anyone reload .30-30?

anyone reload .30-30?

This is a discussion on anyone reload .30-30? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I'm getting back to my Marlin 336 project. I love the gun but it's not behaving itself in the accuracy department... I'm getting groups in ...

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  1. #1
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    anyone reload .30-30?

    I'm getting back to my Marlin 336 project. I love the gun but it's not behaving itself in the accuracy department... I'm getting groups in the 6" range at 100 yards with factory 150 and 170 gr loads, regardless of Fed/Rem/Win. I've worked the trigger, put on a receiver sight, and played with barrel band clearance, but those variables haven't affected the overall accuracy. My plan was simply to arrive at a handload the gun likes, but I've been hampered by an absence of suitable bullets. Well, saints be praised, after a 50-week backorder my 170-grain Sierra flat-nose bullets finally showed up. Now it's powder that's in short supply, but I've got 4895 on hand and I just put together some trial rounds tonight.

    Meanwhile, does anyone here have first-hand experience with handloading for the 336 with its Micro-Groove rifling?
    Smitty
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  2. #2
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    Wish I could help with Micro-Groove experience but only have Winchester barrels to work with. Have a large stable of tested handloads recorded but .. rats! No 4895.

    Would appear that 4895 won't deliver top velocities with the 170 grain bullet when comparing what the very similar IMR 4064 accomplished with full charge loads. IMR 4895 and IMR 4064 are both apparently on the slow-burning end of suitable powders for the .30-30 and that bullet weight. Of course IMR 4895 is a wee bit faster so might do more velocity ... if, velocity is what is being sought.

    From a 20-inch barrel:
    170 grain Sierra flat-nose, 29.0 grains of IMR 4064: Muzzle Velocity 1830 fps
    170 grain Sierra flat-nose, 38.5 grains MR 3100: MV 1902 fps
    170 grain Sierra flat-nose, 32.0 grains Win 748: MV 2037
    170 grain Sierra flat-nose, 26.0 grains Reloder 7: MV 2061
    170 grain Sierra flat-nose, 31.5 grains IMR 3031: MV 2193

    Also have worked with 110, 125, and 150 grain weights as well as an effort with a 180 grain Sierra round-nose, just for fun. There are some few 150 grain and 170 grain factory loads tested and recorded. We're undertaking the next remodeling effort here and been working on that all evening so I'm bushed and headed to the bed-zone just now. We can take up more .30-30 discussing soon though. I like it.

    That Sierra 170 grain bullet is fantastic and delivers really fine accuracy. Kills whitetail deer to death!
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  3. #3
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    Well, with my wife gone to celebrate her Greatest Generation dad's 90th birthday in SD the past few days, I made some inroads into shooting projects that have been hanging fire for a while. One of the 10/22s has had some tweaks and needed accuracy testing, the .44 Special had another few dozen rounds run through it for more "cockpit time", I shot two matches over the weekend, and as mentioned I got back to the Marlin project.

    The bugaboo with the Marlins is that questionable rifling, and at least for the big-bore lever guns they've reverted back to "Ballard" (conventional) rifling. For the .30-30, my gun and even current issue 336s continue with the multiple shallow-grooved rifling. Over on the Marlin forum there are no end of folks who claim 2-inch groups as 100 yards with factory ammo, but my gun apparently didn't get the memo. Right now, improved accuracy is the goal. I can take 6-inch groups from an 80-year old Mosin Nagant with a dark bore and feel just fine about it, but not from a practically new gun.

    4895 in both Hodgdon and IMR flavors is what's on hand, by virtue of loading for the Garand. I was on the lookout for 4064 but the powder supplies are pretty meager these days, so I'm dancin' with the gal what brung me for now. Ditto the bullets... I was on the fence between 150 and 170, and pretty much the coin toss landed on 170 to start. Based on your endorsement at least the bullet won't be an issue!
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    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    The guys over on "Cast Boolits" forum most likely can give you the answer to your question. There is a world of knowledge there !

  5. #5
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    The 336 project, updated -

    With a new chronograph to replace the one that grew legs 6 months ago, today was the day to crunch through some loads I've got for the 336 (plus more, in another thread). Due to limitations on component supplies, I was only looking at one powder and one bullet, namely H4895 and the Sierra 170 JSP flat point. tests were not extensive - only 3-6 rounds of each, but it appears that was enough to characterize the loads. Accuracy is a different animal; I wanted to make sure I wasn't walking off the plank of destruction before checking these loads for accuracy.

