I have always used 150 gr. A Marlin (house brand) that I picked up a couple of years ago shot 4 out of five at 100 yards into 7/8", with the one flyer opening it up to 1.5" at 100 yards. This was with Federal blue box factory ammo. Hard to argue with those results--for that gun, at least. Of course, now my son has made off with that one!
Shoot whichever one the rifle likes, but I would stick with 150's if the shots could a bit on the long side--say 150 yards or more--and 170's for close in work or bigger/heavier animals. I know a couple of people around here who hunt elk with a 30-30. That seems to be stretching it a bit in my opinion, but it seems to work for them.
12-05-2019, 07:08 AM
Hi. The 170 grains always been the better choice for the 30-30 win. It has a little less speed, but way better sectional density. Overall I prefer the 170 grains for all usage. Thanks
01-21-2020, 01:17 PM
Just reading through this thread with interest... Here in the UK, in my limited experience, finding factory 30-30 ammunition isn't always easy. After trying 3 different ones it was clear my 336 much prefers Federal power shok to the 2 others, and definitely 170gn and not 150gn. Based on that I started loading 170gn Sierra prohunter bullets with Vihtavuori N130, with very respectable results. Then I got hold of a box of Hornady leverevolution.... astonishing accuracy, and comfortably legal for hunting deer. The rifle likes them so much I'm not sure if I'll bother reloading!
But there's something I wanted to ask all you guys. My rifle is marked on the right hand side of the barrel, just in front of the receiver:
30/30 WIN 2.06''
Is this usual? I've taken it as confirmation that I should use 170gn ammo in this rifle, although I've had to rethink that since discovering the leverevolution!
01-21-2020, 01:21 PM
I believe that is normal for a gun sold/ imported to Europe / UK. The USA does not require that information and it does not appear on guns destined for the domestic US market.
ETA: That does not mean that is the recommended or best load; it is the load that was proofed.
01-21-2020, 02:05 PM
Thanks for the reply. I thought it was something like that. A couple of experienced firearms buffs that I've shown the rifle to had never seen that info engraved on a rifle...
I might try reloading 130 and 150gn and see if they group. But only because I have everything here ready to go and it'll be interesting to see what happens... otherwise I'd just stick with these excellent Hornady leverevolution!
01-22-2020, 05:31 AM
The 170 grain bullets have a reputaton of limited expansion on deer. Reloaders can get a bit more out of the cartridge with 150 grain bullets and LVR powder.
Speer makes a 130 grain JFP that can be driven to nearly 2500 fps. For factor ammo, the Hornady LVR is tough to beat for performance.
A former friend owned a small gun shop that I frequented. He absolutely hated 170 grain ammo in 30-30 rifles. He called them "tracking guns". You better be good at tracking if you use one.
Of course, there will be a group come on here after me and sing the virtues of their one shot stops with the 170 grain bullet. I go with what works all of the time. Not "most" of the time.