View Full Version : Loading cast projectiles in 30-30

November 17, 2009, 07:28 PM
Hey guys,
I've just loaded up some 165 grain hard cast lead bullets for my tirty-tiry,
I started at 7 grains of Alliant Green dot. and gone up to 9 to see which one is best. I'm going to go test these out this arvo but i just want to check and see what you guys think of this load? Do you think that this load will work ok?I got it out of an oldish lyman manual but it isn't in the newest one.

November 17, 2009, 07:48 PM
That's still good. The same quantities of Unique will get you the same velocities at a little bit lower pressure (25KPSI vs 30KPAI for 9 grains) if the bullet alloy likes that better? A cleaner burning and easier to meter alternative is Hodgdon Universal. Again same charge weights produce the same velocities, and the pressure falls in between Unique and Green Dot.

November 17, 2009, 07:58 PM
Thanks Nick for your prompt reply i was waiting for some reassurance i'm off to the range right now. I live in Australia so unfortunately i can't get Hogdon or IMR.. We can only get Alliant, Winchester and ADI (which is an australian made powder) and sometimes vhiatori. sometimes frustrating but i've learned to live with it. Thanks again.

November 17, 2009, 08:12 PM
I dont know how much it matters, but I like to put about .8gr polyfil on top of the powder. Keeps the powder tight to the primer, not sloshing around with a light powder charge.

November 17, 2009, 10:06 PM
That "should" work out pretty good for you. I load 158gr. WW-alloy casts for my .32 Win Sp. (which is darn-near the same rifle---.321 vs. .308 in the same brass). I'm using 10gr. of Red Dot and it's performing really well. Toy around a bit, and have fun seeing what works best. Sounds like you're on the right track.

November 17, 2009, 10:13 PM
Quote: "I dont know how much it matters, but I like to put about .8gr polyfil on top of the powder. Keeps the powder tight to the primer, not sloshing around with a light powder charge. "

FWIW, many years ago I loaded/fired a lot of cast bullets in .308 Win using the 196 gr RG-4 SAECO bullet designed by Bob Modisette. For a while, I tried putting a small bit of fluffy cotton ball on top of the powder before seating bullet. My tests may not have been the most scientifically thorough, but I could not see any difference in accuracy at 50 or 100 yds. I dropped the cotton balls from my loads and was satisfied with the results. As I recall, Bob said he didn't use the kapok/cotton tufts either.

November 19, 2009, 10:31 AM

Hodgdon powders that are not spherical are ADI powders Hodgdon imports. The Hodgdon Universal I was recommending is actually ADI AP70N (http://accurateshooter.wordpress.com/2008/04/15/hodgdon-and-adi-powder-equivalents/). So, you can get it after all.

November 21, 2009, 06:56 AM
Well, i tried out my reloads and they went pretty well. However once i got up to my heaviest load which was 9.0 Grains of alliant green dot the rounds were keyholeing. Do you think that this will be because of too fast velocity for the cast bullets? Because the 8.5 grain load was fine.

November 21, 2009, 09:34 AM
Did they all keyhole, or just one or two?

November 21, 2009, 05:18 PM
the rounds were keyholeing.
My first thought was "barrel leading up".
Were these plain base or gas checked bullets?
Did you detect any leading? That bullet and charge should be producing velocities in the middle 1300's. Not wildly fast but you never know....

November 21, 2009, 07:17 PM
It's been my experience that when a cast bullet is pushed too fast it will skip the rifling instead of getting a twist,. Sometimes a hot load will melt the base of the bulllet and that causes leading. A gas check will help if the bullet is designed to accept one ,not all are.
30-30 should shoot pretty well. I have loaded cast bullets in mine. Good luck mate

November 21, 2009, 11:54 PM
It was only a couple of rounds that keyholed that was the ones that actually hit the target. I fired about a dozen remington factory rounds before i fired the lead. Should i have cleaned the rifle before firing the lead rounds? The rounds i'm using don't have gaschecks. All i want to use them for is silhouette shooting out to 200 metres. not hunting or anything i use the speer flat nose hotcor for that and they are great shoot sub moa out of my marlin 336.

November 22, 2009, 01:07 AM
It could be that you simply had a couple "bad" bullets in the mix. If a pour doesn't fill the mould out entirely and give you an even square base, the bullet will be seriously out of balance. It could have just been bad "luck of the draw" that the ones that keyholes were with the 9gr. load weight. I wouldn't write it off without a little more testing and close attention to detail.

November 22, 2009, 04:39 AM
I think i might run the test again and fire ten of each load just to be sure.
I had the rifle zeored in for full power hunting loads so the cast rounds wer hitting very very low.

November 22, 2009, 06:54 AM
It was only a couple of rounds that keyholed that was the ones that actually hit the target.
How many did you fire, total, in that sequence? The ones that hit the target - how many?
The reason that I ask is that ALL of them may have been keyholing and that may be the reason for the misses (in addition to your note about the zero).

I always use GC'd bullets with my .30-30 loads. I have a load that works marvelously well in my T/C Contender pistol: a 120 grain GC LRN (WW allloy), seven grains of Unique, and a LR primer. From a 10" bbl., velocity was about 1200 fps with an SD of 12.

