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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 30-30 Handi is my problem child although they have a reputation for being very good. So far, groups have been disappointing, and so far I haven't go it to go "bang" every time I pull the trigger though it always has on the second try. I wanted to hunt it, but I guess if a Handi goes in the woods with me it will have to be my 'O6. The 30-06 is an ejector gun, and I had to tinker with that a bit, but it shoots well, and functions fine now. I have fooled with the forend on the 30-30, and have shot it with no forend, but no luck yet on grouping. I haven't delved into why it doesn't go bang yet....... maybe have to thin the hammer a bit? Firing pin strike seems a bit light.
 

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I'm sure you know this, but you've got to pull the trigger completely. If you "let up" before the hammer falls, the transfer bar might fall out of the way, giving you ignition problems.

Most rifles like one particular ammunition and finding that specific load is part of the joy of this hobby.

Most rifles in real life, don't shoot nearly so well as the rifles in the gun magazines or some online forums. It seems that somewhere from the range to the published page, groups tighten up considerably. As long as the rifle is shooting into the vital area of your game, then that's good enough for that particular game animal.

I tell lots of folks to hang a 9" paper plate as a target. When you can hit that paper plate, every time, at whatever range you're likely to encounter your game, that's close enough. The vital area on a deer is about nine inches across. If you can put all your shots into 4", that's better. The smaller the group, the less likely you are to miss, but lots of folks put too much emphasis on a tiny group.

Enjoy your .30-30 Handi. I've been looking for one for months now, and can't seem to find one anywhere.
 

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Sounds like the rim cut is a little too deep allowing excess headspace, is the headstamp surface of a chambered round recessed below the chamber face? Excess headspace doesn't help accuracy either. It could also be that you aren't pulling the trigger all the way to the rear to keep the transfer bar up which will cause light pin strikes and poor accuracy, some Handis are more critical for this.

Tim
 

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I'd try cutting shim stock to a round shape you could set on the case head & try closing the action. See what thickness can easily close the gun with on an empty case (or carefully with a live round in a safe area). You could have a headspace issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It could be my trigger pull, I'll try to focus on that more. So far I have tried quite a few loads, perhaps 10, or more. It's comfortable at 2"-3" at 50 yards with occassional smaller groups. There is some primer protrusion on fired cases with light to medium loads, so I'll seat some out to touch the lands to see if headspace is causing the problem. I appreciate the good input I'm getting here. Although I've been shooting, and reloading for nearly 50 years, Handi's are new to me, so I am open to all advice.
 

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If the primer is sticking out with light to med. loads, that is a real good indicator of excess headspace. If you can, expand your case mouth to a larger size then neck back down till the headspace is right. This will cause a "step" to headspace on and will fireform the case correctly for you. DP
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've used that technique with my ,22 Hornet bolt gun DPE, and it works well. I did measure from the extractor to the case rim using a couple of different cases just now, and got a pretty consistant .015-.016 reading which is a lot more than the .005-.006 maximum that I would like to see. I know that there is some distance between max cartridge dimensions, and minimum headspace dimensions, but that sure sounds like a lot to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I sized some cases first by expanding the necks to .35 caliber, and then sizing in a 30-30 die until the action would just close easily. First I used a .35 Rem. die, but that wasn't working so well. I remembered that my .358 Win. die had a tapered expander, so I used that for the other 5 cases, and it worked much better. I did have two failures to fire on the first try out of 10 rounds, but that was an improvement, and I'm not sure some of the cases done with the .35 Rem die came out all that well. I had also been using CCI primers which are pretty hard. Tonight I loaded another 20 rounds with headspaced cases, and WW primers. I loaded them with 180 gr cast bullets, and a full charge of IMR 4895. The bullets are touching the lands so that will help too. I'll give those a try when I can. Firing pin protrusion on this gun seems about the same as my 30-06, but I haven't broken them down to measure it more closely.
 

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You can easily check pin protrusion by removing the barrel, cock the hammer, while holding the hammer and slowly lowering it while at the same time holding the trigger all the way to the rear, the transfer bar will stay up and make the pin protrude, measure it with the tail of a caliper, normal is ~.040" or a little more, anything less may cause a problem depending on barrel to frame gap and overall headspace. You can increase pin protrusion by removing a little from the hammer face where it strikes the frame, I just touch it with a dremel cutoff wheel and touch it up with a little bluing. Don't overlook the hammer spring either, they've been known to be weak even on new rifles, Wolff makes replacement hammer springs that are heavier than OEM.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Tim,
The firing pin protrusion looks to be about the .040 (I spent a lot of years measuring such things) you mentioned, but I will check it, and also get a stronger hammer spring, just on principle. I'm off to get my chemotherapy cocktail this morning, but perhaps I can get to the range this afternoon if things go on schedule.
 

