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30-30 AI

Posted By: shaman

30-30 AI - 02/12/19

I've got a question for y'all regarding the 30-30 Ackley Improved.

I've come into a donor rifle for a project that I originally had slated for a 38-55. However, I may put that project on the shelf. The reason is that I had originally wanted to do up a rifle for Ohio-legal deer hunting. Now that the 350 Legend has been announced, I may hold off and wait for a production 350 Legend rifle.

That leaves me with 3 30-30 rifles, 2 Marlin 336 and a Savage 340. Would it make sense to get one or two of them Ackley'd?
Posted By: erich

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/12/19

Why?
Posted By: Model70Fan

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/12/19

I I wouldn’t think so. Then again I won’t reload for a .30-30. I think that’s the benefit. 30-30 is usually the cheapest centerfire ammo around here.
Posted By: Magnum_Bob

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/12/19

Shaman ,if you want more speed or power get a 300 Savage or a 308 Win. Having one of your 30-30's reamed isn't the answer, put a scope on the 340 ,put a receiver sight on one of the 336's and leave the other with barrel sights . Work up a load that works in all of them ok, so no matter what gun or what box of shells you grab heading out the door it will work perfectly every time. Just think it could be that damn simple. ONE load 3 guns and they all work perfectly everytime now that's an outcome to shoot for.(pun intended) MB
Posted By: MuskegMan

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/12/19


Rebore to .358 and chamber for 35 Bullberry . . . . (at least one of the rifles)
Posted By: shaman

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/12/19

Well, I went back and ran the numbers for 38-55, .350 Legend and 30-30 AI, and y'all may be right. 30-30 AI doesn't do all that much compared to 30-30. I might pick up 150-200fps. I may just keep this Marlin 336 in the safe until I can find someone to ream it out to .350 Legend.
Posted By: Steelhead

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

Originally Posted by Model70Fan
I I wouldn’t think so. Then again I won’t reload for a .30-30. I think that’s the benefit. 30-30 is usually the cheapest centerfire ammo around here.



And that's the beauty of the Ackley version. You can shoot all the factory ammo in it that you wish.

If and when you wish to step it up, reload some. You haven't changed it into a true wildcat that always requires handloading for.

Posted By: Model70Fan

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

True. What’s the gain on the .30 Ackley anyway?
Posted By: Steelhead

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

150-200fps
Posted By: erich

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

A 35-30 now that would make sense, pistol bullets for small game hunting and plinking, I did that with my 358 Norma 148gr DEWC's over a pinch of shotgun powder(loads were in the lyman manual) I used it for squirrel hunting. I believe JES can do the job. There are a number of bullets available designed for the 35 Rem which should be about the same ballistics.
Posted By: Tejano

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

I think with modern components like Lever Revolution bullets and some of the speedier powders the difference in real world performance for the Ackley is almost nil. The 38/55 or a 375 Winchester would be more interesting to me. Or a 35 on the 307 case would be a nice round but I would probably just look for a Savage 99 in 358.

But I am like M70fan and usually shoot factory in 30-30. One of the few times I prefer factory loads.
Posted By: Steelhead

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

Originally Posted by Tejano
I think with modern components like Lever Revolution bullets and some of the speedier powders the difference in real world performance for the Ackley is almost nil. The 38/55 or a 375 Winchester would be more interesting to me. Or a 35 on the 307 case would be a nice round but I would probably just look for a Savage 99 in 358.

But I am like M70fan and usually shoot factory in 30-30. One of the few times I prefer factory loads.

I guess those newer bullets and powders only speed up non AI cases.
Posted By: Steelhead

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

Originally Posted by erich
A 35-30 now that would make sense, pistol bullets for small game hunting and plinking, I did that with my 358 Norma 148gr DEWC's over a pinch of shotgun powder(loads were in the lyman manual) I used it for squirrel hunting. I believe JES can do the job. There are a number of bullets available designed for the 35 Rem which should be about the same ballistics.

I'm thinking hard about doing a 35/30
Posted By: Model70Fan

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

I’ve heard good things about the 7-30 Waters although that would be a rebarrel job.
Posted By: Steelhead

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

Originally Posted by Model70Fan
I’ve heard good things about the 7-30 Waters although that would be a rebarrel job.



Good cartridge, about no bullets available for it. If you have a 94 and can find a 7/30 barrel, it wouldn't cost much.
Posted By: Model70Fan

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

I have a 94 but not sure if I’d do it or not. If they make those flex tips for it I would maybe consider it.
Posted By: Steelhead

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

They don't. In fact, I can't think of a single FN bullet currently being produced in 7mm
Posted By: Model70Fan

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

Maybe I can use HP and put play-do on the tip wink
Posted By: Steelhead

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

LUCK
Posted By: erich

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

File them flat and put a big hollow point in them, no need to fill the HP it hits outside the primer or at least across it and is supported by the case head.

The 35-30 is a old time wildcat used to freshen up 30-30 and 32 Special barrels that were shot/corroded out in the days of corrosive primers.
Posted By: Model70Fan

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

Would be nice with an extended octagon barrel.
Posted By: 260Remguy

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

Originally Posted by Model70Fan
True. What’s the gain on the .30 Ackley anyway?


Case life, assuming that you're a reloader.
Posted By: 260Remguy

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/13/19

Originally Posted by Model70Fan
I have a 94 but not sure if I’d do it or not. If they make those flex tips for it I would maybe consider it.


