Social use of the .30-30

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Scott Tschirhart
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Social use of the .30-30

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Good morning,

Last night I was watching Yellowstone which is an interesting and violent series that I enjoy. Think about Hamlet set on a huge Montanna cattle ranch with folks who are not afraid to commit murder or other crimes. Its my guilty pleasure.

Anyway, last night Kevin Costner's character blasted another bad guy a couple of times in the belly with a .30-30 Winchester 94 at maybe 15-20 yards. Now, I know that in real life, there would be more than a bloodstain on this (maybe 170lb) man's shirt. And he would not be rolling around to show that the bullets did not punch all the way through his guts and leave a big nasty hole on the exit side. The film version is more satisfying, but not very realistic.

I used to carry a .30-30 in the patrol car, and although I never had cause to use it, I have seen several shootings where a .30-30 was employed and I can tell you that it is a wicked round on us hairless apes. Reading some of Keith's work you get the feel that a .30-30 was pretty effecive in the shootings he wrote about.

I wonder how the .30-30 fell out of favor? I think it is far more effective when it hits than any .223 round. More than likely you are not going to run dry if you are any kind of rifleman with the magazine capacity the Winchester 94 offers. It is light, handy and it points very easily. Reoil really is not a problem. It used to be issued by any number of law enforcement agencies and prisons. When I am on the border, I generally pack a good sixgun or 1911 and I almost always bring a .30-30 Winchester 94 and I don't stray far from it. In the console of my Jeep, there is a box of .45 ACP and two boxes of .30-30 170 grain factory ammo. So it hasn't fallen out of favor with me.

Any theories?
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by JimT »

A lot of gun buyers are not shooters in the "amateur ballistician" sense like a lot of those on this Forum. They read magazines and buy what is hyped. And businesses always try to sell the latest and greatest.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by 3leggedturtle »

People walk in all the time and say a 30/30 cant be shot at 200 yards because it drops so much. Also tell me it wont even go 400 yards! That you are better off throwing rocks than using a 30/30 past 100 yards. Or their grandpa, dad brother friend or other 3rd party shot a record size buck 5 times and ran it 2 miles and they couldnt find it til 3 days later. Or its unsafe to unliad or carry thru brush because a twig will catch hammer and pull it back and discharge a round when hammer drops. Or they sight it in dead on at 25 yards and complain its 2 feet low at 100. Its not a belted mag, short mag, high velocity round and/or its not a Creedmore! :mrgreen: I got about 20 more things I hear but you get the point. Rant off Todd/3leg

PS, ya know whats even weaker than a 30/30 against a person? Indian bow and arrow. When they shoot a cowboy it only goes in a few inches past the tip!
30/30 Winchester: Not accurate enough fer varmints, barely adequate for small deer; BUT In a 10" to 14" barrelled pistol; is good for moose/elk to 200 yards; ground squirrels to 300 metres

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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Grizz »

seems reasonable to me. my question about social use is, what load? Probably not the one tuned for 250 yards like ChuckHawk's.

what would be a preferred bullet weight, and Mv? assuming that the bullet shouldn't stop or deflect by glass or door panels, neither should it have full expansion velocity past some reasonable distance. A city block? Or two? I really don't know.

But judging by what happens to deer, it doesn't take a lot of Ooooompfh to bust the spine. A 380 will do that to a human.

Good topic.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Grizz »

it only goes in a few inches past the tip
.
Yeah'But, it dumps all the energy in the cowboy :!:

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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Blaine »

Over-penetration would be a concern where I live.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Sarge »

Scott your experience and mine parallel almost exactly on this topic. With any deer load the 30-30 wrecks hell out of the human anatomy, particularly at the ranges it is usually employed.

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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Sarge »

Excepted from https://www.thesixgunjournal.net/in-def ... inchester/

The new 1894 was notably handier than the vast majority of big game rifles then available and it didn’t kick as hard, either. These qualities endeared it generations of American hunters, ranchers, and lawmen.

