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Who makes the most robust 30-30 brass?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by R.W.Dale, Nov 22, 2007.

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  1. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    My savage 340 is rather hard on casings, after only 3 or 4 firings they begin to look rather pregnant just above the case head. So far I've been using Winchester casings but I wonder if another brand may hold up better.

    That or are cases formed from 375win as tough as some handloaders are reporting.
     
  2. jacobhh

    jacobhh Member

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    In 30-30 the Winchester brass is still probably your best
    bet. You can try to use a thicker walled case to gain
    longevity. I don't know how much thicker the 375 is but
    I imagine it would be somewhat heavier, it also costs twice
    as much so that some actually make 375 cases from 30-30
    brass.

    What load are you using? Anything over about 40K PSI is
    pushing the 30-30 case and the 340 will handle more than that.
     
  3. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Sure you don't have excessive head space and getting case stretch/thinning?

    The brass is just a gasket that fills the gaps. 40k psi is going to move any brand of brass.
     
  4. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    a couple grains under max using Varget with any bullet weight from hodgons manual. None of the max loads are over 36k cup according to hodgon. I've owned a couple 340's and I can assure you they despise any form of higher pressure 30-30 loading. accuracy goes out the window and brass life gets even more brief with any hot rod 30-30 loads.


    I'm leery partial length of resizing as due to the single locking lug on the bolt the expansion above the case head ends up somewhat lopsided. What I would need to do is be able to size the case body without pushing back the shoulder.
     
  5. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    You might want to look at a worn chamber besides head space. I'm using 32 grains of W-748 under a 170 grain bullet at 36,000 CUP in a 60 year old Winchester Mod 94 and I get more then 6 to 8 reloadings with Winchester and Remeington cases. My cases are not ballooning. They just get longer. Even then I throw them out because I just chicken out...
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Just full-length size them without regard to the shoulder.

    The 30-30 headspaces on the rim, not the shoulder.

    But the 340 is a Flexy Flyer when it comes to actions.
    Brass life is not going to be very good no matter what you do or what brand of brass you use.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  7. jacobhh

    jacobhh Member

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    Sounds good, I guess you just live with it?

    The Lee manual lists 33 grains of Varget at 40,300 psi and Hodgdon
    at 36,500 CUP. I suppose we shouldn't be mixing crystal and copper.
    Hodgdon also lists several loads on their website over 37000 CUP albeit
    not for Varget and Lee tends to list the preessures a bit high.

    I should speak in CUP though as that's the way SAAMI lists max pressures.

    I didn't mean to suggest that you were using hot loads. I had read
    on another website guys complaining that what held back 340 performance
    was the weak 30-30 case and they were talking well over 40K PSI or CUP.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2007
  8. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    No I'm usually the guy pointing out to them that if hot rod 30-30 loads are your thing then a Savage 340 isn't for you. With both my 340's I've found that once you go over 2300 FPS even with 130grn bullets your accuracy takes a royal dump.
    the Savage bolt actions are 30-30's that demand to be treated as 30-30's. Myself I would just like to get more mileage from my brass, that's all.
     
  9. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Try Federal cases, they seem a little heavier than Winchester. (even though Winchester cases are usually heavier than most)
     
  10. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Factory ammo does in fact headspace on the rim, as the cartridge is intentionally undersized to fit practically ANY rifle it's chambered in.
    But for best results, you can head space the brass in YOUR rifle by following the technique most match shooters utilize where the ammo absolutely and positively have to chamber reliably (ie NRA highpower rapid, and timed fire stages).

    With your M340, if you don't full length size, you'll continually get the "buldging" that you describe. Practically every .30/30 I've had does/did that. Including the M340 I had.

    With your M340, you are indeed limited to ~40,000psi loads, but thats not a real problem as that is what the .30/30 and your action was designed around- no getting around it. However, with proper matching of components and PROPER FULL LENGTH SIZING, you'll get long case life and easy chambering of the reloaded ammo.

