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Some load experimentation with .30M1

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Mark W., May 4, 2012.

  1. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I happen to have some left over Sierra 125gr FPHP (30-30) slugs from my son loading a bunch of 30-30 to learn reloading.

    I just worked up 1350 30M1 cases ready to be loaded. I made up 2) batches of Hornady 110gr SP slugs using Win 296 and Alliant 2400 powder. And I got to thinking about them left over 125gr FPHP slugs.

    I did some measuring. And if the slug is seated to the top of the cannelure the OAL ended up coming out within a couple thousands of spec. I made up a couple dummys and checked them for cycling in the carbine. They worked perfect with not even a mark on the lead ring at the edge of the HP. So I started hunting the web for load data. And while I found 4-5 references to using this same bullet in a .30M1 load I found no powder charge data.

    SO I started looking in my old reloading books to see what might show up. My Lyman # 44 shows a couple of Cast lead loads one at 118gr and one at 131gr. SO I reduced the charges shown for 2400 and made up some test loads.

    Allowing for a slightly lighter slug (but higher drag due to the copper jacket) I used the data from the 131gr as my guide.

    Hoping to find a good working load as I think this slug would make a good Home defense load for the carbine. Not to mention a better hunting round then the 110gr Soft Points. Or the 90 gr HP currently available.

    Some time this weekend I'll run out to the Gun Club and give them a go. I'll report back here with what I find out.
     
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  2. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Cool, Mark.

    I considered trying that bullet in my Marlin 62 (lever) .30 carbine. But I have an obscene wealth of 110g roundnose softpoint carbine bullets I took in trade, so did not experiment with the 125 Sierra's.

    I DO know that the Sierra is an incredibly accurate bullet in my Marlin 336 .30-30.

    Waiting to hear how they do in the Carbine (not only cycling, but accuracy).
     
  3. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Spitpatch Our experiance with the 125gr FPHP is the same as yours. The wifes deer rifle is a very nice low miles Marlin 336C with the Micro Groove barrel and My son was shooting 1" groups with it at 50 yards using his first hand loads. And a 4 X Bushnell scope. I have no doubt with a better scope and more practice he would have been able to do 1.5" at 100 yards.

    I'm mostly interested in this as a HD round and as a game load for the Ruger Blackhawk in .30M1 that is my next pistol.

    A full report (except Chrono cause I ain't got one yet) will be coming after the weekend.
     
  4. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    My old Marlin 336 (1948 vintage) literally horrifies me when I shoot it with the Sierra 125HP. I have a few fat-barreled bolt-action guns around here for prarie dog work and such, a wildcat or two, tuned loads, bedding jobs done to the nines, custom triggers, Leupold all the way on top, and that darned Marlin with a vintage ("period-correct") Lyman Alaskan 2.5x scope, post reticle, will shoot all five rounds in clusters that make my fat-barreled bolt guns cower in shame.

    I tell you, this was the gun that probably granted me the greatest education in firearms in my entire life. It ain't about money, it ain't about equipment. There really ARE certain guns on this planet that will outshoot other guns, regardless of their parentage, modification, or technical "superiority". And some of them are pretty ordinary, overlooked, garden-variety stuff.
     
  5. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    OK back from the Range.

    In testing the Sierra 125gr FPHP slugs in the .30M1 Carbine.

    I used Alliant 2400 powder, CCI small rifle primers mixed mostly military cases some commercial

    All fired from a bench and sandbag rest at 50 yards

    I made up 10 rds at 11.5grs Results: a 2.5" group out of the first 5 rds (about the limit of the Mil peeps) 2nd 5rds did 3.5" (I was sloppy).
    I made up 5 rds at 12.0 grs Results: a 2.5" group again
    I made up 10 rds at 12.5grs Results: a 2.3" group but a little low to the right (again me being sloppy) 2nd 5 rds were shot fast to check cycling

    Sierra125grFPHP115gr2400-Copy.jpg Sierra125grFPHP120gr2400-Copy.jpg
    After policing up the brass I found 2) out of the 10 rds loaded with 12.5grs of 2400 to have slight ridges around the firing pin impression (that could be caught with a finger nail). I took this to be an indication of the very start of high pressure. Measuring the base diameter of the cases loaded to 12.5 grs showed diameters of .354-.355" comparing them to factory loads being fired the first time at .352-.353" and other cases that were reloaded with Hornady 110gr RN soft tips and powder loads from 11.5 to 13gr as per the Hornady book that showed base diameters running from .353-.355" So I would say no case swelling out of the normal range to worry about.

