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Old May 7, 2007, 12:50 PM   #1
TreyNC
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reduced 30-30 loads?

I have been doing some pistol re-loading and now want to tackle the rifle. I wanted to start with my 30-30 or 300 sav. Just for plinking around the house before I start to get serious about building a full load. I want to use the hornady 100gr. SP with IMR 3031, cheap bullets and a powder that hornady clames will work in four of my rifles. I did a search and didn't find much.

My question is does anyone know a safe starting point for reduced loads for either of these rifles. Was looking for reduced velocity, fun loads at closer ranges. Any help will be appreaciated.
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Old May 7, 2007, 02:33 PM   #2
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Trey:

Messing with reduced loads is usually more dangerous and prone to pressure variations than starting with quality published loads from a trusted source (powder manufacturer's website, bullet maker's publication, etc).

I've done some light bullet work with .30-30, shooting 100gr half-jacket hornady and 110gr spired/hollowpoint Sierra varminter bullets and Titegroup powder.

I don't know about IMR 3031... never used it and don't know its burn rate.

I do know that you cannot load more than 1 round into the tube magazine of a lever rifle if the bullet has a sharp point. The recoil can cause the primer of one round to detonate off the nose of the bullet under it. The 100gr hornady bullets you mentioned have a sharp point.

They are also very hard to load in a 30-30 case without great care. The base is very sharp and square on those bullets, and without beveling the 30-30 case with a mouth champfer tool, you will crush a lot of cases when seating the bullet.

Also... reducing rifle powder loads below a published minimum can result in something called "detonation", which is a bad thing that can cause a loss of fingers, noses, ears and faces. I don't know a lot about detonation.

I'd suggest starting with a published full powered 30-30 load... and working downwards from there. I believe there are reputable published loads for Winchester 296 and 150-ish grain bullets that are fairly mild. If you feel you must experiment (and I mean that... you are playing with fire after all), powders such as Unique or Titegroup make good candidates.

My screw-around light 30-30 load is a 150gr Berry's plated flatnose bullet with 8.0gr of Titegroup. I have shot this load in my gun... I cannot advise that you shoot this load in your gun. I still have all my fingers, toes, nose, eyes, ears and face.

I'd really suggest that you look into the Berry's 150gr plated 30-30 bullets if you want inexpensive practice rounds... and stick with a known good powder for 30-30 such as IMR4895, Reloder15 or another quality powder.
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Old May 7, 2007, 03:48 PM   #3
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I used 3031 as my rifle powder until I discovered Reloder 7 and its far superior metering characteristics. Loaded LOTS of 3031, including the 100-grain "Plinker" bullet by Speer and some 125-grain JHPs. My data came from the Lyman and Speer manuals.

These are good practice/varmint loads and should work well in your .30-30.
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Old May 7, 2007, 03:49 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I know about the one round in the tube thing, my 300 sav has a sipindel on that one. Speer shows a 110gr in 30-30 and 100gr I think, in 300sav both using IMR 3031. Guess I like to save on powder, used to light loading the .357mag with Win 231. Ill start with min published levels from Hornady and get comfortable.
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Old May 8, 2007, 06:53 AM   #5
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Personally I like cast bullets for light loads and plinking. They're cheap to buy or cast, and they burn very little powder. With a 170 gr cast RN bullet I can use Unique and get roughly a 1,000 rounds out of a pound of powder. The starting load in the Lyman manual is only 7 grs. And the recoil is virtually non existent.
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Old May 8, 2007, 11:41 AM   #6
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Just as a point of reference............
The 30-30 is a popular low powered schutzen cartridge as either a fixed or breech seated affair.
I use 14.5 of IMR4227 under a 180 grain round nose cast bullet. 4759 is also popular too.
I use 20 grains of 4227 with a 150 grn. spitzer for a mild (but accurate) 30-06 load.
Always was kinda nervous about using Unique, Bullseye or other fast pistol powders.......too easy to double charge or otherwise end up with undesirable results.
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Old May 8, 2007, 05:53 PM   #7
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I second Unique powder in this application. It is great for reduced rifle loads and a normal primer fires it just fine. Let us know what you end up with.
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Old May 8, 2007, 09:08 PM   #8
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Try here

Try these sites for some info on reduced 30-30 loads. I can't vouch for them myself, but good starting places. The Hodgdon site is especially valuable, since these are "official" load data (60% of the maximum load when you use H4895 powder)

http://www.hodgdon.com/data/youth/3030win_y.php


http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/3030varmint.htm
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Old May 9, 2007, 05:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Always was kinda nervous about using Unique, Bullseye or other fast pistol powders.......too easy to double charge or otherwise end up with undesirable results.
True, with a bulky powder someone will catch their mistake easier because the powder will spill out on the bench. But really, a double charge shouldn't happen with any powder. If it does, then there is a problem with the way they are loading or the equipment they're using.
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Old August 15, 2009, 10:22 AM   #10
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Very informative article, thanks Snakeman!
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Old August 15, 2009, 08:47 PM   #11
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You can load your 30-30 load up to the neck with black powder or its substitute...... Makes for a light target load, LOADS of fun to shoot, and I have not needed to uses gas checks.
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Old August 15, 2009, 11:53 PM   #12
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Jim Taylor has a wonderful article on the .30-30 on Leverguns.com as well. Think I remember using 16.0gr 2400 under a standard 165gr cast bullet.

