The debate between the .30-30 and .308 cartridges has been ongoing for years, with hunters and shooters on both sides arguing for their preferred caliber. While both cartridges have their strengths and weaknesses, there are some key differences that make one more suited to certain tasks than the other.
The .30-30 cartridge has been around for over a century and is a popular choice for hunting deer and other medium-sized game. It is a rimmed cartridge with a relatively low velocity, making it an excellent choice for close-range shots.
On the other hand, the .308 is a more modern cartridge that was designed for long-range shooting and is more powerful than the .30-30. It has a flatter trajectory and a higher velocity, making it a better choice for long-range hunting and target shooting.
What is the 3030?
Overview of the 3030
The .30-30 Winchester, also known as .30 WCF (Winchester Center Fire), is a centerfire rifle cartridge that was introduced by Winchester in 1895.
It is a rimmed, bottlenecked cartridge that is commonly used for hunting medium-sized game, such as deer and black bear. The .30-30 cartridge is known for its moderate recoil, affordable price, and widespread availability.
It is also a popular choice for lever-action rifles, which are known for their quick follow-up shots and reliability. The cartridge itself has a bullet diameter of .308 inches and a case length of 2.039 inches.
It typically fires a bullet weighing between 110 and 170 grains at a velocity of around 2,200 feet per second. The .30-30 cartridge has been in use for over a century and has proven itself to be a reliable and effective hunting cartridge.
While it may not have the range or stopping power of some of the larger calibers, it is a popular choice for hunters who are looking for a cartridge that is affordable, easy to find, and effective at moderate ranges.
Overall, the .30-30 is a versatile and popular cartridge that has stood the test of time. Its popularity is a testament to its reliability and effectiveness in the field.
What is the 308?
The .308 Winchester, also known as 7.62x51mm NATO, is a rifle cartridge developed in the 1950s as a commercial hunting round. It was later adopted by the United States military as the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge, and it has since become one of the most popular rifle cartridges in the world.
Overview of the 308
The .308 Winchester is a rimless, bottlenecked cartridge that is designed to be used in a variety of rifles, including bolt-action, semi-automatic, and military rifles. It is similar in design to the .30-06 Springfield cartridge, but it is shorter and more compact.
The .308 Winchester is known for its accuracy, versatility, and power. It is a popular choice for hunting, target shooting, and military applications. It has a reputation for being a reliable and effective cartridge, and it is used by hunters and shooters around the world.
The .308 Winchester is capable of firing a variety of bullet weights and types, from lightweight varmint bullets to heavy big-game bullets. It is also capable of firing subsonic rounds, which makes it a popular choice for use with suppressors.
The table below summarizes some of the key characteristics of the .308 Winchester cartridge:
|Bullet diameter||.308 inches|
|Case length||2.015 inches|
|Overall length||2.81 inches|
|Maximum pressure||62,000 psi|
The .308 Winchester is a versatile and reliable cartridge that is suitable for a wide range of applications. It has proven itself to be an effective hunting and target shooting cartridge, and it is widely used by military and law enforcement organizations around the world.
Quick 3030 vs 308 Comparison
|The 308 Winchester||The 30-30 Winchester|
|Model||308 Winchester||30-30 Winchester|
|Bullet Size (inches)||0.3||.308|
|Shell Case Length (inches)||2.015||2.029|
|Bullet Diameter (inches)||0.277||.308|
|Velocity (per two hundred yards) (fts)||2,648||1,916|
|Energy (per two hundred yards) (ft/lbs)||1,897||1,304|
|Muzzle Velocity (fts)||2,648||2,400|
|Muzzle Energy (ft/lbs)||2,648||2,046|
|Price||Lower price||Higher price|
|Best for||Hunt huge animals, such as crocodiles and elephants||Small to medium hunting games,|
3030 vs 308: Differences
Caliber and Ballistics
The .30-30 Winchester and .308 Winchester are two of the most popular cartridges for hunting and target shooting.
The .30-30 has been around since 1895 and is a lever-action cartridge primarily used for medium-range hunting. It has a bullet diameter of .308 inches and a case length of 2.04 inches.
The .308, on the other hand, is a modern cartridge designed for long-range shooting. It has a bullet diameter of .308 inches and a case length of 2.015 inches.
The .308 is a more powerful cartridge than the .30-30, with a higher velocity and a flatter trajectory.
According to American Gun Facts, the .30-30 has a velocity of 2390 FPS when it leaves the muzzle, but will lower itself to 1959 at 100 yards and down to 1581 at 200 yards.
Meanwhile, the .308 will remain well above 2300 FPS once it reaches 200 yards. The .308 also has a greater muzzle velocity of about 2.620 ft-lbs than the .30-30’s 1890 ft-lbs, which means that the .308 has higher stopping power. Ballistically speaking, the .308 takes its first win.
The .30-30 is a widely available cartridge that can be found in most sporting goods stores and gun shops. It is also relatively inexpensive compared to other cartridges.
