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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I have been following the 7-30 waters conversion. I am certain I am a bit uninformed. How superior is the 7-30? I realize that you will get a little better Sectional Density and a slightly better BC. I compaired the BC of the 130 grain Speer .308 fp and the 130 grain Speer 7mm fp. The 7mm is only slightly better. What am I missing? Is there more powder capacity in the 7-30 waters? It seems like the real difference may be the weight of the bullets that are prefered in each. Help me out here. What is the typical (realish) fps and drop on a typical 130 grain fp 7mm from the 7-30? I know that you can get about 2500 fps out of a 130 grain Speer fp .308 from a 30/30. That will give you about a 6 inch drop at 200 yards. How much better will the 7-30 Waters do?
Thanks
PB
 

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By no means am I an expert. However, I just got done reading Ken Watters Handload book, and the advantages of the 7-30 over the 30-30 are about the same as the 7-08 over the 308. Better downrange ballistics in the form of better energy delivery, sectional density, and less recoil. The disadvantages now are that there is only one or two bullets made for 7-30 and that nobody makes the gun (lever action). It uses a necked down 30-30 case. I am sure that many would enjoy this cartridge, but the availability of cartridges, bullets etc. eliminates those who realize that advantage. Those that relize advantage of 7mm over.308 will probably pursue other calibers more efficient yet. Namely those that are pointed, and not rounded.
 

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Dr. A said:
By no means am I an expert. However, I just got done reading Ken Watters Handload book, and the advantages of the 7-30 over the 30-30 are about the same as the 7-08 over the 308. Better downrange ballistics in the form of better energy delivery, sectional density, and less recoil. The disadvantages now are that there is only one or two bullets made for 7-30 and that nobody makes the gun (lever action). It uses a necked down 30-30 case. I am sure that many would enjoy this cartridge, but the availability of cartridges, bullets etc. eliminates those who realize that advantage. Those that relize advantage of 7mm over.308 will probably pursue other calibers more efficient yet. Namely those that are pointed, and not rounded.
Fairly well said. I've got both. The 7-30 Waters with the 120 gr. FP is much like the 6.5x55 loaded with the 140 gr. Not quite as fast, not quite as flat but pretty close.

Personally, I like the 170 gr. bullets in the .30-30. No comparison with velocities or trajectory of the 7-30 then.

Put another way the 7-30 is a better .25-35 than the .25-35 offering a similar weight bullet at 400 fps greater velocity. The .25-35 and it's kin the .25-36 and .25 Rem. were marketed as cartridges for the expert and all-around use.

That's my take on it.
 
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The 7-30 I hate to say is the answer to a non existant problem. For some reason the guys want to make a mid range antelope rifle out of a lever action brush gun. The 30-30 gives better penetration on hard angles for short range shooting. Apractised rifleman can make good shots out to around 200 yards with a 30-30 if he knows his rifle well and for me is scoped. The 284 was designed to give 270 ballistics in a short action lever or semi-auto rifle and it died quickly because for open country hunting a bolt action rifle works just fine. Meaning the 30-30 is just fine as a general purpose deer rifle, if you want more range you can easily pick out a rifle more suited in a cartridge that will far surpass anything you can get out of the 30-30 case.
 
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rickt300 said:
The 7-30 I hate to say is the answer to a non existant problem. For some reason the guys want to make a mid range antelope rifle out of a lever action brush gun. The 30-30 gives better penetration on hard angles for short range shooting. Apractised rifleman can make good shots out to around 200 yards with a 30-30 if he knows his rifle well and for me is scoped. The 284 was designed to give 270 ballistics in a short action lever or semi-auto rifle and it died quickly because for open country hunting a bolt action rifle works just fine. Meaning the 30-30 is just fine as a general purpose deer rifle, if you want more range you can easily pick out a rifle more suited in a cartridge that will far surpass anything you can get out of the 30-30 case.
Personally I don't see any problem !!!!! At present I own 5 30-30's and I still want a 7-30 Waters on a 336 action. And furthermore I have no intentions of taking it antelope hunting. I own quite a few bolt guns that I consider far better suited to slaying an antelope. My want of the 7-30 , is just for another lever gun to load and cast for :!: Sorry if this caused you any offense, but my desire for most any rifle anymore is just to be able to load and shoot . You also mention availability of ammo and components, anyone who would undertake this would more than likely lay in a supply of components before builing the gun WHICH I HAVE DONE , along with a bullet mold or two. I figure a thousand 120grain Nosler FP's , a thousand Hornady 139grain FP's and the same amount of the still made Speer 130 grain FP's should keep me shooting the rest of my life :!:
 
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I think the 7-30 and 30/30 compliment each other. Just adding a little variety to bullet weight and reloading choices. If you can only have one, by all means get a 30/30, but I'd rather have at least one of each. I have several bolt rifles that are more accurate long range hunting tools, but we love levers, right?

