30 30 ballistics

30 30 ballistics DEFAULT



The author’s shooting partner lines up a shot

Whatever you call it, arguably no other round has taken more deer than the . Winchester.

The world is a crazy place. Dangers lurk around every corner. Or do they? The media, in all its forms, does nothing to stop the spread of fear. Threats are out there; they have always been. Those who came before us faced many risks, but they didn’t let the concern for those dangers control their lives.

Neither should we. The growing paranoia has opened up an entire firearms market geared to the prepper, the survivalist and those just looking to protect their home and family. This is a really big business. Still others believe they can’t protect their property and their lives with anything less than an AK or an AR.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. One only needs to look back at our country’s turbulent history to see that. A few hundred years ago, people defended themselves with the same firearms they used to put food on the table. Believe me, a hunting rifle you use to hunt deer, bear and boar will put a world of hurt on someone looking to do you harm.

Don’t get me wrong; ARs and AKs are great firearms. I spent 12 years of my life in the military, where I had to familiarize myself with many different firearms—ARs and AKs being only a couple of them.

With that said, I’ll take a person who can use a hunting rifle efficiently any day over someone armed with an AK but who can’t hit the broad side of a barn. It is not the rifle but the person using it.

The author poses with his Henry and a fresh target.


In the late s, Benjamin Tyler Henry, a gunsmith working for Oliver Winchester at the New Haven Arms Company (later to become Winchester Arms), made improvements on a repeating rifle. Henry was granted a patent for his design in Thus was born the lever-action repeating rifle; at that point, it was chambered in caliber. These new rifles allowed the shooter to fire up to 45 times per minute.

The author’s first was a Marlin similar to this one.

While 10, Henry rifles saw action in the American Civil War, it was during the Westward Expansion that these rifles really shined. Those pioneering men and women used the Henry for hunting elk, deer and bison and also defended themselves from some Native Americans, as well as thieves and bears. Indeed, it was the rifles produced by Henry (and later, Winchester) that won the West.

Loading the Henry ’s tubular magazine with five rounds

The Henry with a round in the chamber


This article is about the , so why discuss the lever-action ? Well, it was this rifle that paved the way for all the lever-action rifles we see today, including the Henry introduced the world to the lever-action repeating rifle, but it was John M. Browning and Winchester Arms that brought us the

In , Winchester produced the first smokeless caliber round to be used in the company’s Model lever-action rifle (today’s Model 94 is the direct descendant of the ). There was a need for a smaller-caliber hunting round to be used in areas of dense cover, as well as a rifle to shoot it. The Model was that rifle. Both the round and the rifle were introduced to the world in

Not to be outdone, Marlin chambered its Model to take this new cartridge. The original Winchester cartridge was known as the Winchester Centerfire or the Winchester Smokeless. The “” designation came about because Marlin didn’t want the Winchester name on anything to do with its (Marlin’s) product. The second “30” stands for the 30 grains of smokeless powder used in the rounds at the time. Today, we know the round as the Winchester. Whatever you call it, arguably no other round has taken more deer than the Winchester.

About 30 years ago, I bought my first rifle, a Marlin I loved that rifle, and I fell in love with the round. It was perfect for the woods here, in New Hampshire and Vermont, where I do most of my hunting and where most shots are in the range of 75 yards or fewer. Due to financial reasons, I ended up selling that rifle. Since then, I have gotten myself a Henry Model HB, and all is good in the world once again. My friend and hunting partner, Mark, bought a Winchester Model 94AE about 30 years ago, and it is still going strong.

The is not the heaviest-hitting round out there, and it is not the fastest. With an effective range of about yards, it drops faster than other rounds, such as the Winchester, Winchester and the Springfield. It doesn’t have a real heavy payload, especially compared to the or the

So, what makes the the perfect round for both hunting and defense? It is very simple: You don’t need an overly powerful round to be effective. As with hunting in the woods, in a personal survival/defense situation, most of your shots are going to be well under that yard mark. It is much better to hit and bring down your target at 75 yards than it is to shoot and miss or wound at yards. It is not the amount of lead you can throw down range that counts, but shot placement.

This Federal Fusion grain round packs plenty of energy for hunting and self-defense.


When it comes to ammunition for the , the rounds you would use for hunting work perfectly well for home- and self-defense. There are no “special” rounds for this gun. The theory is that if it will drop a deer, bear or boar at 75 yards, it will drop anything.

With that said, the right ammunition for your rifle might or might not be the same stuff that I use in mine. Every rifle is different, so you will need to experiment.

Many companies manufacture ammunition, and all of them are good. My Henry happens to work best with either Federal Premium grain Trophy Copper or Federal Fusion grain rounds. My Marlin liked Remington, and my friend, Mark, likes to use Winchester ammunition in his Winchester Model

According to the people at Henry, “Once you find the ammunition that functions best, keep with it.” I have to agree. Most rounds come in either or grain bullets, although there are some and grain bullets out there. Both the Fusion and the Federal Premium rounds retain a lot of energy after they leave the barrel. At yards, the Fusion rounds are at 1, fps, and the Premium are at 1, fps—more than enough to knock down a deer or a threat.

