.30-30 Win reloading problems


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Old Grumpy
December 12, 2011, 04:46 PM
First off I am not new to reloading (in general) however I am new to reloading bottleneck rifle rounds.

I am trying to load for my .30-30 and I'm having problems. I decapped and resized my cases without any noticable problems. Next I checked case length and found no problems there. The cases were primed using my Lee Auto Prime and then run through my (new) Lyman "M" die to expand.

I am using Saeco #316 150gr cast Flat Nose Gas Checked bullets. The bullets are sized to 0.311".

When I went to seat the bullets they would slide into the case, some even dropped completely into the case. Those that seated (or at least seemed to seat correctly) were crimped. Being cast bullets they did have a crimp groove but my die (RCBS 14601 FL) must "taper crimp" because the cases were obviously not roll crimped into the groove.

Half of the rounds I crimped did not hold the bullet firmly. I know I must have several problems so where should I start?

Why does it appear the "M" die is over expanding the case? I measured the expander and it measured 0.306" at the start, then a step up to 0.309", and finally a flair. If the inside of the case neck has been sized to 0.306" it should hold a 0.311" bullet but it is not.

Are these dies (RCBS 14601 FL) taper crimp or roll crimp? If they are taper should I seat the bullet above or below the crimp groove? Or do I need to look for a crimp die that applies a roll crimp?

Is it possible the decapping/resizing die is not resizing the case neck?

Was I foolish to think the .30-30 would be an easy round to reload?

Help!

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rcmodel
December 12, 2011, 05:10 PM
Do you have the sizing die adjusted all the way down so it is bumping the shell holder at full ram travel?

O.K., next:
I'd take the decapping/expanding stem out of the sizing die and size a case.
Then measure the I.D. of the unexpanded case.

It should be at least .306" before any expanding at all.

Next I would measure the RCBS expander button on the rod.
It should also be .306 or slightly less.
You may have a .310" lead bullet expander button in it?
If so, I would go to the .306" one if you are also expanding with an M-Die.

I can't say what the current RCBS die set does as far as crimp, but my old set crimps just fine on jacketed bullets.

BTW: I ask a Mod to move your thread to the Reloading forum.
It will get a bunch more answers from M-Die users there I think.

rc

popper
December 12, 2011, 05:37 PM
Try it without the M die. The standard crimp for 30-30 is ROLL. Adjust the die for a real good crimp. Are you using a gas check? I shoot .310 and .31 and just use the standard F/L sizer.

Old Grumpy
December 12, 2011, 06:10 PM
Popper, when I tried to load without running the case through the M die the bullets would not sit on top of the case. When I backed the M die off a bit (the bullets would sit on the case if I applied some silght pressure) the case shaved lead from the bullet and pushed a slight lip of lead ahead of the case mouth.

rcmodel, I'll run a couple cases thrpugh the resizer die (without the decapping assembly) and measure the inside, plus I'll measure the expander ball. I picked the die set up used so who knows what has been changed. It is an older RCBS die set if the box is any indicator. Thanks for getting the thread moved.

gamestalker
December 12, 2011, 06:17 PM
I'm not familar with the M die, but if the neck is giving you proper tension after sizing I would just give the mouths a light ream and chamfer so the bullets will seat without shaving, and then crimp if you still feel you need more neck tension.

kelbro
December 12, 2011, 06:44 PM
Do you have the .30 or .31 plug in your M-die? Lyman makes both.

Old Grumpy
December 12, 2011, 07:01 PM
Do you have the .30 or .31 plug in your M-die? Lyman makes both.
kelbro, The expander insert has 30R on it so I'll say it's the .30.

Old Grumpy
December 12, 2011, 07:06 PM
I'm not familar with the M die, but if the neck is giving you proper tension after sizing I would just give the mouths a light ream and chamfer so the bullets will seat without shaving, and then crimp if you still feel you need more neck tension.
gamestalker, the M die gives the case a two-step (actually three-step) flair. The first expands the neck all the way down to 0.306", the next step is 0.309", with a final flair. I may have to chamfer the case mouth a bunch and use hardly any flair at all.

The biggest problem is I've never reloaded any bottleneck cases. They're proving to be a pain.

GP100man
December 12, 2011, 07:17 PM
If the expander measures .306 it`s the 30

Ensure bullet dia.

Try this , resize a case then flare it slightly with a pair of needle nosed pliers (yeah it`s redneck as allgetout but it`ll work in a pinch) if it holds the bullet then there ya go .

