What reloading supplies will I need.


September 13, 2008, 04:27 PM
I don't have anything, but I wan't to start reloading for my 30-06 and my .30-30. I know I will need powder (two different types at least, one for the garand, one for the savage). I will need a scale, a good book, dies (do the 06 and the -30 use the same die?). I am pretty much unsure as to what else. Who wants to help out a rookie in this field and offer up some info.

What will I need, full list to load for both of these rounds.
What brands to you recommend for a beginner.
What books do you recommend.

Any other advice, and if you are in VA, are you willing to teach a rookie?

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September 13, 2008, 04:52 PM
Well, you're going to need a press. I would suggest a Lee Classic Cast one-stage press ($70) to get started and a Deluxe Die Kit for the two calibers you're reloading. Kempfgunshop.com is a great place to buy Lee equipment. Sue will make sure you get what you need and spend time on the phone getting you set up if necessary. Wideners is also a good one-stop-place. Of course, you can buy a better press & dies than Lee, but it's a good place to start and will produce ammunition as good as any other. If you really get into reloading, you can always sell it and get something better.

The Lee Hand Primer is easy and cheap, as is the Lee Perfect Powder Measure, which throws within .1-.2 grains for me. Still, you might want to get a powder trickler - Redding makes a good one.

I would get a digital scale. I use an RCBS RangeMaster and am pretty happy with it.

You'll also need a reloading tray and calipers (digital calipers on Ebay can be had for $15-$16 - they are the exact same as Lyman or Frankford Arsenal's, which cost 20-30 more at Midway).

As for components, put in a big order with PowderValley for primers, good brass (buy 100 Lapua and you may never need to buy brass again), powder, and bullets. Their prices and selection are so good that the HAZMAT really won't hurt that much.

Altogether, you'll need to spend a good penny to get started, even with a basic setup.

Lee Press - $70
Dies (2) - $60
Hand Primer and Powder Measure - $40
Scale - $90
Micrometer/Calipers - $18
Tray - $10
4 lbs of Powder (get different kinds) - $80,
1000 LR Primers - $25
500 bullets - $125 (get different sizes/types)
Brass - $100 (if you go with Lapua - you can also reuse what you have)
Tumbler Kit - $80
Shipping on all this - $50 (w/HAZMAT)

Total - $700-750 (liberal estimate - it could be lower). Your first 500 rounds will cost you $1.50/piece. That will drop to $1.25 by 1000 rounds. At 2000 you'll be at around $1.00, and it will continue to go down, even as you restock on primers and powder.

As for books, well, they can be useful, but it was the people here and some guys at the range who taught me how to reload. There is gobs and gobs of good reloading data on the web. But the best thing to do is find someone who's been reloading for a while, ask them to spend a couple of hours giving you a thorough tutorial, and then take them out for drinks or dinner.

Good luck!

September 13, 2008, 05:00 PM
I will need powder (two different types at least, one for the garand, one for the savage). Not necessarly.

There are several good powders that will do a nice job in both the 30-06 Garand and the 30-30.

I would suggest you look at IMR-4064, BL-C2, or WW748 loads for both and see what you think.


September 13, 2008, 05:01 PM
there is a thread already on start up cost with links to kits which will get you started for a lot less than this. as far as the hazmat. not needed at all if you have local gun shops that sell primer and powders.

September 13, 2008, 05:01 PM
Thanks for the input. My grandfather used to reload (most of the ammo for my m1 are handloads) and I hope to get my hands on his equipment. If I am not able to get his gear, it appears I have a pretty large bill ahead for me. I mainly want to reload those two rounds for these reasons... .30-30 spitzers that will get as good if not better ballistics than leverloution ammo (its a bolt action), and reloading for my garand as it won't ever get fed commercial ammo (but I might use lead slugs for hunting off of a mild load).

I thought the .30-30 and the 30-06 used the same diameter projectiles. Will that end up lowering the cost of setup?

September 13, 2008, 05:05 PM
Both use .308" diameter bullets.

