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Discussion Starter #1
Just received 400 of these bullets from an ebay person who makes them. They are gas checked and lubed. I have never reloaded cast bullets before.

My rifle is a Marlin Model 36

The powders I have on hand are:
IMR 4831
IMR 4895
Hodgdon BLC-2
Varget
H4350
AA4350

Any load infromation would be greatly appreciated. I also have Lyman's 48th edition reloading manual on the way from Midway USA.

Thanks for you help

Robert
 

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1longshot,

A few questions:
1.) Do you happen to know what the bullet # is?
2.) Did the seller indicate bullet diameter / hardness?
3.) Do you know what your rifle's groove diameter is?

Of the powders you listed, I would opt for 4895 or Varget. 24 grs. of either will work ok with softer bullets and will give between 1,550 to 1650 f.p.s. in a 20" barrel.

See http://www.imrpowder.com/data/rifle/3030win.php
for a factory duplication IMR4895 load. If your bullet alloy is at least 20 bhn and fits the barrel ok (preferably .001+" over groove diameter), you may get satisfactory accuracy with this load.

Here's the Varget data. http://www.hodgdon.com/data/rifle/3030win.php

4350 would work ok as well. A capacity load of 35 grs. would give around 2,000 f.p.s..

Have fun,
w30wcf
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't remember what the guy said about the bullets. I will write him an email (if I still have it) and ask him. They seem pretty hard compared to 22LR bullets though. I cycled one through my action and saw virtually no marks on the bullet accept where it scraped when feeding it into the mag/tube.

I loaded some bullets up with 32.5 gr of IMR 4831 but I don't know if it is safe to shoot them. I am not going to throw them away until I can confirm the load with my Lyman manual. Also, the riflings in my gun are the Micro-groove. They look very small and thin. They are in very good condition though. In my mind I think that a harder bullet would be better suited for such minute riflings.

Thanks for your response. I welcome anyone else to respond.
 

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1longshot,

Your load of 4831 is fine to shoot. 4831 is one of the powders I use for 200+ gr. bullets (20+ bhn) in the .30-30 with a capacity load of 35 grs. It gives fine accuracy.

If your bullet is too soft for the approx 1700-1800 f.p.s. velocity, accuracy will suffer. You shouldn't get any leading though.

Micro grooved .30-30 Marlins shoot cast bullets very well. I have experience with three different 336's and they all shot fine even with softer bullets at lower velocity.

Sincerely,
w30wcf
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input. Do you mind telling me your source for the load? I would like a reference to that book. Does it have other loads for any of the other powders I listed? Not trying to hound you or anything but I have not found any loading data for this bullet wight besides on this website; well at least not for most of the powders I listed above.

I have also thought about loading some 125 Grain Speer TNT's for this rifle. If I only use 2 cartridges, (one in the chamber and one in the tube, I should be pretty safe. Those TNT's have relatively thin jackets and I bet would stick well to the wall of the barrel enhancing stability. I think this is for another discussion though.

Thanks again
 

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The Micro Groove barrels do indeed usually shoot lead well if the bullets fit properly. All those barrels I have measured were oversized by normal specs though. On most, a .302 or .303 gage pin will pass through the barrel. If the bullets are .309-.310 on the driving bands and .299-.300 on the nose like most 30 caliber cast bullets and your bore is this big, it is going to be nothing but frustration. Personally I have found that moulds designed for the .303 Brit are normally the right size for most Marlin barrels. If you want good cast bullet performance from your 30-30, it is important that you know what you're dealing with. Make it fit and you'll be happy. If it doesn't, you're wasting your time.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here is the data that Bill gave me about the bullets. Does anyone know the diameter of these bullets?
THE BHN HARDNESS IS 15-16
THE LUBE IS LYMAN SUPER MOLLY LUBE.
THE BULLET WAS CAST IN AN R. C.B.S. MOULD 30-150 FN
 

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1 Longshot,

Hard to say what diameter they are. It all depends on what dia. they drop from the mold and what sizing die diameter he uses. I have the RCBS 150FN mold and it works just fine in my Marlin's micro-grooved bore.

At 15-16 b.h.n. you should be able to get to at least 1,800 f.p.s. with good accuracy if the bullet fits the bore. Try putting the nose of the bullet into the muzzle... any resistance? If so, good, as long as it will chamber. If not, accuracy will not be as good as it could be.

A DuPont powder phamplet of several years ago shows a load of IMR4831 at 36 grs. giving 1,898 f.p.s. with only 30,100 CUP. The .30-30 is rated for 38,000 CUP, so your load is plenty safe.

NoBade,
According to Brophy's book, .30-30 Micro-grooved bore diameters prior to 1968 tended to run as large as .304".

After 1968 the number of grooves decreased from 16 to 12 and the bore diameters were held closer to .300".

My 336A Marlin was made in 1978 and has a .300 bore and .307" groove and shoots cast bullets extremely well ... up to 2,400 f.p.s.

Perhaps later production had a tendency toward larger bores again(?).

w30wcf
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I got the diameter of the cast bullets Benny made. He sizes them to .309. I tried the trick you said about trying to put a bullet in the muzzle and push it in. I don't know if the Marlin model 36 has a different bore diameter than the 336. Mine was made before 1957 and after 1940. Still, I could not force the bullet into the muzzle. It may have went in about 1/2 a millimeter. I hope these work okay. What do you think I can expect for velocity for the 32.5gr of IMR 4831 out of my 18" barrel. Probably hard to say eh?

Thanks for all the help guys.
 

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1longshot, if the nose of the bullet will not fit into the end of the barrel they might not cycle in the gun once loaded. You need to measure the nose diameter to make sure they are under .300. I ran into that problem with a Lee 170gr mould. They would cycle in my winchester but not my Marlin. I wound up chucking them in my drill and hitting them with a piece of scotch brite pad and then checking to see if the nose would fit. If the nose will fit into the rifling the loaded round will chamber and cycle easy. I messed up quite a few rounds before I figured out what was going on. ONLY DO THIS BEFORE YOU LOAD THE BULLETS INTO THE CASES. Hope this helps
 

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1longshot,

I would est. somewhere in the vicinity of 1,700 f.p.s.

Interesting that your rifle is a Marlin 36. Micro-Grooved rifling did not come in until 1955 in the model 336. If your 36 has micro- grooved rifling (12+ grooves), it has been rebarreled.

Let us know how your testing goes. If the 4831 load doesn't group, try 24 grs. of Varget or 4895. It is good that the bore riding portion of the bullet has some interference in your barrel ..... as long as it will chamber ok.

GJ - Good advice. Best to load a dummy cartridge to see if it chambers ok. If the bore riding portion of the bullet is bigger than the bore diameter ahead of the chamber (Typically in a rifle that has been shot enough times, the bore dia. in front of the chamber is larger than the bore diameter at the muzzle.), in addition to what you mentioned, a bullet can be seated deeper into the case which sometimes will help.

SIncerely,
w30wcf
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I went to try out the loads with IMR 4831 and they shot okay. I was getting about 1.5" groups from a sand bag on the hood of my truck at 50 yards. I wasn't considerably steady! The problem is I found unburnt powder in the barrel and case. Not much mind you, but enough to give concern. Any comments. I am going to try varget next. The only thing with varget is it doesn't fill the case like the 4831. I guess I can try the 35gr of H4350 cited above. I am sure it will fill the case quite well.
 

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1longshot,

Glad to hear that you have had some success!

A small amount of partially burned powder is normal for slower burning smokeless at lower pressures. It is not a problem.

Let us know how your testing goes with 4350 and Varget.

w30wcf
 
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