Light loads for .30-30 165grn RNFP cast bullet!

  • Last Post 28 June 2013
andym79 posted this 30 December 2011

I guys I am looking to develop a plinking/50 yard target load for .30-30 with a 165grn RNFP cast bullet! I apologize for asking silly questions like this but, do Red Dot, Green Dot, Blue Dot, Bullseye, 2400, H4227 or unique pose a risk of Secondary Explosive Effect in very light loads? Are they position sensitive? Do you think a squib is much more likely than SEE?

I refer to loads of loads like this Red dot 5.5grns 170grn RNFP .30-30 between 1000 - 1150fps! Green Dot as above 6grns, Blue Dot as above 8.0grns! Bullseye ” 5.5grns 2400 ” 8grns H4227 ” 10grns Unique ” 9grns

I am petrified of SEE!

After a little research into burn rates and density, Blue Dot, 2400, 4227, H4198 and H48955 don't seem so great as subsonic loads!

Where as International, Unique and Universal would appear better suited, but not ideal, having significantly slower burn rates than these powders:

  1. Alliant Bullseye 9.398
    8 Alliant Red Dot 7.077 14 Hodgdon Clays 6.8408 18 Trailboss 3.046 25 Alliant Green Dot 7.924

With the exception of Bullseye, All of these powder are bulky, Trailboss especially so. I find myself thinking that Trailboss and Red Dot, and possibly Clays, are probably the best choices!


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onondaga posted this 30 December 2011

Going above or below reliable published loads is what primarily raises the risk of SEE or even muzzle flashing and misfires. The Manufacturers recommendations are based on the risk of lawsuit from you getting hurt or blowing up your firearm. Follow them for the least risk to yourself and your firearms.

Some suggestions from The Lyman Cast Bullet handbook #4:

170 gr Lyman #311291 in 30-30 unique 7.0 gr 1211fps 19,800 CUP  10.6gr 1568 fps 36,000 CUP

173 gr Lyman #311041 in 30-30 TrailBoss 8.0 gr 1054 fps 31,300 CUP 8.5 gr 1102 fps 37,400 CUP

Your selected bullet actually weighing 165 grains is lighter than the ones in these loads from Lyman's book so the low end of these loads would be riskier for problems than the high end of these loads.

Note the pressures at the upper end loads here, You will need gas-checked bullets of Lyman #2 alloy or you will get gas jetting and poor accuracy from bullet failure at these pressures even with a good bullet fit that is .002-.003” over your slugged bore groove to groove diameter. Heat treated Wheel Weight alloy and gas checked bullets would be sufficient also at these pressures. Un-heat-treated WW alloy should be expected to fail at less than 36,000 CUP. So Alloy selection even with plinking/practice  cast loads is important unless you just shoot for the bang of it and don't mind  a lot of time cleaning lead out of your barrel.

30-30 rifles generally need lead alloy bullets as cast or sized to .310-311” to get accuracy. If you are just starting or haven't slugged your bore .... do so! Bullet fit of .002- .003” over groove to groove diameter is where accuracy starts and any reasonable lube will be fine. I tumble lube everything and all my rifles shoot sub 1MOA because the bullets fit and I don't over-pressure my alloy selection..

When using lead bullets correctly oversize, it is a good practice to use a Lymen “M” die to expand and flair case necks or a Lee Collet Neck sizing die stepped back for a larger neck inside diameter and then also flair the case mouth for seating. This will keep the cases from re-sizing your bullets down. Heavy crimping will also wreck bullet fit upon firing. There is a lot to it to get good results so be patient.


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RicinYakima posted this 30 December 2011

SEE is just about impossible with cast bullets due to the small resistance they have in the bore. Unlike jacketed bullets, lubed cast bullets normally travel out the bore with any reasonable load. They do not get stuck in the throat like jacketed bullets.

With rifle primers and Red Dot, Green Dot, Unique, SR 7625, WW 231 or Bullseye you will never notice what position the powder is in the case. There is nothing wrong with Trailboss except it costs about 400% more than any other loads for the 1000 to 1100 f/s range you are looking for.

Squibs are much more possible every time you decrease the burning rate of powder. A2400 is about the slowest I have ever used and then not for loads slower than 1250 in the 30/30. You may not be able to make 1000 f/s with Bullseye within the pressure limits of the 30/30.

Myself, I use 5.0 to 6.0 grains of W231, SR7625 or Unique for sub-sonic loads with the 170 grain 30/30. It just depends upon what I have a lot of at the time.


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jimkim posted this 30 December 2011

I see you made it over. Welcome to the CBA forum.