But it really won't change the cost.

Both 30-30 FP bullets, and .308" spitzers cost about the same.
200 bullets of one kind will cost about the same as 100 of one, and 100 of the other.


September 13, 2008, 05:07 PM
they both use the same diameter but different grain weight and compostion. though it is possible to use spitzer bullets in a 30-30 it is not recomended. A lot of us that have messed around with different bullets for the 30-30 have always gone back to the same two the 150 and 170 grain bullet. You really cant get much better than that with these two bullets. using spitzer bullets you can only load from the top not the magazine. 1 problem is that its dangerous in a tube magazine very dangerous as the end of one bullet will be touching the primer of the other one. then go load another in the magazine and the spring force can explode the first round in the magazine. Second the spitzer point can give you problems when ratcheting the round from the magazine. its just not worth it.
A good powder for the two is H4895

September 13, 2008, 05:09 PM
He's got a Savage bolt-action 30-30.


September 13, 2008, 05:13 PM
Woops hahahaha i missed that. Good one.

Spitzer it is

September 13, 2008, 05:47 PM
Richard Lee's book, MODERN RELOADING, is a good starter book to read and probably would be included in a starter kit.
This outfit sells Lee's product.


A RCBS Rock Chucker starter kit will cost more.

September 13, 2008, 06:25 PM
I would respectfully disagree with Scrat on using local gun shops. In general, local gun shops and even larger retailers like Gander Mountain or Bass Pro have much higher prices and a poor selection.

If you buy all of your reloading components from a place like PowderValley (bullets, brass, powder, primers), you will not only get everything you want in one place, you'll probably do better than breaking even with HAZMAT figured in, especially on a larger order. You also won't be paying tax or gas driving to the store, which alone on $200 worth of components would be $15-20. Not to mention your time and again not being able to get exactly what you want.

So, if you do the math (which takes two minutes) and you're buying more than 4 lbs of powder, a few hundred bullets, and 1000+ primers, you will save money, time, and hassle by order from PowderValleyInc.com or some other big retailer (Grafs, etc.) AND if you can find just one other person to split it with (or two or three), you're going to save even more. For me it's not even a question anymore. I'll never buy components at a gun store again.

September 13, 2008, 06:38 PM
No where in this thread did I mention that the .30-30 was a savage (it is a stevens/springfield, but that is besides the point). I was under the impression that there were actually 2 manufacturers of .30-30's in bolt guns, were you just playing the odds?

Stevens/Savage/Springfield Arms 340/840 (and various store brands like Coast to Coast which is what I have)
Remington 778.

As for the bullet being a .308, would I not need to purchase separate dies (total newbie, I'm not clear on the role of the die), reamers (If it does the same job a reamer does in a machine shop, I know it's purpose)? What I was asking, in a less than clear way I guess, is aren't some components reusable when the bullet diameter is the same vs. reloading for different rounds (I would give examples from my collection, but come to think of it.. they are all .308... garand, .30-30, sks, and I am pretty sure I can't reload .22 so it doesn't count).

September 13, 2008, 06:41 PM
powder valley is good. you are right. buttttttt if you can if there are more people in your area do a group buy we do that down here. it saves on the hazmat fee. and everyone gets a good deal

September 13, 2008, 06:47 PM
The local gun shop here actually is very willing to order stuff, and they usually are at or below msrp for items. I think your observation is valid, but at the same time applies only to the area the observation was made. I will keep that in mind though when I check into the gear if I can't get my grandpa's.

Also why a digital micrometer? I have a very good one that does thousandths that my grandpa used when he made watches. Is it just because the digitals are a little more error proof (counting me out of the equasion) and faster?

September 13, 2008, 06:55 PM
The digital is just easier - and super cheap, now.

I wish I had a local gun shop that had good prices and was willing to order what I wanted. But I just can't find anywhere that comes close to the prices I've found online for reloading components, with PowderValley usually blowing everyone out the door. The convenience and price has me sold.