Yes, lawmen- and that application is by no means limited to the last century. I have a few decades behind a badge, and many miles traveled, with a 94 Winchester within easy reach. Its presence has been comfort to me and a terror to the few wayward souls who got a social introduction to it. An awful lot of people have seen the 30-30 do its dirty work on junk dogs and deer; and they want no part of that on the third button of their shirt. For criminals in and behind autos, I am convinced that it beats a .223 all hollow. There are far worse choices in a defensive carbine and no less an authority than Jeff Cooper noted that fact.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by .45colt »

I remember a t.v. show several years ago about a widowed elderly Man who hired a young local women to clean His house. all was well for a while until the woman's druggie boyfriend showed up one day to take whatever He could from the old Guy. a struggle ensued in the kitchen and unknown to the thief there was a loaded 30-30 in a closet near the room. the Old Man shot Him in the kitchen and the crook fell dead just outside the house. He wasn't charged.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by buckeyeshooter »

The 30-30 is the classic deer round. A deer is as large or larger as a man in body weight and bone structure. There is no reason to expect it would not work the same way. As far as a .223, in many states it is not legal for deer hunting. It is a varmit round. I know it is said to be the best thing since sliced bread, but not for me.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by gcs »

I believe I read somewhere that prison guards 30-30s used 125 gr HP's,or 150 gr HPs .

Heck, any 30-30 round would be more then effective....
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by samsi »

It's a bit embarrassing to admit in this venue, but I never owned a '94 carbine in .30-30 myself until they stopped production in 2007(?). There was a 64 Deluxe, but other than that I was mainly a '92 and sometimes 1886 guy. That all started to change when someone pointed out that the old trienta-trienta was a near ballistic twin to the 7.62x39.

Mine's currently set up for in-close and quick with a full buckhorn and Marble's 3/32" bead, though if Ruger decides to make a 336 Trapper I can see picking one up to be outfitted with a scout mount and red dot. Ain't no flies on the Cowboy Assault Rifle.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by wvfarrier »

30-30 is used to kill moose.....if itll kill a moose...itll make an awful mess of a human bean. The only downside (by modern standards) is capacity. Modern folks would rather blast away 30 rounds instead of learning to use a rifle with accuracy and speed. Id take my Winchester 357 mag over an AR15 any day of the week and twice on Sunday. My Handloaded barnes 150 tsx-fn makes a deer look like a hand grenade went off inside it
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Trailboss »

wvfarrier wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 4:42 pm
My Handloaded barnes 150 tsx-fn makes a deer look like a hand grenade went off inside it
That doesn't sound good, must be lots of meat ruined.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Rockrat »

Never owned a 94. Shot one a few times, meh. Couple of 92's and 73's and about a half dozen Marlins over the years, just never a 94.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by wvfarrier »

Trailboss wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 5:19 pm
wvfarrier wrote:
Fri Nov 19, 2021 4:42 pm
My Handloaded barnes 150 tsx-fn makes a deer look like a hand grenade went off inside it
That doesn't sound good, must be lots of meat ruined.
Not at all. A shot right behind the front shoulder and all the energy dumped inside. It saves all the major meat groups. The only part I lose is the heart or lungs.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by AJMD429 »

.

I certainly agree in general that leverguns are very good options for general all-purpose firearms, including most types of self-defense, or home defense, although I would probably opt for a 44 Magnum or 45 Colt in a 10 shot Marlin 1894, partly for the extra three or four shots, partly for the bigger hole it may make for entrance and exit, and partly because in many instances of self-protection or nighttime use on the farm, I actually prefer the 'rainbow trajectory' of the big fat 40-something bullet versus the flatter 30 caliber trajectory.

I guess if there is a whole beehive full of bad guys coming at me, I want to have a box-magazine-fed semi-auto, or maybe for that matter a belt-fed full-auto, but that's not the situation most of us ever are going to have to deal with.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

My favorite guns.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by wvfarrier »

