30-30 vs 30-06

Discussion in 'The Hunting & Fishing Forum' started by topper, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. topper

    topper New Member

    Aug 2, 2006
    deep in the woods
    i presently own a winchester model 94 ,30-30 rifle. great for deer hunting and some other smaller animals. however, i was wondering the biggest difference in 30-30 vs 30-06? does the 30-06 have a whole lot more stopping power? what is the cost of cartridges? what is the main advantage of 30-06? i am happy with my 30-30 , but some folks i talked to seem to not think much of it. i do not target shoot. only for hunting and varmit control. i need some hunters advice. thanks.

    Keep both barrels loaded!

  2. I'm a big fan of both.

    30-30 will do damn near anything you want in North American woods. It's mild, effective, and cheap enough to shoot often. Not mention a Marlin 30-30 will work a lifetime without ever needing a smith. The big snag for 30-30 is after 200 yards it starts falling like a rock, which is fine because the bullet has slowed to the point that it is just above upper handgun power; that's about the limit on the caliber for effective range I mean. But 200 yards is often plenty plus some extra.

    30-06 stopping power? More? Within the two cartridges effective ranges, no not really. Both, within their ranges, have enough energy to cause secondary wounding through transfer of energy. At 100 yards, both will take a deer, elk, moose, or black bear. Common sense says get close with a 30-30 on moose though. Neither is a first choice for grizzly, but it is done.

    The 30-06 will reach to 500 yards before slowing that much with a bullet of the same weight, that is below the threshold of rifle power down into upper handgun power, which is too weak to wound by energy transfer, but with about 4' of drop.

    30-06 uses more efficient bullets. It's normally chambered in rifles that are more forgiving for long range fire, enabling hunting on more open terrain. For target...there's guys on here that shoot 30-06 1,000m competition matches.

    The biggest plus for the 30-06, in my opinion, is versatility in ammunition. A 30-30 you really get about 2 or 3 realistic loads, varying slightly between brands. The list of 30-06 bullets is very long. Technically, a 30-06 can hunt pretty much anything in North America or most things in Africa.

    But if you're a woods hunter, and 100 yards is your longest line of sight, a 30-06 has no great advantage over a 30-30 on things with antlers.
  3. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Likely, more white tail deer have been deer have been taken with the .30 WCF (aka .30-30) than any three other calibers combined. The Win.94 is the rifle that is most found in this caliber.

    It is a moderate power, moderate range rifle cartridge that is adequate for thin skinned, small to medium size, not particularly dangerous wild animals.

    If your shots are going to likely be at under 100 yards on animals like deer the W94 in .30-30 is time proven.

    In a "nutshell" the .30-06 has about 50% more power, many more ammo load choices, and is much better for shots beyond 150 yards, or for use on larger or potentially dangerous game..
  4. I'll echo the previous posts and add the following... It was Jeff Cooper that wrote (and I paraphrase) "Hunters shouldn't be bragging about how far away they were from the deer they took, but instead how close they were..." I that line of thinking, the .30-30 will serve you very well.

    I personally use a .30-06 for all my hunting, but that's mostly because, in my view, the .30-30 is to light for a consistently clean kill on elk, plus I hand load with superior heavy weight bullets. For deer there is no great advantage. My dad still uses his old 94 Winchester and has done very well with it. His hunting partner still uses an old Remington 141 pump in .32 Rem.

    Shoot what you like, what you're comfortable with, and practice, practice, practice. The best feeling in the world is shooting the pants off of your hunting partners who use the latest whiz bang equipment with your old rifle...
  5. Rocket J Squirl

    Rocket J Squirl New Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    I own and use both. Short range I sue the 30-30, anything over 200 yards I use 30-06. At 200 yards the 30-06 has way more energy than the 30-30 did out of the barrel.

    The 30-30 is lighter, easier on the arm and the most fun of any firearms Ive ever shot.

    I shoot only Lever Evolution bullets thru it, and they are 2/3s the power of the 30-06 out ot 150 yards, then its downhil from there.

    I hit paint cans at 100 yards with the lever, dimes at 200 yards with the 06.

