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Pretty hard to find a 30-30 bullet that is bad since they are made to perform at 30-30 velocities only instead of other 308 bullets that could end up in anything from a 30 Herret to a 30-378.
Good luck in your quest.


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I had dropped the last 5 deer I'd shot with a 30-30 almost where I'd shot them, with either a 336 or a Mod 64 Win, all with 150gr bullets, 4 Win PP, 1 with Rem CL. 2020 I had run out, so I reloaded Sierra PH 150gr with LVR, and about 2400fps, they where more accurate than anything I'd ever tried, so I figured better off!
That fall, I shot no doubt the biggest buck of my life, really big body easy over 200lb, good rack. I'm convinced I made a good shot, but I never even found a speck of blood. He was perfect broadside and on the shot bowed back up, and jumped straight up high. The rest of those Sierras are for target practice.
Since then, I haven't shot another deer yet, and I've got a good supply of 2 loads ready. 170 Hawk & LVR @ 2220fps, that I'm sure will get the job done!
But I also tried the Hornady FTX 160G. Wow, I've come to a final conclusion, no not proven on game yet, but too many people swear of good performance with this bullet!
And with a Max load of LVR I'm getting 2420fps in my Mod 64 and with the high BC of this bullet, it's doing more at 200yds than a most factory loads is at 100yds, and half the wind drift.
I've since got a dandy Mod 94 Carbine, and it's a very accurate load in both, 2350fps in the carbine.
I even got a box of Nosler Partitions 170g for my 30-30s, but haven't tried them, probably never will, because that load with the ftx is right at heels of a 300 Savage and even the 7mm Mauser!

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I'm finally starting to feel more like myself after the stay in the hospital. I'm far from venturing down to the Reloading Room, but at least I can make some observations.

I bought a Marlin 336 in mid-2002, and started cooking up loads for it. I was only 2 years into reloading at this time, and I'd never shot a deer with anything but 30-06 and 12 GA slug. I detailed the story here:

Ode to a 30-30, Part 1

I've been trying to piece together the trail that led me to the WIN PP 150 grain. Going back and covering the sources available to me at the time, I can say that my original focus was on the Hornady 170 grain and 150 grain FN's. I was going to be initially using this load as a Yute load for #2 son's first rifle hunt, so I picked the 150 grainers-- slightly less recoil. I then switched to 170 grainers when the results were less than ideal.

Mind you, all the bad results probably resulted from the kid closing his eyes and not telling me. I didn't find that out until years later. The icing on the cake occurred when I took the rifle out for a late morning sit in one of the stands and managed to put several rounds into the chest of a small doe at less than 20 yards. The rounds hit in the right spot, but the doe was unfazed. I was left with a surrealistic vision of this deer wandering off with an arterial spurter, finally keeling over about 40 yards later. I felt snakebit.

After a couple of seasons of mixed results, I finally got Mooseboy onto the M1 Garand, and all the problems he had been having evaporated. For myself, I ended up buying a Savage 99 in 308 WIN for the next year's hunt. This has been my go-to rifle ever since. When #3 son, Angus came online a few years later, he got the Marlin 336 and the Winchester 150 grain PP's. He nailed a nice doe with it, and broke the jinx.

I retired the Marlin 336 from active service as a deer rifle, but kept experimenting with loads. When LeverEvolution and the 160 grain FTX came out, I tried both in comparison with the WIN 150 grain PP as a benchmark. Out of that comparison, I found that the LVR powder was a sincere winner over my previous favorite of H4895. The 150 grain Win PP did better at ranges under 100 yards. The 160 grain FTX did better for ranges above 100 yards.

I've had the Savage 340 for a few years now. I had always wanted a 30-30 bolt, just for the heck of it. I figured it would be a good first deer rifle for #1 Granddaughter. If memory serves, I compared loads with the 170 grain Hornady FN and the 160 grain FTX against the 150 grain WIN PP's. Much like Ken Water's, Pet Loads, I found the 170 grain Hornady FN to be the most accurate in the Savage.


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Just about any 130-180 grain JSP or cast 308 bullet with the right nose profile will kill deer and hogs in a 30-30.

