Thinking of getting into reloading. Anyone have recommendations for powders/bullets. I live in Kalifornistan so half my brass will be loaded with non-lead
Sorry 'bout the no-lead thing. The .30-30 does real well with the traditional bullets made for it by Remington and others - bullets with a big ol' chunk of lead exposed at the tip. I favor the 170's over BLC2 and a standard primer.
Barnes makes a good all-copper bullet for the .30-30, but they're expensive.
M700 can you give me your load data and which bullet you use?
mostly shoot 165gr hcgc over 28/29gr 3031---fed std primers
Can't go wrong with Varget or W748 !
Look at a wolf, look at a deer, look at a human, look at a black bear. The 30-30 was designed to be the most efficient caliber to down any of them within the range you would most commonly encounter such creatures.
I think the vast majority of .30-30 shooters use factory stuff.
There is always loaded .30-30 stuff available, components for the round can be hard to get these days. Fortunately, I don't have to deal with the lead free thing, although NJ is as bad or worse in every other category.
As M700 and Neptune suggest, the Barnes bullet is probably your best option. Powder Valley has them in stock at the moment for $30/50, and a better price than PV is usually hard to find. Brass is usually, but not always available. Buy a big bag, 250 is a good number. Winchester or Remington is as good as any. I'm guessing reasonable loads in the .30-30 will net as many as 20+ cycles. Lead core bullets from Hornady/Sierra/Speer, in 150/170gr are all good. Not a bad one in the pile. Speer makes a very nice 110gr HP purpose designed for the round and tubular magazines, that shoots well over Trail Boss, and Sierra makes a 125gr HP that is just as good. If you see a supply of either, get several hundred. I have a minimum of 500 Speer's on hand. Speers 130gr FP is a real sleeper. It's designed for deer size game and is very effective, with less recoil for smaller shooters, or the recoil sensitive.
Loading .30-30 stuff for myself, cousins, aunts and uncles, over the last 40 years, BL-C2 and W748 would be my main powder choices. I have never run out of BL-C2 or W748. Both turn in outstanding accuracy and velocity with acceptable pressures in the .30-30 and .35 Remington, and several other calibers. Primers, any large rifle primer from CCI/Federal/Remington/Winchester will be fine. Buy those by the thousand.
Get a case trimmer. Even the Lee hand held trimmers work just fine, and are very inexpensive. You need to crimp .30-30 loads, and the secret to a decent crimp is uniform cases. It saves you from buckling the brass on a long case. Dies from anyone are fine. I like and by RCBS, and Lee, I'm working class (some say no class). If you loaded only .30-30 and handgun stuff, even the Lee bargain press will produce good ammo. I have one I use bolted to a section of 1" plywood for a portable press. The economy presses from other reputable suppliers are also good. The economy presses probably wouldn't hold up as well for large volumes of resizing hot magnum cases, for the .30-30, you'll not likely notice the difference.
The .30-30 is well worth reloading. It's no big challenge to equal factory stuff, brass lasts forever, and a couple lbs of powder goes a long way.
Haj, hadn't made it back to this thread in a while. I load the 170 Rem round-nose CL bullets, big exposed lead tip on them, and use BLC2 powder.
Here's a photo of the factory ammo and an expanded bullet:
A while back I did a test of three different factory 170 gr ammo types. All three were very good:
I've used the Barnes all copper bullet, but not from my .30-30 rifle.
Haj68, lead free doesn't apply in my area of the Peoples Republik of Kalifornia (SoCal desert). I have hunted in area where that does apply. In those areas I have not used the 30-30. As for powders, I have used Win 748 with good results.
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This all good information for me as well as I just picked up a Marlin 336 CB 30-30. Looking to load cast primarily and have some 165 gr. .311 dia. from hunter supply that I intend to send downrange and long to just bang some steel. 4227, 4198, Re-7, 4659 and unique on hand... any suggestions for loads? /using my RCBS Cowboy dies