small game loads


August 7, 2010, 01:11 PM
so i had planned on using my current plinker load (165gr. lead flat point over 8gr. of blue dot) for some small game hunting.

i previously had my iron sights set for the plinking load and a scope zeroed for my deer hunting load, but i wanted to lighten the rifle and ditch the scope, so i just ordered and installed a reciever sight from skinner sights as well as a new front sight.

my problem is that once i zeroed in my deer load, i couldnt raise my rear sight enough for my plinker load.

so how can i create a new plinker load that will shoot a POI closer to my deer load? i thought about just pushing the same bullet a little faster but i really dont want to tear up a lot of meat and i want it to be as quiet as possible.

my next htought was to use a lighter bullet but i have no idea how that would work out. i found this bullet that looks like it might work ( )

so if i load a lighter bullet with about 6-8 grains of blue dot will the POI be higher? (im still pretty new at this) also this is all out of a marlin 336 in 30-30 with a micro groove barrel. currently i am using .311 diamater bullets with good results but wonder if .313 is too big for this caliber?

any other suggestions are welcome!

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August 7, 2010, 03:03 PM
wonder if .313 is too big for this caliber?
Not if you run them thru a 0.311" Lee Lube & Size die.

As far as POI goes, you're just going to have to shoot them to find out. Though I think you’re on the right track, to many variables to accurately predict exactly how they will fly.

August 7, 2010, 03:12 PM
In my Mosin Nagant I use 3 grains Bullseye pushing this little 93 grain .314" boolit, accuracy is great and point on out to about 50 yards.

August 7, 2010, 11:07 PM
i really dont want to have to mess with casting or re-sizeing if i dont absolutely have to.

does anybody know where i could get some very light weight lead bullets in a .311 diamater? or if a bullet with a .313 diamater would be safe to fire in my marlin? i wouldn't really think that an extra .002" would make much difference especially with lead bullets, but in all honesty, im new and just have don't know.

also, if kept to near the same velocity, lighter bullets should impact higher than the heavier ones right?

August 8, 2010, 12:48 PM

August 8, 2010, 12:55 PM
if kept to near the same velocity, lighter bullets should impact higher than the heavier ones right? Wrong.
Light bullets will have less recoil, so will shoot lower.

As hard as it may be to believe, recoil moves the muzzle up in a lever-action 30-30 before the bullet gets out of the barrel.

You can prove it to yourself on a shooting bench.

Shoot one group of three shots while firmly holding the rifles forearm down hard.
Now shoot another group while letting it jump off the rest with a loose grip.

In order to raise the point of impact, you need a heavier bullet, or more speed with your 165 to increase the amount of recoil.

While on the subject, how you hold your carbine with full power loads will also effect it's zero & POI a lot.

A firm hard hold should always be used on a 30-30 carbine to prevent them from jumping off target before the bullet gets gone..


August 8, 2010, 12:59 PM
i do this with my 45 colt you will just have to play with it my problem was findind a plinking load that had acceptable accuracy for hunting even if it is just a rabbit or prarie dog you still owe the animal a clean kill about your bullet size the most correct thing to do would be to get your groove measured

August 8, 2010, 01:12 PM
Berry's plated bullets have some .312 plated for use in 32 cal pistol. They may do the job for you without leading the barrel. Only one way to find out.
I have not tried them myself.


August 8, 2010, 08:01 PM
with plated bullets, wouldnt .312 be too big?

if it is still a safe diamater i may look into it

August 9, 2010, 08:47 PM
Resizing with the Lee die is easy as pie. It uses your existing press and takes about two seconds to resize a bullet. It’s not some big hairy deal. The silly thing only costs fifteen bucks.

Otherwise, what your trying to do is counterproductive - shooting an OVERSIZED bullet at REDUCED velocity. Those two attributes don’t go together. Oversized bullets will also create oversized friction in your barrel. Then, you’re trying to shoot that HIGH friction bullet at LOW velocity.

Think about it. Not a good combo. To be safe, you need to resize your bullets, or increase your charge (velocity).

August 9, 2010, 09:10 PM
/\ makes sense....hadnt really thought of that aspect. maybe ill try a smaller diamater lead bullet.

ive heard that to get good results from lead bullets in a microgroove barrel, you need to go slightly larger. since .308 is standard for jacketed bullets, .309 should be good for lead right?

August 9, 2010, 09:13 PM
with plated bullets, wouldnt .312 be too big?

Berry's bullets have a thin plating and they obturate to the rifling with their soft lead core quite easily.
You need a bulky powder for consistent ignition, and you need to keep the velocity under 1600fps.


August 9, 2010, 11:38 PM
309 should be good for lead right?
I think your .30-30 Microgroove Marlin will like 0.311" better. Mine does. I shoot el cheapo 115 gr .32-20 bullets, that cost something like $40 per 500, and are a nominal 0.313". Then resize with a Lee die and relube with Lee Alox lube.

I use the same el cheapo bullet, but leave it unsized, for my .303 No.4 MkII "smelly". In my .30-06 1903A3 I use the same bullet, again, but resize with a 0.309" Lee die.

I've toyed with the idea of buying one of the 0.309" dies and opening it up, with a little sandpaper and elbow grease, to 0.310". Just to see if any of my rifles liked it better. But so far I haven't done it yet.

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