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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
One of very few bolt action 30/30 rifles ever produced was the Savage M340. Also sold as the Stevens M325, Springfield 840 and a few other names it was introduced in 1947 and discontinued in 1985. In its’ day it was the cheapest centerfire repeating rifle available, and that was about its’ only virtue and reason for existence.
My 1954 Shooter’s Bible lists the savage 340 at $48.75 while a Winchester M94 sold for $69.00 and a Savage M99 brought $109.00.
A 1986 catalog lists the 340 at $236.00, actually a bit more than the Winchester M94AE at $234.95. With that price increase the bargain basement M340 was no longer such a bargain, and with the Winchester now “scopeable” there was little market for the 340.
I recently acquired one of the Stevens 325C rifles as a project gun. I had always thought there was something odd and ugly about that rifle’s proportions. Something odd about the lines of the pistol grip and something ugly about the flat sided depth of the stock extending down to the bottom of the three shot single column magazine.

<O:p></O:p>My notion was to cut the bottom of the stock at the action area down to the bottom of the finger slots for the magazine. To do so required straightening the “floorplate” and shortening the trigger. <O:p></O:p>
With a cutoff wheel on the Dremel tool I cut approximately 1/4” out of the trigger and brazed it back together. <O:p></O:p>
I then cut the lower line of the stock down to the bottom of the trigger housing, sanded, stained and finished the stock. The buttplate has a chip out of one side and perhaps I will at some point replace it with a recoil pad but for now I left it as is.
It now weighs in at 6 ¼ pounds bare, 6 ¾ pounds complete with the old Weaver J-2.5 scope, a light, cheap scope of the same vintage and seemingly “fitting” to the old rifle.
For load development work however, I mounted a Nikon 3-9X40 to minimize aiming error. Below are some loads I have tried out. It was a windy day so I limited shooting to 50 yards. My first load was a winner, 34.0 grains of RL-15, a great powder for the 30/30, with the 170 grain Remington corlokt roundnose bullet chronographed 2254 fps with 5 shots in 0.63” at 50 yards.
Stepping up to 35 grains RL-15 produced 2295 fps and a group of 1.15” for 5 shots.
36 grains of RL-15 is a HOT load, 2390 fps and a group of 1.41”. I only fired 3 shots and two of them failed to extract. I had a 12” length of ¼” steel rod and when dropped down from the muzzle just one whack knocked out the fired case, obviously not real tightly stuck. This rifle’s extractor is the flimsiest little bit of stamped steel I’ve ever seen. At any rate I do not recommend this load, it is just a bit too much.
Still with the 170 grain Remingtons I also tried W-748, another good 30/30 powder.
35 grains gave me 2141 fps and a 50 yard five shot group of 1.18”.
36.0 grains of H-414 showed only 2057 fps but a still respectable group of 1.08”.
The second best group of the day was with Hornady 180 grain roundnoses over 34 grains of H-414 at only 0.89” but velocity was down to 1904 fps.
I also tried some 130 grain Speer flat points over 30 grains or RL-7 for 2502 fps. My old Savage 219 singleshot does well with that load and gets close to 2600 fps from its longer barrel but the bolt gun for some reason gave me a vertical string measuring 2.62” for only three shots at 50 yards.
When I get a day not too windy to shoot and not too cold to enjoy it I will try a few loads at 100 yards but so far I think it will be hard to beat the 34 grains of RL-15. I have some Speer 170 grain flat points with a ballistic coefficient of .304 that will be a good hunting bullet, although there is nothing wrong with the Remington corelokt bullets either. An odd thing I noticed with this rifle was that different loads shot to very different points of impact. Not just in the vertical plane as might be expected but a one grain difference in powder charge would move the group several inches left or right. Perhaps the barrel band causes that, I don't know.
In truth, I never really wanted a bolt action 30/30, I’ve been pleased with the old 219 singleshot. I got this rifle strictly as a project to see what I could make of it and after a bit more shooting I will have that resolved and it will probably be making an appearance on Gunbroker. It’s an interesting rifle and it works OK, it just isn’t for me. Below are before and after photos, click on photo to enlarge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well I did try a few loads with the rifle as I received it and 50 yard groups were in the 1 1/2-2" range. I think glass bedding did help. I noticed it testing the different loads that they shot to very different points of impact. With the same Rem 170 grain bullet increasing the powder from 34 grains RL-15 to 35 grains moved the group about 4 inches right even at only fifty yards. I'm thinking that durn barrel band makes it very ammo sensitive. Maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I can't complain about the accuracy, all but 130 grain bullet were under 3moa and a couple under 2moa at fifty and those were just starting loads, the first I came up with using the bullets and powders I have on hand. With a little refinement of the loads she might do even better.:)
 

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I've seen two different 340's in the 222 chambering that were among the most accurate rifles I've ever seen. Such beauty from such and unlikely package !!!! HD1
 

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I shoot clay pigeons at 200 yards consistantly with mine in 222. But it is a little front heavy for carrying for coyotes. I just was going to trade it off for a 223 stevens but the shop did want my 340 in trade. So I think I'm going to cut the barrel down to 22" and take some wood out of the forestock so it balances better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm surprised they didn't want your .222, that and .22 Hornet are scarce and sell for twice the price of a new Stevens. I'd swap a new Stevens for a Savage 340 in .222 any day, that is if I had any use for a .222. There are 14 of the 30/30's on Gunbroker today but I don't recall seeing any .222's in quite a while. You'd do better to sell yours outright, buy the Stevens if that's what you want, and pocket a bunch of change.:)
 

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Have a Springfield 840 in .222 and a Springfield 840 in .30-30. Both are in excellent condition and both are great shooters. If it's not workin' for you someone will pick it up from you as these rifles have a following.
Now to find a 22 Hornet, .225 Win, and .223 Rem. in the Springfield variant and I will have them all.
 
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