View Full Version : Leverevolution 30/30 and Varget

April 9, 2012, 06:45 PM
Got some of the Hornady 165 gr FTX and am trying some initial loads in my 336 marlin 30/30. Initially tried 30 gr and 30.5 gr, 5 shot groups. the 30gr loads shot 3 inside an inch and then scattered two about 1.5" away. The 30.5 didn't group near as well. Does anyone have a favorite load with this bullet and varget? Tying to decide if I need to go lower or higher or try something with the OAL. I have a two-piece Pacific die set with no crimp die. The 30gr loads I loaded in the tube. I'm wondering if that pushed the bullet in some not being factory crimped.

April 9, 2012, 07:49 PM
You really need to crimp those loads for a tube mag. Time for a new die!

April 9, 2012, 10:35 PM
yep, get a $12 lee factory crimp die and start over.... :D

April 10, 2012, 04:25 PM
Are you certain that the seating die will not crimp the case? Most can. Did you try screwing the die body down a little to get a crimp?

April 10, 2012, 08:31 PM

Here are two loads mine and farmerboys for 160gr ftx.
I use a Lee factory crimp die.

I passed on a cheap bolt gun because I got my Marlin to fire just as accuratly with this load. How accurate? I can hit the 200yrd gong at my club thin wise in the same spot with every round in the magazine.

April 11, 2012, 10:19 AM
Thanks all. I have a crimp die ordered but the old pacific dies do put on some crimp. Looks like I need to keep increasing the charge.

isn't 33 gr near our over the max?

April 11, 2012, 02:04 PM
Agree with crimping the rounds. The FTX does very well at about 2400 fps, which is possible with the LEVERevolution powder, but you won't get close to that with Varget. Nevertheless, results should be quite satisfactory. It seems you have fired two groups and have concluded that the 30.5 gr load is less accurate. Statistically reliable evaluation of accuracy requires a lot more shooting for loads that vary by only .5 grains of powder. It is entirely possible that in the very next groups the 30.5 gr load will be smaller. Try five, five-shot groups minimum with each load and compare the average group size. It is work, but much more reliable.

April 11, 2012, 02:57 PM
sounds like homework I can live with.

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April 11, 2012, 06:42 PM
Hmmm, I dont believe that five 5 shot groups are necessary to determine if its a good load or not. One group should do it in my book as long as I do my part... shooting five 5 shot groups of each load during load development would be a HUGE waste of bullets, powder, and time.

Think, do you really want a load thats accurate SOME of the time? A good load will be good EVERY time you shoot it. If it is sub MOA 3 out of 5 groups, then its not a good load. It needs to be consistent 5 out of 5 times. Of course, if its sub moa 3 out of 5 times, and much larger the other two, its probably something you are doing in the reloading process thats throwing some off. or you arent waiting for your bbl to cool, etc....

When testing a load, I load 5 rounds. A hunting rifle is really only good for a 3 shot group unless you have LOTS of time between shots anyway. Having 5 rounds of a particular load gives me 2 "oops" shots. I know the second I pull the trigger if the shot was good or if I did something wrong that will cause the shot to go off target. If Its MY fault the shot goes wide, I dont count it in the group.

April 11, 2012, 07:55 PM
isn't 33 gr near our over the max Its near I will tell you how I worked it up.

When I came up with the load there was no data for FTX bullets at all. I had data for 150gr jacketed bullets that max used 34.5gr Varget compressed and 170gr jacketed bullets that max used 33.0gr Varget. I started well below minimum for 170gr data worked the way up to max at 33.0gr. The bullet just sits down on the powder and I have no signs of over pressure. Its ridiculously accurate and Varget has lower velocities so max charge will wring out all I can for on target performance. This is a hunting load for me after all.

Without any further data this is as high as I am willing to go.

April 13, 2012, 03:47 PM
I've used a Pacific 2 die set for the 30/30 for a tad over 40 years now. It does have a crimp feature and it is, in my opinion, better than the system used by RCBS and Lyman.

In mine, the crimp is controlled by a hollow-screw-down stem and it holds the bullet seating stem within. Perhaps yours is different, but take a minute and take a closer look at your seating die. If it's like mine, you'll have two threaded stems, the crimp stem (outer stem) and the bullet seating stem that turns within the crimp stem. It provides a very accurate and repeatable crimp as you can screw the seating die all the way down to touch the shell holder and then adjust your crimp and bullet seating depth seperately.

