30-30/lead bullets/powders


April 28, 2010, 02:53 AM
I just got my delivery of 165gr lead bullets for the 30-30 from Missouri Bullets. Now that was the easy part, the hard part is knowing which powder to use...

I just loaded up 10 rounds with 21.0gr H4895 but I know there's probably a better powder out there for this application. Any advice would be appreciated since I've never loaded lead in the 30-30 before.

If you enjoyed reading about "30-30/lead bullets/powders" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
April 28, 2010, 03:28 AM
2400 is a popular powder with cast lead in 30-30.

April 28, 2010, 05:37 AM
My favorite powder is Unique for the 30wcf. For me, the faster powders don't work well in that calibre.

April 28, 2010, 06:44 AM
Gas checked boolit or plain based , intended purpose ???

April 28, 2010, 07:29 AM
With a GC bullet, the 4895 powders work well. Bullet diameter should be around .310" Use a Lyman "M" die on the case mouth before seating. In the 30-30 you can load velocitys almost like its a jacketed bullet, just less powder.

April 28, 2010, 07:42 AM
If that bullet is gas-checked, you can just use the jacketed bullet data for a starting point. You'll get 50-100fps greater velocities with the cast bullet.

Without a gascheck you're limited to about 1,600fps before leading and stripping the grooves destroying accuracy limits you.

I usually consider the starting loads for the Jacketed bullets as a STOP point for the cast due to velocity/pressure tolerance of the cast bullets.

My favorite cast bullet in the .30/30 is the Lee .309" 150gr FNGC. My mould casts to .312" at 158gr. I size it to .311" and cap with a Hornady gas-check and lube with either 50/50 Alox or SPG.

My favorite load is 30.0gr of Reloader 15, gets ~2,100fps and is 2moa accurate at 100yds. What more do you need ? 28.5gr of IMR3031 duplicates this load, too.

I also like this bullet w/o gas check and lubed with Lee Tumble lube, sized or unsized, over 7.5-10.0gr of Unique for a "tin-can buster" load.

April 28, 2010, 08:29 AM
I like the Lyman #311041 with IMR 3031 powder in my 30-30. It's an accurate load in my rifle and mushrooms well for hunting. For plinking rounds I like using Unique. But if you use that be careful that you don't get a double charge, because it wont spill over. Check the cases with a flashlight before seating your bullets.

April 28, 2010, 04:15 PM
I don't remember the exact charges, but I am shooting those bullets out of my Marlin 336 using Unique, 2400 and AA#9 - all with great success.

I got my data from the Hodgon pistol and revolver reloading manual and I'm using the data from the TC Contender section.

These bullets shoot very well, zero leading, are as accurate as can be, and cheap to shoot. Clay pidgeons on the 50 yard berm make a challenging target with open sights and that big 165gr bullet makes a satisfying dirt eruption when it hits.


Lorenzo Rojo
April 28, 2010, 06:37 PM
I will add to those who use Unique. I use 10.5 grains under a 165 grain cast lead bullet. I get a velocity around 1400 fps. I use this load for Cowboy Lever Action Silhouette competition. This load will knock down the 55 lb ram silhouette at 200 meters. I am also very careful not to double charge. Since I use a lever gun I am also putting a nice roll crimp into the bullet cannelure.

I also used IMR 3031 for .30-30 as well as IMR 4064. Many, may .30-30 shooters prefer the IMR 3031 for jacketed hunting rounds with velocities above 1600 fps.

Vern Humphrey
April 28, 2010, 07:43 PM
Hodgdon recommends a load of 30.0 grains of H4895 for a 150-grain bullet in .30-30, with no starting load. For comparison, their recommended loads for a jacketed bullet of that weight is from 32.0 grains starting load to 34.0 grains max load

For a 180 grain cast bullet, they recommend 26.0 grains, and for a jacketed bullet of 170 grains they recommend between 30 and 32 grains.

With a 160 grain cast bullet, I would try 26.0 or 27.0 grains.

Generally speaking, the traditional powders for cast bullets in rifles are pistol or shotgun powders in light charges -- the faster powders supposedly "upset" the bullet more and prevent gas cutting.

I have had success in several cartridges by taking the starting load of rifle powder (IMR 3031, etc.) for a similar weight jacketed bullet and dropping 2 to 4 grains below that.

Ed Harris' "The Load" for .30 caliber cartridges of .308 case capacity and up is 13.0 grains of Red Dot with any reasonable bullet weight. In conversations with him, I asked his recommendation for .30-30, and he thought 7.6 grains of Red Dot would be ideal -- although I don't know if he ever tried it.

Mad Chemist
April 29, 2010, 03:10 PM
I used Goosegestapo's recipe with the Missouri Bullets "whitetail" over 10gr of Unique in for my buddy's Win 1894.

An excellent plinking load. Groups well out to 200ft or so, beyond that you have to start experimenting to find the right amount of "hold-over".

This Unique load is a pussycat out of the Winchester. My friend is using these loads to teach his little girl (8yo) how to run the rifle.

My conclusions:
An excellent starting load for new shooters.
A very fun and inexpensive plinking load for everyone else.
Low maintenance. I haven't needed to trim much brass yet. This light charge doesn't seem to stretch the brass much.

Thanks again to Goosegestapo for providing this info.

Also thanks to all the others who helped me with the Hornady flextip R15 recipe.

April 29, 2010, 03:23 PM
With 170 grain, cast gas-checked bullets, I like H322 and IMR 3031. 2 1/2 inch three shot groups at 100 yards consistently. And that's with a Lyman peep sight on a Winchester '94. I think that would tighten up a bit with optics.

April 30, 2010, 12:07 AM
Sorry for not adding more information before. Thanks for all the help so far.

The bullets I'm using are 165gr LRNFP with a BHN of 18 and no gas checks.

The primary purpose right now is for practice. I'm new to the 30-30 and want to get some trigger time without spending too much money on components. I just might use hard cast bullets for hunting too and you will see why below.

I shot some of the cast bullet rounds yesterday using 21.0gr H4895 and I was pleasantly surprised how accurate they were on my first recipe. I didn't take out the Chrono but will do that soon. I was able to hit 3 empty shotshell cases from 50 yards with 3 shots. I'm happy with those results. I'm guessing the velocity is under 1500 fps so I'm not sure if I will want to use that load for hunting Whitetails but who knows...

May 4, 2010, 12:24 PM
165-170 Grain LRFP

Powder IMR-4227, 16.5 Grains-----1575 fps.----Pressure C.U.P. 26,500

shown in Lyman handbook as most accurate load for this bullet

May 4, 2010, 06:09 PM
tagged for subscription - This is my next project!

Maj Dad
May 4, 2010, 07:59 PM
Using the Lyman 170 gr RNGC (old wheelweights) and 2400 in my 03-A3, I get superb accuracy at 100 yds & no leading. Velocity is ~2000-2100, and really fun to shoot. I have used several other powders, but 2400 just really does a good job (and at less powder consumption, something I never used to consider... :( )

If you enjoyed reading about "30-30/lead bullets/powders" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!