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Thread: Red Dot - subsonic 30-30 loads

  1. #41
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Great thread!

    The .30-30 is one of my favorites. I use the plainbased Accurate31-155D cast 1:30 tin-lead from Roto Metals with 5 grains of either Bullseye, Red Dot, 700-X, TiteGroup, Trailboss, WST or 452AA. No filler needed. I adjust powder charge to fall into the range of 1080 +/-30 fps in the rifle used. I shoot the same load in 94 Winchesters, Marlins, Savage 340s, etc.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  2. #42
    Boolit Buddy
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    I debated getting my Winchester threaded a couple years ago. Instead I did a 45LC Rossi. Maybe I will need to rethink.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master
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    I played with red dot, 231, and trailboss for my 1973 win 94 30-30 (my grandfather's first deer gun). It did ok with the lighter loads, but I compete in lever action silhouette and need a little thump for the non regulation bases our targets sit on, plus this rifle seems to like higher velocities.

    My go to mould for 30-06 and 30-30 is the NOE saeco #315 GC. I run a 2 cavity brass mold in the automated casting machine that I built.

    The light loads are very enjoyable and I ended up with Herco for the 30-30. When I got up to around 11.0 grains it was just too much for such a fast powder and the barrel would heat up and point of impact changed greatly (vertically) over a set of 10 animals. While I considered A5744 (it is great for medium loads, 1200 to 2000 fps in my 460 mag revolver), 2400, and a couple others, many people loved 4895 for cast boolits. It is what I use for full power rifle loads and also reduced loads in the 30-06. 30.0 grains under a 150 grain j word in the 30-06 packs a punch on steel plates but saves the shoulder and ears (I always use double ear pro, but am sensitive).

    19.0 grains of 4895 under a 175 gc fp for the 30-30 packs a punch for knocking down the pigs at 80 yards, is much nicer on my shoulder than full power j word loads, and it is the most consistent so far. I routinely place in the top 4-5 for our little 16-20 person match and have plenty of wins. We shoot a half size ram at 110 yards, which has a body of 7" tall in the center, with the horns sticking up past that. With peep sights and no support, standing, it does pretty well.

    The 45/70 is similar to the 460 mag revolver case and I have shot a 45/70 with trailboss, which is what I use for light loads in the 460. A 45 270 SAA HP MP molds boolit runs around 1,000 fps with 11 grains of trailgoss, in the 460. It feels like a 38 spl. 5744 rifle powder is extremely versatile, but too expensive for loads that TB will handle. It is intended for reduced rifle loads.

    My grandfather always wanted to load as hot as possible, even for target shooting. With my body issues, I only lasted one 40 round match with his 30-30 handloads. It killed my shoulder and was less accurate than the lighter loads. Handloading and casting is perfect for making shooting as enjoyable and economical as possible. That is one of the reasons I bought the 45cal 460 mag instead of the 500 magnum. It is fun to wake up the range once in a while, but I never intended to run only full power loads. The x frame is a beautiful gun and I shoot the same targets as the lever action match, hitting chickens at 100 yards with iron sights and the rams at 110 yards...........sometimes irritating the lever shooters practicing because they were struggling with a long gun while I was nailing them with my light and mid loads from a hand cannon.

    Shooting handloads at 10 cents per round vs. $1 per round store bought ammo....and having fun...priceless.

  4. #44
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    With Red Dot and the fast powders less tends to be more.

    The slow powders like full cases and long barrels. (If you need to go fast)
    I'll admit fast is easy.

    Slow works also however if you take some time to learn the rainbow, make good notes. Maybe even tape a crib sheet on the stock as to how much drop you can expect at different ranges. Then it is just a matter of experience getting the ranges right. 185 to 200 gr cast bullet is not going to stop till it hits something.

    What that something is depends on how much time you put into it. But comparing 55 gr loads of slow powder to 4-6 gr loads of fast. You can burn a lot of fast powder for penny's a load. At 7 grains there is a thousand loads. Figure 25.00$ per pound that is 2.5 cents per shot. At 55 gr of slow powder you get 157 rounds per pound. That is 54 and a half cents EACH.

    I know where I lean, YMMV.

    Just remember the vast amount of buffalo killed were killed with large slow moving lead bullets at long ranges.
    Mass + momentum is your friend.

  5. #45
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had recently picked up a Lee 309-200 molds and cast up a couple hundred. So I might try your 6.1g load. It drops a 196g bullet. The dilemma is to use a gas check or not. I have never had much success using a GC bullet without a gas check. Also might powder coat some. I too am a big 30-30 bolt action fan.

  6. #46
    Boolit Mold Terminatorret's Avatar
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    I inadvertantly neglected to mention my lube for the cast bullets I shoot. Both bullets come prelubed from the companies (the Hunter's Supply 193gr bullets are designed for gas checks...but I don't add them). I guess I'm still a little "gun shy" about potential leading problems since I don't use gas checks. Therefore, I tumble lube all my bullets with a recipe of 40% XLox, 40% Johnson's paste wax and 20% mineral spirits. I'm not sure if all the additional lubrication effort on my part is really needed or provides any additional anti-leading protection, but I haven't had any leading at all. And some of my early rounds were chrono-ing well over 1200fps.
    I'm sure someone with more experience can advise me on whether the tumble lube is just a waste of my time, or is really helpful.
    I read somewhere that gas checks aren't really needed sub-1400fps.
    Last edited by Terminatorret; 03-20-2020 at 07:00 PM.

  7. #47
    Boolit Buddy gumbo333's Avatar
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    Terminatorret I've been coating all my purchased lubed boolits with BLL for years. So easy to do. Never a bit of leading and your barrel stays so clean. Does anyone wipe your barrel with Johnsons liquid wax(or similar) after shooting?
    Never trade luck for skill.

  8. #48
    Boolit Mold
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    My Winchester 94 stabilizes the lee 150 FP pretty well at subsonic speeds. The Lyman 173 fp shoots decent but at 100yds the holes are a little bit oval. I was hoping to shoot subsonic 198 grain bullets (rcbs 180 fp) but my rifle says no. Using Titegroup and wst right now. American select seems good for this also but my supply is low. Subsonic rifle loading is not a good idea with jacketed bullets, in my view. Weird things happen.

  9. #49
    Boolit Master


    fecmech's Avatar
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    My 30-30 is a Savage 340. Using Bullseye in the 5-7 gr range it gives 1100-1300fps with single digit sd's for 10 shot strings. Accuracy with the Lyman 130 plain base carbine bullet is in the 2" range @ 100yds. The Lee AK 155gr bullet without the gc runs in the 3" range. Red Dot loads of the same grain wt give the same velocities but slightly larger groups with larger SD's (in the teens). I load on a turret press with the Lee collet die just like pistol cartridges turning the turret for each round. Quick,easy and no messy lube.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C. S. Lewis

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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