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I have always used 150 gr. A Marlin (house brand) that I picked up a couple of years ago shot 4 out of five at 100 yards into 7/8", with the one flyer opening it up to 1.5" at 100 yards. This was with Federal blue box factory ammo. Hard to argue with those results--for that gun, at least. Of course, now my son has made off with that one!

Shoot whichever one the rifle likes, but I would stick with 150's if the shots could a bit on the long side--say 150 yards or more--and 170's for close in work or bigger/heavier animals. I know a couple of people around here who hunt elk with a 30-30. That seems to be stretching it a bit in my opinion, but it seems to work for them.
 

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Just reading through this thread with interest... Here in the UK, in my limited experience, finding factory 30-30 ammunition isn't always easy. After trying 3 different ones it was clear my 336 much prefers Federal power shok to the 2 others, and definitely 170gn and not 150gn. Based on that I started loading 170gn Sierra prohunter bullets with Vihtavuori N130, with very respectable results. Then I got hold of a box of Hornady leverevolution.... astonishing accuracy, and comfortably legal for hunting deer. The rifle likes them so much I'm not sure if I'll bother reloading!

But there's something I wanted to ask all you guys. My rifle is marked on the right hand side of the barrel, just in front of the receiver:
30/30 WIN 2.06''
32GRs NC
170GRs BULLET

Is this usual? I've taken it as confirmation that I should use 170gn ammo in this rifle, although I've had to rethink that since discovering the leverevolution!
 

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Discussion Starter #44
I believe that is normal for a gun sold/ imported to Europe / UK. The USA does not require that information and it does not appear on guns destined for the domestic US market.

ETA: That does not mean that is the recommended or best load; it is the load that was proofed.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I thought it was something like that. A couple of experienced firearms buffs that I've shown the rifle to had never seen that info engraved on a rifle...

I might try reloading 130 and 150gn and see if they group. But only because I have everything here ready to go and it'll be interesting to see what happens... otherwise I'd just stick with these excellent Hornady leverevolution!
 

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The 170 grain bullets have a reputaton of limited expansion on deer. Reloaders can get a bit more out of the cartridge with 150 grain bullets and LVR powder.
Speer makes a 130 grain JFP that can be driven to nearly 2500 fps. For factor ammo, the Hornady LVR is tough to beat for performance.

A former friend owned a small gun shop that I frequented. He absolutely hated 170 grain ammo in 30-30 rifles. He called them "tracking guns". You better be good at tracking if you use one.

Of course, there will be a group come on here after me and sing the virtues of their one shot stops with the 170 grain bullet. I go with what works all of the time. Not "most" of the time.
 
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Richard, ive never seen anything like that on a rifle before, but I do have an old smith and Wesson with a whole bunch of crowns stamped into it being that it was a lend lease gun during WWII and I guess had too be proofed in England when it arrived.
 

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130 Grain Speer FN and a stout load of CFE 223 or H-322 seems to work well for me in the 30-30. IMHO & YMMV.....
 

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You can’t argue that a rifle shoots one bullet better than another. That is fact and based on individual rifle. The weight of the bullet doesn’t mean much if it does the job. I have shot deer with 110gr Hp to 180rn in 30/30 with same results. Dead deer. I may have tried heavier in Sav 219 but if I did I didn’t use them to hunt. Also have shot a lot of 100gr 1/2 jackets, mostly around 1250fps on small game and varmit. It would be under power to shoot deer.
 

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I’ve only shot 170gr corlokt from my 30-30 Remlin. Very accurate! Only shot one deer with it. Good sized 8 pt pictured in my avatar. Got great penetration and a knarly mushroom with the 170gr bullet at nearly 100 yards. Deer was drt as they say. Only one deer so I wouldn’t say they’re the best load. But I will continue to use it until it lets me down.
 

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I shoot Federal Blue Box 170 grain for deer. I bought 15 boxes on seasonal Closeout at Cabela's Wheeling in 2009. Price was $6.99 a box. I'm still using these up, as it is 1 shot and 1 deer. IF I use the 30-30 for something bigger than deer, I like the Barnes 150 grain XFN. It penetrates like gangbusters and being copper, does not fragment.
 

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Hi folks, I'm brand new to this forum. I have a few questions in a bit. I bought a Marlin 336 30-30 in 1989 or 1990 at the latest, have used it out here in MT on the river bottoms and other places. The 170 grain bullets have worked splendid, be it Remington, Federal, or Winchester. I started reloading many years ago, and used the Speer 170gn Hotcor, due to it being the most pointed flat nose out there. Marlin bested this with the LeverEvolution bullet for sure. Anyway, I'm getting 2200fps +/- with my favorite load. I have tried to use the Speer #14 reloading book, and can't seem to figure out what type of ftlbs of energy the Speer 170 has at 150yds, 200yds, or 250yds. Any idea from anyone that uses the Speer Hotcor. I've had very good results with it, seems to be a bit faster than the Hornady 150/170 grain flat points, but I grew up on Hornady 150grain bullets in the late 60s/early 70s as a kid.... Any thoughts??
 

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Tom

Energy in Ftlbs of Speer 170 Grain FP @ 2200 FPS

150 Yds = 1236
200 Yds = 1078
250 Yds = 939

I used JBM Ballistics and just plugged in your bullet and velocity. Here's the link and you can do it yourself in the future.

JBM - Calculations - Trajectory (Simplified)
 

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BobinNC, thanks, I've used the calculator with quite a few bullets I've reloaded for the 30-30. I was working up some loads with 170gr Hornady rounds, as well as 170 grain Nosler Partitions. For the Hornady rds, I used 30 grains of IMR3031 and average velocity is 2250fps. I can live with that. For the NPartitions, I used 32grains of H335, average velocity is 2300fps. I like that too. I've got some Hornady 160 grain rds, will work up some loads. Hard as it is to image, its snowing on the prairie land of Montana today, 12 May...
 

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sbrmike, in response to your original question, I think the 150gr is just fine for deer. We do have a lot of bears, to include the grizzlies, which have been moving out on the prairie in river/creek bottoms. For that reason I'd rather have a well built 170 grain bullet.
 
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