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My .311 rd. balls do a pretty good job on squirrels coming from my .32 cal. muzzleloader. I was wondering if they will work in my 1893 Marlin .30-30 with a light charge of Unique. Thanks for any advice, JTT in NC
 

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I have used round balls in a lot of cartridge guns including a 32 spl.  I lubed the balls with lee alox and loaded with a couple of grains of red dot and got 1 1/2 inch groups at twenty five yards.  For squirrel (many moons ago, before I left the country) I used to load a 165gr hard cast bullet with gas check over 4 or five grains of fast powder and dacron filler with extended accuracy out to about 50 yds and was not destrutive of meat (in a 32 spl).  In Nicaragua my cat execution Round was a 323 rd ball over some pull down powder from Russian 9mm that acted like unique, a couple of grains in my 8mm Mauser (the same pictured with me in the old warhorses art. in this years Gun Digest).  I never shot a target with this but the neighboorhood cat population stpopped doing in tropical birds in my yard!

Try it and see.  Nothing to lose.
 

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My results in the .30-30 several years ago with .310" Hornady round balls were pretty  much the same as timincolumbia's in the .32 W.S.

I used an empty  .22 L.R. case full of Bullseye (3 grs.), seated the top of the ball a little below flush with the case mouth and filled the recessed portion of the ball with  some 50/50 lube.  They shot great at 25 yards.

The jury is still out as to wether a .30 W.C.F. or .30-30  round ball load was ever available from Winchester or U.M.C.  My good friend, John Witzel who has an extended .30 W.C.F. / .30-30 cartridge collection (800+ different variations - headstamps, primers, bullets!)  has two of them. One has a U.M.C. headstamp which has a case cannelure about 1/8" down from the end of the case neck to keep the ball from being pushed further into the case. The ball protrudes about 1/3 of the way out of the case and is crimped in place.  The other has the W.R.A. Co. .30 W.C.F. headstamp and the top of the ball appears to be about 3/32" inside the case neck. There is no case cannelure.  John is not sure if they were  factory loaded or  if someone, made these up a long time ago.   None of the older catalogs either he or I have seen illustrate any factory rounds so loaded.

But interestingly, the 1897 Marlin catalog illustrates a round ball for use in reloading for the .30-30.  t is Ideal mold #30826.  The caption reads, "This is a round ball for indoor work or short range shooting. Use a light charge of powder, as too heavy a charge will cause the bullet to strip and leave the rifling."

Sincerely,
John
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys, I'll try it first chance I get and let you know how it goes. JTT IN NC
 

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30/30 loads

I'm trying the .311 round balls lubed w/ lee alox and between 2.9 and 4.5 gr Unique. The 2.9's are noticably quieter, they bury the ball in 3/4" pine. the 4.5's go through 2 3/4" pine boards. Will probably tend towrd the lower load as I work with them more. Using a bit of dacron pillow stuffing over the powder, and standard rifle primers. Unsized cases, neck expanded in Lyman "M" die, (310 tool), ball seated to leave about 1/3 out of case and crimped.
 

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Think every rifle I have (and most handguns) gets tried out with RB loads. There will be a speed past which the ball will just scattr...not a lot of bearing area, long jump to rifling, and soft alloy are going to have a definate upper vel. limit. Mostly load them as in John's post; ball about flush and the lube filling the space between ball and case neck...seems to put the lube where it will do the most good.

.30cal seems a cut of fpoint. Can get ball smaller than that, but it seems to get progressivly harder to get a decent shooting load, and the smaller ball just doesn't have the accuracy range.

But they are useful loads to have with you on a hunt...are times when you may want to "pink" something, but not make a lot of noise doing it.
 

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Tried it with a twist, used .350 dia muzzle loader balls pure lead, I was an apprentice die maker at the time with a need for making stuff. I got a 2 inch piece of stock drilled a 19/64 hole reamed with a 5/16 then a small taper reamer for a lead I made a .310 pin and would drive the .350 rb through effectively making elongated bullets, for my 30-30 can't remember to load but I can remember it was unique for the propellant. Crisco was the lube on hand. The cases I never resized just expanded the neck and seated the lead pill, after using one of the early lee decapping rods, and repriming. I did bag a few rabbits squirrels and an occasional ground dwelling partridge. Just to be that poor again makes me happy thinking about my past.
 

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One of my favorite small game loads is a round ball in a .357 H&R singleshot. I use 3-4 grains of Red Dot and seat the ball directly on top of the powder. I adjust the powder charge to keep velocity subsonic to make a very quite load. Even at subsonic velocity it is very effective on small game and varmints [ squirrels, jack rabbits, skunks, etc]

ribbonstone said:
Think every rifle I have (and most handguns) gets tried out with RB loads. There will be a speed past which the ball will just scattr...not a lot of bearing area, long jump to rifling, and soft alloy are going to have a definate upper vel. limit. Mostly load them as in John's post; ball about flush and the lube filling the space between ball and case neck...seems to put the lube where it will do the most good.

.30cal seems a cut of fpoint. Can get ball smaller than that, but it seems to get progressivly harder to get a decent shooting load, and the smaller ball just doesn't have the accuracy range.

But they are useful loads to have with you on a hunt...are times when you may want to "pink" something, but not make a lot of noise doing it.
 
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