Hornady FTX (Leverevolution) Bullets


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Gadzooks Mike
August 16, 2009, 08:19 PM
I bought 100 of the Hornday FTX bullets to try out with my Marlin 30-30. My Marlin has a microgroove barrel and is fairly accurate with jacketed bullets. I can normally get them all within about a 3 inch circle at 100 yards with an occasional flier attributed to the shooter. I can't do any better with the FTX bullets, though. They group in a slightly different spot on the target, but it's still a 3 inch group at 100 yards. I did try two different powders (H-414 and W-748) at different amounts, but that was the best I could do with them. I've also heard that if you hit something with those FTX bullets at less than 50 yards or so, they fragment badly. I'm told they will stay on target longer, but I seldom shoot at anything farther than 100 yards or so anyway.

Has anyone here had different results, or should I just stick with the old tried and true flat nose bullets?

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R.W.Dale
August 16, 2009, 08:24 PM
Well if there's no increase in accuracy and you don't shoot beyond 100 yds I see no reason to pay more for this bullet vs traditional fp or rn projectiles

Brillo
August 16, 2009, 09:06 PM
I've tried them in my Marlin 1894 44 Rem Mag (20 inch). The muzzle velocity was about 1800 fps but the accuracy was disappointing at 100 yards, 4 to 5 inch groups. I can do better with my handloads.

351 WINCHESTER
August 16, 2009, 09:20 PM
For 100 yds. or so I would prefer w/w 150 hp or rem. 150 coreloc. Neither has let me down in 30 years or so. I never lost a deer either, but I have missed a few. I have no doubt that federals ammo is on par too.

NCsmitty
August 16, 2009, 09:36 PM
I agree with Krochus, as the true advantage of the bullet itself is in it's shape and ballistic coefficient which gives it an edge at longer ranges.
At 100yds you'll be fine using FP or RN bullets.
Unfortunately factory Leverevolution ammo has a velocity advantage with proprietary powders that we cannot duplicate with reloads, at normal pressures.


NCsmitty

R.W.Dale
August 16, 2009, 10:25 PM
Unfortunately factory Leverevolution ammo has a velocity advantage with proprietary powders that we cannot duplicate with reloads, at normal pressures.


NCsmitty

you know the more I think about the more I don't buy this. There's over 30 powders that fall inside 30/30's burn rate envelope and yet we're supposed to believe that the factory has access to some magic in between burn rate that let's them push velocities up without increasing pressure.......I smell something fishy.


Besides outside the ballisics lab and their 24" test barrels this ammo is widely reported to leave the muzzle of a 20" lever gun in the high 2200's. Not outside the realm of a handload at all.

Gadzooks Mike
August 17, 2009, 01:11 PM
Well if there's no increase in accuracy and you don't shoot beyond 100 yds I see no reason to pay more for this bullet vs traditional fp or rn projectiles

That's kind of how I was looking at it, though I have been known to make a mistake or two, and wanted to make sure I wasn't missing "The Load" for the FTX's. Sounds like it doesn't exist. That means that I didn't make a mistake in this case, and now I need to tell my wife that I was right about something! ;) I even have witnessess!

rcmodel
August 17, 2009, 01:28 PM
The only thing I can say is H-414 is not a good powder for the 30-30.
It is way too slow for the 30-30, even with the very heaviest bullets you can use. Hodgdon doesn't even list any loads for it in the 30-30.

WW-748 is a much better choice, and should give good accuracy if you find the sweet spot.

rc

Gadzooks Mike
August 17, 2009, 04:26 PM
I get good results with H-414 and 150gr jacketed bullets. Lee lists that powder and there are several recipes using it on loaddata.com. But you're right, Hodgdon doesn't. It also works good as a reduced load with 165gr lead bullets, now that I think of it. That's also in the Lee book.

