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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This round caught my eye on a T/C Contender site and I have been reading up on it. It seems to have been overlooked by the shooting world until recently and now it gets nothing but raves from those that are shooting it. And that is out of a 14-ince barrel. Think what an H&R/NEF could do with it.

As I understand, it can be hand reamed (like the .357 Mag. to Maxi.) and the results are that you end up with a chambering that has a lot of accuracy, better velocity, flatter trajectory and more knock-down power all with NO MORE chamber pressure. That sure sounds like a winner to me.

It is also claimed by those that have it, that when fireforming the .30-30 the accuracy is great which most fireforming loads in other rounds may not be and usually aren’t. So if you run low on reloads just grab a box of .30-30’s and keep shooting. The .30-30’s are sold everywhere by everyone that sells any ammo at all. Actually… there are no fireforming loads for it; you just shoot whatever .30-30 shells you can buy.

And of course, since we are talking single-shots and reloading here, it will shoot all the .30 caliber spire points out there too. All of this without shoulder bruising recoil. If the old .30-30 is such a wonderful deer gun (and it is) then these have got to be as good or even better.

Just something to think about. 8) 8) 8)
 

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The 30-30 Ackley Improved will add 200 to300fps,over the standard 30-30 Winchester.But when Winchester came out with the 307 Winchester,well it made the 30-30 Ackley Improved obsolete in power thinking.I would have liked to have been an apprentice,to the grate P.O.Ackley.A grate machinist,Wildcatter,and shooter.He was my hero when I was a young boy,in the 40s and 50s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The thing is we are talking about a mod to a Handi-rifle here and I don’t know if one could be re-chambered to a 307 as easy as the .30-30 Ackley can be done. Of course there are better chamberings that can be had in lever guns right out of the box but H&R/NEF is the section we are in and that’s what I am wondering about. The main point about the Ackley modification is there is no increase in pressure and factory ammo for fireforming is dirt-cheap and sold everywhere. The 307 ammo is 3 to 4 times as expensive for just a very slight bit more performance. Once the brass is fired in either the reloading will be about the same costs but again I am talking about getting the initial set up and improving the factory H&R/NEF .30-30 barrel.

So all you guys that jumped on the .357 Mag. to Maxi. Conversion, what do you think about doing a .30-30 Ackley Improved conversion?

PS: Oh, by the way I was a kid back then too.
 

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Major said:
What do you think about doing a .30-30 Ackley Improved conversion?[/img]
There are two conversions that I can't think of any downside to, except for needing new dies for full-length sizing. Those are the .22 K-Hornet & 30-30 Ackley. The biggest criticism of the 30-30AI is that it's not comparable to a 30-06. If you want that much power, you could go to 30-40AI, but I would not attempt that conversion with hand tools.
If you had a 308AI reamer and a lathe you could convert to 307AI, the 30-30 barrel is already cut for the .506 x .063" rim, but the brass isn't cheap, and Winchester is the only supplier. I was ready to order a 225 Win reamer and brass when I found out I can't get 225 Win brass at Midway. (they had it a couple of months ago, and a lot cheaper than it was a year ago, but now it's gone, at least temporarily)

The 30-30AI is next on my list after the 280AI. I already have the reamer and headspace gages for the 280, and have the 30-30AI on order. There didn't seem to be much interest in sharing the 280AI reamer, most guys seemed to think I was nuts for wanting to do it to a 280 handi instead of doing a 7mm-08 and putting up with a 22" barrel.

One of the guys from the old H&R Talk has been passing around a 45-70 throater on Graybeard's board, you send him $10 and pay the postage send it to the next guy on the list.
IIRC, there was a .357 max passed around last year, each successive user bought it for less than the previous guy paid for it, until it got cheap enough that somebody just kept it and it quit circulating.

Mitch
 

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I really wish I knew more about all this. I like the 30-30 and have always wanted one for the history it has as a deer round. The AI sounds as if it might offer more distance, perhaps to the 200 yd range vs. 100 yd with the standard barrel. Is that conceivable with the AI?
 

