I have been experimenting with Lever powder in my (3) .30-30 rifles. They are all Winchesters. I have 26", 24" & 20" barrels.
The results so far have been odd, to say the least.
At the recommended loadings per Hodgdon's web site, the 150 grain loads were disappointing. They were clocked at anywhere between 2350 to 2500 feet per second in my 26" barrel. My 24" barrel had the identical erratic results. The burn rate was so erratic that I didn't bother to shoot groups. The velocity using Lever powder in my 20" barrel were sometimes slower than 150 grain factory Remington or Federal loads.
I also experimented a little with using 125 grain bullets and Lever powder. The velocities were slow and erratic.
I am using TAC powder by Ramshot as my main powder. I am using a 150 grain Sierra flat point (#2000) bullet. I am getting very good results. MY 24" and 26" rifles are almost identical in velocity at 2550 fps. The same load in my 20" barrel gives 2460 feet per second. I am using 33 grains of TAC powder with a magnum primer. I do not remember why I started using a magnum primer, but it works for me. The 26" rifle is a heavy octagon barrel on a Canadian Centennial. With factory open sights this rifle will shoot inch and a half groups at 100 yards with the TAC load. This load is a bit hot for a light 20" Winchester. I have my eye on a Marlin 336. I am hoping the heavier 20" Marlin rifle will like this load.
Remington 150 grain Core-Lokt factory load performance in my rifles:
26"- 2420 fps (TAC load - 2550 fps)
24" -2390 fps (TAC Load - 2450 fps)
20" -2255 fps (TAC load - 2460 fps)
The load I really like for my 20" rifle is using TAC powder with 125 grain Sierra .30-30 bullets. I am loading 35 grains of powder with a magnum primer. The velocity is 2520 fps in a 20" barrel. The same load in my 26" barrel clocks at 2590 fps. This is a very accurate load in my 20" rifle, but I have only grouped it at 50 yards. This load works well in my 24" barrel rifle, which is an NRA Centennial. It is a light rifle also, but it shoots great.
Just for kicks, I tried using a magnum primer on the Lever powder today. I reduced the load a little from Hodgdon's published load. DON'T TRY THIS! I chronographed a 150 Remington Core-Lokt bullet at 2850 feet per second out of my 26" barrel .30-30. I didn't believe what I saw. The burn rate was very stable. It didn't vary 20 fps in all the rounds I fired. It was also a very accurate load. I am not going to say what the Lever powder charge was, only that it is too high!