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Best I recall the .30-30 cartridge came out in 1894 or '95 when did the first 30wcf model '93's come along? .DT
 

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Not all did. Marlin made some rifles in 38-55 and 32-40 with milder steel barrels stamped Black Powder.
 

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The 30-30 was introduced as smokeless.Some early rifles are reported without the SSS markings but are considered as made with smokeless steel.
The 25-36M and 32-40,and the38-55 were Blackpowder cartridges that became loaded with smokeless powder.It seems the were offered in
Smokeless powder in 1895 but not at high pressure loadings.There are rifles in these calibers made in 1895 and a little later not marked SSS
I think it would be a safe bet? to consider the barrels not made of Smokeless steel.
 

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Along this same topic, as I recall, most "experts" (you know, gun writers) ;D claim that the 1894 Win was the first rifle to use the 30 30 round, and it was smokeless.

Which of course brings up why they would call it a 30 30 in the first place, and this may be explained somewhere, but if it was I have forgotten the reason.

But one interesting trivia, is that I have noticed the early Marlins are always marked 30 30, while the early Wins are always marked 30 WCF, and one will not see "30 30" on Wins until what ever certain time frame.

I guess which was first, would depend on which gun first hit the market, either the 1893 Marlin or the 1894 Win. Anyone got any actual dates

Were any of the 1893s ever marked "30 WCF"
 

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I dont think we are the only ones with varying info. Cartridges of the World says 1895 for the round, and Norm Flayderman says 1894 for the first Wins and 1893 for the first 1893 Marlins :D

What does Brophy offer on the first year production 1893?

I would have to really dig to find when Win started calling it a 30 30 on their guns, but the info is known by the serious collectors.
 

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Marlin didn't like to even hint at the name Winchester on it's guns so they were marked 30-30. Much like they marked the 32 Winchester Special, the 32 HPS.
 

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a 30 caliber bullet with 30 gr. of powder hence the .30-30. Marlins were also more expensive than the "cheaper" Winchesters of the time. Man it was fun to say that. ;D
 

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"a 30 caliber bullet with 30 gr. of powder hence the .30-30."

That last makes sense, cept they never used black in it, and there was not 30 grains of smokeless, thus seems like they would have "jazzed" the name up somehow. Of course there were lots of guys spooked about smokeless for many years I guess. :)

It would still be interesting to know which came first, the 1893 or 1894 in 30 30, no matter the markings. I suppose its possible the 1893 was NOT offered in 30 30 the first few years, thus the 1894 WCF "was first". That assuming the 1893 came out a year before the Win, as Flayderman suggests.

And Flayderman may not have his facts either. :)

I suppose Win called it a WCF and UMC began the 30 30, under the same logic as Marlins aversion, which again, to me, with the smokeless transition, is a mystery, but cartridge names have always been less than written in stone, no matter who made them.
 

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It was pretty common back then especially with Winchester designed rounds for other companies to rename the cartridges.

32WCF = 32-20
38WCF = 38-40
44WCF = 44-40
And so on.

It's it's listed in numerous sources that the original 30-30 loading was a 160gr bullet and 30gr of smokeless powder. Thus UMC naming the round the 30-30.
 

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Acording to Brophy Marlin started making grade B black powder barrels in 1905, might have started marking the special smokeless barrels at the same time since all the 1893 barrels were smokeless steel until that point, I just dont know if they always marked them that way or started when they started offering grade B barrels. In a quick look I cant find where Brophy says, if he says, when they started offering the 30/30. I'd have expected 1896 since Win came out with it in 1895, but Brophu says on page 205 that the earliest 25/36 left on June 7, 1895 & I'd imagine that was after the first 30/30.
 

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According to famed "old shooter" Phil Sharpe, in his classic reloading book, he gives "designed by Win for use in their 1894", (which is commonly repeated)...."The cartridge was originally designed for 30 grains of black powder, but the powder and metal jacketed soft point bullets did not get along very well, and accordingly early loads were altered to handle smokeless powders" end quote.

Since the last designation in most of the rounds of the day, did signify the amount of black used, I would buy that the last number came from the grains of black intended to be used. They did have smokeless that imitated Black pressure issues, all are obsolete far as I know.

Generally after the transition, the grains of powder used in the name went away. It was still used of course, but had zip to do with the actual amount of smokeless used.

Sharpe says about the 25 35, "one of the Win series born around the turn of the century" then later on the 25 36 Marlin..."this cart. designed by William Lowe, as the 25 37, Marlin adopted it around 1897 but chose to call it the 25 36 Win followed shortly there after with the 25 35 WCF"

Sharpe was not a phony, and was one of the leading gun experimenters of the day. He certainly does not get the creds that a few of the others do, but his work was well tested, and he was not one to take credit for things developed elsewhere.

All the varying dates, leads me to believe that "who was first" depends on who told the story, and how large the tellers ego was.

But its like a lot of gun developments, to believe that Win totally had an original idea on the 30 30, and Marlin was out in the dark, is a little naive. Especially with the info offered by Sharpe on the 25 36 trivia. ;)


I suspect both outfits were burning mid night oil, to "be first". ;)
 

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It is my understanding that the 30-30 differed a bit from the other hyphenated calibers as always being a smokeless cartridge and being named that, as 30 caliber and 30 grains of Military smokeless powder.Also My belief that all 1893's had Smokeless steel barrels UNLESS marked "Black Powder " on it.
 

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Levergunz said:
It is my understanding that the 30-30 differed a bit from the other hyphenated calibers as always being a smokeless cartridge and being named that, as 30 caliber and 30 grains of Military smokeless powder.Also My belief that all 1893's had Smokeless steel barrels UNLESS marked "Black Powder " on it.

Thats what I thought too, but I was told yesterday on the collectors forum that the early unmarked 1893's were NOT smokeless steel. I cant find anything definitive about it in Brophy's book.
 

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I thought the ones marked BP were only made in the 32 40 and 38 55 ?? If there was never a BP 30 30 round off the line, it begs the question as too how some might have been made in BP proofed steel.

Or am I missing something? :D

Interesting thread.
 

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The original 1893's were in calibers 32-40 and 38-55.They were Black powder cartridges.
The 30 W.C.F.(30-30) didn't come out till mid to late 1895.This where the Smokeless steel comes in.
It seems a few early 30-30 barrels were not marked SSS be they are considered smokeless steel.
The 25-36 Marlin the 32-40 and the 38-55 all original blackpowder became available in smokeless
in 1895, but not at high velocity loadings.Soon after they did, and became fitted with smokeless
steel barrels.In 1903 Marlin started offering the 1893 in 32-40 and 38-55 in the B grade. They
are marked For Black Powder.
 
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