But my wife would really like you, rc! :)

NCsmitty
August 17, 2009, 06:26 PM
In addition to new bullets, the LEVERevolution factory loads feature new powders that deliver higher muzzle velocity (MV) than traditional standard velocity loads at no increase in pressure. Like all Hornady factory loads, LEVERevolution ammo is loaded in virgin brass cases to SAAMI specifications.

Out of curiosity, I pulled the bullet from a LEVERevolution .30-30 cartridge and found it to be loaded with about 35.1 grains of ball powder. I won't claim that I captured every tiny kernel of powder, in fact I know that I spilled some, but that weight should be somewhere in the ballpark. The Evolution bullet weighted exactly 160 grains.

When I examined the powder under a magnifying glass it looked like a duplex load of some sort, as some powder kernels were very small and round, while others were larger and flattened. All I can say is don't try to duplicate this load at home!

krochus, The above quote's from chuckhawks.com and does indicate a duplex powder load and the velocity of the Hornady LR 160gr bullet in a 20" barrel was like 36fps more than the Federal 150gr load over the chronograph.
Extra velocity and a fairly efficient bullet does give an obvious advantage, whether the difference is worth while is up to the user.

Gadzooks Mike, I know that you used H414 with some success, but you probably didn't check the velocity because according to what I've read, you're giving away a quite a bit of velocity compared to better powders like your w-748.
Check out the www.hodgdon.com site and see.
I've loaded some ammo with FTX bullets using H4895 in 30-30 and 35Rem, but only tried the 30-30 over the chronograph and I'm not sure what the average was and I don't have access to my info right now. (good excuse for CRS)

And yes, your wife would like rc. He's a walking, talking encyclopedia.


NCsmitty

Gadzooks Mike
August 17, 2009, 07:15 PM
Anyone have a chronograph to send Mrs. Gadzooks? I'll use it for her!

According to the book (Lee), 37gr of H414 and 150gr jacketed bullet should give about 2164 fps at the muzzle. 32gr of W748 with the same bullet gives about 2160 fps. Those are both starting loads. Max loads listed are equally close. HOWEVER (my disclaimer) I can't prove or disprove the book - no chronograph. I don't know what the barrel length was that they used to test - that would be a factor as well.

But we're getting slightly off track. Can anyone come up with increased accuracy at 100 yards using these FTX bullets? Not necessarily 30-30, either. I'm curious if anyone has come up with any measurable difference.

Full disclosure - Lee is the ONLY book I have that lists H414 for a 30-30. Not in Lyman, Hornady, or Cast Bullet Book. And of course, not in Norma guide, either, but that has nothing but Norma powder.

45ACPUSER
August 17, 2009, 08:23 PM
First off get a better 30/30 powder....IMR 3031 comes to mind! Remember that each gun is rule unto itself, and with consistent 3in groups from other hand loads.....one has to question a few things. #1 The Shooter? #2 The Gun....perhaps getting the muzzle recrowned may help? #3 Clean the barrel really good! Then test your loads!

Gadzooks Mike
August 17, 2009, 08:46 PM
I surrender.

Galil5.56
August 17, 2009, 08:58 PM
My mid 90's Hodgdon and Winchester manuals have data for H414/WW760 and 30/30... Pretty damn good data too, unless 150 grain bullets with a muzzle velocity of 2327 fps from a 20" barrel is slow :rolleyes:. If I were to try/experiment with H414/WW760 in 30/30, I would definitely use mag primers, as they have helped keep fliers away in other calibers I have used them in, and also lower SD.

Just because a certain current manual does not list data does not mean a certain propellant is bad, or not suitable. See a lot of current 220 grain RN 06 data lately using ANY propellant?

GooseGestapo
August 18, 2009, 04:44 AM
I had a bulk lot of H414 back in the late '80's and got real good results with it and the 170gr bullets from a Marlin M336C w/24"bbl. Velocities were in the high 2,200fps range from the 24"bbl.

However, the very best powder that I've found for the .30/30 is Reloader 15.

