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.