Hornady LeveRevolution 30-30 Review: Honest Testing By a Hunter
September 3, 2023 |
I’ll always remember harvesting my first deer with my dad’s lever-action Marlin 336. At the time, it was a bigger buck than my dad had ever shot; now, he’s taken several much larger bucks, some of which with the same 30-30.
So when I was tasked to write this Hornady LeverRevolution 30-30 review, I was pumped! Pulling that gun out of my parents’ safe brought back many childhood memories.
I purchased a box of LeveRevolution 30-30 ammo and headed to our gun range. The rest of this article is my findings from that trip.
I nervously loaded the second centerfire round into the tubular magazine, afraid the bullet’s polymer tip would ignite the primer of the previously loaded round.
Thankfully, it didn’t! And my biggest worry was relieved.
Hornady LeveRevolution ammo is unique to all other lever action rounds because it has a patented elastomer Flex Tip, which makes it more accurate and has a higher ballistic coefficient. The Flex Tip technology of the FTX bullet and MonoFlex bullet also provides a velocity increase of up to 250 fps over traditional flat-point bullets while still providing shock-absorbing safety in tubular magazines.
These advancements in bullet technology allow it to be more effective at harvesting deer and elk at further distances than round-nose bullets.
The new propellants used in LeveRevolution ammo provide increased muzzle velocity at conventional pressures, resulting in the same amount of recoil (not much) but flatter trajectories and more terminal energy.
Hornady’s solid reputation as an ammo manufacturer has only been even more solidified with these advancements.
Joyce Hornady started the Hornady Sporting Goods Company in 1949, shortly after WWII ended. Beginning by selling sports equipment, Joyce had the vision to sell bullets suitable for hunting to US citizens.
However, his bankers were not convinced. Instead of giving up, Hornady dedicated himself to his vision, and eventually, the first Hornady bullet was produced. It was a .30-caliber 150-grain spire point bullet. Since the beginning, it has been one of the most popular bullets in the Hornady line.
Throughout the years, Hornady has prided itself on being innovative, whether that’s the increased focus on quality control two decades before others or the focus on bettering bullet technologies in more recent years.
In 1964, Hornady formed Frontier Ammunition, which was the true beginnings of Hornady Ammunition, a step away from focusing on bullet production towards ammunition production. Innovation and diversification didn’t stop here.
In 1977, Hornady introduced the “InterLock” design. InterLock bullets have an interior ring that locks the jacket and core together, minimizing separation.
However, tragedy struck the company in 1981 when Joyce Hornady and two other critical team members died in a plane crash going to Shot Show.
Instead of crumbling under unexpected pressures, the Hornady Manufacturing Company began a new era and continues to craft the best ammunition to come out of Grand Island, Nebraska, on the market today.
Hornady is one of my favorite ammo manufacturers. I’ve used their ammo across multiple platforms and in several different guns without a problem.
So to say I had high hopes for the Hornady LeveRevolution 30-30 ammunition would be an understatement.
First of all, it fed into the magazine with ease. As I mentioned, I was a little nervous about loading multiple Spitzer bullets, but that fear was squashed after loading three.
The brass cases smoothly transitioned from the magazine to the chamber and ejected without any malfunctions.
The recoil wasn’t any more than other lever action rifle ammunition I’ve fired using my dad’s lever gun; in fact, it surprised me by how little recoil I felt.
After I got over that happy surprise, I looked through my scope to be happily surprised at how consistent and accurate this ammo was. I first shot multiple rounds without zeroing in the scope with this ammo, and it was still reasonably on target.
Even though the gun rested on a sandbag, I stood awkwardly, leaning on my tailgate. Yet, I was still able to get consistent groupings, and I’m by no means an expert shot!
Overall, these rounds lived up to my expectations, and I’ll no longer use any other ammo for hunting hogs, deer, or elk.
Whitetail deer hunting within 300 yards is where Hornady LeveRevolution 30-30 ammunition shines. The 30-30 has dominated the deer woods across the USA for decades, and now this ammo extends its range just a little bit more.
