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Old October 26, 2011, 03:45 PM   #1
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New Caliber 30-30

Getting ready to add a new caliber to my reloading bench - 30-30 Winchester.
I'm loading for a Marlin 336C and looking for a good plinking/target load (I don't need hunting loads right now).

I'm thinking about using the Missouri Bullet Co lead RNFP as bullet. Maybe Trailboss as a propellant.

I've got about 40 once fired cases, but will purchase at least 50 new.

I'll loading on a Forster Co-Ax and am looking at their die set (sizing and seating). Probably use a Lee FCD as well.

I'm interested in your experience, advice, and guidance on tools and components.
"I'm your huckleberry."
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Old October 26, 2011, 03:50 PM   #2
William T. Watts
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Always full length size your cases, the lever doesn't have the camming power a bolt action rifle has.. The way I set my sizing die I used a case that would not chamber in my rifle and set the sizing die a full turn off the shell holder, then I turned the sizing die in a 1/16 of a turn until the case chambered and called it done. I did not have a L.E. Wilson case gage to drop a fired case in and this method works. I don't like to work brass any more than I have to ensure my loaded ammo will chamber reliably! William

Last edited by William T. Watts; October 26, 2011 at 03:59 PM.
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Old October 26, 2011, 04:47 PM   #3
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.30-30 POWDER

Imr-4895 is an excellent power to begin with. Hornady & speer both make a 100 grain "short-jacket" .30 caliber bullet that is really cheap to shoot.


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Old October 26, 2011, 05:27 PM   #4
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Lots of good powder choices if you want to work up some cast bullet plinking and small game loads or in the future hunting loads for the 30-30. For plinking and small game loads W231,Bullseye,TiteGroup,Unique,2400,Red Dot,SR-4756 etc. works fine.

Most of these loads will run in the 1250 to 1400 fps. range. with a 170 gr. cast bullets you can use 165 gr. cast bullets with 170 data. I cast my own using the Lee 170 gr. RNFP gas check bullet but for plinking and small game loads I leave the GC off,it not needed for those velocities. I save the GC's for the full house hunting loads that are right at factory jacketed velocity.

My goto powder for reduced loads is Red Dot I use 8.0 grs. for a MV that right at 1300 fps. on the chrono. Case prep is similar to loading for any 30-30 except that I use the .311 expander ball out of my RCBS 54r dies to enlarger the case neck slightly more due to the fact I shoot a .311 dia. cast bullet in my old Sav. I also flair the case neck using the Lee universal expander die for seating the cast bullet and crimp with the built in roll crimp.

The Lyman Cast Bullet Manual off the top of my head has 10 or more powder for 30-30 cast bullet loads that covers the whole velocity range. I use H335 for my cast bullet GC deer hunting loads.
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Old October 26, 2011, 05:32 PM   #5
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It's been many years since I reloaded 30-30 for my Marlin 336C, I recall it was pretty straightforward, as the others have noted, full length resizing is a must. I found the rimmed case was easy to keep in the shell holder. Use of round nose bullets is mandatory unless you load them singly.
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Old October 26, 2011, 06:07 PM   #6
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Trail Boss, 2400 and 4198 have good reputations for cast bullet midrange loads. For gallery/squib loads nearing subsonic velocities, the bulkier fast pistol powders like Red Dot and American Select work well. I use magnum primers in the squibs to ensure good ignition, but not everyone does this.

Whenever your powder charge is less than a 50% fill, be VERY CAREFUL you don't get a double charge. Thoroughly eyeball every case after powder charging to make certain of no double charges.
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Old October 26, 2011, 06:07 PM   #7
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You can use round nose or pointed bullets as long as they are the first shot and you don't mix when loading the magazine.

Lyman has a 311041 mould thats just great for the 30-30. Almost any powder powder will work in the 30-30 for you and get very good results.

TrailBoss is the easyest to load but velocity is down somewhat.
Have fun
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Old October 26, 2011, 07:34 PM   #8
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The absolute best plinker for a 30-30 rifle is a 110gr carbine RN bullet sittin' on top of 35.0gr H335. Extremely accurate out of the 20+ rifles I've run it thru, will hunt varmint animals to 200 yds, next to no recoil, but it does have an incredible muzzle flash and sounds like a cannon. Give it a try. Might as well have a plinker that'll varmint hunt too.
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Old October 26, 2011, 07:47 PM   #9
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I shoot a lot of .30-30 every year, looking for something magical. I generally find it, something different and special when I'm toying with the .30 WCF.

For a classic full-house deer ammo, use 29 grains of IMR3031 and a Remington Core-Lokt 170 grain bullet.

For a lighter bullet, use Speer's little 130 grain flat-nose bullet over 35.0 grains of Reloader 15. Low recoil and great accuracy. It should be a great whitetail load, but I admit I haven't tried it on deer yet.

For a good cast load, try the Lyman 311041 over a 27.0 grains of H4895. That gives me about 1900 fps with no leading. Good accuracy from my Model 94s. Or, if you want to get into lead casting, get one of Ranch Dog's molds and make some great ammo for the deer woods.

Or, if you want a cat-sneeze load, try a 115 grain .32-20 bullet over 7.5 grains of Blue Dot. It's a hoot to shoot these things at small steel targets on a pistol range. They'll also roll a marauding possum into a ball. I call it my "possum load".

the .30-30 is easy to load, it's got a long neck for good cast bullet support, you can load it mild or wild. It's a great cartridge for the hobbyist. There is something truly magical about the .30-30.
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Old October 26, 2011, 07:47 PM   #10
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Thanks one and all - lots to consider here. I really like Trailboss loads and have tried them in everything from .45 Colt to .308.

I've got lots of H335 too, I use it for my go-to load for ARs.

I was thinking of using this bullet to get started (from MOBULCO):
"I'm your huckleberry."
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Old October 28, 2011, 08:41 PM   #11
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I have followed KraigWy advice and do not crimp my 30-30 loads anymore.
For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, But to us who are being saved, It Is The Power Of God. 1Corinthians 1-18
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Old October 28, 2011, 09:49 PM   #12
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Question for those of you advocating full-length resizing - why? Why not neck-size?
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Old October 28, 2011, 10:02 PM   #13
Jim Watson
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A lever action does not have the camming power to be sure to chamber a neck sized case. I saw a guy with a .308 auto that somebody had recommend neck sizing for. He didn't get much shooting done.
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Old October 28, 2011, 10:13 PM   #14
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I load for daughter Eldest's Marlin ...... a 110gr Hornady short jacket bullet over 36 gr of 4064 is my plinking round..... gets about 2350 f/sec and gives the same POI as my H335 150 gr SP load at the same speed.....

My best tip: seat and crimp as sepaate operations...... 30/30 brass is fragile compared to soem of the others I load..... if I had a dollar for every 30/30 case I buckled... I could buy another bag of brass.....
TheGolden Rule of Tool Use: "If you don't know what you are doing, DON'T."
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Old October 30, 2011, 11:24 AM   #15
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Jim Watson: Once a case is fire-formed to a rifle's chamber, it requires no more "camming action" than any other case. The metal is a bit springy - otherwise you'd never be able to extract any case, full-length resized or not.

The 30-30 brass stretches from firing when running hot loads. If you measure a casing before and after full-length resizing, you'll see that it stretches some more. If you keep the brass trimmed to the correct length, I don't see why neck-sizing wouldn't work.
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