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30-30, 30-06 & .357 carbine: compare/contrast

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by AStone, Oct 10, 2005.

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  1. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Howdy all,

    I'm new to rifle country on THR, having spent most of my THR time in shotguns, handguns (both semi-auto's & revolvers), and strategies (love those bugout threads). So, please forgive any naivite in my question. (I grew up with rifles - .22, a Marlin 336 .35 deer rifle (so very sorry i sold that during the financial stress called "grad school"), and even an 1865 .58 caliber Springfield caplock, but have been away from them for about a decade, just now looking back in the direction of rifles again...)

    Here's the background for my question. I currently own a 9 mm pistol (soon to be supplemented by a 12 ga {been too long since i owned a shottie), but am strongly considering adding a .357 magnum wheel gun. Current top choices: Shotgun: Rem 870P; revolver: Ruger SP 101, but $money for said guns is still weeks away & the verdict for the .357 revolver is still out...as discussed in other threads...)

    One factor involved in my choice of the .357 is my recently acquired knowledge (thanks THR) that there are lever guns chambered for .357, but also (if you're lucky) .38 spl, notably a Marlin 1894C (current top contender for me over the Winchester, much like my beloved but lost Rem 336...but that's another thread). The potential of being able to buy one widely available cartridge (.357) that will work in a wheel gun and a lever gun is appealing to me. Simplicity is good, especially in a world increasingly prone to SHTF & TEOTWAWKI situations....

    So to my question: even though i've heard of 30-30, 30-06 & .357 all my life, I really don't know how they compare with each other as rifle rnds. How do said rounds compare and contrast with each other?

    The .357 handgun will be mostly used for SD/HD. But I'd like to entertain using the Marlin for hunting, especially deer, both white tail & mule (note my location).

    So, how does that .357 cartridge fed through a rifle compare to a 30-30 and the more "powerful" 30-06 (ambiguity of the word "powerful" duly acknowledged).

    I've done some reading in the archives, and have found some info about .357 rnds in lever gun carbines, & about 30-30 v. 30-06, but not much so far about hte latter two compared to the .357 in a carbine lever gun.

    Thanks in advance for information & opinions.

    Regards,

    NemA
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2005
  2. bad LT

    bad LT Member

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    At close range, the 357 lever is a very valid deer gun with the right ammo. Check out these stats from Buffalo Bore:

    http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#357

    a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast = 1851 fps
    b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1860 fps
    c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Speer Uni Core = 2153 fps---- Can you believe this?!!!
    d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Speer Uni Core = 2298 fps---- Or this?!!!

    Maybe a 75 to a hundered yard gun max due to velocity losses from a short, fat bullet.

    The 30/30 can reliably take deer out to 200 yards +.

    The shooter is typically the limiting factor for how far a shooter can take game with a 30/06.

    If you ever want to hunt anything bigger than a deer, get the 30/06.

    And all the other ones too. :neener:
     
  3. Kurush

    Kurush Member

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    Any of those should be OK for deer. 357 out of a carbine is pretty much like any other handgun cartridge in a carbine, it gains a bit of velocity but doesn't really make any difference.
     
  4. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Kurush & BLT, thanks for your ideas.
    (BLT: one of the most interesting, and humorous, signatures i've read in a while :D )

    So, as long as we're talking about these calibers, and given i'm already questioning whether a .357 carbine is what I'm looking for - maybe it isn't so important that it shoots the same cartridge as my wheel gun, AND I can take a deer at 75 to 100 yds with a slug from an 870 - please allow me to expand my original question.

    I prefer 1) a lever gun, or 2) bolt action. Thus, I'm pretty sure, based on past experience with a my 336 & my research so far, that if I go with a .357 carbine, it'll be a Marlin 1894C.

    But what lever or bolt-action rifles chambered in 30-30 or 30-06 would you (and others) recommend?