The author at the range with his Henry

Federal Premium grain cartridges are some of the author’s favorites.


I recently paid a visit to Manchester Firing Line, an indoor shooting range near my home. I was there with my friend, Stan, to put a few rounds down range. With a couple of feet of snow on the ground, the range was the perfect place to do this.

Because Manchester Firing Line is an indoor range, the maximum distance was 20 yards—good enough to put a few rounds down range and see what the Henry could do. It is also approximately the range you would probably be in during a defensive situation. I didn’t use a bench rest to make my shots, because this is not how I hunt, and it definitely wasn’t what you’d be doing in a defensive situation. I put three rounds of grain and then grain down range from the standing position. After 20 rounds (10 of each), I consistently put the rounds in the red. This is what I would expect at 20 yards. What I didn’t expect was that I was able to do it with the factory-set sights. There was very little recoil—which translates to the being the perfect gun for the new shooter.

Most rifles weigh in at about 8 pounds. My Henry weighs pounds. This is important: A or a is great at long distances, and they carry more knock-down power than the However, they are also heavier and give one heck of a kick when discharged.

The light weight of the allows the shooter to carry the rifle all day and bring it instantly to the shoulder when needed. The minimal kick is a blessing, especially when making continuous shots. This is extremely important when you have to bug out. A larger, heavier rifle will slow you down.

Being able to move fast and defending yourself at the same time is the name of the game. You can do that with a

Federal Premium grain cartridges are some of the author’s favorites.


The late s brought about the advent of smokeless powder and numerous new firearm calibers. The was just one of them. With new designs in both cartridges and rifles, it was possible, and desirable, for there to be a smaller, lighter combination for the hunter venturing out into the dense brush.

Winchester came out with the WCF, and John M. Browning designed the Model 94 rifle. He based it on the design developed by Benjamin Tyler Henry while he, too, worked for Winchester. Marlin soon jumped on the bandwagon. Finally, Henry Repeating Arms did the same. Today, Winchester, Marlin and Henry produce the top three rifles available. I have shot them all, and I like them all.


While we all like to shoot—and that is the fun part of gun ownership—in order to keep doing so, we need to clean and maintain our firearms. Some firearms can be a real chore to take care of, but that’s not the case with the With few moving parts, you can have this firearm cleaned and put away very quickly.

Henry Repeating Arms claims that you don’t need to disassemble its rifle to clean it. Simply open the action and run a cleaning rod from the muzzle to the breech. With the action open, the bolt is exposed, so all you need to do is wipe it down with a rag and then re-oil it.

I like to use really good quality products to clean my firearms. Products such as Hoppe’s #9, Shooter’s Choice MC#7 bore cleaner or Outers Bore Cleaner will all make short work of the fouling in the barrel. I will then use Quick Scrub by Shooter’s Choice or Crud Cutter by Outers to clean the inside of the receiver.

A good bore cleaner is a must to keep your weapons safe and accurate.

Cleaning the Henry is relatively easy and quick.


When it comes to my firearms, I follow the “K.I.S.S.” principle (“keep it simple, stupid”). The fewer moving parts (springs and such), the better. When out in the bush or at night, I don’t want to be fumbling with small parts in the off chance that I do need to break down the firearm.

Lose a small spring or a screw, and you are pretty much sunk. No gun parts are available in the woods or when you could be holed up in a survival situation. There are no small parts on the that you need to worry about. The lever-action is very simple. It is fully mechanical and has very few moving parts. With moderate maintenance, my Henry functions like new every time.

Most rifles are fed using a tubular magazine. Due to laws, most lever-action s will only hold five rounds (although some hold six, and older models hold more). Ammunition used in s has a round or flat nose, thus allowing it to be loaded into the tubular magazine without the fear of an accidental discharge.

The beauty of the is that ammunition is usually readily available. It is a very popular hunting round, and thus, most stores that carry ammunition usually have it on the shelves. It is also affordable.

The same can’t be said for NATO or ammunition. It isn’t that there is not plenty of it out there; it is a matter of getting your hands on some before it is sold out. On a recent trip to Bass Pro Shops to pick up rounds, I watched box after box of and ammo fly off the shelves. And, due to the demand for this ammo, dealers can charge a pretty penny for it.

The author’s hunting partner bought this Winchester Model 94 about 30 years ago and still uses it today.


There is an old adage: “You get what you pay for.” This applies to firearms. We all want to get the most bang for our buck, and if you price rifles, you will soon realize that with the —no matter what make—you get just that.

I researched many sources, both stores and online, and this is what I found: A Marlin will run between $ and $ A newer Winchester Model 94 runs between $ and $, and the Henry will run between $ and $ Of course, all these rifles go on sale periodically, and you can always pick up used ones, sometimes at really good prices.

While some may think that these prices are high, you need to take a good look at all gun prices. Even rifles can get a bit pricey. Take a good look at the prices for ARs and AKs. Most of them run anywhere from $ to well over $1, I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to pay that price for a rifle whose only purpose is for “self-defense.” When you weigh everything out, the is the best deal around.

