Originally Posted by glock39
I had considered a 38/357 rifle as well, but decided that the more expensive 30-30 was a better choice. Anyone with more experience, please feel free to correct me on any of the following. I'm basing this on Internet research, not experience.
The 38+P loads out of a rifle look like they have about the same velocity as a 357 out of a 3 inch pistol. Much improved, but not the same as a full size 357 pistol. Some 357 rifles will apparently feed 38's flawlessly, but some will double feed the shorter 38 cases and cause a nasty jam. The 30-30 only has one case size.
The 357 pistol loads out of a rifle get a tremendous boost in speed, perhaps too much. Apparently deer hunters don't like them because a hollow-point pistol bullet that's designed to open up at 1500 ft/sec can completely fragment and not penetrate properly at 2000 ft/sec. I'm frankly not sure how that translates into use on thinner skinned bipedal predators.
Some 357 loads are specifically designed for rifle velocities. But it you then fired them out of a 3 inch pistol, you'd have the opposite problem. Would a bullet designed for 2000 ft/sec work properly at less than 1500 ft/sec out of a smaller 357 pistol? So is your ammo really interchangeable between the rifle and pistol?
The 30-30 factory loads are all designed to operate at about 2000 ft/sec out of a rifle barrel. Some of the 30-30 hollow-points apparently don''t have any more penetration (at least through ballistic gelatin) than many pistol bullets, but have a lot more kinetic energy than any pistol.
For hunters, plinker's and those who hand load, the 357 rifle is wonderfully versatile. For self defense, pretty much any 30-30 factory load should work predictably (as they were all designed for rifle use), and there are both hollow-points and longer range options available. If you hand load, then you can make quiet and/or low power loads for small game.
Your statements are mostly true. BUT taken slightly out of context, there are also a couple schools of thought here...
First off, what is the purpose/use for this firearm?
Because something for personal defense is different that a hunting firearm. Mostly concerning over/under penetration. By and large the 357 is a personal defense caliber while the 30-30 is a light game hunting caliber.
The 357 levers WILL reliably feed most all 38 special loadings, OTHER THAN FULL WAD CUTTERS. Full wad cutters can be used if loaded single and do in fact shoot very well in my own guns.
YES, for hunting, the use of a hollow point, when fired thru a longer carbine/rifle barrel in 357. 41 or 44 mag calibers will exhib shallow penetration and bullet desegregation. BUT simply utilizing soft point bullets eliminates this issue. I have shot a number of deer using both HP and SP ammo. From both handgun and rifle length barrels. The SP ammo is head and shoulders better with thru and thru penetration unless major bones are impacted.
BUT, same HP for personal protection will stop over penetration and collateral damages. All while imparting fight stopping prefromance on two legged vermin. Even for PD uses, I would avoid the lightest bullet weights. the 158s are about perfect and most widely available. These light loadings are excellent for small game as would be the 38 spl loadings.
Also, while you are correct velocity increases are experienced. In a magnum, 300-400 fps is closer to the truth. (I have choreographed MOST all available) A full 2000 fps is a bit exaggerated. Its nit picking I know, but 1800fps is about tops UNLESS you hand load. My own 158g XTP FP loading with Lil Gun powder, almost reaches 2000fps from my 18'' barrel Marlin. This level of 357 mag preformance is every bit equal and even superior to the 30-30 150g and it even has a heavier, larger diameter bullet making preformance on game likely BETTER with the 357 Magnum!!! All with slightly less recoil, more rounds in magazine and less muzzle blast.
The 30-30 WILL over-penetrate two legged vermin at any angle and with any part impacted. This is NOT a worry with a 158 HP form a 357 Mag. This 30-30 penetration is desirable in a hunting situation. Conserning HP 30-30 ammo, I have not seen the Winchester HP's for some time, but even if you have some they will NOT preform as a 357 Mag HP will. They are still designed for hunting use and WILL COMPLETELY penetrate any person and likely still go thru walls and into by standers or sleeping house mates...
For a balance of both, I feel either will suffice as long as your aware of the over penetration of the 30-30 is used in dewlings with innocent bystanders around.