    Nem
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2005
  5. bad LT

    bad LT Member

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    For a leveraction 30/30 I would recomend a Marlin or Winchester, whichever one feels better in your hands. I prefer the Marlin for a one piece receiver.

    For a boltaction 30/06, I would recomend any common rifle from a major manfacuter (Remington 700s, Winchester Model 70s, Savage 110s, etc). The best deal going is probably on the Savages although the others are also very nice. Again, pick the one that feels best in your hands.
     
  6. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Rem model 700 bolt v. 7600 pump

    BLT,

    Thanks for recommendations.

    I've been doing my homework tonight. Funny how many THR threads I've read so far about the virtues of the 30-06 rifle as a great caliber, but very few posts (that i've read so far) recommend specific makers & models.

    Indeed, if I went with the 30-30 (unlikely now after all I've read of the 30-06), I'd go with a Marlin lever. But it appears they don't do the 30-06 in a lever gun. (I'm guessing that has something to do with pressures???).

    I've found references to the Ruger #1 chambered in 30-06, but can't find any reference to that rifle on the Ruger site.

    Haven't yet checked the Savages & Winchesters, but I've just discovered that Remington (who makes the 12 ga I'm about to buy) makes both bolt action (the 700) and a pump, their 7600. Both come with an option for a synthetic stock, which I like.

    So, question: given that i'm buying a pump shotgun (870), and that having a rifle with the same action could be advantageous in terms of familiarity, and that the pump is less expensive than the bolt action, what are the pros & cons to the Remington pump 30-06 v. the bolt action.

    My guess is that the latter is going to be more accurate with higher pressure, greater range & fps while the former will be characterized by a faster action, but that's just the musings of a relative novice and should be soundly dismissed if I'm wrong.

    Many gracias.

    Nem
     
  7. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Pump:
    Pro - Fast to operate.
    Con - Not very accurate.

    Bolt:
    Pro - Usually very accurate, positive extraction, easy to reload for.
    Con - Not as fast operating as a pump.

    Go with a bolt action with a good scope, and don't look back.

    Don
     
  8. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Member

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    For 30/06, you might consider a CMP Remington 1903A3. It will not be easy to mount a scope so it is mainly a consideration if you like military rifles. Garands are good options also.

    Can't really tell you much about the new bolts except that I hear Savage makes a good one for the price.
     
  9. pauli

    pauli Member

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    pressure, no. pointy bullets, yes.

    most lever guns use a tube magazine, where bullet from one round is up against the primer of the next. 357, 30-30... these won't set one another off under recoil. 30-06... that spitzer bullet makes things rather dicey.

    however, they *do* make lever guns in 30-06, they just don't have tube mags.

    http://world.guns.ru/rifle/rfl25-e.htm

    http://www.browning.com/products/ca...ue=003B&cat_id=034&type_id=009&item=034009126
     
  10. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    There isn't really any ambiguity here. The .357 is a handgun cartridge, albeit a quite powerful one. The .30-30 is a light rifle cartridge. The .30-06 is a full power rifle cartridge. It's like comparing a go-cart to an econobox to a sports car.

    Handgun cartridges are designed for short range. They shoot quite heavy bullets at low velocities. The .357 moves quite fast for a handgun cartridge, but it's still typically quite a bit slower than a rifle cartridge. The bullet's aerodynamics are also poor, creating a lot of drag and slowing it down relatively quickly. So while the .357 becomes quite potent out a rifle length barrel, it will never match the performance of a true rifle cartridge at ranges beyond 75-100 yards. As you already seem to have noticed, you can take deer at that range with slugs from your 870, so a .357 rifle doesn't really give you a whole lot more capability than you already have.

    The .30-30 is the classic American deer rifle. It was designed for the Winchester 1894 rifle. It will shoot flatter and farther than the .357. Range is still limited compared to a full power rifle cartridge, but it will be more than adequate for deer. You can take deer with it out to 300 or so yards if you have to (and actually take the time to practice with it so you can make those shots), but the odds of you having to make a shot on a deer -- or of such a long shot being safe -- are practically nil.

