Loads for 3030 and 308

  • Last Post 27 May 2024
drone posted this 28 April 2024

I load cast for my win 94 30/30 and Browning BLR 81 308.

I've now standardised on the lee 170 fn CB for both.

Both guns have 20" barrels. I'm hoping to get 1900- 2000 fps out of both.

The powders I have to work with are Lovex D073.5 and D073.6. I also have Hodgdon's CFE223.

CBs will be gc then powdercoated and sized to 0.309"

Most of my shooting is at ranges up to 100 yards and occasionally out to 300 yards with electronic scoring (SARTS)

What would be the better powder to choose  and what's a good start point for each caliber and each powder please?

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Larry Gibson posted this 27 May 2024


LeveRevolution is a special blend of powders which gives it a unique time pressure curve in certain cartridges.  It is a fine powder with 170+ gr cast bullets in the 30-30, especially in 12" twist barrels.  LeveRevolution does not perform well in a reduced capacity in the 308W.  If your 308W has a 10" twist barrel you'll find the best accuracy under 1940 fps. 

With Lee moulds the C309-180-R or the C309-200-R would give much better accuracy at the longer ranges you shoot at than the 170 gr FP bullet.  The Lyman 311291 would also be and excellent bullet. 


Concealment is not cover.........

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drone posted this 27 May 2024

Just an update.

Had a day at the sarts range with pop up silhouettes at 100, 200, 300 and 400 yards.

Took my mod 94 30/30 win and my 308 Browning BLR 81.

The way they had the targets set up, the 300 yard blocked the 400 yard but I just had a peep sight on the winchester and a 1.5x6 on the browning.

I was using up the last of my Rx7 in the 30/30 at about 2000 fps with the lee 170 grn FN and the same boolit in the 308 in front of 20 grains 2400.

With the 30/30 I must have struck the accuracy node, apart from the first shot the next 9 were head shots at 100  yards 14 high chest at 200 yards and the last 1 was a hit in the hip at 300.

The 308 was on the 100 and 200 yard targets immediately but there was no way I could hit the 300 as the wind was 15 gusting 25 from my 9 o'clock, I could see the dust plumes from the strikes but they were erratic in both elevation and windage. Most were to faraway from the sensors to register where they were missing.

I came home pleased as punch with the winnie, completely restored my faith in her, need to speed the 308 up a bit and get better SDs if I want to get the 3 and 400 yards shots.

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drone posted this 30 April 2024

Thanks for all that information. I'm off to collect my powder in an hour and should load some up for this weekend, regrettably it's the short range but should be OK for assessing POI and velocity.

I also got a response from Hodgdon's help line which was really helpful and their advice (I'd asked about downloading cfe 223 and LVR and cast bullets of 170 grn) was ball powders may respond adversely to low levels of fill they did say that my cast bullet should provide good results in the 30/30 start at loads for both powders for the sierra 170grn fn.

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Spindrift posted this 30 April 2024

I also use a lot of N150, it is my go-to powder for jacketed loads in .308 win, and .35 Whelen. I've occationally used it for cast loads (both lubed and PC), and it has worked well at slightly reduced pressures. But when using powders in this burn range for slightly reduced pressure loads, I prefer the Vectan tubal 5000 (or 3000), which is bulkier.

Another useful European propellant for your stated application is Norma 200. Ignition in reduced can, however, be slightly dubious in temperatures well below freezing.

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beagle6 posted this 29 April 2024


I don't know anything about your powders or powder coating, but I have had very good results with yhe Lee 170 grain in several 30/30's, a 30/40 Krag and a 308. This both checked  and unchecked depending on the load.

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Wilderness posted this 29 April 2024

Drone - I am on firm ground with LeveRevolution, having used a few pounds of it in my Savage 1899 .30-30.

Larry Gibson did some serious work on Leverevolution in .30-30.


Encouraged by Larry's work, I have been using LVR for my .30-30 hunting loads. My sweet spot is at about 2200 fps. Groups have averaged 2.7" for five shots at 100 metres. With lighter loads, velocity was more variable and groups not so good. Above 2200 (max 2300) groups opened up again. Barrel is 24".

