.30 Carbine in 10'' Contender

  • Last Post 16 October 2023
Richard Pickering posted this 02 November 2017

I have a good amount of experience with heavy bullets in 32-20; a friend is getting a 10'' barrel in .30 Carbine. We want to use the RCBS 165 Sil and possibly the SAECO 301. What is your experience and powder recommended ?

The intent is IHMSA competition at 50, 100, 150, and 200 meters; issue sights. Thank you. Richard

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Richard Pickering posted this 16 October 2023

I have used the 311299 in 32-20 for a short period. You can get just above 1200fps mv with it 

and get a hand blister too.  In either the 3220 or the 30 carbine, bullet choice is a trade between 

needed weight and reasonable trajectory.  For the present we settled on the RCBS 165. It seems to 

give a good balance. Thanks.

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delmarskid posted this 16 October 2023

Paco Kelly has some good looking heavy bullet loads for 30 carbine online. I’ve used it reduced for my 327 Federal contender. I’ve gone as heavy as the 314299 with the 10” twist. It shoots pretty well.

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Richard Pickering posted this 16 October 2023

Dennis, So nice to hear from you. I'm not far behind now at 77. I'm fortunate to have a place to shoot.

I've adopted the 300Whisper and 30 Reece. An SSK and an MGM barrel. Both get the RCBS 165. 

The 300W gets SR4759, the Reece still with 4198. I traded with a friend for a 10'' .223 and it gets 4759

but not cast bullets.  The Carbine 10''  barrel is my neighbor's and still doing well with 4198.  He also has 10 and 14''

7mm tcu with RCBS bullets.  rp












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Richard Pickering posted this 16 October 2023

Glenn, when I shot 3030 in the late 1980s I used the RCBS 180FN. It performed quite well having the

long body and lube grooves. As a couple of friends adopted the 32-20 I did too. These were 1 in 10 

so I used the RCBS 165.  

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Richard Pickering posted this 15 October 2023

Aaron, Thank you for the twist rates. I can tell you the early 30 30 and 30 Herrett barrels were 1 in 14'''. 

If you find one it will do well, but may balk at 180gr and up. rp

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Aaron posted this 15 October 2023

Bullberry Barrels:

With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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Aaron posted this 15 October 2023


With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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Aaron posted this 15 October 2023

A lot of great information regarding T/C barrels can be found here if you have not seen this page before.




With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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gemihur posted this 13 October 2023

...not the carbine, not the Herrett, but the Raptor from Reeder, using the 204 Ruger case. 

A real performer, it delivers a 100 gr round nose bullet out of a pistol barrel at almost 2500 fps, a 125 gr JHP at well over 2300 fps, and a cast 165 gr bullet at 2000 fps!

A bit more neck would assist with the seat, but oh well.

30 Raptor vs. 300 BLK

Raptor with thumbhole walnut

My barrel is just over 16" and my realised velocities are around 150 FPS more than the pistol barrel tested.

One Whitetail Buster!

I shoot, therefore I am

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Richard Pickering posted this 30 March 2021

It is 2021; I'll give a short update. At present the powder of choice is 4198. At 12gr we get blow back suggesting we have pressure to low to seal the neck. I expect we will go to 13 or 14gr. rp

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Richard Pickering posted this 02 December 2017

Shootcast; these loads are intended for IHMSA big bore. rp

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shootcast posted this 02 December 2017

Sorry, I shot big bore. Critters are bigger and heavier.

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Richard Pickering posted this 30 November 2017

The 30-165 has been reliable in tc 32-20 for quite a while, as has the Saeco 311 165gr. The formula says these need to strike the ram target at 1000 fps. Starting them at 1300fps should do that. I don't have H110, or RL-7, but I do have Acc #9 and a good amount of Acc 1680. These may come into play if we don't see promise using 4227. Thank you for contributing. rp

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shootcast posted this 30 November 2017

If your 32-20 (30-20) 165 sil loads work ok I would expect a little less from the 30 carbine. However if you can get 1400 fps. A well placed shot will tumble a ram. I also rang a few. Try H110 and R 7.

