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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to discuss light weight bullets for .30-30s.

Appropriately, most discussion of ammo for 336 (and relatives) focuses on 150, 160 and 170 gr rnds. I occasionally run across references to 180.

But I'm also curious about light weight .30-30 bullets: 125, 110, 100, 85 and even 55 gr rnds (!)
mentioned in this article, "The .30-30: A Historic Overview" by 30 WCF.

Here are some things I'd like to read, plus what ever else you want to throw in about lighter .30-30 bullets:

  • your experiences with light .30-30 rnds, including target shooting, plinking, hunting, etc;
    for example, what have you used or how would you use light rnds in your .30-30 especially other than just paper punching;
  • links to pages with discussions and data about lighter .30-30 bullets, including history of their development and use
  • ballistics, accuracy, behavior, quirks, pros and cons of lighter rnds relative to more contemporary heavy rnds
  • reloading potentials
  • other stuff about lighter .30-30 rnds
I thought about starting this thread in reloading/handloading, but this seems broader than just handloading alone.
_______________________

Some background about my motivations for this thread other than just intellectual curiosity.

As you'll find from other threads, my goal is a gun kit with only a few rifles (I have my reasons and will discuss them if asked, but I've explained them elsehwere and it's not really relevant here), most to all levers, that cover a LOT of ground in terms of game and protection. (Don't listen to PapaJohn, who will try to convince you - incorrectly - that I'm seeking one gun for all that, which I'm not. ::) )

My "bottom end" rifle - in the sense of small game - squirrel, rabbit, bird - is my 39. Nuff 'said.

My my "middle ground" is currently covered by two guns: 1894C in .357 mag/.38 spl and 336 in .30-30.

I recently came close to selling my 336. I had convinced myself that with the 39 and 1894C, I was covered from bird up to whitetail at close ranges, and was thinking of replacing the .30-30 with something larger that would cover white tail to, say moose and even big bear. I'm still considering .45-70 and .338 ME for that "top niche".

But then, in a fit of rationality and self-slapping, I realized that getting rid of my beloved 336 was just plain stoopid. If anything, the 1894C will go. (Raises shields to maximum power to guard against photon torpedoes being fired by PJ from coastal MO. 8) )

I amplanning to cut the 336 barrel down (discussed over here) to somewhere between 16.5 and 18" for use as general camp carbine suitable for faster, short-range (sub 150 m) shooting in thicker woodlands and woods (dense thickets, like here in the temperate "rain forests" of the Pac NW, now in a decade-long drought) and for SD (the shorter the barrel, the fast I can deploy it).

And it's the latteruses that motivates my question: there are times around camp when I'm not looking to take a deer when I'd rather notuse up those (increasingly) valuable 150 - 180 gr rnds best kept for medium to large game, but would rather have some loads in the tube (and nearby, maybe on a butt stock or pack pocket) suitable for smaller game, maybe even a rabbit AND good enough as a "tactical" carbine for two-legged camp intruders with malicious intentions.
 

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For the cast bullet shooter, look no farther than the Lee C113F, also known as the "Soup Can."

It's an "all body" type bearing length bullet, sort of in the Louverin style, and quite accurate. Somehow it seems more appropriate to use a lighter bullet on smaller game, and it is suitable for the hunting of all animals smaller than deer.

Usually six to eight grains of one of the fast pistol/shotgun powders will net you the right results insofar as velocity and accuracy. W231, Unique, Red Dot, Herco, 700X, et. al. will serve. Most of my use of this bullet has been in the 30-06, but the bullet will do the same thing driven at the same velocity in .30-30, with a few grains less powder needed to get the same speeds. Six to eight grains is right for the 30-30 case.

A bullet such as this kills small game and pests very well (far better than a .22) and meat loss is minimal if the bullet is cast hard or quenched. Noise is also very substantially less than a full power .30-30 load, and this lower noise helps when hunting small game. If fast powders are used, no fillers are needed, as the fast powder is reasonably position insensitive.

This lighter bullets hit lower than full power loads, but duplex crosshairs can be used as a lower aiming point, or the rear sight raised a notch to put them at point of aim, so options are available to use them in the field with no rezeroing of the rifle being necessary.

