30-30 for squirrels


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JEB
August 2, 2010, 08:10 PM
first off im not totally crazy, i think i might actually have a good idea here.

i jsut started reloading at the beginning of summer and have worked up a very low powered load for my 30-30 (marlin 336w). this is my favorite rifle and i use it for deer season but i have never been able to practice much due to ammo costs. now that i can make very cheap ammo, i will be able to shoot it more.

punching paper only helps so much when it comes to actual hunting so i thought that i could give it a go on squirrels (about the only other thing i hunt). i usually use a .22 mag and according to the reloading data ive found, these rounds should be at about 1100-1225fps at the muzzle. naturaly i will only be taking shots when they are on the ground with a good backstop. there is also no fear of other hunters in the area becuase i hunt on private land and am the only one permitted to do so.

all in all this seems to me like it will be a good way to get in lots of practice in real conditions at varying ranges before deer season opens up.

just as before i dont plan on taking any shot other than at the head so as to preserve the meat. the bullet will be a hard cast lead flat point weiging 165 grains.

so what do yall think? am i mabee on to something here, is there something im missing, or am i just nuts?

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308win
August 2, 2010, 08:30 PM
Seems to me the biggest issue is the trajectory of your low power load is way different than the load you will use for deer so you won't have any idea about how your rifle will shoot with your deer loads.

juk
August 2, 2010, 08:33 PM
Seems to me that it would be a good way to get some trigger time.

Old Shooter
August 2, 2010, 08:43 PM
Trigger time is a plus...At the range I expect you will be shooting at squirrels I doubt it will be much of a problem with trajectory at deer hunting ranges. Squirrels at 25 yards max you hold dead on right?

JEB
August 2, 2010, 08:44 PM
Seems to me the biggest issue is the trajectory of your low power load is way different than the load you will use for deer so you won't have any idea about how your rifle will shoot with your deer loads

i thought about this too. i will only be taking shots at close range on squirrels (no more than 40 yards). once it is time for deer season i will change my loads and adjust sights for the higher power rounds

Jim Watson
August 2, 2010, 09:34 PM
Col Townsend Whelen had small game loads for all his rifles.
But that was a hundred years ago.
Check your game laws. It is not legal to hunt small game with centerfires here.

JEB
August 3, 2010, 03:15 AM
Check your game laws. It is not legal to hunt small game with centerfires here.


did some google searching but couldnt turn anything up. any idea where i could look for info on specific legalities? i checked the Iowa DNR websight but couldnt find anything.

Kernel
August 3, 2010, 04:59 AM
In Iowa you can use a centerfire rifle/pistol for small game. Pheasants too, if you want.

Cosmoline
August 3, 2010, 05:11 AM
I'd suggest trying roundballs with trailboss.

qajaq59
August 3, 2010, 07:38 AM
Just be careful that there is something like a tree to stop that slug because you're shooting in the air. Other then that I see no problem. It's be good practice and you'll get a tasty meal.

627PCFan
August 3, 2010, 11:12 AM
A warden might give you a sign here slip for wanton waste-

22-rimfire
August 3, 2010, 11:18 AM
Sounds fun. I recall on one of my woodchuck hunts of shooting a red squirrel out of a tree with a 243. The thing was just daring me to shoot. Missed the squirrel, but the muzzle blast blew it clear out of the tree. Afterwards, I decided it just was not safe taking shots like that with the 243 and regular loads.

Asherdan
August 3, 2010, 01:36 PM
It's a great idea, I've been doing that with my Marlins and an easy cast load for a while now. Ground rats and jacks have helped me out a great deal, no tree squirrel hunting here. Know your limits and watch your background and have at 'em.

Gadzooks Mike
August 3, 2010, 01:48 PM
Used to be a guy had a rifle, not a set of them. He had to make loads for each application - small game, big game, defense, etc. Try a 115 grain lead bullet cast for a carbine. Works great. Oh, and don't forget those bunnies, too.

countertop
August 3, 2010, 01:48 PM
Whats screwed up is in 99% of Iowa you can't hunt deer with a center fire rifle (you do know that, don't you??) but you can hunt small game and varmits etc with one.

I've never purposefully hunted squirrels with a .30-30, but I've certainly shot more than a few while sitting in my deer stand. Try for a head shot - otherwise there aint' much left.

W.E.G.
August 3, 2010, 01:55 PM
I once shot a squirrel with a Remington Core-Lokt 150 grain from a Winchester 94.

