Light loads for 30 cal


October 3, 2012, 05:41 PM
I've been looking for light load info for the 110 gr 30 carbine bullets for use in 30-30 and 30-06. I'd like to run them about 1200 fps for small game and plinking. Most of the info I find is for cast bullets, and running higher velocities, the jacketed will change the vel somewhat in any event. Dont want to stick a bullet loading light and guessing at loads.

I have Unique and Red Dot on hand, and perhaps some Bullseye.

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October 3, 2012, 05:51 PM
A case full of Trail Boss in either caliber would do about what you want.

As would "The Load" in the 30-06.


October 3, 2012, 05:57 PM
Looks like he figures 6 grs Red Dot as a minimum for jacketed loads.

May try a few and see how they do. Looking for something thats not very noisy to shoot, and doesn't tear up small game and grouse.

October 3, 2012, 11:06 PM
I use 9gr of Trail Boss with 115gr round nose .309 lead bullet from Bear Creek. I get a truly pleasant load for my 30/30 that is incredibly accurate at 100 yards.

October 3, 2012, 11:28 PM
'Rocky Raab The Universal .30 Load'

October 3, 2012, 11:44 PM
I've used 15-20grs of unique and a 110gr RN bullet.

The 19-20 gr loads worked the best.

October 4, 2012, 07:13 AM
Unique would work well but the 30 carbine bullets aren't worth a crap in my 30-06.

October 4, 2012, 09:10 AM
I'm interested in this as well, from the 'Rocky Raab The Universal .30 Load' page it sounds like 10-12gr. of unique with a .30 cal 110gr softpoint (e.g. speer 1855) will get 1475-1625fps from a 30-06.

blarby mentioned 15-20gr with a 110gr RN, but 19-20gr worked best.

So, it sounds like somewhere in the range of 10-20gr would work?

Did I read it correctly, or am I off base? :confused:

October 4, 2012, 09:28 AM
"best" is a broad generalization at this point.

Unique isn't fantastic as a rifle powder- but it works.

If you really want better performance, a 70% load of h4895 is going to give you a lot more of what you are looking for in terms of accuracy and consistency.

Hodgdons has a lot of youth load data for H4895, and most of them are between 60-75% of starting loads using H4895.

A 30 cal bullet going over 1000 FPS is going to well exceed whats required for squirrel... you might as well get it in the ballpark for consistent accuracy by using a rifle powder.

Works well in .30-06, or .30-30- ive used the downloading in both.

Bwana John
October 4, 2012, 12:04 PM
Mil brass
.30 cal 110 gr carbine "copper plated" projectile
18 gr IMR SR 4759
~1750 fps

October 4, 2012, 12:25 PM
I used some M19 19gn plastic projectiles. A few gn of fast powder. They worked great out to 50yds.

October 4, 2012, 05:47 PM
7-8 of unique worked best for speer plinker in my 30-30. 19 of H4895 or LeverR for 170 cast. Both are easy to shoot, the 170 is more accurate @ 100.

October 4, 2012, 10:15 PM
Yes, a 30 cal bulet @ 1000 fps is more than whats needed for squirrel, but I don't think you can go below that with jacketed safely.

My current favorite small game load in the 30-30 is a .310-.315 round ball with 3 grs Unique. It makes about as much noise as a standard vel 22, and doesnt tear up small game. I also load a 115-120 gr cast in the 30-30 at about 1200 fps. It's more noise than I really like, but gives a bit more range. I'm looking to pretty much duplicate that with a jacketed bullet, to aleviate bore fouling with different loads, and still be fairly mild shooting noise wise. Most of the suggested loads are quite a bit faster/louder than I want though I appreciate the suggestions so far.

I'd like to pretty much duplicate the 30-30 loads with the '06 for the same usage, so I have duplicate performing small game loads, and still avoid getting them too fast/loud.

October 4, 2012, 10:24 PM
speer plinker or harnady eqal was OK @ 50, not so good @ 100. It isn't quiet, like a loud 22LR. Half jacketed so no leading problems. Others have used the 30 carbine but didn't have much luck with accuracy. Both are low speed bullets.

October 4, 2012, 10:28 PM
*does not disagree with Mal*

You know- I cast those .311 balls. Dont own a lever anymore, but never thought about trying them in my other 30 cal rifles.

I think I have something to do tomorrow.

Thanks !

October 4, 2012, 10:35 PM
FWIW, I lubed the balls with Lee Liquid alox (rolled them around in a butter tub, them spread out to dry), and I used a tiny bit of dacron pillow fluff to keep the powder near the primer. I've found that with very small amounts of Unique, I was getting erratic iginition. With the fluff, there are pretty consistant. Pointed straight up, or down, no difference. I understand Red Dot is less position sensitive, so any starting to fool with it a bit. Been using it in the 348 with .350 round balls for grouse loads.

I gently crimp the ball in place, with the major diameter unst inside the case mouth. I usually use a Lyman 310 tool then I'm not messing with my bench die adjustments, and I can load them at my desk. I expand with the M die in the 310 tool. Makes a nice flair.

I recenty laid hands on a 77 gr mould for 32 auto. It should make nice small game bullets for ultra light 30 cal loads also.

I do have a box or two of the half jacket bullets, but I have several hundred carbine bullets. Was hoping to find a use for them that I'd enjoy shooting them, without much noise and work for small game nicely.

Have a few jacketed 32 auto bullets also. Want to try them. I have a chamber adapter for 32 auto/30-30. It works well and doesnt make much noise, but 32 auto shells arent cheap. Will try to make the same basic end result in the rifle case.

