Best 30-30 Ammo Reviews to SMOKE Deer & Large Game (Feb 2019)

Last Updated: by Aiden Williams

30-30 Ammo ReviewsLooking for a powerful ammo choice for hunting? Being an avid hunter, I always struggled with finding ammo that packed enough power to easily take down deer and other large game. However, I soon came across 30-30 ammo!

It was perfect for hunting larger game. It packed enough power to penetrate deeply into the game without exiting. However, they aren’t the most popular choice! This is why finding the best 30-30 ammo might be difficult for you.

Luckily for you, I have compiled my personal list of the best 30-30 ammo. Check it out below:

At a Glance: Our 5 Best 30-30 Ammo

Our Top Choice: The Remington Express Core-Lokt

My personal favorite 30-30 ammo is the Remington Express Core-Lokt. I have found it to be reliable and has almost always incapacitated large deer with a single shot. Moreover, the locked core and jacket ensures that the bullet retains its weight. All in all, if I need to shoot at less than 200 yards, the Remington Core Lokt is my preferred choice.

Background and Naming

The .30-30 or the .30 Winchester Center Fire was first introduced in 1985. The design was specifically for Winchester lever-action rifles. It was the first small bore cartridge that supports smokeless powder.

The added -30 is actually a reference to the 30-grain standard load that folks used with smokeless powder. It was added by Marlin, a rival company. When Marlin used the cartridge in the Marlin Model, he dropped off the Winchester title, preferring “.30-30 Smokeless.”This was because he didn’t want to use the name of his rival with his products.

As a result, the modern name uses Marlin’s variation as well as the Winchester name. However, you might still find the old name .30 WCF being used for a few cartridges.

Characteristics

Most hunters and experts consider the 30-30 an entry class cartridge for hunting. It tends to be quite effective in hunting deer or bears or other larger game. However, the main drawback is that they cannot be used beyond 200 yards. If you need to shoot beyond this limit, then I recommend you go with a cartridge with a ballistic tip.

Generally, the 30-30 loads weigh anywhere between 150 and 170 grains. However, lighter and heavier loads are available in the market as well. Furthermore, you can found jacketed bullets with a nominal diameter of about .308 inches. On the other hand, lead bullets generally have a diameter of .309 inches.

To learn more about the 30-30, watch:

 

Top 5 Best 30-30 Ammo Reviews

Remington Express Core-Lokt 30-30 Rifle Ammunition: Best Overall

Remington-Express-Core-LoktThe Remington Express 30-30 ammo is the best ammunition for deer hunting as it features an expansive bullet that delivers maximum damage to your target.

Key Features

  • Centerfire SP Core-Lokt ammo
  • Tapered copper jacket with a lead core
  • Spitzer shaped that allows for high velocity
  • 150-grain bullet weight

What Other Users Are Saying

The Remington comes in a pack of 20 Core-Lokt bullets. As a result, the core is locked on to the jacket which ensures that they do not separate from one another. It guarantees 100% weight retention which guarantees more intense damage.

Not only that, but the tapered copper jacket ensures full expansion. Users noted that it only took a bullet to take their targets down. Also, users quite liked the spritzer shape which allowed for a higher muzzle velocity as well as a flatter trajectory. The ammo weighs about 150 gr. which is quite heavy.

Watch the full performance:

 

 

Pros

  • Controlled expansion leads to larger wounds
  • Locked core and jacket ensure 100% weight retention
  • High muzzle velocity and flat trajectory
  • Deep penetration capabilities
  • Reliable with less than frequent misfires

Cons

  • Harder recoil due to larger weight
  • Not very accurate for long range shooting, above 200 yards

Conclusion

All in all, the Remington Core-Lokt 30-30 is the best 30-30 ammo for deer and large game hunting. This is due to superior expansion and excellent penetration capabilities.

Overall Rating: 4.9

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Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 30-30 Rifle Ammunition

Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 30-30 Rifle AmmunitionWhen it comes to innovative ammo tech, none can beat the Winchester Ballistic Silvertip. It is perhaps the best 30-30 ammo due to the exquisite designs as well as the durable materials.

Key Features

  • Polymer Nosler Ballistic tips
  • Boattail design
  • Lead alloy core with a contoured jacket
  • 150 gr. bullet weight as well as a muzzle velocity of 2390 fps

What Other Users Are Saying

Most users found the Ballistic Silvertip to be accurate and reliable ammo. Available in a pack of 20 rounds, the Winchester is perfect for long range shooting. Furthermore, they found that the silver tip very effectively reduced any wind drift and helped increase long-range accuracy.

The lead core alloy grants the round its weight and helps increase penetration. That when combined with the contoured jacket result in an expansion that leaves larger wounds. However, the expansion mainly depends on the caliber of the gun you’re using. In the case of small calibers, the cartridge might shatter whereas, in case of medium to large calibers, the expansion is controlled.

In addition to this, the Lubalox Coating featured allows your barrel to remain clean. As a result, you wouldn’t need to clean or maintain your gun so often.

Watch how it holds up in an expansion test:

 

 

Pros

  • Profound expansion as well as deep penetration
  • Excellent long-range shooting accuracy and reduced wind drift
  • Offers rapid and controlled expansion depending on the rifle caliber
  • Minimizes the need to clean or maintain
  • High muzzle velocity

Cons

  • You might damage the game if shot at close range
  • The boattail design might be responsible for over penetration

Wrap-Up

The Winchester Silvertip is best suited for long-range game hunting when you need explosive power on your side.

