History of .30-30 Winchester Ammunition
In 1895, Winchester introduced the .30 Winchester Smokeless, with the head stamp .30 W.C.F. (Winchester Center Fire) in 1895. Soon after it was introduced, Marlin Firearms Company, in collaboration with Union Metallic Cartridge Company (now Remington) introduced their own version of the cartridge. They decided to use the common method of identifying the ammunition of the time by listing the caliber followed by the powder charge weight, thus the designation .30-30, or a .30 caliber bullet with a 30 grain powder charge.
Initially offered in a 160 grain bullet weight, the .30-30 was designed to be used as a short range rifle cartridge to hunt deer and other medium sized North American game. Today bullet weights commonly range from 110 to 170 grains with soft point bullets and hollow point bullets being the most common. The effective range was 200 yards, but with new technology, such as Hornady’s LEVERevolution cartridge, the bullet will retain over 1000 foot pounds of energy at 300 yards. This changes the .30-30 from a 200 yard deer gun, to a 300 yard deer cartridge. An impressive feat, for a cartridge that was known as a 200 yard deer cartridge for over a century.
The .30-30 has been offered in several types of guns. The most popular is without question, is the lever action. The Winchester Model 94 and the Marlin Model 336 are two fine examples of long lasting, high quality .30-30 lever action rifles. The .30-30 has also been offered in pump action (Savage Model 170C) and the bolt action (Savage Model 340). It is also available as a single shot pistol from Thompson Center, and a semi-custom revolver from Magnum Research in a model of their BFR revolver. Regardless of the firearm chosen, the .30-30 has been and still is a great choice for any medium sized game. Many hunters appreciate the mild recoil of this potent cartridge, while others like the compact rifles that are chambered in this caliber as they are light and easy to maneuver in brush country. Whatever the reason, the .30-30 is a cartridge that will most likely be in use for another 100 years.
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