October 5, 2012, 10:40 AM
Been having fun lately with 160 cast plain base and 130 cast plain base commercial bullets in 308,30-06 and 30-30 with Trail Boss (load to base of bullet, cut to 75%). Great teaching loads for some of my church kids who are venturing into the deer hunting arena. The 308 with Trail Boss gets them used to a big gun without the recoil and noise. From there, on to a .243 an 80 grain varmint stuff and then to their .243s with 100 grain Noslers for deer. The 30-30 is also fun for them. "A real Western rifle."

October 5, 2012, 02:51 PM
I didn't do a side-by-side, just from memory, but I think 2400 was quieter than unique. Somebody was pushing the 32 jacketed thru a Lee 310 sizer and using them in 30 cal. Seemed to work well. I f you TL the 32 cast, it should work well also.

October 6, 2012, 12:32 AM
in my marlin 336, i would use a 165 grain cast bullet from missouri bullet co and 9 grains of unique.

didnt kick at all and it has been the most accurate plinker i ever used. my shots would fit into a 50 cent piece with irons at 50 yards.

Id have to adjust about 6 clicks up though because of the slower velocity.

A Pause for the Coz
October 7, 2012, 03:10 AM
A good cheap load I use for 30-30 and 308.
Before I start. BIG Time!!!!:
CAUTION: This post discusses loads or load data that may or may not be appropriate for your gun or for the cartridge(s) and components mentioned. Due to typos, variations in guns and components, and the abilities and judgement of users of this data, neither the writer, THR, nor the staff of assume any liability for damage or injury resulting from using this information. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DUPLICATE THE DESCRIBED LOADS without first working them up from a published safe starting level charge while watching for pressure signs. If you don't know how to do that please don't use this data, for your own safety and the safety of others.

If your anything like me, You are also of the opinion that the price of Jacketed 30 cal projectiles are getting way way way out of line for the practice use.

I already have my hunting loads and have a supply loaded and ready to go. But spending $20 to $30+ for 100 jacketed bullets to do some practicing, cuts down on the amount of it you can do.

I compensate for this by casting bullets. I also take advantage of group buys and any other volume discount I can find.
Plus considering a couple of 16 year olds can burn through a pile of bullets if you let them, has to factor in.

Finding a good deal on projectiles helps, But if they can pull double duty in multiple guns. thats a super plus for me.

This brings me to:
7.62x39 (.311) 124 gr.

I have gotten a pretty fair price on these $48 for 500 pulls. I shoot these as is in my AK, SKS, and my Mosin Nagant. They do well in all of them.

These say .311 but I measured them at .310.
I was curious if I could some how take advantage of the good value and also shoot them in my 30 cal equipment.

I plan on trying these in a 300 Blackout I have coming. But I also wanted to see if I could get them to shoot out of my Savage 340 30-30.

Pretty sure I am not the 1st to try this, as any idea I have had some one else 30 years ago already tried it. But here we go.

I took a sample and lubed them with some case lube and ran them through a LEE .308 push through sized. After sizing they measured .3085 and looked no worse for wear.



I loaded up a few in 30-30 cases and gave them a try.
Not to bad for a 1st run. Will have to work on some more and make another projectile order.

Ok, now I am a happy camper. Not only can I use my Budget bullets, but I can use my Budget powder and get a 3 hole 5 shot group at 50 yards.

As they say" That'll do Pig that'll do....


Since I just got a Savage model 11 in 308 win. I figured I would try my plinkers in it.

Used the 124 gr fmj resized to .3085. Some range pick up Lake city brass.
Tula Large rifle primers and WC844 powder.

These run me a little less than 4 bucks for a box of 20. That qualifies as a plinking load.

They shoot good enough for Goberment work.

These are fun and cheap. Give it a try.

October 7, 2012, 09:06 AM
The old Ideal Handbook loading manuals gave recipes for .30-30 "Cellar Loads" consisting of a soft lead round ball, and 2-3gr of fast pistol powder...

I do not condone anyone doing what I do, but I load .311" pure lead round balls flush with the case mouth of a .30-30 unsized case over 2gr of Red Dot...I then daub on some Alox to lube and seal the ball...

Accurate in my rifle to 50yds, and about the sound level of a .22 short from a rifle...


Lust looked, and the loads are in Ideal #38...Also have one for .35 Remington...Also wanted to mention that I just bought 200ea .311" 46gr Round Balls off GunBroker for $14 delivered...

October 8, 2012, 01:51 PM
I've loaded the 110gr carbine bullets with 10-14gr of Blue Dot @ 2.420" in a 30-30 case. From my Marlin 336, they gave from 1550-1998fps. As you see, velocity can climb pretty quickly when using pistol powders.

Unique would work but since it is faster, loads need to be further reduced. I would stay under 13gr of Unique. A lot of people wish to discredit quickload, but I use it for a sanity check. 20 gr of Unique in a 30-30 casing is in my opinion, way off the charts. Quick load has that at 80k psi. If you choose to work up a load with Unique, keep this in mind. Using Pistol powders is risky and requires 110% of your attention, a double charge can be very bad for the gun and the shooter.

tightgroup tiger
October 28, 2012, 11:51 AM
I'm only replying to this so it will hit my email because I want to save it.

Very interesting to me, the older I get the more mouse loads in high power rifles appeal to me because it sounds like so much fun.

I'll have to check with my indoor range to see if they will let me shoot some of these loads of yours and not freak out when the see a 30-06. They are certified for it but the noice is such that they won't allow it.

These they may allow.

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