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It's been quite a number of years since I did a comparison of ammo in my 30-30, but I bought boxes of several brands and bullet weights to try at the range. In the end the Federal in 170gr loads grouped the best out of my rifle. I might mention that at the time the Hornady LE was not in that mix, and so don't know how that compares today. I actually bought some not all that long ago though, but haven't gotten around to trying it yet.
 

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I'm not convinced that 170 grain bullets are significantly more lethal than the 150 grain variety because I've had good luck with both. But for ammo selection, I typically buy Winchester Power Points.

TR

 

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I haven't shot a 30-30 for hunting
In many yrs. Hope to this year.
Have sited one in with 160gr. Hornady le. They grouped very well.. Hopefully we will see how they work.
 

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I like Remington Core-Lokt 170 grain. After comparing to Federal, Winchester, and others, it was the most accurate by a small margin. YMMV
 

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One rifle likes 150 grain Rem Core-Lokt. The other likes Ferderal blue box 170's.

I have not had issues with either one of them taking game.

The Hornady LE's group ok, but I'm not impressed with their terminal performance on deer.

I think last year I picked up some 170 grain "Buck Hammers". They may have been made by Winchester but also had the Mossy Oak logo on the box, maybe. I can't remember exactly right now. Anyway, they didn't group well at all in either of my rifles and I'll likely just shoot this ammo up when I'm playing around at the range. Your mileage may vary.
 

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Too many variables to proclaim one 30-30 cartridge is best. Best for what purpose? Best as in what characteristics?

The "best" cartridge in my 30-30, in my current situation, is a hand-loaded Lee C309-150-F, over-top IMR 4064.

The factory cartridges I've tried so far, weren't precise enough. If I were to have found a factory round that was precise enough, (and I am sure there are some that would have been,) that would have been my "favorite."
That choice didn't come from "wisdom.".. and it has little to offer others, since maybe 80% of the other 30-30s may not shoot that ammo precisely.
As long as the rifle/ammo combination is precise enough, the bullet hard enough to hold together while penetrating into the vitals, (probably a non issue,) shot placement does the rest.

...but seeing that I live in Ohio, whereas the 30-30 can only hunt varmints and the like; light, precise, bullets will do.
Now if I lived one state to the east, I would consider using the Lee C309-170-F to hunt black bear.
Yep, "Best for what purpose". That is the key ingredient. We use different caliber guns for different size game, so we would use different ammunition for different purposes. Unless I missed it, I don't remember seeing WHERE the OP lives. That is important too. Being that I live "One state to the east", I had to change the caliber firearm I use even for deer season because of the large number of bears we have in PA. My 30-30's would have no trouble putting down a PA deer, but if I end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong bear even during deer season, I will have a Marlin 336 chambered in 35 REM on the hunt. We have had two hunters that were attacked by black bears in the last few years and in both cases the hunters were injured and hospitalized. So, although I don't feel like I "need" a 35 REM to take down a deer, I want that extra firepower in case I run into the above problem bear.

So there is no one size fits all round for a 30-30, it depends on what and where you are hunting.



Mike T.
 
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You know, I bought two boxes each of Winchester (White/Silver Tip), Federal (blue), Remington Core-Lokt and PPK... 150 & 170 - all with the intent of shooting them for comparison... well, not more than three shots into it I forgot about everything but enjoying the shooting and went through about 6-7 boxes of ammo out back. I'm pretty much sure each round would have killed something as well as the next if it hit the right spot - just as sure as each one would have simply done damage if it didn't.

However, that said, I do enjoy Remington Core-Lokts 170gr when hunting simply because that is my personal preference for (some/whatever) reason - starting with it worked once, and then again... and then again ....... and then....

To restate an oft stated analogy - find what works for you and stick with it - if you are comfortable hitting a spot you pick at a distance you are comfortable with - with a round you choose - Use it and Do It to It!
 

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I've got a few hundred rounds of each in there ... plus that many, or more, reloads. It just all depends on your rifle IMHO. Some like to be fed one kind, another likes a different weight and manufacturer.

I'm of the general opinion that all of the major manufacturers make very decent ammo - especially the old standards. They've all helped me take whitetails and pigs outta my rifles.

With regard to the ballistic performance of the pill itself upon impact ... sure, heavier is usually better, but then again if 150 or 160 (gummies) get the job done at slightly longer ranges, while remaining accurate, then there is that to be said for lighter pills IMHO.
 

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I have a good stock of Federal Ammunition. It shoots good groups, is reliable, and to be honest it is less expensive than both Winchester and Remington ammunition. Being that I primarily use my 30-30's for target practice at the Range, Federal has proven to be the best value for me. Now, in 35 Remington, I have boxes of Hornady 200 grain ammunition because its readily available. I also like the longer range of that ammunition than flat point ammo. Last season I was able to snag a box of Remington "round points" in 35 REM in case I was looking for a shorter range shot than the Hornady and want something other than a flex tip round to stop a bear. So it goes back to what and where. Anyway, there is no such thing as "too much ammo". :top:


Mike T.
 
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