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Opinions on 30-30 Wildcats (7-30, 6.5-30, .25-30, 6-30)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by MatthewVanitas, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Senior Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Washington DC (!)
    It's a dangerous hobby: reading "Cartridges of the World" with a dismantled T/C Contender next to you.

    I don't currently reload, and only have one non-factory-loaded barrel for the T/C. However, some day I would really like to give reloading a shot. Cartridges based on the 30-30 seem very practical, as the brass is cheap and available, rimmed rounds make sense in a single-shot, and there's a whole series of explored wildcats for that casing.

    I know some folks here must have tried the 7-30 (Waters) wildcat, 30-30 necked down to 7mm, but does anyone have any experience with the other permutations?

    I'm especially interested in the 6.5-30, as I've always heard great things about the 6.5x55 Swede (fired once) and the 6.5-08 (never tried). Apparently, even the Army's tests back in the days of the .276 Pedersen trials came to the conclusion that bullets of approximately .25 caliber were ideal for many purposes.

    One area of concern: with the lesser popularity of .25 and 6.5 bores, is it just the selection that suffers, or is there a significant price hike for their rarity?

    Is the whole issue too much trouble, should I just handload spitzers in the 30-30 or 7-30 and call it as good as it gets? It's probably a mixture of curiousity and folly, but I'm fascinated by the notion that there's always a slightly better cartridge out there, and if I'm going to handload, I might as well hunt that magic cartridge down.

    As always, grateful for any tips. -MV
  2. Gordon

    Gordon Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    central Kali.
    While not a wildcat , I've fooled with the 25-35 alot. I never got around to reaming for the Ackley version. With 100grain bullets at 2400fps my 14" contender is quite an effective Blacktail deer gun to 150yds. My Old model 94 in 25-35 likewise with the 115 grain load. The ol 94 ran ranch duty for 10 years killing dozens of dogs of all siizes (coydogs and feral) , and you name it with instant results in almost every case. The old boys knew what they were doing when they designed a .25 caliber cartridge that shot 115grain bullets at 2200fps or so. Perfect for everything under 150 pounds under 150yards (you can stretch both the yards and weight a bit with that long bullet!);)
  3. Dave R

    Dave R Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Naaah. Going to 6.5mm won't increase your cost too much. There is a good selection of 6.5mm bullets. Stop at any gun store with a reasonable reloading section and price some sometime.
  4. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Senior Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Below the Manson-Nixon line in Virginia...
    7-30 hasn't been a wildcat for almost 25 years, since Winchester started offering it in the Model 94.

    The .25-30 is really nothing more than an updated .25-35 with marginally better ballistics, IIRC.

    At one time a very popular wildcat was the .35-30, which was often done to salvage wornout bores on .30-30s and .32 Winchester Specials.
  5. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    7-30's been around even longer than Ken Waters' version...

    I have Elgin Gates' version, called the 7mm Rimmed International, which is a .30-30 necked down to 7mm with a blown out case taper and 40-degree shoulder. Delightful cartridge in it's intended gun:

  6. redneck2

    redneck2 Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Northern Indiana
    I just got...

    two Contenders in .357 Herrett. .30-30 shortened and necked up to .35. About the same performance as .35 Remington with less powder. More whack than the .25's and .30's.

    Bullets are real common for the .35's

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