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What is the limiting factor of 30-30?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by gunnutery, Aug 2, 2012.

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  1. gunnutery

    gunnutery Member

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    Over the last few years, I keep seeing comparisons of 7.62x39 to 30-30 in terms of power and range. I don't have a vast knowledge of ballistic science so I'm not disputing the comparison, but I've just been curious.

    Since 30-30 more closely resembles a big cartidge, why is it limited to (roughly) 200-300 yards?

    Is it:
    a) round nose bullet design
    b) type of powder
    c) amount of powder
    d) all of the above
    e) other?
     
  2. glockky

    glockky Member

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    I think the round nose bullet which hornday has came up with a solution for, and powder capacity which hornday has takent he biggest advantage of with there lever revolution powder.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    1. The 30-30 is an intermediate class cartridge.
    Pressure and velocity is limited by how much pressure the rifles designed for it in 1895 can safely handle. People are still shooting some of them.
    They safely handle 42,000 PSI.
    More powerful cartridges often go as high as 65,000.

    2. 30-30 ammo has typically always been loaded with flat-point bullets for safe use in tubular magazine lever actions. They slow down and drop rather quickly.
    They do not have the flatter trajectory of a similar spitzer bullet.

    3. Lever-actions have traditionally been sold with open sights.
    You can't hit with it any further then you can see it well enough to hit it.

    rc
     
  4. Abel

    Abel Member

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    Operating within the parameters of 150 yards is not a limitation to most skilled hunters.
     
  5. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    The comparison to .30-30 is usually invoked when asked "What can I hunt with a 7.62x39?" The 7.62x39 is not really a big cartridge compared to .30-30. But both are relatively useful for short range 50 to 150 yd deer hunting.

    7.62x39mm bullet: 123 gr FMJ, velocity 2400 fps., energy 1529 ft/lbs.
    7.62x39mm bullet: 154 gr SP, velocity 2100 fps., energy 1515 ft/lbs.
    .30-30 (7.62x51R) bullet 150 gr SP, velocity 2390 fps, energy 1903 ft/lbs.
    .30-30 (7.62x51R) bullet 170 gr SP, velocity 2220 fps, energy 1860 ft/lbs.

    Due to tube magazine limitations, .30-30 is usually loaded with round or flat nosed bullets that have more wind resistance that the pointed bullets used in the 7.62x39. So ,30-30 loses its initial advantage at longer ranges, but most woods hunting is under 100 yds. Softpoint .30-30 ammo is more likely to be found in a backwoods store that softpoint 7.62x39.
     
  6. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    Most if not all of the carbines have 20 inch barrels which limits the velocity. If the cartridge was being fired out of a 24 inch barrel with handloaded 150 grain spitzer bullets the velocity could be up over 2300 fps which is nothing to look down upon. The 30-30 was always looked upon as a leg breaker for deer hunting because inexperience hunters were alway shooting at deer at long range with iron sights. I saw a deer shot with a 30-30 many years ago at about 100 yards and the 170 grain flat point bullet penetrated the backstrap and stuck in the backbone. We found the bullet when dressing the deer. Thousands of deer have been killed with a 30-30 and they are still in use. BW
     
  7. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    e) YOU. All other considerations could be addressed to improve the rifle/ cartridge combo ballistically, but even as it is, it will shoot straighter than you can hold, at ranges longer than you can aim. Practice until you become that 1% of all humans on earth that can outshoot a modern factory rifle, then teach lessons and write a book. I'll be in line to take them, and buy a copy.
     
  8. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Despite it's popularity in the USA the 30-30 was obslolete 3 years before the first box of ammo or rifle was ever sold in 1895. The 30-30 was conceived with mid 19th century science and technology. It was originally designed as a blackpowder round and was sold as such at first. It was converted to smokeless powder and at one time both versions could be bought. Both the round and most rifles made for it are limited because of the blackpowder design limitations.

    The 30-30 works when used within its design limitations, too many dead animals to argue that point. But more modern, better chamberings were available earlier. The 7X57 loaded with smokeless powder predates the 30-30 by 3 years and has been used to take every animal on the planet including dozens of elephant. It has at least double the effective range. While everyone else in the world moved to more modern 20th century chamberings the 30-30 remained popular only here in the USA.

    I own several 30-30's and like to use them, but from a performance perspective, they are at disadvantage for many reasons. Most already discussed.
     
  9. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Another factor is that 30-30 real world ballistics tend to fall dramatically short of ammunition makers claims. Primarily because they insist on using a mythological 24" 30-30 barrel.