    You utilize the full length sizer by NOT RUNNING IT ALL THE WAY DOWN TILL IT TOUCHES THE SHELL HOLDER. This is guareented to cause the cases to stretch, and compromise the accuracy potential.

    With brass previously fired IN YOUR GUN and ONLY your gun, size them down until the case SHOULDER, just touches the shoulder area of the die. Most reputable manuals, and many postings on this and other sites tell you how to do this. You can later then use this die setting and probably shoot any brass that's been shot in most any other .30/30 as this is the setting necessary for YOUR rifle.

    I currently have the only and last .30/30 I'll probably ever own. It's a late '70's to early '80's vintage Glenfield M30 (Marlin M336 with birch stocks and half-magazine) sold new most likely by Kmart. I get sub MOA accuracy and easy reliable feeding of the reloaded rounds by using the above aluded to technique for sizing/loading the ammo.

    I use bullets designed and "refined over 100yrs" for the .30/30 and get extreamly good results. No special over pressure loads. I killed 4 of the 12 deer I took last year with it, and its one of my most favorite rifles. I use Reloader 15 and Remington CorLokt bullets and ,,,,, end of story, except for the Sierra 125's FNHP I still have tucked away in case the rumor starts up again that they are "varmint only" bullets..... Killed my second largest pig with "One", and it (bullet) is lying underground somewhere beyond where the pig was "rooting" when I shot him...........

    Don't be afraid to full length size the cases. If I'm using the Lee Collet die, for some reason, I still have to "partially" full length size the cases after 2-3 loadings. Even Lee in the instructions for the Collet dies notes this. This is why the "Deluxe" die set comes with both the collet and "regular" sizing dies.

    But then, who ever reads the instructions...............?????

    FWIW, I find the Remington tend to be a little thicker, but not enough to be a significant difference. I tend to use different head stamps to identify specific loadings. ie: Federal cases with the 125gr FNHP's, Remington brass for 150gr Remington CorLokts, and Winchester cases for 170gr CorLokts, ect.....
     
  11. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    again I'm leery of partial length of resizing as due to the single locking lug on the bolt the expansion above the case head ends up somewhat lopsided. For best results what I would need to do is be able to size the case body without pushing back the shoulder.
     
  12. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    Back to the topic at hand.

    My experience is that Winchester makes the strongest, toughest 30/30 brass. Remington is the weakest and thinnest. Most of the rest of the makers are in between.
     
  13. jacobhh

    jacobhh Member

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    This is my experience also. I reload for my .307 94. Reloading for
    accuracy I tried partial resizing. I use .308 dies. The case is so thick
    a Lee neck sizer won't work so I tried fullsizing till it just touched
    the shoulder. That worked fine, Once! The second time, one out of
    three wouldn't lock up. Thankful I had only loaded 20, I went home
    and disassembled the remaining rounds. That was using starting loads
    of IMR4064 behind 150 gr jacketed RNs. The .307 is the strongest case
    in the strongest lever action made. The message, as I read it, is to
    completely Full length resize lever action cartridges.
     
  14. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Again, if you are PROPERLY FULL LENGTH RESIZING, you are only pushing the shoulder back approx. 0.001". The case will easily chamber, and case stretch will be minimal.

    All .30/30 cases are thin. (not a BAD thing, you know!) If you get too thick of case necks, you'll have to turn down the necks to get them to chamber. Re-read the Sam Fadala article (which you apparantly have regarding the use of .375wcf brass....) He had to neck turn the cases to get them to chamber. At least in the one I read....... Also expect to have to reduce your powder charges 3-5% as the thicker the brass, the LOWER the case capacity.....

    Don't expect the .30/30 brass to last forever..........

    I toss them after I start seeing a bright ring on the case approx. 1" above the rim.

    I have a lifetime + supply of .30/30 brass as I pick them up at a local range. Only picked up 100+ so far this year.........

