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308 vs 30-30 – Is One Better Than The Other in 2023?

30-30 vs 308

One of our gun club’s newest member is undecided which to pick between the 30-30 vs 308 Winchester ammo for his newly purchased lever-action rifle. He reached out and sought advice from our team. We explained that although both cartridges have the same bullet size, he cannot use the same rifle for both ammo. Do you want to know why? Let’s all find out.

While both the 308 and 30-30 Win are smokeless powder cartridges, they differ in most things, such as their case types and sizes. The 308 features a rimless bottlenecked case while the 30-30 has a rimmed bottleneck cartridge case type and a wider nose diameter, making both ammo NOT interchangeable.

The 308 is best suited for short-action rifles, bolt action rifles, and other machine guns, while the 30-30 is chambered to the lever-action, pump, and bolt-action rifles. The 308 has a greater case capacity and internal dimensions for higher chamber pressure operations and greater bullet velocity. If we were to talk about their price, the 30-30 ammo is less expensive than the 308.

Specification Chart

30-30 Winchester

  • Brand: Winchester
  • Model: 30-30 Winchester
  • Bullet Size: .308 inches
  • Bullet Diameter: .308 inches
  • Shell Case Length: 2.029 inches
  • Energy (per 200 yards): 1,304 ft/lbs
  • Velocity (per 200 yards): 1,916 fts
  • Muzzle Energy: 2,046 ft/lbs
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,400 fts

308 Winchester

  • Brand: Winchester
  • Model: 308 Winchester
  • Bullet Size: 0.3 inches
  • Bullet Diameter: 0.277 inches
  • Shell Case Length: 2.015 inches
  • Energy (per 200 yards): 1,897 ft-lbf
  • Velocity (per 200 yards): 2,387 ft/s
  • Muzzle Energy: 2,648 ft-lbf
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,820 ft/s

Detailed Comparison


The 308 is stronger, thicker at the base, and operates at a chamber pressure. Generally, a 30-30 round has a velocity of about 2,370 fps, while 308 travels at a speed of 2,680 fps.

Aside from having a higher velocity, the 308 also has a greater muzzle velocity, which is about 2.620 ft-lbs than the 30-30 Win’s 1890 ft-lbs, which means that the 308 has higher stopping power. Ballistically speaking, the 308 takes its first win.

For medium-sized games, we’ve got this 270 and 308 ammo comparison here


For target shooting, distance shooting, and hog hunting at long range, the 308 is a better choice since it has a higher velocity and more staying power in the air than the 30-30. For hog hunting and short-range hunting, the 30-30 would be a good choice.


As afore-mentioned, the 308 has a higher velocity and more oomph than the 30-30. Therefore, it also has a flatter trajectory.

The 308 also has more powder propellant, which makes its muzzle velocity more powerful when fired.

In other words, the 30-30 holds less powder and has less aerodynamic bullets than the 308.

308 winchester trajectory


The performance of 30-30 vs 308 in the short-range shooting is almost the same. But for distance shooting and target shooting, the 308 performs more accurately. With its higher velocity and better trajectory, shooting a 308 ammo would still be accurate at 400 yards than the 30-30, which most likely performs better at about 200 yards.

Related Article: Best Progressive Reloading Presses in 2020

Long Distance Shooting

The 308 has higher ballistics, higher velocity, more powder, and has higher aerodynamics, so it is a better choice for long-distance shooting than the 30-30. Testing out both ammo, we noticed that the 308 has a lesser bullet drop. Since the 308 bullet has more velocity and is lighter and slimmer, it reaches farther distance before dropping on the ground.

Loading Type

reloading 308 winchester

The 308 has more bullet weight options for factory loads than the 30-30, which is restricted to FP or RN for most factory loads limiting its long-range effectiveness.

The 30-30 bullets range from 115 – 170 grains but somewhat heavier because of its wider diameter, while the 308 Win’s bullet weights range from 125 – 185 grains and are lighter and slimmer.

Bullet Weights

Since the 308 is a slimmer and lighter bullet, it has more velocity than the 30-30. The 30-30 has a larger bullet case, making it powerful but heavier. The 308 has an edge in bullet weight because it has more bullet weight options than the 30-30.


We used the same rifle weight of 7.5 inches and the same bullet weight of 150 grains in testing out both ammo. The velocity of the 308 was 2,800 ft/s, while the 30-30 was 2,364 ft/s. The 30-30 showed less recoil energy and less recoil velocity than the 308.

30-30 Winchester Pros & Cons



308 Winchester Pros & Cons



30-30 Win or 308 Win? We Recommend...

After carefully testing out the 30-30 vs 308 Win, our team recommends the 308 because it has a higher velocity, better ballistics, and more aerodynamics, making it a better choice for long-distance shooting. Although it may recoil a little more, it has a flatter trajectory and more powder for better penetration. Having more bullet weight options is also a plus for the 308.

If you’re looking for a good polymer magazine, check out this Troy BattleMag review

308 winchester

Our #1 Recommendation

308 Winchester

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