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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
4[SUP]th[/SUP] time out today with the Marlin 336W .30-30 Ackley Improved, looking for that elusive middle ground. I’ll show you below what I measured today- but I see some trends emerging:


  1. My results don’t line up with a lot of what I have read- be it from Paco, other shooters of this cartridge, or P.O Ackley. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just reinforces what we all know: That each rifle is an individual.
  2. IMR powders do not seem to be great candidates for this cartridge, as some have stated before. I have not found yet what is the best powders for reasonable (150 fps or so) increases in velocity over my best .30-30 Win handloads, but 3031 and 4198 ain’t among them–as much as I like those powders and as many tight groups I have shot with them and as many deer as I have killed with them.
  3. Swany commented on pressures with Hornady vs other bullets of the same weight. I can’t say whether that is true across the board- I have not seen that to be the case in .308 Win, but with 150 gr bullets in this .30-30 AI, that is turning out to be the case. Velocities between the Hornady 150 RN and the Speer 150 FN are not that different with most loads, but I see pressure issues with the Speer earlier than I do with the Hornady. I did not notice that with book .30-30 Win loads before this rifle was rechambered.

Today’s numbers-

Text Font Line Parallel Number


Some notes:

P.O Ackley listed 35.0 gr IMR 4198 for 125 gr bullets in this round.I knew from earlier testing that 34.0 gr was too hot, so I reduced the working loads to 32.0, 32.5, and 33.0 gr.After seeing how the 32.0 gr loads behaved, I did not even test the other two.

36.5 gr IMR 3031 was my deer load under a 125 gr Ballistic Tip several years back in an NEF .30-30 Win single shot.This was the max load listed by IMR for the Contender, and it averaged 2673 fps in the 22” barrel. I had tested 37.0 and 37.5 3031 in earlier tests with the Speer 130 FN with no signs for concern, so 38.0 was tested today. Only two rounds were fired- this load is too hot for this rifle. ½ gr less, 37.5 gr IMR 3031, gave 2699 fps in the last tests and was better-behaved, but that is not even 100 fps faster than the load I used years ago when the barrel length is factored in. This is not the route to take.

40.0 LVR under the Speer 150 FN gave slightly less velocity than 39.5 gr of LVR.That is not supposed to happen, but anyone who has done testing longer than a couple of years knows this kind of thing does happen now and then.Results should be linear, but they aren’t always. And… today’s figures are just over 100 fps gain with ½ grain of additional powder.We’ve been discussing LVR and the .30-30AI here a bit already, and this may be right at the threshold (at least in this rifle) where it starts behaving erratically- bear in mind the max load listed by Hodgdon in .30-30 Win for 150 gr bullets for LVR is 38.5 gr- so these are not huge increases. Before the rechambering, 38.5 LVR averaged 2514 fps in this same barrel. 39.0 LVR with this bullet in AI gave me 30 fps less than that, and 39.5 gr gave me 153 fps more. The velocity with the 39.5 load is what I am wanting to see (or in that ballpark), but the lever did drag a bit on ejection so I am ruling this load out. Hope I didn’t just lose you with those numbers.

The bottom line: I still don’t know. Granted, I could settle on an accurate load in the 2500-2550 fps range and hunt with it just fine–but I already had an accurate load at 2514 before the AI conversion.

I have several medium burning rife powders I have not tried, but had wanted to avoid reinventing the wheel entirely by following in the footsteps of some others who have broken with the cabal and have actually published data. So far that is not working out.

So, we’ll see.At some point I’ll put all the data I’m collecting into one table- but this is where it stands right now.
 

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RickC, I reviewed your prior threads to see what case prep you're doing and I didn't note any comments of employing precision case prep. If you're going to chase velocity, I highly recommend doing so. Uniforming both the primer pocket and flash hole will go a long way mitigating high pressure with a given powder charge. Precision case prep will increase uniform powder burn as well as initially lower pressure.

When loading for my 308ME, precision case prep ended prior pressure signs (flattened primers) I was getting. The lower pressure reduced the velocity but I was able to greatly increase the powder charge well beyond what was considered to hot/max charge. This was using LVR powder and the final result was I was able to far exceed the velocity threshold I was getting without precision case prep, and with zero high pressure signs. A bonus is increased accuracy as well.

