Lead for 30-30


September 21, 2011, 09:14 PM
Recently switched to lead for my pistols (45 acp and 9mm) and I'm really enjoying the economy compared to plated and jacketed. Planning on takaing my old Winchester 94 on a range outing and thought I might give lead a try. Looking at Missouri Bullet's offerings I see a both a 135gr. RNFP and a 165gr. RNFP listed for 30-30 lever actions. Neither of my manuals have any data for either of these bullets. Looking on-line at Hodgdon's data the closest I can come is a 160gr. cast LFP. Both of the MB offerings are 18 BHN. Using MB formula for BHN I'm looking at a max 23,000 CUP. For the 165 gr. bullet I planned on using the Hodgdon 160gr data for starting load -10% and working up slowly from there. As for the 135 gr. bullet I'm at a total loss.

Hodgdon data is for H4895 and H4198. Max loads for either are 23,100 and 20,600 CUP respectively with the 160 gr. bullet listed. Max velocities are 1562 and 1616.

I'm thinking of going with the H4198 data as it seems to have a lot of headroom in respect to chamber pressure. Will be starting low and working up slowly, keeping an eye open for signs of excessive pressure.

Anyone see a problem with my approach? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Anyone have another source of published data that would cover these 2 bullets? Maybe another powder option? Anyone see a problem with pushing these 2 offerings in the neighborhood of 1500 to 1600 fps? Fire away.

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September 21, 2011, 09:59 PM
Here's a recent thread with some good info.


Para Cassatt
September 21, 2011, 11:28 PM
I use Oregon Trail 170 gr. GC bullets and am a big fan of H or IMR 4198. John Taffin wrote a great article back in January 2003 titled " Levergun Loads 30-30 Winchester" in Guns Magazine. H4227, AL 2400 and XMP 5744 are a few more good powder he used with good results. I haven't looked but you may be able to find it at www.gunsmagazine.com while searching for the title.

35 Whelen
September 22, 2011, 01:14 AM
If you're just wanting plinking loads, 1400-1600 fps range, Red Dot, Unique, and AL2400 are outstanding powders for cast bullets. The first two will get you up to 1300-1400 easily, while 2400 is somewhat better for higher velocities.
For whatever reason I get really good accuracy with Red Dot. I'm talking sub-2" @ 100 yds. with open sights.

Good luck,

September 22, 2011, 04:31 AM
I'm loading those 165gr MB with 21.0gr H4895 and I'm getting just under 1400 fps from my Marlin carbine. Accuracy is now exactly as good as I want with 10 rounds inside a 3" square at 100 yards. I'm looking for a better load so I will be following this thread too...

September 22, 2011, 01:55 PM
Red Dot has been a fine powder in my 30/30. Going to gc lead bullets one of the faster rifle powders will do nicely. 4895 is a good one, in my experience.

September 22, 2011, 02:29 PM
Have you thought about trail boss?

September 22, 2011, 04:17 PM
I'm shooting oregon trail 170 w/o GC (.309) with alox/JPW and 22 gr. H4895. Accuracy is adequate and speed isn't real high. The MBC uses a flat base so should perform a little better. H4895 has a WIDE load range, so I use it. 8-10 gr Unique works well also. Slug your bore for bullet fit and use lots of Ed's Red. after cleaning out the copper with Hoppe's.

September 23, 2011, 04:15 PM
I mentioned H4895 and H4198 specifically, as they were both listed on Hodgdons site for a similar weight lead bullet. I'm not necessarily stuck on these 2 powders, just they were the only ones I've found in published data. They also listed Trailboss but I decided against it, as MV was on the low side with higher chamber pressures. The Missouri Bullets are plain based not gas checked

For what it's worth, the Winchester is a 94 Classic Rifle w/26" octagon barrel. These are loads for plinking at the range.

I think what I'm really asking, is my approach to working up a load look sound to you? I'm using data published for a somewhat lighter bullet and trying to keep chamber pressures below limits calculated using MB's formula for BHN requirements. Lot's of variables here so I'm somewhat hesitant.

September 24, 2011, 12:24 AM
That is still low pressure for a 30-30 using Trail Boss, and you also want your case to seal up against the chamber along with have the bullet base to grab the rifling.

I think TB would probably be the more accurate and consistent load given the higher pressures.

September 24, 2011, 12:40 AM
I have Lyman's 3rd and 4th Edition Cast Handbooks and both list a lot of powders for lead bullets in the 30-30. The problem is all the bullets they use are gas checked so the velocities can be pushed to where jacketed bullets are. In a way that data is almost useless because I'm using a plane base bullet instead of a GC bullet.

September 24, 2011, 09:44 AM
Not a 30-30 but still a Winchester '94; in 32 Winchester Special. I load a plain base 150 gr. NEI bullet over 15.0 grains of SR4759 for 6" groups @200 meters off a bench. I load cast boolits in 45-70, 38-55, 32 W.S. and find that SR4759 in a fine powder for the use.

I have a Savage 99 in 30-30 from 1936 that I will be working up cast loads w/SR4759 this winter.

September 24, 2011, 09:46 AM
duplicate post eliminated-stuttering fingers!!!!!!!!!

September 25, 2011, 02:06 PM
16 grains of 2400 under any of the mentioned bullets will work beautifully. It is mild, position insensitive, and accurate. I use gas checked .310" or .311" sized bullets, mostly home cast Lyman 311041, standard rifle primers of any brand, and Bullplate lube. This load shoots great out to 200 yds. in my 1954 vintage Marlin 336 and custom Contender barrel, and leaves no leading after firing. (By the way, Bullshop lube is by far the best cast bullet lube I have ever tried for both hangun and rifle velocities. Try it, you'll love it!)

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