    Actually, the M340 has two locking lugs.... you have to include the bolt handle were it passes into the action. The case expansion is due to the "large chamber". Common on many .30/30's.

    A set of custom dies will cost you about the same as 100 .375 cases. Have you considered that option...?

    DO READ THE INSTRUCTIONS ON THE USE OF THE "FULL LENGTH" RESIZING DIES.:banghead:
     
  15. Clark

    Clark Member

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    from the 30-30 page in Speer Reloading
    manual #12:

    This is, of course, pure BS.
    The case head is the weak link, and the 30-30 [with a rim] is way stronger than the 270 [with extractor groove] which is registered at 65,000 psi.
    Vernon Speer must roll over in his grave allot.
     
  16. Dave in PA

    Dave in PA Member

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    I have had two Remington cases show tiny splits in their shoulders. This was the first time they were fired, factory ammo, in a newer Marlin 336. After i realized that they were splits/cracks, I looked real close at the rest of the empties I had just tumbled. YMMV, FWIW, yadda yadda yadda
     
  17. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Dave:
    This is due to the annealing that Remington does to their cases.

    Have you ever noticed the "pinkish" hue to the shoulder and neck of the Remington Factory ammo... It's particularily noticeable on the factory .223 "Ball" or FMJ ammo.

    This is due to the fact that Remington anneals their brass AFTER they have formed it, and after the initial polishing.

    The ones with the split obviously weren't sufficiently annealed, and you have a "generous" chamber that allowed the brass to expand beyond it's yeild limit.

    Try a different lot#.............

    BTW: all brass after a number of loadings will eventually harden or become brittle to the point that it will no longer "yeild" to the stresses of sizing and firing and will split. Due to the large chamber tolerances exhibited by chambers for the "gazillion" .30/30's that have been made and 'worn out' over time, coupled with the thinner brass, it's no wonder that so much confusion exists over loading the .30/30 and similar cases (ie: .22Hornet).

    Again, it's a matter of setting the full length sizing die to fit YOUR rifle chamber..................

    FWIW, I've seen neck and shoulder cracks on many different makes of NEW brass for cartridges as varied as .22Hornet, .308, .30/06, .25/06, .270, 7mmMag, .300Mag, and others.
    One common trait is that all these are VERY COMMON cartridges for which many firearms and different makes and varieties of brass have been made. That and tolerances are all over the map. Ever seen the many posted questions of: Why don't my reloads chamber in my (you fill in the blanks) .xxx Caliber Super Deer Blaster. A buddy loaded them for me.......

    FWIW, the worst, thickest, and BEST brass I've got is some PMC, most of which was made in Korea. Some Sellier&Bellot brass I've got for some .22Hornet has been the thinnest and BEST brass for that Cartridge.

    A more meaningful question would be Who makes the longest lived, or Most Accurate brass, again a "mixed" bag. But, I have to say ............ Winchester? NO!
    NORMA, or SAKO !!!!!!
    Guess what the Benchrest shooters use ????
    Which cases have the lightest weight and are therefore the thinnest and have the greatest powder capacity.
    HUH ???
    (It's in the metallurgy, production technology/process, and quality control....)

    I've got some of 200rds of Norma Brass from the lot I used to kill my first deer with in .30/06 in 1976. Some of it has been loaded over 50 times. And no, none of it has been re-annealed.... And it's still going strong even though the original barrel is "wore-out" from over 15,000rds. (Though it will still shoot near MOA with certain loads..).
    Most were crapped out and discarded at between 35 and 40rds due to stretching and the bright ring of "incipient case separation".
    It's all in the resizing and load intensity thing.........
    But then, I read the directions on the instructions that came with my RCBS dies circa 1975 and the Speer #3 manual .....:banghead:
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2007
  18. scrat

    scrat Member

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    my past experience has always shown that winchester seems to hold up very well. Norma seems to be always a good front runner too. I seem to always have to throw the remington brass in the disgard pile.
     
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