The dies should have a roll crimp but as ya said used dies could have been modified.

Maybe ya can roll crimp em in a 308 die if ya got 1.

If this works check ya measureing tool .

I use the Lee universal flareing die for rifle as my alloys are usually hard enuff to not be affected by case tension.

NCsmitty
December 12, 2011, 07:38 PM
I may have to chamfer the case mouth a bunch and use hardly any flair at all.

That may help the situation, as just a smooth inside chamfer with a light flair should be adequate.
I use the lee universal expander to put minimal flair as needed, to prevent shaving lead.
The loading procedure is really not too complicated, and once you establish the proper depth on your expander, it should be easier for you, as long as the lower part of the case neck is the correct size to secure the bullet when seating.



NCsmitty

popper
December 13, 2011, 07:29 AM
+1 on the lee expander. Just a touch of flare that you can feel with your fingers works for me. Then crimp which removes the flare. You can use needle nose pliers to do the same thing. A GC will size the brass and prevent the bullet from being resized by the brass, so I don't consider a need for the M die. My bullets are also pretty hard.

Old Grumpy
December 13, 2011, 11:28 AM
rcmodel, I ran some cases through the resizing die and measured the results. Right at the case mouth (the very edge) I got 0.304" with 0.306" further down the neck. The "ball" on the decapping rod measures 0.306".

This is an older set of RCBS dies and what brings a big question to my mind is the resizing/decapping die has RCBS 30-30 SEAT 68 stamped into the top while the seating die has RCBS 30-30 F.L. 68 stamped into it. The threaded part of the dies are the same length with the resizer/decapper die having a longer knurled top (it is the longer of the two dies). The assembly holding the decapping pin has a round knurled jamb nut. The stem in the seating die fits into a removable insert (also knurled). The seating stem can be replaced and it is held in place by a round knurled jamb nut. The seating stem appears to have a rather long and sharp bullet profile built into it rather than a round blunt profile.

The dies were dirty but had no rust (inside or out) and appeared in good servicable shape. The bullets measure 0.311" in diameter and 0.429" from the crimp groove to the bottom of the gas check. That tells me when I seat the bullets to the crimp groove the base of the bullet (and gas check) should still be within the neck.

The resized cases drop into and out of the resizer die easily (about like doing the "plunk test" for my .45acp reloads). They do not however fit completely within the die body. The cases bottom out 0.130" before the rim hits the die. Since there must be space for the shellholder I'm assuming this is acceptable.

The more I measure the more stumped I am.

rcmodel
December 13, 2011, 11:43 AM
The resized cases drop into and out of the resizer die easilyWell, thats stranger then frog hair.

I can't imagine how a resized case could just "plunk" back in a full length sizing die once it got to the neck portion.

Normal brass will rebound back oversize enough when you pull it out of a sizing die that it won't just drop in freely again.

It seems like maybe you have some very soft brass, and there is no rebound at all when you size, or expand it?

Maybe try some other brand of brass.

I have about 500 empty 30-30 cases of mixed headstamp, and have found more goofiness in length, neck thickness, and hardness then in any other rifle caliber I have ever reloaded.

Trying another brand of brass is the best I can come up with right now.

rc

Old Grumpy
December 13, 2011, 12:51 PM
rcmodel, my brass is also mixed. I have quite a few R-P, some W-W Super, and regular Winchester. The problem seems to be fairly evenly spread across all of the cases.

Without exception they all have been laying around for several years (20+) since they were fired. I have about 100 rounds of factory ammo that I can shoot giving me some fresh brass. It will still be R-P and Winchester but at least it will be fairly fresh (if that makes any difference).

Has anyone else had similar problems with bottle-necked cases?

JohnM
December 13, 2011, 01:02 PM
I've been reloading the old 30-30 for 50 years.
Some of my brass is probably that old too.
I've never seen any kind of case that would drop into a sizing die, no matter how many times you ran it in and out.
Maybe if it had been heated way past annealing temperature.
Not even sure if it would lose all elasticity even then.
How about exposure to something like ammonia?
Could that make a case brittle enough so that a pass through a sizing die would keep it from rebounding on removal?
I think I'd try to get hold of another set of dies to try out.

Old Grumpy
December 13, 2011, 02:19 PM
Will those of you who have RCBS dies please check and tell me what is stamped on the top of your resizing/decapping die.