    28.5 gr - 1881 ft/sec
    28.8 gr - 1955
    29.5 gr - 1996
    30.2 gr - 2047
    30.6 gr - 2075

    Fed 170 JSP - 2105 measured (advertised MV = 2200)

    Other than the lightest charge, the results are pretty linear, but I appear to be at the limit for 4895. The 30.5 gr rounds showed the early signs of primer flattening. I'll be looking for some CFE223 or Lever at next weekend's big gun show, but if that comes up dry I'm hardly disappointed at just 3% lower velocity than a factory round.

    I finally broke down and ordered a low-power scope for the 336, simply for the sake of checking handload accuracy. I love the receiver sight, but it doesn't cut the mustard for evaluating shot placement and dispersion at 100 yards or beyond. Once I figure out the best load, though, the receiver sight is going back on.
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    Member Array Czombie's Avatar
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    You need oversized bullets with micro grooving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Czombie View Post
    You need oversized bullets with micro grooving.
    I researched that thoroughly, and that's not an absolute. With cast lead, that may be true, but jacketed bullets seem to fare just fine accuracy-wise with the MG rifling.
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    Senior Member Array txron's Avatar
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    My 336 has the Micro grooving and I can get 2" groups at 100yrds with 170g only. My rifle does not like the lighter bullets. If I shoot 150g, I will get a spread of 5 shots over a 6" circle. With 170g, (if I do my part), I can get a nice 3 hole triangle that a quarter can cover.
    Last edited by txron; December 1st, 2014 at 02:40 PM.
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    VIP Member Array Kilowatt3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    ...Over on the Marlin forum there are no end of folks who claim 2-inch groups as 100 yards with factory ammo, but my gun apparently didn't get the memo...
    You're probably going to think I'm BS'ing, but I have shot fairly consistent 1" groups with my 336 at 100 yards. That's using 160 gr. LeveRevolution and a 3-9x50 ProStaff scope.

    My 336 is fairly new production - I believe it was manufactured just before the Remington buyout, but I'm not sure. I bought it around 2009, IIRC, and it does not have the 'RM' prefix on the Serial Number. I really couldn't believe it when I saw how tight it was grouping, so I don't blame you if you don't, either!

    I think I must've just gotten REALLY lucky!
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I use H335 and Sierra 150 weight bullets. Give excellent accuracy.
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  11. #11
    Member Array redmc's Avatar
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    My favorite load for the 30-30 is 31 grs IMR 3031 with 170 gr. Rem corlokt for my 94 win. and shoots well in my brothers 336. Been shooting deer with this load for 65 years.

    My 94 will not shoot 150 gr bullets, lousy accuracy.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilowatt3 View Post
    You're probably going to think I'm BS'ing, but I have shot fairly consistent 1" groups with my 336 at 100 yards. That's using 160 gr. LeveRevolution and a 3-9x50 ProStaff scope.

    My 336 is fairly new production - I believe it was manufactured just before the Remington buyout, but I'm not sure. I bought it around 2009, IIRC, and it does not have the 'RM' prefix on the Serial Number. I really couldn't believe it when I saw how tight it was grouping, so I don't blame you if you don't, either!

    I think I must've just gotten REALLY lucky!
    Lucky or not, I believe it - I've seen enough posts to convince me that your results are not some cosmic coincidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmc View Post
    My favorite load for the 30-30 is 31 grs IMR 3031 with 170 gr. Rem corlokt for my 94 win. and shoots well in my brothers 336. Been shooting deer with this load for 65 years.

    My 94 will not shoot 150 gr bullets, lousy accuracy.
    I think we really do need to segregate the Marlins with the MicroGroove rifling apart from the "general population" of 94s and Savage 99s and bolt guns with conventional rifling.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I use H335 and Sierra 150 weight bullets. Give excellent accuracy.
    The bear is the powder availability these days. I'll keep my eyes open for some H335.
    Smitty
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by txron View Post
    My 336 has the Micro grooving and I can get 2" groups at 100yrds with 170g only. My rifle does not like the lighter bullets. If I shoot 150g, I will get a spread of 5 shots over a 6" circle. With 170g, (if I do my part), I can get a nice 3 hole triangle that a quarter can cover.
    You seem to have company, which is why I started with the 170s. Once I get reasonable accuracy with them, I'll branch out to the 150s.
    Smitty
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