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fa38 posted this 03 January 2012

I have been shooting my Ruger No. 1 with a Matco barrel in 30-30 this winter for offhand practice. This rifle has a tight .328 neck so the cases have to be outside neck turned.

I started with VV N3SM for which there is no load data and is not being made anymore.  This powder is around Green Dot or PB speed.

1. Load was 8.3 grs. N3SM, 170 gr. RCBS Plain Base, CCI 200 LR primer. R-P cases.  1.75 to 2.0 inch 5 shot groups at 100 yards.

2. Herco-7.3 grs, 170 gr. RCBS Plain Base, CCI 250 (CCI mag rifle),  R-P case.  Slightly better accuracy than the N3SM load.

3. Scott 3032 (a short cut clone of 3031)-22.3 grs., CCI 250 primer, 192 gr RCBS PB.

I am not sure how this will be accuracy wise at 100 yards. I tried charges from 21 grs. To 25.  I shot it at 50 yards as the wind was coming from the west (9:00) at about 20 to 25 mph.  The 22 grain load shot a 1 inch horizontal line one bullet high. At 23 grains and above the groups opened up to the 2 to 5 inch range.  It was a nice balmy 22 degrees.

The first loads are probably 1200 to 1400 fps and the 3032 load is a couple of 100 feet faster.  No Chrono.  Also no hint of eratic pressure spikes that I could see on the cases and primers or feel in extraction or hear.

I ran out of the 170 grain bullets which was a mould that RCBS made with their 30-180 SP cherry by withholding the gas check part of the cherry.

The 190 gr RCBS is the 30-180 SP mould with the gas check drilled out.

I received 4000 of the CCI 250's as a Christmas present and they seem to work very well.

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fa38 posted this 03 January 2012

Well that 3032 load is not working worth a darn.  Tried a 40 shot offhand target and more that half of the shots hit from 3 to 6 inches from where the crosshairs were pointing. 

I keep a record of each shot at the bench and it was hard to find some of the strays they were so far from where they should have been.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 04 January 2012

when loading light loads i like to use a  depth checking probe to make sure of correct charge...just a stick smaller than bore diameter with an adjustable setscrew collar....adjust the collar about 1/10 in. above case neck with known correct load...then test each load powder level///about one second per load, might be worth the time. ken in the sticks

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tturner53 posted this 04 January 2012

ditto- I use a piece of wood dowel marked with a pen. Looking into a bottleneck case with a flashlight to check for a double charge of Bullseye didn't feel foolproof.

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andym79 posted this 14 January 2012

After reading through Lyman cast bullets 3rd and 4th edition and Lee modern reloading. I have narrowed the choice of loads down to these:

I have RED Dot and H4895 in the cupboard!

RED DOT 6grns ~1060fps 22100 CUP Trailboss 7grns ~1070fps 22100 CUP Unique 7.8grns ~1350fps 22100 CUP H4198 17grns ~1510fps 22100 CUP H4895 20grns ~1530fps 18000 CUP.

Has anyone used loads like these in a .30-30 driving a 165grn cast bullet?

Indication is that H4198, Red Dot and Trail Boss might be the most accurate!

Any thoughts?

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jimkim posted this 15 January 2012

I have used 6.0gr of Red Dot to push 150-178gr cast bullets. I still use it with the 150 gr PB lead bullets. I get very little if any leading. I did use 7.0gr of Unique for a while. I had similar results. Being a bit frugal and 6 being less that 7, I opted for the Red Dot load.

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Gunner220 posted this 14 March 2013

I have had good luck with the the Magnus Bullet #208. It's a 165 RNFP @ .309. Both 6.5 and 7.5 of 3N37 make excellent plinkers. I doubt Terry has anything in stock but if you order he will get it done ASAP.>

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gnoahhh posted this 14 March 2013

I have fired scads of 311241's over 6.0gr. Red Dot in .30/40 Krags over the years. Beware though, don't substitute a 150 grain jacketed bullet for the cast lead one. I did it, when 16 years old, because I was in a hurry to shoot and didn't want to take the time to cast some up. You betcha, the first one down the tube came to a screeching stop halfway down. Boy, I sure got an ear full from the old gunsmith who had to drill that bullet out of that Krag barrel (after I first destroyed a jointed cleaning rod trying to beat it out). He chucked it in a lathe and drilled the lead core out clean as a whistle, leaving the jacket behind- no harm, no foul. Ah, the hubris of youth...

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Popgunner posted this 28 June 2013

Good reading here about SEE & reduced loads:

Double based powders such as Red Dot that have nitro as part of their make up seem to be less prone to SEE. Click on “The use of pistol powders in rifle cartridges".

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