Because it is a fully mechanical operating firearm, there are very few things that can go wrong with a lever-action ; that is what makes it so reliable. With proper care, it will keep going and going.

Whether I am putting food on the table or defending my family from danger, I want a firearm that will do the job, and the is that firearm. From the very beginning of our country, people have been using hunting firearms for personal defense, and there is no need to stop now. If you want an AR or an AK, go right ahead, but I will stick to those firearms I have come to rely upon … and my is one of them.








Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the June  print issue of American Survival Guide.

Sours: https://www.americanoutdoor.guide/prepping/food-prepping/survival-hunting-prepping/thewinchester-rifle-for-hunting-and-self-defense/

Winchester Ballistics

Ballistics and Drop for the Winchester


Cartridge Type: Rifle
Height: "
Width: "
Average FPS:
Average Energy:
Average Gr:
Power Rank: of 20

The technically called the Winchester is a centerfire cartridge was introduced to the USA back in the s. This like the is just an amazing bit of American pride and one of the top rounds in its class.

This round was designed for the lever action Winchesters, and you would be hard pressed to find a chambered BAR (bolt action rifle) in most gun shops unless they have an oddball laying around.

The grain range on the is going to range somewhere around gr. The average bullet speed for the Win is around 2, fps although some go as slow as 2, and the Remington Accelerator Soft Point, 55gr leaves the barrel at fps.

All in all if you are looking for a deer rifle this is the round for you. It's a killer..(no pun intended) deer cartridge that has proven itself to be a classic.

*Casing image above is an artist rendering and not a real photo of Winchester Ballistics cartridge. While we have went to great lengths to make sure that it's as accurate as possible this rendering should not be used to generate specs for casings.

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Handpicked Winchester Ballistics Videos from YouTube

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Known Rounds

Winchester-Winchester Power-Point, Winchester-Remington Soft Point Core-Lokt, Winchester-Hornady FTX, Winchester-Federal Hi-Shok Soft Point FN, Winchester-Winchester Power-Point, Winchester-Winchester Power-Point, Winchester-Winchester Silvertip, Winchester-Federal Nosler Partition, Winchester-Winchester Silvertip, Winchester-Remington Core-Lokt Pointed Soft Point - Managed Recoil, Winchester-Remington Core-Lokt Hollow Point, Winchester-Remington Core-Lokt Soft Point, Winchester-Federal Hi-Shok Soft Point FN, Winchester-Hornady Flat Point InterLock, Winchester-Federal Hi-Shok Hollow Point,

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Other Cartridges with Similar Widths (cartridges not bullets)

Winchester, Dakota, 10mm Auto, Weatherby Magnum, Smith & Wesson, Smith & Wesson Schofield, x74R, Winchester, Short Colt, Remington Short Action Ultra Magnum, Dakota, Remington Magnum (Pistol Data), A-Square Dual Purpose Magnum (DPM), Weatherby, Linebaugh,

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Other Cartridges with Similar Length

Winchester, 7mm Weatherby Magnum, H&H Magnum, Weatherby Magnum, Dakota, Winchester Magnum, Ruger, Winchester Magnum, 7mm STW (Shooting Times Westerner), Remington Magnum, Weatherby Magnum, Rigby, Winchester (mm NATO), A-Square, mm () Lazzeroni Meteor,

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Bullet Database

View Entire Bullet Database View Entire Bullet Database   Custom ReportCreate Your Free Custom Ballistic Report

Power Rank

The PowerRank is an estimation of the cartridge power. The first number is the value of this cartridge, and the last number is the value of the most powerful round in our bullet database.

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Sours: http://gundata.org/cartridge/54/winchester/
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A Lever Action Winchester is Still One of the Best Deer Hunting Rifles (And Here’s Why)


Love it or hate it, over its soon-to-be year lifetime, the lever-action rifle has arguably killed more whitetail deer than any other single cartridge. And with the cartridge’s popularity still quite high, it’s doubtful it will be unseated in that category any time soon.

Released in , just a year after the popular Model Winchester lever gun was introduced, the Winchester was the first sporting cartridge loaded exclusively with smokeless powder. The original Winchester load had a grain round-nosed bullet leaving the muzzle at 1, feet per second, a substantial step up from other popular cartridges of the time like the Win. (grain bullet at 1, fps) and Win. (grain bullet at 1, fps).

The cartridge’s speed and power, combined with the lever-action’s capacity and quickness, made it an instant hit as a deer cartridge. Before long, it became a go-to choice for deer hunters.

As major ammunition companies caught on to the ’s popularity, they began manufacturing loads specifically for lever guns—the two most popular were topped with grain and grain round-nosed slugs. The reason for the round nose was obvious—since the gun’s tube magazine held ammunition stacked tip-to-primer, a pointed-nosed bullet denting a primer could lead to an accidental discharge in the magazine. Ironically, that round-tipped ammo led to the cartridge’s fall from grace when longer-range cartridges with pointed tips and superior ballistics hit the market years later.

Yet despite competition from the , , and —all fine deer cartridges in their own right—the has continued to be popular with many hunters over several generations.