The .308, on the other hand, is a more specialized cartridge that may not be as readily available in some areas. However, it is still widely used and can be found in most gun shops and sporting goods stores.
Recoil and Handling
The .30-30 has a relatively mild recoil, making it easy to handle for most shooters. It is also a lever-action cartridge, which means that the shooter can quickly and easily cycle the action to fire another round.
The .308 has a higher recoil than the .30-30, which can make it more difficult for some shooters to handle. It is also a bolt-action cartridge, which means that the shooter must manually cycle the action to fire another round.
Accuracy and Range
The .308 is a more accurate cartridge than the .30-30, with a flatter trajectory and a longer effective range. It is also capable of delivering more energy to the target, making it a better choice for long-range hunting.
The .30-30, on the other hand, is a shorter-range cartridge that is better suited for medium-range hunting and target shooting.
In conclusion, the .30-30 and .308 are two very different cartridges that are designed for different purposes.
The .30-30 is a versatile cartridge that is well-suited for medium-range hunting and target shooting, while the .308 is a more specialized cartridge that is designed for long-range shooting and hunting.
Ultimately, the choice between the two cartridges will depend on the shooter’s individual needs and preferences.
3030 vs 308: Similarities
While the .30-30 Winchester and .308 Winchester cartridges have their differences, they also share some similarities. Here are a few:
Both the .30-30 and .308 are versatile cartridges that can be used for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. They are also popular choices among military and law enforcement personnel.
Suitability for Hunting
Both cartridges are popular choices for hunting, with the .30-30 being a favorite among deer hunters and the .308 being used for larger game such as elk and moose. Both cartridges have a long history of being used for hunting and have proven to be effective choices for taking down game.
Military and Law Enforcement Applications
The .308 cartridge has been used by the military and law enforcement agencies for decades due to its accuracy, range, and stopping power.
The .30-30, while not as common in these applications, has also been used by some law enforcement agencies for its reliability and effectiveness.
Q: Which cartridge is more powerful, .30-30 or .308?
A: The .308 Winchester is generally considered more powerful than the .30-30 Winchester. It has a larger case capacity, higher muzzle velocity, and greater muzzle energy.
The .308 Winchester is capable of delivering higher bullet energy at longer distances and is generally more suitable for larger game and longer-range shooting.
Q: Which cartridge has a longer effective range?
A: The .308 Winchester has a longer effective range compared to the .30-30 Winchester. With its flatter trajectory and higher muzzle velocity, the .308 Winchester can maintain accuracy and energy at longer distances, typically up to 600 yards. The .30-30 Winchester is effective up to around 200 yards.
Q: Can I shoot .308 Winchester in a firearm chambered for .30-30 Winchester or vice versa?
A: No, you cannot interchangeably shoot these cartridges in the same firearm. The .30-30 Winchester and .308 Winchester have different dimensions, case designs, and chamber specifications. It is crucial to use the correct ammunition specified for your firearm to ensure safety and proper functioning.
Q: Which cartridge is more commonly used for hunting?
A: Both cartridges have a history of use in hunting, but their applications differ. The .30-30 Winchester is often favored for hunting medium-sized game such as deer within closer ranges.
Its suitability for lever-action rifles and its effectiveness in wooded areas make it popular for brush hunting.
The .308 Winchester, with its greater power and longer range, is preferred for hunting larger game, including deer, elk, and even bear, especially when shots may be taken at longer distances.
Q: Which cartridge has a wider selection of available rifles?
A: The .308 Winchester has a wider selection of available rifles compared to the .30-30 Winchester. The .308 Winchester is a versatile cartridge and is chambered in numerous bolt-action rifles, semi-automatic rifles, and even some sporting and hunting rifles.
The .30-30 Winchester is primarily associated with lever-action rifles, although it can be found in a smaller variety of other firearm types.
After comparing the .30-30 and .308 rifle cartridges, it is clear that both have their advantages and disadvantages. The .30-30 is a classic round that has been used for hunting for over a century. Its trajectory is not as flat as the .308, but it is still capable of taking down medium-sized game at reasonable distances.
On the other hand, the .308 is a more modern round that was developed with military use in mind. It has a flatter trajectory and higher velocity, making it a good choice for longer-range hunting and target shooting. It also has higher stopping power than the .30-30, making it a better choice for larger game.
Ultimately, the choice between the .30-30 and .308 depends on the individual’s needs and preferences. If the hunter is looking for a classic round with moderate power and trajectory, the .30-30 is a great choice. However, if the hunter wants a more modern round with higher velocity and stopping power, the .308 is the way to go.
It is important to note that both rounds can be effective in the right hands. The key is to choose the round that best suits the individual’s needs and to practice shooting with it regularly to become proficient with it.
Shelly Jark Drakny is a retired SF weapons sergeant (E-5 or above) with a military occupational specialty (MOS) code 18B. He served 24 years in the military, including assignments in SF, Infantry, and Special Forces.