Is the 30-30 Winchester Outdated?
Kevin Felts 12.12.16
Why is the 30-30 Winchester so popular? The cartridge has been around since 1895, and by all rights the lever action and the 30-30 Winchester should have died out decades ago. For some reason, its popularity shows no signs of fading.
Let’s face the facts, there are better rifles on the market. However, few rifles ring with nostalgia of the American frontier like the lever action rifle.
Since 1895, there have been leaps and bounds made in firearms development. Since the 30-30 Winchester hit the market, there have been new actions, calibers, and improved bullet design, but for some reason, hunters keep going back to the 30-30.
Improved Rifle Actions
Just about every modern caliber ever made is available in bolt action, while the lever action rifles are available in a dozen calibers or so. These calibers range from the 22 Long Rifle to the 45-70 and 35 Remington.
By their design, bolt action rifles with front locking lugs are stronger than a lever action.
Along with the bolt action rifle came box magazines. No longer does the tip of the bullet sit on the primer of the cartridge on top of it.
Then came the semi-automatic sporting rifle with a detachable magazine. Internal fixed and detachable magazines are much easier to load then the tube of a lever action rifle.
New Rifle Calibers
Since 1895, there have been so many new calibers introduced that it boggles the mind! Even with so many proven calibers on the market, companies are developing and releasing more calibers at a breakneck speed.
There are so many calibers on the market and so many new calibers being introduced, it is difficult to keep up. It seems companies are competing to see who can introduce the most new calibers.
When it comes to ballistics, the 30-30 Winchester bullet drops faster than calibers such as the 270 Winchester, 308 Winchester, 30-06 Springfield, and 7mm Magnum.
With so many options on the market, the popularity of the lever action 30-30 Winchester seems to have never faltered.
Improved Bullet Design
Over the past few decades, there have been some great improvements to bullet design.
With bullets like pointed soft-points, Hornady ELD-X, Sierra Polymer Tip, Hornady A-Max, and Nosler Ballistic Tip, the 30-30 Winchester is relegated to round and flat nose.
There have been improvements to 30-30 ammunition; however, they remain round and flat nose.
Even with newer rifle calibers benefiting from recent bullet designs, hunters still go back to the 30-30 Winchester cartridge.
Proven History Of The 30-30 Winchester
Why do people keep going back to the 30-30? Because it is a time-tested and proven cartridge. Hardly any other hunting cartridge has remained as popular for as long as the lever action in 30-30.
Regardless of what the engineering department of a gun company can dream up, regardless of what new cartridges hit the market, the 30-30 Winchester remains effective on whitetail deer-sized game.
Simply put, the 30-30 Winchester remains popular because it works.