IIRC, Sam Fadala wrote that his 30-30AI was a 2-shooter with pointed bullets, 1 in the chamber and 1 in the magazine.
Posted By: Model70Fan

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

Wouldn’t you be limited to light hand loads to start out with? In order to fire form.
Posted By: 260Remguy

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

I have been told that the primary PITA associated with the 30-30 AI is that the thin 30-30 brass tends to split at the shoulder when fire forming, light charge or not. I went the 307 route with a minty Marlin 336 SC and regret every minute of it.
Posted By: JCMCUBIC

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

Originally Posted by Model70Fan
Wouldn’t you be limited to light hand loads to start out with? In order to fire form.


In "most" improved rounds you're not limited to light loads on the first firing.....you actually want enough pressure to form the brass, you lose some pressure to the forming process. I usually load a max load for forming in bolt guns (after a shot or two working up to check speeds/pressure/brass).

260Remguy mentioned 30-30 brass being a weak point with splits occurring... I'd not considered this before. I'll be working with a single shot 30-30 AI over the next several months so this thread caught my eye. I'll be starting with the 125 ballistic tip since it won't be limited in bullet choices.
Posted By: Model70Fan

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

What velocity do you predict for the 125gr?
Posted By: gnoahhh

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

I would second the motion for a .35-30. A quick trip to JES for a rebore and a quick and easy session with a chamber reamer and voilà, a real woods thumper. Been threatening to do one myself since forever.

The easiest way to add oomph to a standard .30-30 is to load it with heavy bullets. Barnes is making their "original" soft copper/pure lead style in the form of a .30 190 grain, and there's the alternative of cast 190 grain lead bullets which can be loaded to that velocity no sweat- making the .30-30 the equivalent of a factory .303 Savage which had a lot of followers back in the day. You would open up a whole new realm of .30-30 performance (not to mention the fun of load development) without the expense/hassle of re-chambering or re-boring.

Since I started loading my .30-30 (and .303 Savage) hunting loads with 190's I haven't looked back.
Posted By: Yondering

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

I've always been interested in doing a 30/30 AI, just because. If I had 3 working 30/30 rifles, I guarantee I'd AI one of them; why not? Sometimes it's not about making the numbers make sense; if you want to do it for fun, go for it. As long as you're not messing up a collectible rifle, you'd probably never regret trying it, but always wonder if you didn't.

Honestly I've never had much interest in a 35/30 though, having put a lot of miles on the 35 Rem I would (and did) just go with that factory round instead, for both levers and pumps.
Posted By: JCMCUBIC

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

Originally Posted by Model70Fan
What velocity do you predict for the 125gr?


I haven't looked at numbers yet, but I'm guessing around 2600 with a 24" barrel. Anything with good accuracy from 2500-2600 should be fine for how it will be used.
Posted By: Model70Fan

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

Would be a nice handi rifle in a single
Posted By: Remington40x

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

If you anneal the top third of the case before loading and fireforming, you'll likely reduce the case splitting problem to near zero.
Posted By: FyrepowrX

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

some TC data down below for 14" barrels, so add 20-25fps per inch for longer barrels

My 30/30ackley is a 22" by Match Grade Machine, was looking at notes on my phone from load testing a couple months ago, got 2575fp with 150 SST's , using 41.0gr LeverEvolution. Found mine shot pretty well with bullets in the 125/130gr weight class with 8208XBR also, but didnt clock those yet.

[Linked Image]
=========================================================

.30-30 Ackley Improved (T/C Contender Super 14) Data

------------------------------------------------------------------------
110gr Hornady V-MAX / 35.0grs. IMR-4198 = 2700 FPS
110gr Hornady V-MAX / 37.0grs. A.A.2015BR = 2700 FPS
110gr Speer Round nose / 34.0grs. RL-7 "not chrono'd yet"
------------------------------------------------------------------------
125gr Nosler BT / 34.5grs. H-4198SC = 2689 FPS
125gr Nosler BT / 34.0grs. IMR-4198 = 2683 FPS
125gr Nosler BT / 34.0grs. IMR-4198 = 2627 FPS

125gr Nosler BT / 33.5grs. IMR-4198 = 2617 FPS
125gr Nosler BT / 38.0grs. A.A.2520 = 2560 FPS
125gr Nosler BT / 36.0grs. A.A.2015BR = 2550 FPS

125gr Nosler BT / 38.0grs. A.A.2230 = 2507 FPS
125gr Nosler BT / 36.0grs. H-322 = 2498 FPS
125gr Nosler BT / 38.0grs. IMR-3031 = 2480 FPS

125gr Nosler BT / 37.0grs. IMR-3031 = 2375 FPS
125gr Nosler BT / 41.5grs. W-748 = 2473 FPS
125gr Nosler BT / 38.0grs. A.A.4064 = 2434 FPS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
130gr Hornady SSP / /33.0grs. IMR-4198 = 2588 FPS
130gr Hornady S.P. / 38.0grs. A.A.2520 = 2520 FPS

130gr Hornady SSP / 36.5grs. H-4895 = 2490 FPS
130gr Speer Flat Nose/38.0grs. H-335 = 2486 FPS

130gr Berger H.P. / 35.0grs. A.A.2015BR = 2371 FPS
130gr Berger H.P. /36.0grs. H-322 = 2346 FPS

130gr Berger H.P. /36.5grs. IMR-4895 = 2257 FPS
130gr Berger H.P. /35.0grs. H-322 = 2245 FPS
130gr Hornady SP /34.0grs RL-10x = 2450fps
130gr Hornady SP /36.0grs. RL-10x = 2580fpsMax. load
------------------------------------------------------------------------
135gr Sierra SSP / 33.5grs. IMR-4198 = 2517 FPS
135gr Sierra SSP /33.0grs. IMR-4198 = 2488 FPS
135gr Sierra SSP /38.5grs. IMR-4895 = 2435 FPS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
150gr Speer / 36.0gr.s IMR-3031 = 2450 FPS
150gr Nosler BT / 36.0grs. IMR-3031 = 2437 FPS
150gr Hornady / 36.5grs. IMR-3031 = 2416 FPS

