Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by AStone, Nov 4, 2015.
Different from 150 - 170.
Lower mass, higher velocity.
Reports? Ideas? Stomps? Experiences?
It was my goto coyote load in 30-30 for 40 years.
Higher velocity, flatter trajectory at open sight ranges, and stomps a mud-hole in coyotes.
Sierra 125 over 36.0 grains H-4895 was more accurate then any 150 or 170 load I ever tried in my old 1950'ish Win 94 Carbine.
^ A fine start ..
As an after-thought.
I once shot two 5 shot groups at 100 yards with that load, both under 1.25".
With an open sight 94 Winchester carbine.
In front of a witness!!
Best I ever got out of it with 150 was around 2.5".
This right here.
I use 125 gr Nosler BT's over IMR 4198 for my TC Contender super 14". That load will group under 1" at 100 yards and has CLEANLY taken a lot of whitetails. I ain't changin' nothin'!
Critter, that's an important aspect that I'd like to explore here much more. I'm participating in at least one thread about using .223 for whitetail, at least smaller ones (like in Florida). Most agree that it can be done -- given extra attention to bullet choice (heavy, designed for larger game), distance (keep it under 100 yds), shot choice (nothing risky like quartering away running), and shot placement --- but many argue that's it's marginal.
I still want a .223 -- a Ruger American Ranch is almost certainly in my future -- and am exploring the option of using it for both (small, Florida) deer and hogs.
But the rifle that I love the most -- and will use most for hunting -- is my 336 in .30-30. For having it so long (2007), I've shot it pathetically little. (I'm self-employed, and my boss has been a borderline workaholic trying to get a business to a stable place, so little time and less money for shooting.) That's going to change, starting this month.
I enjoy shooting it, and have had good results at 50 - 75 yds with ghost rings. IIRC, it liked 150 gr better than 170's or even 160's (Hornady) -- but I'm going to revisit that this month at a new range. I'm planning to add a Leupold VX Hog (non-R) asap. That's gonna help a LOT, I predict.
Yet, if I'm going to do a lot of shooting -- which I want to -- I want to reduce the recoil a notch or two. (One motivation for a .223.) Not that its recoil bothers me -- I've always found the .30-30 to be relatively mild (compared to some magnums, in which I have zero interest), but retinal detachment and macular degeneration runs in my family. Last eye exam showed some signs of the former for me. So, the less recoil I absorb, the better. (So sayeth the ophthalmologist, and my background in anatomy helps me understand why.)
But, I want to shoot the round that I hunt with -- everyone understands that -- so --- finally, to my point here: it's great to read that 125's are a reliable white tail load. 150's and 170's for pigs, for sure -- but if I can shoot 125's for whitetail, that makes me happy.
For that matter, if indeed one can take hogs with .223, then I suspect that .30-30 125's might work, also -- depends on the ballistics, which I haven't looked hard at yet (and I always take those with a grain of salt anyway).
And it's truly great to read your (plural) testimonials about such small shot groups with the 125's. That just makes me smile, to know that the tried and true .30-30, not renowned for its accuracy, can stand up and do it, too.
We'll see how well mine does both before and after the coming barrel cut/crown. I think I'm going down to somewhere from 16.5" - 17.5". Will discuss with some of you and a smith or two before deciding. I'm willing to be a test case for this -- because for me, accuracy is not #1 priority -- it's maneuverability in dense growth, especially when around hogs.
About all I load for my 30-30 rifles anymore is 110 gr Speer HP's and I have shot 1.5" groups with one 94 that has a Williams peep sight.
Sierra used to make a fine 30 cal. 135gr bullet for handguns that I could shoot 3-4" groups with at 300yds and I took a number of Mulies and Antelope with them but they have discontinued at some point so I need to work up something with Balistic Tips.
The little 110's are great for small game and varmint/predators but I wouldn't use them on deer over archery distance.
X-Rap, I'm glad you added the 110's to the discussion here. 135's would be welcome, too, if they were still available.
Maybe I should have titled this thread ".30-30 lite bullets", but 125's are my focus for now -- but only because I can't find a commercially loaded 110 rnd. I don't reload -- not sure I'm going to have time and ability to get into it; I'm still going to (unfortunately) be moving a lot for at least the first half of next year, and I just can't lug the extra stuff around.
But I'm certainly interested in hearing others experiences.
When you say 110's are good for small game, which small game specifically? "Small" sometimes includes everything from coyotes to squirrel, but I'm assuming you wouldn't recommend taking squirrels (the tree rat kind) with 110's.
Oh, there's also a cool trick that someone -- I think it was JustSayMo -- told me about a few years ago, whereby you can press a buckshot -- I think it was 0, but maybe 00 -- into a empty casing over a few (?) grains of powder, and it makes a good load for small game like squirrel, rabbit and grouse.
I can't remember the details now, but want to learn it again and try it. Anyone that has knowledge of how to do that, please post it.
ETA: I just searched "buckshot calibers" and found this. I'm guessing it's either 1 or 0 used for that. I'm pretty sure it was 0, but I can't remember exactly why.