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Richard Pickering posted this 22 November 2017

Dale, during the early 1990s a few of us who had 32-20s and a couple of .30 Carb----and a stray .32 H&R mag, developed some heavy bullet loads.  Our result in the .30 Carb was : Saeco 311 165gr: 12gr 4227 @1400fps///////Saeco 301 195gr; 13.4gr 4198 @ 1200fps.  Saeco 311 165gr: 14.5gr RL-7 @ 1400fps.  ****** we didn't pressure test these either.  We went by primer looks and recoil feel which is highly subjective.

These were developed for IHMSA 200yd course. Presently I have no RL7 or 4198.  Thank you for the contribution. rp

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Dale53 posted this 22 November 2017

Some years ago, I tried my hand at Handgun Silhouette at our local club. I worked up a load for the .30 Carbine cartridge in my TC Contender with SSK 10" barrel. After more than a little thought, I decided to try RL-7. It seemed to be the right burning rate, in my mind, for heavy bullets in the .30 Carbine in the TC platform. 

I worked up a load, carefully (emphasis on "Carefully"), as there seemed to be NO data for heavy bullets in this caliber. After trying a couple of different cast bullets, I ended up with the .308 RCBS Silhouette bullet (nominal weight of 165 grs.). I used straight Linotype, with a Hornady crimp on gas check. The final powder charge was 15.0 grs. of RL-7, bullet sized to .309". The Federal #205 Small Rifle Primer with a LOA of 1.980" was arrived at (good fit for the chamber and throat).

My notes indicate groups of 1 1/4" at Fifty Yards off a rest and 3" at 100 yards. I was using a Tasco 6 power scope. After a good bit of shooting off a rest, I had the distinct belief that my pistol was actually shooting better than my results indicated but I was reaching my limits with this scope's resolving power, at 100 yards, and my eyes. Further, shooting a TC handgun off a rest really tests the shooter when it comes to small groups at 100 yards (at least THIS shooter (:<()...

At any rate, this combination, gave me the results I believed I needed to shoot Hunter Pistol. We were using half size steel silhouette targets at 25, 50, 75, and 100 yards.

I never chronographed these loads. However, I was able to hold "dead-on" at 25 and 50 yards, hold slightly high at 75 yards on the Turkey, and hold on the top of the back on the Ram at 100 yards. This allowed me a good consistent target hold without changing sights. This particular scope did not give consistent results when changing sights. Further, during a match, not having to fool with sight changes was a definite plus.

I was competitive with the bunch I shot with (not the best, but in the hunt). My match scores averaged in the mid 30's (out of forty) and I shot a few 38x40's. I was at the limit of my skill level, at any rate, but it was a big help for field shooting and I had great fun while it lasted.

Disclaimer: These loads were never pressure tested and if you try them you are at your own risk. 



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Richard Pickering posted this 21 November 2017

Your contribution is appreciated. I feel we need the 165 RCBS because its short body allows more powder capacity. rp

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Bud Hyett posted this 20 November 2017

Not the .30 Carbine, but the .30 Herrett. I shot this is Long Range Handgun competition when the weight limit was lighter and the T/C Contender was the best option for weight. 

The SAECO #315 at 100 yards and the RCBS 30-165-SIL at 200 yards were the choices. 

  • The SAECO is more accurate at 100 yards (I believe the taper helps).
  • The RCBS 30-165-SIL fought wind drift better at 200 yards..

I think the RCBS 30-165-SIL will be a good choice all-around for the .30 Carbine in a Contender. The .30 Carbine is smaller in capacity, but similar to the .32-20 case where the .32-20 CPA is shooting at velocities of 1400 fps.with 200 , or heavier, grain bullets.

Just be careful of a sudden pressure escalation when you work up a load. 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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gregg454 posted this 13 November 2017

I'm sorry Richard . I was thinking that it may give you a starting load with heavy rifle bullets. But I did not give it a thought that a TC would let you probably load the bullet out more not being limited buy a cylinder. .        

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RicinYakima posted this 13 November 2017

Richard, Norma 200 is available at Cabela's here. Not cheap, but less than VV! Ric

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