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cpg
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Posted: March 13 2017 at 8:52am | IP Logged Quote cpg

This will be the first rifle cartridge I've loaded for. My goal is to use lead bullets at low velocity for low recoil target loads. Been looking at load data and leaning towards the starting load below.
CCI LR primer
Acme 135gr RNFP (.309")
21gr H335 powder
Using my Winchester or RP once fired cases. Since it's a lever action, I'll FL resize each case and use a moderate to heavy crimp. Acme bullets are rated at 16 Brinell so I'll have to keep pressures under 20,000 PSI. Does this look like I'm on the correct path?

I'm not doing any hunting with this rifle, but will still end up playing around with some hotter loads with jacketed bullets. One thing at a time, I guess.

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Rex
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Posted: March 13 2017 at 2:33pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

cpg, which rifle do you have? I always wanted a 30-30 lever gun. Guess when I was a little boy I always wanted to be a cowboy but I never cared for horses...just the guns.
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Buffalogun
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Posted: March 13 2017 at 5:46pm | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

cpg,

Before diving into cast bullets, it's usually best to slug the bore of the firearm in order to know the diameter.
Cast bullets usually need to be about .001" or so larger than groove diameter of the firearm.

Marlin lever rifles generally run a little larger in groove diameter than nominal. Mine do. And, my Winchester levers run .308".

I'm not familiar with ACME bullets. You may find better accuracy with a gas-checked design. I would clean the barrel well before shooting cast.

In my opinion there are better powders for your wants. The Hodgdon website lists reduced loads with H4895 they say are safe. "Unique" has been used in lots of reduced loads, but I doubt you'll find that data on the web.


And Rex, I had the horse and the cowboy guns. The horse died, the guns didn't!

Mike    

Edited by Buffalogun on March 13 2017 at 5:48pm


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Ham Gunner
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Posted: March 13 2017 at 6:57pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Here are a few discussions of cast for .30-30:

Light bullet loads

Reduced loads

30-30 cast loads

More 30-30 cast loads

30-30 gallery load

Edited by Ham Gunner on March 13 2017 at 7:04pm


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richhodg66
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Posted: March 13 2017 at 7:55pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Deer I killed with cast in a .30-30 a few years ago. Rifle is a Savage 340. The .30-30 is one of those cartridges that works very well with cast.



I squirrel hunted with cast in a different .30-30 this year, load was my dad's but the Lee 113 grain flat nose and five grains of Clays. Worked great, minimal meat damage, squirrels DRT.

The .30-30 is a wonderful cartridge that can do it all with cast. If it were me doing what you want to do, I wouldn't use H335, I'd use lighter charges of fast pistol powder, say eight or nine grains of Unique. That 20 grains of 335 is a waste of powder and will probably give incomplete burn.

Edited by richhodg66 on March 13 2017 at 8:00pm


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cpg
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Posted: March 14 2017 at 5:56am | IP Logged Quote cpg

I don't have a handy photo of it, but a Winchester 94 Ranger. Here's a link to the details.
Winchester 94 AE

I haven't thought to slug the bore, will have to look into proper way to do it. Never tried it before.
Seems like my powder & projectile choice isn't the greatest. Will have to read some of the info provided and see if I can come up with a better combination. Thanks for the links, will check them out!

Edited by cpg on March 14 2017 at 5:58am


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M700
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Posted: March 14 2017 at 8:12am | IP Logged Quote M700

I don't shoot it as often as I'd like, but I surely do enjoy loading for, shooting, and hunting with my .30-30 Glenfield. It's topped by a little 2.5x Leupold, as I hit better with a scope these days.

Had it out last year for bear. Called one to about 15 or 20 yards, but didn't take the shot. He was a little smaller than I wanted. Had every confidence in the .30-30 though. The jacketed hunting bullets available for it are really well matched to the mild velocity of the little cartridge. It's NICE to shoot, and works well.



Also had it out while I was prowling about on snowshoes a few weeks ago, looking for coyote & cougar. I haven't done much cast-bullet shooting from the .30-30, but it certainly should respond well to that.

Regards, Guy
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: March 14 2017 at 8:51am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

If you are interested in full velocity loads, I think you will find that your 16 BHN bullets might be hard enough if that bullet was sized large enough and had a gas check. I have never needed to go nearly as hard as many claim in order to keep a lead free bore. The main thing is proper bullet sizing.