As I said in one of my earlier posts the die with the decapping post says RCBS 30-30 SEAT 68 on it while the die with the seating stem says RCBS 30-30 F.L. 68 on it. I just checked my .30-06 dies and these dies appear to have had the guts switched.

What do your RCBS dies say on top?

Which of your dies is the longest?

rcmodel
December 13, 2011, 03:13 PM
I just went and looked at mine for you.

Come to find out my "RCBS 30-30 dies" are Herters dies in an RCBS box!

However, I think the die bodies are switched?
Measure them at the hole in the bottom.
The sizing die is sure to be smaller dia then the seating die.

rc

gamestalker
December 13, 2011, 03:41 PM
I think RC nailed it.

I'll bet you inadvertantly got your dies mixed up. I did the same thing for the first time in 30 somethin years and couldn't figure out why my 7 mag neck die wouldn't resize. I knew something was up, and in a matter of minutes I realized what I had, or maybe my Son, did.

Good luck!

JohnM
December 13, 2011, 04:01 PM
Must be it.
I can't check, I gave a guy a big stack of dies I thought I would never use again and the 30-30 set was in there.

Old Grumpy
December 13, 2011, 04:41 PM
You hit the nail right on the head. I bought the dies from an estate and the guy selling them was not a reloader. Either the dies were disassembled and he threw them back together or someone at some time cleaned them and put them back together wrong. Either way no one could have reloaded with them as they were when I bought them. :banghead:

I switched the guts and tried everything over. The cases resized with the same effort you would expect (pretty tight close to the base) and the "M" die expanded them perfectly. I charged them and held my breath as I seated the first bullet. Unlike the last bunch the bullet has moderate resistance all the way into the case and a nice roll crimp finished them off. I pressed several against the side of my reloading bench and could not move them one bit. :D

Aside from one wrinkled neck (done while adjusting the amount of crimp) all ten rounds look great. I pulled the damaged round, charged another case, and reseated the bullet. The wrinkled case was then run back through the resizer and came out OK. :)

Live and learn. I did take the dies apart and clean them when I bought them (one die at a time) but I did not examine them as close as I should have. :cuss:

Thanks to everyone who chipped in to help. I feel like quite the rookie, but at least no major damage was done to anything except my pride.

rcmodel
December 13, 2011, 04:52 PM
Well Alby Jiggered! :D

Glad you got it figured out.

rc

El Guero
December 13, 2011, 04:55 PM
Well I'm glad you got this figured out! I'm considering to start loading some 30-30 and you had be pretty worried there for a minute :p

JohnM
December 13, 2011, 05:02 PM
Cool.
The mystery was driving me nuts. :D

Old Grumpy
December 13, 2011, 05:25 PM
I've had several guys tell me the .30-30 is an easy round to reload (maybe that's why it's been around over 100 years). I knew something simple was causing my problems. Once I got the dies set the .30-30 was no harder to load than a .38 spl.

The only thing I'll point out, if you are not experienced loading bottle-neck cases watch your crimp. Start out with a real light crimp and adjust it down a little bit at a time. I got my panties in a bunch and tried to adjust the crimp all in one move. :banghead: Bad idea. I wrinkled two cases applying too heavy if a crimp. Take your time and apply a nice "moderate" roll crimp.

I can see where the .30-30 will be a favorite of mine to reload. :)

rcmodel
December 13, 2011, 07:31 PM
Any bottleneck lever-gun caliber is one of the best and only places I see for the Lee FCD collet crimp die.

It is not case length dependent, and operates entirely off shell holder contact.

Conventional crimping dies requires ALL cases to be trimmed to the EXACT same length to get good results, (and no buckled shoulders).

rc

Old Grumpy
December 13, 2011, 07:39 PM
rc, I've wondered about the Lee FCD die for the .30-30. In your opinion it is worth having?

I have one for my .40 S&W, mainly to remove any low case bulges using the Bulge Buster kit, and I like the way it works. I've been known to wrinkle my .38 spl and .357 mag cases now and then by trying to apply too heavy of a crimp. None of my mistakes were so bad they wouldn't shoot but they did need a "nudge" to seat all the way into the cylinder. :uhoh:

wild willy
December 13, 2011, 07:50 PM
Are you saying your are using the same die with the decapping rod out of the 30-06 or are you using the other die.If you are using the same die with the rod out of the 30-06 die you had to something else because they are the same.I just talked to RCBS a couple days ago about it I was having a problem with bullet tension they only make one size expander button for 30 cal. I had to turn mine down a little.

rcmodel
December 13, 2011, 07:55 PM
In your opinion it is worth having?
Yes, as I said, the only way to fly for lever-action calibers that have to be crimped.