No problem using flat based bullets in the .30-30. Just get the extra die and expand the case mouth, as you have to do with cast bullets anyway.
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Old August 16, 2009, 12:15 AM   #13
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Jim Taylor & Frank (Paco) Kelly have done about as much experimentation with the 30-30 as anybody to my knowledge, in recent times. They're both squared-away folks and I wouldn't have any reservation about trying anything they felt confident enough to publish.
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Old August 16, 2009, 10:50 AM   #14
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Check out Trail Boss. I shoot it in my .30-30 and it made my trapdoor into a ***** cat.
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Old August 16, 2009, 11:12 AM   #15
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Note, though, that Trail Boss is specifically for lead bullets. There are reports of unexpectedly rapid rise of pressure in building jacketed bullet loads with it.

Also, 3031 is not a good choice for light loads. Like most progressive rifle stick powders, it will burn irregularly and poorly if the pressure doesn't get as high as it prefers. The use of bullets too light for the powder also incurs the risk of secondary pressure spikes that can damage a gun.

The suggestion to use Unique is good. I prefer the cleaner burning and easier to meter Hodgdon Universal Clays. Either one at about 9 grains with the Hornady 100 grain half-jacketed plinker or any of the 110 grain carbine bullets will make a very nice and accurate light load.
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Old August 16, 2009, 11:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Jim Taylor & Frank (Paco) Kelly have done about as much experimentation with the 30-30 as anybody to my knowledge, in recent times. They're both squared-away folks and I wouldn't have any reservation about trying anything they felt confident enough to publish.
Agreed! I also use Jim's settled-on load of 26.0gr H335 under an Oregon Trail gas checked 165gr cast bullet. Shoots great out of my 1901v 1894 short rifle and won't beat up the fine old rifle.
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Old August 16, 2009, 11:46 AM   #17
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I really like this thread. After reading it and leverguns.com, I have decided to take the plunge and add 30-30 to my reloading dies.
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Old August 16, 2009, 12:08 PM   #18
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I use about 8.5 to 9.5grs of Unique in my 170gr cast loads. Never heard about IMR 4227 though. I'd love to see some load data on that. I have plenty of that on hand.
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Old August 16, 2009, 06:52 PM   #19
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I've used 15 grains of 2400 and .5 grain of polyfil with the berrys 150gr FP for an average speed of 1700FPS, lots of fun without all the powder.
BTW I use a pair of needle nosed pliers to slightly flare the neck when seating flat based bullets.
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Old August 16, 2009, 08:38 PM   #20
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Good article on reduced loads. Reduced loads with jacketed bullets are much harder to get right than cast loads.

http://www.gmdr.com/lever/pistolpowi.htm
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Old August 16, 2009, 08:51 PM   #21
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reduced loads

Some years ago, I was shooting postal matches with the Cast Bullet Association.
I was fortunate to win the Benchrest Hunter Pistol category for a couple of years. I shot an open sighted T/C Contender in 30-30.
The load was a Lee 120 grain RNGC bullet cast from WW alloy and sized to .309.
It was lubed with liquid alox. The powder charge was 7.4 grains of Unique. The extreme spread was under 12 fps. It was an accurate combo. Shooting that load the open sighted Contender would put all ten shots into a two inch circle at 50 yards.
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Old August 17, 2009, 02:11 AM   #22
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Definitely go with pistol powders

I use 7gr of Clays behind a 165gr Plain Base cast bullet for a 1100fps "plinker". No filler. No position sensitivity. Great accuracy. I'm not sure you would blow anything up if you did double-charge one of these loads - not that I'm going to try it

I haven't used jacketed for plinkers mainly because the cast bullets were cheap.
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Old January 5, 2013, 10:14 PM   #23
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Hornady used to recommend a reduced 30-30 load using SR 4759 powder and the 100 grain "Plinker". The starting load was 15 grains; the max load was 18 grains. More recently, they moved to the concept of using Trail Boss with the Speer Plinker. In the latter case, they recommend placing the bullet next to the case, deciding on how deeply into the case to place the bullet, and putting a mark on the case indicating where the base of the bullet would be. Fill the case to that point, empty the powder onto a scale and weigh it, multiply that weight by 0.7, and that's your new starting load. I'm still using the SR 4759 for the reduced load.
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Old January 5, 2013, 11:05 PM   #24
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http://hodgdon.com/PDF/H4895%20Reduc...le%20Loads.pdf
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Old January 5, 2013, 11:54 PM   #25
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I worked up a 30/30 load using a 113 grain Lee flat nose lead bullet and 10 1/5 grains of Trail Boss powder. Excellent accuracy and a mild recoil.
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