150gr Speer Flat Point / 36.5grs. IMR-3031 = 2410 FPS
150gr Sierra / 36.5grs. IMR-3031 = 2396 FPS
150gr Hornady S.P. / 38.5grs. Reloader15 = 2390 FPS

150gr Hornady S.P. / 36.5grs. IMR-3031 = 2380 FPS
150gr Speer Mag Tip / 37.0grs. H-335 = 2372 FPS
150gr Hornady / 36.5grs. W-748 = 2370 FPS

150gr Hornady SST / 36.5grs. IMR-3031 = 2369 FPS
150gr Rem PSPCL / 35.0grs. H-322 = 2350 FPS
150gr Hornady S.P. / 37.5grs. A.A.4064 = 2350 FPS

150gr Rem PSPCL / A.A.2520 35.5gr = 2340 FPS
150gr Rem Core-Lockt / 36.5grs. IMR-3031 = 2311 FPS
150gr Hornady S.P. / 33.0grs. Re-7 = 2350 FPS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
165gr Hornady B.T.S.P. / 34.0grs. IMR-4895 = 2255 FPS
165gr Speer Spt.B.T. / 34.0grs. IMR-4895 = 2240 FPS
165gr Hornady B.T.S.P. / 31.0grs. Re-7 = 2126 FPS
Posted By: FyrepowrX

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

Originally Posted by Remington40x
If you anneal the top third of the case before loading and fireforming, you'll likely reduce the case splitting problem to near zero.


maybe just the particular lots i was dealing with, but R-P cases split quite a bit if not annealed...i had fewer problems with Federal or WW.

formed about 200 pcs of WW into 30/30 ackleys last year, had only 3-4 per hundred split when using virgin cases; dont think any of them split after i had annealed them.

i also neck them to .25 & 6.5, those split a bit more often when i didn't anneal before making .25x30/30ackley or 6.5x30/30ackley.
Posted By: JCMCUBIC

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

Thanks for that info FyrepowrX!
Posted By: Blackheart

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

.30-30 AI, .35-30, 38-55, none of them makes any sense to me. The .30-30 does what it does, kill deer in the timber, as well as it can be done. If I wanted more "thump" or range I can take my .308 or .30-06. I've used those two plus a .35 Rem., 44 mag. and 12 gauge slugs to kill many deer in the timber. Never noticed that any of those killed them any better or any deader than my old .30-30's.
Posted By: tex_n_cal

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/14/19

Originally Posted by Steelhead
They don't. In fact, I can't think of a single FN bullet currently being produced in 7mm


Lapua has a round nose. And Hawk Bullets www.hawkbullets.com has several different round and flat nosed 7mm bullets
Posted By: Cowboybart

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/16/19

Originally Posted by 260Remguy
I have been told that the primary PITA associated with the 30-30 AI is that the thin 30-30 brass tends to split at the shoulder when fire forming, light charge or not. I went the 307 route with a minty Marlin 336 SC and regret every minute of it.


I have a 30-30 AI in a 14" Contender. While it is fun and a performance jump - I'd go the 307 route too!!
Posted By: frank500

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/16/19

Been using Winchester model 64a in 30/30 Ackley for a while. 170 partitions at 2380 are good medicine for what ails this country ( Absorkas). Also a 200 grain cast at 2200 works well. I think the improved version isn’t needed but that what fell into my hands with dies so I use it.
Posted By: northcountry

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/16/19

How hard is it to find the 307 brass? Cheers NC
Posted By: Nrut

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/16/19

CE Harris on the 35/30-30
Posted By: william_iorg

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/16/19

There is no rocket science to the .30-30AI in the 20" levergun. The Speer 150- and 170-grain bullets have a good BC for deer and pigs. They hold together very well.
With the 20" barrel levergun 3,000 fps with the 100- and 110-grain bullets, 2,700 fps with the 125- and 130-grain bullets, 2,500 fps with the 150-grain bullets and 2,350 fps with the 170-grain bullets is easy with any of the medium burn powders. You do not need the super powders. to exceed these velocities with good case life. Good case life - in my experience - begins with using new cases to fireform your Improved cases using 3/4 to full throttle standard .30-30 load data.
You could start and stop your powder selection using Hodgdon 4895 or H335 depending on whether you wanted extruded or ball powder. I found the two powders to be interchangeable grain for grain with the 170-grain bullets in the 20" leverguns.

The only loading step which requires attention to detail is bullet seating. It is pretty easy to bulge the case just below the point of the shoulder even with a good chamfer on the case mouth.
.
In todays world the .308 Marlin Express is a good option if you are looking at the .30--30AI. The published Marlin Express load data is just a bit under what you achieve with high pressure .30-30AI loads. The Marlin Express brass is just a bit easier to work with and you have factory ammunition if you desire.
You can make .307 Winchester or ..308 Marlin Express brass easily from .444 Marlin cases if you need to.

If you want the .35 caliber based on the .30-30 or .38-55 cases don't overlook the .350 Maine Guide which is a pretty old wildcat type cartridge.
Posted By: northcountry

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/17/19

Why not just use 356 which is the 307 opened up to 358 and is commercially available? Cheers NC
Posted By: Cowboybart

Re: 30-30 AI - 02/20/19

Originally Posted by northcountry
How hard is it to find the 307 brass? Cheers NC


Not too hard.
Winchester does a run every other year or so, it does sell out quickly. 444 can be used to make it, as well as 356 Win.
Posted By: wheelerdan

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/21/19

Just saw this post. Much of what I am writing refers to info Out of the recent Fred Zeglin book on PO Ackley.

