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Old 05-10-2017, 06:28 PM
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Default Problems with my 30-30 load

So here's my scenario, I decided to take a shot at reloading rounds for my Winchester pre 64 30-30 for general plinking. I did not find a lot of sources for plated bullets other than Extreme and Berry's, so I ended up buying 500 rounds of 150gr from Extreme during one of their sales. Loading was pretty straight forward, I used a full length RCBS die set with a Lee crimp die thru my Dillon 550B press. Load data came right out of my Modern reloading book by Richard Lee. I used 28.7 gr. of IMR3031 with an OAL of 2.550 with a velocity average of 2156. I did a light crimp of .001 less than neck size. So I ran 10 rounds thru my Chronograph with another 10 rounds at a target @ 100 yards. So my problem is, 50% of my shots were 5' or so off target. I did read that other loaders complained about wandering bullets on their site, but others saying they were spot on. All my factory rounds are spot on. I do realize their recommended velocity was 1950, I was thinking of playing with my load to get it below 1950, but I thought it might help to reach out to someone who has been down this road before. Anyone have any experience with Berry's? or another plated plinking type bullet? Anybody got any ideas? I appreciate any help in advance
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:41 PM
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Try using real jacket bullets instead of a plated bullet. Ammo used in a rifle with a tubular magazine such as a M94 needs a firm crimp and that is generally not conducive to the use of plated lead bullets.

Bruce

Last edited by BruceM; 05-13-2017 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:00 PM
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Did you see any keyholing? Excessive crimp could be another cause. Pleated bullets perform better with little to no crimp.
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:30 PM
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I load a lot of 30/30, have never loaded plated bullets in anything
I do several cast loads, but for fooling around use 1/2 jacket
Plinkers, 100gr. There is also several bullets intended for M1
carbine that work well. I still load on a single stage and my
30/30 dies are over 50yrs old. 5' off would seem to me bullet
trouble- since you have no problem with factory ammo. I still
load a lot of cast in handgun and old Guns that were designed
for lead. In 30/30 I stick with jackets.
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
I load a lot of 30/30, have never loaded plated bullets in anything
I do several cast loads, but for fooling around use 1/2 jacket
Plinkers, 100gr. There is also several bullets intended for M1
carbine that work well. I still load on a single stage and my
30/30 dies are over 50yrs old. 5' off would seem to me bullet
trouble- since you have no problem with factory ammo. I still
load a lot of cast in handgun and old Guns that were designed
for lead. In 30/30 I stick with jackets.
Thanks DRM50, could you please suggest a source?
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:19 PM
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Your loads are simply too hot for plated bullets. Did you miss the caution about staying under 1950 fps on the Berry listing for the 30/30 plated bullets?
I got too hot with some .40 cal plated bullets and it looked like shotgun patterns, not groups.
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:25 PM
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Really need information like bullet diameter, hardness, and a lot more, but...I tried plated bullets once, .38 wadcutters, and saw no point in trying them again. However, I would treat plated rifle bullets like cast and seat the bullet to where the bullet is slightly engraved by the lands when the cartridge is chambered. Seating short of the lands almost guarantees a deterioration in accuracy.

You could probably decrease your powder charge significantly; check a load manual with cast bullet data. The Lee book will probably work but the Lyman is better. In my opinion, Reloder 7, 5744, or one of the 4198s would be better powders, but do more work with your 3031 since you already have it. It may prove quite satisfactory.

Before you do any crimping for magazine use, shoot the bullet without any crimp. Adjust your seating die just to where the bell is taken out of the case neck and the cartridge chambers without difficulty. If you later choose to crimp for magazine use, crimp just enough to keep the bullet from moving under recoil, no more. Your loads will probably shoot more accurately without a crimp.