Overall Rating: 4.8

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Federal Power-Shok 30-30 Ammunition

Federal Power-Shok 30-30 AmmunitionThe Federal Power Shok 30-30 ammo provides you with the best bang for your buck (quite literally). Whatever the type of game you’re hunting, the Power Shok ensure superior performance and reliability.

Key Features

  • Jacketed soft point flat nosed bullets
  • 150 gr. bullet weight as well as a muzzle velocity of 2390 fps
  • Includes premium non-corrosive brass construction
  • Reloadable boxer primer

What Other Users Are Saying

Most users were deeply impressed by the penetration capabilities of the ammo. They found that the bullet penetrated enough to cause damage, but did not leave through the other side. Furthermore, they noticed minimal collateral damage.

Moreover, the non-corrosive brass boxer primer ensures you can reload and reuse it as many times as you want. In addition, it allowed users to use it in all kinds of extreme weather. Also included is a soft point flat nosed bullet which punches its way into the target, instead of piercing through it.

For a detailed review:

 

 

Pros

  • Durable and non-corrosive bullets due to brass construction
  • You can reuse or reload the boxer primer
  • Flat nosed design delivers heavier wounds
  • Deep penetration capabilities without collateral damage
  • Lightweight with minimal recoil

Cons

  • If the target is too small such as a fox, the bullet may not expand enough
  • The core and jacket may separate

Wrap Up

All in all, the Federal Power Shok is the best 30-30 ammo for those who wish for a budget option that still delivers an excellent performance.

Overall Rating: 4.7

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Hornady LEVERevolution 30-30 Rifle Ammunition

Hornady LEVERevolution30-30 Rifle AmmunitionIf you’re looking for faster incapacitation power, then nothing can beat the Hornady LEVERevolution 30-30 ammo. With its high ballistic coefficient, it is bound to take down any target, even at the longest distances.

Key Features

  • Lead-free Gliding Metal Expanding bullets
  • 140 gr. bullet weight
  • Includes an elastomer tip
  • High ballistic coefficient as well as reliable expansion

What Other Users Are Saying

Most users noted how fast and energetic the 30-30 ammo was. In fact, they found that the Hornady LEVERevrolution delivered 40% more energy than other flat point rounds. The rounds are specifically designed for lever action rifles.

Moreover, the users remarked on how well the bullets expanded, landing an incapacitating wound at every shot. In addition, the high ballistic coefficient increased the range of the shots. The elastomer flex tip makes it easier to shoot with a lever action gun. This is due to the fact that the bullet tip prevents any pre-mature detonation.

For more information:

 

 

Pros

  • High velocity and energy with minimal recoil
  • Works perfectly with lever-action rifles while maintaining accuracy
  • Safe and secure with little to no chances of premature detonation
  • High ballistic coefficients that lead to long-range accuracy
  • Delivers 40% more energy

Cons

  • Not intended for close range shooting
  • Feeding might be a bit flimsy

Wrap-Up

In summary, the Hornady LEVERevolution is perfect for hunting deer and other big game due to its long-range accuracy and reliability.

Overall Rating: 4.6

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Fusion 30-30 Rifle Ammunition

Fusion 30-30 Rifle AmmunitionThe Fusion 30-30 rifle ammo is perhaps the best 30-30 ammo due to its exclusive design and ballistic performance. In addition to weight retention, it features premium penetration capabilities.

Key Features

  • Uniform jacket with molecular bonding
  • Maximum weight retention
  • Pack of 20 soft point bullets
  • Copper jacket with a lead core and boattail design

What Other Users Are Saying

The Federal Fusion ammunition includes a bonded copper jacket with a lead core. As a result, this eliminates any separation and allows for 100% weight retention. Also, this ensures superior transfer of energy which leads to larger wounds.

Furthermore, the boattail profile ensures perfect aerodynamics and ensure long-range expansion. Most users noted that the rounds were quite accurate. Moreover, users noted that the skived tip ensured the bullet did not prematurely expand.

Interested in knowing more? Watch:

 

 

Pros

  • Superior penetration and long-range expansion
  • 100% weight retention
  • Minimizes any premature expansion
  • Larger wounds lead to quicker incapacitation of targets
  • Accurate and precise shots

Cons

  • Tends to exit at short range and smaller game
  • Might do a little damage if shot too closely

Sum Up

The Fusion 30-30 ammo ensures you can quickly and easily incapacitate deer and larger game with a single shot. Its long-range accuracy and penetration capabilities render it a cult-favorite.

Overall Rating: 4.5

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Other Great 30-30 Ammo

Conclusion

Whether you’re chasing down bucks or trying to get rid of larger pests, the 30-30 ammo packs a powerful punch. My top choices can easily incapacitate all kinds of game in a single shot. However, other users agree that the Remington Core Lokt provides perhaps the best 30-30 ammo.

It features bullets that are explosively expansion and that can penetrate deeply without exiting. Furthermore, it retains its weight over long distances. All in all, it is perfectly suited for hunting and shooting down the largest of game.


If you’re more comfortable using a shotgun, here’s our post on ammo for that.

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