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30-30 Winchester WCF

30-30win

Introduced in 1895, along with the 25-35 WCF, the 30-30 Winchester (30 WCF) was the first commercial smokeless-powder cartridge.  It was chambered in a special version of the 1894 Winchester that used a stronger, nickel-steel barrel and was specially proofed for higher-pressure loads when compared to the original 1894 (blackpowder) chamberings, 32-40 and 38-55 WCF.

As the first widely successful 30-caliber sporting cartridge, the 30-30 can rightly be viewed as the progenitor of all modern 30-caliber sporting cartridges, which is no mean feat because 30-caliber has long been, by far, the most commonly used bore size for big-game hunting worldwide.

The 30 WCF was an impressively modern bottlenecked design based on the case used for the 38-55.  Winchester’s choice of 30-caliber was almost certainly a direct result of its deep involvement with the manufacture of 30 U. S. Army ammunition.  Using at least some of the tooling used in making bullets for the 30 U. S. saved money.


While the 30 U. S. Army round might not have been the first cartridge to use a 0.308-inch bullet, it and the 30-30 were the first widely successful cartridges to use that bullet diameter.

Original 30 WCF ballistics listed a 165-grain bullet at 1965 fps.  Propellant developments through the subsequent 130 years have allowed continuous improvements in ballistics.  Hornady now offers a 160-grain load listed at an amazing 2400 fps.  With the right bullet and good shot placement, the 30-30 is perfectly adequate for elk and smaller species with shots inside about 200 yards.  While it can be used by a skilled marksman to cleanly dispatch larger species, it is and always has been ideal for those hunting typical whitetail deer.  This is no small compliment.

As with all cartridges used in guns with a tubular magazine, a properly applied crimp can smooth and ease chambering and a crimp is critical to lock the case mouth into the cannelure and thereby prevent recoil and chambering forces from driving the bullet into the case.  In some instances, a roll crimp might be the best option but the Lee Factory Crimp Die usually does a better job and the crimp it applies will not damage a cast bullet as chamber pressure drives that from the case.


The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
Die Sets
Lee Collet Necksizing 2-Die Set
90716
Lee RGB Die Set
90878
Lee Full-Length Sizing Die Set
90506 (3-Die set)
Lee Breech Lock Die Set
91952 (3-Die set)
Lee Ultimate 4-Die Set
90693
Lee Loader
90244
Single Dies
Full-Length Sizing Die
91074
Sizing Die
Neck Sizing Die
91018
Undersize Sizing Die
Charging Die
90194 (Long Charging Die)
Seating Die
91437
Factory Crimp Die
90822 (Collet Style)
Taper Crimp Die
Inline Bullet Feed Die
91999 (30 CAL)
Die Accessories
Guided Decapper
91580
Undersized Flash Hole Decapping Mandrel
NS5338
Undersized Mandrel
90480
Case Conditioning Tools
Case Length Gauge and Shell Holder
90136
Quick Trim Die
90249
Presses
Reloader Press (50 RPH)
Hand Press (50 RPH)
Challenger Press (50 RPH)
Classic Cast Press (50 RPH)
Value Turret Press (250 RPH)
Classic Turret Press (250 RPH)
Ultimate Turret Press (250 RPH)
Pro 1000 Press (500+ RPH)
Pro 4000 Press (500+ RPH)
Six Pack Pro Press (500+ RPH)
Shell Plates and Holders
Priming Tool Shell Holder
90203 (#3)
Universal Press Shell Holder
90520 (R3)
X-Press Shell Holder (APP)
91536 (#3)
Pro 1000 Shell Plate
90664 (#3L )
Auto Breech | Pro 4000 Shell Plate
90629 (3)
Six Pack Pro Shell Plate
91837 (3L)
Inline Bullet Feed
Inline Bullet Feed Die
91999 (30 CAL)
Inline Bullet Feed Kit
92011 (30CAL)
Inline Bullet Feed Magazine
92015 (Medium Inline Bullet Magazine)
Bullet Casting
Classic Bullet Sizing Kit
Breech Lock Bullet Sizer and Punch
91512
Bullet Molds

Challenger III

From $117.00

Ultimate Turret Press

From $320.00

Deluxe APP Press Kit

91898

The Lee Deluxe Automatic Processing Press gives you the same priming convenience found only on expensive progressive reloading presses.

$155.00

Six Pack Pro Press

From $400.00