Is The 30-30 Winchester Obsolete

With the innovation newer cartridges, is the 30-30 Winchester obsolete? This question arises from comments on a YouTube video I made about stockpiling ammo.

A John Rambo commented

It’s super popular because it’s been around since 1895. It makes a good youth deer rifle.

I’ve had to help a lot of people track wounded deers that they had hit with a 30-30. A 270 or 30-06 drops them rather quickly. I usually use a lever action Marlin 44mag a lot also.

I respectfully disagree. I have seen first hand time and time again what the 30-30 Winchester does to whitetail deer.

For close to a dozen years or so my dad and I were members of a local hunting lease. I would see the deer members brought in, and sometimes helped them skin the deer.

Typical deer camp stories were told of what time the deer came out, how many there were,,,. Whether it was a 30-30, 270, 308, 30-06,,, all the deer had something in common, they were dead.

As for having to track a deer, it is all about bullet placement. In world war I and world war II, the Army used to shoot deserters. There are stories of a deserters being with an M1 garand and living for several seconds.

The story of Eddie Slovik

There is the story of Eddie Slovik, shot by firing quad in 1945, hit by 11 30-06 bullets and did not die immediately. There was enough time for the execution squad to start reloading, they were only given one bullet, before Eddie Slovik died.

If a man shot by 11 30-06 bullets can live for several seconds, what do we think a deer will do? I will turn and run.

According to google a whitetail deer can run an estimated 47 miles per hour.

47 miles per hour is 68.93 feet per second.

Lets say Eddie Slovik lived for 15 seconds. Given that there was enough time for the squad to see he was still alive and started to reload, I think this is a fair number.

15 seconds X 68.93 fps = 1,033.95 feet.

1,033 feet divided by 300 (length of a football field) = 3.4465

Lets reduce that to 10 seconds.

10 seconds X 68.93 fps = 689.3 feet.

If Eddie Slovik had been a whitetail deer shot by firing squad, he could of ran the length of 2 – 3 football field before dieing. That is with 11 bullets in him.

What makes us think the 30-30 Winchester is outdated when being shot 11 times does not kill someone immediately?

Bullet placement

Regardless of rifle caliber, it is all about bullet placement. Even then instant death is not quantified.

I have seen deer shot through the heart turn and start to run.

Remington core-lokt ammunition ballistics

30-30 Winchester

150 grain bullet
100 yards = 1,973 fps
100 yards = 1,296 foot pounds of energy

170 grain bullet
100 yards = 1,895 fps
100 yards = 1,355 foot pounds of energy

270 Winchester

150 grain bullet
100 yards = 2,504 fps
100 yards = 2.087 foot pounds of energy


140 grain bullet
100 yards = 2,625/2,150 fps
100 yards = 2,142/1,436 foot pounds of energy

I do not know why 7mm-08 list two different ballistics for the same bullet.

My opinion

I just do not see the 30-30 being outdated. It is fat and slow, and it gets the job done. It remains popular because it gets the job done and without a lot of recoil. Hunters can go just anywhere in the United States and find 30-30 ammunition. Go to almost any pawn shop and there will be lever action 30-30s for sale.

If the 30-30 Winchester was not effective it would of faded away by now.

In the past 100 years there have been dozens of cartridges that were developed and never caught on.   If they did catch on, it was to a niche following.

I have a 280 Remington, also called the 7mm Express.  It is vastly superior to the 30-30 Winchester, designed in 1957, but the 280 never caught on.

284 Winchester, released in 1963 and never caught on.

They never caught on because there was no need for them.  We have the 30-30, 270, 308 and 30-06.  Why do we need anything else to hunt Whitetail deer?