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Discussion Starter #1
Any you handloaders out there for the 30-30 load ever check seating depth when doing test firings for your tightest groups. Have searched every where on here and find no posts about this. Cannot believe no one has brought up this subject and am just about ready to handload for this round and wondering how you guys find distance to lands...for a bolt many ways to do but for a lever want to know how some of you do this. For my bolt guns, I just take a fired case from my gun and insert a bullet and bite down on it ever so lite...and carefully insert in the chamber with the case inserted by the bolt closing and ever so carefully pull the bolt back and take the case out of the bolt and..if all goes real slow and careful, you will see that the bullet has been pushed back into the case and you can take your readings as to how long round is now...do this several times to get a good reading. Also, measure your case before you insert into chamber and you will see when taking case out how far it has been pushed back in by the bullet as it is touched by the lands. Now, with the Marlin lever, can the lever be taken out and the ejector be removed so as bolt can be inserted with the case and bullet to get this reading. Have just bought a 30-30 and know that seating depth has to have an effect on accuracy, just as a bolt gun.
 

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Right. I'll be interested to see the responses here. I know what you are talking about with regards to bolt guns as I am just getting into ogive to cartridge base measurements and experimenting with VLD that are jumping into the lands a bit.

Everything I have learned stresses that magazine fed rounds (bolt, semi, lever) need to be loaded within spec. So are you after a single feed round here or are you wanting to experiment with OAL while feeding from the tube?
 

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Mar Nut... for the lightweight plinkers without a cannelure I did the same measurement on the 336 as you describe for the bolt gun... only had the bullet stick once in the lands and backed off the "crimp" just a bit and the bullet came out with the case. cycled the action slowly with the lever and it worked just fine... I seat the bullet a hair short of where the bullet contacted the lands and am good to go. for bullets with cannelure, I seat to the cannelure and call it good.
 

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I don't see why you couldn't take the extractor off to do it... Thing to consider is COL and if it will be too long to work/cycle in the action/tube? Youll have to make a couple dummies and see what happens!? :hmmmm:
Other members will be along soon to give advice on this topic...

Good luck
BloodGroove4570
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Forgot to mention that..about the length of the rounds being too long for all to fit in the tube...kinda like a bolt with the magazine fed...must also fit the magazine also. Still, there has to be a set OAL for each gun..all are different...for the tightest groups. Papa vid, the cannelure on the Hornady LEV bullets the ammo already factory loaded even has different seating depths...at least the 2 boxes I have purchased have different depths. Now loading like 150 and 170 bullets without the cannelure there is no way of knowing where the correct depth would be without firing for the tightest groups or loading rounds for a maximum length to fit all in mag. tube...back to the same thing with a bolt gun fed by a mag...sometimes you can only load so long if will not fit mag. or you only single feed rounds into chamber. May be a mute point, but I find it hard to believe that loading every round to a certain depth for your gun would not have an effect on accuracy...and once you find it for that bullet and what your gun is telling you it likes...that is when things will come together. Haven't received my gun yet...hopefully tomorrow and will be doing some reloading for it when I can....but you can bet the farm on it that there is a seating depth that it likes for any or most different bullets you feed it.
 

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I played around with moving the bullet out some but the gains were not enough to make it worth the trouble of single feeding them and then trying to extract a live round. If I want to do that I use a bolt gun with a long enough action.
 

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interesting... I never measured a factory round but it makes sense... I'm a new reloader (only a year under my belt) and started with spitzer point (all I could find) so measured to the lands. was loading one at a time as recommended... measuring was the only way to find seating depth with the spitzer as seating to the same OAL had the ogive into the case mouth. I got good acuracy (I think) with this method. I did not crimp these rounds since the bullets did not have a cannelure. I ran into a few that did not seat deep enough, pulled a bullet with the lands at the range and had to go back and reseat the remainder of that lot.

I have been reloading cast for the past few months and was happy to have a cannelure so I could crimp and load in the tube. accuracy is pretty good, and I have the next batch loaded to test once the weather cooperates.. I don't mind shooting in the cold, actually prefer it, but single digits is just too cold...

I read the other day that jacketed bullets react better to bein seated close to the lands where cast react better with a bit more jump to the lands... only one source (and I can't remember where) so maybe some folks here can weigh in on this thought as well.
 

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I played around with moving the bullet out some but the gains were not enough to make it worth the trouble of single feeding them and then trying to extract a live round. If I want to do that I use a bolt gun with a long enough action.
I did the same but with a 168 grain Hornady Amax... Utter failure and *not* worth the trouble.

I do get what the OP is after here and I guess it's going to be a trade off, probably, right. You have to try and find the optimal cartridge length that still cycles through the magazine and action. Just like a bolt gun, this is going to be an individually unique characteristic to any particular gun.

