LEVERevolution and micro groove barrel

Discussion in 'Lever Action' started by smokeit, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. smokeit

    smokeit Member

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    Looking for feedback on this. I have a new 45/70 1895 and 336w 30-30. I heard that the Hornady Leverevolution was the cats meow for lever guns, so got 200 rds for each.
    The 45/70 loves this stuff 10 shots at 100yds shoots the 1" bull right out, wish I could find the magic combination on my reloads, getting close but not there yet, talked to Hornady and they won't say what powder they use other than it is not Leverevolution that is specifically formulated for the 30-30 and maybe another caliber can't recall now.
    Alas to my issue with the 30-30 and micro goove barrel. I can not get the Hornady Leverevolution to stay on the paper let alone group. Thought it was the scope twice, on 3rd new and different brand of scope. Got some rem, win, federal in 150 and 170's to run tests on them all, each gun is unique, it is not the scope as the other brands I can get groups with and keep on the paper at 100. I did find that this gun seems to like the 170's best. The Federal factory 170's gave me the best group at 1 1/4 -1 1/2" at 100yd. Factory 150's came second.
    I then started load developement. Again 170's came in with the best groups, got a 170 load with 1" grps worked out so that's a keeper. On to the FTX 160 with the Leverevolution powder. I started mid range and worked up, loads where as dismal as factory, started working down. I finally got a decent grp 1 1/2-1 3/4" at the very least listed powder charge. Now that load is hitting 9" below factory Federal 170's and 8" below my 170 developed load.
    This is my theory. The boat tail ftx bullet with less bearing surface than the 170 coupled with the micro groove barrel with the lands not as high as a standard rifled barrel will not stabalize the ftx bullet at the higher velocities. (That may also be why the 170 factory beat out the 150 factory as the 150 probably has less bearing surface and is certainly going faster).
    Any one out there finding similar results, or experience.
    I have seen utube videos of 30-30 shooting the horn lvr ftx ammo out to 300yds however they where not using Marlins.

    Safety Note: I found that the Hornaday Leverevolution was giving primer flow and some extractions where very very hard, indicating that the loads are too hot. I found this also to be true with other Calibers and Hornady Superformance Ammo that I have used.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  2. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Enter at your own risk. If you see pressure signs or use powder/load combinations counter to the factory recommendations, I for one will not help you, other than to say, use a different powder and if you still see pressure signs have your rifle looked at.
     

  3. smokeit

    smokeit Member

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    Thanks Hombre, those pressure signs where with the Hornady factory 30-30 Leverevolution ammo, have had no issue with the 45/70 factory loads as of yet. I hit pressure signs before getting to max loads with Hornady's latest reloading manual with Hornady cases, Hornady Ftx 160 and Leverevolution powder and stopped at that point and disassembled the higher test loads that I had. Didn't matter as things just got worse the higher the velocity.
     
  4. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Just be safe. I use Leverevolution Powder a lot in my Mossberg 464 30-30. I used it in my Marlin 336 before I sold it. I have shot a lot of factory ammo of all kinds except factory Leverevolution rounds, and I have not yet used the FTX or other Hornady LVR bullets.

    I do not know if it is true, but, I did read somewhere that Marlin may not be rifling their 3030s with the Micro-Groove rifling. Pose that question here and ask. Mine was Micro Groove and it was great.

    Aside from that, how old is your rifle? Are you sure you are not having headspacing problems. That can look like high pressure. It could be the rifle. My opinion before you do anything else: Have a gunsmith check headspace.

    Do you get pressure signs with other reloads?

