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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many of you know I bought a used Marlin .30-30 a while back. My records show April of 2005, the serial number says it was made in 1989. I’ve been busy working up loads with it using the Speer 130g, 150g, 170g and Nosler 170g Partition. A few days ago I looked at the retained energy downrange.

Before anyone get’s their panties in a bunch about my velocities, let me publish the following:

130g @ 2496fps, 35,700 CUP, 24” bbl, Hodgdon Annual Manual, 2004
150g @ 2390fps, 36,700 CUP, 24” bbl, Hodgdon Annual Manual, 2004
170g @ 2330fps, 40,500 PSI, ??” bbl, Alliant Reloaders’ Guide, 2002


Ok, I have a 20” barrel so I’m probably well beyond the pressures listed above. The loads appear safe in my gun, however, particularly since the receiver part numbers are the same for the 336, 336ER (.356Win, 52,000 CUP SAAMI) and 375 (.375 Win, 52,000 CUP SAAMI) models.

The point here is to compare downrange energy. Shoot them out of a Ruger #1 if you like.

Zeroed for Maximum point Blank Range using a 6” diameter target:
Code:
Weight   Velocity    Zero     MPBR    1500fpe   1000fpe  1000fpe  [email protected]”
 (g)      (fps)     (yards)  (yards)  (yards)   (yards)  (drop)     (yards)
130 SPR    2486       200      233      60       200     -0.0”       285
150 SPR    2440       198      231     105       250     -5.4”       280
170 SPR    2333       193      225     135       295    -13.7”       275 
170 NOS    2313       187      218     105       235     -5.3”       265
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
80 viewings of the post and no comments? That's a personal record!

Well, I have a couple of comments.

First, the 130g Speer, which leaves the barrel with 1784fpe. I was really surprised to see how quickly the energy level fell to 1500fpe (60 yards), while retaining 1000fpe out to 200 yards. While this load might make a useful coyote load or maybe a low-recoil practice load, I wouldn’t use it for anything larger than whitetail or antelope.

I’ve always heard the 150g in a .30-30 was a deer/elk load and I was surprised to see the comparison between the Speer 150g and the Nosler 170g come out so close. The difference in trajectory and energy out to 200 yards (not really shown in the table) is hardly worth discussing, which makes me think the heavier 170g Partition would be the better choice.

The Speer 170g carries 1000fpe out to a nominal 300 yards (OK, its 15 feet short) with a bullet drop that is a very manageable 13.7”. A behind-the-shoulder shot on an elk at that distance would result in one very dead elk. At 200 yards the energy is 1274fpe, 164fpe more than the 150g Speer, and bullet drop for both is less than an inch. The 170g Partition is down just over an inch at 200 with 1128fpe retained.

Given the above, a 170g will be my hunting bullet – the question is “which one, Speer or Nosler?” The game will be either antelope or elk. Guess I have all summer to play with them and decide.
 

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The 170 gr bullet in the 30-30 is hard to beat. I believe the 30-30 is underestimated. It just gets the job done. For a "hundred yard" cartridge it sure does a hell of a job well beyond that :wink:
 

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Coyote Hunter,

Probably both bullets would be fine. Like you, I would choose the 170 grain cup-jacket bullet over the 150 grain cup-jacket bullet in 30-30 caliber for big game. I like exit holes.

My experience with the Nosler Partition is limited to 130 grainers in the 270 Win. Within 100 yards they blew apart like a firecracker. The Speer Hot-Cor flatbase 130 grainers in the same caliber never failed to exit. I should have kept that 270 once I discovered the excellent performance of Speer Hot-Cor bullets.

The Barnes X-bullet is the only 150 grain 30 caliber bullet I would shoot at big game. IMO, they penetrate like heavier bullets because their expanded frontal area is smaller and they retain a higher percentage of their weight. Wound channels tend to be smaller too.

I have never experienced a 30-30 loaded to 2300 fps with 170 grain bullets. I gotta believe it would make for a serious hunting round.
 

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Hey James, I just saw this. The amazement isn't over the 130gr. here. That bullet (although very accurate), is shaped like a parachute. My amazement is putting my Rem. Core lokt through this. It not only looses faster than the Speer, but really looses accuracy at 200 yards, not to mentino 300. It works, and can be done, but the 100 yard accuracy does not represent in any way what is going on at 200 yards. I've only used the Speer in my 32 Winchester Special. Its a great 200 yard bullet and is certainly very deadly at that range. My vote goes for the Speer. I also get more accuracy with this bullet than I ever got with a Partition in the 30-30.
 

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Big Redhead said:
I have never experienced a 30-30 loaded to 2300 fps with 170 grain bullets. I gotta believe it would make for a serious hunting round.

I shoot that 170 gr 30-30 bullet out of my 30-40 Krag @ 2400-2500fps, and let me tell you "it hits like Thor's hammer".....bang....plop!
 

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Coyote Hunter said:
80 viewings of the post and no comments? That's a personal record!

Given the above, a 170g will be my hunting bullet – the question is “which one, Speer or Nosler?” The game will be either antelope or elk. Guess I have all summer to play with them and decide.
Jim,

FWIW, my load is the 170 gr. Nosler Partition behind 30gr. of 3031. Should be "minute of elk".

SM
 

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Hello Riflemen-Mr. Coyote Hunter-odd how data can just hang around without comment. I'm certainly a one dimentional 30-30 hunter when it comes to bullets. I have used the 130 Grain Speer with very good success in our Marlins. but I'm not sure my son or I have taken more than a 100 yard shot with them and I'm speaking specifically of blacktail bucks. They should be good to 200 yards though you think? BL
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BestLever said:
Hello Riflemen-Mr. Coyote Hunter-odd how data can just hang around without comment. I'm certainly a one dimentional 30-30 hunter when it comes to bullets. I have used the 130 Grain Speer with very good success in our Marlins. but I'm not sure my son or I have taken more than a 100 yard shot with them and I'm speaking specifically of blacktail bucks. They should be good to 200 yards though you think? BL
After yesterday at the range and 4 of 5 WW 170g power points going into well under an inch at 100, I'm ***almost*** ready to say my hunting loads is developed - and get some more WW's!

I was considering the 130's for antelope but have decided they don't offer much in the way of long range trajectory - I can bang steel at 300 with the 170's and they carry a lot more energy - so I'll probably stick with them. But yes, the 130's and 1,000 FPE at 200 should be fine for those coastal deer. First time I saw one I thought it was a small fawn - until I saw the rack. I've owned bigger dogs! ;)

For mulies and certainly for elk I would go with the 150's or 170's
 

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reloaderman said:
I shoot that 170 gr 30-30 bullet out of my 30-40 Krag @ 2400-2500fps, and let me tell you "it hits like Thor's hammer".....bang....plop!
I always wanted a 30-40. I found a Ruger #3 in (supposedly) NIB condition that I would buy in a heartbeat if I had the jack right now. Another bullet that I bet would work really well in the Krag round is the Rem 180 SPCL (roundnose).
 

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The load I worked up in my Marlin is the Speer 170 grain over 35 grains of IMR4320. I am getting right at 2300 FPS, and the accuracy hovers +/- an inch at 100 yards. I am not even going to look at other loads for awhile, since I brewed up 450 of these. :lol:

by the way, they work great on hogs. Still I have not taken a whitetail yet with it.
 
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