I'll stop rambling now but this is a very fun topic. Can't wait to see where this thread ends up.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Right. I'll be interested to see the responses here. I know what you are talking about with regards to bolt guns as I am just getting into ogive to cartridge base measurements and experimenting with VLD that are jumping into the lands a bit.

Everything I have learned stresses that magazine fed rounds (bolt, semi, lever) need to be loaded within spec. So are you after a single feed round here or are you wanting to experiment with OAL while feeding from the tube?
Cthulhufan, am wanting to know what others are coming up with on the OAL while feeding from the tube...the Hornady LEV in 160 grain especially. Have purchased couple boxes of said ammo, and want to duplicate or better the accuracy and speed of this round with reloads and was hoping others would chim in as to what they are seating depth is best in their guns...then have a general idea what others are coming up with. Have a couple of loads from others as to powders and grains and chromo speeds...but no one eludes to the seating depth.
 

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This thing helps take some of the guess work out of the equation.
View attachment 91648
+1, been using one for years. For calibers I don't have the modified case, I size a case, cut two slits in the neck with a cut off wheel in my Dremel and use that as an OAL gauge. :top:
 
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It's not possible to alter the OAL in a lever action because of the maximum OAL function length which is shorter than the distance to the lands in many rifles.
 

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OAL is slightly different in each chamber. The best way to find this is to seat a bullet to standard OAL and the coat the bullet with soot from a kerosene lamp and the carefully seat by hand and then close the bolt and the remove carefully and inspect the bullet to see if the lands left a mark on the bullet and if not the try again with the bullet set out more until the marks are left on the bullet and the set the bullet seat down 1/2 a turn +/-


I had to write this three times before I was able to post! It would always say I do not have permission, why is this? I would be able to post more if this did not happen???????
 

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I honestly don't see the point of this in a lever gun.

They are not Target guns, the bullets they use are not Target bullets and inside 200 yards accuracy is usually more than adequate if you just seat to the cannelure. By the way, almost every bullet maker has a 30 caliber bullet designed just for the 30-30 with the cannelure specifically located for optimum seating depth. Much research has gone into the location of that cannelure and I've found it to be correct on all of the bullets I've tried so far. I find my time is better spent experimenting with bullet weight and powder type/charge.

I guess it could be interesting to try working up a pure Target load just to see what a gun is capable of but if it requires single feeding I see no real use for hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's not possible to alter the OAL in a lever action because of the maximum OAL function length which is shorter than the distance to the lands in many rifles.
That is what I thought I would run into...that is why no posts about seating in levers.
 

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The "textbook" answer is to leave the bullet long, chamber it, letting the lands seat the bullet, extract it, and measure. Subtract .010in and that will be the supposed seating depth. It's not an absolute as some bullets work better with no bullet jump, others like a running start to the lands. Keeping in mind that some chambers are so long that you will barely have any bullet seated to reach this length ( I have several this way), also anything you are gaining may very well not be worth it, as it may cause other issues like feeding or extraction. The 30-30 round is an established dimension and manufacturers of ammunition and weapons have designed their products to perform around those dimensions. That being said, it's your gun and your time! This is all part of the sport, enjoy it. I know I do.
 

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The "textbook" answer is to leave the bullet long, chamber it, letting the lands seat the bullet, extract it, and measure. Subtract .010in and that will be the supposed seating depth. .
The problem I had with this method is that the bullet tends to stick in the lands giving a false, longer length. I had this happen several times which is why I got the OAL gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The problem I had with this method is that the bullet tends to stick in the lands giving a false, longer length. I had this happen several times which is why I got the OAL gauge.[/QUOTE uee That will work fine...the OAL gauge....but like have already stated, if you take a fire case...fired from your gun.. and squeeze that case at the mouth ever so slightly so as to grip the bullet just enough to hold it as you insert the case with bullet in chamber...the bullet as it touches the lands when closing bolt ( or as with a lever gun) when closing the lever...the bullet will be pushed back into case..and when taken out and measure total length, then subtract .010 or .015 (whichever you choose to work with) and this will be supposed seating depth...same thing as 45nut has stated. Now, if you have the bullet too tight in the case (squeezed mouth too much) the bullet will stick in lands giving a false, longer length. Also, take several readings doing this and get a reading that you feel is accurate.
 

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This thing helps take some of the guess work out of the equation.
View attachment 91648
I have one of the Hornady Loc-n-load OAL gages, but you want to get the one with the curved shaft designed for levers, pumps, and autos. The curved one will also work on the bolt-actions. But the straight shaft versions won't work on the levers. That being said, I don't use it on my levers, just my bolt-action rifles. I tend to agree with Dave Bullas comment above. " I honestly don't see the point of this in a lever gun. They are not Target guns, the bullets they use are not Target bullets and inside 200 yards accuracy is usually more than adequate if you just seat to the cannelure. By the way, almost every bullet maker has a 30 caliber bullet designed just for the 30-30 with the cannelure specifically located for optimum seating depth." :) CJ
View attachment 91648 [/QUOTE]
 
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