FWIW, I like Sinclair's pocket and flash uniforming tools, well worth the money. By employing precision case prep, I strongly believe you'll be very happy with the velocity gains you'll be able to safely reach.

That said, if you want some really fast velocity, pick up some VV N-540. Excellent consistent powder and the performance far exceeds LVR. It is a double base powder so you'll need a load for winter and summer.

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jack- I religiously clean primer pockets and flash holes before each loading and check case length and case head expansion, but have not used the Sinclair or other tools. I'll give that a look.
 

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Thanks Jack- I religiously clean primer pockets and flash holes before each loading and check case length and case head expansion, but have not used the Sinclair or other tools. I'll give that a look.

Very good but precision case prep takes cleaning a good step beyond. You only need to uniform your cases once and then your normal cleaning is enough.

I've seen case primer pocket depths vary as much as .0004, often 2 to 3 thou. Flash holes have been out of round or contain burrs and other debris, Sinclair's flash hole uniforming tool makes each hole precisely the same as well as producing a beveled opening on the inside of the case, thereby greater initial powder burn rate. Having each primer precisely seated the same depth greatly helps as well.



Jack
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very good but precision case prep takes cleaning a good step beyond. You only need to uniform your cases once and then your normal cleaning is enough.

I've seen case primer pocket depths vary as much as .0004, often 2 to 3 thou. Flash holes have been out of round or contain burrs and other debris, Sinclair's flash hole uniforming tool makes each hole precisely the same as well as producing a beveled opening on the inside of the case, thereby greater initial powder burn rate. Having each primer precisely seated the same depth greatly helps as well.



Jack
I will say I am not seeing excessive ES with the velocities.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have you tried IMR 4064, it has been one of my favorites for standard 30-30 loads.
I haven't. I always was able to get good velocity and fine accuracy in .30-30 Win with 3031 and 748, in several rifles with several bullet weights. I will keep that in mind, though. I have, at the moment, Re7, 748, AA2460, H4198, and a couple others I can't recall without going out there and looking-- to go through.
 
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I like, and now use, the Possum Hollow uniforming tools. But, alas... They stopped making the things that were actually useful, so one must look on the used market for the primer pocket and flash hole tools.


I used to make fun of people that did a lot of case prep and uniforming. ...Until I tried it for myself with .30-06, after having a few lots of Winchester (W-W and Win) and Remington (R-P) brass with massively inconsistent, constricted, or incompletely punched flash holes give me terrible performance with loads previously known-good (in brass that had to be retired). After buying the tools and uniforming everything possible, and reloading with the same loads previously fired; group size shrank by 50% to 90%.
A few years later, the situation was repeated with .270 Win.

I'm a believer in uniform flash holes, for certain. I uniform everything but semi-auto handgun and .223 Rem brass (but I do uniform a few cartridges based on .223 Rem).
Primer pockets... I'm still on the fence.
(There's also weight sorting, sorting by capacity, etc.; but that's a whole 'nother ball of worms / can of wax and isn't really worth approaching unless you've got 300+ cases from the same lot and already know the rifle can make use of the time you have to sink into sorting.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I cannot see any mention of Vihtavuori N-540 in the 30/30 data and no data for the 308ME.:hmmmm:
Me either. I'm seeing N-140 and some other Vihtavouri powders listed for .30-30 Win, but the velocities listed are in the middle of the pack to on down toward the bottom.
 

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All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms! Worked as an engineering
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
RickC1, you have vindicated me for my reboring a 30-30AI K-Mart TK to .375 Win. Like the old 396 vs 327, there is just no substitute for CID. I have been closely following your detailed research. Thank you.

http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/3...-non-standard-calibers/199105-tk-thunder.html

AC
Well, I'm glad I can always serve as a bad example, maybe :)

I think I'll find a good combination for this, I knew I was signing on for some work when I did this.

A .375 would be a lot of fun to have though and I don't fault you one bit. How hard is it for you to find brass?
 

