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7-30 Waters Question

2286 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Ken in SENM
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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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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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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