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Thread: Questions for you 30-30 Cast Bullet aficionados

  1. #1
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    Questions for you 30-30 Cast Bullet aficionados

    I started loading Cast 152gn .309 dia gas checked HP ( Walkers) in my Marlin 30-30 a few years ago and ran into a problem with misfires that saw me park the rifle and then I got sidetracked with other calibres. Anyway, long story short, I sorted the misfires and dug my box of test loads out and took the dirty thurty to the range today.

    I had saved 3 rounds from a successful load that was grouping well at an average 2351 fps from 30.5gn IMR 3031 and a CCI primer.


    While producing a reasonable group at 50m, this is a heavy feelin load at max but no pressure signs. It is based on Hogdon data for 150gn projectile, max charge 30.5/2192
    fps. From a 24in barrel. My Marlin 336C is a factory 18.5in made in 1984. The recommended C.O.L is 2.550. My max over 30 rds made was 2.533, min 2.520. The variance attributes to the variation in the mouth of the HP bullet.

    Hornady 2000 Ed. Manual, p316 gives a max charge of 31.4gn IMR3031 for 2200 fps with 150gn bullets.

    My bullet is slightly heavier, but my barrel is a lot shorter. I calibrated my chrono with factory. 22LR ammo and it was very close.

    An average of 2351 fps is therefore getting up there.

    I saw from my logbook notes that the last time I shot these, a round that had been chambered and then ejected unfired, showed considerable engraving of the bullet by the lands. See attached photo. I suspect this is the culprit.

    Given the groups I'm getting I'm not unhappy with the load. The rifle is strong and tight in the action and probably has rather less than 300 rds through it.

    I can't see a way of of not engaging the lands using these projectiles. I can't measure pressure but there are absolutely no signs of over pressure- just solid recoil.

    Where would you go with this?

    Engraving ...

    Name:  20220628_182632.jpg
Views: 161
Size:  1.25 MB

    Fired cases...

    Name:  20220628_125234.jpg
Views: 164
Size:  2.65 MB

    3 shot group @ 50m...

    Name:  20220628_182235.jpg
Views: 166
Size:  2.86 MB
    I know a lot but it seems less every day...

  2. #2
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    the issue is simple..you have a Marlin and not a Winchester....... the Marlins like a shorter skinny fronted projectile...the bullet makers make bullets specially for the marlins...I did a few same as yours (different powder) for mate with marlin and he too got the engraving.
    Robert will probably chime in and correct me if Im wrong...but thats pretty quick for a cast load....I would try dropping down to 1800fps ish powder charge level and see what happens...and dont sweat the touching the rifling...its a Marlin thing.
    75/15/10 black powder matters

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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky Duck View Post
    the issue is simple..you have a Marlin and not a Winchester....... the Marlins like a shorter skinny fronted projectile...the bullet makers make bullets specially for the marlins...I did a few same as yours (different powder) for mate with marlin and he too got the engraving.
    Robert will probably chime in and correct me if Im wrong...but thats pretty quick for a cast load....I would try dropping down to 1800fps ish powder charge level and see what happens...and dont sweat the touching the rifling...its a Marlin thing.
    Cool bananas. I sold my Winchester cause all the jangly bits jangle lol
    I know a lot but it seems less every day...

  4. #4
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    I'm amazed you can get 2351 fps with a cast lead bullet even with a gas check. I would expected leading and bullet stripping leading to tumbling even with microgroove rifling,
    I use 180 grain flat nose bullets with no gas check at 1500 ish fps in a 94 and find that I done need anymore speed.
    Micky Duck likes this.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Henry View Post
    I'm amazed you can get 2351 fps with a cast lead bullet even with a gas check. I would expected leading and bullet stripping leading to tumbling even with microgroove rifling,
    I use 180 grain flat nose bullets with no gas check at 1500 ish fps in a 94 and find that I done need anymore speed.
    Have a look at the holes in the paper, no tumbling there. No discernable leading in the barrel either. To be fair, have not put many through it so it may be sneaking up on me. But yes, I was not quite expecting that velocity. I will be backing it off and looking for a node further down. However this is also one of the better grouping loads. Somewhere around 1600 -1800 would suit me
    I know a lot but it seems less every day...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jhon View Post
    Have a look at the holes in the paper, no tumbling there. No discernable leading in the barrel either. To be fair, have not put many through it so it may be sneaking up on me. But yes, I was not quite expecting that velocity. I will be backing it off and looking for a node further down. However this is also one of the better grouping loads. Somewhere around 1600 -1800 would suit me
    Greetings @Jhon,
    You can often used the start loads for a reduced load. My old Lyman and Speer manuals give 26.5 and 24.5 grains of IMR3031 respectively as start loads for the 150 grain in the .30-30. The latter develops 1,844 fps in a 20 inch barrel. It looks to me that your primers have backed out a little from their pockets. This suggests that the pressure is low enough not to stretch the cases and you may be able to just neck size your brass. This is what I do with my old .303 rifles to extend case life. Engraving of the cast projectile when chambered was considered a desirable feature to cast lead target shooters in the late 19th centurybut they always fired a round once chambered so your needs may differ.
    Regards Grandpamac.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandpamac View Post
    Greetings @Jhon,
    You can often used the start loads for a reduced load. My old Lyman and Speer manuals give 26.5 and 24.5 grains of IMR3031 respectively as start loads for the 150 grain in the .30-30. The latter develops 1,844 fps in a 20 inch barrel. It looks to me that your primers have backed out a little from their pockets. This suggests that the pressure is low enough not to stretch the cases and you may be able to just neck size your brass. This is what I do with my old .303 rifles to extend case life. Engraving of the cast projectile when chambered was considered a desirable feature to cast lead target shooters in the late 19th centurybut they always fired a round once chambered so your needs may differ.
    Regards Grandpamac.
    Geeze Gramps, that's pretty interesting! I don't think I'm game to up the charge any further. My barrel is 18.5in. While I took someone else's suggestion and checked my chrono with 22 LR I'm beginning to think I should borrow another chrono. Maybe there's an aberration.

