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Thread: 30-30 600 yard build

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by mturner View Post
    Jim,

    Your argument about the 30-30 coming up short when compared to other long range cartridges is certainly a fair comparison, but here is the real question. Should we stop using the 308 Winchester also? A 30-06 will make more energy. How about the 300 Win Mag? A 300 Ultra Mag will kick it's butt in long range performance. The story goes on and on. There is always somebody with a flatter shooting and better wind bucking cartridge. The best way to put this project in perspective is simple. I have won approximately 100 trophies shooting the 30-30 against the 6 PPC in group and score. I have reached over 3000 ft lbs of energy with the 30-30, or to put it more simply, I have duplicated the energy of the 30-06 book loads, and did so using 20 grains less powder.

    I once took second place at 200 yards shooting a 30-378 Weatherby custom long range elk rifle. I was shooting against the 6 PPC for score. That day we had 30 mph winds, and my 200 gr Sierra at 3500 fps cut through the wind like magic hitting the 1" 10 ring 8 out of ten times. The best three shot group from that rifle was .190" at 200 yards. This was my hunting rifle at about 11 pounds scoped. Basically all I'm saying is that I understand about getting things done with more horsepower. Here we are just substituting a 30-30 in place of the 308 Winchester, and getting the same velocity. How many times have you seen a 30-30 that can stay above the speed of sound out to 1400 yards? I can do that with the 215 gr Berger Hybrid in a 30-30. The typical 30-30 with a 150 gr flat nose bullet goes subsonic at 400 yards. The supersonic range of the 30-30 is more than tripled with bullet selection, barrel length and high pressure.

    Our whole sport is about reaching the peak performance we can with a given cartridge. Many put all their efforts into the 6 PPC. Some focus on mid and long range cartridges. When I die, I will know that I got more accuracy and range out of the 30-30 than anyone. At 1000 ft pounds of energy at 1000 yards, the 30-30 hits almost as hard at 1000 yards as a 44 magnum at the muzzle. How many people would have ever thought it possible to knock down an elk at 1000 yards with a 30-30?

    Now for the comment about the bullet taking a "ride" when the wind hits it. They all do, but here is how much it drifts in comparison to a 6mm 105gr Berger hybrid at 3000 fps at 600 yards.

    6mm 105 gr. Hybrid 3000 fps - 21.96"

    30 cal. 168 gr. Hybrid at 2800 fps. - 25.64"

    30 cal. 215 gr. Hybrid at 2500 fps. - 21.46" (oh wow, how did a 30-30 drift .5" less at 600 yards than a 105 gr hybrid at 3000 fps.)

    You can run a heavier 6mm bullet like a 115 gr. I can run a heavier bullet also. The 168 gr. bullet is lighter for a 30 caliber than the 105 gr. is for a 6mm. The 215 gr. is a more fair comparison.

    Calculations all made at 85 degrees and sea level with a 10 mph crosswind. Berger Bullets calculator.

    Michael
    I said the 110SMK in the 6BR imp. @ 2914 and it will shoot in a .1 at 100..... BC. on it is .617 it can go a lot faster in a 6x47 and a 6 CM At 1000 BR. Two calibers are dominate the 6 mm in a improved case and in heavy the 300 WSM not much else winning....... jim

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by mturner View Post
    I decided to maximize the long range wind bucking ability of 6mm and 30-30. Calculations were done using the highest BC readily available bullets. For the 6mm, I used the Sierra 110 gr. and a G7 BC of .310 at 2900 fps. For the 30, I used the Hornady 250 gr. A Tip with a G7 BC of .442 at 2325 fps.

    Both were calculated at sea level, and at Raton. The 30-30 is a neck turned only version. It would be more fair if I were to use the 30-30 Turner Improved version. It holds 47.5 gr. of LT30 level full, compared to 43.0 gr. of LT30 for the standard 30-30, for a capacity increase of 4.5 gr. or 10.5%. By using Nosler brass, the LT30 capacities jump to 44.5 gr. and 49.0 gr. I would estimate the velocity of the 250 gr. bullet at 2450 fps. for the improved version. I currently only have shorter barrels chambered for the improved version.