PO did not originally conceive of improving cartridges to get more power. He did so because client were bringing him lever guns experiencing extraction problems. Straightening the case reduced back trust and significantly reduced case growth at normal pressures.

The AI design assumed the same level of pressure would happen. But as most of us know, if you reduce the back thrust against the bolt, one of the key, normal sighs of pressure has been redefined. Add to that the increased case capacity about 10 % more powder would be needed to achieve the same pressure as the parent cartridge, but the pressure signs would be absent. Human nature, would want to cram more powder in until the pressure signs return. So when the back thrust returned to the same indicators as the parent, it would actually be at a higher pressure.

Again quoting PO from the book, PO did not care what the pressure was, he only cared about the back thrust, hence the actual stresses on the action. That is why AI cartridges are loaded as they are, not by design, but by practice.

PO arrived at all of this by actual testing, not theory or opinion. Great book about a great gunsmith, who actually field tested old wives tales for the truth.

Dan
Posted By: 260Remguy

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/21/19

Originally Posted by wheelerdan
Just saw this post. Much of what I am writing refers to info Out of the recent Fred Zeglin book on PO Ackley.

PO did not originally conceive of improving cartridges to get more power. He did so because client were bringing him lever guns experiencing extraction problems. Straightening the case reduced back trust and significantly reduced case growth at normal pressures.

The AI design assumed the same level of pressure would happen. But as most of us know, if you reduce the back thrust against the bolt, one of the key, normal sighs of pressure has been redefined. Add to that the increased case capacity about 10 % more powder would be needed to achieve the same pressure as the parent cartridge, but the pressure signs would be absent. Human nature, would want to cram more powder in until the pressure signs return. So when the back thrust returned to the same indicators as the parent, it would actually be at a higher pressure.

Again quoting PO from the book, PO did not care what the pressure was, he only cared about the back thrust, hence the actual stresses on the action. That is why AI cartridges are loaded as they are, not by design, but by practice.

PO arrived at all of this by actual testing, not theory or opinion. Great book about a great gunsmith, who actually field tested old wives tales for the truth.

Dan


I don't think that P.O. Ackley did any scientific/professional testing of his loading data, so why would anyone believe/trust it?
Posted By: greydog

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/21/19

I have seen a whole bunch of 30/30's, with excessive headspace, where the fired case showed a protruding primmer. This would seem to indicate that the case gripped the chamber wall sufficiently to allow the primer to back out. With this being the case, what would be the advantage to gripping the chamber even better? The fact is, AI cases do not reduce back thrust except in the immaginations of the proponents. GD
Posted By: wheelerdan

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/29/19

Actually yes, sir he did. I will grant you that PO did not have the benefit of modern day chronographs when he was developing a lot of his wildcats. According to Zeglins book, he was a fastidious tester developing his own momentum pendulum and having to calculate pressure manually. Additionally Zeglin devoted a chapter in his book to testing PO tests just to make sure. He prooved exactly what PO claimed a generation earlier actually happened. As I said, it is a good book and I highly recommend.
Posted By: wheelerdan

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/29/19

Greydog, Part of my answer was written above in the response to 260Remguy, so please read it there. Your observations are a bit different than his, so I will add to those remarks.

Interesting enough, I just bought an old Steven bolt 30/30 to play with and possibly to rechamber to AI. Took it out the other day to chonograph some 170 Remington factory stuff to get a performance benchmark. 10 rounds averaged 2150FPS out of a 20" barrel. This ammo was sticky to extract and also had raised, and very round primers.

I traced the stickiness to gunk in the chamber. I told the guy I bought it from he should have discounted because of my cleaning fee. He replied he would have had to charge me more if he had cleaned it. smile. Anyway the chamber was dirty. I should have clearned it before taking it the range. When it was clean, the stickiness disappeared.

Re the primers, I have seen this before with very low pressure loads is several revolvers (45LC at 700 FPS, 38 special at 700DPS). Now rifles are not revolvers, but in this case both of the cartridges in question head space on the rim. I have also seen this symptom in some low pressure rifle loads, namely very rounded primers backed out out against the breech.

I think, but can not prove this may be what we are seeing in our .30/30; the result of very low pressure loads backing the primers against the bolts of our rifles. These loads are at least 100 FPs slower than they should be. That translates to pressures about 7000 PSI lower than published specs. (Testing has shown that bumping a 30/30 from 2300 fsp to 2400 FPS, with no change in any components expect the gains of powder, adds about 7000 PSI).

The only way for me to prove this is to hand load few more rounds to see if the behavior changes as the velocity rises. I think It will, but proof is proof, not theory. So, please let me adjourn until I can report on that.

Meanwhile, Zeglin did test POs theories and it is a great book.

Thanks for the replies, gents.
Posted By: shawlerbrook

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/29/19

307 brass is much easier to find than 356. That said, I own two Marlin 30AS’s , one rebated by JES to 356 and one rechambered by Regan Nonneman to 307. Both are great rifles in great rounds.
Posted By: greydog

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/29/19

Originally Posted by wheelerdan
Greydog, Part of my answer was written above in the response to 260Remguy, so please read it there. Your observations are a bit different than his, so I will add to those remarks.

Interesting enough, I just bought an old Steven bolt 30/30 to play with and possibly to rechamber to AI. Took it out the other day to chonograph some 170 Remington factory stuff to get a performance benchmark. 10 rounds averaged 2150FPS out of a 20" barrel. This ammo was sticky to extract and also had raised, and very round primers.

I traced the stickiness to gunk in the chamber. I told the guy I bought it from he should have discounted because of my cleaning fee. He replied he would have had to charge me more if he had cleaned it. smile. Anyway the chamber was dirty. I should have clearned it before taking it the range. When it was clean, the stickiness disappeared.

