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Thread: Contender 30-30 stock or AI ?

  1. #1
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    Question Contender 30-30 stock or AI ?

    Found a Contender rifle bbl in 30-30 to shoot lead in. Thinking about renting an AI reamer to, if nothing else, extend case life. Anyone been down this road ?

  2. #2
    i have. a 30-30AI is for jacketed bullets. a 30-30 is for both jacketed and cast. if you are shooting only cast, i'd say go with the 30-30.

    the AI only does 100 - 150fps faster and it takes more powder. a long time ago, i was AI everything but i've gotten older(not smarter, just older). i'd say go with the 30-30, use cast and go only 1600-1800fps for hunting.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Hickory's Avatar
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    The 30-30 is the perfect castboolits cartridge with 170 gr. boolits at 1800 fps you can't do much better than that.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I had a SSK 30 30AI barrel once upon a time. I shot the RCBS 180SP ahead of 37g of IMR 4831. I know the load sounds crazy but that's what it liked. I used it to make International in IHMSA. I hit 7 chickens in a shootoff to beat a couple of XP 100s. It shot pretty good.

  5. #5
    Boolit Man
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    My 30-30 contender carbine barrel is deadly with cast. Ranchdog 311-165tlc ,Lyman#2 alloy and 33gr WW748 . Kills whitetail like they were hit with a sledge hammer. Probably close to 2000fps. Veral Smith recommended the 748.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    My Contender with the 30-30 24" barrel is doing really good with cast boolits! I would say just stay with the 30-30 as is !!!!!

    Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I would stay with the standard chamber, you give up .125 neck length in the conversion. That long neck is very nice, more powder capacity, ho hum. Standard 3030 gone plenty fast for a cast deer shooter. Plenty and more for paper
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I concur for cast stay stock want to pick up 5% powder capacity go Improved for jacketed.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    What use a long neck if you're going to seat the bullet out to engage rifling?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by WALLNUTT View Post
    What use a long neck if you're going to seat the bullet out to engage rifling?
    Long loverins.

    And long paper patched loverins


    I'd buy a 7.62 - 54r if I wanted to hot rod the 30-30.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    The Ackley Improved version of the .30-30 cartridge does allow for longer case life. I'm not sure that this is really important as .30-30 brass is easily found at most public ranges just lying on the ground or in the brass buckets. I have an H&R Handi-rifle in .30-30 that had the rim recess cut a bit deep. Case life, even with mild cast boolit loads was 3 or 4 reloads before there were signs of head separation as well as the occasional broken case. (a real PITA when hunting and needing a follow-up shot) By reaming the chamber to the Ackley Improved 30 degree it gave the cases a acute shoulder to head space on as long as I neck sized only. The slightly enhanced case capacity allows for larger charges of slow powders that will push cast to J-word velocities with accuracy. For me, the conversion was well worth the rental of the reamer and the hassle of fire forming new brass. Since doing it, I have yet to use my broken case extractor.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    The AI version can be neck sized with a 30 Herret neck die and bullet seated with a std die.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    Convert it. You don't have to shoot A.I. loads in your fireformed brass if you don't want to, but you have that option.
    Tom
    μολὼν λαβέ

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    Stick with whichever you want to. I have both and they are both good rounds.

  15. #15
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    On hold. Now looking for a cut rifled Marlin RIFLE in 35 Rem. (24" bbl)

  16. #16
    Boolit Master pls1911's Avatar
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    Have shot TC in 30/30 14" barrels for 30 years in IHMSA steel shoots, hunting, or just bustin' rocks.
    Deer, pigs, raccoons, armadillos, squirrels (!!) or rocks at reasonable ranges have been no issue with several bullet designs over 24-25 grains Reloader 7.

    7 TCU 14" was bought for an alternative 20 years ago, and I got 20 cases fire firmed before life got in the way....
    I am looking to get back to it.
    Salvaging old Marlins is not a pasttime...it's a passion

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I've got the 10" .30-30 and love it.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check