.30-30 Winchester vs .308 Winchester Ammo Comparison - Ballistics Info – Foundry Outdoors

.30-30 Winchester vs .308 Winchester Ammo Comparison - Ballistics Info & Chart

The following ammunition cartridge ballistics information and chart can be used to approximately compare .30-30 Winchester vs .308 Winchester ammo rounds. Please note, the following information reflects the estimated average ballistics for each caliber and does not pertain to a particular manufacturer, bullet weight, or jacketing type. As such, the following is for comparative information purposes only and should not be used to make precise predictions of the trajectory, performance, or true ballistics of any particular .30-30 Winchester or .308 Winchester rounds for hunting, target shooting, plinking, or any other usage. The decision for which round is better for a given application should be made with complete information, and this article simply serves as a comparative guide, not the final say.

For more detailed ballistics information please refer to the exact round in question or contact the manufacturer for the pertinent information. True .30-30 Winchester and .308 Winchester ballistics information can vary widely from the displayed information, and it is important to understand that the particular characteristics of a given round can make a substantive difference in its true performance.

Caliber Type Velocity
.30-30 Winchester Rifle 2370 1890
.308 Winchester Rifle 2680 2620


As illustrated in the chart, .30-30 Winchester rounds - on average - achieve a velocity of about 2370 feet per second (fps) while .308 Winchester rounds travel at a velocity of 2680 fps. To put this into perspective, a Boeing 737 commercial airliner travels at a cruising speed of 600 mph, or 880 fps. That is to say, .30-30 Winchester bullets travel 2.7 times the speed of a 737 airplane at cruising speed, while .308 Winchester bullets travel 3 times that same speed.

Various calibers


Furthermore, the muzzle energy of a .30-30 Winchester round averages out to 1890 ft-lb, while a .308 Winchester round averages out to about 2620 ft-lb. One way to think about this is as such: a foot-pound is a unit of energy equal to the amount of energy required to raise a weight of one pound a distance of one foot. So a .30-30 Winchester round exits the barrel with kinetic energy equal to the energy required for linear vertical displacement of 1890 pounds through a one foot distance, while a .308 Winchester round exiting the barrel has energy equal to the amount required to displace 2620 pounds over the same one foot distance. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to hunting, muzzle energy is what many hunters look at when deciding on what caliber of firearm / ammunition to select. Generally speaking, the higher the muzzle energy, the higher the stopping power.

Again, the above is for comparative information purposes only, and you should consult the exact ballistics for the particular .30-30 Winchester or .308 Winchester cartridge you're looking at purchasing.

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Robert Kieltyka - Oct 19, 2021

I’m going hog hunting for the first time. Would you recommend a bolt action 308 or a lever action 30-30?

Fred - Nov 23, 2021

Hi, Robert. Personally, I’d go with the lever action .30-30. Assuming you have a relatively accurate one, decent ammunition, and know how to (and do!) clean the rifle, of course. As a class, (IMHO) they are considered to be somewhat less accurate – but not inaccurate – than bolt action rifles, and cleaning them tends to be a more involved process. However, if that doesn’t put you off (and it shouldn’t), go for it. They’ve been getting the job done for well over a century.

Mark Taylor - Dec 13, 2021

.308 is a better round. A sapling won’t veer it

Jesus Hernandez - Aug 10, 2023

Mark I’d disagree with the 308 primarily using spritzer type bullets it is more likely to be veered by a sapling that the primary flat or round 30-30 but with neither is particularly vulnerable to it

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