    This graphic shows this. Any comparisons made assuming published velocities are AUTOMATICALLY wrong

    I have fired factory 170 grain Remington ammunition from a 20" savage that didn't even crack 1800fps over my Chronograph

    table30-30.jpg

    Low pressure and inefficient bullets are also limiting factors
     
  10. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    30-30 cartridge is typicaly linked to lever action rifles. This is an action which is easily mastered with a bit of practise. Accurate shooting is nearly as fast as a semi-automatic rifle in 30-06. Accurate shooting has been accomplished well beyond 250 yards, but for hunting big game, I keep my shots within 150 yards or so. This is because I favor traditional flat nosed ammo. I guess this means I am the limiting factor.

    TR
     
  11. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Been killing deer with it for many years. It is what it is.
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    The .30-30 is far from obsolete. There are plenty of bigger, "better" (Certainly more powerful) calibers, but the .30-30 is a very successful round as far as guns sold and game taken, and will continue to be so.
     
  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The .30-30 is compared to the 7.62X39 because:

    a. They are roughly the same caliber (the Russian 7.62 is close to .311 diameter, while the US .30 is .308)

    b. They generate roughly the same kinetic energy level -- when using light bullets.

    c. Both cartridges are avaliable in short, light (SKS and Wincherster M94/Marlin 336) rifles.

    d. The rifles they are chambered in traditionally have cost less than bolt action rifles for higher power cartridges.
     
  14. snake284

    snake284 Member

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    One of the main limitations would be under "Other." The case is relatively thin so you can't load it up hot. However, with Leverrevolution ammo, your down range velocity is much improved. I personally think a good scoped 30-30 with spitzer bullets is now a 250 or even 300 yard gun. Also, the 7.62x39 ammo is generally 125-130 grain. So the 30-30 with 150, 160, or 170 grain bullets, in my opinion is a better deer or medium game rifle.
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You could load it pretty hot in a Ruger #1 single-shot.

    You just can't load it hot in a lever-action, which is mostly all it is chambered in.

    rc
     
  16. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Wonder how it'd fare hot loaded out of a Savage bolt action.
     
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    If the case is fully contained inside the chamber, it is a non-issue.

    If you have an extractor cut or some such nonsense exposing the thinner case web, it IS an issue.

    rc
     
  18. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Worse than a leveraction thanks to the savages single locking lug and ramen noodle like rigidity.

    Go beyond factory pressures and accuracy becomes nonexistent and case life is very brief.

    I should know I've had two 30-30 sav340's and one rem 788
     
  19. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    As do I, but never reloaded for it (340), but LE shoots well, so I just thought maybe it'd work out to reload. The LEs group quite well, next time I shoot it I'll post target pics.
     
  20. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    I limit my rifles to 110gr hp's and load stout 130/135 gr spitzers and balistic tips for my Contender, the 30-30 shines pretty nicely in the single shot pistol. If all I had was a 94 I'd feel fine with some 165 gr cast with gas checks on anything I could sneek up on or ambush.
     
  21. fanchisimo

    fanchisimo Member

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    Dale,
    I read that Hornady's Leverevolution maintains a better fps out to farther ranges due to it's tip vs. the flat and rounded nose of other ammunition. I just purchased an older Marlin 336 and am trying to learn all I can. I am having trouble finding data as opposed to claims in my searching. Thanks for any info.
     
  22. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Believe it or not its pretty slick in a revolver too!

    HPIM2407.jpg
     
  23. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Sierra used to make a 135 or 130 that was designed for pistol velocities that performed real well. I shot quite a few mule deer and an antelope with mine in the 30-30.
    I wish they still made that bullet but I don't see it listed anymore.
     
  24. gunnutery

    gunnutery Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the input, you've all really schooled me on the 30-30. Perhaps my question is based on too much comparison and not enough accepting it for what it is. I'm fine with accepting what it is, but looking at say, a .308 which is about the same size and same bullet weight, but has much more power and range kind of threw me off (again, too much comparison).

    Which brings me to another question. Where does the .308 Marlin chambering come in? I know even less about that cartridge other than it's rimmed. Does it bring advantages over the 30-30 chambering/ bullet design/ poweder/ etc?
     
  25. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The .308 Marlin Express is a proprietary cartridge, using proprietary powder, & proprietary flex-tip bullets, to almost duplicate .308 Winchester performance in a lever-action Marlin rifle.

    I might be wrong, but I think they have only sold 17 of them! :D

    And you won't find any ammo at the gas station in Elk Droppings Montana if you go hunting there.

    rc
     
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