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Old 05-01-2020, 01:37 AM
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Default .30-30 Reduced Load- Expectations Exceeded!

A while back I got 600 .30 caliber 165 grain hard cast lead flat points from Rim Rock Bullets in Montana. These were to be loaded as plinking ammo for my two 94's and my Contender.

I loaded 100 of them with eight grains of Unique. Starting was 7 grains, and max was 10, using Oregon Trail data, so I went with 8, for roughly 1200 fps. Today was the first time I was able to test them. I had a limited amount of time, so I only took one rifle, equipped with a Williams Foolproof receiver sight. When I have more time I'll go back out with all three.

I couldn't be happier with the results! The larger of the two groups (1.540") was what they were averaging, and the smaller group was the best of the session. This was from 50 yards, and on top of sandbags. The smaller group shows where I splattered one of the push-pins holding the paper plate.

If you've ever considered a reduced, lead bullet load for your .30-30, I highly recommend trying it.
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Old 05-01-2020, 04:18 AM
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Default GREAT!

I love reduced loads and my wife appreciates them even more. I have a fair amount of Unique and 4759 and 4895 reduces 30% no problem.

My friend was having trouble with his shoulder using a Mini 14 and l loaded some down and they worked just great. I was thinking I could try reducing them a tad more.
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Old 05-01-2020, 06:23 AM
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It's possible to download cartridges far more than one might imagine, using fast pistol or shotgun powders.
I've done some gallery loads with 180gr cast in a 30-06. 7 gr of AA2 I have a poor man's silenced and recoilless rifle.

Cowboy loads for many rifle calibers listed at
Lever Gun Performance Studies

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Old 05-01-2020, 07:29 AM
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From personal experience, that mild load in your Model 94 lever gun will be a real handful in the Contender. I have a Lee mold that casts 130 grain gas checked bullet that is very accurate and fun to shoot. The 165 grain cast bullets not so much.
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:35 AM
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I routinely shoot Lyman 311041 170 grain bullets (mine is actually a plain base from a custom mold I acquired) over a very light load of Green Dot. I can't recall if my load is 8 or 10 grains, but it's definitely way down there. Is is a pleasant *****cat, but even at 100 yds it is very accurate. I have an old pre Micro Groove 336.

The 30-30 and cast bullets are truly a match made in heaven.
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:36 AM
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Wow, I can't believe the filter blocked out what I typed. That word isn't even questionable!
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:38 AM
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SWEET !!!
And some people wonder why Unique is still around...
Heck, it just Works ... that's one nice group...One Ragged Hole !
I Love It , Way to Go,
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:56 AM
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I also have had great success shooting Unique and Trail Boss in a 1965ish marlin lever 30-30. I have further tamed the load with 115 grain round nose lead bullets from MBC designed for the M-1 carbine. It's like shooting .22 rimfire and a great introduction for new or young shooters to centerfire. Accurate to the limits of open sights and virtually no recoil.
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:01 AM
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I have had good luck with the Lee 113 gr cast at low loads of BE in a contender, as well as 32 Long pistol bullets. Recoil is very different in a 10" contender vs a 14".
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:35 AM
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I’ve got a couple pages of 30/30 loads from 77g cast up to 150gr jackets. I never thought it necessary to go heavier than 150gr for 150yd practical range of 30/30. That for deer and black bear. The 130g Speer Hp is my light load in rifles. I had a 14” TC once and only thing I shot was Speer 110gr HPs, deadly on squirrel never shot a deer.
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:51 AM
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Always nice to find a X-Lite load for a weapon to plink with or to
let the kids have fun with light recoil, if needed.

For a .308 Cal. weapon, another great little bullet for light shooting is the
Hornady #3005, 100 gr. SJ, pointed lead tip bullet, if you can find them.
They make great little 50 yard practice loads.
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:59 AM
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Cast bullets and 10 grains of Unique works great in just about any 7mm to 8mm caliber rifle, including the .308 Winchester and .30-'06 especially.
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Old 05-01-2020, 11:00 AM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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I use a modern version of the Ideal 3118, that has a gas check. With a gas check they weigh 117 grain. I use a Forrester case trimmer with the hollow point attachment to make them about 90 grains and load them with 6.5 grains of Unique and a cork card over the powder for about 1000 fp. I don't have a lever gun in 30-30, I have a Savage 24 in 30-30/20 gauge (26" Barrel!). I got it on paper with the iron sights (as set from factory) and never used it beyond 50 yards. But on varmints (raccoons, opossums, & ground hogs) in the gardens, it has been devastating! The corpses either go in the compost pile, or blackberry patch!
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Old 05-01-2020, 11:31 AM
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Smile A very Special Gun Powder

Thank you for sharing your Range Report and Success.

