30-30 loaders - good load data?


Marlin 45 carbine
January 14, 2009, 04:42 PM
if you load for this classic round I would appreciate info data on loading both cast and jacketed slugs - hopefully the new LeveRevolution polymer tips included.
is a gas check required for cast slugs in this chambering - also it's for a Marlin lever with Micro-Groove rifleing.

If you enjoyed reading about "30-30 loaders - good load data?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
January 14, 2009, 04:51 PM
In my 336 I am loading the Sierra 125 gr. Pro-Hunter (#S2020) wth 31.5 grains of H322 in the 1=1.5" with 3 shots at 100 yards.

Ben Shepherd
January 14, 2009, 05:54 PM
Try working uo some loads with Sierra 150 FP slugs in front of H335. Work up to the max load (33.0 grains, IIRC, but check the books). I haven't fired it in dads marlin yet, but that load have proven itself capable of one hole groups of about 40 caliber at 25 yards with iron sights at 25 yards in a half dozen win 94s in the family. Can't imagine it'd do much worse in the marlin.

January 14, 2009, 05:59 PM
Micro-groove rifling and cast bullets often don't get along too well together. You can make it work, but it ain't easy.

Marlin has pretty much done away with it except for the 30-30 & .22RF.


January 14, 2009, 06:50 PM
I had good luck with gas checked bullets in a micro groove marlin .45-70.

January 14, 2009, 07:41 PM
Gas Checks will help the bullet grip the Micro-Grooves, as well as using hard bullet alloys and keeping velocities reasonable.

My Browning M92 in 44mag has Micro-Groove rifling and it mainly gets feed cast 250gr gas checked hollowpoints running around 1600-1700fps. Works fine, excellent accuracy and no leading problems.

Some cast bullet styles will have better success than others, like ones with long bearing surfaces that allow it to grip on the smaller/thinner rifling lands.

A drop of adhesive/super glue on the bullet base, when seating gas checks can also help to ensure good bonding of bullet and gas check.

January 14, 2009, 09:31 PM
The "trick" for getting microgroove (mg) barrels to shoot well with cast bullets is to size to a larger diameter.

After finding that sizing to .311" brought about wonders in accuracy improvement, I size ALL of my .30cal rifle's cast bullets to .311".

Depending on what velocity level you want, detemines whether or not to gascheck..
With the .30/30, if going over 1,600fps, use a gascheck.

You can get wonderful accuracy with 7.5gr of Unique under most any bullet thats been sized to .311" and lubed with Lee Tumble lube. I you later decide to load the bullets faster, you can gascheck them and lube with 50/50alox and load them essentially as you would a jacketed bullet.
Just remember that given an equal charge weight, the velocity of the lead bullet is going to be about 100fps faster.

These are some of my favorite loads:
125gr Sierra JFNHP, crimped to groove, 36.0gr RL15; 2,550fps (v. accurate
130gr Speer JFN, " " 37.5gr RL15, 2,625fps (accurate)
150gr Rem. Corlokt, " " 36.0gr RL15, 2,425fps (20"bbl) devasatating deer load
170gr Rem.Corlokt " " 34.0gr RL15, 2,310fps (20"bbl)
superb all around load (try this with Hornady FTX bullet !)
Lee .309 150gr FNGC (w/w metal- aircooled, SPG or 50/50alox lube) Hornady gc, crimped to crimp groove. casts 158gr; 30.0gr RL15 (accurate!) 2,150fps works as well on deer as jacketed bullet.....(size to .311, casts .313")
above w/o gascheck, tumble lubed, and unsized..... 7.5gr Unique; accurate and 1,300fps; wonderful "coffee-can" load....

Other powders to consider Win748/BLC2 -same powder, different can label
H4895,H335, IMR3031, H322, IMR4064, Varget, H414 w/170gr bullet.

January 14, 2009, 10:11 PM
Micro Groove and cast bullets in 30/30... No problem here, and none ever expected? I too use a Lee 150 grain FNGC with and w/o gas checks depending on what I wanted to do with them. I also used 7.5 grains of Unique, and 5 grains of Red Dot with no gas checks/filler, 50/50 NRA formula lube with very good accuracy.

Bullet shown is this Lee 150 with a cast weight of 154 grains of moderate hardness, and note the deep, accuracy gleaning rifling marks. Bullet works real well in my 06 as well. I shoot them as cast, and as with all cast bullets I use, if it will chamber easilly I go for the largest diameter I can get. Improper sizing (usually going too small) is the #1 problem in my experience and opinion concerning cast bullets. I have had this mold for almost 30 years, and have no intention of parting with it any time soon.


With jacketed bullets, WW748 and IMR 4064 have worked well for me, but be advised; IMR 4064 charges are very heavily compressed if that is of any concern, and requires a firm crimp.

January 14, 2009, 10:38 PM
i love my load shoots great outa my marlin 36 gr of win 748 and a 150 gr speer flat soft point im shootin just over moa (1.4 average at 100 when i had the scope on)

January 14, 2009, 11:00 PM
Yup, I'm waiting on the LeveRevolution bullets to reload myself. A few more days hopefully.
Up to this point I had used only one bullet and one powder in the 30-30. 150gr Speer FN with IMR3031 powder. Never seen a need to change until now.
I'm betting Varget or H4895 might be the powders to try with the new LeveRevolution bullets.


Marlin 45 carbine
January 15, 2009, 08:59 AM
thanks to all for the info - now can anyone tel me of a fair-priced supplier of gas-checked slugs? I checked Beartooth and they cost as much as jacketed!
BTW I started loading pistol rounds w/advice from this Forum (and The Fireing Line) and haven't been disappointed with results.

January 15, 2009, 10:38 PM
Cast your own!!

