30/30 range report


July 6, 2014, 11:54 AM
hello ladies and gents. I got out to do my first real extensive testing of my reloading hobby yesterday. A few months back I did a quick test, and loaded a bunch of a promising batch.

I quickly realized that I had a problem seeing the 1" orange bull on the black 12" shoot-n-see targets. I generally just run a 2" black bull on a big white paper plate and have no trouble. Not the case with orange on black. I bought a pile of em from a going out of business sale and it was more or less all I had to deal with, and it hampered me the majority of the day. The only redeeming quality I found was the black was easy to see, and every round I fired landed somewhere about 2-3 left and somewhere low all day. Lesson learned.

At the end I put a 3" orange stickem' on there and got 3 actual patterns. Finally being able to see the center this is how it ended up.

1962 Winchester model 94 carbine with bead front and willams peep.
All once fired Remington brass. 100yds

150gr sierra f/n 2.30" oal 33 gr norma 201powder winchest large primer
3"@100yd ctc
150gr sirra f/n 2.3 oal 33.5 gr norma 201 powder Winchester large primer
6"@ 100 yd
150gr sierra r/n 2.54oal 33.5 gr norma 201 Winchester large primer
1 7/8" @ 100 and was dead on the bull.
was fortunate no crosswind to speak of.

I fired about 20 of the 150gr f/n 33gr loads, and laid them on a sheet of paper and marked the holes. it was pretty obvious I could find the horizontal center of the target, but couldn't find the vertical, they all landed about 2-3" left of center in a 6 inch tall cluster.

Other than finding targets I can see, any notes/ suggestions on how I should proceed with working up loads. It's fairly obvious to me that the old carbine is at least more accurate than my eyes.


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July 6, 2014, 12:02 PM
Well it looks like either your gun likes the RN better or the shorter OAL better. I generally try a ladder test with 3 each of 3 shot groups and average them. I will try different powder weights with the same bullet. Then different powders, at stepped weights. but a 1 7/8 group with an iron sighted 30/30 is good to go for me. Good shootin.

July 6, 2014, 12:42 PM
IMO @100 yards using a peep sight you really can't test accuracy of ammo because there is too much human error in the mix. I would test the ammo @150 yards for groups and then move out to 100 yards with the best of the bunch.

Don't the bullets you use have a crimp groove? If they do how did you change the OAL without ignoring the crimp groove? With bullets meant for a levergun you should be crimping to the groove because that's the correct spot for those bullets. If they don't have a crimp groove they are the wrong bullets for a levergun and will not perform well on game because they are not designed to reliably expand at the lower velocities associated with the 30-30.

The correct .308" Sierra 150gr bullet for leverguns is their #2000 and in a 170gr bullet it's their #2010. Their #2035 150gr bullet has a crimp groove but it's not designed for use in the 30-30.

July 6, 2014, 01:38 PM
not being able to see the bull on the target is a huge testament to the human error part. I patterned them at 50 in feb, made the best of the goups up and backed out, and changed targets because I had trouble seeing the light green centers of the "score keeper" targets. I think ill try the regular black and whites next time.

As for the bullets.. the f/n 150s were the sierra 2000's, I errantly bought the 2135 r/n bullets, which also have a crimping groove. So I called up sierra and asked them about use in the 30/30. The answer I got was they are fine for paper punching but they are meant for a 308/30-06 velocities so the would not expand. The tech assistance fella told me the groove placement is generally suited to 30/30s but to test before loading. So I gave it a try and low and behold the overall length is still good, considerably shorter than the leverEvolution hornady's.
I have yet to get my hands on any 170Gr bullets, or caught another suitable powder when I had some coin in the bank, so I rolled with what I had.

Truth be told, I hate firing from a bench, I can't seam to stay in the seat if I were chained to it. I always end up kneeling behind it with my left fist on the bench and right on the firearm whatever the choice is that day. If I'm forced to sit on the chair with that ridiculously low table to shoot, I end up just watching.

July 6, 2014, 02:39 PM
Don't feel bad, my eyes are nowhere near what they used to be. I'm not getting old but my eyes sure did! :p

July 6, 2014, 02:47 PM
I'm not sure if im part colorblind or what, but at distance i can't see that orange, or yellow for that matter. or as you say it might be that chronic condition called O.L.D.

35 Whelen
July 6, 2014, 04:01 PM
Bead front sights are close to as bad as you can get for any type precision shooting. A flat post of some type would be better. On the other hand the aperture is as good as it gets as far as sights are concerned. If I were you I'd do my shooting and testing at 50 yds. Having done a lot of shooting with open and aperture sights I learned that a proper target is of paramount importance. If you can make or find a target that will contrast your front sight you'll shoot much better groups.


July 6, 2014, 07:55 PM
Its rather embarrassing to admit, but I realize about 2 mins into cleaning that gun every time, that the front hood slides off forward very easily and the bead is bright polished silver... which I'm sure would have served me better. I've come to the conclusion that I won't scope that rifle, so investing in a proper sized flat front post like I grew up shooting may be a necessity.

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