Reloading for 30-30 Win - need advice

Stammster

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May 22, 2020
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Houston, Texas
I’m about to load for 30-30 Win for the first time. All of my previous (30+ years) has been on the 25-06/270/30-06 platform - where I got very good at reading pressure signs (ejector marks, primer flattening /cratering, etc.). However all of these are 60kpsi plus cartridges.

When is comes to 30-30 Win out of a lever gun, what should I expect to see? I’m using the exact same LRP primers, so I’m not sure how a load that is hot for the 30-30 (I.e. > 42kpsi) is going to show pressures on the primers when these would be an extremely light load in the above mentioned cases.

Any advice welcome.

I’ll be using H4895 and 150 and 160 gr bullets.
 

Seabeeken

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Communist state of maryland
Good question. Ive loaded the 30-30 for years with never an issue although I never try to push it to max. Watch the primers close. My rifle would allow the primer to back out a bit. This was a sign of excess headspace, not pressure but I would watch the flattening of the primer closely. Stiff extraction is a sure sign as you already know. I always tried to stay within book loads but I also loaded some 180 gr RN for a buddy who swore by them. Never a pressure issue but they did seem to loosen screws up a bit over time. Purple locktite fixed the issue. A lever action shouldn't be pushed to hard. I've loaded for old savage bolt action 30-30s but again never pushed them to the limit. Best advice I have is watch the primers and don't push the lever gun too hard. Max chamber pressure for 3030 is 42,000
I'd like to add that Hodgdon lever evolution is an excellent powder for 3030. I use to use 748 with good results back in the day
 

Seabeeken

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there is a bit too much space between the bolt face and case. The rifle was like that new from Winchester. I've seen several like that. When the case grips the chamber on expansion the primer backs out to the bolt face. I never measured it but it was a good bit. Perhaps lever guns had some extra in them since they don't have the camping force of a bolt gun.
 

243winxb

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The maxinum tolerance, head clearance may be as much as .017" The low pressure 30WCF(30-30) doesnt reseat the primers.
Photo is factory ammo fired in my old Win M94. Primers are protruding .009" & .007"
20201222_194659.jpg


I used Hodgdon IMR 4895 starting load for 170 gr bullets. Never, ever getting near maximums.
 

CO_Guy

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Nov 16, 2018
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No comparison to high pressure loads. Load to published data. I load 35 rem with the Hornady FTX and I don't see any issues with flattened primers when loaded within spec. H4895 should be excellent but Leverevolution is considerably faster. I use the Hornady FTX in my 35rem and they perform very well. Please let us know how it goes.
 

del2les

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Normally and for your experience in loading for the 30-30, it is best to keep your 30-30 lever loads within loading manual specs. I have pushed the standard 30-30, AI's and wildcats based on that case to some fairly high pressures and flattened primers in Contenders and other strong, single shot and bolt action rifles. I would never use those loads in a lever rifle.
 

MagnumManiac

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Feb 25, 2008
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All of my ammo, hand loaded or factory, have the primer backed out after firing.
My Win ‘94 is ooooooold, it has .018” headspace, measured by primer protrusion and only likes thick rimmed brass.
I get case head separations if FL size in ANY way. Have to partial neck size and leave a portion unsized so the case doesn’t flop around. The tolerance on this chamber is HUGE. Gun dates to 1923 I believe from Winchester site.
My Win ‘92 in 44-40 dates to 1908/9.
Love these old lever guns.

Cheers.
 

Stammster

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Houston, Texas
Thanks. The reason I ask, is I normally start at book min and load 3 shots in 0.5 gr increments to book max. I’m not looking to load anything above book max. I’m just asking for what to pressure signs to look for in case I got a hot lot of powder.

I can chrono the loads, but nothing seems to be published in a 20” bbl. If I compare to factory ammo, I’ve got no way to determine if it’s safe for H4895. Therefore looking for guidance on pressure signs specific to 30-30.
 
Last edited:

MagnumManiac

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You won’t see pressure signs on the brass or primer, most levers bind up when max for them is surpassed.
My 44 Magnum 16” barrel Rossi ‘92 shows stiff opening on 24.5gr of 296 and a 240gr SP, at 24gr it is just right.
The 30-30 and 44 Mag operate at very similar pressure, the 30-30 is only 2,000cup higher. I know the actions operate differently, but ANY stiff opening is a sign you have pushed too far on the load.

Cheers.
P. S.
I found H4895 too sporadic and I load 748 with both 150 and 170 pills.
 

basinman

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Jan 9, 2014
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Butte La Rose, LA
I have also had good loads with W748 using the old 170 gr. Nosler Solid Base boat tail bullet (no longer made). These were great shooting out of my Marlin 336C.
 

112Savage

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In a marlin a good sign that you’ve surpassed safe loads is if the lever pops open (even just a little) on firing. I also think using a case comparator and sizing based on the shoulder length in your chamber is very important versus FL sizing based on the generic instructions from the die maker. With a micrometer, not a caliper, compare the case expansion at the web after firing and you can also gain some insight to pressure limits. On a second firing in a lever action I don’t want to see any expansion of the case web.
 

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