30-30 shooting sideways bullets


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Jinzoningen80
December 4, 2007, 09:14 PM
So my Marlin 30-30 with a microgrooved barrel shot fine 2 months ago. I put a decent group downrange at 100m and I could hit a 200m Steel popper. Now, in preperation for hunting season, I pick me up some of that hot new Hornady LeverEvolution ammo (150gr.) 6 boxes in fact (due to a black-friday ammo deal.) I was extremely disappointed when I was unable to hit paper at 50m. So i move up to 25 m and see my holes all over the paper. Upon closer inspection, I discover the rounds are impacting sideways!!

http://www.thd3.com/images/guns/3030ammo.JPG

Thinking it is the bullet weight, I try Winchester 180gr... SAME PROBLEM!

http://www.thd3.com/images/guns/3030ammo%20(1).JPG

To confirm that something didn't happen to my gun, I fired the Remington 150gr again and it shot just fine.

http://www.thd3.com/images/guns/3030ammo%20(2).JPG

Has anyone ever experienced this before? My gun ONLY likes remington ammo. Could something be wrong?

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Geno
December 4, 2007, 09:45 PM
That's called a keyhole impact. They're tumbling. But why? Could be too slow of twist for the bullet weight. Could be the rifling or muzzle became damaged. I have usually seen this with bullet instability due to twist-rate.

Edit:

150 Gr? That shouldn't keyhole!!! Dang!

Doc2005

BEARMAN
December 4, 2007, 09:54 PM
It is probably the Microgroove barrel not gripping the bullet at the velocities they are at. I suggest you stick with what works in your gun and not be sucked in by the "WE can make a long range elephant gun out of your .30-30 lever action hype". You have one of the best .30-30 lever actions going, don't expect to make it more than it is.

Geno
December 4, 2007, 10:17 PM
I wonder if the micro-grooves have become fouled. Look at the first bullet impact. One is perfect. Looks like a second one went in half-keyholed. Then, all subsequent are keyholed.

That indicates that something is going afoul. No pun intended. Clean it very well, then try some traditional Remington rounds.

Bet it's fouled to Hades.

Doc2005

Kimber1911_06238
December 4, 2007, 10:21 PM
I'm with Doc, seems like the barrel is badly fouled. If not, don't worry. You already found a load that shoots very well!!!

Jinzoningen80
December 4, 2007, 10:32 PM
It's not fouling. The rifle was cleaned thoroughly. The first "perfect" shot was actually not from this rifle. LeverEvolution fired from a clean rifle tumbled. I initially thought it was the twist-rate not liking the bullet weight, but as I said, it loves the 150gr remington, but hates the 150gr Hornady. The good Remington group was fired at the end of the day with the rifle as dirty as it got. Thanks for the replies so far. Any other suggestions?

Roswell 1847
December 4, 2007, 10:33 PM
with a microgrooved barrel
And
some of that hot new

Theres your problem.

The microgroove rifling just isn't biting ino the jacket materil well enough for a hot load.
I've only had one Keyholing problem with a rifle in good condition and that was some Yugoslavian .303 military ammo that fired like target ammo from a five groove barrel but the jackets were too hard to be griped properly by a two groove barrel which shot everything else run through it , including Chi Com AP bullets, with great precision.
Undersized bullets can also be a factor with shallow microgrooves but I'm figuring hard jackets.

A far too soft jacket can also be a problem , Too hard the bullet skids, too soft the jacketing material strips.
Think worn out snow tires.

Either way just stick with ammo types you know will stabilize.

tkendrick
December 4, 2007, 10:37 PM
I love Marlins. I have three of them. But their Micro-Groove system sucks.

You can't shoot non-jacketed lead.

You can't shoot Sabots, especially plastic ones. Remember the Accelorator from a few years ago? Cleaning that gun was a problem, IIRC my grandson learned some new words that day.

Looks like you can add the new Hornady line to the equation.

Millwright
December 4, 2007, 10:37 PM
Seems like you've got a lot of good answers !! I'd opt for a super good cleaning of the barrel and some more range time, but I suspect that "micro-groove" barrel ain't gonna cut it with the new ammo..... >MW

U.S.SFC_RET
December 5, 2007, 06:46 AM
You have some of the best pictures of keyholing I ever seen. If there is a locksmith somewhere? He could use it in his office.:D

Nematocyst
December 5, 2007, 07:12 AM
My sense is this:
the hot Hornady stuff is loaded
for the newer, longer barreled XLR Marlin rifles.

Bigga bada boom.

In a traditional 336,
just shoot the stuff
it's shot for decades:
regular 150 and 170 gr.
They're fine to 100 - 150 m.

