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.30-30 reloads: what am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Quoheleth, Feb 10, 2010.

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  1. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    I recently inherited my Dad's Marlin 336 .30-30 with micro-groove rifling. It'a s nice shooter and in very good condition.

    Wanting to use it for plinking, I bought dies and some commercial, hard cast lead .311 bullets.

    I deprimed and full-length sized my brass (Lee dies) and then trimmed to length with the Lee trimmer. Case mouths were slightly belled so as to not shave the bullets and charged with 12.5gr Alliant 2400 and a Winchester large rifle primer. Bullets were seated to crimp groove and crimped with a medium-heavy crimp.

    I made 18 rounds (had only 18 pieces of brass). Of those 18 rounds, two would not chamber at all - the lever would not close all of the way. The others required more force than factory ammo to fully close the action - some more than others. I fired the ones that would chamber and accuracy was horrible - although, I found out last night part of the problem was probably a loose screw on a scope base (which I subsequently have taken off). Extraction was not difficult, as I recall. The bullets are not keyholing - they punch nice, clean holes in the paper.

    What's frustrating is that my previous loads of Unique (I want to say it was 8gr, but I just don't remember) with untrimmed brass, they chambered with a little difficulty but not as much as some of these with 2400. And, accuracy was pretty good - 3" @ 50 yards, with the same scope. I tried 2400 to try to bump the velocity up a bit.

    I checked the barrel last night as best I could. I could not see major leading, at least from the half-way point to muzzle. I cannot tell what's down by the chamber. I have a boresnake but not a cleaning rod.

    Any thoughts as to what I am doing wrong with my sizing? The first thing that has come to mind is that the .311 bullet is just THAT MUCH too big to chamber - .002" is making that big of a differnce and is making it difficult to chamber. My clue is the easy extraction. But, the folks over at the cast bullets forum say .311s are golden in the Marlin.

    Thanks,
    Q
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  2. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Either the bullets (ogive) are contacting the rifling early or you need to bump the case shoulder back a bit.
     
  3. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Its possible to bulge the shoulder when crimping. All cases must be the same length. What method/die do you use to crimp? Change your load to IMR 4895 27.5gr with a 170 gr lead cast with gas check. Diameter .311" should work, if one does all should. But a smaller diameter should be tried, maybe .310" What bullet are you using? Photo? Number?Make?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  4. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    I'm using the Lee Pacesetter dies for my .30-30.

    The bullets are made on Magma machines and look like the one attached. They do not have GC and I really don't want to mess with putting GCs on.

    I wanted to try this before buying yet another powder. As it is, I have a half-dozen pistol powders in the search for the "perfect" powder. I had found some data from the Hodgden manual for .30-30 in the TC Contender and thought I would try it --- thus, the Unique and 2400 charges.

    Q
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Cast Bullet types for Rifles

    Bore rides like this must fit exactly. Diameter is critical along with alloy. Not 30 cal. but gives you an idea. [​IMG] Other style bullets do not make contact with the bore, but they must fit the throats diameter. The bullet i use is 3th from the right, it does not contact the bore/lands. [​IMG]
     
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Your bullet may need to be seated deeper as said above. Or the diameter is to large for your chambers throat. But make sure its not the crimp buldging the shoulder first. You posted as i was posting above .
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Magic Marker or candle time!

    Color or smoke the ones that failed to chamber from just behind the shoulder forward to include all of the bullet and try to chamber them again.

    Where the Marker or soot rubs off is your problem.

    I think it may be the .311" bore riding bullet is too big for your rifling.

    rc
     
  8. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    What is the bullet weight?

    .311" seems a bit excessive to me but the difficulty chambering sounds like you're trying to load a bullet that's simply too long with too high an ogive. Whether it's .311" or .308" you should not be encountering resistance from chambering.
     
  9. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Weight is 170gr.

    I was told that with microgroove rifling, the smaller lead .309 won't fully engage the rifling (MG rifling is not as deep/tall as standard Ballard-style), thus the need for .311.

    Thanks for the ideas, so far. The rest of the week is a mess and I might not be able to get to the garage and play with this before next week.

    Q
     
  10. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Member

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    So how LONG are these bullets? Are they made for 30-30, or maybe something else in 30 cal? When you seat them to the crimp groove, what's the OAL?

    .311 lead is perfect in my microgroove Marlin, and it'll work great for you, too, soon as we figure out what the chambering problem is.
     
  11. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    Simple solution. After resizing cases, but before loading, test them in rifle's chamber. If the action closes easily-which it should-then it's obvious what your problem is.
     
  12. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    I'll have to measure and find out.

    As far as I know these are .30-30 bullets. That's how they are marketed.

    I'm at the office and do not remember.

    I sound like a politician, don't I? No answers except "I don't recall" and "I'll have to look into that." Sorry :eek:

    Q
     
  13. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    The way this reads, I assume you think you can put a gas check on any bullet. Such is NOT the case. The bullet has to be designed for a gas check with a reduced diameter shank on the very bottom driving band.

    As for why those are difficult to chamber, that's been well covered by the others above. It has to be ether the shoulder got a bit of a bulge during crimping, or the bullet diameter is too big. I would back off on the crimp next time, you don't need that much crimp.
     
  14. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Update

    OK...here are some numbers.