I have deliberately stated this as velocity initially rather than charge, since my 175 gn bullets have a longer bearing surface (.600") than Larry's #311041 bullets, and require less powder. My load was 32 gns for 2180 - 2200. Larry's load was 34.5 gns for a little over 2200. This was with greased bullets in both instances. For the carbine you can probably interpret my "best" velocity as 2100 fps.

You can expect serious recoil from your carbine with these loads, and high POI.

If you don't like recoil, Lyman #311008 with 5 gns Unique (subsonic) is my most accurate load in a Marlin 336A Rippletop. This accuracy is maintained to 200 metres, though I can't speak for 300. Starting subsonic extends the accuracy reach of these light loads, and the short (115 gn) bullets do well at low velocity in 10 and 12 inch twists.

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drone posted this 29 April 2024

I also looked at the 308 loads, there's a one there for VV N-150 of which I have about a kilogram of left, it's a powder that I really rate as whilst velocities aren't huge accuracy is, I shot some 1" 3 shot groups with my blr using it at about 2500 fps so it'snot a lost cause.

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drone posted this 29 April 2024

That's really interesting, I've just bought a couple pounds of levrevolution powder, I don't have any burn rates but the performance is very similar to cfe223 certainly not worth getting my knickers in a twist over it's just I'm on my last pound of CFE223 and it's like rocking horse crap in the UK and, when you do get it, it's megabucks.

I got two fresh pounds of LVR off a mate for the cost of less than 1 pound except I have several hundred mile round trip tomorrow to pick it up just about makes financial sense and it's good to see old friends.

If I load them halfway between start at and DNE it'll be good for about 500 rounds, and I've got 650 bullets ho - hum.

Just been insulting my reloading manuals and it looks like you're right, never doubted you but it's nice to see richard lee agreeing.

FWIW if I run jacketed loads 10% down on DNE it'll probably hit the accuracy node and keep the pressure well down.

Thanks for your advice, spindrift.

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Spindrift posted this 29 April 2024

With powder coat and GC, you can use regular jacket bullet data, for a bullet of the same weight.

My only experience so far with the Lee c309-170- F is in my .308.

37 grs Vectan Tubal-5000, powder coated BHN 11 range scrap, a little jump.

Four 5-shot groups at 100m, average size 1,3MOA. Haven't chronoed, but shot a bullet in water containers. 30in penetration, 75% retained weight. I never bothered trying any other loads.

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drone posted this 29 April 2024

Lovex don't even answer my (one) email asking for advice. I have one of their reloading manuals and, as Lucky1 states, there ain't no cast bullet loads, in fact there's only one 30/30 load, it was the main reason I asked.

I also have some Lovex D036 which I use for my 357 carbine, I've been given some quickload printouts that very closely approximate Unique loads and they work fine in both calibers but I'm extremely wary about increasing the amount of pistol powder I load into these cases as they tend, in my limited experience, to run away with pressure once they've reached a certain point. Great for marginally subsonic loads though, as is Universal a pinch of which goes along way.

I have quite a bit of CFE 223 which always seems to provide good speed with jacketed bullets with lower than some pressures.

FWIW they are mainly for plinking and range shooting and I'd like to be able to take on the 300 yard sil targets.

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linoww posted this 29 April 2024

Clark Rifles in Vancouver WA 300 yard military Rifle matches are shot one a year but  I haven't shot one since I moved away. In  30 caliber a 180 to 200g bullet at 1650 is often quite accurate at that distance. 

I'd think those powers might be fine loaded to 17-1800 fps.i shot Accurate 2520 often in my 30BR(close to 30-30 case capacity) that's similar to one of the Lovex  powders you have and had great accuracy.

"if it was easy we'd let women do it" don't tell my wife I said that!

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Lucky1 posted this 29 April 2024

The Lovex manuals have a deficit of cast loads for most rifles. Unfortunately this leads to the experimental development by using comparative burn rates and the risk that poses. Buffalo is easy since it is very close to 5744. Other ones may be more difficult to interpret an equivalent charge.

Scott Ingle

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Aaron posted this 29 April 2024

The LOVEX Reloading Manual is here. That is where I would suggest you look first.


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

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