Bill
 

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I wouldn't consider the 7-30 superior to the 30-30, but each has its strong points. I just bought a 24inch barrel from www.midwayusa.com for a future project and that's the only thing I have right now a barrel. Well that and an idea. And I think leverguns can be as accurate as bolt guns. Several people I have talked to over the years can shoot 1in groups at 100yds, that's bolt gun accuracy. If you get a chance jump over to www.leverguns.com and look thru the article section for an article called "The Waters Edge" by Paco Kelly, you might find it rather interesting or may be able to answer some of your questions.

JDW
 

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Well I sort of ignored the "want one for fun" aspect and can't deny my own weakness in wanting different cartridges and bore diameters to play with. I have 4 different rifles that shoot 30 caliber bullets. 2 22 centerfires, a 6.5 ,a .7x57, a .270 and I am in the process of building another 22 centerfire. I would buy 7-30 Waters just because I haven't shot one yet but it would not be for superiority over say my 30-30 .
 

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At this time I have no use for a 7-30. But I sure have a want!!! Like some people I feel its just another great levergun to play with. Lets face it if it was all about a gun to hunt big game with everyone would own just one most likely a 30-06 or .308. Its about the pleasure of owning different things and enjoyment of them. I dont need a 25-35 or a 7-30 but I sure would like to have one!!
 

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At this time I have no use for a 7-30. But I sure have a want!!! Like some people I feel its just another great levergun to play with. Lets face it if it was all about a gun to hunt big game with everyone would own just one most likely a 30-06 or .308. Its about the pleasure of owning different things and enjoyment of them. I dont need a 25-35 or a 7-30 but I sure would like to have one!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good stuff. I wouldnt mind playing around with the 7-30 waters but the cost of the conversion in a Marlin is prohibitive. I guess finding a 94 wouldnt be a bad option if another $65 for a barrel is all it would take to start playing.

Having a gun in an unique caliber is fun. I do reload so ammo wouldnt be that much of a problem. Yet, if I can get 95% there with the 30/30 realistically going to the 7-30 waters probably wont ever happen for me. Maybe that is why it never really took off like it could have or even should have. That is probably the case with the 32special also. (Though I hear it was quite popular once upon a time) Great ideas but not enough of an improvement to get a huge following.

Thanks for the thoughts
PB
 

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I just want one of everything!!!!!!! Even if one performs better than another, that's not the point. I just like to load and shoot. My 30-30 easily breaks 2700fps with the speer 130gr. Now to my way of thinking, that ain't bad. Still, doesn't mean I don't want a 7-30 waters and a 25-35. And I wonder what that 130 speer will do out of a 307 or a 30-30ackley. These are things a man just needs to find out for himself or at least that's what I tell my wife. Keep it fun, Rick
 

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I can say that the 7-30 is a very effective deer cartridge, and the damage to lung tissue is noticeably greater than the typical .30-30 150 or 170 grain factory loads, which usually chronograph around 2200-2225 for 150's and around 2075 for the 170 grain bullets, fired from a 20 inch barrel. Cases are easy to form from .30-30 brass and have somewhat greater capacity than the original case, since the neck is shorter and the shoulder is moved significantly forward when fireformed.

I borrowed a friend's Model 94 in 7-30 to make a 275 yard shot on a big doe three years ago, and the recovered bullet had expanded well. This was a 120 grain Nosler Solid Base handloaded to 2725 fps, 20 inch barrel. She managed to go about 50 yards after the bullet struck. No worries about trajectory for all normal shots out to 200 yards. For the 275 yard shot I held just over the deer's back. Sights were a Williams Foolproof aperture and the factory bead front sight, zeroed 1 inch high at 100 yards. At 275 yards, the front bead nearly covers the entire deer, but my rest was dead steady, no wind.

I think the handloaded Waters is superior to the factory loaded .30-30 for deer, but the handloaded .30-30 narrows the gap somewhat. I also think the 170 grain bullet, handloaded in the .30-30, has the edge over the Waters for bigger critters like hogs or black bear. I don't know if the 139 grain Hornady flatpoint is made any longer for the Waters, but would use that in preference to the 120 grain weights for bigger animals.

The .30-30 is the better cast bullet cartridge.

The 94 Winchester mentioned is very accurate, one of the most accurate leverguns I've ever shot despite the full length magazine tube. I theorize this is because the smaller 7mm hole makes for a stiffer barrel that resists group stringing as the barrel heats up.

