While talking about smokeless powder cartridges, hunters think about either 30-30 Vs 308 Winchester. As they don’t produce smoke, both are perceived as the same. However, there are some apparent differences between both cartridges that you must consider while making a potential purchase. First, they differ on the basis of the amount of gunpowder and length for each ammo.
The rifle required for both the ammo is different even after they have the same size. Due to the differences, one is used for short-range targets while the other is best for long-range shooting due to their differences. To know which one will be better for you, the aspects mentioned below can help you in the journey.
30-30 Vs 308 Winchester
Both 30-30 Win and 308 Win were created to serve completely different purposes. 30-30 was launched in 1895, and its purpose was to put the hunter at ease. These were primarily designed for lever-action rifles, which justifies their property of being flat-nosed.
The cartridge was available at a reasonable price for its features, like lightweight and easy to handle. 30-30 Win had established itself as the best cartridge for target shooting and hunting.
Checkout More Best Reflex Sight For Shotgun
The 308 Winchester was introduced in the mid-1900s and was only limited to the military. The creation of this cartridge was to replace the traditionally used 30-60 ammo used by the army.
The 308 Win was the first preference for military purposes because it did not have the huge cartridge recoil. As a result, it increased the accuracy of the soldiers while taking the aim after shooting. Moreover, this cartridge proved itself best for medium and long-range targets, making it unbeatable.
Now you know the fundamental difference between both cartridges, the following is the comparison between both based on their specification.
Weight Of 30-30 And 308
For comparing the weight of two cartridges, it is necessary to know what a grain is. A Grain or gr is the actual weight of the bullet without the gunpowder cartridge. For 308, the value on grains is nearly around 56, while for 30-30 goes around 150. This vast difference is responsible for one of them being lighter.
The different value of grains signifies that 308 is lighter than 30-30, making the previous one faster. Being fast allows it to cover more distance in a straight line, making it a good option for medium to long-range shooting. Also, 30-30 is heavier, and it can travel a shorter distance, making it better for short-range shooting.
With weight, the penetration of the bullet is also associated. 30-30 is heavier; thus, it penetrates deeper, causing more damage. On the other hand, 308 cannot cause much damage as its chances of deep penetration are low. So it is fair to say that the first one is more powerful but only for short coverage.
Caliber Of The Bullet For 30-30 And 308
The most surprising fact about the two is the same caliber bullet is used for both, yet they are different. A 7.62mm diameter or 308″ bullet is used for the above cartridges. Still, they are different as the case capacity is larger for 308, and the bullets are round-nosed. For 30-30, the capacity is not that large, thus, creating a big difference between the two.
The velocity of the cartridges usually determines how powerful it is. Therefore, a fast-moving bullet is preferred for hunting, especially to take long-range aims. As the target is not standing still, there are some adjustments that you need to do from time to time. This will make it easier for you to shoot swiftly.
As discussed earlier, 308 is lighter and faster, which means you will get a high bullet speed. This velocity allows you to adjust your aim if you happen to miss your target initially. However, as the 30-30 cartridge is heavier, its weight does not allow it to go much farther, so it doesn’t offer the same adjustment. In addition, due to its low velocity, you do not get as much time to adjust.
Bullet’s velocity also helps in giving the target animal an instant death, increasing the requirement of faster speed in hunting. For shooting at the far way distances, 308 will be a better choice than 30-30. You can easily use a 308 cartridge instead of 30-30, but the opposite will not be a good option.
To kill an animal, it should be struck by a shock to kill it immediately. If the amount of energy released by a cartridge is greater, the chances of taking down an animal increase. According to the science behind the working of the bullet, the velocity is directly proportional to the energy.
A cartridge moving with higher velocity possesses more kinetic energy than the slower one. This energy is not only required to kill the target but is also required for distance coverage.
So in the race of energy, 308 Win again wins against the 30-30 because of being faster. 30-30 tends to lose the energy faster, and at around 200 yards, it falls to 1000 foot-pound. While considering 308 Win, even after covering more than 400 yards, its energy does not drop to 1000.
A trajectory is basically the path covered by an object under the influence of gravity. After the bullet is fired, the path and the distance it will cover depend upon the energy and velocity of the bullet. The powder propellant in both cartridges is also essential to increase the velocity. The propellant is an external factor that pushes the bullet farther, helping it cover more distance.
Though it is apparent that 308 again leads in the trajectory, something is astonishing in this factor. Even after having low energy and less velocity, the 30-30 is not too far behind. Both the bullets cover an average of around 225 yards without the slightest difference.
At around 500 yards, the difference is apparent, but the fact that 30-30 withstand for this long is interesting. Trajectory, or in other words, that bullet drop of 308, lets it deliver more energy and reach farther.