Ive toyed with some heavier (200 grain) hard cast in 30-30 at subsonic velocities. The result have been Minute of Bad Guy but not as good as I had hoped. The barrel twist rate just doesnt lend itself to really slow speeds.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Dang it, Scott, you are making me ache all over again for a .30-30. Killed my first two blacktails in Humboldt County, California, with the 336 that Dad mail-ordered for me from Herter's in 1968 or thereabouts.
I'll admit to preferring a Marlin to the 94, but they are two flavors of the very same ice cream.
Every so often I stumble across a "Speaking Frankly" article written by Frank Marshall for the Cast Bullet Association decades ago in which he extolls the performance of the old 190-grain softpoint loaded in the .303 Savage -- then recommends the Lyman 311407 and the RCBS 30-180 FN to essentially duplicate the Savage's excellent performance but in a .30-30.
I never did work up any cast loads for the .30-30s that have passed through my hands, and I regret this.
By the way, if anyone wants a copy of this, send me a PM with your e-mail and I will send a scan.
Thanks for this thread, Scott -- and have a blessed Thanksgiving!
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Guys,

I have dies and a lot of brass that I have saved over the years, but I have never loaded for the .30-30.

I shoot factory loads and I prefer 170 gr soft points. The one load that I really miss is the old 170 gr Winchester Silvertip. It had an aluminum cap over the soft point. It stood up well when carrying my 94 in the patrol car because the point would not deform like some soft points. It was accurate too.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by junkbug »

Some time ago I read an article about hunting accidents. Not sure how long ago. Of course the first question is "Was it really an accident?". But after that, it stated that gunshot wounds from a 30-30, (more so than most other popular cartridges) were almost always fatal. Evidently, the 30-30, being fine tuned for over 100 years for deer, was "just right" as far as bullet construction and velocity are concerned for deer size target. Which match people very closely. This would be as oppose to say, a 30-06, which is tuned for heavier game, and might pass through a person without full expansion.

Always had a huge amount of respect for the 30-30 after that.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

junkbug wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 9:25 am
Some time ago I read an article about hunting accidents. Not sure how long ago. Of course the first question is "Was it really an accident?". But after that, it stated that gunshot wounds from a 30-30, (more so than most other popular cartridges) were almost always fatal. Evidently, the 30-30, being fine tuned for over 100 years for deer, was "just right" as far as bullet construction and velocity are concerned for deer size target. Which match people very closely. This would be as oppose to say, a 30-06, which is tuned for heavier game, and might pass through a person without full expansion.

Always had a huge amount of respect for the 30-30 after that.
I think it is easier to make a bullet that will expand and perform properly at .30-30 velocities than it is to make one that might perform well in some of the more modern high powered rifles. Its a balance.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by JimT »

Scott Tschirhart wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 9:22 am
Guys,

I have dies and a lot of brass that I have saved over the years, but I have never loaded for the .30-30.

I shoot factory loads and I prefer 170 gr soft points. The one load that I really miss is the old 170 gr Winchester Silvertip. It had an aluminum cap over the soft point. It stood up well when carrying my 94 in the patrol car because the point would not deform like some soft points. It was accurate too.
The 170 gr. SilverTip is one of my favorite bullets in my '94 Trapper. I still have a small stash of them from when you could get 'em from Winchester many years ago. I also have several boxes loaded that I pull a few from if I am gonna be hunting with the Trapper.

The other bullet I really like is the 130 Speer Hot-Cor flat nose bullet. I have killed really big deer with that bullet and it performs very well.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Yeah, I don't know why they discontinued that ammunition Jim. It always performed well for me.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by JimT »

Scott Tschirhart wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:17 am
Yeah, I don't know why they discontinued that ammunition Jim. It always performed well for me.
I wish they still sold just the bullets. I don't mind reloading them. :)

EDIT: Some of my handloads
winchester silvertip2.JPG
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by FLINT »

I've had phenomenal success on deer with my marlin and winchester 30-30s, so I imagine they would be pretty devistating on 2 legged critters. I know I sure as heck wouldn't want to get hit with one.

the winchester silvertip was my favorite deer round also, until they stopped making them. Then I switched to the powermax bonded and those have been pretty awesome.

I know it isn't real life, but Walt Longmire frequently used a winchester 94 in 30-30.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by JimT »

Joaquin-Jackson.jpg
The real deal ...
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

JimT wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 6:45 pm
Joaquin-Jackson.jpg
The real deal ...
Joaquin Jackson got me into law enforcement and was my friend for over 40 years.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by JimT »

Yes sir. I remembered that. I am sorry I never got to meet the man.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Lastmohecken »

JimT wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 9:59 am
Scott Tschirhart wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 9:22 am
Guys,

I have dies and a lot of brass that I have saved over the years, but I have never loaded for the .30-30.