If you prefer jacketed bullets, several options are available in the 110 - 125 grain range that will be suitable in hollowpoint, softpoint and full metal jacket roundnose variants, this last being suitable only for two shot use in a levergun.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
OK, so I'm having trouble getting into work mode. (Hey, it's Sunday, but small business owners don't get days off in this economy.)

For the cast bullet shooter, look no farther than the Lee C113F, also known as the "Soup Can."
So, of course, I immediately "googled" that, and found this page, from which I excerpted these two posts in a 2006 MoF thread. Note the authors. ;)

Title: 30-30 for small game?
Post by: 35remington on November 03, 2006, 07:11:16 PM
Yep. For small game, using jacketed or lead bullets at reduced velocities so as not to blow the animal to smithereens.

What kind of small game? Anything. Even rabbits and squirrels.

Example: The Lee C113F (see Lee Precison online catalog) with fast shotgun or pistol powders, or slow handgun/fast rifle powders like IMR 4227 or Alliant 2400. Lead bullets can be gaschecked for higher velocities, or plainbase for more moderate speeds.

The .30-30 is one of the best choices for small game and reduced load shooting because its relatively small case capacity makes reduced loads efficient. It may be one of the best lead bullet shooting cartridges ever made. A great many lead bullet mould designs are intended for the .30-30.

The .30-30 is also a good deer cartridge using lead bullets and can drive them to jacketed bullet velocities with very good accuracy.

Title: 30-30 for small game?
Post by: swany on November 03, 2006, 08:54:38 PM
You also got some light weight 110gn jacketed and 100 gn half jacket bullets, being able to drive them in the area of 2700fps is a plus for most 30-30 owners. Using the 110gn round nose intended for the .30 carbine they do really fly flat out to 200 when driven with a healthy dose of BLC#2.
Here's another page about C113F on Cast Boolits , but I haven't read it yet.
 

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That would be about 6-8 gr from what I've seen around here, and 20-35 gr when using a slower buning rifle powder. It pretty much depends on the charateristics of the powder itself.

p.s. I'm a newb at reloading myself, but have been studing load data for the 30-30 and their definitely is a large learning curve involved. ;)
 

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35 Rem
You got it -Lee 113 gr Cast is the "light" round I'm loading in my 336. Used it plenty in my '06. Great bullet and I've tagged Wissle Pigs( Ground Squirrels) out to 200 yards with it. With 9.5 gr of Unique I get 1526 fps in my Savage 110. Now loading it as well in my 336 9 gr Unique for 1617 fps! In the 336 I don't size them as it seems to like the bullets around .312 dia. ;D
 

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So, for comparison, how much pistol powder would provide push equal to the normal powder in a factory-loaded .30-30 150 gr?
In a .30-30? I can't answer that because you really can't do that safely. Grain for grain, faster burning pistol powders have more energy per unit weight than slower burning rifle powders. However, that faster burning rate means that the pressure peaks quickly -- the powder burns quickly hence releases all of its energy in 1 quick burst. You need that in pistols which have much shorter barrels. Rifle powders burn slower which is desirable in the longer barrels. The pressure doesn't peak as fast, and burns over a longer period of time. Thus, you can use larger charges without overpressuring. If you were to use an equivalent amount (in terms of energy) of a typical fast burning pistol powder in a rifle application the pressure would spike dangerously high and you'd most likely have a catastrophic failure. Kaboom!

There are also "middle ground" powders, that are listed sometimes as slow burning pistol powders (usually used in heavy magnum applications) or fast burning rifle applications. In my opinion, these have the bester characteristics for use with light bullets at moderate velocities in cases such as .30-30. The downside of them as compared to the faster pistol powders is that it takes larger charges to get similar performance therefore there the cost per charge is higher. On the other hand, the faster powders are, well, touchier. You get into issues such as the position of the charge within the case and other similar problems with consistency of the burn.
 

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My light load consists of a 150 grain Berry plated bullet ahead of 23 grains of Varget. I probably should experiment with lighter bullets (I used to use 100 grain Speer Plinkers a while back), but I like the way the Berrys shoot in my .30-30s.
 

