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Discussion Starter #1
why is this not more popular? looks like it would offer a few more advantages than 7-30waters. you could shoot the factory 30-30 to form the case. these are usually cheaper than lots of other ammo. you could push the 125gr bullets to good velocity or may even get enough velocity that a 150gr nosler balistic tip would expand. what are the problems i'm not seeing? i'm not downing the 7-30 at all, it is nice. just thinkin on the 30-30 AI. i could possibly get one at some time. anybody shootin one. :D
 

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I would think that while the 30/30 imp. does show some nice numbers the the biggest drawback would the price of dies and the fact that the 7-30 waters numbers are real close and dies are much cheeper so it would kind of offset the more expensive brass of the 7-30.
Taken just on ballistics I have to agree that the 30/30 Imp. does look good.
BruceP
 

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30-30 AI

I too thought a 30-30 AI looked good so I traded for one on the classified forum. A 16 inch stainless rechamber I liked immediatly upon arrival. I shot a deer a couple weeks ago with it and a 135 grain Sierra SSP bullet. I also bought a 14 inch factory barrel in the same chambering. It has a slight problem and has been sent back to TC to fix. I have not chronoed any loads yet but have thought it does not give up much to any 30 caliber chambering. I will report on this forum results of chronograph and accuracy when I have time to do so. The deer I shot went about 175 live and went down about 75 yards from point of impact. Lots of blood and hair, easy to find. The propriety cartridges are a slight bit faster I think but I see not much advantage in 100 FPS or so. I use 375 Win. brass to form cases with and have no failures so far in about 150 cases that were not operator error. A 309 JDJ may be faster but how much range is gained? The Contender is not a long range hunting weapon. If 200 yards to 250 yards is not far enough to kill game shoot a rifle. If I cant get closer than that it is not enough hunter instead of not enough gun. My opinion only.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
hey ME, fill us in on forming cases with 375's. also how's it do with factory 30-30's. have you tried em? teach us youngins. i wanna see what you chrono too.
 

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30-30AI

got a 14" factory barrel this past summer. Fire formed brass w/ standard 30-30 load....no problem....broke in barrel at same time. 125 BT's over Reloader 7 chronoed just over 2600, 150 BT's over WW748 went 2375. Accuracy was good with both. Not sure I am at max yet...pressure signs seemed OK...but this has to be close to max...I worked up to this point were carefully and slowly and would advise same for others. I shot a 175 buck opening day w/ the 150BT load. Bullett performance was intense and very terminal. Kick and muzzle blast was there but seemed a good bit less than my 309JDJ. This thing is still new to me, but so far I'm tickled to say the least!! It seems to match the 309 up to 150gr, I doubt it could at 165gr, but a 150gr load at speed of 30-30 or 30 Herret w/ 125 was my goal. BINGO!! :-D GOOD SHOOTIN', Walt :-D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hopalong7, did you get one of those from midway? they had a good price on em. $159 i think. didn't have the money or know enuff about it at the time. i'd like to have had one. 8)
 

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30-30 AI

KYODE fireforming is very easy with 375 Win cases. Just buy them new and lube them real good and run them through the 30-30 dies then load as usual. One thing I always do is use the barrel off the gun to set the shoulder on the round. As many of the people on this forum have pointed out a rechamber is not perfectly correct as an improved version as you cant set the barrel back on a conender. What you can do for that barrel is to size the case so it is a fit for the rechamber. Bump the shoulder back a little at a time until is is just barely sticking out of the chamber at the back of the barrel with the barrel off of the frame. Reinstall the barrel on the frame and see if your DUMMY round will allow the action to close. Note here that at this point seating of the bullet doesnt matter. When you can just get the action shut with a little resistance the shoulder is in the right place. When fireforming as others have stated use a slower than normal powder and make sure the bullet is contacting the lands when fired.
No I havnt tried factory loads in my rechamber. I prefer to reload for it as I want the brass to fit the chamber perfectly as possible. I would not hesitate to however if necessary. Hope this helps.
 

