The 7-30 Waters cartridge was originally a wildcat cartridge developed by author Ken Waters in 1976 to give better performance to lever-action rifle shooters than the parent .30-30 Winchester cartridge, by providing a higher velocity and flatter trajectory with a smaller, lighter bullet. By 1984, Winchester introduced a Model 94 rifle chambered for the 7-30 Waters, establishing it as a commercial cartridge. In 1986, Thompson/Center began chambering 10-inch, 14-inch, and 20-inch Contender barrels for the cartridge.

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