.30-30 LEVERevolution Loads?


November 28, 2009, 08:15 PM
I'd like to duplicate the .30-30 160-gr LEVERevolution factory loads for use in a new stainless steel Marlin 336.

Checking the Hornady website, they list 2400 fps for their factory loaded ammunition, but only go as high as 2100 fps in their reloading data using H4895, TAC, and AA 2520 powders. They list a max load of 29.8-gr IMR 4895, MV 2000 fps.

What experience can you provide reloading this 160-gr FTX bullet in .30-30, including muzzle velocities and chamber pressure? Can you recommend a suitable reloading manual?

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November 29, 2009, 09:47 AM
I load the Hornady FTX bullets in 30-30 and 35 Rem using H4895. I have not chronographed these loads, but a friend using a Marlin XLR in 35 Rem, did take a deer with these handloads at around 50yds, a couple days ago.
You'll find it is probably not possible to duplicate factory velocity, because the factory usually uses proprietary powders that's not available to reloaders.
Factory 30-30 FTX loads run closer to 2200fps out of a carbine length 20" barrel, according to tests that I have read.
www.hodgdon.com shows 1 30-30 FTX load in the data, using IMR 8208 XBR powder. I'm not familiar with that powder.


November 29, 2009, 08:38 PM
Chrony'd LE Factory Loads are usually around 2250-2300 fps of of a marlin 20" barrel, their stats are from a 24" 30-30 barrel and claim you lose 25-30 fps per inch shorter barrel. I don't think that you can safely match their speed, but you can improve on the accuracy and enjoy the improved ballistics of the bullet with hand loading.

I've had good luck with H335 and TAC, and will try IMR 4198 at some point to see how that goes. H335 is really the most accurate for me with this bullet. TAC is slightly less accurate, but I think it had a bit more speed. TAC is more accurate with Barnes 225s for me. I use a marlin 336 SS.

I don't think the XBR is on the market yet, but please post any results if you can chrony any rounds with it, it does seem to be one of the faster choices in the load data, yet to be seen about accuracy... With winter and hunting season on me, I won't really do much new load workup until likely April.

Good luck!

November 29, 2009, 10:13 PM
Making a quick review of powders, I think Hornady is using a foriegn powder...possibly similar to Vihtavuori N140...

Will test load the listed max loads and check the cases for signs of excessive pressure. Flattened primers are OK, but I don't want cratering...:scrutiny:

Any suggestions or comments?

November 30, 2009, 09:24 AM
I haven't tried the .308" 160gr FTX yet.

However, I have loaded the 200gr .358 FTX and shot them in my Marlin M336.

I used the same load I use with the 200gr Remington Corlokt.
40.0gr of H4895 (note: this is over listed max in manuals, use with caution) I'm getting 2,300fps @ 20' from my 20" bbl and acceptable pressures with phenomenal accuracy (under 1.5MOA). (Winchester brass and Federal210 primers)

For the 160gr .308" bullet, I'd start with 32.0gr of RL15 and work up to 35.0. My powder of choice for the .30wcf.
Secondly, I'd try BLC2/Win748, and H4895 in that order. One of those three powders will come closest to velocities and pressures of the factory loads.

With the .30wcf (.30/30), you'll get sticky extraction and buldged case heads before you get cratering. When extraction starts getting sticky, you're already way, way over max for these guns....
Forget the usual pressure signs for a BoltAction operating at over 60,000psi.

November 30, 2009, 07:11 PM
The FTX bullets aren't in the Lyman 49th.

I use IMR 4064 and CCI 200 primers to get about 2150fps in the 336W.

That 2400fps is for the 24in XLR rifle, not the 336 20in barrel. Figuring 30fps per inch, 120fps less is 2280fps. At 2150fps, I am 130fps slow at 32gr of IMR 4064. Accuracy is very nice, for 2 shots, in the 336W. If you let the barrel cool a lot in between shots, the group is comparable to bolt action hunting rifles.

