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Thread: 30-30 600 yard build

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    30-30 600 yard build

    Some of you may have seen the post from Nez Rongero in Lee's thread on Lederer barrels. When Nez first contacted me concerning building a 30-30 for 600 yards, he told me his goal was to push a 168gr. Berger Hybrid at 2800 fps. I told him that 2700 fps. was more of a guarantee, but 2800 fps. may be more than possible. For this build, we will be using a 28" Lederer barrel in 12" twist. The case will be headspaced on the rim to .001" or less. As usual, you don't need to bump the shoulder on the 30-30, so we are also headspacing off of the shoulder.

    Over the past few days, I have had the chance to rebarrel a Ruger #1 that I haven't shot for about 12 years. I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to run some test. I installed a 12" twist Lederer barrel and crowned it at 28". I ran my zero freebore 30-30 benchrest reamer, and then followed that with a throater for .120" freebore. This barrel has a 1" barrel thread, and I don't feel that the Ruger action can handle pressure quite as well as my bolt actions, but it is close.

    Early testing shows success with velocities, but having trouble reaching a maximum pressure with RL15 and 168gr Berger Hybrids.

    RL15 - 37.0gr. - 2626 fps.
    RL15 - 38.0gr. - 2712 fps.
    RL15 - 39.0gr. - 2751 fps. (out of room in case)

    Maybe H4895 would get there before I run out of room. The only thing is that I'm not sure if H4895 will deliver the kind of velocities that RL15 does before reaching maximum pressure. Maybe a ball powder is the key. Maybe I would have reached maximum pressure at a higher temperature. After all, this testing was done at 31 degrees. Not sure if a Fed 215 primer would be good for accuracy, but might add 50 fps. Maybe 8208XBR is the ticket.

    This Ruger # 1 will be my way of taking game out to 600 yards with a 30-30. Over 1300 foot lbs. at 600 yards is possible with the 180gr. Elite Hunter.

    If anyone has a suggestion for a better powder choice, I'm listening.

    Michael
    Last edited by mturner; 01-25-2019 at 01:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    rl16

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by retired View Post
    rl16
    Can you explain why RL16 would work better? It is a slower powder. Is it way more dense? Looking for faster burn rate than RL15.

    Michael

  4. #4
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    Imr 8208 xbr

    During lunch I decided to try the 8208. Velocity was great, but I did start running out of room on my last load. The same case was used over and over. The last load has not caused any change in primer seating effort. Same Berger 168gr. Hybrid bullets.

    35.0 - 2577 fps.
    37.0 - 2695 fps.
    38.0 - 2757 fps.
    39.0 - 2804 fps.

    I like how the velocity increase per grain for this powder is fairly consistent as the load increases. The RL15 was not giving good velocity gains as I increased the load when i began to run out of room.

    Would be nice if I could loosen the primer just a tad, and then back down a grain or so. I may test Benchmark later.

    Michael
    Last edited by mturner; 01-25-2019 at 03:54 PM.

  5. #5
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    I believe that you and Nez will have fun.

  6. #6
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    Nez

    Quote Originally Posted by Butch Lambert View Post
    I believe that you and Nez will have fun.
    Nez is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. I traveled to Austin, TX back around Thanksgiving. We did some velocity testing on the 30-30 with his brother's Labradar, and learned something. The 118's chronographed just fine, and we took them up to around 3300 fps. Then we decided to try some of the 168's. What we learned is that the Labradar will not acquire the velocity of a tumbling bullet. The 168's tumbled so quickly out of the 18" twist barrel the the radar kept giving errors.

    Here's the thing. Nez gave me 16 pounds of powder, just for showing up and going over the project with him. Years ago, Charles Huckeba borrowed a couple of my posi-locked scopes to use at the Super Shoot. He had Frank Wilson return the scopes to me along with 16 pounds of IMR4198. Fine people in this sport.

    Michael

  7. #7
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    Dec 2017
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    585
    i have none, but have heard good things about 16 over 15.
    i have done 25 and 26 and can tell you 26 provides velocity with no large pressure increases.
    ( i am doing 2900+ in a 26.5" bbl in 300 win mag plus with a 230 berger)
    like more kj/kg without pressure...maybe longer burn.

    Quote Originally Posted by mturner View Post
    Can you explain why RL16 would work better? It is a slower powder. Is it way more dense? Looking for faster burn rate than RL15.