    With the standard 30-30, the supersonic range is 1550 yards at sea level. At Raton (6500 ft.), I was able to keep the 30-30 supersonic all the way to 2000 yards. The 600 yard drift came in at 18.55" for sea level and 13.88" for Raton.

    With the 6mm, the supersonic range is 1500 yards at sea level. At Raton (6500 ft.), the supersonic range for the 6mm is 1950 yards. The 600 yard drift came in at 20.06" for sea level and 14.87" for Raton.

    Maybe the 6BRX has a little more than I have given it. I know I can get more out of my improved version of the 30-30.

    See range cards below. If anyone can find an error with any of my numbers, please let me know. If you have any doubts concerning the velocities I used for the 30-30, let me know. I have added a photo of the improved 30-30. By using an estimated velocity of 2450 fps. on the improved version, the maximum supersonic range at sea level is 1700 yards. The 600 yard drift is 17.15".

    Jim, I want to thank you for questioning the performance of the 30-30. I have found even more performance that I had no idea existed.

    Michael
    You had stated the 168 gr. bullet and now we changed to the 250. But you forgot an very important thing that kills the big 30's in a 17 lb gun it is recoil and torque, it kills them in a light gun and the condition changes trying to shoot them..... jim

  3. #48
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    Michael and Nez, I guess you guys better quit on this project. Jim said it won't work.

  4. #49
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    Jim

    I was making a fair comparison between a 30-30 and a 6BRA at 600 yards. We started with the 168 gr. bullets because we had them. We used them for checking velocity with the Labradar. We reached 2876 fps., and 3085 ft. lbs. of energy that day with Nez as a witness. From there I can calculate the maximum velocities of other bullets at 3000 ft. lbs of energy, which is being more conservative. Nobody ever said we had to stick with one bullet. Why would you assume we were limited to one bullet, just because we used one bullet weight for velocity testing? In my earlier post, I said that I had decided to maximize the wind bucking ability of the 30-30. Isn't this only fair? Haven't you tried to maximize the 6BRA? Isn't the 30-30 considered the underdog here? I made more comparisons last night, and found that a 30-30 improved only drifts 1" more at 600 yards than the 6.5 X 284. So basically all I'm saying is that the 30-30 compares more favorably than you ever thought possible when it comes to wind drift. Now for some more facts. Assuming perfect accuracy, and wind being the only factor for group size, to shoot a 2.2" group at 600 yards would require shooting an average wind change of 1 mph. In this case the 30-30 with the 168 gr. bullet would shoot a 2.55" group. That's not too much behind for the 168 gr. bullet, but remember that the 30 caliber is far from limited at 168 gr. bullets, but the 6mm is reaching the outer limits pretty quickly with 110 gr. to 115 gr. bullets. Maybe someday they will have the 6mm stretched to 130 gr. bullets and a 6" twist. At that point expect jacket issues.

    Now for your comment on accuracy. You say low .1" accuracy. You can't agg. that at 100 yards with a 110 gr. bullet out of the 6BRA. If you can, then you need to bring your rifle to a short range match and shoot against the 6PPC's. You won't be able to out agg. them, even with your wind drift being only about half as much as the PPC. Most PPC shooters would probably even overlook you excess weight of 17 lbs.