    Question about your FTX loads? In fact all your reloads: How tight are your crimps? If you make sure your cases are all trimmed to the same proper length and crimp them firmly, not super heavy but good and snug, pressures will build and seal the case in the chamber before the bullet is released to travel down the barrel. If the crimp is soft, pressures are sporadic which affects performance. Make sure your seating depth is right for the LVR bullets. I have heard that some dies cannot adjust down far enough to seat the bullet down into the case neck far enough, and if the crimp is not good and solid, that combination can cause low pressure problems. AND low pressures can cause symptoms similar to high pressures.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  5. smokeit

    smokeit Member

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    The gun is brand new, 7months old, and does have a micro groove barrel. I am not having any issues with any other factory loads or any of my other tested reloads, so do not feel headspace is an issue.

    I have tried the Lvr powder in some other reloads as listed in the reloading manuals but found it did not preform as well as some other powders, so didn't pursue it further, did not have any pressure signs using it with those other loads.

    The only combination I am having issues with is this Hornady 160 ftx, I am using the Hornady Loading Manual latest edition, as it is their bullet and combined developed powder and is designated for modern lever action rifles. They are loaded to the specs, they are seated to the proper depth, note that the 160 ftx comes in 2 variants one is for the 30-30 and the other for the 308 Marlin Express. If you use the one for the Marlin express by accident and seat to the crimp groove it is too long to go through the 30-30 action.

    They are crimped the same as my other reloads and I have no problem with any of them, so crimp pressure shouldn't be the issue. I have no control over Hornady's crimping on their factory ammo.

    The 30-30 unlike the 45/70 does not have to have the cases shortened to use the ftx bullet.

    This gun just will not shoot the ftx 160 in either factory or reloads that are in the equivalent factory velocities of other 30-30 ammo. It has to be downloaded so far to get it to group that it does not make sense to use it, you do not gain any of the acclaimed benefits of this bullet in so doing, and with the reduced velocity I believe it will not have the needed hitting power to function properly and kill cleanly.

    If anyone has used this bullet with success in a Marlin 30-30 I would like to hear from you. If I do hear of such I'm willing to say that it has the old standard rifled barrel, not a micro groove.

    Anyone else got experience with this bullet they can share?
     
  6. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    I would like to see some of your good as well as bad targets. Would you post some? Is this the load data you use? This is showing 2300fps as max vel for reloads. Factory is faster.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  7. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    I have a 1975 444s. with the gummy bear tips on the revolution and the accuracy worked pretty good if you use a smooth motin with the lever
     
  8. smokeit

    smokeit Member

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    Yes that is the load data, i'm using Hornady 9th Edition Manual.
    Factory box touts 2400fps, but we know loading manuals reduce the loads to build a safety factor in.
     
  9. smokeit

    smokeit Member

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    4D4, thanks for the response, the Lvrevolution ammo in my 45/70 works better than anything I have come up with so far. Your 1975 444 I believe is standard rifled barrel the same as my 45/70, and I would expect that it also will shoot these ftx gummy tips. What I'm trying to confirm/ establish is the Micro Groove barrel not Grouping these ftx bullets unless you load them down to minimum loads, which defeats the whole purpose of their design.
     
  10. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    This may not help, but, I just was informed on another forum that the gummy tips on the 3030 will deform by pushing in a cartridge with the tip of the next shell, and also in the tube the tips deform just from the pressure of the cartridges being pressed by the spring. Have you tried feeding one at a time directly into the chamber to see if that helps accuracy? The 45/70 probably has a fatter point and maybe it holds up better under pressure. What the heck. Won't hurt to try. (I have no answer for the pressure problems...I hope I ma not getting posts intermingled here, if so...ignore)
     
  11. smokeit

    smokeit Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions Hombre. I have been single loading, and inspecting each one as fired for signs of trouble. This slows things down and helps keep the barrel cooler for the target string. I have loaded the mag and cycled them through to ensure they cycled ok and got no jams. Did not see any deformation on the tips from this.

    I got 500 rds and 6+ lbs of powder left so will play to find the best group with the reduced loads, and use it up for plinking. Easy enough to adjust sights up (9-10") when you know how much. Will not purchase any more lvrevolution ammo for this gun.