    Michael

  8. #8
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    Apr 2008
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    Cloudcroft, NM
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    More Testing

    I just finished testing five more powders. Most of these powders were running out of case room. Three powders have managed to reach 2800 fps. by the time they were close to all I could get in the case. All of these loads tested, including the above test, have been tested using a single brass case. Some of the slower powders developed velocities just as high as the faster burning powders. I believe this is due to the 28" barrel length, and the faster powders having a quicker drop in pressure. The temperature for today's testing was 39 degrees. For anyone who is attempting to use the 30-30 at long range with these loads, work loads up with extreme caution, especially at higher temperatures. I normally see .001" or less case stretch per firing in my bolt guns. In the Ruger, I am seeing .002" case stretch per firing. This is more than I like to see, and could result in a case head separation at around 30 firings. This is not much of a concern if you just stay on top of it. Another thing to remember is that 30-30 brass is only around .40 per piece. As before, all testing was done with the Berger 168 gr. Hybrid.


    Benchmark
    38.0 - 2737
    39.0 - 2802


    WW748
    39.0 - 2648
    41.0 - 2753
    42.0 - 2799


    VV133
    36.0 - 2692
    37.0 - 2753


    H4895
    38.0 - 2726


    IMR4320
    38.0 - 2660
    39.0 - 2739
    40.0 - 2778

    Michael
    Last edited by mturner; 01-26-2019 at 05:56 PM.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2004
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    Williamson County, Texas
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    Michael,

    Thank you for the update. 2800 would be great for mid range. I have shot the 168s out to 1000 yards with my M1a at that velocity with great results. At that velocity it is equal or better than the 155s out of a Palma gun. Saw that at the last 1000 yard match I shot. I was shooting next to a Palma shooter and we both got burned by a quick reversal from the left as we simultaneously broke our shots --- netted us 8s. However, a good friend, a TX shooter who won the President's Hundred at Perry in 2016, shot his 20 inch AR 10 at the 2018 NRA Long Range Nationals in Indiana and set a service rifle National record with the 168 Hybrids coming at around 2735. In fact in the first match of the long range championship, he posted 200-15. The 168 Hybrids will shoot at the distance.

    For mid range anywhere between 2700 and 2800 with the best precision would be the ticket.

    For powder, the 2000 MR might get to the velocity easier than the other ones. I also have Swiss powder that is close to the burn rate of 8208, and maybe slightly faster I can try later on.

    There are a couple state service rifle team shooters who are much better sling shooters than I can muster will give the rifle a good test drive at the mid range matches.

    We will set a big commotion on the firing line.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    SW.Pa.
    Posts
    920
    Quote Originally Posted by mturner View Post
    Some of you may have seen the post from Nez Rongero in Lee's thread on Lederer barrels. When Nez first contacted me concerning building a 30-30 for 600 yards, he told me his goal was to push a 168gr. Berger Hybrid at 2800 fps. I told him that 2700 fps. was more of a guarantee, but 2800 fps. may be more than possible. For this build, we will be using a 28" Lederer barrel in 12" twist. The case will be headspaced on the rim to .001" or less. As usual, you don't need to bump the shoulder on the 30-30, so we are also headspacing off of the shoulder.

    Over the past few days, I have had the chance to rebarrel a Ruger #1 that I haven't shot for about 12 years. I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to run some test. I installed a 12" twist Lederer barrel and crowned it at 28". I ran my zero freebore 30-30 benchrest reamer, and then followed that with a throater for .120" freebore. This barrel has a 1" barrel thread, and I don't feel that the Ruger action can handle pressure quite as well as my bolt actions, but it is close.

    Early testing shows success with velocities, but having trouble reaching a maximum pressure with RL15 and 168gr Berger Hybrids.

    RL15 - 37.0gr. - 2626 fps.
    RL15 - 38.0gr. - 2712 fps.
    RL15 - 39.0gr. - 2751 fps. (out of room in case)

    Maybe H4895 would get there before I run out of room. The only thing is that I'm not sure if H4895 will deliver the kind of velocities that RL15 does before reaching maximum pressure. Maybe a ball powder is the key. Maybe I would have reached maximum pressure at a higher temperature. After all, this testing was done at 31 degrees. Not sure if a Fed 215 primer would be good for accuracy, but might add 50 fps. Maybe 8208XBR is the ticket.

    This Ruger # 1 will be my way of taking game out to 600 yards with a 30-30. Over 1300 foot lbs. at 600 yards is possible with the 180gr. Elite Hunter.