September 13, 2008, 06:59 PM
use a regular mic. a lot of people will by the digi. then find that its a pain when the battery wears out. i have one somewhere. but my regular calipers are so much better. sometimes you will go a month without reloading we all do. then that mic got 4 months of useage. sat around for one month and is dead.

Pros and cons.

Pro dial i spend money once and thats it for the life

Cons its not as fast sometimes i feel dumb when i have to think about the measurement. Getting old

Pro digital. gives reading quick. No gues work

Con your going to have to keep spending money for as long as you own it or until you buy the dial mic

September 13, 2008, 07:33 PM
Scrat's right - the cheapo digital will eat batteries. I went through the first one in 6 months, although the second one seems to be doing a bit better. They come with a spare because of this, but you will be spending $2 a year on a new battery forever.

September 13, 2008, 07:52 PM
Remember those old wrist watches they used to make. The ones you either had to wind up a few clicks a day and it would go ok. or the one that you shake it a few times. Now if they made a digi like this it would be so cool

September 13, 2008, 11:00 PM
(two different types at least, one for the garand, one for the savage)

I'm not a mind reader, but I'd guess your .30-30 is a savage from your original post. :)

Anyway, the die resizes the brass as the press forces it into the die. The die is adjustable (a little) so you can get the correct headspace. (Use the THR Library to look this stuff up.) However, you still need a die for each caliber you are trying to reload. The internal dimensions have to match the cartridge, that's all.

As far as reamers go, this isn't really a reloading tool in my experience. I've heard of finish reamers used by a gunsmith to machine the correct headspace in a new barrel he has just mounted to an action. The barrels are usually sold by the barrel mfgr as "short-chambered" so the gunsmith can do this after he's threaded it and mounted it.

You may be referring to primer pocket reamers, which are used in reloading.

Your SKS uses .311 diameter bullets, I believe. 7.62mm is a general term used to describe cartridges. 7.62 NATO and 7.62x39 don't both use .308 bullets, believe it or not.

However, the .30-30 and .30-06 do both use .308 diameter bullets.

I reload for my Garand with Hornady 150gr FMJ to create a "close to military" round, and I can switch to 150gr Hornady SST's and use it for hunting. I have an adjustable gas nut so I can use "non Garand loads" without damaging the operating rod.

I see that Hornady is offering special match ammo tailored for the Garand. Golly is it expensive! I'm glad I reload.

I use a Dillon 550B progressive press for reloading rifle rounds, even though conventional wisdom says you need a single stage press. The advantage of the 550B is that it has manual indexing, and this allows you to do the depriming/resizing, remove the brass for cleaning off the lube, then resume the operations with a box of cleaned, primed brass. You just index past the first stage before pulling the lever...

In addition to the press (whatever you choose), I believe you will need the following tools -

Dies and shell holders for your calibers
powder measure
powder scale (I'd go digital here..balance type are really, really time consuming)
6" vernier calipers, dial type (no need for digital, dial type easy to read)
some type of case lube, possibly a lube pad
case trimmer and appropriate pilots for your calibers (cases tend to get longer when resized and this is bad)
case headspace and brass overall length gauge (Wilson makes one type)
repriming tool if your press doesn't do it
reloading manual (Speer has a good one, as does Hornady and many others)

And, of course, the following components -

brass in your calibers (.30-06 and .30-30)
primers (I believe both calibers use Large Rifle primers...please verify)
powder (Hodgdon lists loads for H4895 and Varget for both calibers, so you can use one powder*)

* I believe H4895 is considered traditional for Garand reloading, and Varget may be too slow without an adjustable gas nut. Please verify.

Good luck!

September 13, 2008, 11:38 PM
I guess it's pretty bad when you have to go back and re-read your own posts as you have forgotten what details you gave:)
Maybe I'm getting to old to reload, that whole attention to detail is slipping. Oh well, guess 28 is just way to late </sarcasm>

September 14, 2008, 12:10 AM
Don't worry about it. I believe we've all forgotten a few things. In fact, I've read the problem gets worse as we age. I can't remember where I read that... :)

Seriously, reloading is a lot of fun, although it is questionable if it really saves money. A lot of shooters believe it just lets them shoot more for the same cost.

