22 May 2022

Obsolete Cartridges

There's a lot of "obsolete" rounds out there in common use.

.45-70 and .30-30 are still widely used.

Judging by how much easier it'd been to find .300 Savage (at least before the Biden ammo panic™ ©2020-2022) I'd say that people were dusting off old Model 99's and heading out to the woods with them again.

.30-06 is obsolete because it's a military cartridge that's no longer in front-line military use.  This also applies to .45-70.

But you'll find any of these rounds in use where it's legal to use them every hunting season.

They're, nominally, not even that hard to find at the local gun shop.

Obsolescence hits handgun rounds much harder than rifle rounds.  Even so, guns and ammo are readily available, you just won't see them in the field so much (or at all if conceal carried).


  1. I could sure use some 22 Remington Jet rounds for my S&W mod 53. I have the 22 lr inserts but where's the fun in that. Not much good for anything but it sure makes a big boom.

  2. It depends on the definition you subscribe to.

    I don't think most people don't define obsolete for cartridges by whether the original military use (or the originating firearm) is out of production/use.

    I think the more common definition would be when new firearms are no longer being chambered for a cartridge. There are still an awful lot of new rifles being made in .30-06 Spr, .30-30 Win and even a few in .45-70 Spr. I''m not sure anyone is making new rifles in .300 Savage, but I could be wrong.

    And I think other people would use a definition even tighter than that -- when a cartridge is no longer being manufactured on a regular basis. So things like .32 Rimfire is obsolete... but .32 S&W not, according to that definition. This definition hits harder in reality like you say -- try finding any ammo for .32 Rimfire... or .43 Spanish, for example. Even 8mm Nambu is virtually impossible to find, and I've got two pistols that use that. But even for rifles I've got a bunch that are "hand load only". Some it is hard even to find brass for, often the only brass that can be bought is something re-formed from another cartridge. Handgun brass is actually easier because there is a specialty maker, Star-Line which makes a lot of brass for obsolete handgun cartriges, with a correct head stamp even.

  3. I've got a whole lot of .45-70 that I can't shoot thanks to those damn thieves. If I were more in funds and gun prices EVER went down, I'd get a Henry.

  4. .303 ain't obsolete - but, then again. I reload. A lot.

  5. I think the cartridges which are old but still useful are called 'obsolete' by those who don't shoot them. Why would you use a 30-30 when you can shoot .308 instead ? Because that old lever gun has killed plenty of game without the high velocity which creates more blood shot meat but doesn't create quicker demise. Dead is dead - no improvement needed.

    Just a few years ago, 30-30 was priced at least $5 less than .308 / .30-06. Not so any more, in our area, very comparable, about $25 / 20 rounds.

    .45/70 - not much else that is meant for killing BIG game where the thicket is so thick, the dog has to back up to bark. Well, 12 gauge slugs maybe but other than those two, the ammunition cost for .338 and .375 begin to steeply climb in price.



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