I shoot factory loads and I prefer 170 gr soft points. The one load that I really miss is the old 170 gr Winchester Silvertip. It had an aluminum cap over the soft point. It stood up well when carrying my 94 in the patrol car because the point would not deform like some soft points. It was accurate too.
The 170 gr. SilverTip is one of my favorite bullets in my '94 Trapper. I still have a small stash of them from when you could get 'em from Winchester many years ago. I also have several boxes loaded that I pull a few from if I am gonna be hunting with the Trapper.

The other bullet I really like is the 130 Speer Hot-Cor flat nose bullet. I have killed really big deer with that bullet and it performs very well.
Lu

Yes, I love that old Silvertip load, in both the 30/30 and .308 Win. I have killed more deer, etc. with the old silvertip load than any other. And luckily, I bought up a lot of it, when you could still get it. So, I am still using it.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by ollogger »

The 30-30 is a fine big game cartridge, am sure it has taken every big game animal in north America
and used all over the world, its done just fine for me, i have a few 94 Win. recently i got a bunch
of 100 gr. speer plinkers, if i can get them to shoot fairly well I would think they could make a good
social use bullet from a 94, have a few 223 guns but just cant like them even though they can really spit
the lead out & with varmint bullets they some times wont pass through a big coyote, I have to load up the
speer plinkers & test them on water jugs & wet news papers & run them over the chrony, i wont test them
on a deer but doubt if over penatration would be a problem



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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by 1894cfan »

I remember MANY years ago one hunter I ran across used a 100gr Speer plinker up the spout as his main hunting round with the rest in the tube magazine Win 150gr PPs for backup. Likely used the plinker for head shots and the rest for body shots! :shock:
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

For a truly great book on the Winchester 94 .30-30 I highly recommend this one from Sam Fadala.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by JB »

The 30-30 is probably just fine in the real world, but there is a certain charm to an automatic rifle capable of using 30 or 40 round magazines or even a drum.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Scott, I remember Sam using 748 to get things moving right along in the grand old .30 WCF. Isn't that one of those "Story Conversion" rifles on top on the cover?
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Steve in MO »

Scott Tschirhart wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 9:22 am
Guys,

I have dies and a lot of brass that I have saved over the years, but I have never loaded for the .30-30.

I shoot factory loads and I prefer 170 gr soft points. The one load that I really miss is the old 170 gr Winchester Silvertip. It had an aluminum cap over the soft point. It stood up well when carrying my 94 in the patrol car because the point would not deform like some soft points. It was accurate too.
I still have a few boxes of those Silvertip loads, too. However, my 94 definitely prefers the Remington 170gr Cor-Lokt. I reload for it a lot, and finally worked up a load using the Speer 130gr bullet that Jim mentioned.

I've carried mine many miles, and would have no problem using it for self defense. Mine has a butt cuff holding seven extra rounds, so I've got a full reload available on the gun, if need be. Right now, that should solve any problem I might encounter.

I was teaching a Vehicle Gunfighting class, and at the end of class we would shoot the vehicles with defensive ammo, so everyone could see what their ammo would do. My 30-30, with the Remington 170gr bullet, went through the back end of a minivan, through both seats, and stopped in the steering wheel. So the old 30-30 has more than enough power to do what any of us might want it to.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Steve in MO »

I remember reading that the 30-30 was also very popular during the Mexican Revolution from 1910-1920. I'm trying to figure out how there were that many of them down there, as opposed to 92s and 73s, since the 94 hadn't been out near as long as the others by the time the war started. Also, how were they getting the ammo for them?

I need to do more research on that war, I find it to be a fascinating time period.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Steve in MO »

http://www.andrewsleather.com/traditional.htm

I always thought one of these would be cool, but I can't see dropping that kind of coin on one! :o
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Steve in MO wrote:
Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:33 am
I remember reading that the 30-30 was also very popular during the Mexican Revolution from 1910-1920. I'm trying to figure out how there were that many of them down there, as opposed to 92s and 73s, since the 94 hadn't been out near as long as the others by the time the war started. Also, how were they getting the ammo for them?