Monos? IF I was going to use my 30-30s for elk or even big black bears, they do make sense. Cast is fine, in my mind, though. I have played with and will load some more of the Barnes 30-30 150gr X bullet. Not sure if they even still make them? Anyway, stuff hit with it at 30-30 speeds act like they were hit at 300WM speeds. It definitely does damage fast.

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Originally Posted by Swamplord
working on loads with the new Apex Outdoors copper hp 161 gr Haymaker bullets in my 30-30 AI Contender

bullets were designed for & to open up at 300 Blackout velocities, the 30-30 is a bit faster

big ol hollow point/cavity that could work in lever guns

...
[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

I'd think it would be too long to feed in a lever.
Have you tried it?


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Originally Posted by DigitalDan
Reloader 15 is the schizzle.
Behind what bullet, Dan?


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The Hornady 160 FTX factory is all I shoot in my Foremost (Savage) bolt gun. Great on hogs and deer. Birthday present from my dad over 50 years ago.


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Originally Posted by mark shubert
Originally Posted by DigitalDan
Reloader 15 is the schizzle.
Behind what bullet, Dan?

Hornady 170 JFP, 150 gr Anything. The Hornady 170 is the only bullet I ever loaded for the Model 94. I shoot 150’s in the Contender Carbine. It does sub MOA at 100 with Sierra 150 FB spitzers.


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RE 15 (36 gr.) and 150 gr. Sierra 30-30 FP gamekings have been awesome for 30 years out of my 336


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Originally Posted by shaman
What’s left out there for the 30-30? I need something to believe in. I'm looking for a cheap dependable bullet that gets the job done on whitetails inside 100 yards.

For handloading? 150 or 170 grain speer, 170 grain hornady, 170 grain partition. If you don't mind a 2-shooter, one in the mag and one in the chamber only, the 125 grain accubond would be worth a try. If I was only interested in traditional, and sticking to deer, not elk or black bear, I'd go with the 170 grain Speer. In old days IMR 3031 was good fuel. Today I really like CFE 223.

For factory ammo it is hard to beat the ol' 170 grain Remmy CoreLokt ammo.

Tom


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I finally made it home from the hospital and got up the strength to venture down to the Shamanic Secret Underground Reloading Facility. It turns out I've got enough bullets to get a start. I even found an unopened package of WIN PP 150 grain FNs. I don't really have a plan yet. The trip pretty well left me gassed, and I had to take a nap.

There has been a complicating factor added. #1 Granddaughter AKA Mooselette announced that she was ready to take a deer this fall. The trip to the SSURF was with her and together we went through the inventory of deer rifles. The Marlin 336 was the only one that came close to fitting her.


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Keep getting better. We're rooting for you to get through this and get that little girl hunting.

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I bought a few hundred Barnes TSX 30/30 bullets Pre-Biden for $22 a hundred. My Marlin likes them so much I standardized, though I haven't used them on game yet. I expect that cave point won't disappoint and there are youtube vids claiming penetration on Moose.


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Originally Posted by shaman
Thanks all for the ideas.

Let me ask y'all a follow-up question: Are there any 30-30 bullets you'd warn against?

Back when, yes- the old Winchester 150 Jacket RN Hollow Point. (1969) ( i think they were meant to be a better penetrator on big game?) Anyhow, I always used the Remington 150CL factory ammo as a kid of 16...back when...I had ran out during deer season ( long in Texas, from Mid November to early January) shooting mostly varmints and on hogs. When I went to the local Western Auto store ( I had a credit account then! ha) all they had were these unknown Winchester 150HP. I bought a box, they shot to the same zero at 60yds, so off I went. I ended up having them zip through a small spike buck. First shot behind shoulder ( about 40yds) he turned and ran toward me. Second shot went from stem to stern, and he fell, I ran around some bushes and shot him the neck at 10yds. All this happened fast, of course, but skinning him showed the pinholes.
Later in life (1976) I was into bowhunting in October, then rifle hunted in November, using that same old 30-30. The week before I was given 5 handloaded rounds by a guy whom I helped zero his Savage 170 pump. "He said" they were 200gr Round Nose loaded by a mutual friend ( looked like Hornady's?) I shot one at 60yds and one at 100 to see where the hit (I was zeroed for 150cl again) I had to raise my rear one notch. I ended up shooting another spike ( lots of them back then and where we hunted in SE TX) I shot from tree stand about 35 yds away, he ran and I swung ahead and shot him right below the tree, he rolled like a rabbit! First shot cut a groove through the sidewall of the heart, some lung tissue had a thumb sized hole. Second went through head into 6 inches of neck vertebrae. That left me one round. I don't know if they were 200gr, 220gr, or just some other 180 round nose .308 cal . but they hit hard! ha