    The truth is, Nez doesn't plan to shoot over 185 gr. bullets. I agree that the recoil of the 250 gr. bullet can be a problem, but again remember that this is not a 17lb bench gun. This is a sling gun. If I were to build a 17lb. bench gun in 30-30 improved, and push 215 gr. to 230 gr. bullets, the drift would be comparable to the 6BRA. At 17 lbs. it would not be too bad on recoil, because the 30-30 case has far less recoil than the 30-06 at the same muzzle energy. That would allow me to use the 250 gr. if I chose to do so. As far as accuracy, the 30-30 is as accurate as just about anything else. Every time I enter a short range BR match, there is just one of me shooting against about 30 - 70 PPC shooters. For that reason the chance of the 30-30 winning are slim. That hasn't kept me from winning yardages, grands, and two gun grands. My chances of winning are on average, about 1 in 50, even when I shoot a 6PPC. The last match I shot was the Cotton Ball in Lubbock. Look at the results, and you will see that I shot poorly. Most of my big groups were caused by the fact that I never got a handle on the wind. One group was big because the rifle had a trigger issue, and went off unexpectedly. Just to let you know, I was shooting a well proven 6PPC at that match. It shot just like the other PPC's on test and tune day, zero's and one's.

    Jim, as for a certain cartridge dominating in BR, the calibers that dominate are the ones that are most used. Before Toyota got involved in Nascar, Ford and Chevy were the only ones that dominated. If the 30 BR was used half as much as the 6 PPC in benchrest, it would probably dominate short range BR. Every shooter I have spoke with who shoots both the PPC and 30 BR has said they have shot more zero's with the 30. They don't dominate for one reason. Most PPC shooters are not a big fan of recoil.

    A little story. Back in 2010, I was shooting my 30-30 at the Purple Haze. After the first day, I had won the LV grand. My wife and I were at a wine tasting and BBQ meal on top of the mountain, when I was approached by some of the other shooters. They had one simple question, "would I be switching to my heavy gun tomorrow"? I said "yes". They said "if I had a light gun shooting like that, I would not switch to a heavy gun". I said " that's because you are shooting a 6 PPC". I did switch to my heavy gun, and won the two gun grand. My final group was a .259" at 200 yards with 25 mph winds. My point is that even I like a little less recoil at times, but it didn't keep my light gun from winning.

    Jim, since you thought I was getting a little crazy with bullet weight, and like you said, the extra weight of the 250 gr. bullet could prove problematic because of recoil, I decided to use the 200 gr. Sierra Matchking. By limiting the muzzle energy to aprox. 3000 ft. lbs. I was able to achieve a velocity of 2600 fps. and a 600 yard wind drift of 19.41" with a standard 30-30 case. I like this way better because of the considerable higher initial velocity, and lower TOF.

    Michael
    Last edited by mturner; 10-27-2019 at 02:43 PM.

  5. #50
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    2" groups @ 600 yds. won't win unless the conditions are terrible, You had better be in the 1's and a 50 for score , Now we are talking a sling gun ? if I were shooting a 30 it would be a WSM. that is proven to shoot 10 shots in under 3"@ a 1000. Heck I shot 30 shots in an agg. of 3" at 1000 with a light gun and one dropped 1 point with a 103 gr. bullet, and a 299 out of 300.... and the 10 ring is 7"....maybe your 30-30 will beat it .... jim

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim1K View Post
    2" groups @ 600 yds. won't win unless the conditions are terrible, You had better be in the 1's and a 50 for score , Now we are talking a sling gun ? if I were shooting a 30 it would be a WSM. that is proven to shoot 10 shots in under 3"@ a 1000. Heck I shot 30 shots in an agg. of 3" at 1000 with a light gun and one dropped 1 point with a 103 gr. bullet, and a 299 out of 300.... and the 10 ring is 7"....maybe your 30-30 will beat it .... jim
    Jim, you seem to be missing the point. I never said a 2" group would win. I simply said you have 2" plus of drift at 1 mph of wind variation. The 30-30 is as accurate as your 6BRA if not more, and wind drift is about identical. If you don't believe my accuracy statement, then you are in denial. Ask other shooters that have witnessed the accuracy of my 30-30.

    Do you understand what I'm saying? If the wind drift and accuracy are the same, then the performance is the same. Where do you think the 30-30 comes up lacking against the 6BRA? Wind drift, or accuracy? What are you questioning here? Do you think I have just been fooling myself for almost 25 years on the 30-30 accuracy, or do you think the wind drift calculations are bogus?

