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  #1  
Old 12-28-2010, 07:00 PM
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reloading 30-30


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I would like to start reloading my own shells. I have a 30-30 Winchester. Someone once told me it you reload your own it's not only less expensive, but also your shells will be more accurate. I honestly haven't ever had any problems with accuracy. He claims that store bought shells have a little different amount of powder in each shell. This I don't know. Please advise on what equipment is needed and if it's worth the trouble to reload your own shells. Thank you very much.....
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2010, 02:06 AM
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.30-30 is one of the cheapest rounds to buy factory ammo for, at around $12/box around here on sale. If accuracy is not an issue, then I wouldn't worry with it unless you want a new hobby and/or you want to reload for other guns. .30-30's are not usually benchrest guns, and the accuracy of factory ammo is more than sufficient for the distances that it will be used on game.

just my .02
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2010, 02:50 AM
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When I owned a .30-30 rifle, I found that WW-748, used in reloading 125 to 150 grain bullets, gave the best accuracy.
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2010, 02:50 AM
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The factory ammo being made these days is actually pretty good stuff. The cheapest ammo is not likely to give you the best overall performance, but if that is what you've used in the past, and it gets the job done, then there really isn't a great incentive to reload. Have you tried the Leverevolution ammo? It's quite a bit more than $12/box, but some guys have been very happy with the increase in accuracy they've seen from those gummy-tipped bullets.

I won't really discourage anybody from reloading because it is a great hobby and I've learned so much about ballistics and shooting accuracy from rolling my own for the last 20 years. I started out with an RCBS kit from Midway and if I had to start all over again, that is what I would buy. Figure around $400 in start-up costs for the first cartridge (30/30) you reload and another $50 or so, for each cartridge after that. Unless you shoot quite a bit or reload for an expensive or oddball round, it can take a long time to "save" that much money on ammo. I reload because it's fun and because my family and I shoot roughly 30 different standard and wildcat cartridges and go through quite a bit of ammo, at times.

I'll tell ya one thing for sure: If you decide to buy the equipment and get into it, there is no better resource on the Web for figuring out all the little details on how to do it right, than here on ShootersForum!
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2010, 03:02 AM
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I have to agree, getting into reloading just for a 30-30 would not be very benificial. As mentioned, their bullets are not that expensive, so you're not going save bunches. A Winchester lever action 30-30 is not know for exceptional accuracy so you're not going to gain much in that department either.

Reloading is no where as cheap as it once was and you would have to load a hellava lot of 30-30 bullets to offset the several hundred dollars it's going to cost to get set up in reloading.

Now, if the cost of getting everything to get started in reloading is not a real problem, it is enjoyable, and it is the next step up into understanding the sport. I would recommend it if you have the free money to spend. Just be aware, usually taking that next step also leads to buying more guns, because once you start understanding the principles and start wanting to shoot more accurate, the desire for a more accurate guns starts getting greater and greater.

I would recommend, if you do get into it, you do a lot of homework and get good equipment to start with, that way you only have to buy once. Just one note on that, you don't need one of those $400 automatic power charge stations to start with.
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2010, 03:40 AM
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How times have changed. First shotgun shell reloader was a Lee that used a hammer for doing everything. Kit cost around $12 back in 1961. Metallic cartridge reloading came next with a Herters press loaned by neighbor. Major cost then was bullets, primers and powder. Believe you can still obtain the basic Lee kit that uses a hammer and your muscle power for metallic reloading. It worked back then and still works today. Don't know what your buying for $400 but its way more than necessary at entry level. I'm not a big fan of Lee products but still use the better ones in my reloading.
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  #7  
Old 12-29-2010, 04:05 AM
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I certainly echo above posts. This forum has been a wealth of info for me. I cut my teeth by reloading for the 30-30 and a T/C 23inch barrel. I used a Lee Loader(about 10$ on ebay) at first, and could get groups less than an inch at 100yrds. Lee and Lyman reloading manuels excellent. Ask lot's of questions, even if they seem to border on stupid. These people on the forum are just great, and want to help you produce great ammo, and they promote the utmost in safety. A big WELCOME to the forum!
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  #8  
Old 12-29-2010, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broom_jm View Post
The factory ammo being made these days is actually pretty good stuff.
I can sure agree with that!


Now that the ammo companies are pretty much using ball powders, throughout, there really isn't much variation in "the amount of powder in the case". In fact, I had a hard time finding a load, for my 30-30, that would shoot as well as factory ammo. Eventually I tried a book load of W-748 with 170gr bullets and that did it.

If you just want to save money you can recoup your costs pretty quick if you stick with Lee Precision's equipment and you shoot a lot, but it'll take a long time to "pay out" if you're only shooting a couple of boxes of shells a year. The only way for the average hunter, shooting a few rounds per year of common calibers, to spend money on reloading equipment and actually save him/herself money, compared to buying factory ammo is with the old classic Lee (whack-a-mole) "Loader" and this neat little tool has it's own limitations and little "issues" that can arise.