The 7-30 is a good cartridge for the Contender pistol, and works on deer out of a 14 inch barrel as well, as I've proven to my own satisfaction. The Hornday 120 SSP plastic tip was the best of the single shot pistol bullets made for the 7mm. It is still made, but is listed as 120 grains in weight without the SSP designation. It still has the Interlock ring to hold jacket and core together.

Maybe the cartridge wasn't necessary, but I can't fault Ken Waters for designing it. It's fun to shoot with light recoil and shoots somewhat flatter than the .30-30. It's a good alternative to the .30-30 for most uses, and you confuse the hell out of people when you tell them the levergun they're shooting is a 7 millimeter and not a "thutty thutty."

If you want one and can spend the bucks, build it. It's fun to be different.
 

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Thanks for that imput, 35 Rem, always nice to hear your take on these things. I want one, but I want a version I've never seen. How about a 7-30 Ackley Improved? Couldn't you take the 30-30AI and neck it down? Now THAT would add some punch as well as range! Has anyone ever tried this one? I've never seen it mentioned anywhere. I know it sounds like I'm trying to turn an antique into a wonderboomer, but I'm just thinking about making a very efficient levergun cartridge!

Papajohn
 

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PapaJohn,

I think 35remingtons comments are on par from what I hear from most 7-30 shooters. I too want a different caliber and different type of rifle. I think the Winchester 94 is an excellent platform for such a project. I plan to use a 24inch 7-30 barrel that I have already purchased, button magazine, and cresent buttplate. Bluing and barrel work will be done by a gunsmith and I am planning on doing my own wood. Probably won't go too fancy on the wood, but enough that will catch the eye and hopefully bluing and wood will compliment each other nicely. I really like the ballistics for the little 7mm. Good luck in your project and keep us posted.

JDW
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Lantrad,
You said, "My 30-30 easily breaks 2700fps with the speer 130gr. Now to my way of thinking, that ain't bad."

No kidding that aint bad. Do you have a 24 inch barrel? What load are you using? I can imagen approaching 2600 but 2700 is smoking.
PB
 

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pappajohn/7-30 imp.

pappajohn... J.D.Jones will rechamber a mdl. 94 to his companies 7/30 Jones(7/30 imp. so to speak). He quoted me a price sometime back but I dont recall the exact figure. It didn't seem unreasonable at the time, I just decided to leave things alone. Sincerley, Copen.
 

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7/30 imp.

papajohn, sorry, I should have mentioned that my rifle is a Winc.94XTR,but I can't imagine the price for the work would be much different.The latest edition of Cartridges of The World shows about 200 fps, give or take, increase.But I beleave that was in a T.C.Contender.Anyway you might check S.S.K Industries.Sincerely,Copen
 

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Since the Waters is "improved" already, the actual velocity gain by changing it to any other form is very small, and considerably less than the 200 fps quoted in Cartridges of the World. That may have been in reference to a different case than the 7-30 Waters uses. If they are using the Waters case (.30-30) and are gaining 200 fps, they are loading it to considerably higher pressure than the 7-30 Waters, which should not be done even with the improved shape.

A good reason for the conversion would be to reduce the fairly steep taper of the Waters case, which causes noticeable stretching when top loads are fired and then resized. Changing to a wildcat design with less taper would reduce this, but it may prevent the cartridges from feeding as smoothly from magazine to chamber. The savings in brass resulting from increased case life would probably not be enough to pay for the cost of the conversion, even if you do a lot of shooting. The velocity increase should be more on the order of 40-50 fps, since the gain in capacity isn't much. Certainly the capacity gain is much less than was obtained when the shoulder of the original parent .30-30 case is blown forward to form the 7-30 Waters.

If you want more performance than the Waters offers you're better off going to a larger case than trying to improve what already might be optimum in a .30-30 case sized cartridge. The 7mm STE comes to mind.
 

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Actually I used the wrong reference.The 10th edition doesn't give much about the fps increase.My CRS disease is getting worse. The 6th edition says about the 7JDJ 2 " The#2 version is based on the 307 Winc. case and will give 2400-2450fps with acceptable pressures and 140 gr. bullets. The 307 case must be necked to 7mm and fireformed.The 7x30 JDJ is ballistically identical and does not require an additional die and manual necking operation". If you can get a copy of The Legacy Of Lever Guns, there are two loads listed in the Favorite Lever Guns and Their Loads article by Layne Simpson who apparently came up with the 7mmSTE. He also used a Marlin 336 for this cartridge. The Cartridges of the World illustrations do suggest a sharper shoulder and perhaps less taper. It's hard to say just by looking. Sorry about the mix up. The other consideration is J.D.Jones used a Contender but #6 states in the chapter by Jones that lever actions can be rechambered to the improved version(7x30JDJ) and firing factory ammo in the improved chamber forms the case.Hope this helps.Sincerely,Copen
 
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