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Old 03-01-2005, 06:32 PM
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Question Max Effective Range of 30-30 on Deer?

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What is the maximum effective range for a 30-30 in hunting deer? I say 200; my son says 250 yards.
Old 03-02-2005, 06:16 AM
OldWolf's Avatar
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Some schools of thought say you need 1000ftlbs of energy in the bullet when it hits the deer. Other schools say 750ftlbs.

At any rate, look at the trajectory tables of your load and figure out the range where these energies are and that is your "humane" range.

Speer 150 gr 30 cal. Flat Nose SP/cann 30-30 Win
MV 2250 fps

Load Data

Name: .308 Cal, , 150 grn
Ballistic Coeff: 0.268
Bullet Weight: 150
Velocity: 2250
Target Distance: 200
Scope Height: 1.500
Temperature: 70
Altitude: 500

Ballistic Data
Range Elevation Velocity Energy ETA Drop Max Y 10mph Wind Deflect
0 yds -1.50 in 2250 fps 1686 fpe 0.000 sec 0.00 in -1.50 in 0.00 in
25 yds 0.54 in 2177 fps 1579 fpe 0.034 sec 0.22 in -0.54 in 0.13 in
50 yds 2.12 in 2106 fps 1477 fpe 0.069 sec 0.90 in -0.37 in 0.43 in
75 yds 3.22 in 2036 fps 1380 fpe 0.105 sec 2.07 in -0.06 in 0.91 in
100 yds 3.79 in 1967 fps 1288 fpe 0.143 sec 3.75 in 0.39 in 1.62 in
125 yds 3.83 in 1899 fps 1201 fpe 0.181 sec 5.97 in 0.99 in 2.50 in
150 yds 3.24 in 1833 fps 1119 fpe 0.221 sec 8.82 in 1.78 in 3.71 in
175 yds 1.98 in 1769 fps 1043 fpe 0.263 sec 12.35 in 2.76 in 5.23 in
200 yds 0.00 in 1707 fps 971 fpe 0.307 sec 16.59 in 3.97 in 7.04 in
225 yds -2.72 in 1647 fps 903 fpe 0.352 sec 21.57 in 5.41 in 9.10 in
250 yds -6.22 in 1588 fps 840 fpe 0.398 sec 27.33 in 7.10 in 11.40 in
275 yds -10.50 in 1531 fps 780 fpe 0.446 sec 33.87 in 9.06 in 13.92 in
300 yds -15.74 in 1475 fps 725 fpe 0.495 sec 41.37 in 11.33 in 16.80 in
Old 03-02-2005, 09:50 AM
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I say 200. If you want to shoot deer at 250, get a 30-06 or a 270. I have a 30-30 and it's sighted in for a 100 yard zero. Even if you sight it in at a 200 yard zero, you're going to have a little holdover, as OldWolf's data shows. A 30-30 is a medium speed round...even slow by today's standards...it's not intended to be pushed for long range shots and it shouldn't be.

Personally, I don't shoot over 150 with my 30-30. If I am hunting where longer shots can happen, I'll grab my 270 Win....

But 200 yards shouldn't be too much of a stretc with the 30-30, in my opinion.
Old 03-02-2005, 12:00 PM
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2 basic questions:

1. How far away can you hit a deer with a .30-30?

2. At what range does the remaining velocity of the bullet drop below the point at which it will reliably expand?

The first is pretty easy to determine; the second, less so.

I'd say the great majority of us would be well-advised to keep shots under 200 yards.

Originally Posted by faucettb
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Old 03-04-2005, 12:55 PM
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If you are a one caliber person and that cal is a 30-30 A handloader, confident of your rifle and abilities. Can punch a hole through the games lungs and heart your distance is limited to your ability.
Old 03-05-2005, 12:12 PM
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I hunt mule deer with my 30-30 in areas where most guys would reach for a .270 or magnum. Yet, I've had outstanding success year after year.

Mulies can be stalked; this fact is overlooked by modern hunting magazines. Yet I rarely shoot much beyond 150 yards or so. Longest shot I remember with 30-30 carbine was about 200 yards or so. I had a rock steady rest and waited for the buck to turn broadside to me. My scope was set on 5X and the sight picture was clear and steady as I fired. My 170 grain bullet struck the center of his shoulder and this buck toppled over. Try this shot placement with a .243 or .270 and you'll toss out the meat from both shoulders. But the milder 30-30 does not produce same horrendous tissue damage.