If you were shooting a less common caliber with premium bullets, where a box of ammo could cost $40+, it might be a different matter.
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  #9  
Old 12-29-2010, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broom_jm View Post
The factory ammo being made these days is actually pretty good stuff.
I picked up a couple boxes of Winchester PP's this year to use as control loads with my supply of Winchester brass. With a 2X-7X Nikon mounted on my 336, it will turn in 1.5" groups from a sandbag rest. I was not able to top that with anything I loaded myself.

That said, the .30-30 is well worth loading for. Especially if you want to shoot a couple hundred rounds a year. I just picked up 1000 Magnus cast bullets for < $8/100, to shoot over Trail Boss. You can shoot quite a bit with those without needing a mortgage. (I wish BTB would carry a line of lower cost FB cast for different calibers).

If you want to shoot varmits, there are a couple purpose made bullets out there for .30-30 shooters, including a 110gr HP from Speer, and 100gr half jacket bullets from Speer and Hornady.

As standard components go, there are jacketed bullets from all manufacturers that will match the performance of any factory load, Cast, copper solids, cup and core, and partitions.

The .30-30 does not rquire the same press as a .375 H&H. You can get by with an entry level press from Lee, and a set of FL dies from anyone. A lb of BL-C2 or W748, powders that are almost impossible to cause a problem in the .30-30, and some primers and you're in the game. Loading data is available on line.
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2010, 06:00 AM
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Just to clarify one little erroneous statement, factory ammo charges can vary BETWEEN LOTS but will be very consistent within a given lot. The reason is that they change powders between lots, and have to work up a new charge weight for the new powder.

Reloading is a great hobby in its own right. Once you begin loading for your 30-30 you will almost certainly reload for everything else you own. You will not save any money for the simple reason that you'll also begin shooting a lot more, so your wallet will empty at least as fast.
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  #11  
Old 12-29-2010, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky Raab View Post
You will not save any money for the simple reason that you'll also begin shooting a lot more, so your wallet will empty at least as fast.
Uh, that part.

I might have saved some money, if you consider only the number of rounds I fired, and the cost if I'd strictly shot the same number of factory loads.

Then didn't figure in the powders I tried and didn't like, the gadgets that didn't do what I wanted them to, the primers I stocked for load X, then swapped the rifle, the loads I made up for friends and family low on cash,,,
if you get my drift.
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2010, 02:12 PM
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I guess I forget not everybody has the same objective when it comes to getting into reloading, When I started, my objective was to load the most accurate loads I could load, and not just put powder, primer and bullet in a case at what some books said, so I could shoot it again. I bought all good equipment like the RockChucker that I'm still using today, about 45 years later. It all still works great, I've just added a whole lot to it over the years. There's a huge difference between just reloading to shoot it again, and loading for accuracy, and I'm the first to admit I'm an accuracy nut. I want my BB gun to shoot the most accurate it can possibly shoot.

Matter of fact, I was just looking at the last reloading manual I bought and got tickled, It's the Lyman 45th Edition, copyrighted in 1970 and payed $4.59 for it.

Last edited by BKeith; 12-29-2010 at 02:21 PM.
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2010, 02:44 PM
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I recommend Lee equipment...half the cost of others and just as accurate ammo.

If you are like most of us, you may end up spending more money, but you will become a significantly better shot, because you will practice. Before I was handloading, I'd buy a box of shells, use 10 to sight in the gun, and save the other ten for hunting. Now I shoot a couple hundred rounds yearly per gun, and I only hit the range a few times. And you'll spend so much time on Shootersforum.com and reading loading manuals that you will know a heck of a lot more about your guns and loads specifically, and about guns and shooting in general.
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2010, 04:56 PM
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Talking

I thank yall for all the responses. I want to be very accurate every shot. Also right now I only shoot a few shoots before deer season to check sights then only while hunting. I would like to shoot more but can't justify wasting the ammo. I was raised by a very frugal grand father, he was a devout marine. Hopefully if I reload my own I will shoot more and let my kids shoot more they really want to. I am going to start looking on eBay for a decent loader when I purchase one I will let you know.
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2010, 05:04 PM
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One more question. How do I know if the ones on eBay reload a 30-30? They have a Lee 50th Anniversary Kit 90050 New in Box.
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  #16  
Old 12-29-2010, 05:53 PM
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You buy a set of Dies for the cartridge you want to load. Dies are cartridge/caliber specific and the outside of them are threaded to scew into a press. The size and thread pitch is pretty much standard among them all so they will fit in most presses. The dies are useless with out a press. So, for starters, you need a set of 30-30 dies, and a press to use them in. The next must is a set of scales and powder funnel.