Bad idea.

One shot not only killed the squirrel, but also skinned him, gutted him, quartered him, and cooked him.

All that was left was (part of the) head, tail, and three feet.

If you must hunt squirrel with a rifle, please use a .22.

ArmedBear
August 3, 2010, 02:28 PM
I shot a jackrabbit with a .45-70. Didn't do that. Just blew it back a ways.

Non-expanding bullets are the key.

bswiv
August 3, 2010, 04:09 PM
Years ago, 30 or so, my father reloaded half-jacket 110 grain slugs at very low velosities to do just what you suggest.

Worked fine and as the slugs did not expand I don't remember any meat getting messed up.

I do think though that he was under 1000 FPS with them.

And this too......I remember them being very low noise.

Art Eatman
August 3, 2010, 04:43 PM
I've used a double-ought buck round ball ahead of five grains weight of shotgun smokeless as a squirrel load for an '06. Works...

Any old pistol powder would do, and I guess five to seven grains in that thutty-thutty..

Buzzard
August 3, 2010, 05:11 PM
Strangely enough, ABCs of Reloading 7th Ed. has an article on using centerfires for turkey hunting. Granted, birds are bigger than tree rats, but the theory holds. He doesn't list any loads for the 30-30, but he does have loads for his ".220 Slow" and plenty of other small to medium bores. Might be worth checking into.

Bula
August 3, 2010, 05:50 PM
Try and find starting loads for light weight cast loads (ie Lee Soupcan) over low end charges of Unique. Should be just the thing for them. 110g hardcast at 800-900 fps, should do the trick.

Cosmoline
August 3, 2010, 05:53 PM
my father reloaded half-jacket 110 grain slugs at very low velosities to do just what you suggest.

Just by way of information, I believe that with some of these half-jacket plinkers if you go too low on the FPS the jacket can come off. I've used them quite a bit and never seen it happen, but I can see how it could. The jackets are very thin. Should be OK if kept to published data.

I actually found simple roundballs are giving me more accuracy with these low velocity loads than standard bullets. With my .450 they'll do cloverleaf groups at 25 yards. Track of the Wolf sells swaged RB's in just about any diameter you can think of.

lobo9er
August 3, 2010, 07:05 PM
Probably not effective and I have done no reloading in my life so this may be hair brain but could you load a 30-30 with shot? make a 30-30 shot shell for varmints?

JEB
August 3, 2010, 07:18 PM
in 99% of Iowa you can't hunt deer with a center fire rifle (you do know that, don't you??)

sure do

luckily i live in one of the few counties that allows centerfire rifles for deer hunting. only during the January antlerless season though.

Tim the student
August 4, 2010, 02:02 AM
in 99% of Iowa you can't hunt deer with a center fire rifle

Closer to 78%. Just sayin.

Cosmoline
August 4, 2010, 02:23 AM
Probably not effective and I have done no reloading in my life so this may be hair brain but could you load a 30-30 with shot? make a 30-30 shot shell for varmints?

It's bottleneck with a mere .308" opening, so your shot load would be a tiny puff and would not be enough to kill anything more than a snake. Would be kind of an interesting experiment. But impractical for anything.

meadmkr
August 5, 2010, 08:12 PM
Many, many years ago I used to make 'gallery' loads for my 7mmMag using lubed #2 buckshot (I believe it was anyway) . I don't recall the recipe anymore but it was only a couple of grains with a filler holding the powder close to the primer. It shaved the slightest amount of lead seating the ball. It was more of a novelty load and a PITA to reload but lotsa fun; out to 25 yards or so it lethal on jackrabbits, desert cottontails, more than a few sidewinders and even a coyote that got way too curious!

frankt
August 5, 2010, 09:12 PM
Your 30-30 will be fine for squirrels, we use it a lot in Georgia.
The secret is to shoot about 1/16" from the squirrels nose. The bullet going past will suck all the air out of it's lungs and it will fall over dead.
Doesn't mess up any meat either.

ljnowell
August 6, 2010, 01:38 AM
I used to hunt squirrels with a .45acp. Really. We lived outside of town and had a nice stand of nut trees. The nuts end up on the ground, the squirrels go down there to feast on them, and BANG! My dad used to laugh about it, but it really worked pretty good, with a 200gr LSWC loaded at about 800fps, it didnt blow them up to bad.

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