125 Nosler BT in a .30-30 (Youth Loads)


Arkansas Paul
September 18, 2011, 11:30 PM
Ok, so I've posted a couple of times about the wife going hunting with me, and me handloading for a .243 for her. The funds didn't come together for the new rifle, so we're going to have a go at loading some youth loads for the ol' Marlin 336. She's a little thing, but I figure she'll be fine with it loaded down a mite.

The Hodgdon website lists youth loads for the .30-30 with 125 grain bullets at 2,094 fps. Is this going to be fast enough to allow for reliable expansion? I figure it will be with the 125 grain ballistic tips, but I'd like some first hand experience to make me feel a little better.

I know we'll not be able to fill the magazine, since it's spitzer type bullets, but we'll be fine with one in the chamber and one in the magazine. If she don't hit it the first or second try, a third aint gonna help nothing.

I think someone here said they use the 125 BTs in a T/C Contender. Maybe they'll chip in here and give a word of advice.


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September 19, 2011, 06:16 AM
May have been me. Yeah, I use the Nosler 125 BT in my Contender super 14. I have taken several deer with it from 5 yards up to 175 yds. The BT expanded quite well in EVERY case-NEVER lost a deer with it. I get SUPER accuracy, good blood trails, etc. Never recovered a bullet.

I have not chrono'd my load but I doubt I'm getting much more than that out of the 14" barrel.

I'd load a few to make sure they worked through the gun's action. If they do, I'd load one in the barrel and one in the mag and go hunting! Just put it where it needs to go and as long as you aren't shooting rhino's, elephant or some such, it should make a good deer load.

Good luck & have fun.

Good for you working toward getting the spousal unit involved.

September 19, 2011, 12:17 PM
Speer, and Sierra both make flat-point bullets in the 125 - 130 grain weight range for the 30-30.

The chances of them expanding properly at reduced velocity is much greater then using a spitzer bullet designed for higher velocity calibers. And they are safe in a tube magazine.

I'd use one or the other with the Hodgdon Youth Load data.


Arkansas Paul
September 19, 2011, 02:36 PM
Thanks for the replies guys.
critter, what's your oal on those?

September 19, 2011, 05:47 PM
H4895 or Unique for the youth loads. Half-J plinker goes about 2K fps with no recoil but you can only load 2. Might try .311 150 or 170 CB GC with light load of H4895. SCB(vender here) got me some that work fine in my 336. Accurate, no leading, light recoil and plenty of knock down power.

September 19, 2011, 08:36 PM
AP, use the 125 grain Sierra FNHP. It works great as a deer load. Especially at those speeds. That would be my suggestion. I have killed deer @ 2150 fps using this bullet.

A good load I use is 24.5 grains VV N120 (safe in my gun) and IMR 3031 @ 34.3 grains. The IMR load is near max, but is a pussy cat to shoot. Gets the bullet up around 2450 fps. Really bad juju for deer.

Running the HPFN from Sierra @ 2150 is a really good deer load @ 75 yards and under.

September 19, 2011, 09:30 PM
A lead boolit in the 150-170 gr weight range going 1600-1700 fps is soft on the shoulder & will slap a deer down !!!

Just make sure there at least .310" in dia my 336 likes a phat boolit !

If ya try lead boolits be sure to clean all the copper out first !!!

Mine did`nt group until & cleaned it halfadozen times !!!

Arkansas Paul
September 19, 2011, 09:34 PM
Thanks for the advice guys. I'm going to have to go with something else, because the plastic tip on the BTs make the rounds too long to feed properly. I had to shoot the darn thing to unload it. lol Oh well, I had them on the shelf, they were worth a try.

I'll definately look into the Speer or Sierra lightweight bullets.
I hadn't thought about cast bullets, but that could very well be an option as well.

September 19, 2011, 09:38 PM

ya can also use lead boolits over 7-8grs of reddot for practice or work up loads ,I have a 10yr. old that`ll shoot every 1 I`ll load like that !!

Just a thought .

September 20, 2011, 06:04 PM
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=222789 These are same hardness as commercial cast lead and shoot great. The 130 is very close to the standard 150 core-lokt, which has a pretty good kick. The plinkers shoot like a 22. My POI is the same as the 150 factory RN @ 100, so velocity is about the same. I wish I had a tool to flatten the point a little, bigger front area. Downloading the 170 CB for light recoil, I get 4" drop in POI vs 150 POI. You can run the energy numbers vs the 100 gr 243. I don't hunt, don't know about the penetration of these, but the sound they make when they hit the target backboard is about the same. They cost $14-$16/100, about the same as CB with GC. I've heard the standard 30 cal m1 carbine bullets work pretty well in 30-30. They are FMJ and used to be common deer load in Texas(in the 50s).

September 20, 2011, 10:36 PM
Eb1 has it right. The Sierra 125gr FPHP launched from a .30-30 does the job. I have also shot that bullet in a 7.62 X 39 from a SKS. Terminal performance is impressive.
I built a load around Accurate 2200.

September 21, 2011, 12:19 AM
I also agree the 2 bullets recommended by "rcmodel" would be your best choices. Like he said they are designed to expand at lower velocities than other bullets. A light load with a light bullet will probably be exactly what you're looking for...

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