Ammo Evolution

The early grain and grain loads, which were fairly slow by today’s standards, remained popular for the cartridge’s first years or so. Eighteen years ago, I bought my oldest son, Josh, a Marlin in when he was At the time, we weren’t hunting much open country and opted for the grain round points offered by Remington.

Leaving the muzzle at about 2, fps, the big bullet turned out to be devastating. The deer he shot with it didn’t just drop, they dropped stone-cold dead in a mystifying manner. One small buck fell so hard it killed a small rodent that apparently had been scurrying down the same trail. When we went to look at the buck and turned it over, the little rodent was smashed flat, still warm.

Why I ever wanted to change ammo with that kind of performance is perplexing to me now. But then Hornady introduced its new LEVERevolution ammo, and I just had to put it to the test. The new cartridge uses an elastomer flex tip on a spitzer bullet, making it safe for use in the gun’s tubular magazine. The design is ballistically superior to its round-nosed predecessors.

hornady ammunition lever evolution

When Hornady introduced the LEVERevolution ammo, it was just the shot in the arm the needed. The Evolution bullets delivered a substantially higher ballistic coefficient and retained more downrange energy than the old stuff.

The new loads also featured new powders that delivered higher muzzle velocities. The result turned a yard rifle into a yard-plus rifle just by improving the ammunition.

Today’s Ammo

Thirteen years later, today’s LEVERevolution ammo for the ubiquitous is better than ever. The grain, flex-tipped projectile leaves the muzzle at about 2, fps, yielding 2, ft-lbs of muzzle energy. Velocity remains high—2, fps at yards, 1, fps at yards, and 1, fps at yards—and so does the energy downrange. The bullet delivers 1, ft-lbs of energy at yards. And at yards, it still has 1, ft-lbs—plenty to kill any deer.

The trajectory is much improved over older loads, too. The old grain loads, when zeroed at yards, were nearly 5 inches low at yards, inches low at , and 24 inches low at In comparison, the newest LEVERevolution load, zeroed at yards, shoots 3 inches high at and only 12 inches low at With such ballistics, the old is a legitimate medium-range cartridge for accurate shooters.

Since Hornady’s breakthrough, other manufacturers have added pliable-tipped ammunition to their lineups, too. Winchester’s Deer Season XP line of ammunition features a polymer tip on a grain bullet for safety in tube magazines and greatly improves ballistic performance over previous ammo. The bullet has an alloyed lead core, a contoured copper jacket, and a large diameter polymer tip to accelerate the bullet’s expansion on impact. It leaves the muzzle at 2, fps with a muzzle energy of 1, ft-lbs.

Winchester also has the Super-X load topped with a grain Winchester Silver Tip. That bullet leaves the muzzle at 2, fps carrying 1, ft-lbs of energy—identical to the Deer Season XP load.

winchester deer season

Better Rifles

Lever-action rifles may not be considered the most accurate long-range rifles, but they have plenty of other factors working in their favor. Made famous by western movies and television shows, they were carried by many of our childhood heroes. The quickness of the lever-action for back-up shots is better than that of a bolt-action, as shooters can keep their eyes up to the scope or sights when levering in another round. Rifles chambered in also tend to be lighter than many other deer rifles, making them easier to carry and shoulder than their typically longer-range counterparts. They also are on the lower end of recoil for deer rifles, making them a good choice for beginners.

Generally, rifles and ammo tends to be less expensive than most bolt-action hunting rifles. An average box of ammo will run at least a couple of dollars cheaper than , , or cartridges. And what’s not to love about a quick, light, low-recoiling rifle that can be bought and shot on a budget.

lever-action rifle on a white background

As for accuracy, much of the lever gun’s perceived fault in this category was due to factors other than the cartridge’s actual accuracy. The big, round-nosed bullets of yesteryear weren’t very accurate to begin with when compared to their newer, pointed brethren, regardless of what gun fired them.

The fact that many s wore only iron sights led to additional criticism of the ’s accuracy, as precise shooting at longer ranges is difficult with open sights. That’s not a factor anymore, unless you simply prefer iron sights. Quality optics now make it a no-brainer to put a good, low-power scope on your for better shooting.

Additionally, with the higher-quality, more-consistent manufacturing practices used over the past three or four decades, nearly all rifles are more accurate than they used to be. In a nutshell, out to yards—and most deer in the East are shot at closer ranges than that—if you can do your job, a good rifle with quality ammo will do its job, too.

winchester lever-action rifle

Winchester Model

Many lever-action models are still being produced today, nearly a century and a quarter after the original. One of those is the original —the Winchester ’ That model, which many consider to be the “true” , is shorter than some competing models, but that’s not necessarily a disadvantage. And at pounds without ammo and scope, the new iteration is a nice, light package to tote around the woods.


First introduced in , the Marlin , has been produced on a continuous basis since then and has somewhat of a cult following. The newest , a inch rifle weighing in at 7 pounds, sports a inch barrel. Often priced much less than the Winchester, it doesn’t give up much in the quality department.