As for bullet diameter, most .30-30s should shoot okay with a .309" bullet, but will probably be more accurate with a .310" or .311", though you may have to turn case necks with the latter. I have no idea what diameters are offered by commercial casters. Good luck-
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Your loads are simply too hot for plated bullets.
I agree. Yours are WAY too fast for a plated bullet. I load a lot of 30-30 also and typically use the 100 gr Speer plinkers with 12 grains of Unique and this is a deadly accurate combo and chrono at about 1700 + FPS.. I was recently given a box of the 110 gr. JHP and they shot well also. I think you can get the plated to shoot well but will need to reduce your loads and Unique at 8-12 grains ahead of nearly any cast bullet is 'old school' reduced 30-30 data. You mentioned a Lee crimp die so I assume you mean the 'Factory Crimp Die' - if that is it good but don't crimp too tightly. I am hitting a 2" gong at 50 yards with an 1899 Klondike Sporting Rifle with the Speer Plinker loads.

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Old 05-10-2017, 09:59 PM
Mike, SC Hunter Mike, SC Hunter is offline
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I shot a lot of cast in my pre-64 30/30......Mined are sized .309 and shoot very well......Sounds like your bullets are under sized.........
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Sounds like your bullets are under sized.........
Good point - 'Mike' 'em.
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LD-Ordie View Post
Thanks DRM50, could you please suggest a source?
Hornady & Sierra both make the 100g 1/2 jacket, I load them
with 6.5gr Unique / MV 1210fps
Speer makes 110grHP, called Varmiter and that's what I use it
for. Load 37.0gr of IMR-4064/ MV 2710
I load the Sierra RN-FMJ M1 Carbine bullet with same load as
the Speer 110hp
My standard Deer load 150gr RN / 32.5g of IMR-3031/ 2300 fps
Here is a very accurate HV load, it uses a pointed bullet so it
has to be single loaded *****I have not shot this in a 94Win,
am using 336 Marlin****Notice*******Hot Load************
Speer 130gr Hp / 35.0g of Win 748 / 2600fps*******Hot Load
Proceed with caution, I would start at 30.0g and work up.*******
I have made guys that badmouth 30/30 talk to themselves over
this load.
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:48 PM
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I have used Gas Checked 117 grain FN soft-cast sized .309", in my 30-30 at 32-20 velocities several times. I have a Savage 24 in 30-30/20 gauge. The 32-20 load is a great game getter!

Ivan
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:03 PM
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Thanks to all for the suggestions! I just loaded up 10 rounds with 26gr of IMR3031 and will work to get it closer to 1900, then will continue to lower the velocity and see if accuracy improves. It would be nice to be able to use up what I currently have, then move on to a better bullet like suggested
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan the Butcher View Post
I have used Gas Checked 117 grain FN soft-cast sized .309", in my 30-30 at 32-20 velocities several times. I have a Savage 24 in 30-30/20 gauge. The 32-20 load is a great game getter!

Ivan
My buddy has a Savage O/U and it likes those 130hps and it
shoots as well as my Marlin 336. He has shot several deer with
them.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
It would be nice to be able to use up what I currently have, then move on to a better bullet like suggested
You kind of need to make a decision as you don't want to drop the 3031 too much lower or you may not get good ignition and have other problems like squibs. If you want to continue using the 3031 then get the Speer plinkers as I used to load them with 3031 - or go to Unique powder to load down the plated bullets you have. You can't just keep dropping the 3031 or you will have problems.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:35 PM
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At the velocity you are trying to use, a gas check is mandatory if you are using lead projectiles. Without it , you have results like you have mentioned.

Randy
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:43 PM
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Default Try an 'M' die....

I wonder if the cartridges aren't 'shrinking' in the magazine because there is no good way to crimp plated bullets.

I've only used plated for special reasons and find lead, coated lead or jacketed to give the best results. I love shooting the plinkers plus the fact they are cheaper than other manufactured bullets.

I wonder rather than crimping, using an 'M' die to set the depth the bullet can go in would help??? I see Lyman makes one for the 30-30 Win under $25. There's another .30 cal M die but it says it's not to be used on the 30-30. 4198 seems to be the ticket in the IMR powders.

A really good IMR powder especially for reduced loads is SR 4759, if you can find any, because it is supposed to be discontinued but I still see it on the shelves.