My dad put a Cabela's scope on there, which uses the FTX factory load in its bullet drop compensation reticle.

I am moving to Varget, however, I'd try R15 as it tends to run lower pressure for the same velocity as Varget.

November 30, 2009, 10:33 PM
They use blended powders in the FTX lineup as well as the Light Mags and such. As the others have mentioned, it's not commercially available and you'll probably come up short trying to reproduce their velocities. They do after all want you to have a reason to buy their loads. :)

December 2, 2009, 05:48 AM
Hornady has a 150gr GMX FTX bullet now. It is the non-lead FTX bullet.

December 3, 2009, 09:36 AM
YEP ! and it's even longer than the 160gr FTX.
Normally you can't get Hornady's velocities with their factory loads; However, I am with the .35Rem and H4895. (but with slightly higher than SAAMI pressures....)
I believe that you probably CAN get close enough with RL15 in the .30/30 to allow the BDC reticle scopes to work reasonalby well.

Only loading some up and shooting them through a chrono with YOUR GUN will tell....

Now, if only they'll make a 185gr-190gr .338" F-GMX for the .338MX........

December 4, 2009, 12:10 AM
yep, and for .41 mag too!

December 15, 2009, 08:06 PM
Just received several boxes of once-fired .30-30 factory cases from my brother to reload the 160-gr LEVERevolution bullets for him. He uses a new Marlin 336 SS carbine.

Upon examining the cases, I noticed that both boxes of Hornady 160-gr LEVERevolution cases exhibited signs of very high pressure...completely flattened primers (OK), and cratering (High!). However, a box of Remington 150-gr Core-Lokt SP exhibited the same cratering. A box of Winchester 170-gr Power-Points had no cratering.:scrutiny:

Just thought you'd be interested! Will let you know how my reloads did as soon as I receive some fired cases from him...

December 16, 2009, 02:03 AM
Here is the link for Hornady's load data using their 160gr FTX bullet in the 30-30 (http://www.hornady.com/assets/files/ftx_load_data/30-30_win_ftx.pdf). Note you will have to shorten the trim length of the case below "normal" trim lengths according to Hornady.

December 16, 2009, 10:58 AM
Problem with the Hornady load data is, none of the loads come close to MV of their factory loads...:cuss:

December 16, 2009, 06:41 PM
As per ArchAngelCD's post, I'd try a couple at regular trim length and see if they'll cycle in the gun first. They work fine in mine at the regular trim length.

As per TooTaxed's post, yup, they use a proprietary powder that is a mix. There is a new powder coming out in the next couple of months from IMR that may let us get closer to factory speeds (IMR 8208 XBR), with a posted max load of 30 grains for a speed of 2207 for the 160 ftx.

About the primers and signs of pressure, yup I've seen that on my fired factory LE brass as well. The brass is swelled quite a bit in the lower quarter of the brass, the primers are cratered or flattened, and the primers are much harder to seat/deprime versus federal or winchester once-fired brass. The Hornady brass also seems thicker than those other brands too. So, I'd say the factory LE stuff is pretty much a max load with brass designed to hold up better to the punishment (you'll notice a difference when you size it due to the case 'bulging').

I don't like Winchester once-fired brass, as I've had to trim the tops quite a bit as the factory crimps on them damaged the brass. Federal once-fired brass is nice to work with. The Hornady stuff seems top quality, though it requires more elbow grease to size and prime them, IME.

That's just my 2 cents though. Reloading the ftx is easy and fun, and you can get really good ballistics from the bullet even at the slower 2000-2100 speeds compared to the traditional 30-30 bullets.

Can't wait to try that powder...

Good luck!

December 17, 2009, 01:40 AM
As per ArchAngelCD's post, I'd try a couple at regular trim length and see if they'll cycle in the gun first. They work fine in mine at the regular trim length.
Thanks, that's good to know. I posted what I did just to make the OP aware of what Hornady is recommending.

