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Old September 1, 2008, 11:16 PM   #1
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30-30 and Unique...

I went to my buddy's house one day to pick up some brass and drop off some for him when his dad comes out of the house with his TC Contender with a 30-30 barrel on it. He hands it to me and tells me to squeeze off a round at one of their backyard targets and after I do, all i see is a white cloud of toilet paper come out of it.

After seeing my look of surprise and the ensuing laughter from both of them, he informs me that it was loaded with only two grains of Unique and the rest of it crap paper. But he came out with a handful of rounds and I shot at the target another 10 times and it was a VERY accurate load, out to their 50 yard target but it didnt have the umph but was comparable to shooting light .38 Spl loads.

He said that when he wants to just pop a few he loads up beaucoup of these loads just to play around, and I can see why, they were just fun to shoot. but he did inform me that if he didnt stuff the crap paper in there it would blow the gun up.

My question is, if Unique isnt compacted would it cause excessive pressures?
BurkGlocker is offline  
Old September 2, 2008, 11:12 AM   #2
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but he did inform me that if he didnt stuff the crap paper in there it would blow the gun up.
The ultimate danger in subsonic loading is a phenomenon known as Secondary Explosive Effect (SEE). SEE can destroy the strongest rifle action and it can happen on the first shot or the tenth. In fact it is more likely to happen after the bore is dirty from the first few shots. SEE is the result of slow or incomplete ignition of small amounts of smokeless powder. The powder smolders and releases explosive gases which, when finally ignited, detonate in a high order explosion. The warning sign for imminent SEE is a hangfire or delayed ignition.
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Old September 2, 2008, 11:26 AM   #3
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IN MY OPINION, no, it wouldn't blow the gun up.
However, the toilet paper would keep the powder compacted at the bottom of the case giving you a more uniform burn.
SEE is poorly understood, but it is generally considered to be a problem with slow burning rifle powders. Unique is a medium burning pistol powder (much faster than even the fastest rifle powder).
There are better powders out there for loading reduced loads. These powders provide much greater powder density than something like Unique: Trail Boss and Accurate 5744 (which is made for this exact purpose). Here is some loading data for 5744:
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
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Old September 2, 2008, 12:45 PM   #4
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I do the same thing with the .32-20 only you don't have to use a filler. Barely louder than a .22Short but plenty of oomph for pest control.
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Old September 2, 2008, 05:15 PM   #5
Join Date: May 29, 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA
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I use trail boss with plain lead bullets as well as plated bullets in the 30-30. 8 gr gets me about 1150 fps. You can load less and the powder does not care. Nice light loads and no need for the poofs of paper or cotton that I used to use for similar loads in 44 magnum with Red dot.
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