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30-30 Ackley Imp.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Spec.-K, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. Spec.-K

    Spec.-K Longview, WA Active Member

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    Hi everyone.
    I have a Savage 340 bolt-action in 30-30, and was thinking it'd be nice to optimize it a little.

    I figure if I opened it up to 30-30 AI and used some better 30 cal bullets, it'd really shine.
    I'm also thinking that it being a bolt action, it could handle some decently stout loads.

    Anyone have any experience with 30-30 AI...?
    Any thoughts...?
    Thanks for any input you can provide.
    -K
     
  2. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Why go to a "Wildcat"? o_O
    If you want to use a bolt gun, why not save yourself a lot of trouble and buy a .308.... Shoots .110gr - 220gr bullets. ;)

    Jack...:cool:
     
  3. cookie

    cookie THE SOCIALIST STATE OF KALI - FORNIA Well-Known Member

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    Run the 30/30 as is . how much gain can you get?
     
  4. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I had an old Savage and thought similar things. But the reality is you are trying to do something the relatively weak case won't support well. If you want to optimize the 30-30, put pointed bullets in it and load to factory specs.
    The sad part is, you may have a very nice rifle, but they aren't worth too much. If you want to change it (like a different barrel) you'll never, ever get your money back. Also, it's not a real strong action...
    If you want more power, buy a different gun.
     
    Capn Jack likes this.
  5. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I understand your thinking but as others have said, I'd just leave it alone and rock it.. be happy.. that's a good little rig.
     
    orygun likes this.
  6. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    I don't really understand the point of the original post. Optimize in what way? The .30-30 cartridge as loaded in the Winchester model 94 and imitations is still the #1 deer getter, Australian short range benchrest shooters still sigh and get more gooey over the cartridge than they do Olivia Newton-John. What's to optimize? And add a note to heaven or hell addressed to Mr. Ackley--f*cking with a good thing does not necessarily or even often make it better..........as we have seen in the AI cartridges.....just a personal axe I grind from time to time......

    But seriously--in a bolt gun you have the opportunity to try out many loads using many match--if you are punching paper, bullets or premium hunting bullets of various types and weights. I would think that if you'd pick out some high quality bullets suited to the twist rate of your barrel and do a little load development to find the right powder and seating depth--and your skills are up to snuff and you shoot over wind flags--you'd be very very surprised at what this very very under-rated cartridge can do.

    I am not really a very good shot with iron sights anymore as I can't see squat and I'm shaky as can be and just generally old and decrepit----but-----I have model 94 that I can shoot groups with -- at 200 yards--- that makes me wonder who else was shooting my target--but no one else was on the range------and here I spent all that $$$$$$$$$$ on a 30BR....
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2014
  7. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    A 30-30 bolt would make the 7.62x39 CZ crowd envious. I'd put peep sights on it and strut about.
     
    TCOV and orygun like this.
  8. Spec.-K

    Spec.-K Longview, WA Active Member

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    It is an iron-sight gun, so some nice sights would help.
    I'm just a customizing junkie, so seeing as how it's in my collection... I need to customize it...! ;)
    I figured a little extra case capacity couldn't hurt, and I am a big fan of what Ackley contributed to the culture of cartridge design.

    I know the gun isn't worth much, and I'm not expecting big gains, I just want to trick it out. ;)
     
    Jamie6.5 likes this.
  9. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    DOOOO IT!! Why not? The 30-30 has more room for improvement than about any other metallic cartridge known to man.
     
  10. Spec.-K

    Spec.-K Longview, WA Active Member

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    Please share your thoughts on how I can improve upon it.
    I'm hoping for more knowledge, as I can't find much info on it, let alone out of a bolt action....
     
  11. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    While the 30-30 leaves lots to be desired, It seems the AI version only adds small gains and the rifle mentioned for the upgrade sounds like a pretty weak design. I was thinking these came in a 308 in that case one could do a 30-30 AI safely IMO. The barrel twist is also to consider, Even if you could load longer sleek bullets to get some distance you probably could never stabilize the bullet. I think I would try the Hornady LeveRevolution ammo and see if that would suit your needs.

    This might be one to leave alone as others have suggested.
     
