30-30 and 2400

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  • Last Post 31 December 2019
Qc Pistolero posted this 09 December 2019

Mould:Accurate 31-155D shot unsized with 2 light coats of LLA.Load is 11 gr 2400.We compete at 75 yds(lever action only,no scopes).As this is a new class for 2020,I'm getting ready for the season that begins in Jan 2020.We shoot every last Saturday of the month.needless to say,up here in Qc.Ca.,end of Jan and Feb see the thermomether go down to sometimes minus 25 and that's not taking the heavy winds into account.Now the question;last summer my load was shooting 10 rds in 1 1/8''at 75yds.Last Friday,temp was around 25*F and no wind.I managed a few 10 shot group of 1/2'' wide by a little over 3'' high.The vertical spreading was quite consistent.

Question is:is 2400 temp sensitive?Would mag primer help?Would a filler help?If 2400 is temp sensitive,I hate to think of what it'll do at -20 in Jan and Feb!

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RicinYakima posted this 09 December 2019

FWIW, Having won many National CBA matches for lever guns, I have used 14 grains of 2400 in the 70 degree range. Your load, in my opinion, is too light for cold weather even with my 170 grain load. Suggest that you use a heaver charge and a minimum of WW large rifle primer. If really cold consider WW magnum primer. Your small windage errors says you are shooting well, but the vertical says the load is not right for your rifle. Fillers will not help your grouping.  Ric

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Larry Gibson posted this 09 December 2019

Seldom disagree with RicinYakima but I suggest trying the 11 gr load with a dacron filler.  Posted below is a test I conducted regarding this topic.  I certainly concur with Ric in upping the charge to 14 or 14.5 gr 2400 but still recommend the Dacron filler.  It will negate the vertical stringing.  Also concur with his recommendations on primers given the cold weather you mention.

LMG

30-30, 2400 & a Dacron filler

There have been several discussions regarding whether a dacron filler is “needed” with powders such as 2400, 4227, 4759, 5744 or 4198 under cast bullets in .30/.31 cal rifles. Some say the filler is not needed, some say it is and some even say it is dangerous due to pressure spikes.

My contention, based on considerable testing of loads with and without fillers, is that with light to medium weight cast bullets in the .30/.31 cal a dacron filler is beneficial by giving better consistent ignition and excellent accuracy. Whether or not the dacron filler is beneficial to you is your choice. I’ve not seen any indication of pressure spikes or other potentially dangerous problems associated with the use of a dacron filler during this testing or during the pressure testing of many test loads in different cartridges. I hadn’t used 2400 in CF rifle loads for quite a while so with the acquisition of a jug of Alliant 2400 I thought I’d work with it to develop a load for use with the GB C312-150-WFN in the 30-30 for use in my 21” Contender Barrel and in my 2 M94s.

The test bullets are cast in a Lee GB 6 cavity mould of WW + 2% tin alloy. They were inspected/selected for visual defects only, .014 aluminum GCs seated and then sized and lubed with Javelina in a .314 H die (as cast diameter). I then sized them at .311 in a Lee push through sizer.

The 30-30 cases were mixed manufacture with the flash holes reamed and were sized in a RCBS X-die. My 21” Contender test rifle 30-30 barrel is very sensitive to sizing and FTF is frequent if cases are not FL sized.

CCI 200 primers were used.

Test rifle was a Contender Carbine with a 10" twist 21" barrel. Scope was a 4X Weaver K4.

A M43 Oehler PBL was used to measure velocity and psi(M43). Start screen was 15’ from the muzzle and the M43 corrects the FPS to muzzle. Test strings were 10 shots at 100 yards.

Initial test loads were from 14 to 18 gr of 2400 in 1 gr increments without the dacron filler. The load at 16 gr proven the most accurate and quite consistent with the rifle loaded level on the bench. The average velocity was 1815 fps with a SD of 25 fps and an ES of 79 fps. The psi(M43) was 28,000 with a SD of 2,900 and an ES of 9,300. Group was 1.8”.