You know you are too involved in reloading when you need some empty brass for a new load workup, realize you don't have any, and then go to the range to shoot some older loads to "make empty brass", then hurry home to reload.

I haven't done that. Yet.

September 14, 2008, 09:34 AM
You say you will be reloading 30-30 for a bolt gun and 30-06 for a garand, no prob. The garand has a specific pressure curve you need to meet and only certain powders will meet this depending the bullet weight you choose to use. There is plenty of info on this(I don't have it) that you will find, it can be done with readily available powders that should interchange with the 30-30. You might get by with one powder for each rifle, but most likely not as each rifle is bound to have it's preferences.
Loading spitzers on a bolt gun is common, so load whatever type of bullet you want in 30-30, just keep in mind that if you get a lever gun loading pointy bullets is a no-no. I used to load 30-30 for a TC Contender and loaded lots of ballistic tips in it. I also had a lever gun that I fired them out of single shot only. If you decide not to fire it you have to pop the extractor off the rim to get the case out due to the length of the round.
If you want to start cheap and slow, Lee has a reloader press with the Lee load manual for around 30.00 and then get a set of Lee dies for each, cutter & lock stud, case length gauge, chamfer tool, powder scale and the Lee auto prime, case lube(I like Imperial sizing wax), and calipers. Should be good to go slowly with minimal investment, then after a while you will know where you want to go from there. I have a couple of the reloader presses and do everything on them, my loadmonster only does pistol rounds anymore. I load 223, 308, 7.62x39 on the reloaders because it keeps me busy and I enjoy it longer that way.

September 14, 2008, 01:28 PM
The extractor is a sold piece of steel on this .30-30. Popping it off the shell isn't an option. What happens when you load this on is this.
The open spot on the bolt where the extractor isn't (it covers 180 degrees of the bolt face, 90 on each side) pushes the round out of the mag. As the round levels off in the chamber, the lip of the cartridge slides behind the extractor. If I single shot load, the rim doesn't get behind the extractor, and I have to shake it out (or tap if it expands a bit because I shot). At least I can remove the bolt :)

I don't think I can fire something in this one if it isn't mag fed.

Never mind, I just tried and the extractors will pop around the lip with little effort. Still don't think I want to mess with over all length too much though. I like the ability to shoot again. I have seen too many times where a person didn't have a round in the mag after making a kill and had to let a second deer go because it took too long to load (they were gutting the first deer). Looks like I can increase the length by 1/8 inch and still use my mag. The lighter the round, the shorter it is... right? So moving to a 150 spitzer from my 170 round nose should afford me a little wiggle room (maybe)?

September 14, 2008, 02:16 PM
scythefwd -

I checked Hornady's site, and they have a 170gr FP (flatpoint) that is obviously designed for the .30-30. BC is 0.189 (!) so I can see why you want to load spitzer bullets for your bolt-action.

The 150gr SST appears quite a bit longer. I don't have dimensions (Hornady doesn't put them on their site), but it is possible that seating to the cannelure (groove) would be 0.125" longer than the 170gr FP. The BC for this bullet is 0.415, which is good.

Also, they make a 150 gr SP that isn't as long as the 150 gr SST, BC is 0.338. That might be functional if the 150gr SST's just won't fit in your magazine.

I believe that reducing case volume by seating bullets deeper than the reloading manual calls for can lead to trouble. Especially with pistol bullets, this can lead to extremely high pressures. I would read up on seating depth before experimenting in that direction. The bullets I found all have a seating depth equal to, or less than, the 170gr bullet designed for the .30-30.

September 14, 2008, 05:25 PM
The 125gr spitzers I saw today are the same length as the 160gr round nose bullets. Little light, but it will still kill a deer easily.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
September 14, 2008, 05:33 PM
Also, if you have a friend who reloads, it might be good to get together with her/him.