Both the cartridges give more accuracy for different ranges. Neither one can beat the other one in its accuracy. 30-30 Win being unable to reach far gives the best accuracy for the short-range. These are not best for the long-range covering huge distances is not their specification. So these will not be accurate if you are testing for a huge distance.
For 308 cartridges, covering either range is not challenging, but it is better for long-range with the abilities it possesses. These work fine for the middle range as well as there is no significant loss of energy or speed. But when used alongside the 30-30, its accuracy for the short-range was not the best.
The 308 Win is the best for long-distance shooting with great long-range shooting accuracy. The ability to shoot far away is why most hunters prefer this cartridge. Professionals who aim at least 500 yards away go for these. So only 308 Win cartridge is used for long-distance shooting.
For 30-30 Win, shooting long distances is not possible as they only cover the short distance. So these are only for the hunters who take shots while being near the target. Besides this disadvantage, this can be the best cartridge you can get for the bullet for close range.
Recoil is a factor that needs to be considered for every cartridge regardless of its purpose. Not only does this affect the accuracy, but it also saves the hunter from having to readjust the rifle again. For both long and short-range, the recoil factor persists.
With faster speed, there comes a problem of recoil. 308 is much faster and possesses a huge amount of energy. To balance the energy of release, there is a push exerted by the gun, which in simple words, is called recoil. So the recoil of the 308 Win cartridge is high, giving a bit of inconvenience to the hunter.
This recoil is relatively low for the cartridge 30-30, heavier but comparatively lower energy. There is no sudden burst of energy that needs to be nullified. Thus no big recoil is felt by the holder of the rifle.
While calculating the recoil in foot-pounds, the statistics show that for 308, it is nearly around 22. For 30-30, it is somewhere around 14, meaning it does not push the gun as much as other cartridges.
With the recoil factor, a beginner should always go for 30-30 as it will be easier to handle. However, for a hunter, who has been poaching for a long period, the recoil of 308 is easier to handle.
Both cartridges have the same purpose, and that is hunting. Therefore, it is only about the requirements of the hunter, according to which one is better. The aspects mentioned earlier are what you should consider before deciding the purpose of the cartridge.
Both 308 and 30-30 are effective in hog hunting, and it only depends upon the range you are hunting from. To hunt a hog from a large distance, you must choose the 308 Win. However, if you are not comfortable with large distances and want to shoot from a comparatively short range, go for 30-30.
For distance and target shooting, the 308 has proven to be the best option, thus, serving the purpose of long-distance hunting. However, for 30-30, the purpose shifts to short-distance hunting.
Which Is Better, 308 Win Or 30-30 Win?
Stating that one is better than the other will be wrong as there is no common ground to judge them. For example, you may come across a hunter who trusts 30-30 Win more than 308 because they prefer close-range shooting.
But looking at the features of 308 Win, it can be said that it is an all-rounder, giving it an upper hand. It can even be used in the place of 30-30, but using a 30-30 in place of 308 will not work out in your favor. 308 can shoot at 200 yards easily, but 30-30 will not reach the distance of 500 yards.
It is an excellent round for 30-30 Win and can kill some wild animals within a single shot if aimed just right. If you do not want to get some expensive rounds and there should be no recoil, getting 30-30 is better.
- Which Is Cheaper,308 Or 30-30?
As the 308 Win is more advanced, it may cost more than 30-30. So if you are looking for a cheaper option, you can get 30-30 Win which will be available at a lower price.
- Are 30-30s Accurate?
Just because these cartridges are used for short or medium range, it does not mean they are not accurate. 30-30 Win is pretty accurate for the short-distance aims.
- Can 30-30 Win And 308 Win Be Used In The Same Rifle?
Though these are of the same caliber, they cannot be used for the same rifle. The 30-30 cartridge bullets are flat-nosed and are used in bolt action or pump rifles. The bullets with 30-30 cartridges are used in short-action rifles or machine guns.
- Are The Shell Case Lengths Of Both Cartridges The Same?
Though both sizes are somewhat similar, there is a slight difference in the case length used. For 30-30 Win, the case length is 2.029 inches, but for 308 Win, it is lesser by 0.014 inches.
- Which Is More Beginner-Friendly?
As the 30-30 Win is easier to handle due to less recoil and precision for short-range, it can be more beginner-friendly. However, 308 Win may be too advanced to control for somebody just starting.
308 and 30-30 are cartridges that have been in the market for a long time and have proven themselves. Many hunters rely on these to have a marvelous experience of hunting. Although both are used for different purposes, they are equally crucial for hunting purposes.
Both of these cartridges are readily available, and one can get the one that serves them better. But, of course, with more experience, you may find your preferences changing over time. Still, if you are stepping in hunting, choosing the one that is easier to handle is recommended. But if the other one seems better for you, you can also try it out.