My load work up for a post 64 94 Win. .30-30 resulted in 2,000 fps with leading free bore using my cast gas checked Lyman #31141 sized .312. This bullet was designed for the .30 WCF in mind and it dropped out of my mold weighing 172gr. at right around 15-17 BHN. Using my homemade aluminum gas checks and loaded with AA-5744 at 22.0gr. it produces an average of 2,000 fps and centered on target with the same sight setting as factory 170gr. jacketed bullets.

Easy 1 1/2" group at 25 yds, but my groups open up a bit at 50 yds as I am only using open sights and my eyes are not like they used to be. With a scope, I am sure this would be a tack driver.

Again, with proper bullet sizing to a little over groove diameter, the gas checked bullet does not have to be overly hard to give great accuracy without fear of leading the bore. I use Linotype softened with soft lead at a ratio of 50/50. Has always worked for me at up to the magic 2,000fps mark at least. That alloy also is what I use for my 215gr. gas checked Lyman 429215GC bullet in my 94 Win. .44 Mag. at 1,900fps. I size that bullet at .431 diameter.

While I used 5744, which is known to be a decent cast rifle powder, your H335 might just be a winner as well for the heavy loads. For light loads, I agree with Mike and Rich above that faster powders would likely work better as the bullet needs a good kick in the butt right out of the hole to seal the bore even if the velocity is not going to be all that high.



Edited by Ham Gunner on March 14 2017 at 9:14am


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richhodg66
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Posted: March 14 2017 at 3:48pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

I read all the "you must slug your bore" stuff. That '94 AE is new enough that I'd be highly, highly surprised if it varies at all from standard .308. Throat may still be an issue, but I bet any of the Lee or Lyman molds will work fine in it.

Personally, I size all my bullets for .308 bores (.30-30, .308 Winchester, .300 Savage, .30-06) to .311 and call it good. Works just fine in all of them. I have a Model 70 that seems to like .309-.310 a bit better, it's the exception and it shoots well with the .311 ones too.

I've never been comfortable with the idea of hammering anything through a rifle bore and sure wouldn't do it if I was pretty sure my rifle (like yours) has a standard bore. For old milsurps where bore sizes can be all over the map, it might have some value, but based on the rifle you're using, I wouldn't waste my time slugging it.

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richhodg66
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Posted: March 14 2017 at 3:52pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

By the way, the 8-9 grains of Unique or similar works great for plinking and target shooting, if you want a deer load with a bullet of normal weight like the Lyman 311041 or equivalent Lee, get some 5744 or some IMR 4895

If you don't already have one, get a copy of the Lyman cast bullet handbook. It's the best source of information and load data for what you're wanting to do. The latest one even has data for some Lee, RCBS and Saeco designs, not just the Lyman ones.

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Paul B.
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Posted: March 14 2017 at 5:19pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

First off, let's keep things simple. Size your cast bullets to .310" and
relax. I've been loading since 1954 when I was gifted a .38 Spl.
revolver, an 1894 Winchester made in 1911 and a 1917 Enfield plus the
tools to reload the ammo. For years the only alloy I used was wheel
weights, scrounged for free. I think if I recall correctly, the first 30-30
loads shot the Lyman #311291 over IMR3031 when it was made by
DuPont. I remember that the load took California Blacktail Deer very
nicely, 17 total as I recall.
These days, the 30-30 is a range fun gun for the most part. Still have
the 1911 year carbine and I'll never sell it. Got a 1981 issue for fun. I
also feed two Winchester M64s and an M54. There's also a lone
Marlin 336 in the bunch. I can't say what went through their barrels
before I got then but since they became mine, nothing but cast bullets
have gone down their bores. And that's the way it should be.
Paul B.
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cpg
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Posted: March 15 2017 at 5:13am | IP Logged Quote cpg

Great info to consider from all. Thank you!
I am not casting my own bullets so I will be looking for something commercially available. Acme Bullet & Missouri Bullet are the 2 on my radar.

Didn't think about using pistol powder in light charges, but won't the lack of volume in the case create it's own set of problems? Would I need to use a filler of any kind? Would I have any ignition issues or have to use a magnum primer?

I had read the website about reduced loads with H4895, but after looking through my Lee book and finding the cast loads section for the 30/30 I thought H335 gave a fair range of loads to play with and would still perform well with jacketed at higher pressure/velocity. I'm glad I came here to ask .