    Now for some final thoughts. Jim, why is your argument against the 30-30 even based on whether or not we could ever beat Bart's .3" 600 yard group? Every group ever shot at 600 yards has challenged Bart's .3" group, and failed. I would be surprised if that group doesn't stand as the best ever fired when Christ returns (now I hope you believe me when I say he will). With that line of thinking, our 30-30 will never measure up, but neither will any other 6BRA's. My point is this. It's not about whether a 30-30 ever wins a 600 yard match. Only one 6mm wins at a match. All the others fail to win. It is a fact that the best gun doesn't always win. Actually, the best gun rarely wins, because it is mainly about who gets there shots off in the best timing with the conditions present, even at 100 yards, but more so at 600 yards. Last year I bumped the first place 6 PPC shooter at 200 yards, and took the first place spot. My 30-30 had gone out of tune, but a .8" tall group was better than his 1.6" wide group from his well tuned rifle. Why did I go to the line so out of tune? I thought I had shot a bug hole on target # 4. I had loaded my rounds for target # 5, and was headed to the line when Mark came out with the targets, and said " that would have been a beautiful group if you hadn't put one high in the black". All I could think about was that I had better read those flags well and not shoot wide. Needless to say, it worked.

    Jim, like Butch said, don't sell the 30-30 short. I don't dislike you or the 6BRA. I have a lot of respect for the 6 BR, 6 BRA, 6 PPC, and many other cartridges. If I didn't, where would the challenge be? Just remember, it all started with the 30-30 in 1895. It was the first ever smokeless powder sporting cartridge, only now, it can take advantage of modern bullets, barrels, and powders.

    Michael
    Last edited by mturner; 10-27-2019 at 04:13 PM.

  7. #52
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    It is funny you started with a 30-30 and 168's at 2800 and I said a 110 at 2914 from a BR imp now you change everything to a 30-30 imp. and different bullets to gain the edge on this forum. I think you need a little more knowledge of long range shooting. I was at the national with a 300 WSM on one side and .338mag on the other side and guess what the little 103 bullet kicked ass, knowing when to pull the trigger means more than a print out. ..... jim

  8. #53
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    Jim,

    You are wrong again. I finished with a standard 30-30 and a 200 gr. bullet. Direct quote.

    " I decided to use the 200 gr. Sierra Matchking. By limiting the muzzle energy to aprox. 3000 ft. lbs. I was able to achieve a velocity of 2600 fps. and a 600 yard wind drift of 19.41" with a standard 30-30 case. I like this way better because of the considerable higher initial velocity, and lower TOF".

    I'm sorry the 30-30 bothers you so much.

    Trying to gain an edge on this forum? I don't need to gain an edge. I have always had a vast knowledge of firearms. You continue to make statements that are false. Give it up. Nez and I started with 168 gr. bullets because he had a box of them, and we wanted to get a baseline energy level. Why do you feel the need to limit the 30-30 to a 168 gr? The 30-30 has way more power than the 6BRA, and you want to put the rope around it and limit it's performance.

    Jim, knowing when to pull the trigger means more than a print out? I'm the one who stated that in my last message. Direct quote "because it is mainly about who gets there shots off in the best timing with the conditions present".

    Stop using my knowledge for your benefit in this argument.

    Your arguing just to hear yourself, because you can't accept the fact that the 30-30 bucks the wind the same as the 6BRA, and is just as accurate. This is what you are failing to disprove. Find a flaw in what I've posted, and you can win the argument. Don't whine about me using a heavier bullet than I started with. Show me where I said we would not use a heavier bullet than a 168 gr. Nez shoots service rifles, so he asked if the 30-30 would push a 168 gr. bullet at 2800 fps.

    You think it's funny that I switched to a heavier bullet. You challenged me, and then tried to tie my hands. I used heavier bullets because you turned it into a challenge. I told you Nez and I had already spoke of heavier bullets.

    I think it's only fair to ask others whether or not you or I have won this argument. I would hate to kick you when your down. People, cast your votes.

