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Old February 2, 2010, 11:02 AM   #1
Join Date: September 17, 2008
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30/30 vs .308... Same Bullets?

So, my neighbor wants me to load 30/30 winchester. Myself, I'm sitting on PILES of .308 projectiles. The diameter is the same, the weight is the same... other than the fat rounded nose, is there any reason they can't be interchanged? I'm guessing something to do with pointy bullets in a lever action rifle...
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Old February 2, 2010, 11:07 AM   #2
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Standard diameter for .30-30 is .309. Standard diameter for .308 is .308. Not sure what the downside to using a slightly undersized bullet would be, other than poor accuracy (maybe). The bigger issue is one you've already hit upon and that is that pointy bullets and lever guns don't mix. Potential for catastrophe from primers being set off by the next bullet in line under recoil. If it's for a bolt action or single shot .30-30 it's OK, but it's important to clearly mark the ammo boxes so that somebody doesn't screw up sometime down the road and try to shoot them from a lever gun.

Another consideration would be the liability of loading for someone else.

Edit: upon further research it appears as if .307-.308 is standard for .30-30. Pulled that .309 figure off this website.
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Last edited by rantingredneck; February 2, 2010 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Bullet diameter info.....
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Old February 2, 2010, 11:28 AM   #3
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You'll find old production of 30-30 bullets to be .307 diameter but all new production is .308 including those made specifically for the 30-30. If you'll look in the reloading manual, it will tell you the diameter of the bullet that the data is for but all of my books, including the older ones, show the diameter at .308. If loading towards max, take into consideration the bearing surface on the barrel. I wouldn't expect it to be an issue but I don't know what "piles" of .308 bullets means. So effectually, there is no interchange as such. Just use the .308 you have provided these are not going into a tube magazine type rifle which you probably know needs to have a blunt bullet. If all you have are "pointy" bullets, they can be fired in a 30-30 successfully BUT only in single fire or where one is in the chamber and only one in the magazine. Considering you are loading these for some one else, make sure YOU test fire any loads in HIS rifle before handing the ammo to the guy.
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Old February 2, 2010, 11:45 AM   #4
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Bullets used in 30-30 and 308 rifles are the same dia. at least the ones I have all are. The problem with using the pointed bullets in the 30-30 tube magazine firearms where it's Spire Points,FMJ or Match HP design is the point of the bullet rest agents the primer and under recoil can set the primer off just like a firing pin and setting off every round in the magazine. The only exception to this other than the traditional RN or FP 30-30 bullets in a tubular magazine is the Hornady FTX flex tip SP which is safe to use in tubular magazines.

If the rifle in question is fed by a box magazine as in a Savage 340 bolt action,you can use any style bullet since they stack one on top of another instead of back to back in the magazine.
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Old February 2, 2010, 11:56 AM   #5
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Remember there's more to a bullet than just a "hunk of lead moving REALLYREALLY fast."

Just like hollowpoint pistol bullets are little miracles of modern machinery engineering, modern rifle bullets are also expressly designed for certain purposes.

Looking at a flatnosed 170gr .30-30 bullet, it has more bearing surface against the rifling. It is designed to fly about 2100fps or so, and impact a target between 1500 and 2000 fps for best expansion and penetration for the game it is designed to put down.

Looking at a spirepoint 165gr .308 bullet, it has less bearing surface against the rifling (compared to the .30-30 bullet). It is designed to fly about 2600fps or so, and impact a target around 2300 fps for best expansion and penetration for the game it is designed to put down.

If you launch that 165gr bullet from a .30-30's barrel at only 2100fps, it won't get the right rate of spin to stabilize (the barrel was designed to have more bearing surface to engage), and the bullet won't get enough speed to do its designed job of mushrooming and expansion.

Same thing goes if you take a Remington PSP 165gr bullet intended for .308 Winchester loads, and stick it in a .300 Remington Ultra Magnum at 3300fps.
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Old February 2, 2010, 05:54 PM   #6
Join Date: February 1, 2010
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i use the pointed 30 cal bullets for my bolt action 30-30 and havent had any issues, other than achieving the proper expansion at low velocities.
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Old February 2, 2010, 07:25 PM   #7
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Cool,sounds like the chief concern is the magazine tube. I measured the bullets with calipers, and they were the same diameter. By "Piles" of bullets, I reload .308 by the hundreds, and have a few thousand of everything on hand.

My neighbor is wanting to learn reloading, so it's a "WE" thing right now. Sounds like it works, just be aware that it can go horribly, horribly wrong
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