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Discussion Starter #1
I don't have a specific use for a lever action rifle, I just wanted one. I will use it for fun and defense if I need to, but I like to think about what is ideal.
I had to decide between .30-.30 and .44 Mag and picked .44 for a few reasons:

1. Holds 11 shots instead of 5.
2. Can shoot reduced loads in the form or .44 Special whereas it would not be possible to buy reduced .30-30s (although you could make them).

But I was unsure which was more "powerful." I note that the .30-.30 has 45 grains powder capacity whereas the .44 Mag is 39.6. So that would indicate that the .30-.30 has more potential, but in a .20" barrel, I see you can get an honest 1823 ft/lbs of energy from a standard (240 grain) bullet, whereas the .30-.30 is more like 1650 ft/lbs from a 150 grainer. Since speed is squared in the energy formula, and the .30-.30 has more speed, I find it surprising that the slower .44 Mag has more muzzle energy (in a 20" barrel).

So my guess, correct me if I am wrong, is that the .44 Mag will have more stopping power. This seems to be confirmed by people saying they would use a .44 Mag for bear defense. I have not heard anyone suggesting the .30-.30 for that.

Is this true? Would everyone consider the .44 Mag to be more "powerful" in a 20" barrel?

I do not that somewhere in the 50-100 yard range, the .30-.30 starts to gain an advantage due to better ballistic coefficient. But on a short open-sighted rifle like this, I would expect to get most of its use under 100 yards because further than that I would prefer a scoped bolt action.

So what do people think about .30-.30 vs .44 Mag?
 

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Hi, rsilvers:
  You need 2225 fps with the .30-30 for 1650 ft.lb. and 2340 fps to equal the .44 Mag's 1823 ft.lb. Most .30-30 data shows 2340+ fps. (Factory, Lyman, IMR & Hodgdon). I'd prefer the .30-30 in this country, `cause it's semi-open, but I'd like the .44's bigger bullet at close range.

Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I could be wrong on the velocity. I was assuming the barrel length I have (20"). Maybe the factory specs are for 24 or 26 inch barrels, or maybe I was low in general.
 

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Perhaps this will shed some light on the issue; or, perhaps it'll confuse...

First of all, I don't place much validity in foot pounds of energy.  To illustrate, lets look at an example in extremes.  A 55 grain bullet at 3800fps from the 220 Swift has the same foot pounds of energy as a 400 grain bullet at slightly over 1400fps from the 45-70.  Which would you choose to defend yourself from a grizzly bear attack?

OK... Given both cartridges shooting cast bullets with well designed nose/meplat configurations, the .44mag can be shown to be more powerful than the 30-30 with respect to the following.  TKO (Talor Knock Out) for the .44mag with 300 grain bullets at 1700fps (possible with 20" plus bbls) is approximately 31.5.  The 30-30 with a 170 grain bullet at 2200fps rates at 16.6.

The 300 grain 44 has a SD of .232 and the 170 grain 30's SD is .256.  It is apparent from these figures that the 30-30 may penetrate deeper; however, the 44 has a much higher TKO.  The clincher though, is that the 30-30 has to expand to catch up to the frontal area of the .44 and in doing so it will possess a TSD (Terminal Sectional Density) somewhat less than its in-flight SD.  The 30-30 will not penetrate nearly as deep in its expanding form, whereas the unexpanded .44 with about a .320" meplat will plow through deer, elk and even grizzly bear at all kinds of angles through the vitals and leave a golf ball size hole going out.  I'm assuming an impact velocity of at least 1400fps, which is easily obtainable at a distance of 100 yards with a well designed 44/300.

Forty Four
 
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