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A .307 Handi would be dead simple. Just takes a rim cut in a .308 barrel, and, maybe, a little file work on the ejector. Rifle would stay usable with .308, too.

I don't see any point in a .30-30 AI conversion of a Handi unless someone just wants to play. Nothing wrong with that, but you oughta be honest about it. Makes more sense in a lever gun, though.
 
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Major said:
This round caught my eye on a T/C Contender site and I have been reading up on it. It seems to have been overlooked by the shooting world until recently and now it gets nothing but raves from those that are shooting it. And that is out of a 14-ince barrel. Think what an H&R/NEF could do with it.
I'm no expert on the 30-30 Ackley Improved (AI), but I have a T/C Contender with 14 and 24 inch barrels chambered for 30-30 AI. J.D. Jones rechambered a 14 inch 30-30 for me and I bought the 24 inch barrel at the T/C custom shop (Fox Ridge...). The 14 inch barrel seems stupid to me now, as it doesn't have the barrel length to gain me much performance, but I bought it long ago when I was into the bigger is better syndrome. I think I should of gotten a 30-30 Herret. The 24 inch barrel is getting pretty impressive, but I have not gotten to max levels with any load yet. I've only had it for a few weeks.
My thinking on the AI is that with the shorter neck, one should only go to AI if you will be shooting shorter bullets so the powder space won't be intruded upon. My measuring reveals that the empty AI case only holds about 6% more powder that the 30-30 Win and that space is mostly where the old neck base and expanded forward portion of the case body was, so using up that space with bullet shank makes the AI have even less increased case capacity over the 30-30 Win. I usually use 170 grain bullets in the 30-30 and feel that with a 170 grainer, the AI can't increase velocity significantly over the 30-30 Win if loaded to same pressure (although AI could probably handle more pressure?). I plan to use a lighter bullet in my AI like 130 grain Barnes X or maybe the 150 grain Hornady Interbond. I have a Leupold 3-9 scope on it and I think one really needs a scope to take advantage of any increased performance beyond the 30-30 Win.
Rechambering an H&R seems like an inexpensive way to try out a 30-30 AI.
 

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I hope you guys are still reading this thread. I have a .30-30 AI reamer and have rechambered several Marlin 336's and one TC Contender with it. No one I did it for had any complaints only compliments on how much better the performance was. The job can and was done easily with no power tools except a drill motor. I re-chambered the Marlins using a reamer extension right through the bolt way and used the drill motor with a split dowell and 250 grit aloxite to polish the chamber. The TC of course, didn't require the reamer extension nor would the Handi Rifle. You just have to be extremely careful not to cut the rim face any deeper. I put Dykem blue on the chamber face and as soon as I saw the slightest wear on the blue, I stopped. To cut to the maximum depth isn't necessary as the AI reamer moves the 45 degree shoulder much farther forward than the original shoulder. If you were not to go as deep as possible you would still come within a few thousands of an inch and would only need to adjust your dies accordingly. It gives a great performance boost over the .30-30 WIN and it saves wear and tear on your brass by taking most of the taper out of the case body and making 45 degree shoulder that stops brass flow. Ackley, in his two volumn book, Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders, tells of a 94 WIN that he re-chambered to his improved version, took the locking straps out of the rifle, made sure the chamber and cartridges were free from grease and oil and fired the rifle remotely and discovered the bolt did not move re-ward at all. The case adhered to the chamber walls and the lever was enough to prevnt any re-ward movement of the bolt. If you're thinking you might like this conversion, it really is all pluses and no minuses, except the expense of new dies.
 
