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Hey Marlin brothers,

Don't get online much anymore, but I need some info from the pros. I read a short review about a loading with the 125 gr Sierra that claimed to be super accurate with IMR4198 and smacked down hogs and deer with authority. Can anybody confirm this claim? I will probably have to use a cast GC bullet since bullet manufacturers have forgotten everybody that doesn't shoot a .308 spitzer or .224. I called Sierra about a month ago and they said about mid summer they would do a run of levergun style bullets. I haven't loaded for my 30-30 yet, but would like to start off with 125's. I tried to do a search on here, but I couldn't find anything. If there are other threads, please direct me to them. Thanks.
 

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Hey Marlin brothers,

Don't get online much anymore, but I need some info from the pros. I read a short review about a loading with the 125 gr Sierra that claimed to be super accurate with IMR4198 and smacked down hogs and deer with authority. Can anybody confirm this claim? I will probably have to use a cast GC bullet since bullet manufacturers have forgotten everybody that doesn't shoot a .308 spitzer or .224. I called Sierra about a month ago and they said about mid summer they would do a run of levergun style bullets. I haven't loaded for my 30-30 yet, but would like to start off with 125's. I tried to do a search on here, but I couldn't find anything. If there are other threads, please direct me to them. Thanks.
flatnose I have loaded the Sierra 125gn HPFN, With 36gn of Raloder 15, in rem cases and rem 9 1/2 primers, cronoed at 2530fps. In my, sorry to say it on here winchester 94 30.30 :biggrin:. These loads shot a 1 1/2 groupe with peeps at 100yds at the bench much to my suprise with these old eyes. This is a max load in the Lyman49th book so work up from a couple of gns. below in your rifle. Good luck with finding the 125s and Rx 15, both are available over here if ya there at the right time.

GUS
 

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If there are other threads, please direct me to them. Thanks.
I'm the worst with searches, but the reloading section has several related threads. The 125gr Sierra has quite a few fans within the MO community. I've been loading the 130gr Speer FP for about 30 years or so, a very similar bullet, and that class of .30-30 bullet is a bit of a sleeper. They are very effective on deer. I've not shot any hogs to know one way or the other.

These days, .30-30 bullets as a general state of affairs, are slim pickins. If you luck onto a supply of 125gr Sierra's or 130gr Speer's, by all means jump on the opportunity, but spotting any .30-30 bullet is a good day, and if my bullet supply was low, (it isn't), the 150/170gr bullets are all good.

Every .30-30 bullet made has had decades of development and optimization for use in the .30-30 cartridge. Not a bad one out there.
 

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I haven't tried the 125 grain but do load a 130 grain, it's very accurate but I have yet to use it on a hog or deer.
 

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I wouldn't be afraid to use the Sierra 125HPFN on deer. I would have to check a ballistics chart to see how far out it would retain enough energy to make me completely comfortable with longer shots though. Not that it might be marginal, I just don't know off hand.

I got good results with that bullet working up handloads with RL7 (I believe I remember that correctly). I switched to the Speer 150HCFN because it had a better BC than the 125. At least on paper. I'm happy with the Speer 150 but would like to go back to the 125 to fine tune that load. It should work well with near max loads for my wife's 30-30 and probably still have a bit less recoil than the normal weight bullets and maybe flatten the trajectory even more from 0 to 100yds than the 150's. She doesn't take longer shots anyway and the laser flat trajectory within that distance range would be great for her. A 125HP at 2500 MV under 100 yards figures to be a DRT round with 1,735 ME.
 

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Experimentation is fun. Mostly I have settled on the heavier bullets. Any trajectory advantage with the 125 is eliminated by the flat nose and ballistic coefficient. Deer vary in average size in different states an in the Midwest I just prefer a heavier bullet. The 125 would be fine for most of the average deer I see but I would feel better on a 200 lb+ buck to have more bullet. In some states where they are smaller there might be an advantage. As my daughter killed several deer very dead with a Winchester 150 grain I question whether there would be any advantage in a lighter bullet as the expansion was more than adequate. She was 15 when she shot her first 2 or 3 deer such that the recoil advantage of a lighter bullet seems iffy to me. You can't make a 270 out of a 30-30.