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I am just starting to work with the Barnes 100 grain for the 30 carbine, using Reloader 7. A nice copper solid that has the dimensions of 125-130 grain bullets. I'll post when I get a chance to shoot and get chrony and groupings.
 

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110gn RN, HP and pointed I've used all of these with success.

36 - 37gns of BLC#2 top end load will take a deer at 200 and get there fast.

18gns of W296 nice moderate load for those with this powder using it for your mag pistols is a plus. 18gns pushes a 110gn bullet fairly fast and could be used from varmit to deer at 100

7.5gns of Unique about the same uses as the 296 load but a little less push.



125 gn Sierra HP and Speer 130gn HP

The speer does not have a crimp groove so proper neck tension is important. I have loaded these without expanding the necks giving them a "Yooper Crimp" for a better word you can see the bulge of the bullet in the neck. The the loading in a tube mag, of these should be your informed choice, I done it before I knew I should not with no adverse effects.

Loads for both. 35gns of BLC#2 is usually a good high end load.

28gns of Reloader 7 also works with either.




Round ball

I have found the .31 cal buck shot (#0 is .32 usually but works) to be pretty effective for small game at short range, most round ball are not that accurate at high velocities being soft lead. To start with I don't resize my cases just deprime as the buck shot is a press fit anyway. Belling the case mouth helps on seating that can be done easily with most any tool with a little hand pressure. You will using these as single shot anyway, least in my expierience they don't cycle well. Seated a little over half it's diameter does it well. No crimp just enough to straighten the neck back out for chambering.

Expierment with various low end light powder charges. I used 4 gns of W231 with fair accuracy on squirrel and rabbit. If you can not find #0 buckshot order some .32 cal muzzle loader ball they are .310 and .315 dia the larger should work well.
 

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Nematocyst said:
I'd like to discuss light weight bullets for .30-30s....125, 110, 100, 85 and even 55 gr rnds (!) mentioned in this article, "The .30-30: A Historic Overview" by 30 WCF.
One of my passions is replicating the factory .30 W.C.F. / .30-30 "Short Range" and "Miniature" cartridges of the past.
"For small game where the more powerful cartridge is not necessary."





Testing some of these long ago discontinued cartridges indicated that the "Short Range" versions produced velocities in the 1,150 to 1,250 f.p.s. range. The "Miniature" cartridge which contained a FMJ bullet was a bit faster at 1,450 f.p.s.

Dissected S.R. cartridges contained between 4.5 and 6.0 grs. of various powders (100 gr. lead bullet) and 6.0 - 7.0 grs. with the 117 gr. lead bullet. The case neck cannelure was needed because the bullets were pure lead and would telescope back into the case unless a ledge was there to support it. Current cast bullets are typically made from harder alloy so, in loading them, the case cannelure is not needed.

For folks that don't cast, the commercially available plain based bullets for the .32-20 or .30 Carbine can be used. Here's some examples:
http://www.westernbullet.com/30caliber.html

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=2046160674


The following powders and charges have produced good results in replicating the vintage .30-30 S.R. ammunition.
5.5/231
6.0/4756
6.0/Unique
6.0/Universal
6.0/Trail boss
7.0/Blue Dot

"MINIATURE" Cartridge.
Dissected specimens indicate that 8 grs. of powder was used under the 100 gr. FMJ bullet.
The bullet choice today would be the 110 gr. .30 Carbine jacketed bullet.
8.0/231 or 8.5/Unique will duplicate that loading nicely.

Accuracy in a good rifle with the above loadings will produce gorups in the 1" range @50 yds. and in the 2" range @ 100 yards and sometimes a bit smaller.

Have fun!
w30wcf
 

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Don't mean to hijack this thread... but this should fit with the subject.

Has anyone had experience with these:

Hornady 3005 30 Caliber Bullets
Rifle Bullets
30 Caliber (.308)
100 Grain Short Jacket

They look like they are the twin to Speer's 100gr plinker.
 

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What range would yall recommend for the 125-grain Hollow-Point on medium-sized game?
I've been asking myself the same question, now that I've got myself a box of those. I've got an initial run of "work-up" ammo all pressed up and ready to go, just waiting on some decent weather*. I gleaned from the comments at Midway USA that these 125 gr JFPHPs are good at longer ranges but are really sensitive to wind. Around here, wind is a significant factor.

