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Factory loads more accurate than mine

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by coondogger, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. coondogger

    coondogger Member

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    I've tested three loads for my lever action rifle.

    A 150 gr Sierra FN propelled by 28.7 of IMR-3031; a 150 gr Sierra FN propelled by 27.7 gr of H335; and a 150 gr jacketed RN in front of 26.5 gr of IMR-3031.

    I tested all three against factory loaded Federal Power-Shok 150 gr soft point FN projectiles. The powder data of course is a trade secret.

    The factory loads far outperformed my loads. Of the three hand loads, the 150 gr jacketed RN with IMR-3031 did the best but still woefully outperformed by the factory loads.

    Any thoughts on this?
     
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    The powder charges are to light? Check Hodgdon data.

    How rounds are crimped, may make a difference. I never crimped for my M94.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
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  3. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    First of all, I'd experiment with the powder charges, and when I found one that was better than the others, I'd start fiddling with seating depth.

    Your factory load are probably all tested for concentricity, as well. A concentricity gauge will set you back about a hundred bucks.
     
  4. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Throw in the towel.

    I have some accurate 30-30 ammo for sale at COVID prices. PM me.
     
  5. bear166

    bear166 Member

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    As mentioned, I would start with altering the charges if you haven't already experimented with that. Hodgdon lists your first load as the starting charge. I would try upping it a little bit at a time and see if you notice any improvement.

    3031 can be somewhat fickle I think, in my hours of research on it there are a lot of different opinions out there on getting the best accuracy out of it. One thing that seems certain is that you likely won't get the most accurate charge with the first thing you try. I use it in my 38-55 though and have had pretty good results. I wouldn't say I have a tack driving load, but it seems to be more accurate than the few factory loads I've fired, and I know it's a very well-loved powder among the 30-30 community (don't have one myself so I can't help you with specifics there). Keep trying, you'll find a good one!
     
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  6. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Select one bullet and powder and do a full ladder of testing. Ocw is the name of the test procedure. Then refign by seating depth. If you dont find a pleasing result change one of the factors either power or bullet.
     
  7. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Ladder testing all the different powders will yield better data.

    In the end, if the factory ammo is adequate, use it instead.

    Handloading is not the end all be all. It is close though. If you are pulling your hair out trying to beat factory loads, just stop. If you can’t beat them, join them.

    I assume this is for 30-30. I have found handloading 30-30 in non-fireformed cases to yield results that are not worth the effort over factory ammo.

    By fireforming I mean, 30-30 ammo head spaces on the rim. You need your ammo to be head spacing on the shoulder. Neck sized only (or barely pushing back the shoulder) fired brass will get you there.
     
  8. coondogger

    coondogger Member

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    I should have mentioned that these are starting loads whereas the factory loads are probably a little more robust. I do crimp because they are going in a tube magazine.
     
  9. coondogger

    coondogger Member

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    Well back to the bench. Meanwhile I'm going to use the factory loads for this deer season.
     
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  10. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I am willing to bet that you will find a more accurate load than factory with a little experimentation. I like 3031 and a Speer 170 grain FN bullet for my 30-30's. I use mine in a couple 94's, a 336, and a Savage 340. I have one load that is 1.5 inches or thereabouts in all of them byt do not load any 150's. I also use a Lee FCD and partial full length size my brass for the tightest chamber, the Savage.
     
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  11. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    That’s not uncommon, one reason why I always suggest one uses premium factory ammunition as a baseline, if available. Nice to set a standard so you can know where your loads stand accurately wise.
     
  12. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    It is also not uncommon for “more robust” loads to perform better. Load density, pressure, etc. Do you have a chronograph or know someone that does? One can go a long way to reverse engineer the factory load you have that does so much better.

    Once you can duplicate those results, you will be on your way to getting even better results.
     
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  13. EccentricInTexas

    EccentricInTexas Member

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    Have you Chronographed any of your rounds??? I have my favorite 130grain 270 win load using 4064 that matches Factory Winchester 130 Silver tip velocities. It has been a tack driver with every bullet except Hornady interlock SP. I would play with the powder charge a little. I usually load three at half grain increments to see which loading the rifle likes. I would also suggest getting a Digital Powder scale if possible. The balance beam ones work well but sometimes can be sticky and need to be zeroed anytime they are moved.
     
  14. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Your 3031 load is too low. Work up to about 29.5.
    If you can't get good accuracy from 3031. You have a failure in your system.
    Trimming every firing is critical in 30-30.
    If that doesn't fix it. Try Leverevolution with the 150 rn. I get even better accuracy than 3031.
     
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  15. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I was thinking the same thing, the loads were just a couple of grains short of the 29.5 gr happy spot IMR 3031 enjoys with a Hornady 150 gr RN in my 1894’s.

    (I loaded a batch of 160 gr Hornady FTX bullets over 35.5 gr Leverevolution powder (Book max load) ... I’m itching to see how these work.)

    OP, maybe bump it up a touch and see if the load doesn’t settle in for you.

    Stay safe.
     
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  16. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    As others have implied but not asked, what was your methodology for selecting the loads you did? While you might not be ringing steel at 1000 yds, getting a good group at 100 yds is entirely possible with a lever gun, but in my history has taken a bit of time and materials. Given the shortages we have, you may want to focus on one bullet and one powder combination first.
    I do find factory ammo has been really good in my 336, I only reload to try to do better. Good luck.
     
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  17. coondogger

    coondogger Member

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    While I continue to hunt with the factory loads I’m going to see if increasing the powder weights to 29.5 of 3031 helps. I’ll report back.
     
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  18. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Thought you may find this video helpful. This video discusses partial full length sizing if you are not familiar with the term or process.
     
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  19. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I'm sure it will. That load is great in a M94, M64, and a 336 Microgroove.
    The M64 is a 24" barrel. So barrel length doesn't seem to affect the accuracy.
     
  20. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    Reloading can create more accurate ammo than factory stuff, but it's not a given. I can cook up a better meal than most restaurants but that doesn't mean every home chef is going to be able to and expecting to do it on your first try isn't reasonable.

    The factories are using trained technicians whose job is to create ammo. They have decades of experience and tailor the components being used for each combination. The handloader can tailor his rounds for his gun but that takes a lot of trial and error.
     
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  21. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I think too many people think that any old handloads are going to outperform factory ammo. That's just not the case.
    The ammunition hitting the market today, especially centerfire, is exceptional.
     
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  22. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Handloads need to be developed for improvement in performance.
     
  23. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I know “starting load” is supposed to be starting load, but I’ve had more positive experience with loads 1/2 way or greater above suggested starting ones.
     
  24. coondogger

    coondogger Member

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    Perhaps you've not fired any Winchester ammunition. I think a well aimed rock will outperform their offerings.
     
  25. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    perhaps you should also expand your list of powders used as well? I see you have only 3031 and 335 listed. You could also try 4198, 748, 2015 and others I am sure (these are the ones I have exp with).

    Others have mentioned the items I was. Hope this helps?
     
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