The 16 gr load without the dacron filler was then tested for powder position sensitivity by shooting a test string with the muzzle pointed down after loading and gently brought back to level to fire thus keeping the powder in the front of the case against the bullet. The average velocity was 1781 fps with the SD at 12 fps and the ES at 28 fps. The psi(M43) was 26,000 with the SD at 7000 and the ES at 1,900. Group size was 1.7” with the center of the group 1.75” lower.

Continuing the powder sensitivity test the muzzle was raised and then gently lowered to level for testing thus putting the powder at the back of the case against the primer. The average velocity was 1861 fps with the SD at 16 fps and the ES at 38 fps. The psi(M43) was 33,800 with the SD at 1,100 and the ES at 3,000. The group size was 1.9 and was 1.8” higher.

We see an obvious indication of powder position sensitivity. Positioning the powder forward and backward in the case both produced much more consistent ignition giving more uniform velocity and psi than with the powder just "level" in the case. While the group sized were relatively the same there was considerable vertical string giving a total group of all 3 groups of 4.82”. Thus we see a vertical stringing problem with accuracy depending on how consistently the rifle is shouldered and fired. On a target range when bench shooting this can easily be controlled and the vertical stringing alleviated. However, for me a potential 4.75 moa vertical stringing group in a field shooting environment where “positioning” of the powder prior to shooting is not practical is….well…just not practical.

Thus I proceeded to test the 2400 loads with a dacron filler. Previous experience dictated that an accuracy load with the dacron filler would probably be at a slightly lower velocity and with a lesser powder charge. I loaded 10 shot test strings of 13.5 gr to 15.5 gr of the Alliant 2400 and used a ½ - ¾ gr dacron filler.

The accuracy load proved to be 14.5 gr of 2400 with the dacron filler. The same cases and primers were used in this test. The average velocity was 1722 fps with an SD at 12 fps and the ES at 42 fps. The psi(M43) was 28,700 with the SD at 1,200 and the ES at 3,400. The 10 shot group was 1.4”.

No need to test powder position sensitivity as the powder is held in position against the primer by the dacron filler regardless of the rifles held position prior to shouldering and firing. Subsequent further testing of this load to 200 yards shows excellent accuracy. This is just what I wanted for this bullet in the 30-30. This load should be quite deadly on small to medium/small varmints and game let alone deadly on rocks, sticks, dirt clods and cow pies.

Note in M43 data printout the time/pressure traces and the consistency of the “Area” and Rise” data; we can see there is absolutely no indication of “pressure spiking”. Those are pretty much “picture perfect” traces. Also note that I often trace through the bullet holes in the target onto the data sheet for a group record.

As stated previously the choice to use or not use the dacron filler is yours. For me, I use the dacron filler with this and many other loads. I do not always use the dacron filler and list my criteria in the “Filler” sticky listed above in this forum.

This test demonstrates the dacron filler works when used as directed/intended and is indeed very beneficial to increasing ignition consistency where ignition is inconsistent because of powder position sensitivity with certain powder/bullet combinations and thus increases accuracy.

I’m also convinced, based on more and more testing, that the dacron filler is also beneficial in decreasing the possibility of pressure spikes or other dangerous phenomenon when used correctly with appropriate powders. This test is indicative of the same results obtained when 4227, 4759, 5744 and 4198 are used with medium range loads , especially with the lighter to middle weight bullets for the cartridge in question. I highly recommend the dacron filler be used with those powders when lighter to middle weight cast bullets for the cartridge are used, especially in the medium velcocity range under 1900 fps.

Larry Gibson

Concealment is not cover.........

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RicinYakima posted this 09 December 2019

Qc, I'm not going to argue with Larry, either. When I did my tests over the chronograph with fillers, the numbers were closer, but the targets were not any better. However, that may be the rifle or some other issue with the loading process. This is the fun of the cast bullet process, working up loads for your rifle. Ric

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Qc Pistolero posted this 09 December 2019

Thanks gentlemen.I thought I had things well cornered with the 11.0gr load but the fun will start over again.Like both of you suggested,I'll increase my loads by 0.5gr increments.I'll do this with and without Dacron.I probably won't be able to go as high as 15gr since the bullet doesn't have the GC option.