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boreal said:
.....The 24 inch barrel is getting pretty impressive, but I have not gotten to max levels with any load yet. I've only had it for a few weeks......
.....I plan to use a lighter bullet in my AI like 130 grain Barnes X or maybe the 150 grain Hornady Interbond......
I was playing with IMR 4320 in the 30-30 AI last weekend. I got up to 2600 fps in my 24 inch barrel with the 150 grain Hornady.
Sight it in at 2 inches high at 100 yards and it will be about 10 inches low at 300, about 4 inches at 250). It should arrive at 300 yards at over 2000 fps and nearly 1400 foot-pounds. Compare that with a 150 grain Rem factory 30-30 soft point core-lokt that will be going 1300 fps, have 365 foot-pounds of energy, and be about 20 (?) inches low at 300 yards.
Of course, if you push the 150 grain Hornady Interbond bullet out of a 30-30 Win at 2400 fps (24 inch barrel) and sighted it in about 3 inches high at 100 yards, it would be only 11 inches low at 300 yards, be going about 1850 fps, and have 1050(?) ft-lb of energy.
Hmmmm.... :idea: :)
 

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Actually, the .30-30 AI is hardly overlooked. Of the breed, it's probably a top 5 in the AI genre. P.O. Ackley's AI series was a boon back in the 50's and that hasn't changed. Some cartridges did well with it, giving genuine improvement. Some didn't. The .30-30 was one that did - most sources report an 8-12% gain, depending on who it is.

The .30-30 AI was one of the "mysteries" of such things, as it offers a boost in excess of what the formula's and armchair ballisticians say it should. Someone usually trumps out the 1:4 rule, or makes some comment at this point about the limited increase in powder capacity gained. But, the results people have been getting with the conversion for nearly half a century dont lie. It works.

But don't be fooled - there is no magic stick. Physics being what they are, it essentially boils down to a matter of increased pressures. There is no free lunch. The conversion is of little benefit if you aren't going to push the envelope somewhat.

Fear not, though, intrepid experimenter. Pressures at the extreme end of the .30-30 envelope are apparently handled well, as the AI conversion removes most of the body taper and thus the stretch and setback of the parent case when loaded hot (I say "apparently," because there is little accurate pressure data for the .30-30 AI. It is still a wildcat, after all. One caveat here: The .30-30 case is not terribly robust and so you have limits on the pressures. Handle with care, my friend).

Ah, but the Handi-Rifle, with it's rear block lockup can take the boosted pressures and would prove the boon. Unlike the leverguns, which are "springy," the solid H-R would not allow for any but the tiniest bit of stretch and case creep. Then, once the cases are formed, you could carefully neck size and retain a discrete, chamber formed case. Good accuracy, max capacity and, yes, a worthwhile improvement for a humble H-R. This is what single shots are all about - just take a cue from the T/C Contender camp on this one.

Is it worth it to you to make the conversion to the .30-30 AI? Probably.

- It is simple as such things go and the reamer is readily available (thanks Masterifleman). This makes it cheap and all the more fun.

- What about loading dies? NOT cheap, but available. They run about $50-$75. And there is plenty of load data available. Here's one for you:

150gr HNDY RN/37.0 gr IMR 3031/CCI LGR primer = 2,500 fps. NOTES: "good accurrate load, less than an inch at 100yds. with Marlin 336 and 20 inch barrel." (What will a spitzer bullet and a 22" H-R barrel give, I wonder?)
** load courtesy of handloads.com

- The 30-30 AI offers the use of easy to find - even cheap - ammo, too. As noted, the parent cartridge can be fired as needed, to either fom AI cases or, in a pinch, to even hunt with. Someone mentioned a re-ream to .307. Good cartridge, but just try to find cheap ANYTHING when dealing with a .307 - heck, just try finding some ammo!

To me, the .30-30 AI makes a lot more sense in the H-R than a .307 job. Not to offend, but whats the point in that? If you really want that kind of boom and thunder in a lightweight little gun, just get a Handi-Rifle in .308 and be done with it.

And that, then is the crux of it, isnt it? The Handi-Rifle is well... handy. It's not a tree stump to lug about or worth more than your children. Adding a moderate little boost to an already nifty little package is like icing on a cake.

