Many states consider the 30 carbine round too small for deer with my state being one of them. Would imagine under the right conditions with proper shot placement it would get the job done. After all if a 357 magnum is considered adquate enough then why isn't a 30 carbine?
My dad used one to harvest a blacktail out West and while it worked, the deer went several hundred yards (mostly downhill) so he decided he wouldn't do that again. Just about any caliber "can" kill stuff, it's a question of how well, or how quickly. Most deer hunters use larger, more powerful cartridges because they want to decide the matter without undue suffering to the animal or long, difficult tracking jobs.
There are many hunters out there who can sit at a bench and shoot 1" groups all day long. When you're out in the field, leaning against a tree or even resting your gun on a fallen log, the pressure of having a big game animal in your sights can really test your ability to put the bullet exactly where you want it. When you start with barely enough gun, missing by even a little bit can have disastrous results. When you've got plenty of gun, you can miss by 2 or 3 inches and still break a shoulder, destroy the liver, or otherwise make a killing shot. In the field, you can't bank on perfect shot angles or the calm, precise conditions you practice at the bench, so it's best to have a little insurance in your choice of cartridge.
On our little central Texas deer it would work. At close range in the cedar brush. You still would have an issue having enough blood trail to follow one, but yeah you could have a dead deer.
Moving just a few miles to the north where I lease, no way! The deer are about 50% bigger on average and the ranges much longer. And those whitetails aren't near what they are in the north woods of this country, or in the mountains, etc.......
Just brought up the comparison as "whitetail deer" can go from 50 lbs, soaking wet (Fla keys) to 300+. Stating your location and average live weight might shed some light on the issue.
As said, shot placement is key, and I think bullet choice is also important. I've taken a couple of small arizona whitetails with the .30 carbine handloaded with Speer 110 grain hollowpoints and the deer never knew it wasn't a 30/06. The shots were broadside and the exit holes were golf ball size, they went no more the maybe 10 steps and fell over dead. Now if you're thinking of spraying lead after a running deer, I wouldn't.
Hunt like a bowhunter [under 50 yds], use sort points or HP ammo, and keep the shots broadside if possible. I know the 30 carbine has more energy than a 357mag when shot in revolvers, so it should be ok if you get close and aim carefully.
If your in close, accurate, and patient, anything kills deer. FYI I happened on an episode of American Airgunner and one guy killed an Ibex at 62 yards with and airgun, and his buddy killed some other kind of sheep or goat at 50 yards! I think they were some where in Texas.
The .30 carbine would, in my opinion, be about as effective on deer as a .357 revolver would be. Most sources do not consider a .357 to be an ideal deer caliber, but everybody should agree that if you put a .357 (or .30 carbine) bullet behind the shoulder of a deer, you will have venison in the freezer.
Bigger guns will do it more spectacularly, farther away and are better for less than ideal conditions.
If I was hunting deer with either a .357 or a .30 carbine, I would limit my range to 50 yards and be really careful about placing my shots.
The Vermont state record for body weight of the Whitetail 257# field dressed was for many years held by a kid ( 16 at the time I believe ) . Guess what , he shot it with a 30 Carbine . I prefer my .358 Win.
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