I guess the old model 64 will see lots of action this winter.

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Eutectic posted this 10 December 2019

Qc,

Since you are competing at 75 yards, do you need 1800 fs?

6.5 gr. Red Dot will give 1150 - 1200 fs in a 94, and is not position sensitive.
Red Dot can be replaced by any same burning rate powder for equal results.

I don't know about temperature sensitivity with Red Dot, we do not allow "Global Cooling" in the South.
I suspect RD will be less temperature sensitive than 2400, but suspicion is not confirmation.

Magnum primers would be a good thing to test with any load at -20.

You folks are a lot tougher than we are, outdoor pistol has closed down for the "winter" here.

Steve

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Ed Harris posted this 10 December 2019

Also, 31-155D is a plain-base, which in my experience develops its best grouping around 1300 fps like a .32-40 load. The 11 grains of #2400 sounds about right. I would use a magnum primer and loose Dacron fill in cold temps, but a standard primer with fill should be fine above freezing. 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Qc Pistolero posted this 10 December 2019

Eutectic:even though I'd like to let you thinking that we are real tough,I must tell you that we cheat a little bit.We have radiant heating system to help us.Besides,if it is below -20,we postpone the match.

I  should begin my tests next week and will let you in on the results.The 11gr recipe really is fun to shoot and I'll start my tests with it + Dacron.

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Qc Pistolero posted this 22 December 2019

Just back from the range doing some tests.Overall,I shot over 100 rds in 5 shot groups so as to validate that the results were not a fluke.

Temp:at the beginning of the tests 27*F.At the end(around 2:00PM)right on at the freezing point.

Wind:almost non existant at 5MPH and at a very slight angle from the shooting point.Not a factor.

I had brought along some of the loads that were printing vertically and shot a few targets(5 shot groups) here and there to verify that it was still printing vertically...which it did.

I had 2 rifles along,one Trapper with a 16'' bbl and a model 64 with 24''bbl.Tests showed the same results with the difference in grouping due to different sights arrangement(both have rear peep but the Trapper has a post up front vs peep front for the 64).

11gr 2400 with mag primer+filler was still printing vertically but less than with regular primer and no filler.

12gr with filler+mag primer gave nice round groups.

I think I've found my winter load since they both grouped in the 2'' area and a few a little below that.I might try playing around in .03gr increments but I'm sure that it'll end up around the 12 gr load.And since the little Trapper is so eager to show me what it can do,I'm sending an order for a front peep sight.

Thanks to all who put me on the track solving my 30-30 problem.Much appreciated!

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OU812 posted this 23 December 2019

Has anyone ever tried Tite Group in the 30-30? I know it works in 223. Very low deviation and great accuracy. I may try in 30-30.

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Qc Pistolero posted this 23 December 2019

OU812 please let us in on your results.

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OU812 posted this 23 December 2019

OK I am sure tite group will stop that verticle stringing. I remember 2400 was very position sensitive in the 223 case. I had to raise muzzle between every shot to prevent or decrease verticle stringing.

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Qc Pistolero posted this 28 December 2019

OU812,just for the sheer heck of it,I tried 5.5 Titegroup under the same bullet and regular primer.Even though it was not cold today(35*F),the group was round;no vertical stringing and I was not tilting the gun's muzzle up or down before shooting.Just loading them and shooting them.

You are right,Titegroup doesn't seem to be temp or position sensitive,5 shots in 2'' at 75.Only problem was guys were laughing,some betting the slug might not make it to the target!I think I'll invest a little more time with Titegroup!

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OU812 posted this 30 December 2019

5.5 is pretty conservative.

I used 6 to 7 grains in the 223 and 75 grain bullet.

Give credit to John Alexander

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OU812 posted this 30 December 2019

Tite Group measures very accurately in a standard powder measurer. No need to weigh every charge. I use the RCBS with optional smaller size pistol rotating insert.

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Qc Pistolero posted this 31 December 2019

For such light loads,whenever I can(read have the right rotor),I use my Little Dandy.I like the little thing and it throws its charges accurately.

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