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Thread: .44 mag "killing power" vs. .30-30



  1. #1
    Tenderfoot
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    .44 mag "killing power" vs. .30-30

    Hey All,


    I've been poking around on the internet crunching numbers and I've noticed that ( at least with 100 yds or so ) a .44 mag carbine ( w/ heavy bullets ) seems to have more killing power than a .30-30. I compared various bullet weights ( 170gr. for the .30-30 and 240-300gr. for the .44 ) and that's what I came up with. I guess I want an excuse to buy an 1894 (.44) to hunt hogs with in TX. The plan is to put a peep sight on it as I was told that we may get some close / running shots where we're going. In my mind, the .44 would have more knock down power on big pigs. I know you can't only rely upon these paper stats, but am I correct in this?

    -Kevin
    "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist." - C.S. Lewis

  2. #2
    Team 35 Remington Co-Capt'n Contributing Member
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    Re: .44 mag "killing power" vs. .30-30

    I always like a bigger, heavier bullet. Did you run the ballistics on the 44 vs the 30-30 out to say 150 yards? Do that and see what it looks like.

    If you are concerned, forget the 1894 and get a 444!
    MGSchindel likes this.
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  3. #3
    High Priest of the Powder Hoarders Super Moderator
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    Re: .44 mag "killing power" vs. .30-30

    I don't think the pig would be able to tell any difference between the two. Buy what you want, use good bullets, and put them where they need to go. Study the anatomy of the critter you want to ventilate, and talk to those who have hunted them extensively, they will be able to offer good, proven insight on where to hit them to bring them down cleanly.

    The 30-30 offers enhanced penetration over the 44, but big heavy, fat bullets do a lot of damage. Either would serve you well, but if you're looking for an excuse a great reason to buy a 44, I say go for it.
    "There is a fine line between a hobby and Mental Illness". Dave Barry

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  4. #4
    Gun Wizard
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    Re: .44 mag "killing power" vs. .30-30

    I don't know if Paco Kelly is read very much by others but I have read several of his articles. Some think he is great and others think he is full of hot air. Myself, I just look at his writings as that of another writer and as possible information for use myself if I can find supporting material. Anyway as a guy that has no use for muzzle velocity for killing power, here is what he has to say on the subject.

    "A better comparison indicator for me, of where a handloaded round is in the scale of killing ability...is to compare itís standing against other rounds without the over rated muzzle energy figures. If you multiply the velocity times the bullet weight, and then divide by 7000 (number of grains in a lb, itís the old Keith method) you get a better picture of actual power/killing levels compared to other rounds. 2000 X 275 div 7000 = KS(Killing Scale) of 79 for this 45 long Colt load from the Rossi 1892. A 44 magnum Ruger revolver with a 275 grain (same nose shape) cast WFN bullet at 1400 FPS velocity reaches a level of KS 55, and thatís a heavy handgun load thatís harvests larger medium game very well.

    A 30-30 with a 170 gr bullet at 2200 FPS gives a level of power ranking at KS 53.4... ahh yes dear reader, the 44 mag from a long gun really does have more power at 100 yards than a 30-30/170 commercial load. Of course the 44 mag/275 gr. load above from a rifle, at basically the same velocity as the 275 gr./45 long Colt from a rifle has the same killing level potential as the 45 long Colt. There are difficulties with all measuring methods of bullet energy and killing ability since so much more is involved than just velocity and weight...but this works for me when we are comparing the same bullet shape/content and construct with changes in weight or velocity.

    The neat thing about this method is you can take the down range velocities all the way out to your longest range and compare them with the down range velocities of other rounds, calibers and see the changes compared to each other. The 45 long Colt at 100 yards has slowed to 1600 FPS and the killing level has dropped to almost KS of 63 from 79. Where the 30-30 load has dropped to 1930FPS to a KS 46 from 53.4.....that should make a few yell Ďfoul...canít beí, but it is! And from my use of these 45 loads in the field for years on large game....I can tell you it is.....! As many gunwriters have stated over the years, a 44 mag or heavy loaded 45 long Colt fired from a rifle is more powerful than a 30-30 at 100 yards....actually they are more powerful than the great 30-30, at a lot further than 100 yards.....

    So the next time someone states the 44 mag and 45 long Colt from rifles only has an advantage over the 30-30 under 100 yards...show him the error of his reality. But remember bullet drop with the larger calibers, is more than the 308 calibers ....But that never bothered me....mainly because I started rifle shooting without scopes and learned how to compensate....scopes were far from being seen, much less using them, when we were boys."
    SI VIS PACEM--PARA BELLUM

  5. #5
    High Priest of the Powder Hoarders Super Moderator
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    Re: .44 mag "killing power" vs. .30-30

    Gohon, that sounds an awful lot like what I've been preaching for many years..........Energy figures are horribly skewed because the velocity is squared. Momentum is a better way of measuring power.

    There have been dozens of attempts over the years to quantify Killing Power. There are lots of factors involved besides weight and speed. Bullet shape, sectional density, alloy hardness, nose diameter, meplat dimensions, they all have an effect. I'm doubtful anyone will ever come up with a system that will make it all fit into neat little rows on paper.

    Just the variance between a critter grazing peacefully, and one who is on Full Alert when you shoot can make half the difference..........
    "There is a fine line between a hobby and Mental Illness". Dave Barry

    Team 1894 #4
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  6. #6
    Cowpoke
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    Re: .44 mag "killing power" vs. .30-30

    Quote Originally Posted by Halwg
    I always like a bigger, heavier bullet. Did you run the ballistics on the 44 vs the 30-30 out to say 150 yards? Do that and see what it looks like.

    If you are concerned, forget the 1894 and get a 444!
    FWIW,... I agree. I have found that everything the 44mag can do, the 444 can do it better. And I have been a 44mag freak for more decades than I wish to remember. My "better half" has been eying my 1994 every time I express my growing appreciation of the 444. I guess I'll have to find a nice comfy pink sling for when I pass it on!!!


  7. #7
    Tinhorn
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    Re: .44 mag "killing power" vs. .30-30

    huh, i never doubted the 44's ability, but that's some good info! makes me glad i have one

  8. #8
    Cowpoke
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    Re: .44 mag "killing power" vs. .30-30

    TYPO guy,.... my mistake!!!

    Fixed.



  9. #9
    Wrangler
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    Re: .44 mag "killing power" vs. .30-30

    Elmer always said the only reason for high velocity was to flatten trajectory.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator
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    Re: .44 mag "killing power" vs. .30-30

    If ya gunna shootem at 200 yds get a 30-30, otherwise .44 will killem dead.

    Cheers,
    Mark.
    Love people and use things. NOT THE OPPOSITE.

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