Marlin XLR

The Marlin XLR is another fine lever-action rifle with a less traditional look. Featuring a laminate stock and stainless-steel components, this gun will take on all weather conditions. And its inch barrel will let hunters get the most out of high-performance loads that have become so popular. It doesn’t look like John Wayne’s rifle, but the XLR will get the job done quite well.

Henry All Weather

The All Weather also has a more modern look than the Winchester and Marlin , and has been getting love from lever-gun fans. It features a wood stock and forearm with a weather-resistant, moisture-protected coating, along with a hard-chromed exterior finish on all surfaces except the stainless barrel, sights, and springs. It’s a nicely balanced rifle with a heavier, dark wood stock.

Mossberg SPX

For an even more modern take on the lever gun, look no further than Mossberg’s SPX. This unique , with its modular-looking design and plastic furniture, might not be the gun you are seeking for your upcoming deer hunting adventures. But for a home defense gun, you could do a lot worse than 5+1 rounds of from a short-barreled, lever-action rifle.

Read Next: How to Make Your Lever-Action Rifle More Accurate

Parting Shot

If you are going to argue about the merits—or lack thereof—of lever-action rifles, you must take into account the many hundreds of thousands of deer that have fallen to this cartridge over the last years. As in the past, one thing is still true today: A deer shot in the right spot by a hunter with a rifle is going to be just as dead as a deer shot in the same place by a hunter using a , or

If you like lever guns and the cartridge, take heart because right now, both are better than ever.

Outdoor Life is dedicated to covering safe and responsible gun ownership for hunting, recreation, and personal protection. We participate in affiliate advertising programs only with trusted online retailers in the firearms space. If you purchase a firearm using the links in this story, we may earn commission

Sours: https://www.outdoorlife.com/lever-actionwinchester-is-still-one-best-deer-hunting-rifles-and-heres-why/
30/30 LEVERevolution 100yd Gel test.

Winchester Is A Joke

Not everyone realizes it, but the old Winchester is a joke. 

Photo shows Winchester cartridge head stamp and bullet.

Rarely Reported Truth About Winchester

You rarely hear this. Instead everyone brags about how this old dog of a cartridge has taken more deer than any other. If it has (and who can prove it one way or another?) it’s only because every hunter and his dog has had one from through, oh, say roughly yesterday. Stick a few million rifles of any caliber in the hands of an equal number of hunters hitting the deer woods for seasons and you’re bound to pile up a few deer carcasses. 

But the cartridge itself? The venerated, nearly worshipped Winchester is a joke. 

Image shows an old deer hunter with a whitetail buck and Winchester M94 lever-action rifle

Introducing A Ballistic Dog

Consider its ballistics: the Winchester on a good day might push a grain flat-nose bullet from the muzzle of a inch barrel 2, fps. Most hunters carry inch carbines, so they’re lucky to get 2, fps. They think they’re getting 2, fps or even 2, fps because that’s what the ammo manufacturers put on their boxes, but if you bother to run one of those bullets over a chronograph, you’ll see the bad news. The grain bullets are, of course, even slower.

 Winchester cartridge stands beside , , and Wby. to show size difference.

But if you think 2, fps is tortoise-slow in the age of 3, to 3, fps deer cartridges, you haven’t heard the half of it. Because those bullets are flat, or at best round-nosed, (to prevent recoil primer ignition in tubular magazines) they have p-poor ballistic coefficients. That means they waste much of their energy bulldozing air out of their way. By the time they get a reasonable distance downstream, they’re gasping for breath and hitting the ground beneath your target! 

Photo shows a whitetail buck running across an open, grassy field. This is not the kind of long range shot suitable for the Winchester.

To fully grasp this, you should check out this ballistic table I labored long and hard to put together. This represents a grain round-nosed ” bullet (B.C. ) spit from a inch barrel at an optimistic 2, fps in a 10 mph right angle crosswind. The rifle was zeroed 3 inches high at yards in order to maximize it’s point-blank-range. 

Winchester Ballistic Table

Range Drop Wind Energy

0 0 0 1, fp

50 + 1, fp

+ 1, fp

+ -6 fp




Check out that drop at yards. Almost a foot! Aim for the middle of your buck’s chest and you’ll maybe kill an earthworm under him. And yards? Don't even go there. It's beyond territory. Shucks, if you subscribe to the old theory that you need at least 1, f-p energy to kill a deer, the barely qualifies at yards. In contrast, a Winchester grain spire point (you can read comparisons between it and the in this previous RSO blog) zeroed 3 inches high at yards will fall just inches below your point-of-aim at yards! 

Photo shows a variety of Winchester ammo boxes.

And that’s not all. The puny little grain bullet will be packing 1, f-p energy at yards. Look at that Winchester energy at yards. Just f-p! 

What’s all this nonsense about the 's smack down on deer? 

Getting Wind of Another Winchester Problem

The final nail in the coffin is wind deflection. Just a 10 mph zephyr deflects our beloved grain round nose slug almost a foot at yards. The bullets is nudged off course just 3 inches at the same range. 

So why all this veneration for the silly Winchester? 

