Location: Lesser Falls, Montana USA
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My favorite chambering is:: The .391 and a half Super Wombat
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Greysmoke;

Many, many, young hunters have been started in this country with the .30-30.  It is not a bad choice at all.  However, having said that, I'll tell you that my son's first centerfire game gun was a 6.5 X 55 Swedish Mauser.

I should think that considering where you are, the 6.5 would be the more practical choice.  The 6.5 gives up nothing to the .30-30 in terminal performance & actually exceeds it in my expericence.  The 6.5 will easily range the .30-30 by virtue of both it's higher initial velocity and the very much higher B/C.  I'd also think that either factory ammunition or reloading components would be easier to obtain for the 6.5 in your neck of the woods.

The 6.5 X 55 is not a heavy recoiling cartridge given an average gun weight.  The .30-30 isn't either, though it's use in the light weight lever action guns such as the model 94 Winchester would tend to exaberate the recoil factor.  It's a testament to the mildness of the round that it isn't considered to be a shoulder thumper when launched from one of these handy little guns.

I'd think you'd have to decide whether or not you wanted to start him off with what, to your area, would be considered a semi-exotic round, or not.  To most of us in the Westen Hemisphere, the 6.5 is somewhat the oddball.  Shoe's on the other foot as it were. 

900F

Last edited on Sat Jun 3rd, 2006 08:09 PM by CB900F



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 Posted: Sat Jun 3rd, 2006 07:05 PM
   
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greysmoke
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CB

You are quite right. The 6.5's are still very popular here, and i never gave it much thaught, as i never had much dealings with that it.

I think it probably would make more sense to go that route, especially where i live , in the Eastern Cape, where longer shots(but not overly long) are the norm.

All the best

 



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"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."

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