I need to do more research on that war, I find it to be a fascinating time period.
I was on my way back to Texas after hanging out in Tucson and I dropped into Columbus New Mexico a few years ago. Turns out that Villa was buying a lot of guns in the United States. There was a hardware store in Columbus that was selling quite a quantity of guns and ammunition to Villa.

Villa's raid on Columbus was precipitated by an Executive Order from the US President that such sales would stop immediately. The hardware store owner had over $10,000 in advance money from Villa, and instead of refunding it, decided to keep it. The raid was not so much an act of war as an act of retribution. I don't think Villa knew that there were so many US troops in Columbus at the time.

At the old Depot (which is now a museum) they have a Winchester 1894 chambered in .25-35 on the wall. It was allegedly dropped by one of Villa's men. Think about how hard it would have been to get ammo for that in Mexico!
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Scott, my great-great Uncle Tobe Tipton (originally from Jacksboro, Texas) was the first mayor of Columbus, just prior to the Villa raid. It's a neat place to stop for the history. It has been noted that Pancho Villa State Park is the only known park in the United States dedicated to the only foreign commander to invade the homeland. 8)
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Bill that’s great! I found the museum down there fascinating. Of course I find all of that time period fascinating.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by AJMD429 »

JB wrote:
Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:53 pm
The 30-30 is probably just fine in the real world, but there is a certain charm to an automatic rifle capable of using 30 or 40 round magazines or even a drum.
Most would say the other way around, but I agree with you.
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33wcfshooter
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by 33wcfshooter »

I think whoever does the guns for Yellowstone might actually be from a farm or ranch. Taylor Sheridan's family owns a ranch so it might be right from his experience. The 30-30 is used pretty heavy as a saddle/ farm truck gun especially 94's to this day. I use one whenever we have to put down sick cows (worst job on the farm) works good (no drama) and no holes in the barns or other cattle as long as you watch what you doing.
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by mickbr »

I never owned one but a lot of my family do. Back when I was into big game rifles I gave my brother a 375H&H for christrmas. He had good fun shooting hogs with it but claimed for serious work the 30-30 was better. It killed as fast and obviously less recoil. Admittedly the 375 ammo was heavy jacket bullets probably not opening up much on medium hog bodies. Not saying a 30-30 is ever the equal of 375H&H, but its certainly good enough for ''hog size bodies'
Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

33wcfshooter wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:09 pm
I think whoever does the guns for Yellowstone might actually be from a farm or ranch. Taylor Sheridan's family owns a ranch so it might be right from his experience. The 30-30 is used pretty heavy as a saddle/ farm truck gun especially 94's to this day. I use one whenever we have to put down sick cows (worst job on the farm) works good (no drama) and no holes in the barns or other cattle as long as you watch what you doing.
Oh there’s plenty of Glocks and M4s in use in the series. I grew up on a ranch. My fraternal grandpa probably never owned a rifle chambered in anything but .22 lr. My maternal grandfather had a Model 94 rifle but he used a .270 for his deer hunting. My dad used a .30-06 sporterized Springfield.

I didn’t start using the.30-30 until I got one to carry in the patrol car. Which may have some influence on my interest.
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I did not realize how small that 94 Trapper looks in my hands until I posted this photo.
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AmBraCol
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by AmBraCol »

Scott Tschirhart wrote:
Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:48 am
I did not realize how small that 94 Trapper looks in my hands until I posted this photo.
As you look at that pic you realize why it feels so small and light and handy... :lol: A 94 carbine just "feels right". I sure enjoy shooting my grandpa's old 30-30 for that reason.
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Sevastopol
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by Sevastopol »

If I had to use my .30-30 socially, I'd go with some lighter bullets as fast as I could push them, like the Speer 130 gr.
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jeepnik
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Re: Social use of the .30-30

Post by jeepnik »

I like my 94's, being a southpaw they are all pre angle eject. But unlike Sevastapol I prefer heavier / slower bullets. "Socially" I don't figure I'll be making a lot of longer shots. When it comes right down to it I also prefer carbine / short rifle lengths. They are handier and a bit lighter. Truthfully if it came right down to it and I needed a levergun for such purposes I'd probably go with my Marlin 1895 GS. Big heavy bullet out of a short (relatively) barrel levergun would do just about anything I would need.
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