.44Mag vs Spitzer-pointed ".30-30?"

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Lindenwood, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    I have a Single-shot .308 rifle with a 16.4" barrel. I bought the rifle to get into long-range shooting, but after only a couple hundred rounds I found my interest in longer-range precision shooting dropping pretty quickly. So, I took off the Bipod and threw an old Red-Dot on there to turn it into a compact backpacking or "stalking"-type rifle.

    But, I kindof realized that between the short barrel, the relatively fast powder I'm using (H335), and the minimum loads I've been sticking with, I am ballistically just a small notch above .30-30 performance--I am estimating a 150gr bullet @ 2450fps at around 40k PSI. Granted, I am using spitzer bullets rather than round-nose, but terminally there shouldn't be much of a difference, especially within expected practical ranges.

    So, after realizing I basically had a really loud .30-30 that just used more powder, I began to compare it back to .44mag. I can get almost the same energy and arguably better terminal performance with a .44mag rifle compared to the above specs, at least within the 100-150yd max ranges I see for myself. But, the .44 gives much easier reloading (and I already have all the stuff to load .44mag), and it is easier to make lighter loads for moderate use. Plus the same types of loads (hog hunting loads, to small game loads) are all a bit cheaper.

    Here is a vid of my GF shooting it just to show how loud it is even with the starting-level loads. I could load it with Unique and get the same bullet at about 1900-2000fps with about the report of a .40 handgun, but that really doesn't get me much in the way of terminal effectiveness.
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUJ3yMMKbmg]Chopped H&R Survivor .308 - YouTube[/ame]

    So, for a general-purpose rifle, should I go back to the .44mag? The most likely practical use is probably Hog sometime soon, then maybe deer, and finally Zombies. I am expecting shots inside 100 yards, with 150 being pretty much the max I'd ever need to shoot beyond just fun at the range.
     

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  2. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    Are you kidding, a .30-30 is twice as fast & has a 1000 ft. lbs. more energy than a .44 Mag. let alone a .308........
     

  3. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Until about 1940 the .44-40 had killed many more deer than the .30-30. The .44-40, when loaded to rifle velocites, is more effective on deer sized game than the .30-30 at at close range. When loaded to rifle velocities the .44 magnum is more effective than the .30-30 at close range. i own a semi-auto Ruger rifle in .44 magnum. My hunting handload gets 1,900 fps with the 240 grain .430 Hornady XTP bullet. At 100 yards that bullet carries 1,400 foot pounds of energy. A 170 grain .30-30 bullet with a muzzle velocity of 2,200 fps develops 1,500 pounds of muzzle energy at 100 yards.

    Most of my hog hunting is done with a muzzleloader. My bullet of choice for the muzzleloader is the 240 grain .430 XTP, the same bullet i use in my .44 magnum. The muzzle velocity from my muzzleloader is about 1,800 fps. i've killed over 200 wild hogs with that muzzleloader and bullet combination. It is much more effective on hogs than a .30-30. Energy is not everything.
     
  4. Triumphman

    Triumphman Active Member

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    The 44mag outshines the 30-30 in close range, NOT in velocity, but in knock down power. I have both a 30-30 and 44mag and I love them both, but my 44mag puts an immediate "toe tag" on any animal within 75yds.
    Del
     
  5. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    Please refer to my original post. Yes I am shooting a rifle chambered in .308 but with ballistics much closer to .30-30 (only about 50fps faster than a standard 150gr .30-30 load, actually).

    Not really. As mentioned above, my .308 loads come to about 1900-2000FPE. I can load a 200gr XTP to about 2100fps and get about 1950FPE. But the heavier bullet gives more reliable performance and arguably better "killing power" if one goes more by the TKO principles. A 170gr .30-30 bullet will indeed have about 100FPE more muzzle energy than a 240gr .44mag Bullet, but I do wonder how much of a difference that 400fps will make when the .44 bullet is like 40% heavier.



    But you guys are saying the .44 would be a better choice for me than my current setup?
     
  6. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dont forget that new soft tip pointed bullets are now available for the 44.
     
  7. dks7895

    dks7895 New Member

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    I am not a big fan of a break barrel single shot for hogs or zombies, where a quick follow up shot may be necessary. Within 150 yards a 30-30 or 44mag lever gun would be my choice.
     
  8. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    Heh, true, but I've got other stuff for those cases as well :p . I am just trying to make this rifle as useful and practical as possible for what it is and for its intended uses. Given I already have all the .44mag reloading equipment, I could sell my .308 equipment for more than what it would cost to have a .44mag barrel installed.
     
  9. dks7895

    dks7895 New Member

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    Sounds like a plan. I vote for a 44mag barrel.
     
  10. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    Sectional Density
     
  11. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    Sectional density is irrelevant for expanding bullets in regards to penetration.
     
  12. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have you consider loading heavier bullets in the 308? 220-250 grn range.
     
  13. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    It isn't particularly that I have any problem with the terminal performance with 150-170gr bullets, just that a .44mag would get me similar terminal performance but with cheaper and easier reloads, and less muzzle blast.
     
  14. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was looking at the H&R synthetic Handi Rifle in 357 for a match to my revolver. The 158 grn factory loads are close to 2000fps in the rifle. It would be about $275 otd. I could pick up a used 30-30 lever for that but I have the loading gear for the 357 and lighter loads would be easier so I know where you are coming from.
     
  15. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    Oh yeah for sure. Knowing what I know now I'd have definitely just got the .44mag, heh. Would have saved me a few hundred in all the reloading equipment I had to buy for the .308, heh (About $100 in ammo to start off, $200 in components, $80 on a case trimmer, $25 on dies, and odds/ends like case lube and a spray bottle and such).

    And yes, it is easier to down-load than bottleneck cartridges and still have reasonably-effective loads but with even less recoil and muzzle blast.

    So I guess I just need to find someone who would want my .308 stuff and I'll just have the frame send to H&R for a .44mag Barrel!
     
  16. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You may not be able to get the 44 barrel mated to your action. The 44 and 357 use a different mounting and supposedly will only mate with a shotgun barrel. You better check before you sell the 308. You may have to sell the whole rifle and get a new one.
    H&R Handi-Rifle™
     
  17. Muliemaster

    Muliemaster New Member

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    If its a sb2 frame built after 1999 u can ad the 44 mag barrel I did u can add shotgun an muzzle loader barrels also but not rimfire
     
  18. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    IF you're going to stay under 150 yards, my vote is for the

    .44. A Red-Dot or Holographic Reflex scope works wonders

    on a .44 rifle, which has a quantum jump over a pistol-fired

    .44 in velocity and energy.

    A 30-30 is still a tried and true mid-range rifle round, and once

    you step over the 150 yard line, IMO, the 30-30 wins.