Hornady LEVERevalution & FTX Bullets??

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by greyhawk50, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    How many here have tried the Hornady LEVERevalution???
    I have bought both the 30-30 and the .35 rem. but haven't tried then at the range.
    Because I Reload;
    I have, however, tried the Hornady FTX bullets. My only complaint is that Hornady's recommended load data is about 200 fps slower than the Factory Ammo.
    Because of my age and physical problems, my hunting isn't what it used to be nor near what I would like it to be. Just the way it is.
     
  2. oldbrass

    oldbrass Well-Known Member

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    are you using lvr powder??
     

  3. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    I used H4895 because it was on-hand at the time and I could use it in both the 30-30 & the .35 rem.The LVR Powder came out after the fact. Actually, when I first loaded the rounds, Hornady hadn't released any Load Data.
    Both rifles fill the out-of-state hunting requirement and aren't used for target practice. Normally, I work up a load, test as needed and calibrate the optics. Then it sits in the safe until there is an opportunity for a hunt.
     
  4. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    As I think back, I have Factory Rounds (both Remington & Hornady) for both rifles. That ammo is stock piled. My normal shooting is done with reloads. Prior to the FTX, I was using the H4895 behind a Sierra 125 gr. FNHP in the 30-30 and Hornady 180 gr. XTP in the .35 rem. Both shot very well from a hunting perspective. The 30 cal. 125 HP works well for Coyote in my state and the .35 cal. 180 XTP was to be used on the smaller PA. deer, although I wasn't able to confirm it.
     
  5. oldbrass

    oldbrass Well-Known Member

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    Never used the lvr ammo, the lvr powder has the load data on the container. I`m planning on trying a box to see if I like it and if so start loading it. Right now I`m loading hornadys 170gr interlock with Imr 3031 and it shoots well, but very curious to try something new. What I hear is some guns like it and some don`t.
     
  6. mainecat

    mainecat Active Member

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    Hogdons load data (can label and manual) for the 35 rem using LE powder is as close to LE factory velocity as I can get..

    I like the long range performance of the ftx bullets, but only at max distances.. It doesn't seem to have the knock down on deer at shorter ranges like the Rem 200gr core-lokts or Speer 180gr..
     
  7. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure about the .35 rem.
    I haven't seen the new Hornady Load Data since the LVR powder came out. I still have H4895 to burn before I buy any new stuff. I'd be interested to know how it works for you.
    I've harvested deer in Pa. with the 30-30 and wasn't pleased with the expansion of the core-lokt ammo. I had trouble with pass thru and required tracking. The FTX should expand better and shoot flatter. Deer in Pa. are small and weigh about 200# live weight.
    As for the .35, from what I've heard, should hit plenty hard regardless of the bullet. Lord willing, someday I'll have a chance to try it out.
     
  8. 1895gunner

    1895gunner Well-Known Member

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    I've reloaded about 1,000 rounds each of the FTX in 444 and 45/70 in the short cases. I don't own a crony however I was very happy with the performance. I loaded over H4198 which is my go-to powder for the 450, 45/70, 444.

    I've since gone to full size brass and other loads. Two reasons, more options on loads & boolits..... and the price of the FTX!

    1895gunner
     
  9. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Word of caution.

    Just a word of caution when loading the Hornady FTX Bullets.

    It's important to note that Hornady® FTX™ bullets have a longer ogive that requires some cartridge cases to be trimmed more than normal to achieve critically important Cartridge Overall Length (C.O.L.). When handloading for leverguns, C.O.L. is critical to proper function, so extra care must be taken to ensure reloaded ammunition matches prescribed specifications.

    http://www.hornady.com/support/downloads/load-data

    For example; The 30-30 case needs to be trimmed an extra .010" as does the .35 rem.
    I had bought some 225 gr. FTX for a Browning mod. 92 and gave them to my son because the 44 mag. required an extra .020" just to allow for proper feed.
    The main problem is assuring that you have proper "free space" (gap) between the ogive and the rifling. The bullet must sit back away a few thousands to prevent excessive chamber pressure. It builds pressure to start the bullet in motion and pressure to force the bullet into the rifling. This should NOT happen at the same time.
    There are 2 ways to check this. Crude but effective.
    1; Without a primer or powder, partially seat the bullet in the sized case. Lever it into the chamber until it is closed. Eject the round and see how much distance there is from the end of the case to the crimp groove. Use a bullet puller to pull the bullet.
    2; Use a dowel rod that will fit down your barrel. Insert a bullet into the chamber and hold it against the rifling with a flexible rod. Stick the dowel in the barrel until it contacts the bullet and mark the rod with a razor blade. Remove the bullet and close the action. Drop the dowel in until it contacts the bolt face. Mark it again. That will give you the over-all case length with the bullet and you need to subtract the desired free-space (bullet to rifling gap).
    I not an expert but I have researched this at length.
    Any comments are welcome.
    Grey
     
  10. Rooster59

    Rooster59 Well-Known Member

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    I've used the factory Hornady LE ammo in 30-30 and 45-70. Works fine for deer sized and smaller critters. Not sure I'd go up against a bear or large hog with it.

    I bought a box of 325LE bullets to try out but haven't gotten around to reloading them. Got back into 30-30 ownership last month. Would like to try the 30-30 for yotes and 200 yard deer hunting. I think I'll try some recipes for 125-130gr round nose bullets or maybe some spitzers as a two shot rifle. Failing that I could always resort to the gummy nose bullets.