December 18, 2009, 01:29 PM
The pressure signs as noted above, are the result of the headspace of the rifle they were fired in, not per-se absolute pressures.

I too have seen the cratered primers, ect on factory loaded ammo in .30/30's. But, if you'll note, the primers are usually backed out, which indicates that pressure was insufficient to obturate the case (causes it to grow in length) and force the case head against the bolt face.

This indicates the headspace was loose enough for the force of the hammer/firing pin to force the cartridge foward in the chamber, and the primer being forced back out of the pocket against the face of the bolt.

Again, not unusual with factory loaded .30/30's. I resize my brass only sufficient for it to easily chamber.

RL15 at near max charges WILL duplicate the velocities of the Hornady FTX factory ammo. It exceeds the factory Winchester and Remington factory ammo by up to 200fps.

I get 2,400fps from my 20" bbl, not 24" bbl w/150gr bullets. I also get 2,300fps from 170gr bullets (Corlokts) from again, a 20" bbl, NOT 24" bbl....

2,300fps from 20" bbl w/160gr FTX and RL-15 should be no problem.......

December 19, 2009, 02:56 PM
"I get 2,400fps from my 20" bbl, not 24" bbl w/150gr bullets. I also get 2,300fps from 170gr bullets (Corlokts) from again, a 20" bbl, NOT 24" bbl...."

Can you post or pm your load for that?

March 14, 2014, 04:58 AM
I loaded some 150 Sierra flat points using Lever powder at one grain less than Hodgdons max load . They are fired out of my 26" barrel Winchester Canadian Centennial at 2780 fps, no sticky extraction and no over pressure signs. I was getting 250 to 300 fps faster than TAC powder loads. This seems to be a very pressure sensitive powder. I used Wincheter brass be caused it weighed more than Federal, PMC, and Remington, so I assumed the brass was thicker. The loads are quite accurate and velocities are consistent. I was shocked at the velocity. And yes, my chronograph is accurate. Has anyone had a similar result with this powder? Mixing brass and primers with this powder produced very inconsistent loads.

March 14, 2014, 10:34 AM
I see someone resurected this thread.... from '09

With the .30/30, I've gotten excellent results using older data for Reloader15. 36.0gr max with 150gr bullet. Most lot#'s have given me 2,400fps from 20"bbl with Hornady and Remington 150gr RN at 36.0gr.20"bbl, 800' elev, 90degF range temps. (west Georgia, USA). This is max because it's all you can get in the case and seat/crimp case.
Ditto, 34.2gr of RL15 and 170gr Rem. Corlokt.

I also recently loaded some Nosler/Winchester Ballistic SilverTips over max load of LVR; 38.5gr. Got a chron'd 2,410fps (3 shot avg.) and three shots went into 1" group at 100yds. Pressures acceptable in my gun (none noted). But, this is a full case/lightly compressed load...

March 14, 2014, 10:41 AM
5 years late...but advertised velocity is often very...generous...sometimes a downright lie. Before duplicating a load I shoot factory load over a chrono...but I don't typically duplicate anything other than Barnes vortx in 270win.

March 16, 2014, 08:26 PM
the leverevolution powder that hornady uses in their factory loads is now available to handloaders.

March 16, 2014, 11:23 PM
I've shot one group of 3 over my chrono. 32.4 gr LVR FC brass and primer. Brass trimmed BELOW SAAMI to 2.021 with a COL of 2.535. Velocities from my Marlin 336 20" barrel were 2168, 2189 & 2174. This is a fairly light load according to Hornady's load data, it goes as high as 37 gr @ 2300 fps in their 8th edition. I've also seen published compressed loads in some of their older data. 8th edition load testing was with a 20" barrel and was consistent with the load I shot.

March 16, 2014, 11:34 PM
Wow, 2X 5 year old threads on the front page at the same time. What gives?

March 17, 2014, 06:46 AM
At least they searched.

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