    I checked the two loads I have left (I couldn't find the 3rd; must have fallen in my trunk). Neither passed the drop into the chamber test - both stopped 3/8" short of fully chambering. I measured them. OAL was 2.495 (manual: max 2.550). Width of mouth with bullet was .334 (manual: .332) and the mouth had a bump --- as though it had been crimped too hard and had buckled the brass just a bit.

    I tried making a dummy cartridge after lengthening the crimp die a 1/2 turn so it didn't crimp so hard. OAL was right at 2.5" and mouth w/bullet was .331. It dropped into the chamber almost fully - a gentle tap with my finger seated it fully. I extracted the dummy and fed it into the magazine and cycled the action. It fed with just a little extra force needed to fully lock the action.

    I'll play with the crimp die just a bit more; I think I'm on the right path. I'll smoke it tomorrow and check that, too.

    How much crimp do I need? I don't want the bullet to seat deeper under recoil.

    Q
     
  15. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Member

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    Yeah, but you sound honest and like guns, so I'll give you my vote. :)

    Reading further on, it sounds like you found your problem - good job! You'll like those .311 lead bullets in that microgroove. All I can say when I go out to shoot some of those is SWEEEEEEEEET!

    As for how much crimp, you honestly don't need that much, just enough to keep the bullet from moving. Take that dummy you made up, or another like it, and push the bullet down with your finger. I'll bet your finger hurts and the bullet doesn't move. Turn it over and give it a good whack on the bench. It will probably move some but not as far as you thought it would. You'll see what I mean. Remember that the neck of the cartridge is pushing in on that bullet as well. It won't take much crimp to make sure it won't move in the tube. Oh, and something else - with that rimmed cartridge, they don't sit exactly nose to tail, either. The nose hangs down a bit and sits below the center of the primer of the cartridge in front of it.

    Talking about it has gotten me ready to go shoot and it's TOO COLD for this old man to get out there. Dang it! Have fun, bud!
     
  16. kelbro

    kelbro Member

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    A big bullet going into a small neck can often cause other problems. A Lyman M-die may prevent the brass from buckling at the neck shoulder junction. It will also do less 'sizing' of the bullet while seating.
     
  17. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Trim the brass.

    This is a must before loading cast bullets and trying to crimp them. I ususally trim all .30/30 brass before the first reloading. I've seen some OFB fired in my gun that was at least 0.030" over length. After trimming, all the cases will be crimped equally and shouldn't present a problen with feeding/chambering. JUST DON'T OVER-DO THE CRIMPING. I've gone as high as 16.5gr of #2400 with the .30/30 without problem, but I've always used gaschecked bullets.(always used my own cast bullets).

    I'm suspicious of all commercial cast bullets, and especially those which don't have gaschecks. And of those that do have gaschecks, I find that they're as, if not more expensive than jacketed bullets of equal quality. For what you paid for those bullets, you could have bought a Lee mould, and gaschecks; and for what two more boxes cost, you could have bought a sizer and lubricant. And with a little time wandering around some busy intersections, picked up enough wheel weights to have a month of shooting. I went running near a large airport some time back while "dead-heading" between corporate flights (I'm the pilot) I had to wait on a traffic light to change. By the time the light changed enough for me to work all eight corners, I picked up over 3lbs of wheel weights...... Then had to take my sweatshirt off to carry all the weights back to the motel.... And refigure the weight and balance on the a/c....... Lead is heavy, ya know !!!! Ended up with 10lbs of lead before the flight was a go....... I was bored, you know ! Hit more than just the first intersection after what a lead-mine I'd discovered!
    No I ain't tellin what city it was !!!!!!!!

    Order some moulds and get busy !!!
     
  18. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Goose,

    The reason I don't cast my own is that, quite frankly, I don't have time. I barely have time to load my own ammo, let alone get out to shoot it. If I had to cast my boolits too, I would never get there.

    Q
     
  19. rattletrap1970

    rattletrap1970 Member

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    I must say I am curious about those case bullets for .30-30 I have a Winchester and a Marlin 336. I once loaded Spire point bullets and seated them to a depth that could chamber reliably (single loaded of course) and I was astounded that the .30-30 is actually capable of some truly amazing accuracy. I'm almost ashamed to say I never thought of cast bullets. I'm glad I caught this post.
     
  20. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    Now that is dedication. Good on you, Goose.
     
  21. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    I have never crimped a cast or jacketed bullet for my 30wcf. The Lyman "M" die is a good investment as said above, it opens the mouth for the .311" bullet so you dont shave lead on seating. There are 2 30 cal. M dies, get the correct one. Little to no crimp is better. Do a test, load the magazine, check the last bullet before firing, see if it has moved any when not crimping.
     
  22. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Lee Seating die crimp style.

    The die taper crimps first, then roll crimps. Be carefull that the taper does not size the .311" bullet smaller on seating.
    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/faq/index.cgi
     
  23. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    Do yourself a favor and shoot jacked bullets instead of farting around with the lead stuff.
    No headache, not THAT expensive AND you can extend your time at the Range!
     
  24. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Well, yeah, but what would be the challenge of that? Besides, I got 500 lead bullets for the price of 100 jacketed.

    What can I say...I'm cheap.

    Q
     
  25. vulture

    vulture Member

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    I had this same problem, different calliber, come to find out I was putting too much roll crimp and the cases right at the mouth just below the crimp were bulging out slightly, not a lot but enough to make it difficult to chamber each round. I had a bunch of them done so I carefully ran them back through the sizeing die with the decapper pin removed, fixed the problem, I adjusted my seat die after that and never had the problem again.
     
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