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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve done a couple of searches and haven’t been able to get the information I am interested in.
Reading the tenth addition of The Hornady handbook of cartridge reloading, it shows minimum loads of leverevolution powder of 27.7 grains up to max loads of 37 grains.
In the interest of saving powder and bullets I am hoping some of you fine people could help me with loads that have been successful for you using these bullets and this powder.
I am shooting a Winchester model 94 with a 20” barrel.
Any info and experiences you provide will be greatly appreciated.
 

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I'm not a fan of the 160 gr. Hornady ftx bullets, I have reloaded them. I just don't like what they do. I used IMR 4895 powder and RL15. This year at 80 yards I hit a 8 point buck in the bread basket with the RL15, 31gr load, he didn't fall, he ran for 100 yards and just stood there against a tree. I worked my way around him to get another shot and hit him in the BB again at 40 yards. He just kind of looked at me for about 30 seconds and then fell over not dead, he finally died. Maybe he was a tough *** deer but this has never happened to me before using 170gr core-locks bullets.
Cleaning him it looked like I didn't get any expansion and they just went through. I don't know but it was strange.
 

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Load recipes come with a range of charge weight. The low end is generally a minimum for the powder, and below that you may have problems. Poor ignition, poor accuracy, or in some examples, bullets stuck in the bore. The upper end of the range is where the load began to exceed SAAMI pressure specification in the test firearm.

If you don't have pressure testing equipment, or a chronograph, (velocity is a rough indicator of pressure), it's prudent to stay within those limits.

I also try to cut wasteful testing. Most recipes are fine as safety goes above the middle of the range. I start in the middle. For my own use, if that's not the case, I change powders. Velocity is important for minimizing drop, and loss of effective bullet performance at longer ranges. The low end isn't where I get acceptable velocity, and usually accuracy.

Where will you find a sweet spot? That is up to the handloader to determine in their firearm. Some recipes fed to a individual firearm don't have a sweet spot, poo happens. Start over with another powder. Or, another bullet, primer, etc.

Without a doubt, you'll get several responses that this or that load shoots flies off the target at 200yds and kills ten point bucks dead at 500yds. It doesn't mean that it will work, at all, in your M94. That's what handload development is all about.
 

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I've three times run into load data that had a beginning load that was already at or above a reasonable limit for the gun involved. When you see some published data whose starting load exceeds another source's maximum load, you get a sense that this can happen. It's not common, but it is out there. So I always start at the bottom, but I don't expend much ammo on it. Just one round. If that goes OK, I increase it by 2% of the published maximum and shoot one more. It that seems OK I go up another. By round number six, I am on maximum and done. If I got pressure signs in between, then I will investigate there to see if the fault is the pressure or just that the case or primer or whatever is showing the sign is at fault.

The chronograph is, indeed, a blessing in this situation. If your velocity, adjusted to account for the difference between your barrel length and the barrel length of the test gun it came from, is lower, then your pressure is lower and you are good to go. But if you get higher velocity than the test gun, your pressure is higher, and it will be disproportionately higher. That is, merely lowering the charge until your velocity matches will not lower peak pressure to a match. The difference is unlikely to be very large, but it will be there. This happens because part of a bullet's speed comes from its acceleration at the pressure peak, and part comes from its acceleration after the peak and moving out to the muzzle. When you use a lower charge, you are making less gas which means the muzzle pressure drops. So if you are getting the same velocity with less powder, you are getting it with less muzzle pressure which means the difference is being made up at the peak by having the peak higher.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I appreciate the words of caution and all the other comments.
Thank you!
I have done my homework and read through several loading manuals in hard copy and online.
I mentioned the Hornady manual as it seemed most relevant as I guess the Hogdon’s would be as well.
Although, it is interesting the difference in data.
But, I don’t want to Segway onto other avenues of discussion and would like to continue with the intent of my original post which is experiences with loading these ftx bullets with this leverevolution powder.
Thank you again for your posts and I hope to see some more!
Twohawks11 is online now
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I know this does not pertain to Reverevolutin but may be of interest to you if you are hitting the field. I am currently loading that same bullet and hunting it in an older Mod 94. The pointy end does not facilitate feeding as the first bullet in seems to cant and hold up. Ive been feeding a factory 170RN in first, and hoping I don't need the 4th shot! your experience may differ.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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If you are loading for a lever gun, there are so many variables with forearm attachment, barrel bands, and whatnot that it is just something you are going to have to fiddle with yourself. "Pet Loads" might be somewhat interchangeable for bolt guns with the same bedding and barrel length..... forget about that with lever guns. Even how tightly attached / bedded the buttstock is, can make a significant difference in accuracy.