I haven't used the new Hornady Flex Tip bullet yet, so I'm interested in your continued experiments with it. Varget powder should work well for you. With jacketed bullets, I've used IMR 3031 mostly in my 30/30 loads over the years.

April 13, 2012, 09:27 PM
The only way you can tell if your load will be good every time you shoot it is to shoot more than one group. Accuracy naturally varies from group to group and is subject to statistical analysis. Shooting one group is a real good way to come to an erroneous conclusion. More groups will improve your choice and is NEVER a waste of powder or bullets if you wish to have confidence in your results.

This need have little to do with shooting talent at the bench. Assume zero shooter error and the groups will still vary due to load variation and rifle performance from shot to shot. It would be nice if one group with each of two loads would indicate which is best, but that is generally impossible in a practical sense.

The original post wanted to choose between two loads that differed by a small amount in powder charge. One appeared to be better than the other, but one group is not enough. If you disagree, how much would you be willing to bet that the next pair of groups fired by the original author would not be reversed but show the same results. Would you put $1000 down on it?

Shooting forums are full of reports from folks who fire a couple of decent groups one day, and on the next trip to the range the groups open up somewhat and they wonder what is wrong. The answer is that there may be nothing wrong. They are simply living out the statistical variation of their gun and load on different days as time goes on.

April 13, 2012, 11:45 PM
The only way you can tell if your load will be good every time you shoot it is to shoot more than one group.
You dont see the irony there? :p

If you want to be sure, then fire a second group, but FIVE? no way. The deer where I live dont sit around while I fire a second group, so my gun had better shoot right every time I pull the trigger. :D
If I fire a group and its 2+", there is no reason to ever fire that load again. If I fire two groups that are both under an inch, I might fire them both again, but I would be more likley to pick the hotter one and load a few set +/- .1-.2gr and see what happens.

Of course, in the OP's case, where he suspects something else might have been to blame (light crimps pushing bullets back) he should definitely solve the crimp problem and re-test.

In my rifles a load either shoots good or it doesnt. I have never noticed the "shoots good one day and poor the next" syndrome unless I pulled a bunch of shots the second day or it was windy, where in both cases its not the loads fault, its mine. I suppose some people are just unwilling to admit they might have just shot bad that day and look for something to blame.

I just dont buy that a given load will shoot 1" one day and 2" the next. A shooter, yes, a load, no. If that happens, its a problem in the reloading process, the shooters technique (can be anything from flinching to trying to shoot too fast with a light barrel), or even wind if its calm one day and windy the next... Many people dont realize the impact wind can have on their groups. If you are working up a load in the wind, you are almost guaranteed erroneous results....

April 15, 2012, 11:57 AM
To reiterate, the OP wished to determine the more accurate of two similar loads. That cannot be done on the basis of one group for each load because group sizes show natural variance, apart from shooter technique. Can you bust a buck with a 2" rifle, before he runs away, without statistics? Absolutely! Can you reliably choose the more accurate of two similar loads the same way. No. Statistical variance is real and subject to rational analysis, which leads to reliable conclusions.

April 15, 2012, 01:08 PM

I just tried the same experiment with teh 160 grain FTX bullets and LeveRevolution (LVR) powder.

In my new 336 XLR in .30-30, I had shot factory LeveRevoultion 160 gr FTX ammo to an average of 1.710 inches at 100 yards so I wanted to get as close to factory as I could without compressing the powder.

The website Hodgdon data for LVR shows that the max load for the 160 FTX bullets is 35.5 but that is compressed. I worked my way up but didn't load above 35.0 gains to avoid compressing the poweder. It should have been about 2375-80 fps given that the 35.5 grains was rated at 2389 fps

The loads with 35.0 of LVR at a depth of 2.550 managed to shoot three groups that averaged 1.504.

I felt that it was a bit of a moral victory to out do the Hornady factory ammo with the same bullet and powder.

I think you might be loading light at only 30.0 and 30.5 grains. I have noticed that most of my loads that are in the 2150 -2200 fps range with the 150 and 160 grain bullets are not as accurate as the loads that are a bit faster.

April 15, 2012, 09:23 PM
I believe I'm a little on the light side as well. My experience with varget is that it does better on the upper side of the load range. I made up several more loads going up to the max published (32.4). waiting for good weather and free time.

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April 15, 2012, 11:48 PM
in my .308, I have found two equaly accurate loads, one at 39gr, and the other at 43.8.... just my expeience