I've never seen anything deadlier on deer than a 150 gr. .30-30 load on a broadside shot. That said, I use 170 gr. loads. Why? Well, of 4 Marlin .30's I've owned, each one shot just a hair more accurately with the 170 -- not enough to make any major difference, but every little bit helps. Also, in my experience the 170's penetrate just a bit better when the shot angle is less than ideal.
The differences are not great and, when you consider that the 150 shoots a little flatter, well, to me it's pretty much a toss-up.
I use from 125 to 150s depending on the rifle what it likes best. The 170s are the meat and potatoe bullets that put the 30-30 on the best selling bullet and firearm list every year you won't find a more accurate factory bullet for the 30-30 across the board and all brands. If the 170 won't do it you need a bigger gun. That being said, I have not felt the need for the 170 since I started hand loading, I get an occasional shot over 150yds and like the little flatter trajectory of my hand loads with the lighter bullets, (I trust their reliability more also) just one of the perks of the handloader. I do take extra care with my hunting loads, I load them as if I was back shooting benchrest.
I shoot Sierra's 150 gr. in My 1967 336RC, which I have owned since it was new. Back when I was a young man, I managed several three shot groups with this rifle that measured 3/4 in. at 100 yds. Never had a deer walk away from that bullet even when the shot was 150 yds. Have never seen any reason to use another bullet in that rifle.
The Remington 150grain core locks are really great they are what I use. I can relilably hit what I'm shooting at out to around 125 yards with the rem's using plain iron sights and they work great for my purposes.
Have any of you guys used the Federal vital shock bullets that shoot the 170 grain partitions?
I am sold on the Winchester 150 grain power point. It is very accurate in all my 30-30s. As for performance on deer, I have taken several with this bullet. I load with RE7. Most of my shots are head or neck with predictable results. Body shots on deer leave a large exit channel and a very short blood trail. This bullet is too light and frangible for body shots on hogs in my experience.
I have loaded the 30-30 since I was 14 and I'm 49 now. I hve never noticed the 170 grain bullets having an accuracy edge and I have owned around ten different rifles that I reloaded for. My deer loads usually comprise of the Speer hotcor 150, Hornady's RN or Sierr's flat nose and I get perfect results. In my present 30-30 the Speer 150 is the most accurate of the three but the Sierra opens the fastest. The Remington 170 corelokt shoots very well also and I may use it on a feral hog this fall/winter.
My Marlin 30AS 30-30 (now setup with an old Glenfield 4x32 on a weaver mount) has a distinct preference for Remington Core-Lokt 170gr rounds. I have tried 150's and also Winchester Silvertips (both 150 & 170) and the 30AS still likes the Core-Lokt 170's and groups beautifully at 100 yards!
With that being said, and with the 30-30 now having a nice (but older) 4x32 scope zeroed at 100 yds, I wonder what the max range could be. I've never really shot over 100 yards with it, so I'm not sure.
Right now I got it setup to be roughly 1/2-3/4" high at 50 yards and perfectly zeroed at 100. I don't know... maybe I should leave well enough alone, like the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
Question: Is it wise to push the 30-30 out to 150-200 yards, or would I get a flatter trajectory with 150gr rounds at 150 yards?
I'm not sure.... I checked Speer's website and they have hyperlinks to Federal ammo, but it's mostly handgun bullets. I'll double check Federal's website too and see about the 30-30 round and see if they list the bullet type.
I used 170 corelokts for years, lots of dead deer, but...
I never recovered a bullet no matter the range or angle, and had some interesting tracking jobs. I felt I wasn't getting the energy transfer for the ultimate shock value.
I tried the 170 HP corelokts, and noticed little differance. I then switched to Win. 150 PP's., they work VERY well, as I suppose the 150 corelokts would also.
Deer just seem to drop faster than with the 170's.
The 150's are equally accurate in my rifle, after a sight adjustment. I'm still getting pass thru's, but they do work better, on average, from my observations on many deer.
All deer shot were whitetails, Heart/lung shots,and range average's 30- 60 yards.
I really never use factory for anything other than getting brass and it may be that worked up reloads with 150 grain bullets shoot better than the average 150 grain factory load. That said I always recomend the 150 grain corelokt to my friends and they are always happy with the results. Another thing, penetration has never been lacking with the 150 grain bullet having recover few in years of shooting.
I worked with the 150 grain bullets for 35 Remington quite a bit in a 336, a Remington 760 and a 14" Contender barrel. I probably didn't try hard enough, but none of these shot them as well as any 200 grain bullet. I popped a couple of deer with the 150 and coincidentally recovered both bullets- a rare event for me with the 200's. Don't recall the deer being any less dead, but I still lean toward the 200 or Speer's 180. Speer's 220 seemed to be built a little stout, but that's an impression rather than a fact.