Re the primers, I have seen this before with very low pressure loads is several revolvers (45LC at 700 FPS, 38 special at 700DPS). Now rifles are not revolvers, but in this case both of the cartridges in question head space on the rim. I have also seen this symptom in some low pressure rifle loads, namely very rounded primers backed out out against the breech.

I think, but can not prove this may be what we are seeing in our .30/30; the result of very low pressure loads backing the primers against the bolts of our rifles. These loads are at least 100 FPs slower than they should be. That translates to pressures about 7000 PSI lower than published specs. (Testing has shown that bumping a 30/30 from 2300 fsp to 2400 FPS, with no change in any components expect the gains of powder, adds about 7000 PSI).

The only way for me to prove this is to hand load few more rounds to see if the behavior changes as the velocity rises. I think It will, but proof is proof, not theory. So, please let me adjourn until I can report on that.

Meanwhile, Zeglin did test POs theories and it is a great book.

Thanks for the replies, gents.


If pressures are increased, the primers will be seated back into the pocket and will usually be very flat. At this point, the case is still adhering to the chamber wall but is stretching at some point ahead of the web. This point will vary with brass thickness and the peak pressure. In a rifle which locks up solidly, at the front, case stretching is related only to the amount of head clearance. If the rifle action is rear-locking and stretchy, case stretch will be egual to the amount of headclearance plus the linear deflection of the bolt.
During tests I was running using a Lee Enfield, I ran into a situation where the improved cartridge did not adhere to the chamber wall as well as did the standard 303; possibly due to chamber finish.
AI cartridges increase powder capacity; they don't do anything else. GD
Posted By: 260Remguy

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/30/19

Originally Posted by wheelerdan
Actually yes, sir he did. I will grant you that PO did not have the benefit of modern day chronographs when he was developing a lot of his wildcats. According to Zeglins book, he was a fastidious tester developing his own momentum pendulum and having to calculate pressure manually. Additionally Zeglin devoted a chapter in his book to testing PO tests just to make sure. He prooved exactly what PO claimed a generation earlier actually happened. As I said, it is a good book and I highly recommend.


P.O. Ackley might have been a fastidious tester and Zeglin might have written a great book about him, but I am of the opinion that at least some of the loads that POA published run at very high pressures such that they might be dangerous to the shooter under some conditions and in some firearems.
Posted By: greydog

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/30/19

Ackley didn't develope many, maybe even most, of the loads shown in his books. Some of the loads are ridiculously hot in most rifles. I got a set of Ackley's books when I was fifteen years old and read them constantly. In his manual Ackley says many of the loads were "submitted". By the way, it took me about a year to decide the whole bolt thrust thing was hokum. I've seen nothing in the intervening 54 year to make me think otherwise. GD
Posted By: william_iorg

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/30/19

If you want a lesson in breech thrust shoot the standard .25-35 in the Thompson Center Carbine. My 24” carbine had difficulty extracting cases when using low pressure, published load data.
Switching to the .25-35 Ackley Improved case changed the rifle completely.
The TC 24” barrel chambered for the .25-35AI case will easily push various 100 grain bullets above 2,900 fps using several powders. I have pushed the 100 grain bulk Remington bullets to just over 3,000 fps using Alliant Reloder 15 but that is obviously more pressure than is prudent.
The 117 grain bullet is easily pushed above 2,800 fps. I have pushed the 117 grain Sierra Pro Hunter above 2,900 fps – again using Reloder 15 – but this is pushing things.
I have never experienced sticky extraction using the .25-35AI cartridge case.
I have loaded the .30-30 Ackley Improved quite a bit in both Marlin and Winchester lever action rifles. The .30-30AI can be loaded to high pressure in the lever action rifle.
If you need examples of the actual value of the Improved case shape these two cartridges will deliver.

Few of us have the opportunity to read a lot of PO’s writing as he wrote mainly for periodicals and the details of much of his experience are buried with little ability to found.
An easily found little article defining the Improved cartridge is this one:

Wildcat and Improved Cartridges
P O Ackley
Lyman Reloading Handbook 42nd Edition

The purpose of the improved idea is to create more powerful, longer range cartridges than their commercial counterparts by the more simple method of fireforming. Other reasons are to produce a cartridge of more modern design intended to eliminate certain annoying characteristics of some factory versions. Most improved designs take the form of minimum body taper combined with sharp shoulders. This general design results in reduced bolt thrust, reduces stretching or forward flow of brass and increases the case capacity. Any cartridge which is not already over bore capacity can be fire formed to some improved design, thus producing a case of better design and greater powder capacity which in turn makes it possible to hand-load to higher velocity. With factory cartridges with a volume too great for the bore, fireforming can result in little or no increase in velocity.

Often times, claims made for many wildcat and improved cartridges should be closely scrutinized by budding wildcatters. Certainly some small change in an existing cartridge is not going to revolutionize the business. Often velocities are quoted which have been obtained in an individual rifle which for some reason will accept loads which might reduce the average rifle of similar caliber to a pile of junk.

H P White Laboratory wrote a hit piece on PO’s .30-06 Improved case in the December 1953 American Rifleman – How Improved Is It? PO answered his critics in the October 1954 edition of the American Rifleman

Improved Cartridges
P O Ackley
American Rifleman October 1954

The word 'improved' is an unfortunate choice, and just grew up in connection with certain developments which were made with several objectives. One consideration is increased velocity. Another is mechanical improvement, which results in minimizing certain faults of standard cartridges.