Anyways read Nick's post, just work up.
 

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In the case of 160gr FTX bullets (the ones for 30/30, not 308ME) and LVR powder, the load data is printed right on the container. I worked up from a MIN charge to just a grain or shy of MAX and found a good accuracy node...better than I typically expect from a lever-action rifle. My dad used that load last month to harvest his first buck in several years. The bullet seemed to perform perfectly, entering where it was aimed, expanding and exiting. The buck went perhaps 40 yards and did not suffer unduly.
 

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Forgot to ask, is your 94 scoped? My Marlin (scoped) likes the bullet, and has accounted for a couple of deer I think.

Edit: that was factory ammo, by the way (the horrors!). Hornady of course with that bullet. I went to looking for my load data and realized I'd never worked up any loads for that bullet, although I have several boxes. 6 more rounds then it's off to the loading bench I go.....
 

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I load that 160gr FTX and like the bullet. Can't help with powder because, although I have 2lb of Lever powder, I haven't used any yet. I've been using AA2520 and RL15. Both are fine so I don't know when I'll get to try the Lever powder.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my comments
It was not my intent.
And, I was not offended by anyone’s comments.
I’m not trying to be lazy and just “steal” from others or throw shirt together for the sake of “that’s what others do”.
I don’t post a lot as I’m not nearly as knowledgeable as a lot of individuals are here.
But, I do frequent this site everyday and gather as much information as I can before I make (somewhat) educated decisions. (Former educator here)

I feel that the experiences of others are very important to my search for knowledge on a specific topic as I can use that with the data and “rules of the game” to formulate my baseline.

Now, as I read these comments, which I truly do appreciate, I realize that there is a lot of variables involved (big surprise)
I failed to mention that I am looking for MOPP accuracy as I am shooting with peep sights.
(Minute Of Paper Plate)

I do have experience in reloading as I reload for my REM 700 chambered in 30-06.
And can shoot 3” groups at 300 yds with a five shot group, as I have actually done that (and that is the longest distance at my shooting range)

I had purchased a bunch of the Hornady FTX bullets and the leverevolution powder to start loading for my 94 after having shot the factory cartridge and liking the results.
(The gun shop owner who I bought the rifle from recommended them as he said that they shot well out of this particular rifle which his son previously owned)
Now that you can’t purchase any ammunition in my area and with the winter being here I felt that it was time to get some loads made and develop something that I can use for this rifle so that I can use it more this coming year.
There, that’s my story!
Again I hope I didn’t offend anyone
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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No worries, I would have given you my load data.... except for not having any :) I had an idea that I had loaded that bullet - but it was in .35 Rem, not .30-30. Still on the to-do list.

Lever guns.... can take a lot of tweaking to figure out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No worries, I would have given you my load data.... except for not having any :) I had an idea that I had loaded that bullet - but it was in .35 Rem, not .30-30. Still on the to-do list.

Lever guns.... can take a lot of tweaking to figure out.
yes they do!
Part of the fun I suppose ;)
 

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Twohawks, this is what I do. I load rifle in groups of 20, and so can load 4 series of 5 rounds to see how the loads are doing. Maybe start at your 27 grains (min charge) and load 5, then 5 more at 28 gr, and 5 at 29 gr, etc, and see how they are grouping. Go back and start again with the same pieces of brass using 31gr for 5, 32gr for 5 more, etc. You will be watching for pressure signs as well as groups. As you begin approaching 35 or 36 grains, start loading in .5gr increments. Somewhere along the line you'll see where one charge weight seems to do better than the rest and you can start working around that charge and/or trying different primers if you want.. You probably already do something similar with your 30-06 so this will be natural.

I shoot Hornady's FTX bullets in 30-30 and 35 Rem, and their XTP bullets in 44mag. Good loads were found rather quickly in all of them because you generally remember when one rifle or one bullet design gives you trouble. Good bullets are expensive for me, so I remember! All those Hornadys shoot just fine giving me all the accuracy I need. So use your Leverevo powder as Hornady says and please report back, because I surely want to do something with my two kegs.
 
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I should add that my rifles are Marlin 336's and 1894 (44 mag), but your Winchester shouldn;t be much different especially if the owner said they found good loads with that bullet and powder. On top of that, Hornady uses a Winchester 94 to develop their data.