It is something that is relaxing, rewardable and fun.

Don't forget to read about the "DON'T's" as much as you read about the "DO's."

You must be extremely methodical and double and triple-check EVERYTHING!
(You don't want to be inadvertantly putting in Bullseye powder when it calls for Unique!)

No drinking, no smoking, if you are on meds, be careful!

Myself, I use mostly RCBS which I ordered from MidwayUSA.

I would estimate, to get EVERYTHING you need, including a case trimmer, and all the small parts for each cartridge you will be loading, including various powders, primers, bullets, and possibly brass cases, you could have about $1,500 before all is said and done and you are all set up reloading.

That being said, remember, from then on all you really need to purchase will be powder, primers and bullets. Everything that you purchase will last a lifetime if you take care of it and have it in a dry environment. Mine is in my semi-finished basement where I run a dehumidifier all summer to keep moisture levels to a minumum. In the winter, with the heat on, the moisture isn't an issue.

September 14, 2008, 05:42 PM
Can I suggest you prowl Craigslist, classified ads here, and other For Sale listings? Most people who have been loading for awhile have duplicates of still-good equipment that they would be willing to let go for a song. Make it known what you are looking for amongst shooters, and they will tell you what they have.


September 14, 2008, 10:31 PM
scythefwd... With a mag fed bolt gun this shouldn't be an issue, I was refering to a lever gun. Only if you try these loads in a lever gun will you have a problem, a bolt gun is made for them. :)
Loading a 165 spitzer should be no problem for your bolt gun, I just measured a 165 gr ballistic tip and it measured 1.2685 long. I also have some Hornady #3060 .308 170 gr flat points that measure .9940 that I have loaded in the past. The 150 grain would be shorter, so you should have no problem getting any in a mag.
"So moving to a 150 spitzer from my 170 round nose should afford me a little wiggle room (maybe)?" I would think that due to the shape of the bullet, the length may be the same or close to it.

September 14, 2008, 10:35 PM
OK bought and read Modern Reloading today. The book states that he recommends always crimping but you can only crimp if there is a channel on jacketed rounds. Can anyone break that down a little better, the statements seem to be at odds with eachother. The book also states that you only need to do a full sizing if it is
1. hunting rounds (yes, but please explain why)
2. handgun (not yet)
3. for multiple guns (not happening)
4. semi, slide, or lever action (yes (garand) and no (30-30), no, no

and only a neck sizing for
1. same gun (yes)
2. if they are a free fit.

My quest is this, why do I do a full case sizing if it is a hunting round (or should I) if the round is only going to be used in one gun.

The book didn't really mention how many times you can reload, but just a few things to look for.

I understand the author has designed his own presses and has a company, but did the first chapter or so have to be an advertisement? The whole book was "Nobody will give you that level of warrenty, we do this the best for the least amount of money, my presses are perfect, other companies copied our design" type stuff.

The book has no loadings for spitzers for the 30-30. The only rounds it shows in the diagram is round nosed (no foot notes, but a mention in passing for loading spitzers in the text). The spitzers dont have the channel for crimping, so they won't be held in as tightly. That could lower my peak pressures and change the way the round handles. Anyone have any recommendations for safe loadings of spitzers in the 30-30?

No information on garand specific loading, but only 30-06 springfield in general (which powder is acceptable for the garand and its finicky oprod).
Just a vent, but if you can answer my questions, please do so. I will probably wright the author for more info.

September 14, 2008, 10:40 PM
Just went to GM and looked at loose rounds. The 160gr round nose is the same length as the 125gr spitzer. The difference is speed, the 160 will do 2100 - 2300fps (leverloution sits at that I think, there is no entry in my book) where the 125 is moving out at 2580fps.

Thanks for taking a look though. I really do appreciate it.

September 15, 2008, 01:04 AM
You will find there is quite a bit of conflicting information in reloading, and also a lot that is repeated as gospel, regardless of the reference manual.