My All Time Favorite Ackley Quote:
At the beginning of these comments certain things were pointed out as possible improvements, but nothing was said concerning pressure. Whether the handloader or wildcat enthusiast is right or wrong, he is interested in several things, most important of which are increased velocity and whether the bolt stays in the gun. If he can achieve these two results without serious complications, he is not overly concerned with the actual pressure readings in pounds per square inch.

Here is a picture of PO’s pressure and bolt thrust gun from the article Wildcat Pressures, Handloader 5/6 1966.
[Linked Image]
Posted By: wheelerdan

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/30/19

Yep. These article and quotations appear in Zeglin's book. The 25/35 is on the top PO's list of most improved cartridges. This could be because factory load were anemic and the AI loads are loaded to to SAMMI pressure. Only a guess. The picture address whether PO actually tested things for himself. I also have no doubt that data was submitted to him as well.

At any rate, my Stevens .30/30 bolt gun will be back in my hands in a week or so. Then can start testing and reporting what I see.
Posted By: greydog

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/30/19

The improved extraction of the 25-35 AI in the T-C carbine is real enouh but is not related to reduced breech thrust. Instead, it is because the spring in the T-C action allows the case to stretch then wedge back into the chamber due to the case taper and moderate shoulder angle. The "improved" case will deflect the breech face just as much but the sharp shoulder will prevent the action from pushing the case forward and the reduced taper requires the case to be pushed forward further to achieve the same amount of adhesion. So, the breech thrust is the same but the effect is lessened.
Another thing which does not occur is the forward flow of brass upon firing, regardless of case shape. Brass will stretch if the action design is such that it allows stretching or if headspace is excessive. Case shape will have no influence on this. Brass flow occurs mostly when sizing and, again, case shape can influence this. GD
Posted By: 260Remguy

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/31/19

Originally Posted by wheelerdan
Yep. These article and quotations appear in Zeglin's book. The 25/35 is on the top PO's list of most improved cartridges. This could be because factory load were anemic and the AI loads are loaded to to SAMMI pressure. Only a guess. The picture address whether PO actually tested things for himself. I also have no doubt that data was submitted to him as well.

At any rate, my Stevens .30/30 bolt gun will be back in my hands in a week or so. Then can start testing and reporting what I see.


Which AI wildcats have SAMMI approved pressure specs?

I would think that the single locking lug Stevens 325, the same as the Savage 340 series, would be a sub-optimal choice to run higher pressure loads in. I've long thought that the Savage 340s chambered in 225 WIN were probably just marginally strong enough to be safe at the 225's operating pressures. For some reason Savage discontinued the 225 chambering after only a few short years.

Some folks are true believers in the gospel of Ackley and some are not.

EDIT: Since Ackely died in August 1989, he is no longer able to speak for himself and many biographers are sycophants who are less than objective in the treatment of their subjects.
Posted By: Mule Deer

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/31/19

Originally Posted by greydog
The improved extraction of the 25-35 AI in the T-C carbine is real enouh but is not related to reduced breech thrust. Instead, it is because the spring in the T-C action allows the case to stretch then wedge back into the chamber due to the case taper and moderate shoulder angle. The "improved" case will deflect the breech face just as much but the sharp shoulder will prevent the action from pushing the case forward and the reduced taper requires the case to be pushed forward further to achieve the same amount of adhesion. So, the breech thrust is the same but the effect is lessened.
Another thing which does not occur is the forward flow of brass upon firing, regardless of case shape. Brass will stretch if the action design is such that it allows stretching or if headspace is excessive. Case shape will have no influence on this. Brass flow occurs mostly when sizing and, again, case shape can influence this. GD



Exactly.

Ackley's conclusions about breech thrust were erroneous, but became part of handloading lore.
Posted By: william_iorg

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/31/19

I believe we are all aware the Contender frame stretches.
My TC rifle barrel was about useles with the standard .25-35 WCF chamber.
Reaming to the Improved case gave me a rifle which will extract cases loaded to considerably higher pressure.
Neck sized cases will chamber and trip the interupter. Case life is good with considerably more than ten loads per case.
The only difference is case shape. I will accept any explanation, and enjoy the very real benefit.

I have shot the 20" .30-30 Improved side by side with the 20" .307 Winchester, the 26" standard .30-30 and the 22" .308 Marlin Express. The .30-30AI can be loaded safetly to higher pressure to compete very favorably with the greater capacity cases.
Because the .30-30AI was not originally intended for use in the lever action rifles it is an interesting side benefit.
Posted By: 260Remguy

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/31/19

Originally Posted by william_iorg
I believe we are all aware the Contender frame stretches.
My TC rifle barrel was about useles with the standard .25-35 WCF chamber.
Reaming to the Improved case gave me a rifle which will extract cases loaded to considerably higher pressure.
Neck sized cases will chamber and trip the interupter. Case life is good with considerably more than ten loads per case.
The only difference is case shape. I will accept any explanation, and enjoy the very real benefit.

I have shot the 20" .30-30 Improved side by side with the 20" .307 Winchester, the 26" standard .30-30 and the 22" .308 Marlin Express. The .30-30AI can be loaded safetly to higher pressure to compete very favorably with the greater capacity cases.
Because the .30-30AI was not originally intended for use in the lever action rifles it is an interesting side benefit.




If not lever action rifles, what rifles was the 30-30AI intended for? The Winchester 54?

What is the actual case capacity difference between the 30-30 and 30-30AI?
Posted By: wheelerdan

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/31/19

There is a bout a 7% increase in case capacity between the factory and the AI versions, with a corresponding increase of about 175 FPS in a 20" and at the < 42,000 PSI. Frankly this ain't all that much to get excited about. If, and I say, if most factory ammo is lowded in 35,000 PSI range, loading to full SAMMI spec, for the parent cartridge, would do just as much. (There is no SAMMI spec for the AI rounds, which have not become factory rounds.