November 22, 2009, 01:05 PM
These are just normal velocities for a bullet like that. I would check that your barrel did not lead up and create a constriction? That can knock bullets sideways. Clean it with a copper scouring pad strand wrapped around an undersize bore brush. Take a magnet to the store with you to be sure the pad is copper and not copper-washed steel. A little penetrating oil and the scouring pad will scrape the lead out. You can see it on a piece of paper.

If none of the above panned out, you may be having a problem with the bullet being fired in the transonic velocity range, where some projectiles have a hard time remaining stable. Drag goes up there. So, it may turn out that more velocity will actually return stability? You can't go up more than another grain or so with Green Dot because you'll run into pressure limits. Better might be 12 grains of ADI AP100?

November 23, 2009, 05:22 AM
Thanks Nick,
Would sweet's 7.62 solvent do the trick to clean the lead out of the barrel.
I will give the ADI ap100 a go and see how it goes. I thought that with such small loads (9.0 grains of green dot) hitting high pressures would be a long way off. Considering my hunting load is 31.5 grains of ADI AR2206H on a speer 150 grain hotcor.

November 23, 2009, 08:21 PM
I use SR-4759 in my 30-30 using a 150 grain Lee Gas Checked bullet. I haven't shot very many, under 20, in my Savage 340, but it seems to work fine. No sign of keyholing. Waiting for my neck expander so I don't shave lead.

November 25, 2009, 08:48 AM

Sweet's is a copper solvent, but doesn't do much of anything to lead that I know of. In the old days we would cork a bore and fill it with liquid mercury. Nobody knew much about the health hazards back then. In about 15 minutes it would amalgamate with the lead. You poured off the mercury and saved it for the next time. The amalgam would break up with a bronze brush; kind of chalk-like in texture. Anyway, that's all a no-no now.

These days you get three basic choices: lead solvents, the mechanical methods, and the electrolytic method. Among current solvents, the Sharpshoot-R company has a product called No Lead that is an actual lead solvent. The Boretech company's Eliminator bore cleaner appears to attack the tin in cast bullets and weaken the lead for brushing out. It is also a super aggressive copper solvent and works faster even than Sweet's and does so without ammonia.

The mechanical method I outlined works. Shooter's Choice has a lead bore cleaner that works by penetrating lead deposits to loosen them, and you can use that or a penetrating oil like Kroil to pre-soak before going after the lead with the scouring pad. We used to use stainless bore brushes, but they really scratch the bore too much, even though they work faster. Both Hoppe's and Lewis make lead removing kits that use a bronze cloth patch for the purpose. For badly leaded revolver chambers there is even a special lead removing reamer available, but it has to be used very carefully.

The electrolytic method is commercialized as the Outer's Foul Out series of devices. They have you plug the bore and fill it with an electrolyte, then set an o-ring centered stainless rod into it and apply a small current. That plates the lead out on the rod. It gets the bore very clean. The also make a copper electrolyte. Fr. Frog's site has a do-it-yourself version available.

Finally, if you want to reduce lead fouling a lot, firelapping or firepolishing the bore does a good job of that. The ease of cleaning is dramatically improved after doing it. In some guns it improves lead bullet accuracy by removing constrictions from the bore. I bought the NECO (http://www.neconos.com/details2.htm) kit years ago and still use their method, but there are others.

I don't know which products will be available to you and which will not, but perhaps that gives you a starting point?

November 25, 2009, 10:36 AM
I must have been pretty lucky with my lead and copper fouling. All I've done is plug the muzzle with my finger, fill it with Hoppes and let it sit for about 30 seconds or so then drain that back into the bottle, then I scrub the bore with a Scotch-Brite cleaning pad (the green ones) and then rinse in very hot water followed by a wet patch with Rem oil and it comes out shiny clean with sharp land and groove edges. The hot water heats the metal and helps it dry quickly. No fouling left. I always clean right after shooting and never let any fouling sit in the bore for longer than it takes to drive home.

November 30, 2009, 08:48 AM
Mick, according to Accurate Shooter.Com(http://accurateshooter.wordpress.com/2008/04/15/hodgdon-and-adi-powder-equivalents/) AR2206H is Hodgdon H-4895. This is from Handloader Magazine (Issue #216, Mar 2002)

Test rifle Win. 94 W/20" barrel,
Win. cases, Win LR primers,
165gr Oregon Trail flatnose bullets,
Hodgdon H-4895
21.0gr 1,403fps,
23.0gr 1,505fps,

I have loaded some 175gr cast bullets with 28.0gr of H-4895, but they are of a gascheck design and are sized(0.311") for my rifle. The hardness and bullet lube also come into play, but at least this will give you something with which to work. Another good load has been 30.0gr of H-4350(AR2209).

Jim Watson
November 30, 2009, 08:56 AM
It is usually recommended not to alternate between jacketed and cast bullets.
For best accuracy you need to remove the copper fouling before shooting lead and get the lead out before going back to jacketed.

Also, if 8.5 grains shoots and 9 doesn't, load 8.5. You are probably doing only about 1100 fps anyhow, so there is no reason to try for any more velocity than will shoot accurately.