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reloading the 30-30

1015 Views 14 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Model 52
Hope everyone is doing good! I just wanted to ask if it was about the same cost wise of buying 30-30 regular ammo vs. reloading. I am just talking about Rem and Winchester ammo standard. Any thoughts will graetly be appreciated.:D
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Try to find a Lee Loader in 30-30. They are simple, effective, and cheap. The websites for powder manufactures will give you enough data to get you started, but eventually you should get a manual or two. Get a good beam scale to weigh powder. The dippers just don't give enough accuracy to be safe. At least you should check them with the scale, until you gain some confidence. Be sure to use round or flat nose bullets.

Reloading is not as difficult as a lot of people would have you believe. Just stay within the published load range, follow the instructions, and you will be fine. Never go over the maximum published load, but also don't ever go below the starting load, until you have researched what you are trying to do.

Have fun. Be safe.

Hector
 

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I started with a Lee Loader for a M94 and had trouble chambering since there isn't any full length sizing done. Maybe mine just had a tight chamber, I don't know.

If you go with a regular die set pick one that has bullet seating plugs available for the flex tip bullets.

Once in awhile, you can pick up bullets cheap since shooters are more interested in hot flat shooting calibers now days.

At an auction last summer I got a new box of Remington 170 gr shells for $3.

At a local gunshop I got 200 Hornady 170 gr bullets for $8 box of 100.
 

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There are some good reasons to reload:
-for improved accuracy
-for special loads you can't buy
-because you enjoy doing it yourself
-you have several calibers, to spread out the initial costs
-or, you have one caliber you shoot in very large quantities

If you only have the 30-30, and only shoot a hundred rounds per year, just buy factory ammo.

Unless you just really want to reload your own ammo. :bthumb:
 

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As others said, if you're looking at a couple hundreds of rounds per year and having to buy a new (or used) press and dies, it's really not worth it.

But, if you already have a press and just need dies, and you plan on shooting quite a bit, it isn't too bad. Assuming that you already have brass, the expendables aren't too bad. Here's a sample of costs, I have not included shipping, since I can find most of these locally. (Not a load recommendation, just costs for a published load.)

30-30 150 Gr Rem Core-loct SP $25 per 100, $0.25 per round.
CCI Large Rifle primer $6.15 per 200, $0.03 per round.
H335 33 Gr. $21.49 per lb, $0.10 per round.
Expendable total $0.38 per round, $7.60 per box of 20.

I do use an old Lee turret press and like the Lee dies, especially the Lee Factory Crimp die. I have multiple plates and use the press for 30-30 and for .380 ACP as well as 7.62x25 Tokarev. The Lee dies are not intended for BR accuracy, but neither is the 30-30 or the two pistol loads.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
30-30 reloading

Thanks for the replys! I am not certain how much shooting I will be doing in the near future. I used to shoot quite a bit years ago. The cost of gas is another big factor. I never thought I would see the day when gas is a factor!:D
 

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I used to load a lot but I've been shooting 22 rimfires the most for the last decade. I wouldn't hesitate loading for the 30-30, but as stated above you need to do it enough to pay for itself. I have the loading equipment so a set of dies isn't much of an investment. From my experience in the past in loading many different calibers, the cost of reloaded ammo is roughly 50% of the price of factory ammo if you already have the brass. It does vary from caliber to caliber, but that is what I used to do it for. Keep in mind, you aren't counting your time.
 

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The 30-30 is an excellent round for cast bullets. I cast my own but there are commercial bullets available. My primary goal was to find a cast load with reduced recoil, noise that shoots to the same point of aim with iron sights. Last week I loaded 9.0 Trail Boss with a 170 RN GC bullet that shoots to the same point of aim at 25'. This load is really cheap to shoot.

I also reload jacketed bullets but they are a waste of money if you are plinking.

I have 5 different 30-30's and they all shoot very well. This cartridge has the potential for very good accuracy. Shooting a 30-30 with cast bullets is almost as fun as shooting one of my .22's.
 