I placed my bullet into the shoulder bone(s)to help it expand. 200 yards is where the 30-30 is losing velocity quickly. I'm not sure this bullet would expand much with a behind-the-shoulder placement. At any rate, I'd take another shot like this again with confidence that 30-30 is up to the task.

Sight in your 30-30 to strike right on at 150 yards. It will be about 3-5 inches low at 200 yards. All 170 grain factory ammo is suitable for these longer shots. I also like the performance and accurasy of Winchester 150 grain Silver Tip ammo.

Good hunting to you.
Old 03-25-2005, 09:08 AM
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Myself, I wouldn't take a shot over about 180 yards with a 30-30 for clean kill on deer with factory ammo. If remember correctly, you want to have a terminal energy around 900 ft/lbs or better in order to cleanly kill. I've used the 30-30 to take many deer, and most of my shots were well under 100 yds. due to local conditions. I haven't researched the ballistics, but I believe that out past 180 yards or so the energy just isn't there. Just my 2 cents worth...
Old 03-25-2005, 11:54 AM
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How the heck can you tell the difference between 180 yds and 200 yds while out hunting? Sure after the shot one could pace it off, but can anybody really judge distance that accurately just by sight? I know I can't.
Old 03-25-2005, 11:59 AM
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Thanks for your input!

In shooting factory 30-30 ammo using Grand Slam bullets, Federal's 2004 Catalog says that the 150-gr. variety has 1100 ft. lbs of ME at 200 yards and the 170-gr. is at 1115.

Federal isn't loading Speer's Grand Slam anymore due to slow sales.

I only have 2 boxes left of the aerodynamic 150-gr. Grand Slams and after that might have The Hunting Shack load-up some Hornady 170-gr. flat nosed rounds.

Old 03-25-2005, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Kart29
How the heck can you tell the difference between 180 yds and 200 yds while out hunting? Sure after the shot one could pace it off, but can anybody really judge distance that accurately just by sight? I know I can't.
I've usually hunted the same spot for 20 years, so I know how far everything is. When I do hunt different spots, I usually use a laser rangefinder to determine the distance of certain objects downrange and keep mental note of how far they are. Another way to determine range is to use a telescopic sight, I won't go into detail there's plenty published on the subject. I'm just used to determining range ahead of time since I also bowhunt. And no, I probably couldn't tell you if a target was 180 or 200 yards just by eyeballing it, but my point was I don't consider 30-30 effective past that distance.
Old 03-25-2005, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Kart29
How the heck can you tell the difference between 180 yds and 200 yds while out hunting? Sure after the shot one could pace it off, but can anybody really judge distance that accurately just by sight? I know I can't.
A lasrer range finder certainly takes the mystery out of it pretty quickly, but even without one you can make reasonable range estimates using your duplex scope reticle as a reference. (Not that you can tell the difference betwen 180 and 200 yards, though. At least I can't.)

With a duplex scope reticle the trick is to see how much the thin portion of the reticle subtends at a measured range. The Leupold 2-7 scope on my .45-70 subtends 12" at 4.5x at 100 yards, measured from the center crossover point to the thicker part of the verticle post. At 200 yards that's 24". If I put the scope on an animal and can see his back and belly between those two points, I figure I'm good to go.
Coyote Hunter - NRA, GOA, DAD
Old 03-26-2005, 06:16 AM
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Probably the biggest limiting factor to the effective range of a 30-30 is the sighting system. I would hazard a guess that nearly 75% of all 30-30's out there are wearing the factory iron sights. That will pretty much make any shots beyond 130yards darn near impossible since the iron sights the factories put on are so big they make any precission beyond 130 yards hopeless. Now if you re-do the sights or are using a scope 200 yards is my personal maximum.
Using a 170gr. Speer flat point(highest BC for a 30-30 bullet) driven at close to factory published velocities 2100to 2200fps in a well constructed handload, you only need to be 3" high at 100 to be dead on at 150 and around 4" low at 200 yards, there is plenty of energy to kill deer sized game cleanly out to 200yards. Heck check out the on paper ballistics at 50 yards for a 44-40.

