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1920's rifle ammunition question

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 200Apples, Jan 22, 2016.

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  1. 200Apples
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    200Apples Member

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    What were some common bullet weights for the .30WCF (.30-30), say, in 1922? I don't reload (yet) so I don't have much reference material at hand (other than Go0gle!)... but I thought I'd ask The High Road Brain Trust, first.

    I have a decent-bore Win 1894 in .30WCF but it doesn't seem to like modern .30-30 cartridges. A friend suggested that perhaps bullet weights were lighter and that the twist might be an older spec.

    Thanks in advance for any info, even if it is "nothing's changed. Just shoot the thing."

    :)
     
  2. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I don't think the twist rate has ever changed in the 30 WCF/30-30.

    Original bullet weight was 160 grain. I don't recall when they went to 150 and 170. I saw something about it today, but the date didn't stick in my mind.

    What is it that your gun doesn't like, or whats happening (or not)?

    Have you given it a good cleaning? I don't mean run a brush and a few patches through it, but a real serious cleaning, like copper removing, and/or the electric fouling removers?

    Does the rifling at the muzzle look OK, not dinged up?
     
  3. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    Same as today, 150 and 170 gr. Some other weights offered over the years as well.
     
  4. 200Apples
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    200Apples Member

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    See! I thought so. :-\ Thanks, fellers.



    Thanks again, Malamute. All good questions. What's not happening are hits! Hahaha... then again I'm reaching for 100 yds and can't seem get many onto the paper, let alone on center, whereas shooting my .357 or .44 1892s I can't miss. Very accurate carbines, those '92s, and offhand to boot.

    I suppose I need to sight it at 25 yds then work from there. I have, but have not yet installed, a Marble Arms tang-mount peep. That should help some.

    I have not given it a deep cleaning as you've described, but the bore looks good and clean throughout. The crown is undamaged, I've inserted a cartridge into the muzzle to print the lands onto the bullet to look for irregularities; they're all consistent. The rifling looks proud and sharp at the throat...

    I've been using both 150 and 170 grain Winchester. I'm taking it to the range again on Saturday and have a more-experienced, precision shooter friend I'll meet there. He's agreed to help me sight it in.
    .
     
  5. HammsBeer

    HammsBeer Member

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    Was there a reason for the two different 150 and 170 weights for 30-30? And is there any truth to the rumor that factory ammo velocities were tweaked so they both had the same POI?
     
  6. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    From American Rifleman, Volume 70 (1922):




    Western High Velocity 30-30 Cartridge

    The Western Cartridge Company has just developed a special 30-30 high velocity cartridge that brings the old type 30-30 rifle up to the modern high-power standards. This new cartridge is supplied with 150-grain open-point Lubaloy bullet which gives much flatter trajectory, especially at long ranges.

    Many tests that have been made with this new cartridge demonstrates conclusively that it has remarkable striking and penetrating qualities which make it particularly desirable for big game shooting. ln one test this bullet penetrated one-quarter inch of boiler plate at 100 yards, with sufficient remaining energy to enter a back stop several inches.

    While this new cartridge has been speeded up to 2,370 f. s. the pressure developed is lower than the old standard type. The Lubaloy jacket gives the added advantage of absolutely preventing metal fouling in the barrel. Notwithstanding the open-point construction, this bullet gives accuracy equal to the full metal patch bullet; it has tremendous destructive power on big game.


    BALLISTIC DATA
    The new Western 30-30 High Velocity Cartridge Compared With the Standard 170 Grain.
    _______________________________________________________________
    .................................High Velocity............Standard
    ......................................150 grain............170 grain
    Muzzle velocity.................2,370................1,940 f. s.
    Muzzle energy..................1,870................1,420 ft. lbs.
    Velocity at 100 yards.........2,105...............1,710 f. s.
    Energy at 100 yards..........1,472...............1,110 ft. lbs.

    Trajectory
    100 yards.........................0.85..................1.18 in.
    200 yards.........................3.62..................5.88 in.
    300 yards.........................10.02...............15.34 in.


     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  7. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    OP, a photo! Post a photo of the old gal!

    I suspect you might find that one or the other of your sights got bumped a little, pushing your aim off a little bit, or that perhaps she likes a "fine" sight picture, where the front sight is just barely visible in the bottom of the rear notch.

    A little experimentation ought to get you centered up.
     
  8. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I like to start the sight-in of a new-to-me rifle at 25 yards. Then I go to 100 yards.
     
  9. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    Yeap, do 25 yards first. What kind of 3-5 shot group do you have there. Might be surprizing.
    Jmtcw
    I've got an 1873 38-40 that loves lead boolits, but doesn't do well with the jacketed.
     