Also, I don't think I ever fussed about overall length in any of my lever loads, regardless of bullet. I just load them to length recommended for each particular bullet. AND, I do NOT shorten the case length as Hornady recommends (or used to).

Those 160gr FTX are loaded to 2.550" and both WLR and Wolf primers work well.
 
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I’ve done a couple of searches and haven’t been able to get the information I am interested in.
Reading the tenth addition of The Hornady handbook of cartridge reloading, it shows minimum loads of leverevolution powder of 27.7 grains up to max loads of 37 grains.
In the interest of saving powder and bullets I am hoping some of you fine people could help me with loads that have been successful for you using these bullets and this powder.
I am shooting a Winchester model 94 with a 20” barrel.
Any info and experiences you provide will be greatly appreciated.
I can't comment on the LeverEvolution powder, but have tried the 160 gr. FTX bullets and found that my 94 Winchester does not like them. By mistake I first got the 160 gr. FTX bullets for the 308 Marlin Express, and they shot fairly well. However, they could only be fired single-shot and were too long to feed from the magazine. When I got the proper FTX bullet for the 30-30, they would not shoot worth a darn. When seated to the cannelure so they'd feed through the action, in my rifle they ended up having a bullet jump in excess of 1/10th of an inch. So, I went back to using 150 gr. flat nose bullets which I can load longer than normal, get a more reasonable bullet jump, and still get them to feed through the action.
 

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I have worked up loads for two of my 30-30's with this bullet/powder combination. one 30-30 a 94 with 20" barrel, the other a 64a with 24" barrel. i would recommend the hodgdon website for load data information...they list a min of 32.0 gr. and max. of 35.5 gr.
my load recipe that offered the best combination of energy and velocity was at 34.8 grains for the 94, at 2240 fps which matched hornady factory rounds of this bullet in this gun (1790 ft-lbs of ME).
my load for the 64a was 34.6 gr. at a velocity of 2400 fps (2050 ft-ls of Muzzle Energy). the factory round in this rifle clocked slightly slower at 2345 fps.
I have not shot anything with these bullets out of either of these 30-30's, I'm not a real fan of them. I did shoot a nice buck with this bullet out of my .307 winchester in front of 41.7 gr. of Varget at about 2470fps (2164 ME) and the bullet disintegrated...but it was a neck hit at about 40 yds so i probably shouldn't expect any different.
I'm not a fan of how deep they sit in the case, stealing powder room. i like the 160 gr weight in general for these guns and have trimmed 165gr SPBT's to get a 160 gr, a little bit stronger bullet.
I'm sure these FTX bullets will kill deer. I have found that LVR provides my best velocities for any bullet i have tried in the 30-30.
good luck and have fun
CJ
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What I have done to this point is take info from multiple sources and figured out a starting load.
I use the OCW method for developing a load for my Remington 700 and have a recipe which I am very happy with for hunting and is consistently accurate up 300 yds which is the furthest target at my range and approximately the furthest I feel comfortable with in trying to take an animal at this time.
So with that said....
The Hornady manual list 37 grains of leverevolution as their max
I took that and backed off 10% which was 33.3 which I rounded up to 33.5.
I then loaded four rounds each of
33.5
34
34.5
35
35.5
36
I plan to shoot these at 50 yds and try to determine which load groups best while looking for pressure signs on the way up.
Once I get to the best grouping I may play around a little to see if I can tighten them up a bit more but as I may have mentioned I am shooting with a Williams peep sight and not a scope.
Once I feel comfortable then I’ll try them out to 100 and then 200 to see how they work. (But that will be for another day)

hopefully I’ll be able to get out today and see what happens
I’ll be back once I’ve completed the testing and let you know the results
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well I made it to the range today as the weather was going to be as good as it will get for the next couple of days.
I set up a six inch Birchwood Casey shoot NC target at 50 yds.
I first shot 3 factory rounds at the target aiming with the bead at the bottom 6 o’clock position.
Then I went through and shot my loads for each powder weight (4 rounds each)
The factory groups were about 1.5”
The 33.5 grain groups were low under the target and about 3” grouping
The groups from there rose on the target and tightened up the closer I got to 36 grains.
The best grouping I had was 36 grains.
100580

the first three shots are the clover leaf and the fourth was a flyer up and to the left.
All shots were off a lead sled and through Williams FP peep sights.
My next plan is to load up some more of the 36 grains and try them out to 100 yds and see how they do.
I still can, obviously adjust the sights a little better and get them into the center of the target but I intend to do that at 100
Any thoughts or comments are welcome, as I’m trying to learn as much from others experience as well as my experiences.
 
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