Last edited by Dick284; 03-26-2005 at 06:18 AM.
Old 03-30-2005, 05:20 AM
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Pointed bullets extend 30-30 effective range by many yards. But the shooter must follow safety rules and load his carbine as a single shot. Nosler's 125 grain Ballistic Tip, Hornady 130 grain Spire Point, and Speer 130 grain pointed soft point are all good deer topplers. They can be used to knock over even big mulies out to about 225 yards or so. Beyond this distance, the bullet trajectory is dropping rapidly. There are much better cartridges for shots beyond 225 yards.
Old 04-28-2005, 05:29 PM
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I have personally killed deer with one shot multiple times at 150 -200 yards. Somehow I managed to do the same once at 230. But there are other times i couldnt hit the barn door from the inside.
Old 11-10-2005, 10:05 PM
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Check out the new Hornady LEVERevolution rounds. They turn the 30-30 Win, .35 Rem, 444 Marlin, 45-70 and 450 Mar rounds into 300 yard deer rifles. Check out the ballistics and all on the Hornady site.

Range Finder
MT - Range Finder
MT - since 7/03

Old 11-11-2005, 09:49 PM
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going by a average 8 inch vital zone on deer.
figure a 6 inch zone to accomidate human error, rifle shake, bad point of aim, etc.

using rem. core-lokt 150 grain you want
180 yd. zero which calculates to max range of 210 yds. without holding over.
bullet would be hitting 2.82 inches high at 110 yds.
bullet would be hitting 2.95 inches low at 210 yds.
wich makes up a 6 inch vital.
with hold-over 150 grain bullet is good to about 225 yd at 800 ft lb of energy

170 grain is as follows
175 yd. zero
205 yd. max
2.92 high at 100 yd.
2.83 low at 205 yd.
with hold-over 170 grain bullet is good to about 270 yd at 800 ft lb of energy
Old 11-11-2005, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Range Finder

Check out the new Hornady LEVERevolution rounds. They turn the 30-30 Win, .35 Rem, 444 Marlin, 45-70 and 450 Mar rounds into 300 yard deer rifles. Check out the ballistics and all on the Hornady site.

Range Finder
Thats exactly what I was going to say. For the 30-30 they list something like a 12" drop at 300yds and a little over 1000ftlbs of energy at said distance. Personally If im going to be hunting anywhere where I expect shots over 200 yds I'll be toting my .308. but if the 30-30 was all I had then I Think I would definitly check out the new Hornady ammo. If their figures are true you really have a new advantage.
Old 11-12-2005, 03:11 PM
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I vote with MikeG. All the numbers are interesting but FIRST the shooter must know his/her own limitations as a marksman.

If you can consistently (90+%) hit the vitals of a deer at 200 yds. or more, the 30-30 cartridge will be effective. Most of us, me included, have a maximum effective range somewhere inside of 200yds. And I know the cartridge is effective there.

I live and hunt in Wyoming. In the last 14 seasons I have not fired at ranges greater than 200 yds. more thanfour or five times. This year I took an antelope @ 150, mule deer @ 85, and elk @ 45 yards. I used scoped rifles in '06 and 35 Whelen, but a 30-30 would have done the job in each case, given the same POI.
"Hunt close, then get closer."
Old 11-13-2005, 08:13 AM
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if you'd like to expand your reach with a 30-30, check out this stuff, only a .2 inch drop at 200 yards, so id say you could reach out a bit further than that, hornady leverevolution

Old 12-25-2010, 10:10 AM
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Location: Mississippi
Posts: 12
30-30 winchester

I have been hunting deer since I was a kid with a 30-30 Winchester. I bought my own when I was about 28 from a pawn shop for like $100. It's old and beat up. With this gun to begin with all I used was iron sights. This may be unbelievable but after 6 shots I hit a doe from right at 400 yards the bullet went in hit her heart and stopped. I was on the last click of iron sights. only bullets I use is 150 grain power point. 2 yrs ago I decided to put a side mount scope on because the woods I hunt are thick and it's really hard to see. With this scope I set to be 3/4" to rights so my accuracy would be correct for long shots. The farthest I have killed a deer with it is 289 yards it zeroed at 100 yards. My cross hair was right at top of bucks back and the bullet hit him in bottom of chest in liver. He only ran 20 yards with a screech like i have never heard. the fall of the bullet was approximately 16". My scope has notches on my vertical line so now I have set it to be dead on at 400 yards on bottom notch. It is 1" high at 100 yards. Under that I use Iron sights. Unless it's to thick in brush. In my mind the 30-30 Winchester is the best gun there is. It seems to have more knock down power than any gun I have used.
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