  12. DRZ400S

    DRZ400S Washougal, WA. Active Member

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    Do IT!!!! You will love it...don't listen to the nay say of the others, they never had one. I like being different. I did it to a 14" T/ C Contender velocity with a 150 gr. Honaday SP is 2350 fps! This was verified over a chrono 15' feet from muzzle. BTW...I also had a 15" 308 Win in an Encore velocity with the same bullet was 2450 fps. 100 fps was not worth extra powder and a heavier gun.
     
  13. DRZ400S

    DRZ400S Washougal, WA. Active Member

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    Oh and if you want a stronger case for the 30/30 IMP use 375 win brass. But, I can tell you the 30/30 brass is no problem. I have used both the case will hold up just fine.
     
  14. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    It's always great to belly up to the malwart counter and get you some wildcat ammo (not gonna happen). Nice bike though.
     
  15. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    But you can grab a box of regular old 30-30 and blast away, Make AI brass while your at it. Thank you Mr. Ackley.
     
    Jamie6.5 likes this.
  16. DRZ400S

    DRZ400S Washougal, WA. Active Member

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    Yep, best wildcat ever IMO, easy to make, can shoot plane old 30/30 and its just as accurate. I have used my 30/30 Ackley on deer, elk, bear, yotes...ect.
     
  17. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Yep - I have a bunch of 150 gr SP bullets to use up so I did exactly this. The reloads turn a lever action into a single shot but the improved accuracy & flatter trajectory are noticeable.
     
  18. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The Savage 340 guns are an overlooked gem. I will always spring for one that is in good shape, and every one I have owned has shown to be phenomenally accurate beyond expectations and often beyond guns of much greater cost.

    As for re-cutting the chamber to the Ackley improved version, I'd not go there (and not because I object to Ackley's concept: he was honest about where it worked and where it did not). With the new powders (Leverevolution comes to mind), and pointy bullets (125g Nosler Ballistic Tip), the .30-30 in the Model 340 can outright scream on its own.

    Is yours drilled on the side for a scope? These mounts are frequently and easily found on the tables at gunshows which feature piles of old scope mounts. Weaver did the best version, but the older style "bent steel" version works rather well. The trick here is insuring the scope ends up centered over the bore: with the Weaver base, this may require some milling (easily accomplished with a proper diameter dowel wrapped in sandpaper) of the concave portion that mates to the receiver. On the "bent steel" models, the fix is somewhat easier: in a padded vise, carefully bend it where it needs to be (adjusting through trial and error).

    Almost all models are drilled on the receiver for rear peeps of various manufacture, and in fact a specific sight was made ( Lyman) for the guns, and supplied from the factory if requested. A good peep can rival or exceed accuracy of a scope, as long as the target can be easily seen.

    The secret of tuning for accuracy in these guns is partially involving the barrel band. Experiment with various levels of tension (a light-range torque wrench is nice) on this band. Fiberglass bedding (done properly) is also a very noticeable improvement.

    My only complaint is that with these guns, when I am done turning a "cheap .30-30" into a precision shooting tool, some kid drops by with his Dad, and they are looking for a first deer gun. Off goes the 340 to a new home! One that went out of here a few years ago has accounted for six deer and two elk. All one-shot kills. I'm keeping the oldest, best one:

    Savage Model 340A, Circa 1958. Walnut stock, Lyman Model 40 Peep Sight
    P9080617_zps6a13f9e9.jpg
    P9080615_zps1931576d.jpg

    And, just in case you believe the .30-30 can't "reach out and touch", here's a 340 and a couple Montana kids who might argue the point (actually, one remains silent on the subject). This was among the first ones I "accurized": in this case it was good at 175 yards from sitting position.
    img042.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
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  19. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Heh, love his bloody hands but not on that blue steel! lol
     
  20. DRZ400S

    DRZ400S Washougal, WA. Active Member

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    Love the pic! But I still say re-chamber it ;) If I can get 2350 fps with 150gr SP in a 14" Contender barrel...That rifle would one down right flat shooting old timer! I want to re-chamber my 336 Marlin to a Ackley improved then run some 160 gr FTX's.