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I have taken a previously fired casing from my 30-30 Winchester, de-primed then checked for proper case lenght, cut two very thin slots partially down the neck, manually pushed in a new bullet knowing it was not far enough in, then chambered the round in my rifle to see how far the bullet would seat. After removing the cartridge from the rifle I can see quite a gap from the end of the casing to the crimp ring on the bullet. (See picture below) The oal of this seated sample is 2.570". This is using the Missouri Cast 135gr. RFNP. Should I be crimping at the crimp ring on the cast bullet or using the oal I get seating this dummy cartridge? All the reading I have done has me a bit confused. Any help appreciated. Thanks...
 

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It fits the chamber BUT will it cycle through the action? Also, what is the case length...too short, too long. The LYMAN books would have you trim cases a substantial amount.

I full length re-size and then trim because I'm loading for 6 different 30/30 MARLINS. I also size to .311.
 

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I am using a Lee case trimmer which gives a case lenght of 2.030 I could make up and crimp some more dummy rounds to see if they cycle through the action.
 

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I would go ahead and crimp in the cannelure..everywhere I've checked shows a max OAL of 2.550"
 

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With a lever action rifle, you need to crimp in the cannelure, what I think you meant by the crimp ring on the bullet. This will keep the bullet from sliding back into the case under recoil and when you load them in the magazine. Such can cause dangerously high pressures.
 
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Crimp at the cannelure which should be close to the suggested OAL. A little free travel in a
30-30 won't effect much and will keep your pressures down.
 

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i go along with what everyone else has said so far.

to add to the point i used to have an 1895 in .357mag/.38spcl,the .357 cases fed perfectly,the specials did not and we are talking a mere 1/16 of an inch,give or take. so i seated them out to .357 length and this solved the feeding problem.eventually i collected enough .357 brass and got rid of the 38 spl brass.
one other thing to add is a bolt gun has enough camming action to seat the ctg. in the chamber ,a lever gun does not .exceeding the listed coal can cause severe pressure issues and feeding problems as well as damaging the rifle ,hurting yourself or both.
 

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I'd also suggest crimping at the cannalure. Having a little "freebore" is a convienence in a lever gun. Both the 308MX and the 338MX chambers have freebore designed in............Also, Most reloading manuals consider the stated COAL as being a MAX length.
If I were loading for a bolt gun, I'd want to experiment with different lengths, but not with a lever gun.
Upon, ignition, a bolt gun's receiver and bolt are basically at rest, due to the front locking bolt design.
A lever gun is different, in that the the bolt is in compression, and the receiver is in tension, due to the rear locking bolt design.
If I recall, ALL of my reloaded rounds for both lever guns and pistols are somewhat (.010-.020) below the stated COAL ............The only one I watch closely is the 10MM, due to the operating pressure of that cartridge.

Tom
 

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Hey guys, new to marlin owners. Hoping to add to this thread and run something by you guys.

Had a rifle handed to me: western-field 740a-emn from everything i can find this is a marlin 336 re branded. I believe its a '69 model. Anyways. As I've been tinkering with some reloads, i couldn't help but mess around a little. I took a case, cut a slit in it to help me find how deep the bullet could be to touch the lands with hornadys 160 grn ftx.

2.612 to the lands

So i started messing around with max coal my gun could cycle reliably. I found that to be 2.600. So i trimmed 6 cases to the recommended 2.029 and seated spent primers in the cases and seated 6 bullets to 2.600. Factory crimped them with my lee fcd. The crimp does not fall in the canneluer. I loaded all 6 in my tube magazine no problems there. I then cycled all 6 rounds with no problem and re checked the coal of each round. 2.597 the bullets had not sunk deeper however, this was the distortion of the tips being under pressure in the tube.

I plan to repeat this process a few hundred times (for my own amusement) to make sure there are no feeding issues at 2.600 coal, and no bullets seating deeper not being crimped in the canneleur from spring tension in the tube.

Everything i have read says that you get your best accuracy with your shoulders bumped back .002 and your bullet set between .020 and .015 off the lands. From everything I've read this isn't usually attainable in a lever gun due to the chambers being cut inconsistently one gun to another and the inability to cycle cartridges longer than 2.550.

I am using hornady brass once fired and fl resized
Trimmed to 2.029, Winchester lr primers and leverevolution powder topped with hornadys 160 grn ftx bullet. Ive been sticking with hogdons recommended 35.5 grns of powder with a coal of 2.535. After finding out that the chamber length is 2.612 and my rifle cycles cartridges as big as 2.600 what issues would i run into with my coal being 2.592 for max accuracy? It just seems that i would want to close this gap if i could. From hornadys recommended 2.535 coal to my chambers 2.612.

