Skip to main content

.30-30 Win. vs .300 BLK

The .300 BLK offers more versatility in terms of rifle selection, but in terms of energy the .30-30 bests the .300 BLK by a wide margin.

.30-30 Win. vs .300 BLK
How does the .30-30 Win. stack up to the .300 BLK? Brad Fitzpatrick answers that question in this Cartridge Clash.

The .30-30, or .30 WCF, needs little introduction. Winchester first offered the cartridge in 1895 in the then-new Model 94 lever gun. With mild recoil and moderate energy out to iron sight ranges, the .30-30 took off, and for more than a century, it’s been a game-field standard and go-to saddle rifle cartridge, even in the face of competition from more modern cartridges.

The .300 AAC Blackout shares the same bullet diameter at the .30-30 Win., but little else. The .300 BLK is based on the J.D. Jones-designed .300 Whisper and uses the .221 Rem. Fireball as its parent cartridge. In 2010 the team at Advanced Armament Corporation modified the cartridge slightly, adding .015 inch to the chamber throat length. The .300 BLK functioned in M4/AR-15 rifles and offered the same case capacity as the 5.56 NATO, but the Blackout could fire heavier bullets at subsonic velocities and was a step up from 9mm carbine performance.

The .30-30 and .300 BLK feature disparate case designs. The rimmed .30-30 has a pronounced shoulder and a case length of 2.039 inches. The rimless Blackout case has a small shoulder and measures just 1.368 inches long.

These cartridges are also chambered in very different rifles: the .30-30 is associated with lever-action rifles with tubular magazines, and the .300 BLK is most commonly available in AR-platform rifles.


The .300 BLK is considered a more accurate round, but that is due at least in part to rifle options. Lever guns with their two-piece stock design and barrel-mounted tube magazines are rarely tack-drivers. At practical hunting ranges, both cartridges will still shoot accurately enough to do the job, but on paper the Blackout usually beats the .30-30.


In terms of energy the .30-30 bests the .300 BLK by a wide margin, but there’s a caveat: .30-30 ammo is usually tested in 20- or 24-inch barrels while the .300 Blackout is fired from 16-inch test barrels.

30-30-Win-vs-300-BLK

According to Hornady, its .30-30 LeverEvolution load reaches 2,400 fps from a 24-inch barrel and generates 2,046 ft.-lbs. of muzzle energy. The company’s 135-grain FTX .300 BLK load reaches 2,085 fps at the muzzle and generates 1,303 ft.-lbs. at the muzzle. Though these numbers don’t give the two cartridges an even ballistic shake because of disparities in barrel length, most .30-30 guns have barrels of 20 inches or greater, while most Blackout guns are around 16 inches, which means you’ll get more knockdown power with the average .30-30 rifle than with most .300 BLK guns.

The .300 BLK is the winner in ammo availability, but there’s an asterisk here, too. Brownells lists 54 different .300 BLK loads to the .30-30’s 27 ammo options. However, the .300 BLK ammo is available in a wide variety of super-and subsonic loads ranging from 88 to 260 grains, and that list includes FMJs, OTMs, subsonic loads, and a few big game and varmint loads. The .30-30’s offerings range from 125 to 190 grains, most all of which are designed for big game hunting.

In terms of factory ammo cost, you can expect to pay 70 cents to $2.50 a round for .30-30 with an average price-per-shot cost just above a dollar. You’ll pay an average of 80 cents a round for .300 BLK with some loads costing as little as 57 cents.


If you’re a reloader, price is comparable, and there’s a wide selection of bullets, brass and powders for each cartridge, with lots of load data.

This battle boils down to application and gun preference. The .300 BLK offers more versatility in terms of rifle selection, and it also allows you to shoot subsonic loads. Until this year your only option was a Blackout if you wanted to use a can, but Marlin’s new 336 Dark Series rifle line is propelling the .30-30 into the age of suppressors.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Steyr Arms Announces Sniper Rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor

Steyr Arms Announces Sniper Rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor

Scott O'Brien from Steyr Arms sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to take a look at Steyr's new tactical heavy barrel sniper rifle in 6.5mm Creedmoor.

RS Sako Finnlight II

RS Sako Finnlight II

The new Sako Finnlight II sports an innovative stock and Cerakote metal paired with the terrific 85 action.

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

Ruger Launches New American Rifle Predator in 6.5 Grendel

Ruger Launches New American Rifle Predator in 6.5 Grendel

OSG's Lynn Burkhead and Ruger's Matt WIlson kick off SHOT Show 2018 by taking a look at the Ruger Predator.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Craig Boddington takes a look five great military cartridges, all more than a century old, that continue to solider on. 5 Great Military Rifle Cartridges Ammo

5 Great Military Rifle Cartridges

Craig Boddington - August 07, 2020

Craig Boddington takes a look five great military cartridges, all more than a century old,...

The author takes stock of rimfire rifles he's known and loved..22 Memory Lane Ammo

.22 Memory Lane

J. Scott Rupp - January 04, 2019

The author takes stock of rimfire rifles he's known and loved.

The new Hammerli TAC R1 22 C, an AR-15 style .22 rimfire rifle, is the first product in the company's new Defense line.Hammerli TAC R1 22 C Review Reviews

Hammerli TAC R1 22 C Review

James Tarr - August 12, 2020

The new Hammerli TAC R1 22 C, an AR-15 style .22 rimfire rifle, is the first product in the...

The Hi-Point 10mm carbine, technically the 1095 TS, sports a 17.5-inch barrel, is 32 inches long and weighs seven pounds empty. Review: Hi-Point 1095 TS 10mm Carbine Semi-Auto

Review: Hi-Point 1095 TS 10mm Carbine

James Tarr - April 04, 2019

The Hi-Point 10mm carbine, technically the 1095 TS, sports a 17.5-inch barrel, is 32 inches...

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

The RifleShooter staff put together their gift guide for the upcoming holiday season, with products from SIG, Browning, Leupold and many more.RifleShooter Holiday Gift Guide (2019) Accessories

RifleShooter Holiday Gift Guide (2019)

J. Scott Rupp

The RifleShooter staff put together their gift guide for the upcoming holiday season, with...

The .30-30 Win. cartridge celebrates 125 years of service to big game hunters, and it's still getting the job done..30-30 Win. Cartridge Celebrates 125 Years Ammo

.30-30 Win. Cartridge Celebrates 125 Years

Craig Boddington - August 06, 2020

The .30-30 Win. cartridge celebrates 125 years of service to big game hunters, and it's still...

Despite their similarities, the 6.5 PRC and 6.5 RPM are opposites in some regards. For example, the PRC requires a magnum bolt face but fits in a short action whereas the RPM utilizes a standard-diameter bolt but demands a long action.6.5 PRC vs 6.5 RPM — What You Need to Know Ammo

6.5 PRC vs 6.5 RPM — What You Need to Know

Brad Fitzpatrick - June 18, 2020

Despite their similarities, the 6.5 PRC and 6.5 RPM are opposites in some regards. For...

There are currently at least 10 different popular 6.5mm rifle cartridges; five of them, including the 6.5 Creedmoor, were introduced in just the last decade or so. These cartridges span the spectrum from modest, efficient rounds to barrel-burning dragons that spew 6.5mm bullets at shocking speeds.10 Best 6.5mm Rifle Cartridges Available Right Now Ammo

10 Best 6.5mm Rifle Cartridges Available Right Now

Joseph von Benedikt - August 28, 2020

There are currently at least 10 different popular 6.5mm rifle cartridges; five of them,...

See More Ammo

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Rifle Shooter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now