.30 Steve

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Jack @ Rule .303 posted his top five worst new cartridges

1. 7.62×39 Ackley Improved
2. .22 belted magnum
3. .338 rimfire
4. 28 gauge Buckhammer saboted slugs
5. .50 BMG shotshells

I posted a comment saying a hotter 7.62×39 might not be so bad.

Jack went on to post an interesting comment on why this would be a very bad idea, at least economically


In theory, one could give the 7.62×39 the Ackley treatment and wind up with a cartridge that makes an extra 120 fps or whatever. And I agree that this would be kinda neat in theory because a little extra oopmh at 150 yards would make this a better deer cartridge.

However, let’s think about this a little bit. The allure of 7.62×39 has little to do with it’s ballistics. America is falling in love with 7.62×39 because it’s become the cheapest centerfire cartridge available (excluding corrosive milsurp ammo). At a time when ammunition costs in general have been going ballistic (heh heh) this thing showed up right on time.

Buying specialty ‘Ackley improved’ ammo would probably cost $16 a box or so. As much as a box of 30-’06 hunting ammo. Kinda defeats the purpose, huh?

As far as reloading goes, one of the attractions of Ackley chamberings has always been that you could shoot the regular ammo in it and the standard cases get blown out to the slightly larger Ackley dimensions of the chamber. Then you can reload that brass and you have cartridges that give you the full Ackley advantage.

That’s great, except that the vast majority of the 7.62×39 that is out there is not brass. It’s steel cased, which is such a pain in the butt to reload that it’s basically impractical. Heck, some of it is even berdan primed as well. I don’t even know if steel cases will blow out to Ackley dimensions on firing the way that brass cases do.

Read the rest of his comment here.

Since when has a bad idea ever stopped a cartridge manufacturer? So if Winchester, Remington, Hornady, Federal or Sierra are reading this and you are looking for the next fad, checkout my .30 Steve.
It is guaranteed to kill deer just as well as the old fashioned 7.62x39mm but costs 5x as much! Your shareholders will love it!

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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Join the conversation
  • Jack Landers Jack Landers on Dec 31, 2007

    Surely this will spawn a whole new family of cartridges. The necked-up .338 Steve Short Action (ahem, begging to become a standard factory chambering for the Remington model Seven) followed by lengthening that into the .338 Steve Super Magnum (elk hunters will love it). A necked-down .204 Steve for the varminting crowd. And how about a .17 Steve wildcat available only from the Sako custom shop?

    Oh - don't forget the obligatory Marlin/Hornady joint project to develop a rimmed version of the .30 Steve for use in lever guns. Which also just happens to make 124 fps more velocity than the standard Steve using a new proprietary propellant that Hornady has been saving for just such an occasion.

    I can already see the cover of 'Guns and Ammo.' 'The .338 Steve Super Magnum - America's NEW Classic Elk Cartridge?'

    Somebody get Craig Boddington on the phone so we can have him hike off to Mongolia with a brand new Thompson-Center in .338 Steve Super Magnum to get a trophy sheep for the front page of 'Peterson's Hunting.'

  • Steve Steve on Jan 04, 2008

    hahaha :-P . With all your great ideas we should collaborate!

    How does the .375 S&J SNM (Steve and Jack Super Nitro Magnum). 93 fps faster than the .375 H&H at the muzzle, but with 3% less recoil!