A gloved hand holds five Winchester cartridges.

But, Somehow, It Works!

I’ll tell you why: because it flat out works. Let’s face it, unless you’re hunting the wild, wild West (which is, sadly, turning into the overcrowded tame, tame West just as fast as developers can make it happen) you probably aren’t going to see a deer at yards let alone shoot at one. The vast majority of whitetail hunters probably sit overlooking a runway, field, or meadow across which yards is the limit. So who needs hyper velocity at those ranges? A inch wind deflection is nothing. On-target energy of 1, f-p is more than sufficient to drive a deadly mushrooming bullet ripping right through a deer’s vitals. And… (here’s the part gourmands love) you can eat right up to the hole. Well, close enough anyway. 

Photo shows a M94 lever-action rifle lying across a downed whitetail buck to illustrate how it doesn't tear up meat via excessive bullet pressure.

You see, the downside to hyper velocity is bloodshot meat. Slip a high velocity bullet through the ribs and it’s not much of a problem, but hit the shoulder or any other major muscle or bone, and the resultant pressure is going to radiate far and wide, forcing coagulating blood out of its plumbing and into the meat you were hoping to eat. 

Recoiling From the Winchester

Then there’s the inescapable Newtonian physics of the Winchester, the inevitable opposite reaction that you feel on your shoulder. Despite launching a fairly heavy grain bullet, the  in a pound rifle kicks with only 11 f-p energy at a velocity of about 10 fps. You can compare that to 23 f-p and 14 fps from a grain load.

Mossberg M lever-action rifle in Winchester with Hornady MonoFlex ammo and dead black bear.

Cool Lever-Action Rifles!

Finally, the is really a great medium-range deer cartridge because of the lever-action rifles commonly chambered for it. In this era of overly built, overly long, overly bulky, overly heavy rifles, a good, old-fashioned "cowboy gun" is retro-fun! Whether Winchester M94, Marlin , Mossberg , or Henry Side Gate, lever-actions are nicely balanced, easy carrying, fast handling, cool looking, and just plain fun to hunt with. You rarely need the 5 to 7 rounds their tubular magazines hold, but they are a hoot to lever through.

Photo shows a classic Winchester M94 rifle and ammo.

Winchester Puts Hunt Back

Finally finally, the Winchester puts the hunt back in hunting. Limited range and open sights (I strongly suggest a Skinner Peep) mean you have to hunt for your deer, not just snipe it.


Yes, on paper the Winchester is a joke. But if you discount it the joke may be on you. No cartridge, no rifle lasts for years if it doesn't bring home the bacon. Regardless what the ballistic tables say, the can still haul the mail -- and bag the deer, hogs, bear, elk, moose

Ron Spomer shot his first two whitetails with a lever action rifle. Despite the dismal ballistics, he still likes the combination.

Sours: https://www.ronspomeroutdoors.com/blog/winchester-is-a-joke

Ballistics 30 30


"" redirects here. For the art publishing company, see Press. For the action-adventure game, see Deathwar.


A ×45mm NATO (left), cartridge (center) and ×51mm NATO (right)

Place&#;of&#;originUnited States
Variants Winchester, Zipper, Ackley Improved, Waters, Winchester Special
Parent&#;case Winchester
Case&#;typeRimmed, bottlenecked
Bullet&#;diameter&#;in (&#;mm)
Neck&#;diameter&#;in (&#;mm)
Shoulder&#;diameter&#;in (&#;mm)
Base&#;diameter&#;in (&#;mm)
Rim&#;diameter&#;in (&#;mm)
Rim&#;thickness&#;in (&#;mm)
Case&#;length&#;in (&#;mm)
Overall&#;length&#;in (&#;mm)
Primer&#;typelarge rifle
Maximum pressure (SAAMI)42,&#;psi (&#;MPa)
Bullet mass/typeVelocityEnergy
&#;gr (7&#;g) FP2,&#;ft/s (&#;m/s)1,&#;ft⋅lbf (2,&#;J)
&#;gr (8&#;g) FP2,&#;ft/s (&#;m/s)1,&#;ft⋅lbf (2,&#;J)
&#;gr (10&#;g) FN2,&#;ft/s (&#;m/s)1,&#;ft⋅lbf (2,&#;J)
&#;gr (10&#;g) cast LFN2,&#;ft/s (&#;m/s)1,&#;ft⋅lbf (2,&#;J)
&#;gr (11&#;g) FP2,&#;ft/s (&#;m/s)1,&#;ft⋅lbf (2,&#;J)
Source(s): Hodgdon[1]

The Winchester/ Winchester Center Fire cartridge was first marketed in for the Winchester Model lever-action rifle.[2] The (thirty-thirty), as it is most commonly known, and the were offered that year as the USA's first small-bore sporting rifle cartridges designed for smokeless powder. Sixty years after its introduction, in , it was surpassed by the smaller bore Winchester cartridge with more powerful and accurate ballistics yet similar recoil, but the Winchester remains in widespread use even today.[3]


