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Odd Ball Questions re: .30-30 Reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by codefour, Sep 15, 2011.

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  1. codefour

    codefour Member

    Mar 5, 2011
    N. California
    I am one of the those rare shooters of a .30-30 bolt action rifle. I have an older Savage model 340 bolt action (detachable magazine) that I have had since I was a kid. It is still my favorite gun for California hunting under 200 yards.

    I have the Lyman 49th edition, Speer #14, and the most recent Nosler and Hornady load books. They all say you can use a spitzer style bullet in a magazine fed .30-30. Speer recommends that spitzer bullets loaded in a .30-30 should stay under 150 grains. I thought a spitzer style hunting bullet would increase accuracy as the ballistic coefficeint (BC) is soo much higher on the spitzer style bullets.

    Have any of the fellow THR members loaded a spitzer style bullet into a .30-30 before? I can not find any load data for a spitzer. ALL data is for round or flat nose bullets. Any good hunting spitzer recommendations are greatly appreciated.

    Do any of you memeber have a good recipe or am I in left field looking for something that is not obtainable.?

    Thank you for any input in advance.
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    You can use the same powder charges that you would with round nose bullets. OAL will depend upon the magazine length as in other mag fed rifles.
  3. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    I've owned both the Savage 340 and a Remington M788 in .30/30.

    Yes, you can load the pointed or "spitzer" bullets, but as Speer advised, it's best to stick with the lighter bullets.

    This is because the 150gr and heavier pointed bullets are constructed for higher velocities than those possible with the .30/30.

    Two excellent bullets for the bolt action .30/30's are the 125gr Nosler Ballistic Tip and the Hornady 130gr Pt.Spt. Hornady also makes a single shot pistol bullet intended for the .30/30 Contender's and .30Herret Contender's. This bullet is very good from the b/a .30/30's. I also need to add the 125gr Pt Spt Sierra, too. It and the Nosler B.T. have been accurate in every .30/30 I've shot them through. However, don't over look the 130gr Speer Flat-nose. It has a high b.c. for being a flat-nose bullet and is constructed for the .30/30 velocities.

    You can also use the 150gr pointed bullets, but expansion beyond 100yds might be "iffy". For 150gr and heavier in the .30/30 I suggest you use the Nosler Ballistic Tips. These have excellent expansion characteristics down to 1,800fps impact velocity. Below that, most of the "Spitzer" style bullets will perform like "Full metal jacketed" bullets.

    Remember, the limitation on your Savage is both the single lug bolt, and the thinness of the .30/30 brass. But, with normal .30/30 loadings, it's not an issue. As long as you seat the bullets to a short enough length to fit the magazine, you shouldn't have a problem with the bullets not chambering. If you don't mind single loading the rifle, you can seat the bullets out to touch the rifling, but drop your load 3.0gr and re-work up as seating the bullets to touch the grooves raises chamber pressures.

    I've found that the bulk packed 150gr Remington Pt.Spt Corlokt's for the .30/30 are hard to beat. They are more "pointed" than most lever-action tubular magazine safe bullets, and perform excellently on game. They also can be very accurate, depending on the particular lot# you end up with. I've seen a lot of variation in the quality of the CorLokts in the bulk packs.
    For a performance load from your Savage, I suggest 36.0gr of Reloader 15 under the 150gr Corlokt. Another superb combination is 34.0gr of RL15 under the 170gr Corlokt. Other powders I like in the .30/30 are BLC2 and H4895.
    Either of these Rl15 loads sighted in 3" high at 100yds will give a 150yd zero and are ~4" low at 200yds.
    I've killed a goodly number of deer with these loads and if you put them where they need to be, result in a quicly dead deer or bear. The 170gr Corlokt's in factory loading have an excellent repuatation in NewEngland for use on black bear (Northern Maine, in particular). I've found that the 170gr Corlokt is the best expanding 170 in the .30/30.
    Brass doesn't seem to be critical, however I seperate my brass by head-stamp and "partially" full length size my brass to keep from over working it. I trim before the first loading and toss the brass when it needs a second trimming. I've got a life-times supply of brass from range pickups at a public range I frequent. Enough that I've also got a lifetime of brass formed for my 7-30Waters, too.

    Remember, the pointed bullets are no more accurate. They just shoot flatter due to less drag.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  4. redbullitt

    redbullitt Member

    Nov 9, 2008
    Morgantown WV
    Ill second the nosler bt bullets. I dont have a bolt 3030 but I have had good luck with the 160 grain flex tip ones hornady makes for the 3030.

    They are pointed AND let me run them in my tube magazine; not a big deal on your bolt, but I bet they would expand well for you.
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I have loaded spitzer bullets for my 788 .30-30.
    They have to be seated pretty deeply to make magazine length.
    I have some 173 gr military match pulls that I load longer and fire single shot,
    Accuracy depends on quality, not nose shape. A bulk PSP is no more accurate than a RN; you have to go to a real target bullet to gain accuracy.

    One gunzine writer concluded that there was little advantage for spitzer over roundnose at ranges up to 200 yards.
  6. popper

    popper Member

    Nov 10, 2010
    The Hornady FTX is good for 30-30, flies farther. Accuracy is same as RN. The difference between the 308ME and 30-30 bullet is the crimp groove, as far as I can tell. Both are boat-tail. The core-loc SPP is flat base and has a 308 crimp groove. With a bolt gun, it shouldn't make a diff. Make sure your twist is fast enough for the heavy bullets at 200.
  7. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    Goose gave ya some good advice. I've been happy with the 125gr Sierra Spire point Pro Hunters over a max charge of TAC. It was good for 2526fps from a 20" barrel. I tried some 110's with W748 but a max load there only gave 2435fps with a lighter 110gr, so i'll stick with the 125's. Most of the 150's just won't perform as hoped at 30-30 velocities.
    Th 160gr FTX bullet with the Leverevolution powder works well and has a decent BC. Able to push those along at 2300fps and will be my load of choice for some GA deer in a few weeks.
  8. T Bran

    T Bran Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    Homestead FL
    Barnes shows data on a 130 grain TSX BT in the 2300-2400 fps range. This is a spitzer type x-bullet. I do not reload for 30-30 but do reload for several .30 cal rifles and barnes is my choice for DRT hogs and deer for the .30. I also reload for my mini 30 7.62x39 using .308 Barnes TTSX 130 grain bullets. The biggest problem with Barnes bullets is the cost of working up a load. Ive also heard people complain about them being inacurate in some rifles but have never had a problem myself. Currently im loading these for six rifles and am very happy with their performance on game even in the mini which has about the same numbers as your 30-30. I dont load much above mid range velocities so your rifle will probably be pushing them faster than my 7.62x39.
    Good luck and have fun.
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