DEP
 

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When Winchester came out with the 125 HP in my area, I tried them. I was very disappointed lost 3 deer that year only to find them several days later bloated and ruined. The first deer was shot head on at 25 yards. I was bucket hunting on my own land. I shot the 125 doe low in the brisket hoping for a heart shot. No doubt I found no blood but didn't expect to with that angle of shot. The next was a shoulder shot, again no blood no exit wound under 50 yards at ground level. THE 3RD WAS THE NECK SHOT UNDER 35,GONE. All 3 deer went down but got up and were found over a hundred yards from where they shot. The next day I went back to the old Winchester 150 grain Silver tip. I have harvest about 50+ deer with this bullet, factory loaded. Most will travel 50 yards or less, but I find blood and the deer. I now shoot Hornaday 165 flextips DRT. My Brother in law swears by the Winchester 150 Hp said he always gets DRT performance. I personally like lighter bullets to reduce recoil and for flatter trajectory, however because of failures in the past I will stick to a heavier bullets in my 30-30's. Maybe with a faster velocity or superior bullet the 125 might be okay.
 

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You use what works. For me a that Sierra done the job well, last deer I shot was a complete pass through heart and lung. In the area of 300 yds.



One thing I will mention with bullets being scarce, in .308 many spitzers and other pointeds with a sharp tip, it don't take much time to remove the sharp tip if need be.

Over at Beartooth, Marshall removes the tips and puts them in tube mag guns, been doing that for a number of years.

So if you find some Hornady 150 spire pts and decide to make them flat points, you may have a nice 140 grn bullet.

In need I will modify. Still making a 7 shot gun into a 2 shot gun is not that hard to do.
 

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I liked the way the 125's shoot in my 30/30. They may be the best bullet for home defense. When the hollow point opens it is very destructive. That said, they do not shoot any flatter than 150's and their poor BC ensures that they dump speed like a brick. For deer hunting Leverevolution powder and a 150 bullet will give you less to consider when you pull the trigger. The 150 will shoot flatter, carry more energy, and exit creating 2 holes. 125's are explosive but don't always pass through. 130's Speer, in my opinion does not open well enough at 30/30 speeds. In my 307 Win the 130's were great.
Pb
 

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As my daughter killed several deer very dead with a Winchester 150 grain I question whether there would be any advantage in a lighter bullet as the expansion was more than adequate.
Sounds like it would be hard to find any advantage in that description.

The lighter bullets will be effective on larger deer, but maybe not on every shot, at every range. For many years I loaded the 130gr Speer bullets for an aunt who filled the doe tags from the back porch. Occasionally, she would get a nice buck, chasing an un-tagged doe. She also used the same load year round on groundhogs in the garden, and foxes or racoons with an eye for chickens. She was a very good shot, and most deer dropped in the orchard 75-100yds from the back door. She never shot deer in the shoulder, or at an angle that would ruin any meat.

Over time, I've used the 130's on a couple trips, and they always do the trick. If you can shoot, and pick shots, even a .25-35 is a quick and efficient deer load out quite a ways. If you take every shot at every angle and every distance, hoping for good results, you're gonna have trouble with almost any bullet in a .30-30, or .243, etc. The reason many have the opinion the .30-30 is not an adequate deer rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Lots of good points here. Thanks. I think I'm going to back off on this venture, at least for now. I just received 150 rounds of 300gr Speer HC's for my 45/70, so I'll be busy with that for a little while. My wife and I are going to Jacksonville, FL, this weekend to visit our daughter and son-in-law. There is a Gander Mountain around the corner from their house that may have some 150's or 170's. I've always been a big proponent of putting game down quick, even if ya lose a little meat. Better that than the whole animal. Thanks for all your input.
 

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They work. Many swear by them. I tried them a few years ago. Impact point was pretty far away from the stand-by 150's I used then. Now that I only use 160's I recently tried to shoot some 125's away for practice. Same deal - really different impact point than the 160's in both the 30-30's I tried them in.

They also seemed to string. One rifle strung them a bit horizontally, the other vertically.

Nuts to them.
 
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