    The .30-06 has enough range and power for anything you might want to hunt in North America. It will hit both you and your prey a lot harder than either the .357 or the .30-30. A rifle capable of shooting it will weigh more, too, so the .357 and .30-30 are handier and easier to carry. With a decent rifle and a little practice, though, you can consistently take deer-size game at 600 yards. This is the rifle for you if you expect to be hunting for really tough game or in wide open areas like the plains, desert southwest, etc. (where you can spot game from a long way away and set up safely for a shot, and there is little or no risk of hitting something you shouldn't).

    Frankly, given what you've told us, I'd recommend the .30-30 first, with the .357 carbine coming in second.
     
  11. Lupinus

    Lupinus Member

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    I own a Model 94 Winchester 30-30

    I have yet to go hunting with it but I hear good thing's about it's capability. And it is a nice, accurate weapon. For follow up shot's I find a lever action to be much easier then a bolt action.
     
  12. Z_Infidel

    Z_Infidel Member

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    Even if you do decide to go with the .30-30 or a .30-06 you might want to consider a .357 lever gun at some point. As a dedicated deer rifle I would choose either of those over a .357 but the .357 lever does have its merits -- it is capable of killing deer within its effective range, can be used for plinking, varmints, and in a defensive role. Perhaps you can buy a .357 and still find a used .30-30 for a good price, since they are somewhat plentiful.

    If you want the benefit of common ammo between a rifle and revolver, then I suggest 158 gr jacketed hollow points for the .357 Mag. Soft points would be better for deer-sized game, but the JHPs will be effective for smaller game and self defense whereas soft points are less than ideal in a defensive role.
     
  13. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    .357 carbine

    Hornady Handloading manual shows that the gain
    in velocity of a carbine 20" barrel over a handgun
    in .357 is considerable, up to 500 fps depending
    on load.

    Other handgun rounds, like .45ACP, the gain is not
    as dramatic: 50-100 fps for 16" carbine over 5" pistol.
     
  14. Dienekes

    Dienekes Member

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    Col. Townsend Whelen said it best: "The .30-06 is never a mistake".

    A basic M70 or M700 with a 4 power fixed scope will do it all and your kids and grandkids will get to use it too.

    As to 600 yard shots "with a little practice"---those are called nonresident hunters with more money than shooting skills or ethics.
     
  15. sumpnz

    sumpnz Member

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    .357 is, as already mentioned, a pistol cartridge. It does gain a fair amount from a carbine barrel, 400-600fps over a pistol depending on barrel lengths, powder, bullet, etc in a particular case. With the right loading it can take deer with authority out to 100+- yards. Typical muzzel velocity would be around 1800fps with a 158gr bullet, but some (like Buffalo Bore) will load a fair bit hotter than that. This is a great round if you'll be hunting in dense brush where a long shot is 50 yards. It's also a great plinking round from a carbine. Little recoil + fast action = lots of fun.

    The .30-30 was developed in the 19th century and was one of the first metallic centerfire cartidges available. It's name comes from the fact that it used a .30 cal bullet and (originally) 30 grains of black powder. It shoots the same .308" bullet as all current American .30 caliber cartridges, but it typically has to use flat point bullets on account of the tube magazine that places the bullet tip against the primer of the round in front. Pointy bullets would risk a chain-fire in the magazine when the gun recoils or sustains any kind of shock (e.g. dropping). Most people consider it a max 200 yard deer round. Typical muzzel velocity is around 2200-2300fps with a 170gr bullet. Depending on stock design you might be surprised at how much a .30-30 can kick.

