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Thread: 30-30 deer bullets?

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    Default 30-30 deer bullets?

    Sorry for all of the questions recently. Just getting into this stuff. Anyway, can anyone recommend good 150 grain bullets for my Marlin? Bullets will be used for close range (<100 yds) whitetail hunting. I've used rem cor lokts without issue. Any reason to try something else? Also, if anyone has any powder / load recommendations that would also be great.

    Thanks again,
    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeStaten View Post
    Sorry for all of the questions recently. Just getting into this stuff. Anyway, can anyone recommend good 150 grain bullets for my Marlin? Bullets will be used for close range (<100 yds) whitetail hunting. I've used rem cor lokts without issue. Any reason to try something else? Also, if anyone has any powder / load recommendations that would also be great.

    Thanks again,
    Mike
    Curiosity is plenty of reason to try other things, but I've never found anything "better" than the Corelokt at 30-30 velocities. While you're experimenting, get next to some cast bullets suitable for 30-30. I'm betting that before long you'll quit buying cast bullets and get into casting your own. The 30-30 with cast bullets is SWEET, and the right cast bullets are dandy for game, too.

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    I am with BrownBear… pretty much any old thing that you can get to fly out of the barrel will work just fine at 30-30 velocities. That is one of the inherent advantages of modest velocities!

    I personally like the Hornady 170 grain flat nose, but heck, I wouldn’t hesitate to plug a deer or caribou with any of the 170 grain bullets provided I was within a 100 yards including my RCBS cast bullets!
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Have you looked at the Hornady Leverevolution 30-30 ammo. I bought a box to try in my Handi rifle single shot. The ballistics are supposed to be very good. They were developed for lever action guns but should work equaly as well in others.
    "All bureaucracies are the same. They drain the life out of the truly creative people and develop mindless paperpushers as their critical mass."

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    I would avoid any of the bullet types designed for higher velocities, unless you carefully shoot through both lungs and are trying for minimal meat damage (paper-punch the critter.) Nothing wrong with that a'tall.

    It could be that some of the premium bullets designed for the 30-30 may have been designed for those velocities and do expand easier as well. You'll have to check with manufacturer data for that info.

    Brian

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    I'm just starting out loading for .30-30 as well. I have some 180 grain RCBS flat point cast bullets I bought from a bullet caster in Delta Junction that I'm putting over 28 grains of IMR-4895. I got that load from Ken Waters' "Pet Loads". I'm going to see how well these work in a pre-64 Winchester 94.

    The bullet I really want is a 165 grain "Ranch Dog" bullet: http://www.ranchdogmolds.com/TLC311165RF/ I think it'll do better than my RCBS 180 grainers on deer, although the 180's might do better on black bear. Unfortunately he's out of stock of the molds until July.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeT View Post
    I'm just starting out loading for .30-30 as well. I have some 180 grain RCBS flat point cast bullets I bought from a bullet caster in Delta Junction that I'm putting over 28 grains of IMR-4895. I got that load from Ken Waters' "Pet Loads". I'm going to see how well these work in a pre-64 Winchester 94.

    The bullet I really want is a 165 grain "Ranch Dog" bullet: http://www.ranchdogmolds.com/TLC311165RF/ I think it'll do better than my RCBS 180 grainers on deer, although the 180's might do better on black bear. Unfortunately he's out of stock of the molds until July.

    Mike
    That's a good looking bullet, especially the configuration of the lube grooves. It should cast well and easily fill. Aside from that, using Lyman #2 alloy which I prefer for deer, it's going to come in at 175 grains- only 5 grains less than the RCBS. So I don't really see any reason to consider the RCBS a blackbear bullet and not a deer bullet. The fewer, wider grooves on the RCBS make for easy casting too. Your choice which suits you better for casting, but I bet there's not a whit's difference between them on game.

    Thanks for pointing out the Ranch Dog site. I'm going to spend some time there digging around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Thanks for pointing out the Ranch Dog site. I

    likewise, it is welcoming info. A wide meplat in the .30-30 sure gives it the added boost. Brownbear, I too may get into that casting. Buying and waiting for good bullets like what Marshall sells over at BT is abit long in the wait-good bullets though. Montana bullets is another place I get mine in the 180's........must be easy to cast as there is seemingly quite a few that do.

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    I use the RCBS moulds to make the 150 and 180 grain flat point gas check bullets myself. I use win cases and either Winchester 748 or 760 to drive them to just shy of 2100 fps (any faster and accuracy seems to start tapering off rather quickly). I size to .309 and lube with the NRA %50/50 alox lubes. I have tried multiple alloys and haven’t come across one that wont shoot great! I pretty much stick with WW alloy + %3 tin for everything now, although this might be a tad too hard for dear at 12 – 14 bn. You might be better served by cutting WW 5 to 1 or even 5 to 2 with pure lead to soften them up a bit. That should get you in the neighborhood of “Lyman #2” in regards to hardness.

