New load in my Model 94. It is deadly accurate but Im wondering if its a good deer killer, Im kinda new to cast. I am useing a Lee C309 170f mold, a 50-50 mix of wheeleight lead and pure lead, and 22 grains of IMR 4198. Im hunting Vermont deer which can go over 200 pounds. Looking for advise on this setup, ie bullet performance, velocity, any info or opinions. Like i said it is deadly accurate. Thanks, Craig
Is this 3030 load a deer killer?
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- Last Post 07 January 2020
Based on Lyman data your load produces 1600 fps. 200 pound Deer need to be hit in the vital with a load producing 1,000 foot pounds on impact for an ethical harvest. Your load with a 170 gr bullet at 1600 fps only has 966 foot pounds at the muzzle and is not a humane harvest load at any distance. Your bullet needs 2057 fps to deliver 1,000 foot pounds at 100 yards. That will take 24.3 grains of IMR 4198 to be an ethical harvest 100 yard Deer rifle with your cast 170 gr bullet. Your alloy is not strong enough for that load level, you will need a BHN 15 alloy like Lyman #2 You sound like you have a nice target load at 1600 fps but that is not a humane Deer load at all unless you are point blank shooting the brain through the eye.. I shoot your same bullet at 2050 fps with H4895 from my 100 yard Deer rifle. The load groups 2.2” @100 yards for me. I cast the bullet in #2 alloy and my mold is honed large, I size check the bullet at .310” for my 30-30. I also shoot the RD 165 FNGC about that speed, it shoots a little better and has a much bigger flat nose than the Lee bullet. Gary
In a 30-30 I have used a 190 gr. bullet at 1900 muzzle velocity using 12-13 bhn bullets. Have killed deer out to 150 yards with no problem.
I any 30 caliber I prefer to keep muzzle velocity above 1800 fps. I know you didn't ask about your bullet choice but the RCBS 180 FN (really about 190 grains) is my preferred hunting bullet for a 30-30 or a 30-06. Having said that there are many suitable bullet choices.
You might want to consider a change of powder for your deer 30-30 loads. I suggest Hodgdon's LeveRevolution. A charge of 34.5 - 35 gr under your Lee 170 gr bullets should run 2150 - 2175 fps+/- out of your M94. That is a 200 yard deer killing load, even the larger ones you have up there. I also use COWWs +2% tin and then mixed 50/50 with lead for my hunting alloy in a Lyman 311041. They weigh out at 175 gr. I also use a soft NRA 50/50 lube and size them at .311. Loaded over 34.5 gr LvR they run 2155 out of my 20” M94 and 2174 fps out of my 21” Contender Carbine. I clean the barrel every 7 - 8 shots to maintain best accuracy if right at 2 moa. More than that and fouling picks up opening the moa to 3 - 4. Keeping the barrel clean isn't a problem for hunting as if I've not got the deer in 7 shots I might as well go home and clean the rifle anyways...... Here's 7 shots out of the magazine tube at 100 yards fro my M94 Carbine. Paster is 1". This LvR load will still retain about 1600 fps at 200 yards which is what your load is producing at the muzzle. The ability to have adequate bullet performance out to 200 yards is the real benefit of such a load. LMG
Concealment is not cover.........
I used an RCBS 180 gr. GC FP bullet over a case full (to the base of the bullet) of old WW ll surplus 4831 powder. Velocity was 1875 fps. Family members regularly took our N. Idaho White Tail deer out to 100 yds. The bullets always passed completely through quartering or broad side shots. The alloy was 10 bhn nuclear medicine lead.
Craig, it is likely your groups will open up a bit when you increase the load to 24.3 grains IMR4198. Consider the effective 100 yard distance and the vital size of 10 inches. At worst your groups will be ~ 5” at 100 yards and that still fits in the vital at the distance.
You don't mention gas checking your bullet, I hope you do as accuracy will be less at that load level without a gas check and gas checks extend the load range of your alloy strength about 10%.
If your WW alloy is from clip on WW and not stick on WW you are in better shape. The clip on WW alloy has enough Antimony that the alloy can be drop quench hardened as the bullets are cast. That will raise your BHN to the strength needed for 24.3 grains IMR 4198. Put the pure lead aside and harden your clip on WW alloy bullets and you will be fine. Although the Lyman #2 alloy I recommended will expand better on impact due to #2 Alloy Tin content malleability.
If you are curious about the 1,000 foot pound vital hit impact on deer size game for a humane harvest, That comes from hunting guide associations all over the world. It is not something new that I made up. I first read about that in the 1960s in the Herter's Guide Manual and it was old news then. It is good standard for ethical harvest. Your current load with 22 gr IMR 4198 falls way short in power for ethical harvest. A good guide would not allow you to use that load on 200 pound Vermont Deer at any range and would sight you in with good ammo for your Deer or send you home. He would likely insist you use factory 30-30 ammo because your particular cast load is too weak for ethical harvest.
Nice soft alloy and the load duplicates the .32-40 “deer load” so no reason it will not work inside ethical ranges.