    The .30-'06 was developed in (surprise, surprise) 1906, and was an evolution of the .30-03 from 1903. The .30-'03 fired a .308" 200gr round nose bullet around 2400fps and came about in response to the 8x57J cartridge from Mauser that debuted in 1898 (that shot a 220gr .318" round nose bullet at 2400ish fps). Then in 1905 Mauser changed that cartridge to the 8x57JS which operated at higher pressures and used a 154gr .323" spitzer (pointy) bullet at 2800fps. Not about to be outdone, us Yanks updated the .30-'03 to the levels of the JS and we had the .30-'06 shooting a (still) .308" 147gr spitzer bullet at 2800fps. These two cartridges defined the start of high-power rifle cartridges. This round is perfectly capable of humanely killing deer out to any range that you can accuratly place the bullet in the vitals of the animal.

    As far as brands of guns, that really is a matter of personal preferance. Some good quality new production bolt action rifles are made by the likes of Winchester (M70), Remington (700), CZ (550), Savage (110), Tikka (T3), Sako (75), Ruger (M77 MkII), and I'm sure a number of others I'm forgetting. There are also a lot of great used bolties out there made by Husqurvarna, sporterized Mausers, and such.

    Lever guns can be had from Marlin, Winchester, Rossi, Taurus, and Henry.

    The Ruger #1 is a falling block single shot rifle. To work the action, you push down on a lever around the trigger guard. This causes the breech-block to move downwards (hence the name falling block) and extracts the spent casing (assuming you just fired) and allows you to manually insert the next round. One item of interest is that the #1 can be adjusted to either simply pull the brass out enough for you to pull it the rest of the way out (and therefore save it), or it can be set to fling the brass clear.

    If you're a handloader, and like to go to nuclear levers with your loads, the #1 will let you do that (to a point - everything has its limits). Like all their guns, Ruger builds the #1 with a lot of extra metal around the high-load areas. Downside to that is Rugers are seldom considered light-weight, but they are also the most difficult to blow up.

    Another advantage (to some anyway) with the #1 is that since it doesn't need hardly any space for the action you can either keep the rifle the same overall length as a typical bolt-action but have an extra 4" of barrel (the #1B Standard does this - it has a 26" barrel), or you can keep the barrel to the typical 22" and have a much more compact rifle (the #1A does this - 38.5" overall vs 42.5"). The #1RSI is even shorter yet with a 20" barrel (36.5" overall).
     
  16. Father Knows Best

    Father Knows Best Member

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    Excellent post, with one exception. You said:
    That's false. The .30-30 was developed in the 19th century, true, but it came quite late in the 19th century. Metallic centerfire cartridges had been around since at least the early 1870s, including ones that are common today like the .45-70 Government, .45 Colt, .44-40 (aka .44 Winchester Central Fire), etc. The .30-30 was introduced as the .30 Winchester Central Fire, or .30 WCF, in the early 1890s, and was one of the first cartridges specifically designed for the new SMOKELESS propellants. It is not and never was a black powder cartridge. I believe it was introduced along with the Winchester model 1894 rifle.
     
  17. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The .30 Winchester Central Fire (WCF) was the first smokeless powder sporting cartridge. It debuted in 1895, in the then-new 1894 Winchester. Metalic cartridges of one caliber or another had been around for about 40 years by this time, and had almost completely supplanted muzzle loaders.

    The .30 US Army preceeded the .30 WCF by about 3 years and was already popularly called the ".30-40" because it held about 40 grains of smokeless powder. Calling the .30 WCF the ".30-30" was a natural.

    It didn't hurt that the .30 WCF was so popular that Remington, Marlin, and others found themselves chambering rifles for this cartridge. Calling it the ".30-30" kept them from having to stamp their rifles with the dreaded "WCF" or mention their competitor, Winchester.

    The .32 Special was developed by Winchester a little later to offer a similar smokeless powder cartridge that could be reloaded with black powder.
     
  18. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Okay, now some of my knowledge comes from Hornady's 5th edition load manual, some from gun magazines, and some from having shot all three calibers.