    It's good to hear about engraving being desirable . I've been doing wider research and have also come across that. Right now my intention is to back the charge down some and see if I can find a good node at a saner velocity.

    I will definitely take a look at case stretch. Would be good to just neck size. In the flesh the primers are still flush with the head. I will check how low they were when seated

    Thks for the info
    grandpamac likes this.
    I know a lot but it seems less every day...

  8. #8
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    Greetings @Jhon,
    24.5 grains is less than you are using now at 30.5 grains. A lot of current data has a narrow range of loads, often two grains or less. I suggest you try 24 grains which should give around 1,800 fps in your shorter barrel.
    GPM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jhon View Post
    I started loading Cast 152gn .309 dia gas checked HP ( Walkers) in my Marlin 30-30 a few years ago and ran into a problem with misfires that saw me park the rifle and then I got sidetracked with other calibres. Anyway, long story short, I sorted the misfires and dug my box of test loads out and took the dirty thurty to the range today.

    I had saved 3 rounds from a successful load that was grouping well at an average 2351 fps from 30.5gn IMR 3031 and a CCI primer.


    While producing a reasonable group at 50m, this is a heavy feelin load at max but no pressure signs. It is based on Hogdon data for 150gn projectile, max charge 30.5/2192
    fps. From a 24in barrel. My Marlin 336C is a factory 18.5in made in 1984. The recommended C.O.L is 2.550. My max over 30 rds made was 2.533, min 2.520. The variance attributes to the variation in the mouth of the HP bullet.

    Hornady 2000 Ed. Manual, p316 gives a max charge of 31.4gn IMR3031 for 2200 fps with 150gn bullets.

    My bullet is slightly heavier, but my barrel is a lot shorter. I calibrated my chrono with factory. 22LR ammo and it was very close.

    An average of 2351 fps is therefore getting up there.

    I saw from my logbook notes that the last time I shot these, a round that had been chambered and then ejected unfired, showed considerable engraving of the bullet by the lands. See attached photo. I suspect this is the culprit.

    Given the groups I'm getting I'm not unhappy with the load. The rifle is strong and tight in the action and probably has rather less than 300 rds through it.

    I can't see a way of of not engaging the lands using these projectiles. I can't measure pressure but there are absolutely no signs of over pressure- just solid recoil.

    Where would you go with this?

    Engraving ...

    Attachment 200385

    Fired cases...

    Attachment 200386

    3 shot group @ 50m...

    Attachment 200387
    Hi John, good to see the 151 HP going that fast I have seen the damage they do at 1600 fps at 2300 they will be like bombs!
    The 151 is designed for the .308 chamber which is cut to fit 168 SMK's that is why they engrave the rifling in the 30/30 Marlin
    Check out my listing for the 30/30 bullet it is a clone of the bullet designed for the 30/30 the Lyman 311041 at 1800fps with cast bullets
    you don't need a HP to get expansion.
    Micky Duck and Jhon like this.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandpamac View Post
    Greetings @Jhon,
    24.5 grains is less than you are using now at 30.5 grains. A lot of current data has a narrow range of loads, often two grains or less. I suggest you try 24 grains which should give around 1,800 fps in your shorter barrel.
    GPM.
    Yes I answered that far too fast. You're quite correct. I'll put it down to cooking dinner, mixing G&T for the neighbours, trying to converse intelligently and read/relpy to your post. Lucky I wasn't reloading lol
    Moa Hunter and Micky Duck like this.
    I know a lot but it seems less every day...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by shooternz View Post
    Hi John, good to see the 151 HP going that fast I have seen the damage they do at 1600 fps at 2300 they will be like bombs!
    The 151 is designed for the .308 chamber which is cut to fit 168 SMK's that is why they engrave the rifling in the 30/30 Marlin
    Check out my listing for the 30/30 bullet it is a clone of the bullet designed for the 30/30 the Lyman 311041 at 1800fps with cast bullets
    you don't need a HP to get expansion.
    Good to know. Send me a hundred mate and I'll top your account up. You have my details...
    Micky Duck likes this.
    I know a lot but it seems less every day...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jhon View Post
    Yes I answered that far too fast. You're quite correct. I'll put it down to cooking dinner, mixing G&T for the neighbours, trying to converse intelligently and read/relpy to your post. Lucky I wasn't reloading lol
    G&T....Indian tonic I hope....knew you were a man of good taste,this confirms it.
    Jhon likes this.
    75/15/10 black powder matters

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky Duck View Post
    G&T....Indian tonic I hope....knew you were a man of good taste,this confirms it.
    Indeed, with fresh homegrown lemons, only way to go...
    Micky Duck likes this.
    I know a lot but it seems less every day...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jhon View Post
    Good to know. Send me a hundred mate and I'll top your account up. You have my details...
    Would you like a hundred 7mm 133 HP as well a customer swapped them for 151 HP's he traded hie 7mm for a .308
    Micky Duck likes this.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shooternz View Post
    Would you like a hundred 7mm 133 HP as well a customer swapped them for 151 HP's he traded hie 7mm for a .308
    Ok twist my arm lol
    I know a lot but it seems less every day...

 

 

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