    Michael
    Last edited by mturner; 10-28-2019 at 10:37 AM.

  9. #54
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    I find this fascinating, particularly since the .30-30 gets so little attention elsewhere these days. I do have a question: is there something that makes the .30-30 better than the .308? (I'm not asking why you didn't use a .308 - just if there's an advantage to .30-30 that I don't understand.)

    TIA,

    GsT

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneT View Post
    I find this fascinating, particularly since the .30-30 gets so little attention elsewhere these days. I do have a question: is there something that makes the .30-30 better than the .308? (I'm not asking why you didn't use a .308 - just if there's an advantage to .30-30 that I don't understand.)

    TIA,

    GsT
    Gene,

    The 30-30 simply makes the most energy with the least powder of just about any cartridge. If you look in all of the Speer reloading manuals, they mention that many reloaders have asked if they could boost the pressure of the 30-30 if they use it in a bolt gun. They say absolutely not, that the case is too thin and lacks the strength necessary for high pressure loads. This is actually far from the truth. In fact, the 30-30 case handles pressure better than most cases. This is because of the rim. The rim does more than just add extra diameter around the primer. After all, the magnum cases have extra diameter also, but that is not the only key to handling the high pressure. The other component is greater work hardening of the brass in the rim area. This happens when the rim is forged to a greater diameter than the case body. This can increase the yield strength of the case head considerably. I find that even the lower strength alloys such as 80-20 used by Federal and Remington, still handle pressures far in excess of a typical 308 case made from the same alloy. Lapua used to make 30-30 brass, but stopped a while back, because the mainstream 30-30 brass that is available to most shooters is more than adequate for the typical lever gun. The Lapua 70-30 alloy coupled with the extra work hardening of the rim would have proven exceptional, not to mention the quality. The brass used for this testing is made by Starline, and is a 70-30 alloy. I can't guarantee that it is the strongest 30-30 brass available, but it has proven to be extremely tough brass. After 24 years of playing with the 30-30 using extremely high pressure loads, I have never had a primer leak or soot the bolt face. According to Quickload, my pressures have reached as high as 93,000, but I don't put a lot of faith in those numbers. My guess is closer to 80 to 85,000 PSI. I can't be certain of the pressures, but have to believe they are way up there when the energy levels duplicate a 30-06 with 20 grains less powder. I have not done any testing of light weight bullets in the 28" plus barrel lengths, but I have pushed a 118 gr. bullet at 3400 fps from a 23" barrel. Soon I will test a 125 gr bullet from a 28" barrel, and see if I can reach somewhere around 3400 fps. That would put me around 3200 foot pounds of energy. I may be asking too much at that point. All of my loads with the 168 gr. - 250 gr. have at this point been limited to 3000 foot pounds, or basically the same as a 30-06 pushing a 150 gr. bullet at 3000 fps.

    I believe on of the real concerns that the people from Speer have is that one of these loads could wind up in a lever action. There are two reasons that this is not too likely. One is that most people know not to use pointed bullets in tubular magazines. The other it that they could only be singly loaded, because their OAL is too long to feed through a lever action.

    I do need to do more testing with the Nosler brass to see if it will handle the pressures as well as the Starline. If so, it will make the most velocity, because the Nosler brass holds 2 grains more powder than the Starline. From what I understand, the Nosler brass may be made by Norma. All I know is it may very well be the highest quality 30-30 brass I've ever used. Another possibility is the PPU brass. It is basically the hardness of military brass, and I have no idea what kind of pressures it would take to loosen a primer. I have never checked it for capacity.

    For short range BR shooting little of this matters, because I normally shoot it closer to typical 30 BR velocities. Sometimes I will shoot it one or two nodes above the 30 BR at 200 yards.

    Michael
    Last edited by mturner; 10-29-2019 at 12:17 AM.

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    Thanks Michael!

    Thank you for an excellent explanation.

    GsT

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    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

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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

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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

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    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

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