An example of the former is "How many times can I reload brass safely?" and an example of the latter might be "Excessive headspace is dangerous." The first depends on a lot of things, opening the answer to opinion, while the second is pretty much an undisputed fact based on the laws of physics.

The fun is trying to sort it all out. Don't worry. It will make sense eventually.

The discussion about crimping involves a cannelure, which some bullets have. This is a slightly reduced diameter or area where the brass can be crimped with a roll crimp. This is commonly seen with revolver cartridges such as the .44 Remington Magnum. In fact, reloading data for this caliber states that a firm roll crimp is necessary for proper performance with most powders, such as H110. A taper crimp, on the other hand, is often used to remove the belling performed during pistol cartridge reloading to facilitate seating the bullets.

Crimping is also recommended for military rounds, such as the .30-06 used in the Garand, which have to survive severe handling as well as recoil in the magazine without "setback".

Crimping is not always necessary. Many reloaders do not crimp rifle bullets after seating.

The discussion about full-length resizing is another fuzzy area, subject to a lot of debate. If it results in easy chambering in any rifle, why not just do it? Well, because it works the brass and shortens its life. Also, once-fired brass may already fit your rifle's chamber just fine. Why not just resize the part that grips the bullet (the neck)? Increased brass life and better accuracy may result.

However, for rifles such as the Garand, the rapid loading operation demands a perfect sliding fit. The round dare not hang up or a failure to feed will occur. There is only so much energy available as the bolt returns on its operating spring. For this fit, you need to do full-length resizing to restore the brass to factory dimensions. Brass life may be shortened, but that is the cost of reloading for semi-autos.

Lever actions are also a little fussy about cartridge dimensions, and are also generally full-length resized.

However, bolt-actions generally have a powerful camming action that is available when closing the action and can tolerate a slightly tight fit. They may also have a better extractor, which can remove the brass after firing without a failure to extract.

So, since you are reloading for a Garand and a .30-30 bolt-action, you can set up for full-length resizing for one and neck only resizing for the other, if you want to. Or you can full-length resize the .30-30. As you're not shooting benchrest competition, I'm not sure you'd see much difference between the two methods of resizing for the .30-30. For increased brass life and no lever actions in the house, I'd go with neck only resizing.

Unless the reloading manual specifically states that a crimp is part of the load data, it is generally optional and is done to prevent bullet setback on recoil. It is not going to affect pressure. The bullet weight together with the quantity and type of powder control that. (And, to some extent, the type of primer used.) The weight of the bullet must match the load data, or be very close. So, you might get away with load data for a 170 gr bullet used with a 165 gr spitzer. As the bullet is lighter, it is in the "safe" direction. Using a heavier bullet than the data shows causes increased pressure, lighter bullet causes decreased pressure. The shape is not important, but you're going to have to do a little math to get the seating depth. Most load data shows a case overall length (COL), which will be available for the common round nose and flat nose bullets used for the .30-30. What isn't available is COL for a .30-30 with a 165 gr spitzer. You can determine the difference by measuring the bullets themselves.

September 15, 2008, 01:34 AM
The powder type is part of the problem with the operating rod. The other part of the problem is bullet weight. The Garand was designed for a cartridge with a certain kind of powder and bullet weight.

You often read about "Any hunting ammo is OK as long as the bullet weight isn't over 180 gr", or something similar. Don't believe this!

Here's something I found on powder selection:

Powder selection is also critical to making safe loads for a Garand. Do not use any powder with a burn rate slower than IMR 4320 or a faster than IMR 3031. Before you get all discouraged about a limited powder selection you should know that (from fastest to slowest burn rate) Hodgdon Benchmark 1, Norma N-201, Hodgdon 332, Hodgdon Benchmark 2, Accurate Arms 2230, IMR 4895, Hodgdon 4895, Hodgdon 335, Hodgdon BL-C(2), Accurate Arms 2460, Winchester 748, Alliant Reloader 12, Vihtavuori N-135, IMR 4064, Hodgdon Varget, Accurate Arms 2520, & Norma 202 all have acceptable burn rates. Of those powders IMR 4895, H4895, & IMR 4064 are the most popular as they most closely duplicate the powders originally used by the military, but any that fall between IMR 4064 & IMR 4895 on the burn rate chart will produce good results.