Out here in Utah, I loaded/shot alot in a Marlin 336 for a year and then had it Ackleyed. I shot the 170CL and Speer 170. I also made up a load for the standard 30-30 with the Hawk .030" jacket 190FN. I was trying to mimic the old 303 Savage , but I was getting 2100 with H335. As luck would have it, a week long buck mule deer hunt skunked me. I freely confess...I was camped by myself and I was "sorely tempted" to shoot the pick-up full of does I was amongst every day, ha! Good luck to you and stay healthy friend!

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My kids started shooting deer with a 30-30 in 1996. Soon after that I happened upon a box of Federal Premium ammo loaded with a 170 grain Nosler Partition. I started loading those over IMR 4895 and it's been the go-to hunting load ever since. They kill deer just as well as every other bullet available for the round, but they cost a lot more! Hmmm...

In a single shot I also use a 150 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip. 28 grains of 4895 under the BT is super accurate in my rifle and it's a real mild load even for a 30-30. It's fun to shoot and kids love it!

I never touched one until my son started shooting. Now I'm back to hunting in thick places and getting close to the deer and it's one of my favorite cartridges. Go figure.

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I have shot some game with the old .30-30. Mostly with my 336 Marlin with a 24 " barrel. Antelope, whitetails, mule deer and mt. lion. Often I used WW 150 gr. Silvertips, the old ones. Good killers, but one of the most destructive bullets I used was WW 150 gr. Hollow Points. I still have a stash of both factory loads, but will try handloads also. I have 130 gr. Speer and a few boxes of Horn. 150s..
I always felt it was a better killer of game under 150 yards than the 24's.


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Shaman, Try putting a WTB ad in the Classifieds here. I bet somebody will come to your rescue.


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The bullets designated as 30-30 bullets perform as designed at 30-30 velocity. And are good deer killers. I have been able to get 170 Speers to shoot best in my contender carbine.

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My Glenfield 30A loves Remington 150 gr core lokts..........I never argue with a gun.

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Since jacketed bullets have been covered well ( I voted for the Speer .308 -170 grain), here is a specific recommendation for cast bullet mold design for the 30-30, from Arsenal molds. They are "Ranch Dog" design. "Ranch Dog" is the handle of a contributer from castboolits.com, who designed it specifically to work in Marlin rifles. The key design elements: maximum meplat for energy transfer, and max bullet diameter for good throat fit/ groove diameter gas seal. Available in "standard" lube grooves, and micro/tumble lube band design.

Arsenal Molds have an added benefit, that at no additional charge, you can specify the bullet diameter for best throat fit of your rifle-for best accuracy. Excellent quality, and high value. Also available in gas check /no gas check options or combo molds ( nice option for low cost shooting). Highly recommended. If you don't have a lube/sizer ( and lube sizer dies ... $$$), you can due VERY well with the tumble lube design.

http://arsenalmolds.com/products?product_id=107&limit=100

http://arsenalmolds.com/products?product_id=84&limit=100
i

You can get a push through sizer ( with diameter bushing choices ) from Night Owl Enterprises (NOE molds), and either pan lube, then size, or use as a gas check seater ( less $ than expensive set up with lubesizer and dies). NOE also makes excellent molds, carries the Ranch Dog design in standard and micro-band, but they are often out of stock.

https://noebulletmolds.com/site/product-category/bullet-casting-reloading/sizing-tools/

For best accuracy, get a good measurement of your chamber's throat (do an internet search for "pound cast" method), and get a bullet diameter just a smidge smaller ( so it enters/ fits), like 1/2 thousanths".
With the high cost and limited stock of jacketed bullets, a simple cast bullet system may make sense. A big meplat mold design of proper diameter with a plain base bullet combo ( with also gas check version) with a micro-band ( no expensive equipment) could be a way to overcome bullet supply issues, while being an accurate, deer-focused hunting design.


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