The Winchester Smokeless first appeared in Winchester's catalog No. 55, dated August When chambered in the Winchester Model carbine and rifle, it was also known as Winchester Center Fire or WCF. When the cartridge was chambered in the Marlin Model rifle, rival gunmaker Marlin used the designation or Smokeless. The added stands for the standard load of 30 grains (&#;g) of early smokeless powder and is based on lateth century American naming conventions for black powder-filled cartridges. Both Marlin and Union Metallic Cartridge Co. also dropped the Winchester appellation, as they did not want to put the name of rival Winchester on their products.[4]

The modern designation of Winchester was arrived at by using Marlin's variation of the name with the Winchester name appended as originator of the cartridge, but WCF is still seen occasionally. This designation also probably serves to avoid consumer confusion with the different, yet similarly shaped Krag, which has been referred to as US and Army.[citation needed]

Characteristics and use[edit]

In Canada and the U.S., the cartridge has also been used on moose, caribou, and pronghorn. Modern opinions in Canada on its suitability for moose are mixed. Paul Robertson, a Canadian hunting firearms columnist, says, "Too many moose have been taken with the [] to rule it out as good for this purpose, as well."[5] In both Canada and the U.S. it has a long history of use on moose.[6] It is generally agreed that the is not a good choice for hunters who wish to shoot animals at longer ranges. The cartridge, with flat- or round-nosed bullets, does not meet minimum energy standards required for moose hunting in Finland, Norway, or Sweden.[7] Hunting technique and style, as well as law and culture, dictate cartridge choices.[8] Thor Strimbold, a Canadian who has made more than 20 one-shot kills on moose with a , advises most moose hunters to use more than minimal power if they can handle the recoil.[9] While the is legal for hunting moose in Newfoundland, Canada, provincial game authorities do not recommend its use.[10]

One of the primary reasons for the 's popularity amongst deer hunters is its light recoil. Average recoil from a typical grain load at 2, feet per second (&#;m/s) in a &#;lb (&#;kg) rifle is foot-pounds (&#;J) of felt recoil at the shooter's shoulder, about half that of a comparable rifle chambered for the Springfield.[11] However, the Winchester offers more muzzle energy and far greater downfield terminal energy than the with similarly light recoil.[3]

Because the majority of rifles chambered in are lever-action rifles with tubular magazines, most cartridges are loaded with round-nose or flat-nose bullets for safety. This is to prevent a spitzer-point bullet (the shape seen on the ×51mm NATO above) from setting off the primer of the cartridge ahead of it in the magazine during recoil, resulting in potentially catastrophic damage to both firearm and shooter. The Savage Model 99 was introduced in with a rotary magazine, in part, to avoid that issue. When used in single-shot rifles or handguns, such as the Thompson Center ArmsContender or Encore series, it is common for shooters to hand load the cartridge with spire-point bullets for improved ballistics.

A notable exception to the "no pointed bullets" guideline for bullet selection in rifles with tubular magazines are the new flexible "memory elastomer"-tipped LEVERevolution cartridges as produced by Hornady.[12] The soft tips of these bullets easily deform under compression, preventing detonations while under recoil in the magazine, yet also return to their original pointed shape when that pressure is removed, thus allowing for a more efficient bullet shape than previously available to load safely in such rifles. The more aerodynamic shape results in a flatter bullet trajectory and greater retained velocity downrange, significantly increasing the effective range of rifles chambered for this cartridge.[13][14]

Rifles and handguns chambered in [edit]

The is by far the most common chambering in lever-action rifles[15] such as the Winchester Model and the Marlin Model Some earlier Savage Model 99 rifles were chambered for this cartridge, as well,

The rimmed design is well suited for various single-shot actions, so it is commonly found there, as well. Rimmed cartridges are chambered in bolt-action rifles, but bolt actions are uncommon today. "At one time Winchester turned out the Model 54 bolt-action repeater in this caliber [ WCF], but it was a decided failure, chiefly because the man desiring a bolt action preferred to take one of the better and more powerful cartridges. However, in this particular caliber, the WCF cartridge proved to be decidedly accurate."[16] In addition, rimmed cartridges typically do not feed well with the box magazines normally found on bolt-action rifles.[17][18] Other examples of bolt-action rifles offered in Winchester are the Stevens Model , the Savage Model , the Springfield/Savage , and the Remington [citation needed]

A Magnum Research BFR in

In the sport of handgun metallic silhouette shooting, the has been used. The Thompson Center Arms Contender pistol, with its compact frame and break-action design, is available for the cartridge. The will produce velocities of nearly f/s (&#;m/s) out of the in (cm) Contender barrel, though recoil and muzzle blast are stronger due to the short barrel. The longer barrel results in significant reductions in felt recoil (due to increased weight) and muzzle blast, with higher velocities, especially if factory-loaded rifle ammunition is used. Magnum Research offers their five-shot BFR revolver in [19]

Derivative cartridges[edit]