    I see no reason not to consider the Sierra 125 FPHP (30-30) slug loaded to 12.0grs of Alliant 2400 powder with a OAL of 1.680" and a very minor taper crimp (the deep seating of the bullet holds it in place VERY well) to be a safe round in a good condition M1 carbine.

    Accuracy was as good as the military peep sights and my eye sight will give me. The rifle did cycle a little bit harder then with factory rounds but not a 10% increase in recoil or action speed.

    The rounds cycled well with the only problems being the magazine I was using (very well seasoned midoesn'tsurplus) dosen't lock up as tight as it should (lesson learned take more mags next time) and it was not picking up the 4th round out of the stack. Holding the mag up solved this completely.


    On cleaning the rifle I found no problems.

    I intend on adding this load to my loads I use for the .30M1 Carbine. It should make an outstanding small game load and a devastating home defense round. With its huge hollow point traveling at about 1700fps.

    I can't wait to get the Ruger Blackhawk in .30M1 to try the load in it. Should make a steel slamming load for Silhouettes

    As with any untested load be sure to work up to the powder charge I an showing here in case your rifle is not in as good of condition as mine is. I would start with 11.0 grains of 2400 and an OAL of 1.680"- 1.685" Be sure to check cycling in your rifle with Dummy loads.


    IMG_6540web.jpg
     
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  6. putz463

    putz463 Michigan New Member

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    Hello Mark W, I found this thread in search of doing pretty much exactly what you are doing with the 30car and the Sierra 125gr FPHP. I have a Black Hawk (and a few carbines) in this caliber and I'm using it to learn metallic reloading after many years of only loading for shotgun. Did you ever take the step and obtain a BH and mess around with loads for it? I am learning that I have no need for factory loaded (FPS) 30car ammo in my BH and searching for ways to make it more enjoyable to shoot with a sideline desire to take it varmint/hog hunting. I've found plenty of info for down loaded smaller than 110gr bullets for 30car but very little going larger. Any info appreciated.
     
  7. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Hey Putz, welcome to the board...

    To be honest, the .30 carbine is one of the most miserable cartridges to reload, at least in my opinion.

    That said, I've been loading it for a lot of years, pretty much the number 1 thing is to use a good degree of lanolin on the cases to keep them from getting stuck (this goes doubly for the carbide dies). Also, there's really only a few decent powders for this cartridge. stick with the 2400 loads, and those using IMR4227.

    Best of luck!
     
  8. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Ha! Didn't realize this was a "Necro Thread"! Good thing for a change because I purchased a new Inland .30 Carbine a few moths ago and will load for it eventually. I'd just read somewhere else of needing lube even with carbide dies? Might you give me the whys of needing lube for them. Miserable to reload? I read now that the brass has a slight taper. I didn't realize that. Makes it more like long 9mm brass that narrower .38 sp I guess. Powders...I'm still a ways from reloading the .30, but I picked up a bottle of H-110 as I'd read that was closest to what it was traditionally loaded with.
     
  9. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Yes I have a Black Hawk in 30 carbine now. And I found that the 90gr Hornady XTR is almost impossible to chamber. The slugs are just to big. Or my Blackhawk has to tight of chambers. I can load maybe three of my chambers with a round using this slug. So I gave up on it.

    The 125gr Sierra FPHP's are great in the pistol giving very good accuracy and no other problems so far. I would have no trouble using the Blackhawk 125gr combo as a Western Oregon Blacktail deer load should I ever decide to handgun hunt deer.
     
  10. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I don't know if they're still available, but the Speer (?) 95gr. Half Jackets loaded with 2400 were a real bunny killer. :eek:
     
  11. putz463

    putz463 Michigan New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome and the replies and specifically your confirmation on the 125gr Sierra FPHP bullet in your BH Mark, much appreciated. BTW; which load are using in your BH? The 12gr 2400 one noted previous? And to AMP's input regarding "miserable", noted, no worries, I enjoy a challenge. FWIW; I have not used lube in my LEE 30car carbide dies and have no sticking issues to date. Loaded some Hornady Varmint 100g SJ's (#3005) over some Bullseye that showed no overpressure issues what-so-ever and they were a joy to shoot (compared to factory) yesterday with coffee cup sized patterns at ~25y. Need to find some 2400. Many thanks....
     
  12. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    With the Blackhawk and the shorter barrel I would try 10.5 grains of 2400 and see how much powder you get burning outside the muzzle (this hurts accuracy) I have been using 11 grs in my loads. But could fiddle with it some more.