    .30-30 and .30-06: they're both .308" diameter bullets. Factory loads for .30-30 will be 150gr and 170gr flat nose SP's. The 150gr will run about 2300fps. .30-06 ammo will be 150gr or 180gr and run more like 2900fps. now, in handloads, you see a lot more variety in bullet weights and speeds for both calibers.

    .357 fired from a rifle- I know it'll hit accurately at 100yds and a 158 or 180 grain jacketed bullet can have speed and killing power comparable to a .30-30. It'll even carry accurately to 200yds, but power's falling off by that time because of the type bullet and smaller powder charge and shorter burn time.

    You can get some hot loads for the .357 handgun and they'll run 1300fps. They'll gain 300fps fired from a 16" barreled carbine or 18" short rifle so you up the speed to 1600fps from the longer barrel. I'd say keep your shots within 100yds with a .357mag long gun with a heavier expanding bullet and it should do fine. Shot placement is the key though- put it through the upper lungs and they won't go far.

    Well, aside from what I've already said, get shot with a rifle-launched .357 and you're just as shot as if you'd been hit with a .30-06. The .357 just runs out of gas a lot sooner. The .30-06 will carry accurately to 800+yds, but the groups get bigger with the increased distance.

    I can't think of anything right off, not having read through the thread, that I haven't already said. After I read all the other posts, I'm sure I'll be reminded of something.
     
  19. Pietro Beretta

    Pietro Beretta Member

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    Winchester OR Marlin both make great Lever Action rifles for the 30-30.

    I went with the Marlin because #1 It was easier to strip down to clean. #2 Ejecting from the side, instead of from the top(Like the winnie) seemd "right."
     
  20. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Thanks!

    Wow. Great posts & great advice for helping me sort this out (not to mention some cool history). :)

    I'm at work at the moment, so have only read today's posts quickly. Late tonight, after work, I'll give them another more careful reading.

    More opinions and ideas are of course encouraged.

    Many thanks. ;)

    Nem
     
  21. Shear_stress

    Shear_stress Member

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    Hey, Nematocyst. As you are in the Pacific Northwest, see if you can swing by the local Bi-Mart. They keep the Marlin in stock and sometimes have incredible deals on them. Not sure if this makes a difference to you, but the ones at Bi-mart have walnut stocks, rather than the birch available at other chain stores.

    Otherwise, check Big5. They usually have a running sale on either the Marlin or Winchester.

    I miss Bi-mart.
     
  22. greg531mi

    greg531mi Member

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    What about the 308 Winchester??????????? A great carbine round!!!!
     
  23. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Haven't seen anyone else suggest a better (as in bigger) caliber rather than the .357. Have you considered something like a .44 Mag or 45 LC?? It would fit the "commonly available" criteria and is rather formidable in a rifle

    I have a .45 LC in both a Ruger Bisley and a Rossi levergun. I'd feel quite comfortable with either in the deer woods. HTH
     
  24. stoky

    stoky Member

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    As others have pointed out the .357 is a pistol cartridge. It can be a lot of fun in a lever action carbine, but you are pretty much limited to 100yds as a practical effective range.
    The .30-30 can approximately double the .357 range and is a fine deer cartridge.
    The .308 and .30-06 are true rifle cartridges, very similar in performance. The 06 has an edge at longer ranges with heavier bullets. Some of the more serious target shooters say that the .308 is inherently more accurate.
     
  25. Oldnamvet

    Oldnamvet Member

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    The ruger lever action in .44 mag has surprised me. I typically get around 2+ inch groups from sandbags at 100 yds using hornady 300 gr XTP bullets. Any deer at that range would have a really bad day.

    Also when considering accuracy, consider the circumstances. I have a Rem 7600 in .30-06. On a good day with reloads I get 1.5" groups. With my savage bolt, I can get 3/4" groups. But when I am hunting, adrenaline is flowing, and I don't have a sandbag rest, I can't tell the difference in accuracy.
     
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