I might suggest you get a book and do some study on reloading so you will have a better understanding what's required and you can make you're determination, on just how involved you want to get.
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  #17  
Old 12-29-2010, 06:40 PM
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Reloading Stuff

I kinda fell into reloading backward. My bro-in-law bought the RCBS Rock Chucker kit plus additional stuff. Pretty much everything you need to reload. He loaded up a lifetime supply of every caliber he owns and put it all in a plastic tote and packed it in his basement. I loaded with him for a while but I could buy bullets for about as cheap as I could load them at the time. And if I ran out of bullets I would have to go to his house and set it all up again just to load a few boxes. My 25-06 shot Federal Premiums 1/2 inch at 100 yards. SO I just shot factory stuff.

10 years passes and I ask if I can borrow his reloading stuff because the cost of 25-06 bullets went crazy high. He said just take it home with you and keep it. If I ever need to load anything I can come down there and use it at your house. So it is set up in my shop forever.
I have added to the collection over the past year or so. I ran across dies at gun shows and figure I could possibly own that caliber before I die so I bought them. I ran into a guy that had a brand new Rock chucker loader that was never taken out of the box. I gave him $45 for it. It was stored in his basement. The shaft was slightly rusted but I set it up and oiled it a little. Works just like new. Now I have two loader.

You are going to need a press, powder scales, set of dies for your 30-30, powder hopper, trickle charger, case trimmer, primer pocket/neck brush, shell holders of the appropriate size (I have the entire set), deburr tool, case lube, primer sorter, and a reloading manual. I suggest just getting a starter set. That will get you going.

I would research it a little and maybe hook up with someone that already reloads and learn from them. You will gain experience and know what you need. A guy that has been reloading for years taught me how and I learned a ton from him.

Reloading is fun and I take pride in loading my own ammunition. It is great shooting a deer with ammunition that you loaded yourself.

Darin
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:46 PM
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If a guy has only one rifle and only plans to shoot a few rounds a year, either for fun or to zero for hunting season, then store-bought ammo is probably the way to go. But even with one rifle, if a guy wants to get into reloading (as you said you wanted to do), then it is a hobby all in itself, separate and apart from shooting (I think, anyway).

When you start reloading, it's a process all in itself. Then, your goal is to go out shoot those cartridges, whether they need to be shot or not. (()) Then, group sizes are recorded, manuals (and forums) are consulted, casings are cleaned, and the process starts all over again. This is why guys will say you can generally reload a box of cartridges cheaper than buy them, but you'll spend much more money doing so. ((()))

I started reloading shotgun shells in about 1977 or 78, with a little Lee Loadall that my fiancee bought for me. It would squeek and groan, but it sure cranked the shells out! It cost all of about $22 or $25 back then. I broke the first one while moving, and bought another. Years went by and when I got into metallic reloading acouple of years ago, I looked and looked for that little Lee, but it is hidden too well, I suppose. This Christmas, my wife bought another one - $41 today. Just 20 minutes agao I finished reloading a box of 25. Memory lane........ A can of IMR SR7625 cost about $7 back then. Tuesday, I paid $19 (+ tax!) for a pound of Green Dot and $60 for 25lbs of 7-1/2 gold....uh, I mean, lead shot.
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Last edited by StretchNM; 12-29-2010 at 07:50 PM.
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  #19  
Old 01-01-2011, 02:02 PM
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I find reloading an enjoyable, relaxing, stress reducing hobby. I'd probably do it even if it didn't save money.

The money saving part comes with the reusing of brass (scrounging is a whole different level of reloading).

I like shooting Remington Core-lokts in my .30-30 for hunting. If I reload a box of 20 using core-lokt bullets and all new components, it is true that it costs about the same as a box of factory ammo.

If I depreciate the brass over 10 firings I save 5.00 a box. If I write the brass off (break even) the first box or just buy a box of factory ammo and reuse the brass, I save 6.00 a box.

If I'm content to shoot factory cast bullets, I can load them for around 4.00 a box.

To me, it's worth reloading the .30-30 & it is one of the worst examples of money saving when reloading.

I can easily save 25.00 a box on some of the cowboy loads. I can save at least 100.00 everytime I go to the range. It doesn't take long to pay for equipment that way.

In reality, I just wouldn't shoot as much.
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:36 PM
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In an interesting twist of irony, the two cartridges that are responsible for killing the most game in North America have taken wildly different turns as the decades have passed. The 30/30 is still quite popular and is shooting more or less the same loads that made it so useful and famous, but the 44/40WCF has been almost entirely replaced by more powerful handgun and carbine rounds. Between the two of them, those old, slow cartridges have unquestionably been responsible for the demise of more critters, furry and nefarious, than any other pair.

What makes it ironic, to me, is that the 30/30 is one of the least expensive cartridges to buy factory ammo for, while the 44/40 "cowboy" loads are astoundingly expensive! It's even more surprising when you consider they are lawyer-proof handgun loads, kept to such low pressures that they will function in the weakest actions ever devised for that cartridge. For anybody with a Model '92 rifle, in 44/40, you just about HAVE TO reload, to get powerful rounds that suit your gun. Few companies make full-throttle loads for the old 44/40WCF and they are so expensive you can easily recoup the cost of even very good reloading equipment in just one year of hunting and recreational shooting.
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