PETERS 85 gr. .30-30 Trapper(?) cartridge

John Witzel has a PETERS .30-30 headstamped cartridge with a full metal patched bullet that appears to have been factory loaded. The crimp looks the same as other PETERS .30-30 cartridges in his collection. John did pull the bullet and sent the powder charge to me for analysis and testing. The cartridge case interior indicated that the case had not been reloaded.

Here’s the cartridge:

John told me that years ago, he talked with a trapper in Canada that said that he had used the .30-30 cartridge with the little nickel jacketed bullet.

To my knowledge this loading was never listed in any of the PETERS catalogs so it may have been a special loading done for possibly the Hudson Bay Trading Co. (?) or T. Eaton (?)

Has anyone else heard of this cartridge(?) and does anyone have any additional information they would be willing to share?

Thank you,

I have seen a similar load by REM-UMC…


The old Factory

W30WCF-The lightest weight bullet found in the Remington catalogs from 1911-1950 was a 100gr. MC used in the .30-30 Winchester, Miniature. However, Remington (and Peters) did have a bullet in the 1930’s that fits what I see in the picture for profile and weighed 85gr. It was the Metal cased 85gr. bullet for the .30 Mauser pistol cartridge. It certainly could have been loaded and fired in the .30-30 Win. As suggested, it may have been a special loading done for the Hudson Bay Trading Co. This company was certainly large enough to possibly get Remington and Peters to special load an existing
bullet of the proper diameter for them for their large Trapper cliental. Sure would be great if someone could come up with a box.

Thank you for the PETERS cartridge co. link. Neat! Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit there. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera with me at the time.

Thank you for the additional info. Regarding the 100 gr. MC .30-30 Miniature cartridge, I do know that U.M.C. first loaded it in around 1902-1903. Would you happen to know when Rem-Umc dropped the loading?
Was there an illustration in the Rem-Umc catalog(s) and any ballistic info?
Thank you.

Regarding the 85 gr. cartridge, at the time I received the powder sample from John (thank you again John), I pulled an 85 gr. MC bullet from a .30 Mauser cartridge, and tested the powder sample using that bullet. Interestingly, the velocity was in the same range as the standard 170 gr. cartridge.

I then replicated that load, pulling more bullets from .30 Mauser cartridges and found that, surprisingly, the 85 gr. bullet printed pretty much in the same location as the standard 170 gr. cartridge at 50 yards. That would allow a user to switch from one to the other, as the situation warranted without having to change sight settings. It certainly looks as if that was PETERS intent when they developed that cartridge.

Ron, as you said, it sure would be great if someone would be able to come up with a box. One last question, if I may…was the 85 gr. .30-30 cartridge mentioned in any of the Rem-Umc catalogs?

Thank you again for all your help.


Jack–As I said in my 1st post, the 100 gr. MC .30-30 Miniature cartridge was the lightest bullet listed. There is NO listing for a 85gr. .30-30 Win. in any of the UMC or Rem-UMC catalogs.

You are correct that UMC introduced the .30-30 Miniature in 1902-03. It is not listed in the 1901 catalog but it is listed in the 1904. I do not have the 1902 or 1903 catalogs so I can not say which year it was actually introduced. It was still listed in the 1917 catalog. My next catalog is 1923, and it is no longer listed in it.

None of my catalogs show the ballistics for the .30-30 Miniature. Here is the illustration from the Rem-UMC 1913-14 catalog:

Thank you for the additional information and the catalog illustration.
I am going to try contacting the Society in Canada that has the Hudson Bay Trading Co. Archives to see if they might have any info. Probably a “long shot”, but it’s worth a try.

Thank you again,

If memory serves there were similar if not identical cartridges on Old Western Scrounger years ago.

‘Trapper’ loads were often relatively low-powered loads using non-expanding bullets, allowing a person with a heavy (.30+) centerfire rifle to shoot animals for trade furs without mucking them up too badly.

Some folks use commercial .223 FMJs for coyotes with the same goal in mind (not blasting large holes in the pelts).

I’ve got a boatload (small) of 85-gr, FMJ pulls and no place to put them (like in the butts).

W30WCF: Could you tell me the charge weight and/or powder type of the original cartridge (I’m thinking it might have been a non-cannister lot of SR80)?

BerdanIII and W30WCF–Discussion of reloading information is not allowed on this Forum for liability reasons. Sorry.

Winchester have a similar load with 117 gr. bullet in 19’7 catalog.
It was sold like a “short range” ammo.
Was it intended only for trappers or have it any other use.

Berdan III,
As Ron indicated, we cannot discuss loading data here. I sent you a PM with my email address.

Yes, thank you for pointing that out. The Winchester loading used a heavier 117 gr. Full Patch bullet at a lower velocity …approx 1,100 to 1,200 f.p.s. Certainly plenty powerful for harvesting animals in traps.

The PETERS “Trapper” cartridge on the other hand used the lighter 85 gr. Full Patch Bullet at a much higher velocity… over 2,000 f.p.s. My guess is that they intended it for a dual purpose…harvesting fur bearing animals roaming at a distance as well as those in traps.