The 30-30 is a pretty good timber gun, most folks will find it useful out to 150 yards or so. I've seen loads for 150 grains up to 180 grains fairly effective. You can shoot farther with it, but you have to dope the drop quite a bit after 150 yards (Maximum point blank range is about there anyways). 150 grains is a pretty common load in that cartridge, and should do you just fine for whitetail in timber.
For out in the open, you might want to look for something that shoots a little flatter farther out. It really depends on your shooting skills and preferences, but anything from a 243 up to a 338 that shoots a 100 to 180 grain bullet at least 2600 fps at the muzzle. Ultimately, I always recommend using the most powerful biggest load you can comfortably shoot at the range you expect to be shooting to. I limit my long range hunting shots to 250 yards or so, and I use a 7mm mag or 338 mag unless I am in thick brush where my shots are all going to be close in, then I switch to 44 mag revolver, or either a 35 remington or a 375 winchester lever actions, mostly just because that's what I have.
If you haven't any good ideas yet, you should really spend some time talking to a local dealer or someone else who hunts in your area that you can trust. Don't go to Walmart or some other dept store and ask some store clerk for their opinion, it is not prudent.
My suggestion is to shoot that 30-30 of yours until you can shoot better than it. what I mean is: like benj said a 30-30 is good out to around 150 yards, so now you know its limitations so use it, go to a range and burn a lot of ammo get to know the gun inside and out. learn proper shooting techniques, and when you get to where the 30-30 isn't enough gun for your shooting abilities then go out and find yourself a longer range gun. Notice that I didn't say a better gun. Thats on purpose because the 30-30 is an excellent weapon for what it is designed for which is a close range weapon. they generally are short and very easy to wield. So don't let anyone bad mouth your dirty-dirty I mean 30-30.
My cousin started with a 12ga. He did fine but had short range shots. Then we had a new place to hunt and the 12 wouldn't reach out a bit accurately enough. Moved up to a 30-30. Shot a lot of deer since then with it.
We finally ended up at a place where we had shots over 200 and way on out on a regular basis. I was killing from 300 out to past 600 with a mag. He finally bought a 270 and did very well.
Moral is like the others say. Use what you have till you are better than the gun(more capable)and then move up.
FWIW I watched a bunch of deer drop to 170s out of his 30-30. They worked really well.
I shot my first deer with a 30-30 and hunted and and killed some more with it .
Its a good gun,I know when I was younger I always thought bigger was better..but a bigger gun can only be as good as the hands its in
so basicly like said above...shoot that ol 30-30 until you out grow it .
and good luck! 8)
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