  10. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    Goosey, good post on the old info. Do you happen to have that info in an image that would be easy to save?

    Just yesterday I stumbled across something in a google search. It was an old Winchester ad comparing the two loads, showing the 170 grain being good for 300 yards and the 150 grain being good for 500 yards. I thought I saved it but didn't, and couldn't find it when I looked again.

    If all that sounds far fetched, remember that in the past, they weren't just guessing what amount of sight to hold over at distance, the steps on the rear sight elevator were supposed to correspond to different ranges, in 50 yard steps starting at 50 yards out to about 300. The other fine adjustment of the sight was for sighting in, not just using the steps as random things used to sight in with. Winchester had several different sight elevators for different calibers or cartridges. It wasn't super precise, but that was how it was intended to be done way back when.

    I chuckle when I see people say things like "The 30-30 was designed for close range brush hunting". Uh, no. It was designed as a high velocity (for the day) longer range hunting load. Roosevelt used his for hunting antelope at some pretty long distances. His hunting guide was quite impressed after they used it.

    It looks pretty wimpy today, but after using black powder loads, it was a huge step up in longer range shootability.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  11. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Goosey: Great information! Love that vintage stuff. :)
     
  12. stiab

    stiab Member

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    Was reading some of my old outdoor mags recently, and one article described the .30-30 as being "flat shooting", which it was in comparison to the options of that day.
     
  13. HammsBeer

    HammsBeer Member

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    So the 150 is actually the more modern loading. I would have thought it was the other way around, but then again it seems bullets have been getting lighter and faster over time. Also interesting is how the 30-30 is regarded as a 150 -200 yard gun today, yet they were using it much further out back then.

    As far as recoil I loaded up my 336 with alternating 150's and 170's and my shoulder couldn't tell the difference. I know everybody says the 30-30 is a soft shooter but it still packs a good kick from the light weight 336.
     
  14. 200Apples
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    200Apples Member

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    Indeed. I find my metal-buttplate .44 mag 1892 a much softer shooter (and much easier to hit with, too).

    I'm not giving up with this lovely old '94, though, just yet.




    Here you go. These were taken when I purchased the rifle two years ago. Since I've shot it little, nothing has changed save that I straightened a slightly-bent flip-up ladder rear sight.

    20131217_152202_zps116dd96a.jpg

    20131217_152214_zps2feee4a7.jpg

    20131217_152208_zps3aaae172.jpg

    20131220_151312_zps7d0099a9.jpg

    20131220_151303_zps2db88e56.jpg

    Looking back, I see from a prior post I shot it at an indoor range (25 yd maximum) and was able to "keep them mostly in the middle" so perhaps my elevation is off, as stubbicat suggested (that is how I aim a bead-sighted short-barreled 870: to where the front bead is just *barely* visible through the horizon of the receiver...)

    This great older carbine has been on the sidelines since I've been shooting some pistol-caliber lever carbines. As I said earler, with those, center hits are an effortless endeavor.

    Thank you again for the replies and the good advice. I'll start small and work my way out from there. Too, I need to install that Marbles peep. I will update with any progress.

    :)
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    When you bench test a 30-30 carbine, it is imperative that you hold it down on the bags Hard.

    If held loosely, they will jump off the bags before the bullet gets out of the bore and groups will be dismal.

    rc
     
  16. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    I, of course, agree with RC with the additional caveat that you hold the forend tightly and with your hand between the forend and the rest. Pull back.
    My 94 and my 36, both carbines, do not shoot to the same POI with 150 and 170, the heavier ones actually impacting higher.
    I have some 160 (or is it 165) Leverevolutions I am going to try next.
    One thing I am happy with is the development of a plinking/small game load that prints at 25 yards to the sights which are set 1" high at 100 for the 170 grain bullets. Got that idea from old Townsend Whelen's writings. (115 grain gas check 311316 and a pinch of Red Dot held back by a tuft of Kapok).
     
  17. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    Nice old carbine, Apple. I like the early type quite a bit more than the later style. Once they went to ramp front sights and the front band moved back, the plain shotgun type butt, and short wood fore ends (50's), they all pretty much look the same, from the early 30's on to the end of production.

    Yours has the small sighting notch on your leaf sight. They are bit easier to use. I had one with the wide V notch. It took a bit to get it figured out. I managed to ding the 600 yard plate with it though.


    Hope you get it figured out as to why it isn't shooting as well as youd like.

    I'll suggest again, just because the bore doesn't look bad doesn't mean it couldn't be helped with a very thorough cleaning with a good copper solvent. Most of the 94's I've had and shot would do fair to quite good, except one that had an oversized bore.
     
