Throats on 30-30 Handi's - Graybeard Outdoors
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Default Throats on 30-30 Handi's

I have been told that it would be quite a surprise if a 30-30 Handi would be able to chamber cast bullets at their nominal OAL's due to insufficient throating.

What has been the experience of the 30-30 Handi reloaders here, when it comes to their throats, and chambering cast at nominal OAL? What are the throats like on the early 90's 30-30 Handi's in particular?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 10:14 AM
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Mine not only chambers normal cast bullets but chambers them up into the 185gr range.


The real secret to shooting cast is learning to do a pound cast of the lead or throat and start of the rifling.


Done right this gives you accurate dimensions of just how long and how big a bullet you can load. Also lets you load to within a thousandth or 2 of the rifling.
So no jump, no stuck bullets that don't want to come out. Just good repeatable accuracy.


My Handi rifle .30-30 has shot everything from 90 gr truncated cone to 185 gr 2r round nose with gas check.

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Started with .223 Ultra Bull barrel. Added .357 Talo barrel. Added an action and stock set bought here, 7.62x39 barrel. Then bought complete guns .444 Marlin and .300 Blackout. Leaving me at 4 complete rifles plus a barrel. Plus a 9mm stub job bought here, and I have been finding and buying H&R shotguns at our local pawn shop where they seem to go cheap.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-30-2020, 10:32 AM
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Essentially, a "pound cast" is made by installing a lead-filled cartridge case and malleable slug into the chamber and throat, locking the breech, and expanding the whole thing to fit the chamber and throat area completely via hydraulic force applied by a rod inserted through the muzzle. Here's a step-by-step general idea of how I do it, which is by no means intended to be comprehensive or absolute.

1. Clean the rifle's chamber, throat, breech face, breech locking mechanism, and bore with brushes and solvent, dry and put a thin film of oil the chamber and throat. Use a HEAVY oil, such as gear lube or case lube to prevent sticking and make it easier to extract the slug after forming. Apply grease or oil to the locking mechanism per normal lubrication practices.

2. Obtain a roll of vinyl electrician's tape, a brass or steel rod longer than the barrel but that will insert into the barrel when wrapped in one layer the tape, a medium hammer, a gas check of the caliber of the gun being casted, a sacrificial cartridge case that has been fired in the gun and still has the primer intact, a propane or other hand-held torch, large spoon, a heavy-for-caliber bullet mould or slug mould made with a bore-diameter hole drilled in a piece of hardwood, enough pure lead to cast several heavy (long) bullets or slugs, enough wheel weight or similar-hardness alloy to fill the cartridge case, and some pliers.

3. Melt the wheel-weight (or similar) metal in the spoon with the torch, heat the top half of the case enough to anneal it (dull glow ok, and pour the molten metal into the case while it's still hot. Fill to about halfway up the neck with the alloy and allow it to cool. Grasping the case with pliers and gently lifting and tapping the case head on a solid surface and re-applying heat to keep the alloy melted for a few more seconds will help dislodge air pockets and settle the alloy.

4. Using the same spoon, cast some heavy bullets using pure lead, or make a slug mould that will cast a cylinder of bore diameter that is about 1/2" longer than the longest "standard" bullet the gun is intended to fire. This is a general idea, you just want enough metal to fill what's left in the case neck, the whole throat, and the origin of the rifling.

5. Clean and oil the alloy-filled case, oil and install the dead-soft bullet or slug into the mouth by hand, and insert it into the chamber. Force the action closed behind it and place the gun muzzle up with the buttplate on a firm, non-marring surface (like a clean work mat or cardboard).

6. If a gas check is available, start it into the muzzle squarely with a punch, concave side up. Wrap the metal rod with a closely spiraled, single layer of electrician's tape to protect the bore, and build bore-diameter "bushings" for a reasonably snug, centering fit on the ends and middle of the rod if one layer of tape isn't sufficient to support the rod in the center of the bore. Use the rod to push the check all the way to contact the slug, making sure the tip of the rod is captured inside the cup of the check and that the check hasn't gotten turned sideways. Sometimes a fired .22 rimfire case or pistol cartridge case can be used instead of a gas check depending on the caliber of the rifle. The object is to keep the tip of the rod from sinking and sticking into the soft lead. The check provides a sort of piston and separation point.

7. Hold the rifle and support the rod at the muzzle securely with one hand, and firmly tap the end of the rod with the hammer to compress the alloy and annealed case within the chamber. You should be able to feel the rod sink as the metal swages to the form of the throat and chamber, and suddenly the blows should begin to feel very solid. Once it feels like the rod isn't going to go any deeper, invert the gun while holding the rod in place, place the tip of the rod on a solid surface (floor) and open the breech while leaning on the buttstock to apply pressure to the rod. Pushing on the rod while opening the breech will aid in extraction and help prevent broken extractor mechanisms.

8. After removal, inspect the pound cast for complete fillout. It doesn't have to be pretty, just filled enough to measure accurately in the critical places such as both ends of the neck, total chamber length, throat entrance, and the entire throat up through the ball seat and into the full land height.

9. Now you have something to measure and keep around that won't shrink, dry out, or change with time, and will have a much better idea of the fit parameters of the particular rifle.

Here's a not-so-great picture of several pound casts together with some ammunition built to closely fit the chambers and throats based upon them. Should be close enough to get the idea.

Interests wide and widely varying.
Happily married 18 years. Retired on SS with lots of time to spend.
Started with .223 Ultra Bull barrel. Added .357 Talo barrel. Added an action and stock set bought here, 7.62x39 barrel. Then bought complete guns .444 Marlin and .300 Blackout. Leaving me at 4 complete rifles plus a barrel. Plus a 9mm stub job bought here, and I have been finding and buying H&R shotguns at our local pawn shop where they seem to go cheap.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-31-2020, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Great info, Ghosth!

What year was your Handi made?

One Handi owner I have been in touch with had to have his throated, because it came from the factory with no throat. I sent him a link to the FAQ post, so he can determine what year his Handi (that has a 1:12 twist, like mine) was made.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-01-2020, 08:27 AM
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Mine is an older combo, .30-30 & 20 ga. Have not looked at the serial numbers as it does not really make much difference to me.



Glad I was able to help.

Interests wide and widely varying.
Happily married 18 years. Retired on SS with lots of time to spend.
Started with .223 Ultra Bull barrel. Added .357 Talo barrel. Added an action and stock set bought here, 7.62x39 barrel. Then bought complete guns .444 Marlin and .300 Blackout. Leaving me at 4 complete rifles plus a barrel. Plus a 9mm stub job bought here, and I have been finding and buying H&R shotguns at our local pawn shop where they seem to go cheap.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-01-2020, 09:18 AM
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My 30-30 has a long throat and shoots cast very well.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-01-2020, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garandsrus View Post
My 30-30 has a long throat and shoots cast very well.
Thanks for the info, Garandrus!

Would you be willing to share the year your Handi was made, and perhaps the twist rate?

The year of manufacture can be determined by referencing post#3 in the FAQ thread, found in the sticky section of this forum.

This info could be most helpful for those specifically looking for a cast-boolit shooting Handi in 30-30.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-01-2020, 12:17 PM
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Late production 30-30 and 45-70 barrels had decent throats, I suspect they happened around 2007-2008, I never had a late 30-30 barrel, but my 2008 SS Ultra Hunter 45-70 had decent freebore as does my Trapper, all my other older 45-70s had no freebore which I used a 4D rented throating reamer on.

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