Gas checks, I thought the use of these was only necessary at high pressures. If I can keep pressures down, will they still be needed? Is there a velocity threshold for use of checks?


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cpg
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Posted: March 15 2017 at 5:28am | IP Logged Quote cpg

Not as nice as Guy's photographs!
Chris



Edited by cpg on March 15 2017 at 5:29am


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Rex
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Posted: March 15 2017 at 5:37am | IP Logged Quote Rex

Chris, your desk is way too clean!

Rex
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dahlin
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Posted: March 15 2017 at 7:06am | IP Logged Quote dahlin

cpg I see you are thinking of using Missouri bullets I have used more than a thousand and I have found them to be very good accurate bullets in fact that is all I shoot in my Walther PPS with 6.6gr of power pistol with 115gr bullet and never had a leading problem yet. I give them a big thumbs up. Randy
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: March 15 2017 at 10:04am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I have never used Missouri Bullets, but have read many good reports about them. I checked out their web site once and they do give you the hardness of their bullets and I also noticed that one usually has a choice of more than one hardness so that the bullets can be used for various purposes as long as they are sized correctly.

A gas check is not needed if the pressure is kept low. Normally with a velocity of below 1,200-1,300 one might get by without a checked bullet unless the use of a powder that has high pressure. Certainly below 1,000 fps should be no problem. The pressure is the thing but size is also just as important. I use plain based bullets in my magnum handguns at magnum pressures without problems as long as they are sized correctly.

I have never used fillers to take up the extra case space when using fast pistol powders for reduced loads and I never use mag. primers. There are those that do use fillers and they seem to get along okay, but there are also those that refuse to use fillers after they have had damage to their guns chambers.

Unless one is using a small charge of some slower ball type powder, there normally is no problem with consistency in ignition for reduced loads using handgun type powder and accuracy does not seem to be hard to attain. One should probably point the muzzle up prior to firing, just to make certain. Pointing down before firing might cause inconsistencies.

One note that I just thought about is that accuracy would likely be best if the cast bullet does not have to jump into the rifling. I seat mine out until they just touch to prevent skidding so that the bullet quickly accepts the rifling. Skidding can cause bullet damage which usually produces inaccuracy in lead bullets.

C.E.Harris is an authority on cast shooting and I have found his writings to be spot on. He wrote articles for the NRA for years. He also cautions about using fillers.


Cast Loads by Ed Harris

Edited by Ham Gunner on March 15 2017 at 2:22pm


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dahlin
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Posted: March 15 2017 at 2:58pm | IP Logged Quote dahlin

Here is picture of My 94, my mother got it for me when I was 9 years old. I will have had this rifle for 60 years this December and I have no idea of how many deer it has killed but I have shot a bunch .I killed my first deer with it the first year that I had it and it will do the job yet today. The serial# is 1992xxx not sure how old it is but I think it is from the 40s. Randy

Edited by dahlin on March 15 2017 at 3:59pm
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Posted: March 15 2017 at 3:00pm | IP Logged Quote dahlin

sorry the pic didn't come out like I wanted
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richhodg66
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Posted: March 15 2017 at 3:09pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Use of fillers is something you have to read up on. Basically if the powder charge isn't filling like 75-80% of the case, don't.

Eight to nine grains of Unique, a hair less of Red Dot, you'll be fine. I seem to remember 5744 being about 20 grains with a 170 grain bullet. Niether would use fillers.

Never used a filler in .30-30, but did with 30 grains of IMR4320, a fairly slow powder for cast loads, in a .32 Winchester Special with good results.

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Paul B.
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Posted: March 15 2017 at 3:21pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

dahlin wrote:
Here is picture of My 94, my mother got it for me
when I was 9 years old. I will have had this rifle for 60 years this
December and I have no idea of how many deer it has killed but I have
shot a bunch .I killed my first deer with it the first year that I had it and
it will do the job yet today. The serial# is 1992XXX not sure how old it is
but I think it is from the 40s. Randy15_145829_Winchester_30-
30.jpg">


Based on the number you posted, your rifle was made in 1953.

A word to the wise. Never post the entire number. 19924XX would have
been sufficient for me to trace down the year of manufacture.
Some bad guy can see that whole number and in theory say that gun
was stolen from him years ago. Guess whose tail is in a sling.
Paul B.

Edited by Paul B. on March 16 2017 at 4:38pm
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