I use Varget for my Garand, with Hornady 150 gr FMJ bullets. As I mentioned, I have installed an adjustable gas nut that I set for this combination for reliable functioning. It could be adjusted for heavier bullets, but I choose not to.

Full-length resizing and primer seating depth are the other concerns. Some Garand shooters believe the only safe primers are CCI #34's (harder cups), and others use normal LR primers.

September 15, 2008, 11:35 PM
Anyone mic'd a 150 gr spitzer that you have laying around?

.9940 for the 170gr roundnose? A spitzer will be longer than the equivalent weighted roundnose.

That roundnose of .9940 length will be inserted into the case .483 inches assuming an oal of 2.550 inches. The neck is only .477 inches. That would put the round into the shoulder .006 inches (the balistic tip 165 goes in .2805 inches). Is seating into the shoulder acceptable in rifle rounds (I actually have compressed load data for some bullets). Does the usable volume of powder include shoulder space?

I got my figures from the max oal allowed of 2.550 in for a .30-30, and a case size of 2.039. My diagram also measures to the top and bottom of the shoulder, so I could figure out how deep to seat, but.... where the powder comes up to is another issue.

I am looking at H380 for use as it uses the least amount of space in the case (still very full). I'm just a little worried that seating a long round deeper to keep the oal the same would compress the charge. According to my book , compressing the charge slows the rate of burn. Is this correct?

Where can I find a more complete chart than the one in the book (modern handloading 2nd ed.)? The harder primers will be less likely to have a slam fire, but I don't think that is much of an issue with the garand even though it uses a free floating firing pin.

September 16, 2008, 02:40 AM
I would de cap the old brass with a Lee decapping die.
I would clean the brass with a few twists of the wrist and some fine steel wool.
I would lube the brass with Redding Imperial die wax.
I would put the brass in a Forster sizing die with the decapping pin/ sizer ball stem removed.
I would snap the sizing die into a Forster Co-ax press.
I would seat the new primer with the feature built into the press or with a Lee auto prime II in a standard single stage press, or a Forster priming tool, or any hand priming tool that you like.
I would measure powder in an RCBS 505 scale until I got an RCBS Uniflow powder measure adjusted.
I would measure out a powder charge with the Uniflow into the case.
I would seat a bullet into the mouth of the case with a Forster Seating die.
I would snap the seating die into the Forster co-ax press.
I would measure the length of the cartridge with 6" dial calipers so that the cartridge would fit in the magazine and the bullet would not jam radically into the lands.
I would put the cartridge in a plastic ammo box marked with a post-it that records the powder, charge, bullet, seating depth, and cartridge.
I would then go to the range and shoot groups at 50 yards if the wind is over 4 mph, and at 100 yards if less wind.
I would mark on the targets the range, load, gun, and any gunsmithing needed.
I would later write up the range report in email with group size vs load and rifle.
I would staple a copy of the range report to the targets and put it on the range report pile.
I would put a copy of the email in a range report file in my computer.
I would send a copy of email to a mentor for criticism and suggestions.
Before handloading again, I would review the last range report.

September 16, 2008, 09:45 AM
"I would respectfully disagree with Scrat on using local gun shops. In general, local gun shops and even larger retailers like Gander Mountain or Bass Pro have much higher prices and a poor selection."

Sportsman's Warehouse is the best retail outlet I've found in the Southeast and I agree ref. BPS and Gander, they are the pits. I also disagree about "local shops", I buy all of my powder, caps and bullets locally. Cost is about the same prices as many of the web sellers and I have it the day I want it. Do your shops do that? You will just have to check them out.

As a retired electronic instrument tech (space program), I do not have nor do I want a digital anything on my bench. Young folks seem convienced that anything "new" is automatically better than anything old, so digital is in now. Well, we went to the moon with beam scales and conventional micrometers and dial calipers, not digital. They worked good then and they still do. If the user can't properly use one type instrument he likely can't use the other type very well either.