For serious shooters, who are into reloading, the high-quality brass cases make it possible to reload spent casings, so be sure to pick up all your brass while you’re at the shooting range.
The 30-30 round is known for poor performance at longer ranges, 350+ yards. And while the LeveRevolution ammo extends this range, it by no means makes the 30-30 lever gun a long-range bolt-action hunting rifle.
Below I’ve listed the benefits and drawbacks I found while testing the ammo.
- Consistently accurate means you can rest assured the bullet will strike where you’re aiming
- Reasonably priced compared to Winchester SuperX and Remington Core-Lokt
- Reloadable brass casings
- I had zero malfunctions while testing it
- Extends the downrange performance of your 30-30 lever gun
- More expensive than traditional round-nose ammunition
I’ve taken the liberty to round up the specs for the Hornady FTX LeveRevolution 160-grain bullet and the 140-grain bullet, as well as the standard 30-30 casing specs in which these bullets are seated.
Hornady LeveRevolution 30-30 ammo comes in a couple of variations, from the heavier 160gr FTX bullet to the lighter 140gr MonoFlex Bullet.
Even though it’s a little lighter, the 140gr bullet can still take down elk at close ranges (100-200 yards). However, this bullet will shine while varmint and whitetail deer hunting. It has a slightly higher muzzle velocity than the 160-grain bullet but slightly lower muzzle energy.
The 140gr also has a lower BC and SD than the 160gr. (See the ballistics table below).
The heavier 160gr FTX bullet is the better choice, in my opinion; even though it will have slightly more recoil, it wasn’t much when I shot it, and low muzzle velocity. Once you compare everything else, the 160-grain bullet is much better for elk and deer hunting out to 300 yards.
While testing any rifle ammo, I tend to approach it from a hunting perspective since this is what I do most often with a rifle. However, I always keep other shooters in mind because I’m also a sucker for a fun day at the gun range, with a bit of competition mixed in. That’s why I consider the accuracy, consistency, reliability, and price of the ammo I’m testing.
Accuracy: The accuracy is measured by how close the bullet is to where I was aiming after each shot. While I’m not the world’s greatest sharpshooter, I’m a decent shot with a rifle.
Consistency: I measure the consistency of ammo by how well I can group my shots. So, I might not be accurate (the scope might be off a bit), but if I’m consistently hitting the same area in a tight group, I know to adjust my sights rather than blame the ammo.
Reliability: I’ve used ammo that doesn’t go bang when the firing pin hits the primer, or it jams and causes all kinds of frustrating malfunctions. I want the ammunition I buy to go bang with each pull of the trigger and cleanly cycle without any hiccups.
Price: I was on a tight budget in college, so I sacrificed some of the abovementioned characteristics. As my budget has grown, I’ve realized the benefits of high-quality ammo, especially for hunting. However, I understand ammo prices can be ridiculous, which is why I still consider this a contributing factor when testing ammo.
Below you’ll find the ballistics table for both the 140gr and 160gr bullets used in 30-30 LeveRevolution ammo.
Now that you’ve finished our Hornady LeveRevolution 30-30 Review, you understand why I love these rounds so much.
It’s the best 30-30 ammo I’ve ever used, and I’ve used several different brands and styles over the years of hunting with a lever gun.
If you’re convinced that Hornady LeveRevolution 30-30 ammo is for you; I encourage you to pick some up from Ammo.com, where we have fast shipping (it took my box of ammo to get to my house in 2 days) and some of the best prices available!
You’ll find a couple of the most commonly asked questions we get at Ammo.com regarding Hornady Leverevolution 30-30 rounds.
Yes, Hornady Leverevolution 30-30 ammo is worth buying. It’s more accurate and cycles well. However, it’s more expensive than most other 30-30 rounds.
The range of Hornady Leverevolution 30-30 ammo is around 300 yards, depending on your shooting skills.
Hornady LeveRevolution 30-30 Review: Honest Testing By a Hunter originally appeared in The Resistance Library at Ammo.com.
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