PS Looking on the IMR website data 3031 doesn't look suitable for what you are doing.
I've used Unique and IMR 4759 for loads under 2000 fps. IMR 4198 gets around 1800 fps.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:10 AM
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IMR3031 has been the old standard for jacketed bullets (150 & 170gr) in the 30-30 for years.
Check the data again and make sure the loads data isn't for 150 Jacketed bullets,, and not inclusive of cast lead bullets.
LEE often simplified data and listed jacketed & cast bullets of the same weight under the same powder charge loads. Don't know if they still do that.
Plated lead is still a lead bullet, it's not a real jacketed bullet.

IMR only lists a jacketed bullet load w/ 3031 that I could find.

H4895 works very nicely in the 30-30 w/ 150 cast. I use it in the 30 Remington also.

I think you're just pushing the lead bullets too fast and the powder doesn't lend itself well to a deduction to the velocitys you want to get down to w/lead bullets.

The 30-30 is a very accurate lead bullet cartridge at mid-range velocitys and below.

added:
If you just want a light comfortable plinking load w/the cast bullet,,Red Dot powder loads in 30-30 are very nice.
Anywhere betw 6.0 to 7.0 gr RedDot under a 150 to 170 gr bullet.
The only one I ever got to check the vel on was some 165gr GC w/ 6.5gr RedDot. They went out at 1050fps IIRC (24" rifle bbl).
Plenty of powders in that catagory (shotgun/pistol) to use for light loads. Very accurate too.

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Old 05-11-2017, 12:25 AM
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26 grains is still too heavy a charge for good accuracy with the bullets you are using. I'd go to about 22 or 23 grains if ignition is okay. If accuracy doesn't pick up at those charge weights, go with a more suitable powder.

Someone mentioned SR4759. This is an excellent powder for cast loads, but I didn't mention it in my original post because it's been discontinued.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:57 AM
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I can't help but recommend Unique - it is listed for use in reduced loads in a wide variety of cartridges in older manuals - I don't know why not in newer manuals but reduced loads in general don't seem to have made it into them.
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:01 AM
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I used SR4759 and then switched to Trail Boss for reduced loads for fire forming my .303 British cases. I used 100 grain .312 pistol bullets at approximately 1600 fps and they shot just fine for reduced loads.





Your plated bullets can also be loaded with Trail Boss with reduced loads in any type firearm. And as stated above your loading the plated bullets to "HOT" and why you are have problems.
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Old 05-11-2017, 03:04 AM
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Default It's still on the shelf....

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Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
26 grains is still too heavy a charge for good accuracy with the bullets you are using. I'd go to about 22 or 23 grains if ignition is okay. If accuracy doesn't pick up at those charge weights, go with a more suitable powder.

Someone mentioned SR4759. This is an excellent powder for cast loads, but I didn't mention it in my original post because it's been discontinued.
It's still on the shelf at my LGS and i wonder if I should pick up a few more pounds. Perhaps people aren't interested in reduced loads like they used to be and the 4759 isn't exactly flying off the shelves. That may also be why they discontinued it. It's darn useful for those of us that do use reduced loads.
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Old 05-11-2017, 05:27 AM
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I've used 4759 for a long time and bought an 8 lb. keg when they announced the discontinuance. However, and I could be wrong on this, I think the accuracy and general performance of 4759 could be duplicated with some experimentation by trying several other powders like 5744, the 4198s, Reloder 7, and maybe H4895. Of course, that's a general statement depending on the cartridge, but all of these powders potentially work well for cast bullet loads in the .30-30.
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Old 05-11-2017, 08:46 AM
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My std load in my marlin 336 is my cast 173gr fp gas chk'd bullet sitting on top of 25 grs of IMR 3031 . According to the manuals it is supposed to be just under 1900fps . It is all I need .
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
I've used 4759 for a long time and bought an 8 lb. keg when they announced the discontinuance. However, and I could be wrong on this, I think the accuracy and general performance of 4759 could be duplicated with some experimentation by trying several other powders like 5744, the 4198s, Reloder 7, and maybe H4895. Of course, that's a general statement depending on the cartridge, but all of these powders potentially work well for cast bullet loads in the .30-30.
Many powders will work..one often forgotten and long discontinued..The once heralded perfect 30-30 powder HiVel #2. Still easily found(cheaply I might add)at gun shows. My personal keg is from before the war... the big one. I also use Unique in the 30-30 with cast 311 041 bullets..with 11-12 gr unique..same weight in the 32 Win special too. Feeds my Win 64s just fine and the extra bbl length adds just a little velocity over the carbines with jacketed bullets
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:06 PM
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While cast bullet hunting loads(2200fps) can be made to work,it takes some careful development.While I've never used plated bullets,I'd guess that the plating cannot resist stripping when pushed at these velocities.I'd rather use a cast bullet with gas check.The diameter of the bullet relative to the bore is of utmost importance.
And like mentionned above,don't reduce IMR 3031 too much;there are many powders more appropriate for what you are looking for.It always pays to use the appropriate tool for the right job and stay on the safe side.
Qc
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:23 PM
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Qc- You're exactly right; takes a lot of careful load development if you want to shoot them fast with any degree of accuracy. A cast bullet with a gas check works very well if the alloy and bullet fit is right.