Please keep in mind i haven't done anything more than primed some fl resided cases trimmed to 2.029 with SPENT primers so they would feed into the magazine one after another (they wouldn't feed into the tube without primers) and seated the bullets to 2.600. And factory crimped. I have not charged any cases or fired any in this configuration, i wanted to come to the forum for tips and experience before i did so. Please remember i haven't had a cycle failure at 2.600 coal.

My questions i have are.

Do i need to be concerned about not crimping in the canneleur?

What am i missing? I'm fairly knew to reloading and don't want to be the next Darwin award winner or worse yet... Honorary runner up. (they still die but only get the honorable mention)

I would love to think i can squeak a little more consistent accuracy out of this gun. I look forward to your insight thanks for reading my long post.

Edit: after re reading Tomrays post i am wondering if this "free bore" is to compensate for pressures due to the bolt being under compression? am i assuming correctly? if so would seating just off the lands create adverse chamber pressures with the bolt being under compression? if adverse pressures are created can powder charge be reduced to keep safe pressures but still have the accuracy gains of the bullet being seated just off the lands. i still cant help but wonder if closing this gap would tighten your groups. if its a general practice to increase accuracy why cant it apply to lever guns too?

again my excitement in the whole matter is that my rifle will cycle rounds reliably to be able to close the gap to the recommended .020 -.015 off the lands, my other thought is that people crimp bullets without a canneluer all the time and still don't have issues with the bullet seating further. i read earlier today that the main and primary purpose of the canneluer is to bond the core to the jacket. don't know if this is fact or one mans opinion. with this probably being true i also understand manufactures like hornady place the canneluer at a specific place on the bullet to accommodate a crimp at suggest coal give or take a few.
 

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I couldn't tell from your post whether you were working with a 30-30 or a 308mx.

I have a 30-30, and did the same thing you are working on, but I couldn't get close enough to the lands before the cartridges got too long to extract. I loaded some one at a time through the ejection port and didn't see any difference in group size. I gave it up as too much trouble.

If you are talking a 30-30, I'd work up some loads and see what happens.

Based on Tomray's comment I'd be a lot more cautious about using up the free bore in a 308mx.

What kind of accuracy were you getting without messing around with over all length?
 

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Jacketed bullets tend to stand some freebore, cast tends to like some support by seating close to the lands or throat. Like everything to do with loading or shooting, there are exceptions and YMMV. Most 30-30 chambers don't really have a leade or throat, rifling starts right off the case mouth with just the bevel off the case mouth as the leade. A few dummy rounds to check functioning will let you know if your OAL is acceptable. Load some at both lengths and see what works best for you. I tend to ignore the crimp groove on cast bullets for plinking and midrange loads. I run them through a LEE Factory Crimp die if I want them to function thru the magazine. I've used Lyman 311041, 311291 and ranchDogs 311-165 for hunting loads, those have the crimp groove in the right place as long as your case length is consistant. If you are using cast it will serve you well to be sure the neck is expanded properly with a slight bell before seating the bullet. A Lyman M die (31) will do the trick. Most expander balls are sized for jacketed bullets and tend to be a bit snug for best results with cast bullets. Enjoy!
 

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yeah im working with a 30-30. I did some further measuring after finding an article on finding your chamber max depth. here is the link: Determining seating depth and crimping for different rifles - Sporting Shooter

as far as accuracy before messing with the oal I didn't save the targets to share pictures of, so when I go test my loads for accuracy with the grains being the variable I will get my benchmark then.

plus last time I shot it I was confirming zero for a coyote hunt and was shooting from a stick bipod for real world situation shooting so I was happy with my 3 rounds sitting inside the bullseye diamond of my shoot and see target with the 1" increments for measuring scope adjustment needed. how much movement you need to make with your scope. im also getting a new scope upgrading from my barska 3-9x40 $35 dollar big 5 special. so this will need to be re-zeroed anyways. ill post the pictures from that as my bench mark. I will be shooting factory leverevoloution bullets for the zero and then my reloads for the testing. then ill work up loads with different seating depths. to start everything will be 2.535 until the powder charge is determined. then ill start at 2.587 and work back and see if anything changes.