    Since acquiring the 30-30 I'll retire my 1895CB to woods deer hunting at 125yds or less with 405 hardcast bullets. I may load up the LE bullets for my wife with loads less than Hornady levels to keep the recoil down for her. She can handle them at the low end of the load data scale but not at 2,050 fps. They would fly flatter than the Rem 405SP she is currently using. Regardless, I'll be using IMR4198 for the 325LE handloads. Not as interested in going full scale with LE's to invest in another powder.
     
  11. Fomdiddle

    Fomdiddle Well-Known Member

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    I have not been able to match the accuracy of FTX bullets in any of my lever action rifles. Fom
     
  12. Rooster59

    Rooster59 Well-Known Member

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    What are you reloaders of FTX bullets doing for a crimp? I can't get the LE brass up far enough into my Lee FCD to put a crimp on the brass.
     
  13. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    My 30-30 dies are RCBS and my .35 Rem. dies are Lyman. They both are 2 Die Sets & I use the Seating Dies only for the final process. I set the Die so it doesn't crimp & move the Seating Plug to achieve the recommended OAL. Then, as a separate & final step, I back the Seating Plug out and move the Die down until it gives me the desired crimp.
    As per Hornady's recommendations, all the 30-30 & 35 Rem. cases are trimmed .010 shorter than normal. I've not experienced any problem like the one you're talking about. :confused::confused::confused:
    I hope this helps and you are able to find a solution.
    Although I'm not using LE brass. The brass that I have were originally Rem. 200 gr. Core-Lokt.

    Grey
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  14. Rooster59

    Rooster59 Well-Known Member

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    I shot a lot of LE when it was only available as a factory loaded round so I have lots of their shorter brass. No need to trim good standard length brass.

    The Lee Pacesetter die set comes with a factory crimp die. From what I can tell by playing with the bullet seating die, in that set the seating die doesn't have a crimp capability due to the inclusion of the FCD. At least it looks that way in my .45-70 set.

    I think I've read on another forum where someone milled down the bottom end of their Lee FCD to shorten it enough to crimp LE brass, but it would likely be too short to use on non-LE brass.

    I was just curious as I have some 325gr LE bullets for my 45-70 and was going to try them until I put some LE brass into the crimp die to finish some dummy rounds. I kept crimping but no crimp showed up on the brass. I was crimping the bullet just above the brass mouth! The Lee FCD is designed to ignore slightly un-uniform brass lengths by crimping at a predetermined length rather than the crimp engaging at the case contact point.
     
  15. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    By my thinking, there are a couple options.
    1. "mill down the bottom end of your Lee FCD to shorten it enough to crimp LE brass" and then use the Lock Nut to achieve the proper crimp on whatever you are loading?
    2. Find a used 2 die set at a gun show for $15 -$20 and use it for the LE Loads?

    Just my thoughts. If you figure it out, maybe you'll share with the rest of us?
    Grey
     
  16. Rooster59

    Rooster59 Well-Known Member

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    Will do. I have an email in to Lee right now. Let you know what they say. I really like the FCD and would hate to resort to normal crimping dies. I know a lot of people use them but I'm just hooked on the FCD.
     
  17. Rooster59

    Rooster59 Well-Known Member

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    Looked through their FAQ page while waiting for a response. Found this posted Nov 2011:

    Our standard PaceSetter Full Length Sizing 45/70 die set will not work on 45/70 Hornady LEVERevolution Brass.
    The Bullet Seating and Powder Through Expanding dies need to be shortened in order to reload this brass. We can make the modification here at the factory for $15.00 + $5.25 shipping and handling.
    We would need you to send in your Bullet Seating and Powder Through die and an example case or the difference in length from where the case contacts the shell holder between standard 45/70 brass and the Hornady LEVERevolution brass.
    Our address:
    Lee Precision, Inc.
    4275 Highway U
    Hartford, WI 53027

    If that is the case then the die wouldn't be usable for non-LE brass as the crimp action is caused by the shellholder contacting the bottom of the die's collet tube. I would end up with an LE only FCD and powder thru expanding die. Hmmmmmm. You don't find that out until you have spent $36 on a box of LE bullets. Not sure I want to end up with two bullet-specific dies that I couldn't use for any other load. Probably cheaper to buy a Hornady set and use their crimper.

    What to do.....what to do.
     
  18. Rooster59

    Rooster59 Well-Known Member

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    Wait a minute. They are saying the bullet seating and powder thru expanding dies. Nothing said about the FCD. I'm confused. The seater works fine for my bullet seating lengthwise. I can see the powder thru expander die because it spaces on the ram shell holder. But the Lee FCD spaces on the shell holder too.

    Better wait for the email response..........

    Sent an email to Hornady also to see what they say. I imagine Hornady's typical set, or the Lee standard rifle die set would work when adjusted properly but I'm not sure. I believe Hornady offers a different bullet seating die for the FTX to minimize deformation of the plastic tip.

    I'll keep you posted.
     
  19. JohnnyLoco

    JohnnyLoco Well-Known Member

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    I don't reload but...

    The 35 version is the one I've been most satisfied with out of 450,30-30, and 35. I can tell you on 30-30 I used to shoot the Lever-E with mixed results and after some bad lots went to Winchester Powermax which hits hard.

    I've not tried the 140gr GMX myself but have witnessed the stuff about 25 times as of this writing and I think its the best 30-30 bullet ever created.
     
  20. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Here are the Test Targets for my .35 Rem. FTX using H4895. Keep in mind that this rifle does not have optics, only the original Iron Sights.
    This is an example of the accuracy but doesn't reflect how the FTX would perform on live game.
    The first target is 4 shots at 25 yards with Iron Sights.
    The second target is 5 shots at 100 yards with Iron Sights.
    My problem is that the Hornady recommended load is slower than the Factory Loads. So. why spend the extra money for the FTX if you have to settle for less performance???
    Just thought I would share.
     

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