Anyway -- how does the increase in velocity that you'll get due to the lower weight relate to the decrease in BC with regards to more traditional 150 gr fare? Or the Hornady 160 gr LEs? At what range does it start "rainbowing"? Unfortunately, I'm limited to a range that maxes out at 100 yards, so I won't be able to tell by actual shooting them at longer ranges.

FWIW, I've got similar questions about the Speer 130 gr JFP. IIRC that one has a markedly better BC than the Sierra JFPHP. I've got some of those on order. If they'll group anywhere near decently, I'd think that they'd be a good substitute for the Hornady polymer point stuff out at longer ranges. Where the one would have better BC but lower velocity, the other would have less BC but higher velocity. Sounds like an even-steven trade off. My questions about them relate to what looks to me like a relatively short bearing surface, hence my concerns about getting suitable accuracy from them.

*Which ain't today. Tomorrow doesn't look too good, either. And I'm not placing any bets on Friday, for that matter. Oh, well, we need the rain.
 

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Nematocyst said:
........Do I understand correctly that by "dissected", you mean that you found some of the older cartridges of yesteryear and dissected them? Nice sleuthing.
About 15 years or so ago, I began a search of historical .30-30 / .30 W.C.F. cartridge variations, that, at one time had been offered as factory loadings. As I accumulated more and more information, I became interested in trying to acquire some specimens. I eventually ended up attending some cartridge shows and was able to acquire additional names of other cartridge collectors. Eventually, I was able to acquire specimens of almost every .30 W.C.F. / .30-30 cartridge that was made (that I knew about).

I was able to acquire several specimens of the "Short Range" cartridges, which I dessected and then tested them for velocity. That's how I acquired the ballistic data. I started a thread on some of the vintage, obsolete .30 W.C.F. / .30-30 cartridges here for anyone that has an interest:
http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php/topic,41665.0.html

w30wcf
 

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30wcf:

The concept of the .30-30 S.R. load has always intrigued me ever since I read -- many moons ago -- an article in the Houston Chronicle's sports section on the virtues of loading down one's deer rifle with lightly loaded cast bullets and using that combo for some pre-deer season woods activity, specifically for the hunting of tree rats. And the idea of a light plinking/target round is attractive. But I just never got around to it.

But now, here you go specifying the bullets and powders to use. Hmm -- why not give it a go?

So I ordered a box of those 115 gr LRNs that you linked to from Midway, and pressed up a trial batch of 10 using HP-38 (which I have on hand and is documented by the manufacturer as being one and the same as W231). I haven't had the opportunity to make it to the range and give them a try -- yet.

One thing I did notice about them. I had 1 case of collapsed neck out of the 10, I had to pull the bullet, dump the charge, and try it over. It seems that the slightly oversize bullets require a bit more oomph to seat, and that it just might not be a bad idea to chamfer the case or do a slight bell on the mouth to aid seating.

Oh, and what kind of crimp are you using? I figure that the slightly oversize bullet would not be quite as likely to set back as one that is nominally the right size, and yet I also figured that it still might not be a bad idea to give it a crimp anyway. Since these aren't "full power" rounds, I figure that the recoil won't be bad at all, hence there won't be a need to do a heavy crimp on them, especially since these bullets don't have a cannelure. So I gave them a light crimp with my Lee FCD.
 

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Nematocyst said:
Here's one (of several - search) posts in a very long thread I created on THR about buckshot in 336.

Here's another earlier post in the same thread.
That buckshot load is very interesting. I've got to get my hands on some buckshot one day and give 'em a try.
 

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While reading all of this .30-30 buckshot goodness, I recalled that I had read an article not too long ago about -- using buckshot in a .30-30. I thought I had the site bookmarked, but apparently not.

So I fired up my favorite non-Google search engine and lo and behold, there it was:

http://www.castbullet.com/shooting/rb30.htm

Ok, so it isn't specifically about buckshot, per se. He is using cast round balls intended for a black powder squirrel rifle. Other than the alloying or lack of such, I'd say that a .311" ball is a .311" ball. I'd expect that buckshot, being hardened, would be less likely to lead the barrel.
 
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