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Well, I'm glad I can always serve as a bad example, maybe :)

I think I'll find a good combination for this, I knew I was signing on for some work when I did this.

A .375 would be a lot of fun to have though and I don't fault you one bit. How hard is it for you to find brass?
I got around the brass issue by ordering the following from:

Reed's Ammunition & Research, LLC


  1. .375 Winchester loaded with our 235g Flat Point Gas-Checked . Velocity of 2200FPS from a 20" barrel and 2525Ft-Lbs of energy. $32 box of 20 (ordered x 2)


  1. .375 Winchester with the Barnes 255g Soft Point at 1870FPS and 1980FPE. $46 Box of 20 (ordered x 3)


  1. New .375 Winchester ammunition with 265g flat point gas checked. These are hard cast with our alloy that does not lead the bore and will not shatter on bone. Velocity is 1800FPS Energy is 1906FPE. $35 box of 20 (ordered x 3)

I figure I'll shoot those up then I'll have plenty of once fired brass that should last a long time. Also ordered Heavy 38-55 ammo from Buffalo Bore (the shorter case 38-55 ammo is safe to fire in 375 chambered rifles). Have also loaded up some additional 38-55 since. I'm taking this rifle (A 1981 Winchester Big Bore 375) to Idaho this fall in the hopes of taking a black bear with it. Might even try it on elk or a mule dear, although I'm also taking a model 1903 Springfield 30-06.
 

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Well, I'm glad I can always serve as a bad example, maybe :)

I think I'll find a good combination for this, I knew I was signing on for some work when I did this.

A .375 would be a lot of fun to have though and I don't fault you one bit. How hard is it for you to find brass?
I got a couple of hundred factory cases. I trim down Starline 38-55 to .375 length and have no problems. I missed their run recently. I use RCBS dies and a lee Collet Factory Crimp Die.

Keep us posted on your AI program. Thanks! AC
 

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LVR has kind of stepped up some standards for the 30-30 and came in long after the AI was developed. When you claim 2500 with LVR you are getting quite an increase above other powders I have seen. The LVR is listed using Sierra bullets adn I did see an increase in pressures with some Remington Corelok I had on hand. I have tried 170 grain with LVR with some success.

Some of the other AI's were not considered worth it. Maybe with some of todays powders it does not give the gain it used to. Also, factory loads or duplication loads of 150 grain give about 2200-2250 out of carbines. You may be getting an increase over factory? Its an interesting study anyway. Hornady factory loads are put together with Hornady brass and what primer? Maybe Winchester is not the right brass?

DEP
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
LVR has kind of stepped up some standards for the 30-30 and came in long after the AI was developed. When you claim 2500 with LVR you are getting quite an increase above other powders I have seen. The LVR is listed using Sierra bullets adn I did see an increase in pressures with some Remington Corelok I had on hand. I have tried 170 grain with LVR with some success.

Some of the other AI's were not considered worth it. Maybe with some of todays powders it does not give the gain it used to. Also, factory loads or duplication loads of 150 grain give about 2200-2250 out of carbines. You may be getting an increase over factory? Its an interesting study anyway. Hornady factory loads are put together with Hornady brass and what primer? Maybe Winchester is not the right brass?

DEP
You raise interesting questions, and some I have had myself- if the gain is only expected to be 150-200 fps gain over .30-30 Win factory loads, you can easily do that with handloads using published data, without any rechambering. And yep, LVR does produce higher velocities and less pressure than the powders we have all used for years. 2514 fps average (10 shot string) is what I actually measured in this same rife with 150 gr bullets, and that was a half grain under Hodgdon's published max load for .30-30 Win. And yes, that's a significant increase over some 150 gr factory loads, although Federal Blue Box 150s averaged 2441 in this same rifle (20" barrel) before the conversion.

WW may not be the right brass, I'm right there with you. I shot up a new box of Rem 170 Core Lokt at the last range session to have some R-P cases to work with.

I'd like to know what primers Hornady uses also :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Get a .307 Winny or better yet a 308 MX.

I have a Browning BAR in .30-06 that is surprisingly accurate and has never let me down. If I need a fast shooting rifle with more power than I'd expect from the .30-30AI, that's what I'll reach for.
 
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