Cheers from New Zealand
I have only seen two animals killed by “bullet energy” alone : One was a small sparrow that landed on a bush I had a target attached to I hit the bull with the 500gr. full house load in my .458 Win. when I went up to check the target the bird was lying there dead. 2. I shot at a running jack rabbit with that same rifle and a 490gr. cast bullet at near 2000fps. I hit the ground under the jack knocked him about 3 ft. into the air. When I skinned the rabbit there were no holes in him but a great bruise in the area of his chest.
Where you hit the animal counts more than what you hit them with. Like a warden told me: "They shoot elk up here all the time with a 22rf.". But, that being said you also need enough bullet going fast enough. A low speed 30 cal bullet going through the lungs is equivalent to an arrow with a field point on it. It won't do enough damage to ensure a quick clean kill. Conversely, if you gut shoot a deer with a 375 H&H you still have a gut shot deer. Brodie
... Im hunting Vermont deer which can go over 200 pounds. ... Thanks, Craig
My step-dad got two deer a year every year (in Northern Vermont) for his lifetime.
I remember him preferring the 303 Savage over the 30-30 because the factory loads were 190gr vs 175gr. (otherwise VERY similar)
I am not selling energy to kill Deer. Lyman figured it out well over 100 years ago that a flat nose 30-30 bullet in Lyman #2 alloy needs to strike a deer with 1,000 foot pounds to the vital for the bullet to double in diameter and pass through a deer leaving a 60 caliber wound to efficiently shock and bleed out the Deer quickly and humanely.
I didn't think that you were trying to sell energy as a way to kill game Gary. I say what I do because so many people are fixated on energy figures that they forget just about everything else. I know that you are an experienced and ethical hunter. We all have our pet peeves and this is one of mine. Every year the gun and sports writers talk energy when they should be talking about accuracy penetration and bullet performance. Hunters have picked this theme up and I wish I had a $ for every time some one has talked about how hard the elk are to kill now. I even had a Warden tell me how much better the 7mm mag was than the 7x57 mauser while looking at the two elk I had inadvertently killed with one shot (if I had known where that yearling bull calf was I never would have shot the cow).
I used to hunt with a 270 Weatherby , but I got tired of the excess tissue damage and weight of the rifle. It was a great tool for longer ranges and I killed a lot of game with it, but they wiped the bison out with black powder and cast bullets.
See what I mean about my personal objection to “energy” as a bench mark for a proper load. I guess that it gets me going because so many shooters get the mistaken idea that if they use a cartridge with enough “energy” it matters little where the bullet hits, and we both know that isn't true. My reply was not meant to be personal at all, I just try to dispel the “energy only” myth whenever I can. It has become kind of a reflex. I am sorry if you misunderstood me. Brodie
I shoot 10 lb ++ jack rabbits (baby kangaroos) at 125 yds Plus/Plus with 22 LR from a 7.5 inch scoped pistol, not once in a while when Im lucky, its the only shots I take. Regular Federal milk carton round nose. The meat slap is very very late in report, the rabbit flops over dumbfounded and when I get there its dead or expiring. I figured out that at 100 yards with my 38/357 it didn't matter how I loaded down or up, I still damaged way too much meat and had a rainbow trajectory. So I prefer the 22 at that distance. It takes a while for me to haul my butt across the desert 125 plus plus to get there. I suppose it does suffer some. Not sure how that differs from a bludgeoning tip on an arrow shaft hitting the animal at 50 yards. Ever broken ribs and punctured a lung doing so, I haven't but it seems like a horrible way to expire. Getting squished sideways!
The 22 bullet never leaves the animal in this case. No expansion either, Looks like they are unfired for the most part.
And yes it is relevant as if you parallel mass/vel/range/animal density/shot placement potential----- its a perfect analog. Sorry I agree with the earlier analog presented to a broadhead and as well the differential of vitals and gut shot with other more proper cartridges. The 30-30 at low velocity if the bullet is hard enough to not come apart during penetration will adequately kill at the distance indicated, and further, it will not fully penetrate through though..
But nobody said it needed to! Animals die when vitals are damaged. Not when vials or leaked out in liquid form hydrostatically from a 3 foot long hole in their torso ALTHOUGH its nice when a 2 inch cavity is opened for 4 feet, they die pretty fast! 16 inch thick animal, heart is at 8 inch, that how far the bullet must penetrate. If an arrow head with high wide profile can go “through” a deer at 50 yards (bones in the way and all) at 300fps “muzzle” then a 30 cal bullet maintaining its shape can do the same. No it won't turn the light off on the animal, but US BOWHUNTERS here in CA and most across the nation know that your going for a fairly long walk to go get your animal that ran off like someone poked it in the ass with a cigarette cherry, even with a double lunger . I suppose bowhunting has become inhumane from the definitions presented above.
I suppose since its deadly accurate as the OP indicated, that a head shot deals with the problem fully. If its that accurate, shoot like it. Then Lyman's rules don't matter. Shoot it with a potato gun.
One thing most people forget...... the harder the alloy, the more speed it takes to make it work. That nice soft alloy in a hollow pointed handgun cartridge will kill easily at 400 ft-lbs when put in the right spot.
Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest
i just looked up lyman's reloading handbook 49th ed, that says imr4198, starting load 18.0gr for 1600fps, max load is 24.0gr for 2000fps. i don't have a chrony but i figure a 170gr boolit with 22gr goes roughly 1800fps. i'm pretty sure that it will kill a deer out to 150 yards away, probably a little more.
the 1000lb is complete horsepucky. i shoot alot of deer with a arrow that doesn't even come close to 1000lbs. i wonder what a 250gr 44 mag with a 7 1/2” barrel and a charge of unique going 1000fps has? i wonder if a 50cal flintlock has? 444 marlin? 45-70? horsepucky.
I am an archer too and broad-headed deer hunting arrows don't kill by foot pounds, they kill by cutting and bleeding not shock at all. My broad-heads will shoot through a steel bucket full of sand at 25 yards because they cut a path with sharp edges and don't need anywhere near 1,000 foot pounds to do that. The OPs load won't even go through the same bucket of sand or a 200 pound Vermont Whitetail vital and is not an ethical load for Deer. His load is less than 1,000 foot pounds at the muzzle and decreases continuously with range. I recommended a load that has the minimum recommended ethical power for reliably harvesting Deer to 100 yards when you hit anywhere in the 10” vital of a Deer. Even if your bullet goes in between the heart and lungs, the shock passing through the area mortally damages the lungs and heart with a bullet passing through that delivers 1,000 foot pounds on impact. Bullets kill by shock damage, broad-heads kill by slicing and bleeding.
It has been suggested by Lyman to guide associations and hunters that 1,000 foot pounds to the vital with a bullet is the point reliable fatality begins for humane harvest of Deer sized game. Sure less will do in many instances, but the ethical reliability is lower. Guide associations accepted this standard immediately to ensure their clients are not under-gunned as the OPs 22 gr. load makes him under gunned for Deer.
And Yes, I do have all my deer hunting rifles, including Muzzle loaders. specifically setup to deliver humane harvest energy shock to my longest hunting shot range. I see less as unethical. And I wish everybody did.
My personal most recent example is my new kit built Traditions 50 Cal Flintlock. It is setup specifically to deliver 1,000 foot pounds at 100 yards with the Lee 250 gr R.E.A.L. Less would be unethical for my Deer hunting shot range maximum of 100 yards. I believe the research from Lyman and follow their recommendation for ethical harvest. I have harvested about 70 Whitetails with decisive 100% mortality following the Lyman recommendation.
An unusual exception is archery hunting Squirrels with blunt tipped arrows. This is my favorite hunting, the blunts instantly kill Squirrels with shock to the chest or head. Paunch or rump shots with blunts are just messy and then crippled Squirrels get very loud and take a second hit.
Working in Northwest Montana in the middle '50s, I learned that many (most) of the locals used a 30-30 during deer season - and when the season was closed they used a .22 long rifle to harvest their “government beef". Most shots were well under 100 yds, and most of them were pretty good game shots, in or out of season.
So if you get fairly close, and your shot is reasonably accurate, even a .22 lr is adequate for deer.
However, back when I was still hunting (hills are too steep nowadays), I used a 30-40 Krag or a 30-'06. I didn't NEED the meat, and if I killed something I wanted it to die quick, not feel the hurt.
I have been lucky in the area I live to shoot as many deer as I have. They don't live long enough to get 200 lb. on the property I hunt. But I take deer half that with no problems . If it's accurate and you place your shots you'll do fine. It helps to hit bone. You get plenty of penatration but little expansion. I have taken more deer with my 30-30 than any other rifle I own. Most with cast bullets. As far as energy goes my T/C contender super 14 would run short on the recommendations. A facing standing doe fell were it stood from a cast bullet of wheel weights. It was only about thirty yards but the bullet entered the chest and was retrieved from the hide at the rear ham. I admit I have lost deer but I have lost them with jacked bullets also. It happens. I have taken deer with at least four different cast bullets. My pick is the RCBS 180 FN. However I have to run it in a taper die in order to keep the gas check above the shoulder and allow extraction from chamber if not fired. I use IMR 3031 and it will push that bullet 1900 fps. This from a T/C contender carbine. I hunt in the woods so I don't take long shots. Hope this helps, good luck.
Your 180 @1900 is not a slacker. At 70 yards 1033 foot pounds are left and at 100 you have 897 foot pounds. The energy at 100 yards is likely fine for smallish 110 pound deer but I'd want more for a 200 pounder at 100 yards.
You can run your numbers here: http://handloads.com/calc/index.html
I agree that more is better but you can only get so much out of a 30-30. If you would shoot a 200 pound deer with factory 30-30 loads and be comfortable than why have a problem with this load. From the bullets I have used and the results I have seen the heavier the bullet with the widest metplat ( flat nose ) kills best. I like to hunt from a ladder stand so I shoot down and not across the woods. A feeding deer goes nowhere when head shot. No meat loss . If it's horns you want take a broadside shoulder shot.
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