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Hopalong7 if you are matching the .309 JDJ with bullets up to 150 grains and getting the velocities you say you aren't "near max" you are WAY OVER MAX[/color]

Just because you use .375 Win. brass to form the cases rather than .30-30 doesn't allow higher pressures to be safely used. This is a false assumption. The Contender is limited not so much in absolute pressures as in back thrust to the frame. Lotsa things play into this with case head size and absolute pressure being to key players. The case design also matters. That's why a straight case like the .375 Win. can handle more pressure than a very sloped somewhat bottleneck case like the .30-30 even with same case head. But make that same case a bottleneck like the .30-30 AI or 7-30 and it shouldn't be run at full .375 Win. pressures.

There are few if any pressure indicators you can depend on at the pressure levels that are safe in the Contender. It just operates at too low a pressure for dependable signs to show up. One of JD's favorites is when folks tell him they are seeing "no pressure signs". His come back is did the bullet exit the barrel? If so that's a pretty reliable sign of pressure.

With the .30-30 case head even with a .375 Win. case 50,000 will wreck a frame in time. 40,000 won't. There is absolutely nothing short of pressure measuring equipment to tell you the difference.

Soapbox mode off.

GB
 

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30-30 AI

Greybeard I agree with almost all of your comments. As I stated in my posts the propriety cartridges will be faster. This is because they use more powder. The 444 Marlin case that the 309 JDJ is based on is obviously bigger than the 375 Win case. The 309 JDJ is also a bottlenecked cartridge. I dont have a cartridge drawing for it but I dont think it is any less tapered than the 30-30 AI. Both have 40 degree shoulders. I agree that a 30-30 using 375 brass is not an advantage over the original brass. I do not agree that using 375 brass is no advantage over regular 30-30 brass in an improved version tht takes advantage of the same principles JD himself used to make the 225 Win into a 6.5 JDJ and the 44 Marlin into a 309 JDJ. The strongest brass available and the least taper in the cartridge. The 444 Marlin has a bigger cartridge head than the 375 and operates at less pressure in the original loading. I beleive the key here in speed is powder capacity. The point you make about 50000 being to much is absolutly right in my opinion. Also pressure measuring is the only way to know for sure. I do beleive that the 30-30 AI using 375 brass loaded to the same pressures that the JDJ series is loaded to in the contender will be not too far behind. How far each of us pushes the envelope is a personal decision. I too like my hands and eyes. Great discussion, thanks
 

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One thing to consider in how tightly a case hugs the chamber walls many don't think about is how clean and dry the chamber area and cartridge case are. If you clean the chamber area and degrease it with acetone or the like and do same for case before you put it in the chamber the results you get will be drastically different than the results obtained if either have any comtaninants on them. Also the surface finish on the chamber plays into this. The smoother and slicker it is the less it graps the case and thus the more the back thrust.

Whole lotta variables play into what one barrel can safely do that another might not be able to safely do.

Back to my original point tho. The .309 JDJ is a considerably larger case (capacity wise) than the .30-30 AI case. The only way a smaller case can EQUAL a larger one as was stated for bullets up to 150 grains is if the pressures are higher in the smaller case. The case heads on these are so close I think they are generally considered to operate at the same pressure level safely. This is especially so since we have no way of telling even without 20,000 psi/cup of where out pressures really are unless we have pressure measuring equipment.

I've owned two .30-30 AI barrels. One blued 14" long and one SS 23" long. From neither of them did I ever get the velocities folks frequently claim to get from 14" barrels. This tells me either both of my barrels were slow or I didn't feel like pushing pressures to the level others did. In the case of the first one I bought it used and got some ammo from the previous owner along with the velocities it was supposed to get with those loads. I ran them across my chrono (Oehler 35P) and generally found then to come up as much as 200 fps short of what I was told they were running. Since loading data from reliable sources is so scarce for this round it is hard to be sure what is safe. Pressure tested data just really doesn't exist. I have a copy of Ken Waters' old data but it wasn't pressure tested and therefore isn't necessarily safe in a TC.

