Interesting post! Even though the .30 W.C.F. / .30-30 is my all time favorite cartridge, I would go with my heavily loaded .45-70 if I was hunting for a large animal that fights back.
That being said, the handiness of a slick '94 .30-30 saved Jack Turners life from one huge bruin back in May, 1965. In his story "Killer Grizzly at Six feet" he recounts that he had moved his family up on the Atnarko River above Lonesome Lake in British Columbia. There were bear in the area and not one to take any chances, he always carried his faithful '94 .30-30 with him when away from the homestead.
He said "You never know when a grizzly will decide to pick a fight, so I rarely venture beyond the cleared fields around our house without hanging the old .30-30 over my shoulder. That precaution has saved my skin, or my family's at least twice."
On that particular day he left his house on a 2 mile walk to repair a fence. It was a fine spring morning. He recalls, "I came to a place where the trail, winding through cedars and cottonwoods, opens into a sunny glade no bigger than a house. I rounded a bend, and there in the center of the glade stood the biggest grizzly I had ever laid eyes on (and I have seen more than 200, in just about every part of British Columbia, in the last 20 years.) He was staring straight at me, and he was just 40 feet away."
"Our eyes met and locked and he was on his way. I saw him in one instant and he was coming for me in a savage rush, running like a dog after his prey. He was drooling as he came, and a low growl was rumbling in his throat. I whipped the Winchester off my back and, since I carry the rifle loaded in the magazine but none in the chamber, I had to lever in a shell. The bear was almost on me when I slammed my shot into him, and I recall thinking, in that brief flash of time, that I'd only have time for one."
“I was using 170 gr. Soft point factory loads. I hit him dead center between the eyes and that soft point bullet blew his whole brain out through a hole in the back of his skull. He was still running full tilt when I shot, but his head went down between his forelegs, and he fell almost straight down. I backed off a few steps, held the rifle on him, and waited until I was sure there wasn’t a spark of life left in him. He was a buster, by far the biggest grizzly we had ever seen.”
Jack goes on to say that if the skull would have been intact, it would have scored 27 in the Boone and Crockett Clubs book according to them. The largest score on record at the time was 26 10/16.
Thank goodness he had a very dependable, handy, .30-30 rifle and knew how to use it when the chips were down.