And, remind me, please:
Why would anyone who
doesn't shoot > one box/wk
try to shoot a deer beyond 150 m?

ugaarguy
December 5, 2007, 07:26 AM
It's not fouling. The rifle was cleaned thoroughly. The first "perfect" shot was actually not from this rifle. LeverEvolution fired from a clean rifle tumbled. I initially thought it was the twist-rate not liking the bullet weight, but as I said, it loves the 150gr remington, but hates the 150gr Hornady. The good Remington group was fired at the end of the day with the rifle as dirty as it got. Thanks for the replies so far. Any other suggestions?
Are you using a powder solvent only? Or are you using a good strong copper solvent as well? It's possible there's some copper fouling in there.

On the other hand, a look at the Marlin website does show that the 336 XLR barrels are Ballard rifled rather than Micro-Groove rifled.

walking arsenal
December 5, 2007, 08:41 AM
Looks like a ballistic game of Battle ship.

JustsayMo
December 5, 2007, 10:01 AM
Hornady did have a recall on 30-30 ammo a while back, http://www.hornady.com/story.php?s=439

Also isn't all the 30-30 LeverEvolution ammo 160 grains?

I've had bullets tumble out of my 30-06 and 45-70. Both were the result of (barely < .002") undersized bullets.

My latest 336 has the Microgroove barrel and it shoots cast bullets (sized .310") better than any jacketed bullet I've tried so far. I haven't tried the LE in it ammo yet. It did shoot well in my 1895GS Guide Gun though.

Z_Infidel
December 5, 2007, 10:11 AM
Yes, the LeverEvolution .30-30 ammo uses 160 gr bullets. I shoot it exclusively in my 336XLR, but I shoot conventional ammo in my 336C. The XLR has Ballard-style rifling.

ZeSpectre
December 5, 2007, 10:34 AM
LeverEvolution out of my recent model (c.2006) 336A seem to work just fine. (I've only fired about 10 rounds of it though).

rcmodel
December 5, 2007, 11:16 AM
#1. Try some Copper Solvent in the barrel and see if the patches come out BLUE!

#2. Call Hornady and see what they have to say about it.
(1-800-338-3220)
Have the lot number off the ammo box flap handy so you can tell them what lot it is from.

I can't think it won't work, or that they don't have a disclamer on every box of LEVERevolution if it won't shoot in a Micro-Groove barrel.
Theres a gazillion of them out there!

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

ugaarguy
December 6, 2007, 02:28 AM
#1. Try some Copper Solvent in the barrel and see if the patches come out BLUE!
If the copper solvent soaked patches do come out blue it's a sure indicator of copper fouling as rcmodel alludes to. If that's the case remember that copper is one of the main metals used in making bronze so a bronze bore brush may not work as well as other materials if you need to scrub out heavy copper deposits (the copper solvent will attack the copper in the bronze and start breaking down the brush). I've had good results with the soft steel mesh tornado brushes, but nylon also works well for this application.

Nematocyst
December 6, 2007, 06:41 AM
This is an interesting story ...

http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/style_emoticons/default/smiley-ren.gif

jacobhh
December 6, 2007, 06:52 AM
Just fouling?

I'm skeptical. I have no experience with LeverRevolution but
it looks like pic #2 is Winchester factory 180. I'd take a real
close look at your muzzle then slug the bore.
The only time I had keyhoing that bad was in a 110 year old
'73 Win. Measure the Remington ammo and see if it's just a
little bit bigger diameter than the others.

Nematocyst
December 6, 2007, 07:54 AM
Hornady LeverEvolution ammo (150gr.) Wait, this just clicked: you mean 160 gr, right?

All the .30.30 LE I've seen so far - including the box in my cabinet - is 160 gr.

Is that a typo, or is Hornady now producing a 150 gr LE?

jacobhh
December 6, 2007, 08:56 AM
30 30 Marlin? Sure you didn't use a cookie cutter?

neolithic hunter
December 6, 2007, 06:49 PM
looks like your shooting 30-30 rounds in a 32 winchester. looks like the bullets are undersized for your bore. i would check the bullet diameter and the grove diameter of you barrel. marlin may have put an over-sized tube on your rifle.:cool:

Jinzoningen80
December 8, 2007, 12:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinzoningen80
Hornady LeverEvolution ammo (150gr.)

Wait, this just clicked: you mean 160 gr, right?

All the .30.30 LE I've seen so far - including the box in my cabinet - is 160 gr.

Is that a typo, or is Hornady now producing a 150 gr LE?

Nematocyst, you are correct. The Hornady is in fact 160gr. The Remington is 150 and i just picked up a box of Rem 170gr HP to test. Those results should follow within a week. Just to clarify, the rifle IS a 30-30, and it shoots the remington 150gr core-lokt just fine. I also picked up some copper-fouling remover to rule that possibility out. Update to follow.....