I like Unique Gun Powder and I like reading other Reloaders Experiences.

Handloader Ammunition Reloading Journal, June 2019, No. 320,
Unique Utility, page 54, has a very good Article detailing Unique
Powder.

History, Uses, and Reloads are written. Very informative interesting
reading.

The Best to you and your Endeavors.
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Old 05-01-2020, 12:18 PM
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I load 150 grain plain-base bullets for my 94 and Contender 30-30's. They do well. For me, Red Dot seems to give a slight edge over Unique. I recently cast-up some .314 wadcutters, meant for 32 caliber revolvers. I haven't loaded those up yet.
But yes, 30-30's seem to like reduced loads. Wish I had a bolt action Savage 340.
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Old 05-02-2020, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
Always nice to find a X-Lite load for a weapon to plink with or to
let the kids have fun with light recoil, if needed.

For a .308 Cal. weapon, another great little bullet for light shooting is the
Hornady #3005, 100 gr. SJ, pointed lead tip bullet, if you can find them.
They make great little 50 yard practice loads.
Those baby bullets are absolutely devastating on prairie dogs in 308 or 30-06 while being easy on the shooter.
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:19 PM
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Accurate 31-155D topping 5.5gr Titegroup will give you beautiful accuracy from 10*F to 90*F.No need for a filler or magnum primer.The thing goes out with the same bang everytime and should be doing aprox 1000fps(haven't had time to chrono it yet).My wife eats the rounds faster than I can reload them.
Unsized and Alox lubed,they are no fuss to make yet give between 1 1/4 to 1 3/4''5 shot group at 75yds.

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Old 05-04-2020, 09:38 PM
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I've been working up plinking loads for my .35 Remington Marlin 336 using .357 pistol bullets, mostly with fast rifle powders. Looks like I should try some Unique. Anyone else loading this caliber down?
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Old 05-05-2020, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squarebutt View Post
I've been working up plinking loads for my .35 Remington Marlin 336 using .357 pistol bullets, mostly with fast rifle powders. Looks like I should try some Unique. Anyone else loading this caliber down?
Thirty years ago, when I lived in Idaho, I had both a 336 and a 14" Contender in .35 Remington. I remember trying the Speer 158 gr. JSP, but they didn't shoot as well as the Hornady 200 gr. SP, in either gun. But, I wasn't trying to load them down. That was back when I was trying to wring out as much horsepower as I could, in everything I shot. Today would be a different story. If I were you, I'd try a hard cast bullet with Unique, based on my recent experience.
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Old 05-05-2020, 06:48 AM
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As long as we are discussing reduced loads, here's a recipe for something in between mouse loads and full power.
The powder is AA 5744, a single base powder that's on the order of 4227 in burn rate. I've used in 30-06, 300 mag, 223. It's easy to ignite and position insensitive so it's suited for reduced charges.
Take a case, fill it with 5744 to where the base of a bullet would be (or the bottom of the neck), dump the charge and weigh it. Take 40% of that weight as the starting load. It should produce about 2/3 of the velocity of full power. Generally, it's possible to work in increments up to 60%. IIRC, the start load for 30-06 is 28 gr, max 42 gr using that recipe.
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Old 05-05-2020, 07:39 AM
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Once upon a time I took my Remington 1903 rifle to a vintage military rifle match. Unfortunately, I forgot my ammo ... sitting on the kitchen table. Got to the match. Filled out information sheet. Listed rifle as "Crackbaby," b/c of the numerous repairs to the stock, i.e., biscuits, dutchman's, etc. Temperature was about 21 degrees. I had some practice ammo in the bottom of my range bag ... 165 gr. flat nosed bevel based hard cast lead bullets from Hunter's Supply loaded over 8.0 gr. of Unique. After the first relay, one of the scorers opined, "He's shooting Sidewinder Missiles!" Won all four stages and high gun w/ those Sidewinder Missiles. Very few outside the nine ring including standing. Had loaded them during the summer. In the dead of winter, velocity fell off just a tad. Still, exceedingly accurate.

