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Help and advice for Long Range Rifle Side Match - about ammo for 30-30


BillyBlaze
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Need some long range Rifle Advice... Never shot a long range side match but would like to ... I picked up a Winchester 30-30. Need to know what ammo I can shoot for that side match. Have not loaded 30-30 but have the dies - would love to just buy some ammo to get started and get the brass and then go from there... Any ideas, thoughts, or recommendations?

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The only factory 30-30 ammo I have ever seen has always been jacketed, so this won't be legal for any SASS side matches I have ever heard of.  You could of course buy factory ammo to plink/hunt with and save your brass for reloading, but that's a pretty expense way to get brass.  Bullets by Scarlett does offer a 155gr 30cal cast bullet that would be perfect for reloading some side match rounds.  I've got very limited experience reloading 30-30 and have always used Reloader 7 powder, but I am sure most guys in SASS come up with reduced loads using Trail Boss.    

https://bulletsbyscarlett.com/shop/ols/products/155-grain-30-caliber-rnfp-coated-sized-309

Edited by July Smith
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Buy new brass when available.  When I started loading gas checked bullets I quit getting flyers.  I load with (the unavailable) Trail Boss.

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I loaded and reloaded commercially for cas shooters. (18 years)

30-30 was a difficult round to load.

When shooting non cas full jacketed bullets, the rifles shot near point of aim out to 200 yards.

Then switched to lead bullets, it was very hard to keep the hits on targets.

Experience turned out that I needed the rifle that was going to shoot the rounds I made to work up a load that would shoot accurately.

The problem was, every 50 yards required a different muzzle velocity to keep it on the target.

Tried plain base and gas checked.

Gas check was a little better but still not a one velocity fits all distances.

Problem was velocities where from 1200'/sec to 1500'/sec.

And the big one, what worked today in a specific rifle may not work tomorrow.

 

After several years of trying to get 30-30 ammunition to preform with all lead and gas checked bullets, I gave up.

The 30-30 round is a very good round. . . in full jacket.

 

But the time required to try and find an accurate round was not a good venture especially if you have more than one 30-30 rifle as you have to load for each rifle and for the different distance you want to shoot.

 

My suggestion was to keep your 30-30 for seasonal deer hunting and look for a rifle in 38-55 for lever and single shot.

Or 45-70.

These rounds shoot lead bullets well because that is what they were made for.

 

 

Edited by Cliff Hanger #3720LR
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I've shot this off hand out to 100 yards and it works great if you can find some.

 

 

20220916_072615.jpg

20220916_072546.jpg

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I reload a lot of .30-30 and cast my own bullets. I load a 170 grain GCFP for my Winchester and a 150 for my daughter's Marlin. The Marlin also likes. .310 bullet better than a .309. I load at the very bottom of jacketed load data.

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I dont think 30-30 is the ideal long range caliber. But, if it’s what you have, certainly use it. 
but if you are looking for a long range rifle, 38-55 (proud papa of the 30-30!) or 45-70 are better choices. 

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4 hours ago, Savvy Jack said:

What is considered Long Range in SASS long range side matches?

Because of range limitations most LR matches aren't really long range. 100 to 300 yards maybe They end up being speed rifle matches. Winner is  most hits in the fastest time.

And I once shot one that was 100' with a  6" target. Speed rifle.

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40 minutes ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

Because of range limitations most LR matches aren't really long range. 100 to 300 yards maybe They end up being speed rifle matches. Winner is  most hits in the fastest time.

And I once shot one that was 100' with a  6" target. Speed rifle.

Thanks!!

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Same a Michigan Slim above. 170 Gr with gas checks seem to work best for me.
We shoot out to 300 yds. at one club and about 120 yds. and another.


image.png.20a96f1d99e733be15a8ae6429e79716.pngimage.png.118810cbba9315fd9acfa88c8ef06089.png

Edited by Ya Big Tree
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For those that shoot a 30-30 at these matches. How are the spotters determining hits? 

 

My experience with 30-30s shooting Cody Dixon they are hard to spot for as the bullet doesn't make much of a visible impact. 

 

38-55 and bigger calibers are much easier to see.

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It is actually nice to see these "long range" side matches. The term "Long Range" is subjective, with the true rifles that really reach out past 300 yards. However, 150 to 300 yards is "Long Range" with the typical old west Henry and Winchester lever action rifles.

I have tried numerous times to get some postal matches for these rifles but no one seems to want to do them. Even I have a hard time now that components are hard to get and expensive.

I did get some 30-30 dies, cases and bullets but have yet to even load any. So I just dropped the charts down to the 44-40's

 

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14 hours ago, Ya Big Tree said:

Same a Michigan Slim above. 170 Gr with gas checks seem to work best for me.
We shoot out to 300 yds. at one club and about 120 yds. and another.


image.png.20a96f1d99e733be15a8ae6429e79716.pngimage.png.118810cbba9315fd9acfa88c8ef06089.png

We have a winner!  I use 28.0 grains of IMR 3031 for a bit higher velocity, but this formula should work just fine.

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I load a cast GCFN from a Saeco #316 mold in front of 27 grains of Reloader 7 and Winchester WLR primers.  image.jpeg.c8a2a88fd2fdc8384f136779b0de8538.jpeg

Out of my 26" heavy octagon bbl'd mdl 94 this has given my my best groups... Best of the best:  ¾" @ 200 yds.

Irish Ike & I disagree about the nature of SASS long range... It usually boils down to who hits ALL the targets in the fastest time.  SASS rules state that hits determine winner, time is for breaking ties.  I've been to a few where time was totally immaterial, you shot until someone missed.

 

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The longest range side matches that I know of currently are the ones at EOT in Phoenix. With the rifle caliber lever guns at roughly 300 yards, and single shot having events from 300-550 yards. Including off hand at a little over 400 yards. I’d like to see the longest one pushed out to a random distance beyond 700. 

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I was in Tennessee a year ago. They shot 200 yrs. 

A woman there was shooting a 94 Winchester in 30-30. 

The target was a 8 inch steel plate.

She shot 10 Rounds , she didn't miss.

She was shooting a 170 gr, gas check Bullet. 

I don't remember Powder. 

It  was impressive watching, her shoot.

 

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On 9/16/2022 at 10:16 AM, Michigan Slim said:

I reload a lot of .30-30 and cast my own bullets. I load a 170 grain GCFP for my Winchester and a 150 for my daughter's Marlin. The Marlin also likes. .310 bullet better than a .309. I load at the very bottom of jacketed load data.

 

Slim, what mold do you use?  I don't cast, but maybe I can find a source that uses your mold.

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13 hours ago, Cemetery said:

 

Slim, what mold do you use?  I don't cast, but maybe I can find a source that uses your mold.

I use the Lee RNFP 2 cavity. I have a cheap Lee setup to size and gas check them.

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