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Hi to all you fellow cast bullet, lever action rifle enthusiasts. Thought I'd pass this along for what it's worth.

In December of 1896, Winchester began offering special .30 W.C.F. "Short Range" ammunition for to be used for "small game where the more powerful cartridge is not necessary". Cartridges contained a 100 gr. lead bullet and 6 grains of powder. The cartridge illustration in this catalog was shown as the .30-6-100.

Back in those days of yore, when it took several weeks of pay just to buy one rifle, the versatility offered by these new "Short Range" cartridges allowed a family the use of one gun for all hunting situations.

In 1904, Winchester increased the lead bullet weight from 100 to 117 grs. and changed the bullet profile from a round nose to a flat point. UMC ( Union Metallic Cartridge Co.) had similar offerings.

These “Short Range” cartridges were easily identified by having a cannelure part way down the case neck. It was used to keep the soft, pure lead bullet from being pushed into the case under spring pressure while in the magazine.

Winchester .30 W.C.F. “Short Range” ammunition was cataloged until the mid 1920's when it was taken out of production.

Velocities were never listed in any of the catalogs, but I was able to obtain some original lead bulleted cartridges, extract the obsolete powder and bullets and reload the components into modern brass. Velocities ranged between 1120 to 1200 f.p.s. depending on bullet weight.

In an effort to duplicate this historical ammunition, I tested numerous current powders and found that 5.5 grains of Winchesters 231 or Hodgdon’s HP38 worked the best, giving velocities in the same range. 6 grains of 4756 also worked well and matched the original powder charge.

Just recently (2008) I found that 6.0 / Trailboss works very well also, and, in fact, just may be the best powder for that application since it fills about 1/2 of the case.

The bullets I used were the 100 gr. RCBS and Lyman's 115 gr. 3118 made from wheel weights and sized to .311 dia. Marshall's 115 gr. FP would work well too.
(Since these bullets are much harder than pure lead, they will stay where they are seated even if they are not crimped.)

No fillers of any kind were used and accuracy was excellent, giving groups of 3/4" to 1 1/4" at 50 yards and 1 1/2" - 2 1/2" groups at 100 yards. I have fired them out to 200 meters on the NRA High Power Steel Chickens and they perform well at that distance! What fun!

These loads work the same way in the game fields today, as they did 100 years ago. So, if you want to step back in time, go woods wandering with your favorite .30-30 levergun in small game season with it's magazine filled with replications of this historic ammunition.

In that bygone era when mother nature provided the meat supply, the soft spoken report of the .30 W.C.F. "Short Range" cartridge meant sustenance for many families.

John Kort
a.k.a. w30wcf
a.k.a. Jack Christian SASS #11993
“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
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