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I recently tried working up a cast bullet load using Missouri Bullet Company's 135 gr RNFP. I was using Unique and tried weights from 6.5-10 gr. The best group I could get a 50 yards was only about 5 inches....Maybe, I'll try some 165 gr casts.
 

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Nothing wrong with reloading in general but the 30-30 has two very good options already:
  • Inexpensive / sale loads in a relatively competitive chambering (i.e. most every manufacturer 'has to' load for the popular 30-30)
  • Hornady Leverevolution ammo - any LE chambering is one I don't have to reload for - LE being pretty high-performance stuff that is difficult to improve upon with regards to trajectory, accuracy, and terminal energy.
I would use my relatively scarce reloading time for the odd stuff for which factory loads are expensive or limited in availability. For me, it would be .350 Rem Mag and .356 Win for starters. :)
 

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Magnus sent me some sample cast bullets and the accuracy was terrible. I don't think they had gas checks either.
I recently tried working up a cast bullet load using Missouri Bullet Company's 135 gr RNFP. I was using Unique and tried weights from 6.5-10 gr. The best group I could get a 50 yards was only about 5 inches....Maybe, I'll try some 165 gr casts.
 

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If you get above about 1800 fps a gas check is almost always required, but in the 1500-1600 fpos range you can get by without one.

Even then regardlerss of a gas check or not, you want to use a suitable alloy to get good obturation without getting gas cutting or leading. Contrary to street wisdom, leading is not caused by an excessively soft alloy, rather it tends to be caused by poor obturation and gas cutting. Consequently, a very hard heat treated bullet in the 30-34 BHN range will need a very high pressure load to effectively seal in the bore.

With medium hard to hard alloy and gas check in the 15-20 BHN range, you probably need to keep the pressure around 90% of max to get good initial obturation (which is reduced at lower pressures) and yet avoid the blow by, gas cutting and leading that can occur at higher pressures.

With the .30-30 I've used 32 gr of IMR4064 with a 170 grain cast bullet and gas check to produce velocities around 2080 fps in my 20" Model 94s. I used an alloy similar to Lyman number 2 with a BHN of about 15 which worked well on deer sized game with a 170 gr round nose bullet. Specifically I used 9 pounds of clip on wheel weights and 1 pound of 50/50 bar solder as both were easy to find almost anywhere and wheel weights were cheap - in many cases free if I brought my own 5 gallon bucket. You can use a harder alooy but all you get is more penetration and very little expansion which is counter productive on deer sized game.

In any weapon with a tubular magazine just remember to use a bullet with a round or flat point to prevent setting off the round in front of it under recoil.

The other approach in cast bullets for rifle calibers is to use a reduced gallery load using a fast burning powder to get a mild load in the 1500 fps range. I

In the early 90's a group of National Match shooters I hung with added a reduced course of fire for cast for cast bullet shoots with service rifles ('03s and Enfields mostly). In that case we used gas checked bullets, but usually without the gas check and cast fairly soft with about 16 grains of 2400 to give velocities around 1500-1600 fps with 165-180 grain cast bullets. The load was cheap and if the bullets were well cast accurracy was good. You could use scrap lead (wheel weights etc) with about 1.5% tin to help improve the fill in the mould and end up with a very cheap load to fire that was still accurate enough to be competitive.

In terms of loading the .30-30 case it is comparatively thin walled and fairly staight so it can be crushed if not properly aligned during all the loading operations, otherwise it is easy to load with no special quirks. The .30-30 headspaces on the rim, but rim headpsacing tends to be notoriously bad, so for extended case life, setting the shoulder back just enough to allow smooth functioning can be beneficial, but if you are loading for multiple .30-30s just full length resize it and be done with it.
 

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I should add that there are other options to casting your own.

You can get cast bullets from a couple of good quality casters for around $13.00-$14.00 per 100, in quanities of 250 or 500 compared to $21.00-$25.00 per hundred for jacketed bullets on sale.

You can also get plated 150 gr bullets for .30-30 use for around $16.00 per b100 in quantieis of 250. They split the difference on price between jacketed and cast bullets and do away with lubes that can smoke, etc.
 
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