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Old August 18, 2007, 08:43 AM   #1
ursavus.elemensis
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Compare 30-30 rounds with 150 gr & 170 gr bullets

Compare 30-30 rounds with 150 gr bullets and those with 170 gr bullets. What is the difference (other than the weight of the bullet -- I already figured out that the weight is different)??? I am presuming that the heavier 170 gr bullets travel more slowly and hence drop faster as they fly through the air. The lighter 150 gr bullets probably keep an effectively flatter trajectory longer as they fly (I know that "no bullet flies in a flat line at all..." I'm using "flatter" not "flat").

So, for the hunters or others who fire .30 W.C.F. (30-30 WIN) rifles, what is the reason for choosing 150 or 170 gr rounds? Are there deer that get hit with 150 gr bullets and laugh it off only to fall down dead when hit by 170 gr bullets? Could a 20 gr difference in weight make that much difference in hunting?

thanks
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Old August 18, 2007, 03:39 PM   #2
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My guess is that the heavier bullet becomes more of a question for bear or hogs where there's more of a penetration and immediate stopping issue. Generally deer aren't that much trouble until you get into big mules or northern giants like upper Michigan or Saskatchewan. As for any doubters of the .30-30's effectiveness, I must ask: did all the deer killed by them during the last century not happen or something? Seems to me lots of critters have dropped that don't have any snooty attitudes about ballistics and modern cartridge design. If it didn't work something would have disappeared long ago but we all know it didn't. I don't think your bucks or boars know or care whether it's 2007 or 1894 or are a single bit different. This post-facto historical revisionism is a bunch of crap.

Last edited by Yellowfin; August 19, 2007 at 12:50 AM.
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Old August 18, 2007, 07:59 PM   #3
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OR you could use the Hornady LeverEvolution rounds. 160 grains, faster than the typical 150gr loadings and a more aerodynamic bullet for even flatter trajectory than the extra muzzle velocity provides...
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Old August 18, 2007, 08:25 PM   #4
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The 30WCF is a very popular deer cartridge, however that sure doesn't mean its a great cartridge. Its so slow that it fails in the hydrostatic shock department.
The 150 grain at 100 yards and under will give the best results.
What i mean is a shot through the lungs will create a very small wound channel unless a rib is shattered to help damage the organ, the wound will be fatal, but the animal may travel a very long way before bleeding out.
The 270 and up will turn that lung into mush and the animal will most often travel less than 50 yards before expiring.
I do load 150 gr. pointed in a 788 bolt and get much better results.
As for what some term a "good brush gun", Only a 12Ga W/slug qualifies.

My $0.02
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Old August 18, 2007, 09:50 PM   #5
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Never lost a deer I hit with a 170gr .30-30 in forty-two years of hunting. Heck it only took one hit from a .30-30 to take down a Bull Moose just nineteen years ago in Quebec. I wager to bet there have been more one round and down using a .30-30 bullet than all the .270's that have been fired at any game.
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Old August 18, 2007, 10:10 PM   #6
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My first five deer were with a Marlin Texan 30/30 carbine using 150 gr bullets (factory loads.) All shot right through the deer! I suspect the 170 would penitrate a bit more.

Really there isn't all that much difference. Now if I was hunting Elk with my 30/30 (yes I have another one.. a 336 of course) I might use the 170s or the new Leverlution just to have a but more penitration.

Still the 150 never let me down.
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Old August 18, 2007, 10:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
however that sure doesn't mean its a great cartridge. Its so slow that it fails in the hydrostatic shock department.
The 150 grain at 100 yards and under will give the best results.
What i mean is a shot through the lungs will create a very small wound channel unless a rib is shattered to help damage the organ, the wound will be fatal, but the animal may travel a very long way before bleeding out.
I think you may be mistaken on that, to a certain extent. My understanding is anything over 2200 fps or so will creat hydrostatic shock. The 150 gr .30-30 bullet is going about 2,400 fps at the muzzle. True though, after about 100 yards it's slowed down significantly, below 2200.
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Old August 18, 2007, 10:29 PM   #8
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I think the Marlin .35 cal. solves most of the questions as to what the 30.30 in 150 or 170 grain can do......JMO......
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Old August 18, 2007, 11:31 PM   #9
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Up until the 1980s, you used to hear it so many times it would make you sick. "The 30-30 has killed more (insert here-deer, bears, game, etc) than any other cartridge ever." Now, I don't have the data the ammo folks were using to back that claim, but it could have been true. A 30-30 will kill deer deaddeaddead. So will a 303 Savage (essentially the same round), a 35 Remington, and a 44-40. None of them are hot-rod rounds, but they launched their stubby flat nosed bullets fast enough to poke holes in deer, moose, elk, bears of various sorts, sheep, antelope, and so on.

