The first 30 is in reference to the caliber and the second is in reference to the powder weight. The 30.06 is similar-the 30 is the caliber and the 06 is the first year of production. Before it was called the .30-30 it the .30 Winchester Center Fire made by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. When Marlin also made a rifle to fire this round it was referred to as the .30-30. Some cartridge designation refers to the caliber and length, such as the 8mm Mauser which is 7.92 millimeter caliber by 57 millimeter in length. The British extend their caliber to the third decimal point, for example the old .58 caliber Enfield musket was designated as .577 (caliber) by 60 (grains of black powder) by 525 (Bullet weights in grains) thus: .577/60/525 * The 30-30 cartridge has been called minimum power cartridge to be considered as a high powered rifle cartridge. The 30-30 has been known as;* . 30 WINCHESTER SMOKELESS * .30 WINCHESTER * .30 W.C.F. * .30-6-100 * .30 Marlin * .30-30 MARLIN SMOKELESS * .30-30 S. * .30-30 W.C.F. * .30-30 Win. * .30 American (Federal case, small primer) * DWM 543 (Germany) * 7.62x51R (Europe) * The 30-30 designation refers to 30 caliber, and 30 grains of smokeless powder, as distinct from the many cartridges that refer to the weight in grains of black powder * It has had the distinction of being the best known civilian rifle cartridge in the 20th century, and it has never been used by the military * It is considered the minimum rifle cartridge in power for hunting deer in the US * I have included a link below Addition:
The .30-30 Winchester is roughly equivalent to the 7.62 x 39 Russian military cartridge, but is available in a wider variety of bullet styles and weights. It is a good choice for short range white tail deer hunting, but for ranges beyond 150 meters, or larger game such as western mule deer, the 7.62 NATO (.308 Winchester) or the .30-06 are better choices. I don't like magnum cartridges for deer, as they have a tendency to damage the meat due to hydrostatic shock and the additional power and penetration are not needed (nor is the recoil, for most shooters). CLARIFICATION: I believe that the main answer would be as simples as the previously stated answer in the middle of all of that: 30 caliber bullet - 30 grains of powder. As far as measuring up against other cartridges, it is true that in many ways the 30-30 is comparable to the 7.62 x 39; however, this is primarily in the trajectory department. Most loads have very comparable bullet paths when zeroed at the same range. When comparing energy, the 30-30 is largely superior. This is due to fireing a heavier bullet, at 150 or 170 grains compared to the 122 or 123 grain bullets normally fired by the 7.62 x 39. As far as energy goes, a 30-30 has plenty of energy to take a Whitetailed Deer at or past 200 yards. They are not, unfortunately, the most accurate guns mostly due to heavy trigger pull, larger sights and things of that nature, along with the bullet drop being hard to compensate for at that range. The cartridge itself is a very good medium game cartridge and will do much better than a 7.62 x 39 at actually killing an animal humanely, as well as when brush hunting. Finally, I would probably call the 5.56 x 45, or .223 the minimum rifle cartridge for hunting deer. Above that would be the 7.62 x 39. I'd Like to clarify the info about the 30-06 The cal. is correct however the 06 is when the Armys ORD dept ofically adopted the round. and yes the 30 in the 30 30 is the cal and powder weight and that powder back then was Black powder. Not to be confused with our modernday pyrodex and other brands and would have measured as such. Like the 44-40 45-70 45-80 45-90 one other little detail is grain size F is for Canon. FF is for rifle. and FFF is for your pistols. I'd like to add one note on this round ( the 30-30 ) and that is it has taken more game than any other round. It might be a close tie with the .22 you know with all the small game harvested with it ( that was 1906 just like the cal .45 mod 1911 got it's name/designation )
Correction to last guy's clarification: Yes, The .30-30 was designed around smokeless powder. Whereas older cartridges such as the .45-70 Government do indeed refer to 70 grains of BLACK powder, the .30-30 refers to 30-grains of SMOKELESS powder. Same with the .30-40 Krag cartridge. DO NOT use this as modern loading data, however, as there is a much greater variety of smokless powder available today with different burn rates.
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