The puts the .30/30 AI in the middle of the AI cartridges for performance upgrade. The 25/35 and 30/40 Krag are near the top of the heep and the .270/280 near the very bottom.

The Steven 325 might, maybe be one of the weaker bolt guns. Donno. But I believe it is plenty adequate for the .30/30 hand loaded to 42,000 PSI, which is the SAMMI spec. I am guessing I will get more bank for the buck from this action because i can shoot pointed bullets than from the AI conversion. If the AI conversion really does boost velocity 7% and I shoot pointed bullets, then trajectory and down range energy should jump accordingly.

The 325 is a fun gun. It will cost me very little to run a reamer into her to complete these test. The real fun for me is to tinker with the process and report the findings to your guys.

Right here right now, I will speculate this rifle will delivery about 2575 fps with 150 grain pointed bullets in AI format. Not shabby , but hardly remarkable.
Posted By: 260Remguy

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/31/19

CDNN has the B-Square side-mount on sale for $10, their part number BSQ14600.

www.cdnnsports.com
Posted By: william_iorg

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/31/19

The first article I am aware of on the .30-30 Ackley Improved is in the Robert Hutton series from Guns & Ammo. Hutton was searching for the ideal 300 Meter cartridge for International shooting. The series of tests involved just about every factory cartridge and wildcat that could have been thought of at the time.
PO made up the rifle, an FN Mauser with 26” barrel. He also chambered a 20” Model 94 for the cartridge.
I believe Dr. Henry Stebbins beat Hutton to print by mentioning the Ackley .30-30 Improved in his book on Rifles.

The article by Hutton: A New Look At The .30-30 was in the May 1961 issue of Guns & Ammo.
The goal of a 180 grain bullet at 3,000 fps was not achieved.
In the bolt action rifle it was found that accuracy improved as velocity increased right up to the point of primer popping.
Hutton commented that he shot his smallest ever .30 caliber groups with the .30-30AI. Also the smallest .30 caliber group he had ever seen. The smallest being 5 shots in ¾” using 35.0 grains of IMR 4198 and the Sierra 168 grain International bullet.
Hutton discounted any velocity increase with the Improved cartridge in the lever action rifle and said the advantage of the cartridge in the lever action was improved case life and improved accuracy.

There was at least one Improved .30-30 prior to the Ackley version – this one with a 35 degree shoulder. I have one in my collection and have posted the picture on the Beartooth forum in the past. I have searched quite a bit and have not found an earlier article on Improving the .30-30.
Posted By: 260Remguy

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/31/19

Originally Posted by william_iorg
The first article I am aware of on the .30-30 Ackley Improved is in the Robert Hutton series from Guns & Ammo. Hutton was searching for the ideal 300 Meter cartridge for International shooting. The series of tests involved just about every factory cartridge and wildcat that could have been thought of at the time.
PO made up the rifle, an FN Mauser with 26” barrel. He also chambered a 20” Model 94 for the cartridge.
I believe Dr. Henry Stebbins beat Hutton to print by mentioning the Ackley .30-30 Improved in his book on Rifles.

The article by Hutton: A New Look At The .30-30 was in the May 1961 issue of Guns & Ammo.
The goal of a 180 grain bullet at 3,000 fps was not achieved.
In the bolt action rifle it was found that accuracy improved as velocity increased right up to the point of primer popping.
Hutton commented that he shot his smallest ever .30 caliber groups with the .30-30AI. Also the smallest .30 caliber group he had ever seen. The smallest being 5 shots in ¾” using 35.0 grains of IMR 4198 and the Sierra 168 grain International bullet.
Hutton discounted any velocity increase with the Improved cartridge in the lever action rifle and said the advantage of the cartridge in the lever action was improved case life and improved accuracy.

There was at least one Improved .30-30 prior to the Ackley version – this one with a 35 degree shoulder. I have one in my collection and have posted the picture on the Beartooth forum in the past. I have searched quite a bit and have not found an earlier article on Improving the .30-30.


The Beartooth Bullets site seems to have disappeared, any idea where it went?
Posted By: william_iorg

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/31/19

Main page


http://www.beartoothbullets.com

Forum

https://www.shootersforum.com

Go to the last post in this thread for the picture of the two Improved .30-30's. The early one is 22 degrees.


https://www.shootersforum.com/gunsmithing/57521-chamber-reaming.html
Posted By: 260Remguy

Re: 30-30 AI - 08/31/19

Tech notes appears to be unavailable.
Posted By: Clarkm

Re: 30-30 AI - 09/02/19

A test I did in 2010:

[Linked Image]

Savage 219L-D single shot break action 30-30
1 in 12" twist
26" long.
7 pound rifle

220 gr HNDY round nose moly W748 2.92" 26" barrel, 30-30
Quickload prediction:
33 gr 51 kpsi 2176 fps
34 gr 56 kpsi 2232 fps
35 gr 62 kpsi 2287 fps
36 gr 68 kpsi 2340 fps
37 gr 75 kpsi 2394 fps
38 gr 83 kpsi 2446 fps brass and primer still look good
39 gr 92 kpsi 2498 fps primer very cratered, case full of powder, ball powder compresses a hair below 2.92"
Posted By: william_iorg

Re: 30-30 AI - 09/02/19

Now this is an interesting test. You’re pressure is up in .300 Winchester Magnum territory.
Was this new brass, once fired or used brass?
I would like to have measured the PRE on these cases. .4221” or .4222”? I don’t know if the 219 Savage has an oval cut chamber as the lever action rifles do. The Winchester and Marlin rifles have the rear of the chamber cur oval to facilitate chambering.
Would make for an interesting comparison of the Quick Load estimate and what you might see at the pressure ring.