Cheap digital powder scales suk, good ones cost upwards of 6-8 hundred dollars. And even they need to be professionally checked/recalibrated once or twice a year by people like me. A good beam scale works forever, no drifting zero, no user recalibration needed.

September 16, 2008, 10:08 AM
scythefwd -

The SAAMI max COL for .30-30 is a concern for lever actions as the lifter mechansim and cartridge stops can only handle a certain size. Too long and they don't work.

Your concern is your box magazine length. It may allow a round a little bit longer than SAAMI spec or it may not. I would take what I could get and use it if it's there...Experimenting may be the only way to determine what feeds and what won't.

I have used "dummy rounds" for feed experiments. (Brass and bullet -- no powder or primer) If you paint the bullets black or bright red, these stand out so you don't get them mixed up. The missing primer is a clue, too.

The Hornady bullets I looked up had the same distance to the cannelure (where a light taper crimp would be applied) and therefore the same seating depth. One 150 gr spitzer had about the same bullet length as the 170 gr RN and should work, the other (the SST) was considerably longer and might work. Both had the same depth to the cannelure as the 170 gr.

I know from pistol caliber reloading that reducing case volume results in greatly increased pressures and should be avoided religiously. Bullet setback from repeated chambering of "carry rounds" can be an issue as this reduces case volume even though you didn't seat them to that depth during the reloading process. Experimenting with rifle reloading is generally left up to the lab boys with their strain gauges and proof barrels. In other words, if you're changing something, it probably isn't safe.

There are a few exceptions to this. Loading a round with a similar weight bullet (but a different shape) is generally OK as long as you use the same seating depth as the table shows so you don't reduce loaded case volume. Loading a bullet that is slightly lighter (say 165 gr instead of the shown 170 gr) is OK if you keep the powder charge the same. This results in less pressure. (Loading a bullet that is slightly heavier results in increased pressure and is not a good idea. You're experimenting at that point, especially with maximum charges.) Using a different brand primer is generally considered OK, as long as it isn't a magnum primer, which results in increased pressure.

I would figure out the seating depth for .30-30 and stick to it, unless you can find published data that shows something different.

On to the Garand. There is a safety mechanism in the design that isn't mentioned much. Everyone talks about the floating firing pin, that has no spring, and therefore it is going to hit the primer as the bolt comes forward. Well, that isn't the entire truth. There is a bridge in the receiver design that catches the L-shaped tail of the firing pin and keeps it from moving forward until the bolt has rotated into its "in battery" position. If the bridge is worn, or the firing pin tail is worn, inertia can result in an impression on the primer as the bolt goes home.

An easy test for this is to load up some brass with primer only. Experiment (this is safe, just keep muzzle pointed away from bystanders) with dropping the bolt with a full magazine of "brass & primers", and dropping the bolt on one already in the chamber (which is not a recommended practice but makes a good test.) Your Garand may not like feeding brass w/o bullets, but you can at least drop the bolt on one already chambered. Inspect the primer. If it has a barely noticable impression, your Garand is probably normal. If it has no impression, your Garand has probably been rebuilt with old in stock spares, or is a replica built with GI parts. If the primer goes off, well, you found out you have something out of spec before you had an actual slam-fire. Check not only the firing pin tail but the bolt. If the firing pin is jamming in the bolt, slam-fires are almost certain.

The CCI#34 primers are slightly harder and resist slam-fires. They are not a cure-all for worn parts or damaged parts.

(There is lots of information on the Garand. Perhaps too much. There isn't much information on loading spitzers for the .30-30, as bolt-actions are somewhat rare in this caliber. However, there are lots of reloaders out there and I'm sure someone else has done this.)

September 16, 2008, 12:58 PM
That's what I was thinking on the seating depth. I don't have a problem loading a little light. I dont intend on using max charges. I will be trying to get a hold of some of the other loading companies to see if they have more info.

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