  18. Goosey

    Goosey Member

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    Not a picture of the original ad, unfortunately it was cached text. I can attach a pic of the post itself.

    I have saved this ad, there was a thread on it a while back: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=775207


    Yup, they sure seem to have advertised much longer ranges back then, and the new high-velocity smokeless rifles were a big advancement. Still, I doubt many animals were taken at distances of several hundred yards, it would be just as tough a shot back then as today.

    This passage from Teddy Roosevelt's 1885 book "Hunting Trips of a Ranchman" is revelant, too.


    The truth is that three hundred yards is a very long shot, and that even two hundred yards is a long shot. On looking over my game-book I find that the average distance at which I have killed game on the plains is less than a hundred and fifty yards. A few years ago, when the buffalo would stand still in great herds, half a mile from the hunter, the latter, using a long-range Sharp's rifle, would often, by firing a number of shots into the herd at that distance, knock over two or three buffalo; but I have hardly ever known single animals to be killed six hundred yards off, even in antelope hunting, the kind in which most long-range shooting is done; and at half that distance a very good shot, with all the surroundings in his favor, is more apt to miss than to hit. Of course old hunters—the most inveterate liars on the face of the earth—are all the time telling of their wonderful shots at even longer distances, and they do occasionally, when shooting very often, make them, but their performances, when actually tested, dwindle amazingly. Others, amateurs, will brag of their rifles. I lately read in a magazine about killing antelopes at eight hundred yards with a Winchester express, a weapon which cannot be depended upon at over two hundred, and is wholly inaccurate at over three hundred, yards.

    The truth is that, in almost all cases the hunter merely guesses at the distance, and, often perfectly honestly, just about doubles it in his own mind. Once a man told me of an extraordinary shot by which he killed a deer at four hundred yards. A couple of days afterward we happened to pass the place, and I had the curiosity to step off the distance, finding it a trifle over a hundred and ninety. I always make it a rule to pace off the distance after a successful shot, whenever practicable—that is, when the animal has not run too far before dropping,—and I was at first both amused and somewhat chagrined to see how rapidly what I had supposed to be remarkably long shots shrank under actual pacing.



    A similar manufacturer claim about the .25-35 was mentioned by Phil Sharpe: "Winchester recommends its accuracy at 700 yards but this author would like to see any reasonably-sized group shot with a rifle in the lever action class using this cartridge at one-half that range."
     

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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
  19. Mr Woody

    Mr Woody Member

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    What?
    implying that hunters would exaggerate their shooting!
    I thought that was just what fishermen did :)
     
  20. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    Goosey, that was it, the one in your link, thanks!

    I'm somewhere in the middle regarding shooting at distance. Ive shot my stuff at sometimes stupid ranges, Ive managed to hit the 22" plate at 600 yards (plates were set with a laser range finder) with an early type carbine with the leaf sight, and have hit that plate with a pistol and the 300 yard plate quite regularly with various pistols, but wouldn't shoot at game at anything near the ranges I plink at.

    The old ads and implied useful distances are a lot of hype. Id also like to see groups at any extended ranges. Some good shooting is possible if one applies themselves to the task, but I still wouldnt shoot at game at any extended range with an iron sighted lever action.
     
  21. 336A

    336A Member

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    The .30 WCF/ 30/30 has been loaded by the factories over the years with quite a few different bullet weights. Here is pretty good article on the history of the 30/30 though it doesn't mention when the 150gr bullet, hope this is of some help to you. BTW that's nice saddle ring carbine you have there.
    http://www.leverguns.com/articles/3030history.htm
     
  22. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    When the 1894 came out in .30 WCF, the usual comparison was not to something like the .30-40 Krag, but to the Model 1892 Winchester, which was made in the same calibers as the 1873. By comparison, the .30-30 was flat shooting and powerful.

    Back to the inaccuracy. First, is the ammunition correct? (Sorry, but I had to ask.) Next thing I would try is removing the magazine tube and foreend. A common problem with the 94 is that the magazine tube is fastened so tightly to the barrel that it binds the barrel and as the barrel heats, shots tend to be all over the place. With the tube off, rest the receiver (not the barrel) on a bench and try for accuracy. If that is the problem, I can give you a few tips on a fix.

    Jim
     
  23. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Yup. Mechanically zero that peep, then start at 25, zero there, then go out to 50 or 100 and zero there. Nice looking M94! Mine was made in that early WWII period that serials weren't well recorded. It has been in a house fire. (since rebuilt with new springs) Not a pretty rifle, but shoots well. My son wants to borrow it for deer this year.
     
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