BTW, the 170 gr bullet for the 30-30 was supposedly a better penetrating round for elk, bear, moose, etc. And it works.
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Old August 19, 2007, 08:34 AM   #10
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Old timer;
Have you ever missed one with your 30-30?

Freedom;
My point exactly! the 170's are 2200 @ the muzzle, and 150 aren't that much faster. Of course if you hit the spine, you will have better results most times.
I know all the claims and have used 30-30's for over 30 years and have seen the results.
Its almost as if the gun in one mans hands will out preform one in another mans hands with the same ammo.
Now the Leverlution ammo has some promise in the performance arena.
If we could only get the components.
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Old August 19, 2007, 09:07 AM   #11
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Rate of descent = independent of Mass.

ursavus.elemensis,

Not to split hairs, but both the 150 gr and the 170 gr bullets fall at exactly the same rate. You're correct in that they have different "weight" but what makes the lighter 150 gr trajectory "flatter" is that it is traveling faster. The heavy, slower 170gr bullet will hit the ground closer to the shooter, but at the same time as the light, fast 150 gr bullet which hits the ground farther away. (all things being equal) Does that make sense?

What helps me remember/understand this is the old Galileo Galilei experiment where he dropped two very different sized balls off the Leaning Tower of Pisa. They hit the ground simultaneously even though they had different mass & weight (weight is actually a measure of Force). You can try it yourself at home with different objects. Compare a pencil and your wallet. I just did it for kicks. I still makes me humble when I realize the "caliber" (pun intended) of brains this guy had to not only buck the system, but prove his theories as well!

Cheers,
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Old August 19, 2007, 10:22 AM   #12
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Gbro,

NO!!!

I have to add, I am probably the antithesis of what you are implying. There are only a couple .30-30's in my collection. My current favorite is the .444 and in the last couple of years I have taken just 'bout every big game in North America with that. But that being said, in all my travels, I have used a .30-30 on most also and with similar results. My single most productive hunting rifle was/is my '94 Trapper, chambered for .44Mag, it has taken 13 Whitetail, 1 Black Bear, and one 5 X 6 Bull Elk across the Clark Fork up in the Bitterroot. All these are against your theory of hydrostatic shock or whatever other BS that can be dreamed up to facilitate the itsey, bitsey calibers. Kinda like the Jap bikes vs the Harley....ya gotta make up an excuse for why you can't step up to the plate.
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Old August 19, 2007, 10:39 AM   #13
ursavus.elemensis
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"Not to split hairs, but both the 150 gr and the 170 gr bullets fall at exactly the same rate. ...The heavy, slower 170gr bullet will hit the ground closer to the shooter, but at the same time as the light, fast 150 gr bullet which hits the ground farther away. (all things being equal) Does that make sense?"

I know that, and was trying to phrase my original post in a way that made that clear, but I couldn't get the words out correctly. I know that downward acceloration due to gravity is 9.8 meters per second(squared) regardless of mass of the falling object.

I guess that to summarize my original querstion I'd ask this:
1. Do the heavier 170 gr bullets really accomplish anything that the 150 gr bullets can not?
2. Does the heavier 170 gr bullet travel as far and at as flat a trajectory from the rifle as the lighter 150 gr bullet?

I guess another thing I could have asked, but don't want to start fights over, is this: Does the (possibly) increased hunting effectiveness of the heavier 170 gr bullet outweigh the disadvantage of having a bullet that travels less far than the 150 gr bullet and that travels with less of a flat trajectory than the 150 gr bullet?