And don't confuse them with the straight-wall handgun caliber FCD you have.
They are a completely different deal for bottleneck rifle calibers.

Read about it here:
http://leeprecision.com/xcart/Factory-Crimp-Die/

rc

GP100man
December 13, 2011, 08:21 PM
Whoda figgered dat !!!

Wonder why they switched the tools around like that ????

rcmodel
December 13, 2011, 08:25 PM
Whoda figgered dat !!!Well, I hate to beat my own drum or anything, but --- ehhhh ----- nevermind! :o

rc

wild willy
December 13, 2011, 08:37 PM
:banghead:I got it now don't know why I thought he swithed parts from the 06 die

Old Grumpy
December 13, 2011, 10:10 PM
I just said something about the 06 dies because I compared the .30-30 dies to them. both have stamping on the tops and when I laid the two side by side I could tell the .30-30 dies had the wrong guts!

It makes sense now when I dropped the cases into the die, and it was really the seating die, they just fell in and out. Tried it after I got things sorted out and the would not drop completely into the true resizing die.

rc called it right off, something was not right. :)

FROGO207
December 13, 2011, 10:15 PM
When buying used dies ANYTHING is possible.:D I have a pile of spare parts that I have removed from used dies that I had to correct. Usually getting the replacments for free I might add. And I find uses for them when I break something most times just by pawing around in the parts bin.

GP100man
December 13, 2011, 11:32 PM
rc , go rite ahead !!

I`m just trying to grasp why or how ???

Someone putting die parts together that new they were dies but just did`nt know which went where ????

OP post #4, I think they could`ve been passed along from an estate maybe .

Bmac1949
December 14, 2011, 02:16 PM
Another excellent thread. Read and learn. I might have figured it out if it had been my dies but it wouldn't have been pretty.

Paul24
December 15, 2011, 09:47 PM
Been loading lead bullets for years. I use the M-die religiously. Long ago I removed the expander ball from my 30-30 sizing die, RCBS used to make a nut to replace the ball, but you can just use a smaller ball that does not touch or size. All expanding is done with the M-die, this is easier on the arm and I find necks are less likely to strech. The Lee crimp die is great but not required to get good shooting cartrages, I use them.

Good job trouble shooting this problem. If you are going to keep reloading the 30-30 watch for more used dies I have at lease 4, last one I got is an old Lyman A-A it sizes the necks to an OD of .323 inch my other dies wale the necks down to .319 inch much smaller in diameter than they need to be. Then the expander just strech them back out, over working the brass neck. I even bought a new RCBS 'X' die it was not worth the shipping for me (I like RCBS just not that one).

Keep throwing lead down range, and smile.

Eb1
December 15, 2011, 10:48 PM
I find the 30-30 to be a tedious caliber to load for IMO. Yes, it is pretty straight forward, and there are many recipes, but it just seems more tedious to get good accuracy. Might be the platform, but I had to work really hard to get under MOA out of my lever guns.

Old Grumpy
December 16, 2011, 08:27 AM
Paul24, I'll check with RCBS about undersized expander balls. Right now I'm running my cases through the standard resizer/decapper die with standard (.306") expnder ball in place. I then remove the decapping stem (ball and all) and run the cases through a second time.

Yes I know I'm performing extra steps but I'm also not pressed for time and I load only a couple dozen rounds at a time. Since I plan on using the "M" die for expanding I could just turn (grind) the old expander ball down a bit.

germ
December 16, 2011, 08:46 AM
Paul24, I'll check with RCBS about undersized expander balls. Right now I'm running my cases through the standard resizer/decapper die with standard (.306") expnder ball in place. I then remove the decapping stem (ball and all) and run the cases through a second time.

Yes I know I'm performing extra steps but I'm also not pressed for time and I load only a couple dozen rounds at a time. Since I plan on using the "M" die for expanding I could just turn (grind) the old expander ball down a bit.
You could use a universal decapping die (no sizing) and remove the stem from the sizer die 'permanently'. Less working of the brass.

highlander 5
December 16, 2011, 09:40 AM
I believe the number "68" on the dies refer to the year that the dies were made.