    If anyone has a suggestion for a better powder choice, I'm listening.

    Michael
    You didn't remember this??? this is why I asked...... jim

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Cloudcroft, NM
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim1K View Post
    You didn't remember this??? this is why I asked...... jim
    Yes I do Jim. He asked about a 168 gr. bullet at 2800 fps as a baseline performance, so he could compare the performance of the 30-30 to the 308 Win. He never planned on limiting himself to one bullet weight. When I first spoke with him on the phone, he also spoke of heavier bullets, such as a 185 gr. If he could equal 308 velocities from the 30-30, the project would move forward.

    I'm sorry if this caused you to believe that he would only use one bullet weight. That was a fair assumption. By determining the maximum energy available with the 168 gr. bullet, we were able to determine the velocities that we were capable of reaching with heavier bullets.

    I did learn something interesting today though. While the heavier bullets seem to like a long barrel in the 30-30, and we may find even more energy with a 200 gr. bullet than a 168 gr., the lighter bullets may run fastest with something less than a 28" barrel. I found it harder to reach high velocities out of the longer barrel with a 125 gr. bullet. I seems that the LT30 powder is burning up too fast to sustain pressures needed for the extra barrel length. I was able to only reach 3238 fps. from a 125 gr out of the 28" barrel. I had previously reached 3387 fps. from a 118 gr. bullet from a 23" barrel.

    Obviously the barrel length needs to be optimized for the 30-30 based on bullet weight. Looks like longer barrels for heavy bullets, and shorter barrels for lighter bullets.

    Michael

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    washington.........STATE that is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mturner View Post
    Yes I do Jim. He asked about a 168 gr. bullet at 2800 fps as a baseline performance, so he could compare the performance of the 30-30 to the 308 Win. He never planned on limiting himself to one bullet weight. When I first spoke with him on the phone, he also spoke of heavier bullets, such as a 185 gr. If he could equal 308 velocities from the 30-30, the project would move forward.

    I'm sorry if this caused you to believe that he would only use one bullet weight. That was a fair assumption. By determining the maximum energy available with the 168 gr. bullet, we were able to determine the velocities that we were capable of reaching with heavier bullets.

    I did learn something interesting today though. While the heavier bullets seem to like a long barrel in the 30-30, and we may find even more energy with a 200 gr. bullet than a 168 gr., the lighter bullets may run fastest with something less than a 28" barrel. I found it harder to reach high velocities out of the longer barrel with a 125 gr. bullet. I seems that the LT30 powder is burning up too fast to sustain pressures needed for the extra barrel length. I was able to only reach 3238 fps. from a 125 gr out of the 28" barrel. I had previously reached 3387 fps. from a 118 gr. bullet from a 23" barrel.

    Obviously the barrel length needs to be optimized for the 30-30 based on bullet weight. Looks like longer barrels for heavy bullets, and shorter barrels for lighter bullets.

    Michael
    well that's freaky.....I din't believe you so I ran energy calc's on some of my rifles and, for example my 6BRs get 300fp more energy from a 108 than they do a 40

    I'ma hafta' look into this more

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    911

    I've shot....

    I've shot In a few score matches with Mike at both Tomball and the Dietz range a few years back. There was nothing but awe that this cartridge from yesteryear could win over modern calibers. But with modern powders and bullets along with a talented shooter, that proved to be the case. His success with the 30-30 proves what results can be achieved with perseverance and experimentation.

    I also worked with Nez Rongero at Motorola for over 18 years. He applied the same dedication there as he has to shooting competition. Both him and Mike are great guys to know and work with who will pass their knowledge on when ever asked.

    Virg

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    649
    While this is an interesting thread, it exposes how little attention/knowledge BR people pay/have regarding history:
    dating back, at least, to the early 1980's, 30/30 based cartridges, have proven capable of top precision!

    Most notably, the 30Aardvark (an "improved 30/30), championed by Frank McKee and Gary Long, plus a multitude of other 30/30 "improved" versions, which head-spaced on the rim, shoulder, and/or, combination thereof. The pair that Frank McKee ran, were based upon Rem. 788's smithed originally by Dale Madera, and later re-barreled by Gary Long, were legendary. I cannot recall them all, but there were may successful versions campaigned in the Hunter Class . . . A good barrel, chambered with attention to detail, and cartridges of this capacity are simply efficient and capable of extreme precision. RG

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