I believe, based on the estimates I would have stopped at a 35.5 grain charge.
Have you looked at the locking lugs on your rifle. My father had a Savage shotgun similar to your 219. Dad shot this one a lot with various insert barrels. The .45 ACP and .222 Remington being his favorites. Some of his loads left a mark on the locking lugs and he took it to heart – backing off on his experimenting.

Your experiment says a lot for the extractor on the Savage 219.
We have done nothing similar to this with the standard .30-30.
Dad modified a Lyman 311284, 210 grain bullet mold to round nose. This bullet now weighs 215 grains with gas check and lubed. I load it light and 5.8 grains of V.V. N310 will give us 963 fps from the 26” Buffalo Bill Model 94.

The 220 grain Sierra HPBT Match bullet ahead of 26.0 grains of Hodgdon Varget gives us excellent accuracy at 1,829 fps – 1 ¾” at 100 yards if the light is on our back using the Lyman receiver sight. 2” to 2 ½” if the light is not so good. The target is a 3” black rectangle on off white paper with a half round cut in the bottom of the rectangle. Raise the bead up into the half round.

The 220 grain Hornady JRN bullet ahead of 33.0 grain of Hodgdon Varget gives us 2,084 fps with similar accuracy.
Funny how the round nose bullet perfoms better at higher pressure in this Model 94.

Perhaps of interest, the Peters 180 grain factory .30-30 was advertised at 2,120 fps from the 26” in 1940.

You are now in the company of “Three Fingered Phil” Sharpe – “That Old Thutty-Thutty”, American Rifleman, March 1952. A 31” Hi Wall Phil and his friend loaded to above an estimated 60,000 CUP looking for a ½” group from a .30 caliber rifle. They didn’t get their ½” group but they had no brass problems and no sticky extraction.
Posted By: Clarkm

Re: 30-30 AI - 09/02/19

Back in 1999 my father [chief engineer of gun and vehicle design at PACAR 1948-1986] was still alive. He and a mechanical engineering professor helped show me how to calculate the strength of my 45/70 handi rifle.
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.guns/BlTMnBlXF44
If you hear guys at a gun show talking about the strength of an action, they will say, "It was designed for....", but that belies that a Stevens 410 break action shotgun calculates per me as much stronger than a Sav 110, Win 70, Rem 700, or Mauser 98.

So when I saw the similar to handi rifle, Sav 219L-D, I could see how strong it was. I did not realize what a piece of junk it is. Frank De Haas hated it, and I did too and soon as I took it apart and tried to put the bent sheet metal back together. My opinions on the Sav 219 is the old ones are good. The last ones, the 129L-D are terrible.... but strong.
Posted By: wheelerdan

Re: 30-30 AI - 09/06/19

William_Iorg,

Was this with the regular or the AI version? I assume AI? Interesting you chose the 220 grain RN bullets. If like other RN they are probably undersized ahead of the channelure. This might help to reduce pressure, but not to the level you are documenting. Whether the 219 is a thing of beauty or not, it must be hell-for-strong, as must the brass.

I am fresh out of 170 gain RN but have a supply of HOR 180 SP bullets which I will try as soon as I get the 325 rifle up and running as an AI.

I hit a snag today when I notecd the barrel locking nut is cracked through. Had to sear for another. Once this is sorted, will rechamber for the AI version and begin recording the results.

Thanks for the info.

wheeleran
Posted By: rickt300

Re: 30-30 AI - 09/06/19

My first 30-30 was a model 340C Savage. It had a 18 1/2 inch barrel and shot really well though it had a oversize chamber and cases stuck with all but the most mild loads. Using pointed bullets it was necessary to trim the cases so that the ogive of the bullet wasn't inside the case mouth. I shot it with 150 gr. bullets on top of 29.0 grains of 3031 and took several deer with it. Presently my Contender Carbine in 30-30 AI is a favorite, case life, accuracy and velocity are all just right. Ready to hunt with this year.
Posted By: Clarkm

Re: 30-30 AI - 09/09/19

I got a couple 340 Sav rifles in 30-30, one for $75 in 2005 and one for $119 in 2016.

I got in contact with Leroy Weisner. They seem like cheap guns to me, but that old guy is into them. He is smart. I could not figure out how to get the barrel off without the special nut wrench. He said to put pin gauges in a crescent wrench.

https://www.leeroysramblings.com/Gun%20Articles/stevens_325_savage_340_bolt_act.html
Posted By: wheelerdan

Re: 30-30 AI - 12/07/19

I am opening up a new thread bases on some testing I have done with the 30/30 AI with LeverEvolution components. It will be titled: 30/30AI_Finding out for myself. Opinion appreciated there.
Posted By: TX35W

Re: 30-30 AI - 12/11/19

Surprised no talk of 375 Win? I've had two Marlin rifles chambered in this, one factory, one JES rebore, and my reloads were pushing a 200gr .375 JFN slug at 2400 fps, zero pressure signs, 220gr bullets were not much slower. Talk about a deer thumper. Plus you just use starline 38/55 brass, the short stuff. This thing was a HAMMER and easy to load for with factory brass and a straight wall cartridge that loaded like a pistol round. JES does a lot of these, it's just a 30-30 case blown out straight (as I remember). But it's also an entirely different power level from a 30-30. Might be too much.

Also worth noting that my boring 336A with it's 24" barrel gives 2390 fps with most factory 150gr loads...It's way faster than a 20", though goofy looking.
Posted By: wheelerdan

Re: 30-30 AI - 04/03/20

I put this rifle up for sale on Gunbroker. If anybody would like it, will sell as a package, rifle, reloading dies, a few pieces of brass. Asking $400
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