Reloading for .30-30


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May 6, 2009
Kingwood, Tx
So, I've finally started reloading for my Winchester Model 55 in .30-30. This was manufactured in 1931 and is one hell of a lot of fun to shoot. I thought I was real lucky when I found out that the LeverEvolution bullets were being sold as components as Hornady FTX's. So, I loaded up a few rounds of different recipes to start the process along with a box of 150 gr. SP Remington's. Well, at 100 yards with the Remington SP's, this rifle will will keep about 2" groups off sandbags. That's about Minute of Deer so I was happy. I tried some of the Factory Hornday LeverEvolution's and found a 10" group staring back at me, and that's just with the rounds that made it on paper. So, I ran a rod, let it cool a little and tried the reloads with the FTX bullets.

WOW! I have never seen such bad groups in all my life. It was like 12 ga. patterning. Returned to the Remington SP's and we were back to 2" groups.

Looks like this old girl prefers the old classic bullet technology over the new and improved, world's only Lever Action safe Spitzer bullets.

Question is, you guys think this is because of the fact that there's so much less surface area on the LeverEvolution bullet's - being Spitzer style and all - or would you chalk it up to one of those mysterious circumstances that the old girl just plain don't like 'em?

Gonna try some Nosler Partitions in it next. Best Soft Point's I know of. Any other suggestions?


TGT Addict
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Jul 16, 2008
I am not at all qualified to answer your question, but my Win94 30-30 shot much tighter groups with factory Leverevolution ammo than with factory lead nose. The rifle was manufactured in 1964, but unfired when I first did the accuracy comparison a couple months ago.


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Jun 10, 2009
Before chunking them, I'd experiment with the seating length. Load up a dummy round with the bullet in place but not crimped. Leave the bullet seated out more than you normally would by about .2" and feed it in the chamber manually and close the bolt. Dont use the lifter in the rifle to feed it from the magazine. Extract it, and you should see the marks where the bullet engaged the rifling lands. Now adjust your seating die to seat it in another 3-5 thousdanths from that point, crimp it, and see if the dummy will feed from the magazine OK. If it does, start working up from minimum load and watch for pressure signs. If it won't feed from the magazine, try seating it deeper in 5 thousandth increments until it does feed, and then start working up your load.

Since most every seating die I've seen for 3030 is made for flat tipped bullets, also check to see if your cocking the bullet sideways when your seating it. Use a runnout setup and mic to see what the runnout is at the tip of the bullet when you rotate the cartridge.


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Jul 10, 2008
Forney, TX
I'd try some factory ammo in 125gr, 150gr (Federal), 160gr (Hornady), and 170gr. 30-30 ammo is cheaper than most centerfire. Then reload to match the performance.

I've reloaded the 150gr (can't remember if Win or Rem), 125gr Sierra JHP, and 160gr FTX. The 160FTX is as accurate as we can hold in Marlin 336W with Bushnell 3-9x scope. My brother shot one after my dad, and was less than an inch shot off a machine rest. They weren't cheap. I think I paid 36$ or so for 100 of the FTX.

Factory Federal 150's kicked quite a bit, but were more accurate than the Winchester and Remington stuff I tried.

My FTX load required getting a different bullet plug for the Redding die. It's a long push in that case with that long bullet with a sharp nose. Since the bullet is so long I used 170gr load data. I used Rem brass, CCI 200 primer, 32gr IMR 4064, and the FTX bullet seated on the cannelure. I didn't trim the brass, like Hornady reccomends. I used a roll crimp.
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