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Old June 9, 2014, 03:30 PM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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30 Herrett anyone play ???

so... I'm going through all my brass, now that some of the shortage is behind us ( this time ) & in doing so, I hit my 30-30 cases... I noticed that when MRS dad died, I didn't find any 30 Herret cases or ammo, even though I had a barrel & dies... I was assuming I must have just looked at the head stamps, & mixed them up... as I went through the ammo boxes, I didn't see anything that looked different ( was assuming it was just an improved case ) but upon looking in my Contender Load Book I noticed that I honestly couldn't have mixed them up, even with my knowledge of cartridges back then... I made up one & trimmed it, just to see how different it was... will size up a bunch, & load up some... anyone else play with this cartridge ???

interestingly I found the price tag for the barrel & Pacific dies in the die box... $125.00

the barrel had the front sight sweated off, which looks a little unsightly ( sorry for the pun ) I may turn down the front portion & re-blue, as I'm sure I'll put a scope on the barrel???

FIL had a load recipe ( not sure where he got it, may have come with the barrel??? ) anyway, my Contender load books have detailed description for setting up the dies ( to head space on the shoulder ) forming cases, & many loads... I'm really surprised he didn't have cases formed & or loaded... even though he had a lot "going on" he usually had at least starting loads & at least a hand full of brass...

also working on 6 X 45 SSK, & 7mm TCU... he only had about 30 cases formed for the 6 X 45 ( unless I mixed those in with the 223 cases back then ) in all fairness, those are harder to tell apart, & that was 16 - 17 years ago, & I was a less "mature" hand ,loader back then... if I didn't know what I was looking for... when I form up a couple 100, I'll knurl & flatten to obliterate the head stamps, so they don't get mixed in, in the future... he had about 250 - 7mm TCU cases formed, & they stand out enough, that I may not obliterate the head stamps on them... just like the 30 Herret, I think it's enough different, that I don't need to obliterate the headstamps on those either

any thoughts on my buddies comments about only using Remington brass to avoid thinning the case mouths ???
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Old June 9, 2014, 05:21 PM   #2
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I started with the 30 Herrett not long after it came out. I got the barrel and it wouldn't fit the frame at all. this was before the easy open frame and the barrel had the one piece lug. back then TC had some tolerance stackup problems. so with all of these problems I decided it just wasn't worth the hassle so I got rid of it. I had borrowed the form dies so at least I didn't have that expense to deal with. a few years later TC came out with the 7 mm TCU and I was a happy camper. the 7 mm TCU has as much usable powder and none of the case forming hassles of the 30 Herrett.
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Old June 9, 2014, 09:57 PM   #3
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I was in a gun shop in North Charleston SC and found in a box of Thompson Contender barrels a 30 Herrett. I bought it as the price was right and read up on the round. At one time I had a Marlin 30-30 and traded it for my Rem 700 Mag. I found a few 150 grain loaded rounds and pulled the bullets with a kinetic bullet puller. That gave me primed brass and bullets to load. It has been some time since I loaded the rounds but I remember using a fine tooth hack saw blade to cut the 30-30 round down to size and a file to smooth it out. I followed the directions that were spelled out in the Speer book I had. The barrel had iron sights and test showed the sights were right on target. Took it out and climbed an oak tree early one morning and a nice buck stopped by to forage around the tree where I sat. One shot and the deer hit the ground. I had hit the spine and that deer was not going anywhere. That was my first deer taken by pistol.

I put together more rounds for the 30 Herrett and later got a 35 Herrett. I really enjoyed the 35 Herrett. It was accurate and often shot it at a 200 yard rifle range near Spartanburg.

I need to dig the Herrett out again and play with them some more. Got a lot of pleasure shooting the TC.

Lemmon from Rural SC
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Old June 9, 2014, 10:16 PM   #4
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I used to, but never liked making cases. Ironically, someone made 30 Herrett cases with the 30 Herrett headstamp. I can't remember who and I had 50 of them. I traded away all my Herrett stuff 20 years ago.

Wish you the best.
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Old June 11, 2014, 08:47 PM   #5
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Long ago I had planned to go there but I got the 30-30 barrel for the TC first. I found so much enjoyment from 110 -120 grain 30-30 bullets in the TC that I could never bring myself to start mangling up the 30-30 cases.
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Old June 11, 2014, 11:54 PM   #6
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I bought one of the first TC .30 Herrett barrels made. That said, making the cases was a major PITA. To top it off, I spent twenty years trying various loads in that sucker and it never equalled my '72 Ruger SBH in accuracy at 100yds. Biggest waste of time and money in my shooting life. I think I got the mutant .30H barrel from hell.
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Old June 12, 2014, 08:16 AM   #7
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I guess I'm the odd man out. I love my 30 Herrett. Even put a scope on it. Only problem is that Hornaday only makes 110 grain SX bullets once a year and I'm out. The accuarcy at 100 yards is amazing. When I was younger I used it for varmits.
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Old June 12, 2014, 08:28 AM   #8
Magnum Wheel Man
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on another forum, one of the members was going to try some of the 110 grain Barnes bullets... they might be interesting
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
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Old June 12, 2014, 09:14 AM   #9
Jim Watson
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I briefly owned a .357 Herrett barrel.
Kicked like a SOB and I soon traded off the case forming hassle and recoil for a .30-30 barrel.
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Old June 12, 2014, 04:47 PM   #10
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I load .30 Herrett and figured out a few things that you would probably like to know.

First, the load data for it is mostly NOT pressure tested, aand varies all over the place. Initially, folks thought that the Contender frame was really strong -- then they stretched a bunch if them and learned the hard way. Then T/C came out with the G2 frame which IS strong. Try Mike Bellm's website for some info on Contender frames and max pressures for differnet cartridge head diameters. Some of his older stuff is not on his site any more, but IIRC, his recommendation was not to exceed 47,000 psi for .30-30 head sizes. An old Accurate Powders manual says that T/C told them not to exceed 42,000 psi, but a calll to T/C got the response "We don't have a record of telling them that." Anyway, Accurate has some good pressure-tested loads, but left out AA-1680, which seems to work well.

As for making cases, there is conflicting advice. From MY experience, it is easy to make them too long in the shoulder. The Contender action is springy, and will SEEM to fully lock-up but will not quite lock to the same point if the case is too long, and that seriously affects accuracy. What I found was that the advice about slowly shortening the case until the action makes a slight RINGING sound when it closes makes the gun more accurate than when not getting that ringing sound. But, others say their gun won't ring no matter how short they make the cases. Anyway, you will need to push the shoulder back after each firing so that they will fit again, because the springy action lets even light loads stretch enough to affect accruacy noticeably, at least in MY gun.

I got side-tracked some time ago on working-up accuracy loads for the .30 Herrett. But, it was not hard to get 2" at 100 yards off a rest, once I figured-out what I wrote above about forming and resizing cases. I expect I can half that when I get back to working on it. But it will never shoot bug holes.

Let us know how you do.

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