I don't know if plating and moly are intended as shortcuts to doing things right or they actually have some merit. Regardless, the tried and proven method still works very well as it has for many decades.
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Old 05-11-2017, 09:32 PM
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If you want to shoot those plated bullets up go to something like Unique or Red Dot or Green Dot. I use them all. Charge weight of 5 to 7 grains. This will give you a plinking load. Don't crimp just reduce the case mouth bell to zero.

I use the RCBS 30-180-FN with a gas check. My load is 22 grains of 3031. The load shoots way better than I do.
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:35 PM
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I don't know much about 30-30, but I do play with plated a lot. I'm yet to get respectable accuracy at around advertised max velocity. Above about 80% of max is where accuracy seems to degrade. That being said I have never used slow powder behind plated slugs. That's because high velocity performance just never seems in reach...
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:39 PM
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26 grains is still too heavy a charge for good accuracy with the bullets you are using. I'd go to about 22 or 23 grains if ignition is okay. If accuracy doesn't pick up at those charge weights, go with a more suitable powder
So Rockquarry was spot on with his suggestion of trying 23gr's. My velocity averaged 1750, but I only loaded up a few extras to really check out my improved accuracy, but it seemed to be a lot better, so off to load up a small batch and back to the range. I'll also load some at 22gr to see if I notice a difference. Thanks again to all!! I learned a lot from this thread
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Old 05-12-2017, 05:31 PM
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You are probably getting close to the low end threshold for 3031. If you get one hangfire, increase your load or go to a faster powder. Probably not a load I would want to rely on in cold weather.
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:08 AM
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My sister shoots 23 grs of IMR 3031 under the Lyman 173 gr cast bullet with great success . I use std large rifle primers . But I'm sure it's getting pretty close to the low end . If you need less velocity , then I would go powders like Unique , Red Dot , or IMR 4756 --if you can find it . The older Lyman manual says 10 grs of Unique is max for about 1500 fps . That was also listed as the max for Herco and 4756 for slightly less velocity . I cast/size my own for the 30-30 Marlin . I size .311 and get excellent accuracy with the micro groove rifling . In my Winchester 94 it gets .309 .
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
You are probably getting close to the low end threshold for 3031. If you get one hangfire, increase your load or go to a faster powder. Probably not a load I would want to rely on in cold weather.
So I tested 5 rounds of a 22gr load with an average of 1573 velocity. I fired another 25 rounds at a target 75 yards away, with another 25 with the 23gr load. At this point, I'm new at shooting this current 30-30, but I felt accuracy was close between the 2 loads with the variable being human error. My target was 20" in size with my impact being at 50%. For now, I was good with that with the hope of improving in time.

So I do have an interest in playing with some 110gr FMJ for the M1 that was suggested. I do have some Unique on hand, but can someone share a suggested OAL? Thanks again!
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