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The .30 Carbine

By Chuck Hawks

From a carbine length rifle barrel .30 Carbine factory loads drive 110 grain RN bullets at a muzzle velocity of 1,990 fps. Muzzle energy is 977 ft. lbs. At 100 yards the little bullet is traveling at 1,567 fps and still has 600 ft. lbs. of energy. It is a self-defense and small predator cartridge when expanding bullets are used and a great plinker with FMJ bullets.

Its ballistics in a rifle may not be overwhelming, but neither is the recoil. Recoil energy is very light at 3.8 ft. lbs. in a 7 pound carbine. Remington and Federal offer 110 grain jacketed soft point bullets in their factory loads, while Winchester loads a 110 grain jacketed open point bullet. Winchester includes the .30 Carbine cartridge in both their rifle and pistol ammo lists.

Here are some .30 Carbine specifications of interest to reloaders: bullet diameter .308", maximum COL 1.680", maximum case length 1.290", SAAMI MAP 40,000 cup.

Given the .30 Carbine's limited capacity, magnum revolver powders such as H110, W296, IMR 4227, VIHT N110, and #2400 generally give the best performance. Full length resize .30 Carbine brass.

The reloader has the choice of 90-110 grain soft point, hollow point, and full metal jacket style bullets. All are round or flat nose designs. The Speer 110 grain Varminter JHP bullet has a BC of .136, and a SD of .166 (not impressive, but better than the 55 grain .224 inch bullet).

According to the Speer Reloading Manual No. 13 13.0 grains of W296 powder gives their 110 grain bullet a MV of 1796 fps, and 15.0 grains of W296 drives a 110 grain bullet at a MV of 1981 fps. Since the .30 Carbine headspaces on the case mouth, like an autoloading pistol cartridge, it must be taper crimped; do not roll crimp.

Note: A full length article about the .30 Carbine can be found on the Rifle Cartridge Page.

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Copyright 2005, 2016 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.