Also give a look to an article by C.E. Harris entitled, "The Load." It details all the wonderful results you can get using a mere 13.0 gr. of Red Dot pistol powder in various surplus military rifle cartridges. Sincerely. bruce.
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:01 AM
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I too have had success with pistol powders in .308 and .30-30 but am really surprised that bullets stabilize at such low velocities.
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Old 05-10-2020, 01:25 AM
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I've used the Lyman 311291 170 gr RNGC with ~20 gr 2400 for years in my 03 & 03-A3. Back in the 70's I won matches with it, and though I have a pre-64 M94 30-30, I have never shot lead through it. I've barely shot anything through it since I have so many other "hunting" rifles, but I have no doubt it would do just as well with that bullet, or the 311041 FPGC 173 gr with 2400. I love shooting lead through these old classics - just about all calibers in bolt and lever guns. Easy on the shoulder (mine are trashed), easy on the ears (half deaf from tinnitus from non-fun gunfire), and definitely easy on the wallet (the only thing that isn't bottomed out. Yet... )
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:12 PM
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I was looking at lead in the 30-30 for a few days and came up with this info.
173gr #311041, BC .220, OAL 2.51"
Trail Boss 8-8.5g max 1102fps
Unique 7-10.6g max 1555/35,500 pressure
4198 18-23.5 max 19,700/31,700
RX-7 20-28.6 max 2165/34,500

Lee 170F .309" dia.
Lyman 170 #311291 RN BC .202 OAL 2.52"
4198 18-24...... 2013 @ 34,800
5744 18-24...... 2016 @ 38,600
RX-7 19-28...... 2152 @ 34,400

One thing that you must find out, is if your rifle's chamber will accept
the listed OAL, with the Ogive on the bullet. Some newer Marlin 336 rifles
need a shorter OAL to keep the lead from hitting the lands/groves.

Another site stated that a 75% case Density of powder with the 170gr lead bullet
is what target shooters look for, to achieve best accuracy with lead bullets. One load was 24g of H4895 at 1729fps.
Many stated the maximum for the lead bullets should be under 2,100 fps and that they do not need a Gas Check if under 18-1900fps, to shoot well.

I personally, like to have a "Flat Base" on any of my lead bullets for certain reasons, but that's just my two cents.

Have fun with those lead bullets.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:48 PM
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I don’t remember the number but Hornady makes a 1/2 jacket 100gr bullet called the plinker. Accurate in 30/30 and 308 and good for Target or small game. Out shoots the lighter cast bullets. I have got 2 boxes of Hornady XTPs in .309 dia. They are pistol bullets for Commie 7.63mm pistols. I want to see how fast I can put them down the road with accuracy out of a 16” 30/30.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:56 PM
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I shoot cast bullets almost exclusively in my 30/30 rifles. The 30/30 case is just about perfect for mid range velocities which are very applicable to cast bullets.

My favorite bullet is the Lyman 311141 170 grain with a gas check and an Alox lubricant. Over SR 4759 powder at 1,700 to 1,800 fps these will shoot into 1 1/2 to 2 MOA out to 200 yards from my bolt action 30/30s as well as my Model 94 lever action.

Here is a Remington 788 in 30/30 with two 5 shot groups at 100 yards. They measure 1 1/2." The second photo is my Model 54 Winchester and a 10 shot group at 100 yards that goes right at 1 1/2."

As an aside, I'll be heading to the range with these two rifles in an hours or so.
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Old 05-22-2020, 06:05 PM
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Excellent accuracy! Great coyote medicine!
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:52 PM
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Just so happens that I have a picture of those little bullets... BC .152
Speer, also makes one....... #1805 BC .129

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Old 05-23-2020, 04:02 PM
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.30-30 Reduced Load- Expectations Exceeded! .30-30 Reduced Load- Expectations Exceeded! .30-30 Reduced Load- Expectations Exceeded! .30-30 Reduced Load- Expectations Exceeded! .30-30 Reduced Load- Expectations Exceeded!  
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As I mentioned recently in another posting, at one time early in the last century the ammunition manufacturers commercially produced light loads using lead bullets for several popular hunting calibers such as the .30-30 and .303 Savage. The intent was to use them for finishing shots on wounded large game to minimize meat destruction and also for small game.
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Old 05-29-2020, 11:34 PM
GBertolet GBertolet is offline
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.30-30 Reduced Load- Expectations Exceeded! .30-30 Reduced Load- Expectations Exceeded! .30-30 Reduced Load- Expectations Exceeded! .30-30 Reduced Load- Expectations Exceeded! .30-30 Reduced Load- Expectations Exceeded!  
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I like cast bullets in the 30-30 also. I have a 788 Rem, that I rebarreled with a match chamber, 1-14 twist barrel. 15 gr 4759, with the Lee 309-150 bullet. 1500-1600 fps. Pistol primers work fine with this load. I neck size the cases, so the brass lasts almost forever. A great cartridge for cast bullets.
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Last edited by GBertolet; 05-29-2020 at 11:39 PM.
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