What I do and did with these barrels is to measure the water capacity both before and after fire foring to the improved case. I average the increase of 10 cases and call that my % increase in case capacity. I then assume I'm safe increasing the powder charge that much over .30-30 book loads. Obviously with the improved case and the straighter sides it can take a wee bit more but HOW MUCH MORE??? That be the question. I haven't the answer.

GB
 

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If you use 30-30 AI data in a case formed from 375 Win. you are automatically raising pressure and velocity above the same load in 30-30 brass, because the case capacity is less when 375 brass is used. You are getting high velocities for a reason. High pressure.
 

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30-30 AI

I checked that Jeff thinking the same thing. After forming both cases I used reloader 7 to the top level of both cases trimmed to the same length. I didnt write it down but the difference was negligible. 1 to 2 tenths of a grain as I recall so little I have never worried about it. Good observation though.
 

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Many years ago I experimented some with a 30 Herret using 375 Win. brass. I can't remember the brand of 30-30 brass I was using but there was a significant increase of velocity with the 375 case. Try measuring case capacity with water to see if there is a difference, density of a volume of powder can vary quiet abit. If this is not it, something else is causing higher than normal pressures (velocities significantly above book).
 

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30-30AI

I'm not using 375 brass, I'm using R-P 30-30 brass. GB I must agree, they ain't no free lunches. Given the same bullet, velocity= pressure x volume. Some rounds are more "efficient" than others and there are some fast barrels and some slow barrels. However my load is only 5% above Hornady's posted max load for 150gr bullets in the 30-30Win w/ WW748. I have found a lot contradiction in what little information exists for the 30-30AI. I read one article that stated a 32% increase in case volume and he was using the same brass as I had. He was measuring water volume to the base of the neck. I don't think that is accurate in this case as the long neck on the 30-30WIN serves as powder volume if not filled w/ bullet. I doubt many 30-30WIN loads made for a contender seat any bullet that deep. My water volume comparison, measured to the top of neck showed a volume increase of only 8%. I never tried to work up a load for 150 BT in my 30-30WIN barrel. I may go back and do that and then look at % increase. GOOD SHOOTIN', Walt :lol:
 

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Walt that number you came up with is far closer to what I did when I filled cases to check the volume difference. Don't recall just what my numbers were but 10% or less as I recall. The only accepted methods I've ever heard of are to either fill to top of case neck or to seat your bullet and put the water in from the primer side. Don't like that myself as it seems prone to error so I fill to top of neck. Seems a fair comparison as it is all case volume filled with either bullet or available for powder.

The .30-30 AI is a really nice size case and I think I could learn to like it if some modern pressure tested data was available. Most everything is either really old and nor pressure tested or pulled from computer programs that predict what MIGHT happen. Even what is out there was all developed in rifles.

Real shame one of the big reloading manual folks don't include it.

GB
 

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Discussion Starter #16
AI

any other comments on the 30-30 AI, i'd like to hear your comparisons to a 7-30 waters. seems like the ackley improved would be easier to form and still give plenty of horsepower. :D
 

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I am thinking of rechambering a 300 whipser in 30-30 AI. I have not seen the AI cartridge. I understand it is straighter than the 30-30 and has a 40 degree shoulder.

I have some 30-30 loaded with 125 grain bullets. I take it I can shoot it in the AI chamber without having to fire form by loading a cartridge in a reduced load. Is that acceptable or should I start with fireforming with the reduced load?

I had thought of a 300 savage AI; however, I could not find dies anywhere. I think the 30-30AI is a great improvement over the whisper.
 

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I have a Bullberry 24" in a 30-30 AI. I form my brass with 30-30 handloads. The 30-30 shoot really well in the barrel also. Haven't had too much chance to experiment with it other than it does shoot extremely well with 125 BT. Once the weather warms a bit I should get a chance to put it through the chronograph. I've been using IMR 3031 powder with good results. I have 100's of rounds of 30-30 brass and I use it for my 7x30 Waters, 30 Herrett & 30-30 AI. I pulled my reloading data from different web sites online and in a couple of old articles I had.
Try the 30-30AI and I think you will be impressed. Good Luck!!
 

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Kyode,
You aren't the only one that wants one!
 
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