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Coug, do you ( or does anybody else here) have any field experience with the 7-30 Waters in a lever gun? I like levers, and I like Marlin levers much the best, but I have wanted a cartridge for my country that would improve on the old 30-30 as far as range and trajectory is concerned. I live in eastern New Mexico where things are pretty flat and wide open. I don't really have any use here for the larger calibers with the relatively shorter effective ranges. I recently located and bought a Winchester 94 XTR AE chambered for the 7-30, and am about to get some experience. I intend to use this cartridge for calling coyotes, and even here, the distances are not normally long. Still, once in a while, a coyote will hang up a ways out and thumb his nose at me, so I sure wouldn't mind being able to make him pay out to around 250 yards.

My reading on the caliber indicates to me that there is not a lot to experiment with as far as loading goes. Bullets must be crimped in the cannelures to avoid being overlength. Two bullets are available. I intend to use Nosler's 120 grain flat point bullet at around 26 or 27 hundred fps for the varmints (and I don't think I would feel handicapped with this bullet for deer!). I also have a some Hornady 139 grainers to try, and might just give these a try on a loose porker (one without a license tag) over across the line in Texas one of these days. I think it would get the job done, at about 24 or 25 hundred fps. For that matter, so would the 120 grain.

We have some mulies that inhabit this plains country, and they can also be found in the mountains to the west. It seems to me that this cartridge oughta be OK for them within reasonable range, which ought to be a bit further than the old 30 WCF will do. We also have pronghorn here in large numbers, but they are pretty tough to get close to on your hind legs.

Is this cartridge gonna be a reliable killer for the uses I have listed? (I understand that anything will do if you can put it in the boiler room and if it will get there from here!) Also, do you have any suggestions about slicking up this Winchester action? It sure is not as smooth as my Marlins. I would be tickled to hear any opinions, advice, or experience anyone can give. I am old enough to go to school on other folk's experiences!!
 

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Ken

By designed intent, from the man who did so, Mr Ken Waters:

"The 7-30 ballistics speak for themselves-higher velocity, flatter trajectory and greater retained down range energy than a 150 grain 30-30 with less recoil. Accuracy in most rifles is also better......The 7-30 will kill deer like lightening with properly placed shots..."

I agree with all of this, but in so saying, I find the bullet weight to be a drawback since I hunt in whipsticks and heavy brush. Understanding that NO bullet is immune from deflection by brush, the odds favor a heavier bullet such as the 170 grain 30-30, the 200 grain 35 Rem, and the 180 grain 30-06.

In as far as the gun, I have expressed my deep concern for the loss of quality in Winchester guns, but then I've said the same of Browning and Remington.

I know at least two gents who collect older Winchester lever guns. Yes, they have been cycled thousands of times, yes they are "worn" in, yes , yes, yes....But you fall in love with the touch of them, the smoothness of the action, the silver where there once was bluing. You feel the warmth of the oil drenched wood, you see the scars from many hunts, and a man can drift back in time when the 30-30 Winchester lever gun was king. When there was open land to hunt, when a man could travel on foot a day in any direction and not see another soul. When a man could put the sneak on a white tail buck that had probably never seen a man.

We were not a mechanized society then, all our dwellings did not look alike save the color of the paint. Now a man can get a snoot full and end up in the wrong house late in the night as his looks identical to his neighbors.

In those long lamented bygone days, a journeyman machinist was in a trade that would be his livelyhood and handed down to his sons. He took great pride in his work, he cared. Sure, he made a living, but a part of himself went into every gun he made a part for. Back then, an Inspector would reject a metal part because it was out of blueprint tolerance, because the surface finish was not just so. He'd flag a partthat had burrs and swarf left behind from machining operations. You see, back then, maybeso the quota was 10 GOOD rifles to shipping a day, 10 rifles that are now in the hands of collectors because they can never be replaced. We have lost so much in this country.

Sad to say, now, it's all just a numbers game, a P&L, an EBIT line. Quantity drives Corporations, no longer quality. Our wealth of knowledge in new materials, new methods, new processes all drive to a single end, profit. No longer is there a pride in workmanship, how can there be, there is no longevity left in Corporate America. You'll land a job there and stay until your rate exceeds what a foriegn entity can do the job for and you're out the door. I'll lay odds your not there long enough to get vested in the pension fund. Working people quit caring, can you blame them?

I was instrumental in rebuilding Smith & Wesson when the Brits took it over. They invested in new machinery and they produced a superior product, and average, identical, exact replicated handgun that you could not tell if this one was mine or yours. Guess how many people went out the door? You can get "Old World" quality from Smith, but it comes from a handful of dedicated people in the custom shop. These guys do it the old way, on manual machines, with files and stones. I've handled and shot 629's from there that you could double action a cylinder and have all 6 go in a 1 inch bull at 25 yards. They still can do it right!

Kind of drifted off subject here......Todays Winchester, well it's sticky, cranky, rough, loose, shaky, has plain as a stump wood for stocks ( if it even HAS wood ) and short of having a darn good smith work it over, I think you are pretty much looking at what Mother Fabrique thinks is a good value for the dollar. I just happen to be one that does not agree.

If there is "magic" to be done on a Winchester as I do on a Marlin I am not aware of it. Of Marlin I will say, at least they give you something to work with. Myself, I don't take a shine to what I can't take apart and put back together. Hear tell a Winchester can be dismantled, but I have never done so, been a Marlin man for a long spell.

Think I'll sign off on this one before GB starts charging me for blabbering and using up bandwidth :wink:

Coug
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Of quality and pride in workmanship ..

Yessir, I agree that we live in a different time and a different place. Too many folks have one year's experience 20 times, instead of twenty year's experience, with the commensurate (don't know where I got that fifty cent word!) increase in knowledge and ability.

I sorta suspected what you said about taking a Winchester apart, and I agree with the way the old ones feel and smell. My granddaddy's old 30 is still in the family, and it is slick and shiny and has marks for which there is (was) a story to tell. Lots of deer down to it, during some of those times of which you speak.

What I hope to do is to find out with this thing whether or not I actually have a use for the cartridge. If I do, then I oughta be able to get a Marlin fixed up with it, if I am willing to spend some money. If not, I will at least have a factory firearm to sell/trade/whatever. Sure gonna be hard to put up with the way it feels when I work the action!!

I understand what you are saying about the interference from vegetation where you hunt. Ain't none of that here, for sure. Lotsa places that a horned toad or a striped lizard can't hide, so they just have to blend in with the dirt!! Thanks for the comments, and the nostalgic mentions.
 

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Ken, can't speak to the gun but the cartridge is a really fine one. I've used it often on a variety of game to include hogs, white tail and exotic deer, varmints and more. All of this from a 14" TC. You will gain another 250 fps at least over my velocities and that will only help. Suitable bullets are limited but adequate to the task. Use that 7-30 with the confidence that if the shooter does his part so will the cartridge.

GB
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info and the "hands on" report. That is the kind of stuff I hoped to hear. Seems to me like it oughta be fun and get the job done at the same time. If I like it, I very well might see if SSK would take a Marlin 336 and make one up, so I could enjoy it in a Marlin!!
 
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