It sure can be. For instance, shave off about 10 gr. of bullet weight, make the bullet pointy, jigger around a bit with the powder being used, and acheiving 100 fps or so of added velocity along with a slightly flatter trajectory is no big deal. It really gains you very little in terms of practical utility -- no one would argue that a "normal" .30-30 load, when used at ranges for which the rifle and cartridge were intended, will be significantly out-performed by the LeverEvolution load. What is DOES gain you is numbers that make for splendid gee-whiz ad copy.
I'm not saying the LE ammo is no good. If your rifle likes it, I am sure you will do at least as well with the LE as with anything else -- and maybe a bit better in some circumstances. But no one should think the stuff is miraculous, or even a significant step up from traditional loads. It's not better, it's not worse -- it is different. And that is the gimmick.
>Also, I don't understand how having almost the same knockdown power at 200 yards that a 170 gr gives at 100 yards can be considered of little practical utility.
Well, then, you don't seem to realize the reality of how virtually 100% of these rifles are used. I would venture to guess, backed by 45 years of experience hunting deer in all sorts of terrain, that the vast majority of hunting shots fired at big game by levergun carbines are at 100 yards or less, and a very significant portion at no more than 50. I realize there are parts of the country where 200 yards is a short shot, but that's not most places, and the man who would choose a .30-30 levergun for such a locale is severly limiting himself regardless of what ammo he's using. I love my Marlins and use them all the time here in the woods of the southeast, but if I were going to hunt out west the Marlins would stay home. That's what my Savage 99A .308 is for, and it puts the LE .30-30 pretty far in to the shade..
There's no denying these is a slight advantage in trajectory with the LE ammo, but at the typical ranges these guns are used that is a moot point, sort of like having a 50 MPH wheelchair -- neat, but where are you really going to get any benefit from it?
Hey, I've said over and over -- it's an improvement. But I have also said it is not enough of an improvement for anyone to lament missing. It does not turn a .30-30 in to a .308. If a man feels the need of a .308 or something more, he should get it -- the .30-30 won't do.
I think that Hornady's ballistics charts even sort of back up what I am saying -- they show a tremendous difference in trajectory at 300 yards between the regular .30-30 and the LE ammo, which is truly impressive -- until I note the figures are for regular .30-30 ammo zeroed at 100 yards and LE ammo set for 3" high at that range. Well, go out and actually shoot the two with both of them zeroed 3" high at 100 and you'll see much, much less of a difference in the two. Note, I'm not saying there is no difference, just that even Hornady presents the info in such a way as to exaggerrate that difference.
This information conforms very well with what I have said. No doubt the LE ammo is "better" at long ranges; BUT, even Hornady's own trajectory tables exaggerate the difference in comparison with "standard" ammo by showing the standard loads zeroed dead-on at 100 yards and the LE stuff zeroed 3" high at 100. Heck, let's compare standard ammo zeroed 3" high at 100, and LE zeroed dead-on at 100 and see which comes out on top. That'll be just as valid as Hornady's comparison.
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