I too still have my original Lee .309 150-FNGC I bought in 1975 for $11.00. They now sell for ~18.00 from Midway USA. Still have the pot, ladle, and lube/sizer (the hand version,not the loading press version now sold). Actually, I gave them to my brother, bought me another mold, however....... and "new style" sizer............

If you have a Coleman stove, or a $10 HotPlate from Walmart, ect. you can get a pot, ladel, sizeing die, moulds, lube, and gas-checks for $50-60. You'll recoup the investment in 300-400 bullets, or about 2-3 casting sessions. A new hobby, and become a much better shooter.............

Whats reloading, if you can't make your own bullets?
I asked my brother today, "why do I even bother to by jacketed bullets?".....
Cast bullets will do everything I "need" to do.........

Marlin 45 carbine
January 16, 2009, 09:53 AM
I do make (cast) my own slugs/balls for my BP rifles and revolvers - that's what got me into handloading for my cartridge firearms. I even sell the slugs to other C&B revolver shooters.
just don't have the time for anything else right now, I'm behind on orders for BP slugs. I'll see if I can squeeze it in. I don't have time to go to the range as it is!

I have 4895 and 414 and 335 powders.

January 16, 2009, 10:05 AM
I checked Midway today, and now they've put the expected release date for the LeveRevolution bullets off until 1/31/09.


January 16, 2009, 12:03 PM
I called Hornaday last week and was told middle of Feb. for delivery date.

January 16, 2009, 12:17 PM
I have 4895 and 414 and 335 powders.

The 4895 (IMR or Hodgdon) and H335 can make up some good loads, and both are a very traditional burning rate for the cartridge. Looks like H414 can be used too, but you will have to use more of it, and IMO the burning rate is a little too far on the slow side.

If H414 is used, especially in frigid weather I would strongly suggest a "strong" magnum primer such as Fed 215M. Even the ball H335 load I would use a mag primer in any weather condition.

February 2, 2009, 01:55 PM
FTX bullets are available through midway usa. Just purchaced 2 boxes of 30/30 a couple of weeks ago. Hornady does not answer there phone when calling for reloading data:fire::banghead:. Any one try these yet?

February 2, 2009, 03:05 PM
165 cast non gas checked - 8gr unique

150gr winchester power points 32gr varget.

Does good for me.

February 2, 2009, 03:10 PM
Lee reloading data has IMR4895 at 30.2 grains using 160-170 grain bullet. I loaded up a hundred last weekend using that recommendation. Don't know when I'll get out to try them out now. :confused:

February 2, 2009, 04:57 PM

Nosler load book is close to the same loading for flatnose 160-170gr., wasn't sure if the more aero efficiant FTX would use a different load. I will try your suggestion once I get my new reloading bench finished.


February 2, 2009, 05:44 PM
I received my FTX Hornady's last week but haven't loaded any yet. I will probably use Varget to start and use a 32gr charge and see how they shoot when the weather gets better.
A couple more powders look promising but the 20" barrel will limit the slower powders effectiveness I'm guessing.
Rel-15 showed the highest velocity with 170gr, and Win 748 a close second at a favorite data site. That's with a 22" barrel.


February 2, 2010, 06:30 PM
I know this is an ancient thread, but I was wondering if any of y'all have come across any pet loads with the 160gr FTX. I'm working with 28.5gr IMR4895, based on load data put out by Hornady


The Lee data shows I can go a bit hotter, but I'm playing it safe, shooting a pre-64 M1894

February 2, 2010, 06:38 PM
150 gr sierra over 35 gr of reloader 15 = drt

February 2, 2010, 07:08 PM
essayons21, I'm thinking that you may be a little tentative with your load of IMR4064. How does the load that you mentioned seem to shoot? Hornady doesn't list a load with IMR4064 using the FTX bullet.
Hodgdon shows 29.8gr of IMR4064 as a start load with 170gr Sierra FP and 31.7 as a max load.
I see no reason not to work up to at least the 29.8-30.0gr of IMR4064 under the FTX 160gr bullet, as long as you watch for pressure.
I have exceeded the load listed by Hornady using H4895 with no signs of pressure in my Win 94 w/20" barrel. I did not shoot for groups, just over the chronograph. I intentionally did not list my load here.
If you're cautious, you can create your own pet load.


February 2, 2010, 07:52 PM
My fault, I meant IMR4895

Marlin 45 carbine
February 3, 2010, 07:25 AM
again thanks for the tips whether for cast or jacketed slugs. haven't loaded any cast yet as I found 125gr jsp's at very reasonable price I just nip the exposed point off with sharpened end cutters for a flat point jacketed slug a small flat but safe enough evidently as I've ejected rounds after fireing to check for primer dimples and none evident. they shoot great at 100 yds over 322 actually tighter groups than any fp 150 slug from factory or handloads. this from a Marlin 336 as said earlier.

February 5, 2010, 04:31 PM
You can pump up the 125gr Sierra JHP to 2660fps with AA2230, just not using AA's data. The BC is very low on these, so they will drop quick. Recoil is pretty low and accuracy is great.

I do IMR 4064 and Varget with 160gr FTX. R15 would be fine here.

150gr SP do well with IMR 4064, Varget, and R15.

160gr FTX required a new bullet seater plug in my Redding die. Just call Redding.

30-30 shoulders are weak compared to other bottleneck rifle. Be sure to only lube a thin layer and keep your dies clean, else you will put dents in your shoulders.

The Bushmaster
February 5, 2010, 09:54 PM
.30-30 Winchester or .30 WCF. 32 grains of W-748 under a 170 grain Speer HCFP in Winchester or Remington cases primed with WLR. Use a firm crimp. I use a Lee FCD...

If you enjoyed reading about "30-30 loaders - good load data?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!