Roswell 1847
December 8, 2007, 02:56 PM
BTW
I handloaded some .30-30 bullets pulled from old ammo a friend had found into his Chinese .762X54 casings we'd pulled the bullets from. I used the Chi Com bullets and powder for some experiments in my .303.
Anyway the bullets (over 48 gr of Win 760) pulled from the .30-30 rounds shot with good accuracy in the Sporterized Russian Tula we tried them in.

The Old Russian bore had to be .312 at the minimum and probably .314, if it ran true to type.
It was also the most worn out of any rifle I've fired, thats why the mild handloads.

My conclusion is that standard bullets for the .30-30 are designed to upset or slug out when fired, filling out the rifling in even worn or over sized bores.
The shallow microgroove rifling works fine with bullets of this type.

Clipper
December 8, 2007, 05:40 PM
And, remind me, please:
Why would anyone who
doesn't shoot > one box/wk
try to shoot a deer beyond 150 m?

Because I can shoot better than you? I don't know about you, but I don't have to shoot thousands of rounds a year to be able to hit what I aim at. In fact, I'm not likely to shoot (or need to) more than 100 rounds a year from my deer rifle...

Nematocyst
December 8, 2007, 06:09 PM
I also picked up some copper-fouling remover to rule that possibility out. Update to follow.....Science and hypothesis testing can be so much fun. :)

Jinzoningen80
December 17, 2007, 01:44 AM
Well I finally got back to the range. To update, I THOROUGHLY cleaned the bore using both regular hoppe's 9 and hoppe's 9 bench rest copper solvent. This is how it shot:

http://www.thd3.com/images/guns/3030ammo2.JPG

I intend to let hornady know their ammo keyholes in my microgrooved barrel and stick with Remington ammo for this particular rifle.

Thanks for the help everyone.

brickeyee
December 17, 2007, 12:41 PM
Try and recover a bullet that is not to badly damaged.
If it is skidding you can often see it in the rifling markings left on the bullet.

rcmodel
December 17, 2007, 12:46 PM
I intend to let hornady know their ammo keyholes in my microgrooved barrelSee post #17 for the phone number!

Please be sure and let use know what they have to say about it.
Inquiring minds want to know!

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone
December 17, 2007, 01:34 PM
Over 700 readers of this thread. It would be a dis-service to your fellow THR members/friends not to let us know what Hornady says.

I'd also call Marlin.

I haven't tried any of the LeverEvolution cartridges yet, (I'm waiting for the bullets to become available so I can reload them). I'm a bit aprehensive to try some now.

-Steve

Jim K
December 18, 2007, 10:51 PM
Just curious, but did you mike those bullets? Keyholing means the bullet is not stabilizing, which generally means either that it is too small to engage the rifling, or it is so hard that the jacket is not engraved.

Remember in a breech loading rifle, the bullet must be at the groove diameter (.308"), not the bore diameter (.300"). The pressure forces the bullet into the rifling.

Jim

JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone
December 20, 2007, 01:11 PM
-Steve

Texas_XD
December 20, 2007, 02:19 PM
I'm curious too as to what they said. Been reading bunches on the ammo at the Marlin Owners forum and they all seem to love it. Well, other than the fact they have to re-sight the rifle due to the higher vel. impacting higher on target. Believe avg is 6" high at 100yds vs. standard ammo sighted in dead on.
Matter of fact, have a NIB Marlin coming in today w/7 bxs of this ammo... so REALLY want to know what Hornady says! ;)

Jim K
December 20, 2007, 03:00 PM
"Jack", where did I say anything about handloading? I said he could mike the bullets. It is possible to pull bullets from factory ammo and the bullets of some loaded rounds can be miked without pulling them.

Jim

ocharry
December 20, 2007, 03:00 PM
as jim said,,,i too would like to know what the dia. of the bullets are

i would guess if they missed the .308 dimension only a few tenths with the higher velocity and the shallow micro groove rifling it could be striping and not spinning fast enough to stabilize

i would like to hear hornady's comments too

i think i would have to pull one of the bullets and mic it ,,,,, i would bet it will be undersize


ocharry

rcmodel
December 20, 2007, 03:22 PM
That is why I have been urging him to contact Hornady with the lot number of the ammo for over two weeks now!

It is very possible this is from an early lot and they may already know something, and do something about it, if you contact them.

Since it is not a safety issue, it is doubtful they would have issued a recall on an early lot, even if there had of been a slip-up in bullet diameter.

Call them ASAP!

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone
December 20, 2007, 05:00 PM
The term "Miked" flew right over my head.

I mis-took "Just curious, but did you mike those bullets?" for 'did you make those bullets?'