    As far as the Ranch Dog moulds go, I don’t have any but have heard really good reports from the guys on the cast bullet forums http://castboolits.gunloads.com/cmps_index.php that use them. That said, I probably wont order any, as they are (I think, but not sure) custom ordered from Lee and are aluminum moulds. They are also designed for the “tumble lube” Lee process for which I am not set up. I don’t dislike his moulds, its just that what I have (RCBS & Lyman) work so well, and cast such good bullets that I have no reason to change… another case of “don’t fix it if it aint broke” kind of thinking.

    Now on the other hand, if you are not fully set up for casting, sizing and lubing, then the “tumble lube” bullets essentially eliminate two steps as you do not need to size them, and to lube all you do is add the Lee liquid Allox to a pan and “swish” the bullets around in it until they are coated. This eliminates the need for a lubrisizer (about $120 new) and a set of dies (about $10).

    On the down side, I don’t think the Lee Liquid Allox does as good of a job as conventionally lubed cast bullets (I don’t KNOW this, but suspect it to be true) and I personally find that casting with aluminum moulds is actually slower that with iron or steel moulds, and that mould maintenance is far more critical, therefore I prefer to stick with the RCBS or Lyman products (Saeco is also very good).

    You might want to try RL #7 as I have read good reports regarding its use in the 30/30. I have not personally tried it yet, but I can say that it is the powder of my choice for 45/70 and 375 Winchester (blown out sibling of the 30/30) so it would seem to be a logical choice…

    Good luck and enjoy!

    And in case you have not been to the “holy grail, mother load, end all, do all, cast bullet information site” here is the web link… http://www.lasc.us/ and these guys are also really sharp on all things lead… http://www.castbulletassoc.org/

    You will for sure want to get yourself a Lee lead hardness tester set up… without it, you’re really only guessing about alloy hardness and when it comes to cast bullets, %98 of the successful equation is getting the proper hardness for the application. Everything else is truly secondary.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    So after re-reading my last post, I am thinking that YOU are thinking… “if I don’t need to size them, and I don’t have a lubrisizer, how will I seat the gas checks?”

    First off… Lee does make a “sizing and lubricating” thingy…. I don’t know what else to call it; it surely has a technical name, but I am too lazy to look it up, but its basically a die that fits on top of any press and a special “thingy” that goes in place of the shell holder to push the bullet base first, crimping on the gas check and up thru the other “thingy” were it some how gets lubed with the liquid allox and into a plastic box type cylinder “thingy” that then holds the lubed and gas checked bullets. Presto! Lubed, gas checked bullets! And I seem to recall that the entire “thingy kit” cost less than $30. That said, if you are a total cheap ass, you can pretty much forgo the entire sizing process (they will probably shoot best “as cast” anyway) by simply pan lubing them and setting the gas check on the base with your fingers before you put the bullets in the case. It may take a small amount of lube on the base of the bullet to sort of “stick” the gas check on and hold it in place, but that’s ok…

    Now don’t freak out… it aint gonna turn sideways in the barrel, or anything crazy like that…remember, the gas checks main purpose in life, is to help seal the bore from combustion gasses as the bullet travels down the barrel on its way to the muzzle, and as soon as the powder goes “boom” its gonna swedge that gas check to the ass end of that bullet! It also protects the base of the bullet (important with softer alloys) from combustion gasses and the associated high temperatures (according to some theories).

    Once the bullet clears the end of the barrel, the gas check has already done its job and we don’t need it anymore. In fact, even crimped on gas checks often fly off (due in part to gyroscopic or centrifugal loads) shortly after the bullet has left the barrel (and will instinctively seek out and destroy the display screen on your chronograph) leaving the bullet to fly on to its target. Now that you understand the “life cycle” of the humble gas check, its easy to see that it is really no big deal if you just kind of “stick it on its butt” and load away!
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    So after re-reading my last post, I am thinking that YOU are thinking… “if I don’t need to size them, and I don’t have a lubrisizer, how will I seat the gas checks?”

    First off… Lee does make a “sizing and lubricating” thingy…. I don’t know what else to call it; it surely has a technical name, but I am too lazy to look it up, but its basically a die that fits on top of any press and a special “thingy” that goes in place of the shell holder to push the bullet base first, crimping on the gas check and up thru the other “thingy” were it some how gets lubed with the liquid allox and into a plastic box type cylinder “thingy” that then holds the lubed and gas checked bullets. Presto! Lubed, gas checked bullets! And I seem to recall that the entire “thingy kit” cost less than $30. That said, if you are a total cheap ass, you can pretty much forgo the entire sizing process (they will probably shoot best “as cast” anyway) by simply pan lubing them and setting the gas check on the base with your fingers before you put the bullets in the case. It may take a small amount of lube on the base of the bullet to sort of “stick” the gas check on and hold it in place, but that’s ok…

    Now don’t freak out… it aint gonna turn sideways in the barrel, or anything crazy like that…remember, the gas checks main purpose in life, is to help seal the bore from combustion gasses as the bullet travels down the barrel on its way to the muzzle, and as soon as the powder goes “boom” its gonna swedge that gas check to the ass end of that bullet! It also protects the base of the bullet (important with softer alloys) from combustion gasses and the associated high temperatures (according to some theories).