I loaded 20 with 110 grain bullets and they worked just fine, But then I only put one at a time in the magazine tube. The bullets were JSP and although I thought the risk was slight, I opted to not have a pointed bullet nose resting against a primer under recoil. The load was 34.0 grains IMR4895. I'd think 125 grain would do just as well.
The was my wife's first go with a "High powered" rifle and she (and I) wanted to work up to full power 170 grain loads.
She never shot anything farther than 50 yards and it was easy to put them into a gallon milk jug filled with water. No idea what group size was at any range, but for pigs, MOMJ (Minute of Milk Jug) was fine.
Back in the 1990's, I shot 3 deer from a box of this speedy ammo. Results:
- no exit hole
- ghastly internal chest organ damage
- good accuracy
- about the same trajectory as heavier bullets
I went back to 170 grain Power Points because this ammo is readily available and always produces an exit hole.
AStone check this site for 30-30 loads. The buckshot load you are looking for uses a 30 caliber #1 buck and 5grs of bullseye powder. I use to load 4grs of bullseye and it would have made a dandy small game load. I also cast 32 caliber bullets (.314 94gr) and plan to run some through a .310 sizer and try those in the 30-30.
I tried some 110 30 carbine bullets but never got just real good accuracy. But I didn't work up loads like I should have either.
^ Thanks, guys.
TR, I'm not an experienced deer hunter -- never shot one, even though I tried, but years ago -- so please school me. I've always thought that keeping the bullet in the animal keeps all that ballistic energy in there, also. But you prefer an exit hole? Bleed out? Better blood trail? I'm reading.
Ratshooter, thanks MUCH for that #1 buckshot recipe. I can remember that, and will try some out in the next couple of months. Looking forward to the experiment.
I'm curious though: is Bullseye powder special? Why not any powder? Not questioning your call at all, just curious.
Not exactly apples to apples but the go to load for 7x30 waters is a 120gr bullet. Coming out of a 14" barrel and with the proper bullet it is good to 150-200 yards. I wouldn't think there to be much difference between this and your question as long as your rifle is accurate with the lighter bullets.
I've killed (literally) tons of deer with the 125 Nosler ballistic tip.
Thanks, guys. Good to read positive reports.
New question, but directly related.
I had assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that recoil would be significantly diminished for all 125 gr rnds.
I finally paid attention to ballistics with two common 125 gr loads:
Remington Managed Recoil and Federal Power Shock.
But I'm finding that the managed recoil version has reduced velocity etc.
Muzzle Velocity: 2175 fps
Muzzle Energy: 1313 ft. lbs.
Muzzle Velocity: 2570 fps
Muzzle Energy: 1833 ft. lbs.
Can someone help me understand this? Specifically, will the Federal recoil really be substantially different from a 150 gr load?
Boarding a plane in 10 minutes. Good bye, left coast.
I got this bright idea to load some 125 grain NBTs for a Marlin .30-30 once.
I figured that since it was a tubular magazine I would just load one in the chamber and one in the tube.
That part was fine, however the loaded rounds were so long they wouldn't eject. You literally had to shoot them to get them out. lol
Oh well. It was a good idea in theory.
On paper, maybe. But I doubt you will notice much difference. At any rate, a .30-30 is relatively easy on the shoulder. I doubt you will have a problem with any of the loads.
Are these 30-30 light bullets available in factory loads or handloaded only? I've got 2000 rounds of factory loaded 150's and 170's, but I can't shoot more than a couple boxes at a time through my 336 (I don't hunt, just paper punching). I'd love to run 100+ rounds of light loads in an afternoon without a sore shoulder the next day.
I shot this buck last week with a .308" 125 gr Nosler Ballistic tip.
I got him in the back as he was running away at 250 yards.
He stood on his hind legs and fell over.
I had to shoot him again in the lungs at close range. The front half of him was not dead yet.
The BE load was just sort of a standard for many years. Probably about any fast pistol powder would work. Hodgdon Titegroup might be a replacement and is reported to not be position sensitive. You might ask this question in the reloading section and get a better answer.
The lighter bullets will give less recoil. the reduced velicity load from remington should kill deer just fine. Maybe the best thing you could do is have a good recoil pad fitted. I did that with one of the 336s I owned long ago. I cut off the wood so the LOP would be the same.
The pad I installed was one of the white line pads from pacmayr. It was thick and ugly with the vents in it but boy howdy what a difference it made. They are a pain to install yourself and messy to boot. Its one of the better jobs to let a gunsmith do. They will do a better job. Trust me. They have a stock jig and will get a perfect fit without sanding through the finish.
I've shot a lot of 125 grain loads in 30-30. Yes, I recall the recoil being significantly less than full power 150 grain loads.
I personally have always liked the Speer hot-core 130gn for 30-30 .
HammsBeer, Federal produces a factory load 125 gr. You'll find a link upstream here. It's the only one I've found so far.
ETA: here ya go.
Ratshooter, if I put a recoil pad on it, I'll def let a smith do it. I've read horror stories.
Alien, if I reloaded, I'd def try some of those 130's, and other stuff. Unfortunately, I don't, and my lifestyle (move around a LOT) just won't allow it.
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