-Steve

Jim K
December 21, 2007, 10:43 PM
Sorry for the slang. The term "mike" as a noun is short for "micrometer"; as a verb it means to measure with a micrometer, as "the bullet diameter mikes .3085 inches."

Jim

Blackfork
December 21, 2007, 11:50 PM
If you were shooting them at 20 yards or less, you would get a heck of a knock-down with those Hornadys! I bet they would stagger a rhino!

frogomatic
December 22, 2007, 01:46 PM
keyholing can be caused by a couple of different things. To much bullet for the twist rate will cause it, due to lack of stabilization. Also, if the bullet drops below supersonic before hitting the target that too will cause the bullet to tumble. The shockwave caused when the bullet drops below supersonic destabilizes it.

rcmodel
December 22, 2007, 01:50 PM
This is all true, but I doubt it causing is his problem

He is shooting factory loaded 160 grain 30-30 ammo in a Marlin 30-30, at a 100 yards or less.

Bullet weight within standard range? Check!
Rifling twist rate standard for caliber? Check!
Velocity within normal range? Check!

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

frogomatic
December 22, 2007, 02:01 PM
yeah, I realized that after I read more of the thread, and it does seem much more likely that the problem lies with the hornady bullets themselves.

Jinzoningen80
February 7, 2008, 11:53 PM
sorry for the delay on this thread. I've been.... busy to say the least. Today i was cleaning up the work bench and I found the note to myself to call hornady so call them I did. Let me begin by saying that they have one of the best automated answering machine messages i've ever heard. Everyone should call just to hear those options.

When i finally did get a tech-support rep on the line, I explained how the rounds were keyholing after only 5 feet. He was thorougly amazed and informed me that he had never heard of this before. He also said he has a friend who has a micro-grooved barrel and it shoots them fine. He informed me that he would pass the info on to R&D and suggested I call Marlin to see what they say.

I'm gonna leave it with this summary. My Marlin 336 (1964 manufacture) 3030 shoots remington round-nose 150 and 170gr ammo just fine. The gun is in great working order.

The Hornady 160gr leverevolution keyholes badly in the same gun but shoots fantastic in my Winchester 30-30 with a normal-grooved barrel.

No one else seems to have this problem. File under "cold case files."

aguyindallas
February 10, 2008, 11:08 PM
A buddy of mine missed a 14 yard shot at a deer with a 336 and this "Lever-Evolution" ammo....wonder if this is the culprit?

3pairs12
February 11, 2008, 11:33 AM
It wasn't me though thats for sure. I didn't trade that gun off because I refused to shoot it again either. This is interesting though, Hornady also had a recall on some batches of the leverevolution. I am thinking maybe just stick with the tried and true stuff. Hornady just might not be ready to take over the lever world yet. On a side note the gun prevously shot great at 50 and 100 that deer was the first round of leverevolution through the barrel and it was a clean miss at 14 yards exactly. Bad day in the deer woods for me cough cough I mean who ever that was that missed.

rcmodel
February 11, 2008, 01:14 PM
Somehow, I doubt that any bullet would have time to keyhole and get that far of course (Minute of deer) in 14 yards!

I don't think you can blame that one on the ammunition!

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

Jinzoningen80
February 12, 2008, 06:51 PM
agreed... even with my horrendous keyholing at only 5 feet, i was still able to keep it on paper at 25 meters.

;)

marki3rd
February 14, 2008, 01:33 PM
What I don't understand about this is how on earth all the holes in the target are perfect sideways hits. My experience with unstable bullets is that they hit the paper target with different amounts of skew as they tumble. It is amazing that all these bullets seem to prefer to travel sideways.

3pairs12
February 14, 2008, 01:41 PM
Well its the closest I have ever missed anything. I also have seen a recall notice for the stuff at sportsman wharehouse of course not my batch # though. I don't know what happened but I came out of the woods that day with great disappointment in myself. I waited for him to come in as close as he was going to come and let him turn broadside to sticks or brush between he and I. I feel convinced it may partially shooter error but I feel know that ammo is at least equally responsible. IMHO

Devon
February 14, 2008, 10:04 PM
I made the mistake of buying into the LE hype. Bought a couple of boxes and off to the range I go... Prior to this I was using 150 Rem core lokt or Win silvertips. Both shot fine and zero was very close, close enough to not matter. Fast forward to the LE on zero day, adjusted to bring "group" on paper at 100 yards, shot again at 50 yards and then at 150. Tossed the rest in the pond and bought some more Remington, rezeroed the rifle, and all is well now.

icebones
February 15, 2008, 10:02 PM
exactly your problem, the new leverrevolution rounds are way to fast to stabilise in the mirco-grove rifiling. thus they are not stabilized and are tumbiling downrange, but aparently youve already figured this out.
interistingly this is the first case of this ever happening i've heard of...

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