I'd summarize the answers I've gotten as follows:
1. Lots of deer and other animals would prefer not to get hit by a 30-30 round (and those deer were delicious, by the way), but some hunters would be even happier hunting with something that they feel is more powerful.
2. There may be more knock-down / fast-killing power with the 170 gr bullets, but many of you are unconvinced that this is anything more than advertising hype.
3. Some folks trust the new Hornady pointy bullets for lever rifles. On that point, I will say this: I accidentally bought a box of their 30-30 leveRevolution bullets without realizing that they were pointy. The elastomer tip (red plasticy kind of thing at the tip) is cute and all that, but I don't put pointy bullets in my lever rifles. Just too scared to do that.
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Old August 19, 2007, 12:05 PM   #14
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If and when I buy store bought ammo, the 170's seem to be more readily available. At least in areas that I frequent, in fact when I hunt in Canada, all the calibers lean towards the heavier bullets in almost all guises. That goes for Northern Wisconsin and the UP too.
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Old August 19, 2007, 03:47 PM   #15
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My first rifle was a Winchester 94 rifle in 30-30. I hunted with it for about 10-12 years, then it got set aside in favor of scoped rfiles. When I needed money after a divorce about 20 years ago, I unwisely sold it. Not that I shot it or hunted with it that much, but it was a very fine rifle, shot well and killed everything I shot at. I almost always shot 170 gr. It worked.
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Old August 19, 2007, 04:01 PM   #16
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I will always have a spot in the safe for my '94. my longest kill was a whitetail at 140yds using 150gr winchester ammo, he never took a step.
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Old August 20, 2007, 07:40 AM   #17
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150 vs 170 grain

Ursavus,

This might cost you some $ but it would be worth it, I think.
Buy a box of 150 and another box of 170 and try each, seeing which one seems to be more accurate in your rifle the way you shoot it.

I know you're trying to get a sense of which is the more deadly round but the most deadly round is the one that hits were you're aiming. Bullet placement is far more important than an extra 20 grains.

But if I were forced to answer your question, and if we don't get into reloading where you can tinker with the ballistics to a high degree (I don't reload for rifle)...I would choose the 170 gr and here's why; The area where I hunt with my Winchester 94 (.30-30) is dense woods so all my shots are short. I don't think trajectory matters. Both 150 and 170 will be pretty flat at short range so I opt for the heavier bullet. Now if I were shooting at longer ranges and certainly over 100yds, I would choose the 150gr for the flatter trajectory and less holdover. It's just easier to be accurate with a flatter shooting bullet under most circumstances. I could be wrong here in some instances, and doubtless there are exceptions to every generalization.

My brush deer gun = Win .30-30 [170gr]
My field deer gun = Rem 700 .25-06 [120-gr]

There are many variables to shooting and hunting, including velocity, energy and how much of the kinetic energy is actually imparted on (or inside) the target vs. passing entirely through etc. That's why all this stuff is so interesting!

And don't be afraid of the LeveRevolution bullets. They were specifically designed for tube magazines to "give the old lever action rifles a new lease on life." Their soft & floppy pointy tips are more aerodynamic than a flat nose, creating flatter trajectories, more energy and more range. They can't detonate a primer. Frankly, they're probably safer than bumping soft led nose bullets up against each other, tip-to-primer, although that is pretty darn safe too. Hopefully, others can comment on this topic. My experience shooting the LeveRevolution ammo is limited to one box so far. But if it's good enough for Craig Boddington, hell, who are we to complain?

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Old August 20, 2007, 09:16 AM   #18
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I personally use 170 gr soft points in my shortened 336C, and the 160 gr LeverEvolution ammo in my 336XLR. Two different setups for different purposes.

The LE ammo in the XLR is a very accurate combination. While my 336C is set up for use as a short range (relatively) hard-hitting carbine, the XLR is more of a general hunting / target rifle (for me). I use a ghost ring on the carbine for quick sight alignment, and the factory irons on the XLR for more precision out to about 150 yards. I don't scope my lever guns, but if I were going to the XLR would be a good choice to mount a scope on.

At some point I'd like to try Federal's 125 gr hollow point ammo in my rifles to see which one shoots them better. In the carbine it would probably make a decent defensive round if I were ever to go that route, but the XLR's slower rate of twist might be more accurate with that light of a bullet. It might even be a fairly good varmint round in the XLR within its effective range.
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Old August 20, 2007, 09:22 AM   #19
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336xlr

I'm envious of your 336XLR. I want one really bad! They look like they have the makings of a great gun!

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Old August 20, 2007, 10:14 AM   #20
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You asked for a comparison of the two loadings.

The Remington ammunition website has a very useful feature which does EXACTLY that - - You can compare loadings of the same cartridge, or see what it says about ttwo different cartridges. Not sure, but I think there's a maximum of four in any given search.

Click HERE for a comparison of the classic Remington Core-Lokt bullets in 150 and 170 gr. They're calling most all the hunting loads "Express" nowadays.

Two notes:
1. These results are from firings in 24-inch barrels, NOT the most common 20-inch, or the increasingly popular, even shorter barrels.
2. I ran only the comparison requested. Remington offers two other .30-30 cartridges - - a 125-gr and a 150 hollow point.

Best of luck
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