To me, the highest and best use for the AI .30-30 in an H-R would be with a nice used gun, say off the pawnshop rack, or an extra you may have laying around. I saw one the other day at a shop and the first thing that came to mind was "AI". Call it a "Mt. Everest" exercise and have at it.

But, it you are spending good money on a new Handi-Rifle, get one in .308 or even better, 7mm-08...and leave the .30-30 for your lever guns.
 

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I believe that other than enjoying the mystique of having a wildcat or having a spare 30/30 barrel around to play with...I would rather just go ahead and get a .308 barrel..just my $.02..
 

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oldschool - nice reply, couldn't agree more with saving a rechamber for a good used rifle.

I do have a rifle that is almost worth more than the house, accurate as can be (better than I), and powerful enough for anything I am likely to shoot at, BUT, I have to admit, I am almost afraid to take it out to other than a range. What is the sense of that?

Better to improve a Handi "off the pawn rack" and have it used as it should be.
 

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As long as your cartridge OAL is what it is suposed to be, there aren't any problems. The only difference is that the straight part of the case wall is longer than a .30-30, and the shoulder is moved forward. Reaming the chamber to accomodate takes care of both differences.
 

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I have a 30-30AI in a Super 14 & love it. I have harvested Antelope at just under 200 yards with it. The
bullet it likes is the 150BT at 2,400fps & at that vel the BT is great.
 

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I did a 30 Herrett to 30-30AI conversion on a 24" Contender barrel ( I have two) and it is wonderful...not cutting brass and trimming. I have done 3 other conversions on 336's and they work great too....making the 336 a good 250 yd gun with spitzer bullets and only one in the mag. My oldest 336 in AI will consistantly hit a 6" gong at 200 yds with the 125 gr spitzers....which just ruin a deer's day when you hit them in the ribs...DRT...out to 200 yds or so.

I must agree if you are going to buy a new gun, just choose a better caliber and buy it that way, but if you have an old barrel laying around the AI conversion is worth it IMHO.
 

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Hello,

I am a new member and am currently developing loads for a 30-30AI on a Handy Rifle. I had originally bought the NEF in the 30-30 because it had a lamenated cinnamon stock and the price was right.
As I began looking for loads in my loading manuals, I quickly realized there were loads for most other Ackleys but not the 30-30. When I contacted my favorite powder maker, he refused to help me.
When I contacted my favorite bullet maker, he scoffed and asked why I would waste my time with a useless gun like the Handy Rifle. Then I contacted NEF and you would have thought I was trying to burn the American flag! They wouldn't even discuss it. I realize they are always concerned about liabilities as were the other suppliers but if Ackley had listened to such nay sayers a lot of wonderful calibers would never had been developed.
First of all, you don't have to fire factory or factory resized 30-30 rounds in order to blow out your brass.
You can use a wax material which will provide enough pressure to get the job done. Also, you need to load with a hot powder whether you use wax or bullets for blowing out brass. i tried Varget because that is what I had already loaded some 30-30s with and the result was not good. Unburned powder lay in the bottom of the barrel and some of it got into the chamber and ruined my brass. So use hot powder to blow your brass out.
I have not started developing loads yet. I thought I would start a couple of grains higher than the high end for the regular 30-30 then increase by 1/2 a grain increments. I will use a chronograph and will watch for pressure signs.
By the way, have any NEF owners out there had any problems with there Handy Rifles breaking open when shooting high pressure loads?
The gun smith who improved my rifle lives near Owasso Ok. and is wonderful with 45 ACPs if that is any hint.(I would not want to mention his name without asking his permission first.) (Its Greek to me anyway.)

Well hello to everyone and I look forward to talking with each of you. God bless you.
 

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I have looked at the good old 30.30 case when reloading and thought there is a lot of wasted space in there, but have never been able to bring myself to AI it. I wonder how Sierra 125gn HPs would go in a AI case, they are doing 2530fps in my old standard Winnie 94. Hmmmm.:hmmmm:

GUS
 
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