    Once the bullet clears the end of the barrel, the gas check has already done its job and we don’t need it anymore. In fact, even crimped on gas checks often fly off (due in part to gyroscopic or centrifugal loads) shortly after the bullet has left the barrel (and will instinctively seek out and destroy the display screen on your chronograph) leaving the bullet to fly on to its target. Now that you understand the “life cycle” of the humble gas check, its easy to see that it is really no big deal if you just kind of “stick it on its butt” and load away!
    Well, I've got one of those "thingys", and it doesn't lube, but it sizes.

    According to the instructions, you tumble-lube the bullets, size them, and tumble-lube them again. The kit comes with a tube of tumble lube.

    You CAN put the Gas Checks on first if you like. Just tap them on. (Don't force them, just use a bigger hammer.)

    The bullets go nose first through the sizing die, and bullet punch is flat. the bullets are caught in what you're calling a "plastic box type cylinder". The Die goes into the press like any other die, and the bullet punch fits in the RAM of your press, just like a shell-holder does.

    It's a rather ingenious device like lots of Lee stuff, and Cheap too. Less than $20.00 bucks.

    http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/cata.../lubesize.html

    I've had mine for a long time, and also a Lee Mould, for 30 Cal. I've sized bullets I've bought, but have never shot any bullets from the mould.

    Smitty of the North
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    Well there you go! I knew a knowledgeable guy like Smitty would pipe up with a more lucid explanation of the Lee tool! I need to get on of those “thingies” for myself, as the other lubrisizers that I have tend to tweak the noses on my smaller bullets, especially if they are of a softer alloy.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Alangaq:
    I guess I got you fooled.

    My point was that the Lee "thingy" in question is NOT a Lubrisizer, but only a Sizer.

    While it is desirable to push the bullets up from the base, you still have to like the Tumble-Lube process, or as you mentioned Pan Lube them. (I'm assuming you mean, stand them upright in a jar lid, and pour melted lube around them, then cut them out with a "Cake Cutter".)

    I usta do that, way back when, and I made some Cake Cutters from fired cases, and bought some from Lee.

    I believe that a "Lubrisizer" is the BEST way to go, all things considered, but when I was doing it, I couldn't afford one. Aren't there Lubrisizers out there nowadays that push the bullet point first through the sizer? I seem to recall reading something about that recently.

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    The 30-30 with cast bullets is SWEET, and the right cast bullets are dandy for game, too.
    BrownBear:
    What do you mean specifically, by "the right cast bullets"?

    Do you mean soft enough to expand a little, rather than shatter, or crumble on impact"? Can you give me a Hardness Number?

    Does the Lyman #2 Alloy you mention in your other post, suitable?

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North.
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    BrownBear:
    What do you mean specifically, by "the right cast bullets"?

    Do you mean soft enough to expand a little, rather than shatter, or crumble on impact"? Can you give me a Hardness Number?

    Does the Lyman #2 Alloy you mention in your other post, suitable?

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North.
    I'm really fond of Lyman #2 in the 30-30 and other rifle rounds when I want a little expansion. Don't recall the BNH# off the top of my head. It's published. I also mean a flat nose on the bullet rather than rounded or pointed. It really seems to improve impact and killing potential on game. Both the Ranch Dog and RCBS bullets have the flat noses I prefer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I'm really fond of Lyman #2 in the 30-30 and other rifle rounds when I want a little expansion. Don't recall the BNH# off the top of my head. It's published. I also mean a flat nose on the bullet rather than rounded or pointed. It really seems to improve impact and killing potential on game. Both the Ranch Dog and RCBS bullets have the flat noses I prefer.
    Thanks. This is what I found.

    Lyman #2 alloy (5% antimony, 5% tin, BHN of 15

    I guess I'm OK with my 30-30 bullets, then. They are BHN 12 from Bear Tooth Bullets, apparently Lyman 311041, 170 grain.

    I also have a few left from Oregon Trail, (Lazer Cast) same design, but they are BHN 24, which I've deemed too hard for hunting purposes.

    The way I got that idea in my head was because I test bullet penetration by shooting them into boxes stuffed tight with magazines. That slick paper is really TUFF. Anyways, those Lazer Cast Bullets crumbled up, although they compared favorably in penetration with 170 grain Hornadys.

    I want something that will hold together, and preferably even expand a little.

    Maybe, if I'd buy that Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook I wouldn't hafta ask so many questions.

    Thanks Again
    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
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