Old Grumpy
December 16, 2011, 02:43 PM
germ, That's certainly an option.

Paul24
December 16, 2011, 10:23 PM
No need to run them thru the second time .306 ball is fine, it is line to line with the first stage of the M-die. It will work just fine until you get a smaller ball. By passing twice thru the sizing die you are working the neck more than neccesary, not worried about you just the brass. You can deprime with a pin punch over a 1/4 hole in you bench or a piece of steel or hard wood. Lee makes a niffty little punch but the base supplied is for rimless 30 cal. it works good just flip it over and eye ball center. I often deprime by hand so the primers are out when the brass goes into the tumbler.

Your vintage die is about the same age as my standard RCBS die and I was able to buy a nut with no ball not even a swell above the nerl, that was in the early 90's I tried recently no joy. The old staight wall dies had just the nut on the decapping stem look just like a miniture lamp finial. RCBS no longer list stem parts but sell the new style stem assembles complete, so just get one for a smaller caliber. Grinding the ball is not a bad option. I just check my 45 cal pistal dies one is 78 the other 9 (have to assume 2009) those stems are idenical to each other and will work fine in my 71 30-30 die.

How are loads shooting?

Eb1 my hat is off to any one who gets 1 MOA with a lever gun. That is the beauty of reloading and diligence.

Old Grumpy
December 17, 2011, 03:19 PM
Paul24, I'm waiting for a break in the weather and for my pre-Christmas work to be finished. I'll post a report once I get some data.

P-32
December 17, 2011, 03:51 PM
I've had several guys tell me the .30-30 is an easy round to reload (maybe that's why it's been around over 100 years)

Ya had me thinking what in the heck is going on.........????

First time I loaded 30-30, there was no problem. But I was loading jacketed bullets with my for real RCBS dies. ;)

I did order a Forester 30-30 match seating die for fun. I'm working on a project to see if I can't get my 336 which shoots pretty well to shoot a little better.

Old Grumpy
December 17, 2011, 08:31 PM
P-32, Right now all I'm loading are cast bullets. If they do all right I'll try some jacketed rounds. I'm leaning toward Hornady but that's not set in stone. Do you have any suggestions for something 150gr to 170gr?

popper
December 18, 2011, 02:59 PM
Hornady FTX, GMX if you can afford them, Sierra RN 150, 170, M1 carbine, etc. Just about anything 308. FCD or taper crimp if no crimp groove. One in the chamber - one in the tube for pointy nose bullets, except FTX,GMX.

Old Grumpy
December 18, 2011, 04:50 PM
It's pretty obvious why you should not use pointy bullets in a tubular magazine but I've always wondered why you could not use pointy bullets and treat the weapon like a trapdoor carbine (one round at a time or one in the chamber and one in the magazine)?

I guess it's the fun of rapidly levering several rounds through the weapon like they do in the movies. Of course they always hit their mark! :)

rcmodel
December 18, 2011, 04:59 PM
Actually you can.

But why?

A spitzer bullet in an iron sighted 30-30 carbine will make absolutely no difference in how far you can hit anything with iron sights.

The other thing is, flat point or round nose 30-30 bullets are designed to expand at 30-30 velocity.
And the crimp cannulure is in the right place for tube magazine feeding.

Most .308 Spitzers aren't either one.

rc

Paul24
December 18, 2011, 07:41 PM
"Hornady has taken their Flex Tip Expanding bullet they use in their LEVERevolution and made it available in a projectile only. The patented Flex Tip bullet features an interlocking design that keeps the core of the bullet and the jacket together creating a deeper penetrating, more humane kill. Not only that, they offer controlled expansion, enhanced accuracy and the delivery of flatter trajectories.

These bullets are safe to use in all tubular magazines, as well as any other firearm. This is not loaded ammunition." Quoted from MIDWAYUSA.com

These are Spitzers made for lever guns with tube magazines, cannulure is in the correct place. These bullets live up their claims. I find even with iron sights there is a gain in effective killing range. Energy at 200 yards is substantially higher than the age old flat nose. Two hundred yards is a tough shot with iron sights but it sounds like you are going to stay in practice. Keep waling the lead down range lots of meat has been put on the tables of hunters with flat nose. The elevation correction is required when changing from flat nose to pointed.

If you have some 160 grain or so pointed bullets available, try them single shot. No need to crimp shooting single shot. When ejecting an unfired round make sure the bullet comes with it.

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