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exbiologist's picture
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.30-30 antelope load

My buddy wants to use his .30-30 for an antelope this year.  I do all his handloading, but I've never loaded for a lever action before (it used to be my Marlin 336 and all I used were factory loads at the time).  I'm thinking about doing something fun like a 125 grain Ballistic Tip to buy him a little flatter trajectory.  I know we can get one under 200 yards, but in some cases 150 would be pushing it.  I know they have pointed bullets, but I don't see any reason we couldn't make it a two shot rifle by just keeping one round in the magazine?

Dumb idea?  Just go with the Leverrevolution flexi tip bullets if I want something pointy instead?

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For the 30-30 I think that I

For the 30-30 I think that I would opt for a TC Contender in that caliber but since he wants to use the Marlin I think that I would stick with factory loaded round noses or the Leverrevolution from Hornady.  The trouble with the one in the chamber and one in the magizine trick is what if he forgets what he is doing and loads two into the magizine? 

A few years ago I did about the same thing with a 7-30 Waters in a model 94ae except I only gave the shooter one bullet for the chamber with the pointed bullet load. 

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NEW flat shooting 30/30 round

Hornady has come out with another, second, LE load for the 30/30 which has a 140gr Monoflex bullet. This bullet is similar in structure to a Barnes "X", but with the flexible tip LE ammo is famous for. It gives 100 FPS more velocity than the 160gr LE FTX load @ 2500 FPS. The 160gr FTX is likely the 2nd flattest shooting load behind this newer one now. The Gilding Metal bullet is long for it's weight, so I doubt it gives up anything in BC to any other typical 30/30 bullet.

Here it is:

 http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=837062

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At this point for me I would

At this point for me I would just go with the Hornady load but that's mostly because I don't reload right now. If I was a hand loader I would probably look at the ballistic tip option just for the fun of working it up myself and trying something different. I would have no problem with a 2 shot gun myself but I can see the safety concern for someone that is in the habit of sticking more shells in than that. I rarely use a lever action so I would have no habits to break away from in my mind.

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not a good bullet

hunter25 wrote:

At this point for me I would just go with the Hornady load but that's mostly because I don't reload right now. If I was a hand loader I would probably look at the ballistic tip option just for the fun of working it up myself and trying something different. I would have no problem with a 2 shot gun myself but I can see the safety concern for someone that is in the habit of sticking more shells in than that. I rarely use a lever action so I would have no habits to break away from in my mind.

 

I wouldn't mind the two shot option either. I hunt with single shot rifles a lot. BUT, the BC of a 125gr .30cal load does not lend to a good long range trajectory and would not give one ounce better performance than the LE 140 round, OMHO. Of course, if added work for less performance works for some....  Whistling

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i have shot the

i have shot the leverrevolution flexi tip and 150 gr. flys flat but it would make big hole in antelope on off side.  good out to 300 yards.  with a little time and effort sitting at coner of fence line.  he could get 100 yard or closer shot. 

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i'd use a fast expanding

i'd use a fast expanding bullet since it's a relatively slow perjectile. if you could get a v-max or something and stick with your 2 shot idea. if you're taking long shots, i'd stick with a light bullet and add as much powder as you can. the hevier bullet gives you more energy, but i doubt you'd hit your target compensating for 3 feet of bullet drop.

since the marlin has a short barrel, i'd use imr 4895 or h4895. it's a good medium burning powder. i burned it in my .30 cal for years until i discovered r-19. get good thick walled brass if you can as well.

 

 

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Easy too..

Antelope are pretty easy to kill, they drop pretty fast when you hit them in the boiler room.  They don't require any fancy fast expanding bullet, or exotic loads.  Any standard soft point bullet in .30 caliber will do the trick perfectly well.  What you want is a load that will get you as flat as possible out to 300 yrds.  Many people today forget that a .30-30 is perfectly capable of a relatively flat trajectory out to 300 yrds.  Just pick the load that will give you the flattest.

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antelope are really easy to

antelope are really easy to kill. average size is probably 120 pounds for an adult.

but i'm not so enamored with the 30-30 performance. i would keep it under 200 yards. much like my favorite rifle of all time, my winchester 243, it's best used at 200 and under. while you could still hit the target, it doesn't mean you should. at 300 yards, you're bullet's traveling just under 1000 fps.

i would choose a fast expanding bullet because a slow moving soft point at 200+ yards isn't going to do half as well as it did at 150 yards. and the

you can easily kill an antelope with that rifle, but not every rifle is a 300+ yard gun. and now that we have optics to take 1000 yard shots, everybody out there thinks their old 30 caliber deerslayer is a 500 yard gun.

but your performance just isn't that good because the cases can't handle high pressure, hot loads. that's life. it's fun hunting with all kinds of equipment. and if you take a good shot, you'll drop one for sure. have fun with it, and good luck.

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antelope

ndemiter wrote:

antelope are really easy to kill. average size is probably 120 pounds for an adult.

but i'm not so enamored with the 30-30 performance. i would keep it under 200 yards. much like my favorite rifle of all time, my winchester 243, it's best used at 200 and under. while you could still hit the target, it doesn't mean you should. at 300 yards, you're bullet's traveling just under 1000 fps.

i would choose a fast expanding bullet because a slow moving soft point at 200+ yards isn't going to do half as well as it did at 150 yards. and the

you can easily kill an antelope with that rifle, but not every rifle is a 300+ yard gun. and now that we have optics to take 1000 yard shots, everybody out there thinks their old 30 caliber deerslayer is a 500 yard gun.

but your performance just isn't that good because the cases can't handle high pressure, hot loads. that's life. it's fun hunting with all kinds of equipment. and if you take a good shot, you'll drop one for sure. have fun with it, and good luck.

Yeah I tend to agree with most of what you're saying.  It's best to be proficient with the nessesary equipment you have rather than simply be over-equiped.  You are correct with your comment on equipment, especially in regards to optics.  That's why I've always been a firm believer in Simple.  That's because Simple works.  Take with you what you need and be proficient in how to use it.  Personally I've never seen any real need for a scope greater than 6X on a big game hunting rifle, nor for drop compensating reticles, even for long range shots. In fact for large bore rifles used on large dangerous game the scope should be even lower powered.  I've taken quite a few pronghorn from 200 yrds out to 400 yrds using a simple 6X Leupold mounted on my .270 Win.  Only my varmit and target rifles have 12X scopes on them.

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