I get over 2,300fps from a 20"bbl and the 170's, and over 2,400fps with the 150's. 2,300fps with the 160gr FTX should be no problem.

Getting better than 3" from your .30/30 Marlin may not be possible. However, the two that I've owned have been somewhat more accurate than that.

First try this; If you have the carbine with the end-cap on the forend, loosen the two scews and then lock-tite them with them only slightly snugged. Second, loosen the magazine tube scew and do likewise. If you have one with the fore-end band, loosen the screw and only lightly tighten it.

Often taking some of the tension off these screws will dampen the barrel vibrations and improve accuracy.

The current Marlin .30/30 (Glenfield M30, half-magazine and birch stocks) will shoot either max loads of RL15 or Win748/BL-C2 and 125gr Sierra's, 130gr Speer's, or either 150gr or 170 Remingtons at or better than MOA for 3-shots.

Also, My Marlin M336C in .35Rem will shoot 1.5" at 175yds with an over-published max of H4895 and Remington 200gr Corlokts.. One group went under 1" at that range. I just kept shooting it marveling at the accruacy, and dang near shot up all of my bullets of that lot#.... Next lot# was almost as accurate though !

But, I do need to mention that I've done trigger jobs on both of them, and trigger pulls are in the 2.5-3.5lb range, and crisp....And they wear 2x-7x Leupold scopes.....Ditto playing with the screw tensions.

R.W.Dale
August 18, 2009, 01:37 PM
krochus, The above quote's from chuckhawks.com and does indicate a duplex powder load and the velocity of the Hornady LR 160gr bullet in a 20" barrel was like 36fps more than the Federal 150gr load over the chronograph.
Extra velocity and a fairly efficient bullet does give an obvious advantage, whether the difference is worth while is up to the user.

I still disagree, But first off let me state that I don't yield ANY credence to ANYTHING written by Mr Hawks. The above quote is no exception to Mr Hawks personal style of presenting wild conjecture as facts.

When I examined the powder under a magnifying glass it looked like a duplex load of some sort, as some powder kernels were very small and round, while others were larger and flattened. All I can say is don't try to duplicate this load at home!

This description sounded quite familiar to me so I checked and sure enough this is how you would describe my 2nd favorite powder H-335 (see pic below)

and the velocity of the Hornady LR 160gr bullet in a 20" barrel was like 36fps more than the Federal 150gr load over the chronograph.
My source shows the Hornady ammo to be slower than Federal's 150grn Fusion loading from a 20" bbl. <see chart>The link below is the most comprehensive test of the new FTX ammo I've seen to date and most importantly it's supported by hard numbers and not opinion and conjecture.

So again I still don't buy the magic burn rate argument especially in light o the fact that this ammo isn't really much faster at all. My theory is that this ammo is a slight +p load, I noticed that looking at pressure tested load data for 30-30 all loads stop around 2000 cup short for 30-30's SAAMI max pressure rating. So if you add that 2k and add even a slight overpressure of 1 to 2k you have more than enough wiggle room to get what little added velocity the hornady ammo has without causing much undue stress to even the most ancient firearms
http://www.realguns.com/archives/120.htm

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/krochus/FIRE/table30-30.jpg

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/krochus/0da625c7.jpg

David4516
August 18, 2009, 03:10 PM
Not sure if this is helpful at all, but I've found that H335 is a good powder for the .30-30

I've been using 30 grains of H335 with 170gr bullets. I don't have my reloading manual handy but if I remember correctly this is a little below the max load shown in most manuals... seems to shoot well out of my Winchester Model 94 though... anyone happen to know what the max is for this powder?

I have not tried H414

NCsmitty
August 18, 2009, 09:37 PM
David4516, if you go to Hodgdon's website, you'll see that 30.5gr of H335 is the listed maximum for a 170gr bullet. You should be using magnum primers with that ball powder.

www.hodgdon.com


NCsmitty

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