The .30-30 Winchester/.30 Winchester Center Fire (metric 7.62×51mmR) cartridge was first marketed in early 1895 for the Winchester Model 1894 lever-action rifle. The .30-30 (thirty-thirty), as it is most commonly known, was the USA’s first small-bore, sporting rifle cartridge designed for smokeless powder. In Mexico and Latin America, it is known as the treinta-treinta (Spanish for “30-30”).
Rifles and handguns chambered in .30-30
The .30-30 is by far the most common chambering in lever-action rifles such as the Winchester Model 1894, and the Marlin Model 336. Some earlier Savage Model 99 rifles were chambered for this cartridge, as well. Mossberg also came out with lever-action rifles in the chambering, the Mossberg models 472, 479, and newer 464. One can also find these Mossberg rifles under the brands of Western Field (sold through Montgomery Ward as the M72). The 472 was only produced from 1970 to 1979, and the 479 until 1983 – both of which are rare and often confused with the Marlin 336 due to their similar appearance. The Roy Rogers edition has a gold trigger and butt plate, and Roy Rogers’ signature on the stock. Rossi of Brazil has recently started offering what is essentially a clone of the Marlin 336 series in .30-30, as well. Winchester produced a simplified and more economical version of their popular Model ’94 through Sears under the Ted Williams name, and through Western Auto under the Revelation label.
The rimmed design is also well suited for various single-shot actions, so it is commonly found there, as well. Rimmed cartridges are chambered in bolt-action rifles, but .30-30 bolt actions are uncommon today. “At one time Winchester turned out the Model 54 bolt-action repeater in this caliber [.30 WCF], but it was a decided failure, chiefly because the man desiring a bolt action preferred to take one of the better and more powerful cartridges. However, in this particular caliber, the .30 WCF cartridge proved to be decidedly accurate.” In addition, rimmed cartridges typically do not feed well with the box magazines normally found on bolt-action rifles. Other examples of bolt-action rifles offered in .30-30 Winchester are the Stevens Model 325, the Savage Model 340, the Springfield/Savage 840, and the Remington 788.
In the sport of handgun metallic silhouette shooting, the .30-30 has been used. The Thompson Center Arms Contender pistol, with its compact frame and break-action design, is available for the .30-30 cartridge. The .30-30 will produce velocities of nearly 2000 f/s (610 m/s) out of the 10-in (25-cm) Contender barrel, though recoil and muzzle blast are stronger due to the short barrel. The longer barrel results in significant reductions in felt recoil (due to increased weight) and muzzle blast, with higher velocities, especially if factory-loaded rifle ammunition is used. Magnum Research offers their five-shot BFR revolver in .30-30.