    My 30-06 rounds are oeverkill for anyting under elk or moose sized critters.

    If someone asked my to walk 500 miles and I had to take one of the 3, Id take the 30-30 hands down. If someone said go to war, Id take either of the 06s.

    For what you do, the 30-30 will serve you well. Try some lever evo.
  6. 45nut

    45nut Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    I really like my 30-30 and I tend to favor lever guns. I have a pre 64 #94 in 32 WS and I adore it. Yeah, you have more (better?) choices in ammo for the 06, but how many different critters are you going to hunt in North America requiring how many different loads?

    The 30-30 can take deer, elk, black bear, rabbits, turkeys and I suppose moose given good shot placement and penetration. It sure worked at the turn of the century, why not now.

    Also, Jeff Cooper said this about it in 1994:

    This is the centennial of the great Model 94 Winchester, one of the outstanding artifacts of modern times. It is unsound to make the claim that any one instrument "won the West," but the 94 was the mainstay of the wilderness during the early years of the twentieth century, and in the days of my youth it was a rare household that did not contain one. This excellent weapon is still with us today, and rendering good service wherever it is found. It you do not own one, you should get one, and not only for the sake of sentiment. If the public scene turns nasty, as some say it may, you will be far better off with an M94 in 30-30 than you will be with an SKS, AK47, or an M16.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  7. For my part, two. The 165 grain Nosler Balistic Tip for deer sized game and the 200 grain Nosler Partition for elk sized game.

    You'll get no argument from me here, 45.

    The words of a sage. He also said though that his standard round for big game hunting, other than African dangerous game, was the .30-06 with 180 grain bullet.
  8. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth Former Guest

    Jul 3, 2009
    well,let me compare the two rounds of a particular brand:Winchester.The highest energy round for the 30-30 round is 1902 ft lbs energy.The highest energy round for the 30-06 is 3022 ft lbs.That should be the end of the discussion right there.
  9. Sandman

    Sandman Member

    Jun 17, 2009
    I don't think anyone will argue that the .30-06 is a better overall caliber, but I think the point is that for what Topper is doing, the .30-30 is serving him well. There is no need to change to a .30-06 unless he starts hunting somewhere where a longer shot is the norm. At 150 yds and under, the 30-30 will kill a deer just as dead as a .30-06.
  10. 45nut

    45nut Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    This is not strictly a "size" discussion. :eek: :D It's more of finding the right weapon or tool for the job. With a good 30-30 you have a lighter, more comfortable carbine for close work with good fast sight acquisition and fast follow up shots if needed.

    I just love lever guns and love trying to explain their continued use in the modern age of weapons.
    The_Rifleman likes this.
  11. Rocket J Squirl

    Rocket J Squirl New Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    Not Really

    The 30-30 (30WCF)its real name is 7.62x51R

    With a 160gr FTX they are 2400 out of the box.

    Which should be compared to a .308 not a 30-06.
  12. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

    Jul 13, 2007
    I don't think anyone will argue that the .30-06 is a better overall caliber, but I think the point is that for what Topper is doing, the .30-30 is serving him well. There is no need to change to a .30-06 unless he starts hunting somewhere where a longer shot is the norm. At 150 yds and under, the 30-30 will kill a deer just as dead as a .30-06.

    "Ditto!" sandman!
  13. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth Former Guest

    Jul 3, 2009
    my dad has a 1942 winchester in 30-30 that I would love to take a deer with since he never has.But my brother just gave me a .444 marlin that I will probably use.But if I do I will always wonder if the 30-30 would have done the job as well.
  14. dianalv

    dianalv New Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    For varmint control there are probably better rounds than either the 30-30 or the 30.06. For deer hunting, it depends on where and how you hunt. For a "bush" gun, the 30-30 is hard to beat. For long range hunting or game larger than deer, definitely the 30.06 or any number of other calibers.

    Personally, I haven't shot anything at a distance of over 200 yards in a very long time, and mostly my shots are within 100 yards. It's a lot more fun to sneak up on them. It sounds like you are experienced and the 30-30 works well for you. Unless you decide to hunt larger game, like elk, I'd stick with the 30-30.
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