In addition to the most common factory derivations, the Winchester, ×52mmR, Winchester Special and the less-well-known Zipper, the has also spawned many wildcat cartridges over the years. One example is the Waters, made by necking the case down to 7&#;mm (&#;in). The Waters eventually moved from a wildcat design to a factory chambering, with rifles being made by Winchester, and barrels made by Thompson/Center for their Contender pistol. Other based wildcats are used almost exclusively in the Contender pistol. One of the more notable examples is the Herrett, a case necked back to reduce case capacity for more efficient loading with fast-burning powders. The Herrett produces higher velocities with less powder than the larger case in the short and in ( and cm) Contender barrels. Other examples are the Herrett, developed to handle heavier bullets and larger game than the Herrett, and the 7mm International Rimmed, a popular metallic silhouette cartridge. Bullberry, a maker of custom Contender barrels, offers proprietary wildcats in 6&#;mm, caliber, and &#;mm diameters.[20][21] In addition, P.O. Ackley used the cartridge as the basis for the Ackley Improved.[citation needed]

Perhaps the oldest derivative cartridge is the wildcat cartridge , also known as the , 35/, and 35/ This round was never factory produced. Rather, it was an invention to counteract the corrosion of the early barrels from the use of black powder and shot out barrels. Barrels that were no longer serviceable were bored out to 35 caliber and the case was re-necked and loaded with a caliber bullet.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^" load dataArchived at WebCite" from Hodgdon.
  2. ^"Load Guide" data from Accurate Powder.
  3. ^ abRon Spomer. "Whitetail Deer Cartridge Shoot-Out: Win. vs. Win. vs. Springfield". Outdoor Life, October 28, Accessed March 4,
  4. ^Leverguns.com article on History of the
  5. ^"The Immortal ," Western Sportsman Oct. Nov.
  6. ^Bert Stent, "A Small Wonder--The Carbine," BC Outdoors July ; Bob Milek, "The Old is as good as ever!" Guns & Ammo July ; Grits Gresham, "The 30/30" Sports Afield August
  7. ^Hornady's LEVERevolution gr flex-tipped spitzer ammunition might complicate the matter. Based on the results of a Real Guns review (reviewguns.com), the retained energy of the load in a tested carbine might retain more than joules at yards, which is close to what is required at meters in Finland and Sweden ( in Norway).
  8. ^Bob Milek, "What determines 'maximum effective range'?" Guns & Ammo December
  9. ^H. V. Stent, "The Winchester Model 94," Gun Digest
  10. ^Newfoundland hunting regulations.
  11. ^"Chuck Hawks" article IDEAL DEER CARTRIDGES.
  12. ^"LEVERevolutionArchived at the Wayback Machine" at Hornady web site.
  13. ^Hornady LEVERevolution Ammunition by Guns and Shooting Online Staff at Chuck Hawks.
  14. ^Mann, Richard. "The Rides Again". Guns and Hunting. National Rifle Association. Archived from the original on February 6,
  15. ^Chuck Hawks article The Deer Rifle
  16. ^Sharpe, Philip B. (). "Part Two Rifle Loading Data". Complete Guide to Handloading, A Treatise on Handloading for Pleasure, Economy and Utility. Funk & Wagnalls. p.&#;
  17. ^"Rimmed cartridges have certain drawbacks, but these were of no concern at the time the design was introduced. The biggest of these is the difficulty in obtaining reliable feeding from a box-type magazine. The rims tend to interfere with each other during the feeding cycle. This occurs when the rim of the cartridge being chambered tries to strip the round beneath it, since the rims do not easily ride over one another." in The Cartridge caseArchived at the Wayback Machine article by Sierra Bullets.
  18. ^"When several cartridges are stacked in a magazine, the rims get in the way." in GUNS AND AMMO: Terminology - Firearms.
  19. ^BFR articleArchived at the Wayback Machine at Magnum Research web site.
  20. ^"Cartridge Loads". Hodgdon. Archived from the original on Retrieved , Herrett, gr at ft/s with 22 gr of H; pistol, gr at ft/s with 36 gr of Varget
  21. ^Bulleberry Barrel Works. "Bullberry Loading Data". Archived from the original on Retrieved

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/_Winchester
Don't Underestimate the . 30 - 30

Ballistics Chart & Coefficient

Article Posted: July 12,


The following is a ballistics chart in table format that details the bullet trajectory of a Winchester grain HP X and a balistic coefficient of The Winchester gr. Super-X Hollow Point has stated muzzle velocity of fps. All these details have been generated using our ballistic calculator a free online utility that will accurately detail the bullets movement through time and space, and even allow you to compensate for angles and atmospheric conditions. If you are shooting out past or yards you might want to use our calculators to cusomize this table to better suit your conditions.

Custom Report Create Your Free Custom Ballistic Report

Range (yards)  Drop (inches)  Velocity  Energy  Time (seconds)  

So what does table of the 's external ballistics tell us exactly? It says that at around the halfway point of yards the bullet will have slowed to less than half of its original velocity, lost ft pounds of energy (now pushing just lbs), and dropped due to gravitational forces some some inches, and all of this in just a second. What is strange is that this big bullet at yards has just 90 ft lbs more energy than the little Rem. In comparison similar hunting rounds like the , and the both have around of energy (assuming energy even matters).

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