30-30 loads for cowboy lever action silhouette matches?
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  1. #1
    Tinhorn
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    Question 30-30 loads for cowboy lever action silhouette matches?

    As I start to focus a little more on the center CLAS matches, it occurs to me that I ought to find some proven good loads while I'm tracking down a proven good model of rifle. I've decided to stick with the 30-30 but instead of just trying to figure out my own loads like I've been doing, I thought I'd ask here what the proven loads are. I think I'm going to stay with jacketed bullets, as I already have a good die setup using the Hornady dies with the micrometer insert for the seater die.

    For a ram load, I'm torn between how great the 150gr Core-Lokt bullets did on rams in that last match and how much better the ballistic coefficient and momentum numbers look for 170gr bullets like the Speer DeepCurl FN (2042). Has anyone tried those heavier bullets with Hodgdon's new CFE223 powder? There's load data for bullets all the way up to 170gr and that stuff sure does meter well through my LnL progressive powder measure. Ideally, I'd like a load that's pretty consistent through a large range of temperatures, at least from just below freezing up to 80 or 90 degrees. Once I settle on a load, I'll probably load up a truckload of them and not have to think about it for a year or so. Bullet cost is a bit of a concern, but not as much as for the CPT load, because I know the rams are a little more demanding and I'll shoot a lot fewer of the ram loads than I will the CPT loads.

    I'm just as torn on a load to use for CPT. I know from shooting the highpower silhouette match with scoped rifles that recoil can really creep up on you after a couple matches. I don't really expect to shoot marathon cowboy lever action silhouette matches like we do with scoped rifles (like the Ironman out in Missoula, MT). That said, I'd still like to balance recoil with making sure that every CPT target that gets hit falls down. My experiments with the 110gr carbine bullets lead me down the road to frustration. I still have a few hundred of them, so I might keep experimenting with powder other than Trail Boss as well as possibly using them for chickens and 100meter practice at my home range. The prices on a lot of the bullets heavier than 110gr make me want to reconsider my decision to avoid cast bullets, though. The Sierra 125gr HPFN bullets look pretty good for the price, though. No more often than I get to shoot the matches, I might just pay up for the 130gr Speer HotCor bullets due to the better ballistic coefficient. Hmm... Any suggestions?
    Chuck1965 and Lever Jac like this.

  2. #2
    Tinhorn
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    Oh.. I almost forgot to ask the questions that popped into my head and got me started posting this post about "proven loads." What loads did the top 3 at the nationals use? Were they using 30-30s or something else?

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    Esteemed Sharpshooter
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    JasonM: There is nothing wrong with Sierra 125gn FNHPs for CLAS shooting, i have used them myself and no problems with rams, if i ever hit one, LOL.
    With 36 gn of RX15 they are doing 2530 fps and shoot fairly flat, the only variable is the old fella holding the rifle.

    GUS

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  5. #4
    Tinhorn
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    Thanks but I won't be risking rams with a 125gr bullet. I'm not all that confident with 150gr bullets and I have seen 200+ gr bullets leave them standing, although I don't know what the velocity on those were. Maybe those rams you have down in Aussie land are just wimpier so 125s work there...

  6. #5
    Sidewinder
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    Ranch Dog 165s, cast hard and gas checked, over 20.0gr. IMR 4198 has been working great for me recently. Shoots flat, hits hard, and way more accurate than I can see or hold ( around 1.25 MOA.)
    Smoke Ratchet likes this.

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    Heavens Dinger Ringer Contributing Member
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    Hey there Jason -- I'm a fan of a 170 grain lead bullet rolling along at 1500 feet per second. With your preference for a jacketed bullet, I'd do the normal dance and see just what bullet weight your rifle prefers for accuracy. 150's or 170's. As you already know, and seem to be pretty proficient with, you still need to hit them before they will fall!! I've found that the load, while important, plays second fiddle to repeatable sights. In your search for a longer barreled rifle, you might consider the top tangs. A serial number in the top tang can complicate mounting a tang sight. A side mounted receiver sight is a fine substitute as well. Hope this helps. Best regards. Wind
    Smoke Ratchet likes this.

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    Jason -

    I use either the M1 Carbine FMJs (where they're allowed) or the 110g Speer Hollow Point Flat nosed w/9gr of Trail Boss on chickens. The Sierra 125s or Speer 130s work great out to the Turkeys with 31g of Varget and isn't a shoulder basher. I've used Winchester 150s on both Turkeys and Rams with the same 31g of Varget, but the rams do fall slowly with it and I did leave a couple that I hit center body.
    170s are needed to reliably take the ram with center hits, but Bullet construction is just as important as weight/speed. I've even left some rams using the Speer 170 with the same 31g of Varget... One was a horn hit that rang like a church bell, target never budged. Never lost one with the Rem Cor-Lok 170s though. For me, all the 125, 130, 150, and 170g loads will group 2" at 100m with open sights. Most are MOA using a scope.

    my .02,

    -Tim
    Last edited by Tim Lee; 11-24-2012 at 11:23 AM.

  9. #8
    Tinhorn
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    Do you have a link for the 170gr Core-Lokt bullets? I was very impressed at how well the 150gr Core-Lokt bullets that I used just because I had them took the rams down, so I imagine that the 170s might be even better.

  10. #9
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    Jason -

    Remington Core-Lokt Bullets 30-30 Winchester (308 Diameter) 170 Grain is the one, but they're out and show a "back orders not accepted" status. Someone rumored that Remington is no longer in the component business, but I've seen nothing official from Remington.

    I bought a few hundred a couple years ago and ran out last year just before our state match. That's when I tried the Speer 170s and found them to be so fragile.... Even though a number of other shooters use them and say they've never lost a Ram, I'm gonna try a 165gr GasChecked lead bullet or the Sierra 170gr RN next to see if they'll together better for a slightly longer dwell time.

    -Tim

  11. #10
    Tinhorn
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    Thanks, Tim. I'll see what I can do about tracking some of those 170gr Core-Lokts down. I sure do hate to hear about the 170gr Speers being fragile. Their reported ballistic coefficients make those bullets seem perfect for ram loads.


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