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Tallwalker said:
I had also been using CCI primers which are pretty hard. Tonight I loaded another 20 rounds with headspaced cases, and WW primers. I loaded them with 180 gr cast bullets, and a full charge of IMR 4895. The bullets are touching the lands so that will help too. I'll give those a try when I can. Firing pin protrusion on this gun seems about the same as my 30-06, but I haven't broken them down to measure it more closely.
I would try WW or Federal primers. I had a primer problem with CCI in my T/C and started using Federal. Problem solved! A second and similar problem that I had with my T/C's (30-30 cal) was that I was seating the bullets out to the lands. Unfortunately, that's where the rounds were headspacing....on the ogive. What I ended up with was a LOT of cases prematurely rupturing around the web area. Be wary about seating too far into the lands.
Lastly, I think what Tim was originally trying to say makes the most sense. Take the barrel off, drop a case in the chamber and see if the round chambers deeper than the barrel face. If so, then maybe the rim area of the barrel was machined too deeply, hence causing the cartridge to chamber too far from the firing pin and not striking the primer fully.

Good luck and please keep us posted on what you find. It helps everyone to hear of such problems and the resolutions.
Chris
 

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I second the Federal Primers. That's about all I use now because they're softer.
The comment about trigger pull is good to look at too. I was having trouble getting consistant ignition with a slow rifle powder in 12 ga cases with one of mu Ultra slug guns.

Turned out to be two problems (Not enough Roll Crimp) but also how I shot. I was tickling the trigger and not fully pulling it. The things are going off every time now but I don't like pulling and follow through so I'm removing the transfer bars one at a time..and replacing the hammers which are hard to find.

Last, as already said, check the headspace. It only takes a second.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Primers have been so hard to find in this area that I have been hoarding my WW primers for sensitive guns. I haven't been able to find any Federal primers besides shotgun primers locally. The rounds I loaded the other night did use the Winchester standard large rifle primers. I might have tried the pistol primers but I'm not sure about the pressure of this load. The load is not max, but the bullet, although cast is both heavier, and seated deeper than normal. The reason that I loaded these rounds with cast bullets is that I could seat them tight to the lands, and still be sure they would engrave enough to allow headspacing on the "false" shoulder that I created with sizing. All the great input here has reminded me of things that I should have tried, but overlooked, or has given me new things to try, and I thank everyone again for it.
 

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i've had problems with CCI primers not going bang and every time I use the exact same load with a Winchester primer it goes bang. When I can get em WW is my #1 choice in primers,hands down
 

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cheapo headspace gauge. stack layers if masking tape on the rear of the caseing until resistance is felt in closing the gun or closing the bolt remove stack of taspe and measure with calipers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I thought I would post an update for the benefit of others who might be having the same sort of problems. I ordered a new hammer[/color] spring, and when the new one arrived I noticed that the bend from the coiled section to the long arm was about 15-20 degrees different than the old one in the direction that made the spring "stronger". I also ordered a plastic stock, and forend at the same time since I wanted to reduce the weight some, and have a gun for snowy day hunting. I put everything together today and took it out for a trial run. There were no failures to fire, and the accuracy was considerably better. I only tried one load, but shot a couple of 3 shot groups at 50 yards easily under an inch. Looks like things are really heading in the right direction with this one, and it will become the walkabout / casual hunting gun I had hoped for.
 

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Tallwalker said:
I thought I would post an update for the benefit of others who might be having the same sort of problems. I ordered a new trigger spring...
Congrats, glad ya got it running again with that new "trigger" spring!! ;D

Tim
 

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Good to hear!!

(We cannot have the 30-30 exlimpary accuracy record so tarnished for long. ;D ;) )

I have a couple handi, that have needed the hammer trick Tim mentioned to you a couple posts back. (I just did it to the SB1 receiver on me 32-20) But the fatigued spring is also something to consider as many of these guns have some "miles" on them.

CW
 
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