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Hello all - I have a pair of these and I was going to be working up some hand loads for my twin sons.

I am not impressed at all with the Remington reduced 30-30 loads. Any recommendations on other loads for this short 30-30?

So far, I am considering reducing my standard stout load a bit - Horn. 150 gr RN over 39 gr Win 748.

I just thought some of you may have worked out a friendly load.
 

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Good for you Bill for getting your boys set up! I've got boys that are 9 and 6 (10 and 7 this summer) and they both like to shoot. My 9 year old is using a 336 in 35 Remington and handles it well aside from the stock being too long for him to hold off hand. All his shooting is from a rest though.

I don't own a 30-30 so I can't help you with the specifics of a load but I'm sure someone else here will be able to. However, a couple questions come to mind first....

*What didn't impress you about the reduced loads? Was it accuracy, trajectory or something else?

*How old are your boys and have they done much shooting with other rifles? i.e. are they at all recoil shy?

*What sort of performance are you looking for?

*Is accuracy more important than velocity?

One tip for you I found helpful when letting young kids shoot center fire rifles is to make sure they wear double ear protection. Often times it is not the actual recoil that gets to them, it's the noise. Deaden down the bang as much as possible and you'd be surprised how many shoots they will shoot and shoot well.
 

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Try the reduced loads Hodgdon publishes with H4895. I loaded some of them up for my nephew and they shoot pretty well. You can find them on Hodgdon's web site under Data, then Youth Loads at the top of the log in page.

http://www.hodgdon.com/#

It looks like 26.0 gr of H4895 is the ticket with the 125 gr Sierra. You want the bullet lighter, too, and the 125 gr is made for reduced loads.
 

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I would recommend using the Speer 130gn. I loaded these down to 2100fps for my son in a 308 and they worked great. I think I would try to work them up to 2300FPS for shoots longer than 100yrds.
My youngest son used 125gn Sierra with 35.5 H4895 this season out of Winchester compact 16" barrel. He weighs 75lbs and had no complaints about recoil or muzzle blast.
I guess I should mention he ended up killing a doe with my 308 model 7 with full power loads. Recoil immunity(stupidity) seems to run in the family ;D
 

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I have always been of the opinion that youngsters should be taught correct shooting techniques and how to handle recoil. The problem I see with all these "youth" guns is that the reduced weight is definitely cause more recoil. A good pad should probably be fitted to a youth gun so that standard loads can be fired.
 

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Halwg, I totally agree that they should be taught the correct shooting technique. That's one reason that the shorter rifle is needed. I've not owned one but I've looked at buying couple used butstocks taken off the spikehorns that were for sale and they all had a good thick pad on them but were still short overall.

I also believe the only real difference in the spikehorn and the 336 is the size of the wood so it doesn't loose much weight really. Even if the barrel and mag tube are shorter, marlins are still fairly heavy guns for their size. Combine that with mild kickers like the 30-30 and 35 and most kids over about 8 or 9 years old can definitely handle the recoil for multiple shots. To get the best of both worlds (proper rifle fit and mild recoil) the managed or reduced recoil loads should be perfect provided you get the accuracy you want from them. I think Bill is on the right track by choosing the youth 30-30's for his boys though he has not yet responded back about their ages and the other questions I asked. I guess he's at work or sumthin.

On a side note, when I lived in TX I knew a lot of guys who took their kids hunting at very young ages and used full sized rifles in calibers like 223 or 222 with great success. They'd teach the kids to shoot prone using a pack for a rest and to dig the toe of the stock into the dirt. My boss said his daughter started killing deer that way at about age 5 or 6 so there is certainly something to be said about using full size rifles with little kids. If however you want to be able to move around a bit, maybe change locations or have a long walk in to the stand site, the youth rifles are certainly easier for a kid to carry. I know I had to carry my son's rifle a few times this past season because he just flat got tuckered out totin' it around when we had to move. It's a toss up I guess but I still think that with a mild caliber like 30-30 recoil is not much of a problem for most kids unless real young.
 

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Halwg said:
Try the reduced loads Hodgdon publishes with H4895. I loaded some of them up for my nephew and they shoot pretty well. You can find them on Hodgdon's web site under Data, then Youth Loads at the top of the log in page.

http://www.hodgdon.com/#

It looks like 26.0 gr of H4895 is the ticket with the 125 gr Sierra. You want the bullet lighter, too, and the 125 gr is made for reduced loads.
+1 on the Hodgdon youth loads using the 125 grn Sierra. Makes a great light huntingload round for a youngster. ;D I loaded some of these up and they were a lot of fun to shoot. ;D Also if you load those 125 grns to a heavier load (33 grns H-4895) they make a pretty accurate adult round that is close to POI of the factory 170 grn rounds.

CJ
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for the input.

One of them is a touch recoil shy, the other has minimal issues with recoil.

The problem that I had with the Rem reduced loads was basically accuracy. I did not like the 3-4" pattern at 50 yards. The one that is not recoil shy does care about accuracy and will be helping me do the reloads (I believe in teaching them from the ground up).

I am a firm believer that in my teaching process, accuracy is quite important, along with understanding the limits on accuracy. When the store bought ammo was giving me a 3-4" spray when I was using it on a lead sled, I just thought that it may lead to confusion on the little guys in teaching them both what they are doing right, vs what they are doing wrong.

I'll definately look into the data you guys offered. The only 30 cal. lever bullet I keep in stock is the 150 gr. hornady RN, but I have been looking at the 130 gr from speer.

Oh, and by the way, they are 11 and a bit over 5' tall...so far!
 
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