I did the method where you load a bullet in the chamber (dummy round) seated to factory specs, 2.535 (hornady ftx seated recommendation) and stuck a cleaning rod down the barrel, marked this measurement , then stuck a lone bullet no brass or primer just the pill into the chamber and tapped it to get it seated in the lands. I then re-measured with the cleaning rod. I came up with a difference of .071. giving me a total depth of 2.606. this was much different than my dept of 2.612 so I proceeded with the method described in the article to seat a bullet to the depth (in this case 2.612) and put the bullet in a candle to make it black, and then close the chamber to see if it touches the lands. if it does seat the bullet deeper and repeat till there are no marks. I did this repeatedly. and ran a bore snake through the barrel after each time to make sure soot wasn't building up on the lands causing false readings. I eventually got down to 2.601 where the bullet didn't have any touching on the lands. so my depth to the lands is 2.602. the method where you cut the case and seat the bullet and measure didn't prove accurate enough for my gun because it is obvious that he lands were holding on to the bullet a little bit as I was ejecting the cartridge from the chamber giving me the extra length and false reading.

this was a bit of a chore as I removed the extractor from the gun because I noticed that the extraction of the shell to the side would put pressure on the longer caol cartridge and cause false readings on the oal to the lands. so I would put the round in, install the bolt, push the bold half way in and install the lever and then close the bolt, open the lever unscrew the lever screw and carefully extract the round so nothing interfered with my reading on the bullet ogive and the candle soot. I am 100% confident that this method was accurate. there were no other marks on the bullet doing it this way other than contact form the lands or no contact from the lands. which contacted just above the canneluer.

im going to move forward with the development of this load. seeing as my gun cycles rounds exactly at 2.600 without any issues. even ejecting the full cartridge out of the ejection port. at 2.604 is where I started having issues inside the gun with the chambering action. currently I am working on powder charge right now. I have 10 bullets loaded up with 35.5 grains of leverevoloution powder as recommended by hogdon and have read numerous places that 37 grains be the max. so 10 w/35.5 grains 5 in 36 grains 5 in 36.6 and 5 in 37 grains I don't have a crono so I will be looking for pressure signs. and basing my decision solely on accuracy and sticky chambers if the pressure is too high. once that is established then I will mess around with seating depth starting at 2.587 and working backwards to see if it makes a difference at all.

if anything this has been a lot of fun figuring this out. if it improves accuracy great. if not now I have experience I can use where it will matter when I pick up my .308. ( in know that's my name, had a .308 felt some financial pressure and sold it.... should have sold the kidney first)

I will be using the hornady 160 grn ftx bullet exclusively.
 

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talking about crimping at the cannelure, I loaded some 30-30 subsonics last week based on Adam's (RPP) recipe - 14.4 gr IMR 4227 / 220 gr RN. 1020 fps. In order to obtain an OAL that would cycle, I had to seat the bullet a little deeper and crimp above the cannelure.

Plan to test the loads later this week if the weather cooperates. I guess I should only load one in the chamber and one in the mag?

T.S.
 

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First, .308, welcome to the forum.

Maybe I'm getting too practical in my old age, but here goes. I do not see splitting hairs in loading for a .30-30. I think I have dies, but my brass pile is not yet deep enough to take it on. Don't misunderstand what I'm about to say. I have four .30-30 rifles and they shoot from pretty good to great with factory ammo. The .30-30 lever guns are hunting guns, not precision target rifles. As such they do a wonderful job. If you can hit a volleyball - about a 9" circle at whatever distance - that is good enough to kill a deer.

Coyotes are smaller, rabbits smaller yet, but a properly set up 336 should easily do two inches at 100, and likely will do a good bit better with some factory or book hand load. In theory, a 2"@100 gun should do 6"@300. Theory usually goes out the window because of external variations such as bullet design, wind, shooter skill and a host of other reasons, but a well practiced shooter should be able to hit the volleyball at something over 200 most every time.

I recommend you play the built in hedge to allow for a safety factor and crimp in the cannelure. An extra 1/8 to 1/4 inch tighter group is not that necessary to a successful hunt. If little bitty groups are your goal, bring out your Rem .308 with a honking big scope and a bull barrel and go to it.

BTW, nothing wrong with having ideas. Ideas is what brought about the freebore jump. I once had a Weatherby that had a full 6/10" of freebore. I have no idea how much extra powder you could get in that jewel without hitting red line, if the bullet was seated way out. I could not stand to have my face that close to the eruption, should it occur.

enjoy,
 

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i totally get where your coming from papabear. for a free gun handed down to me from my uncle its in great condition and a straight shooter. according to my calculations i only have .067 of freebore using hornady leverevoloution seated at 2.535 coal. to the lands measures 2.602. not as much as your weatherby. ive shot it a lot but never actually measured. shooting from sticks i didn't feel like i could accurately say the shooting was the best the gun could do. ill shoot from prone next time i go out. and measure then as im getting my bench mark with factory loads and then comparing to my worked up loads for powder charge. then ill decide if messing with seating depth is something ill actualy mess with.
 
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