    As this is the Marlin forum I was hoping to see a number of replies from users with this ammo in their 30-30. Maybe they will come in time. I had read so many rave reviews of this ammo in 30-30 but they did not mention what brand gun was used. Maybe I'll have to check some other forums and see what winnie, henry and browning users have to say about it, those are all standard rifled barrels as opposed to the micro groove barrel.

    My conclusion at the moment is, the Micro Groove (lands not as deep) barrel coupled with the boat tail ftx bullet (less bearing surface) will not stabilize the bullet at any thing above Minimum velocities (1900fps).

    Thanks for all your input guys.
     
  12. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Lead is the same way. With Micro Groove rifling it is recommended to keep the velocities down around 1600 fps or so.

    I have a Mossberg 464. One of these days I will try the FTX bullets. Right now I am having trouble with my shots stringing. I am thinking though that it has more to do with the barrel bouncing. Either the rest is too hard, the barrel is too light and I am resting the gun in the rest with the rest too near the muzzle. Got to try everything or I will never know. It is usually the simplest answer.
     
  13. smokeit

    smokeit Member

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    It has been some time and a lot of testing. Here is what I have discovered. Hombre in regards to your last post of single loading so as not to deform tips, that is exactly what I was doing so deformed tips is not the issue.
    I picked up a Mossberg 464 in 3030 and started working with that one. The Mossberg is a button rifled barrel and it shot the factory ftx lrvevalution fair but still not grouping and getting hard extratactions on some rounds.
    I figured why not pull apart a factory round and see what powder charge they are using as it is the lvr powder that they are using. OMG the charge varied by 4 grains on the 10 shells I disassembled, YES not 0.4 grains a full 4 grains. As reloaders we know what 0.5 grains can do to a load. Now I know why some were giving pressure signs and hard extractions and others where not, also why I can't get them to group.
    I loaded up my work up loads for the Mossberg and came up with a load near the top end that gives me a 1" group with these ftx bullets and lvr powder.
    I also have come up with a load for the Marlin 336 3030 using 170gn bullets and another powder that is giving me 1.25 - 1.5 groups and is considerably faster than factory 150 and 170 loads poi is 6-8 inches above the factory and on par with the ftx. So I load 170 for the Marlin and ftx for the Mossberg.
    My conclusion is this, the Marlin Micro Groove barrel does not stabilize the ftx bullets to be able to achieve decent groups, where as standard rifled barrels will.

    A side note: The ftx bullet retrieved from my deer worked as it should, mushroomed perfectly couldn't ask for more, 98% retained weight. Shot went through both shoulders, double lung at 150 yds, when skinned it was found imbedded in the hide on far side .

    Hope this helps some others out there trying to get the ftx to work with their Marlin Micro Groove barrels.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  14. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    Im wondering if the tension of the spring is messing on the tips
     
  15. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    I have set the 464 aside until hunting season is over. I loaded some loads with 125 gr, 150 gr and 170 gr. But that was a few months ago and I don't remember now what manufacturers bullets I loaded with. A few were coated lead and most jacketed flat nose. I never made it to the range after hunting started, but now I have got the hairy idea to use the 3030 on coons as well as coyotes.

    Loaded for low velocity my 464 seems to shoot ok. Not great but ok...and using the lead bullets may work out. I can't use it for deer in Iowa but coons and coyotes won't like it one bit if they get hit with some heavy lead bullets.

    I have to keep testing. But that will be in the spring. I got a new shotgun and did all my hunting so far this year with it, except for the one day I used my old Charles Daly 20 ga. I got 2 squirrels and a coon and a sore shoulder. I was using 3" heavy loads because of the distances, and it gave me a memorable hunt and a sore shoulder.

    My new shotgun is a Mossberg Maverick 12 ga. I ordered a 24" barrel later and a TruGlo adj. choke but have not used it yet. The standard 28" barrel worked great but is a bit long for my preferences. Next in line is a 20" with a TruGlo Choke. I am having a lot of fun using the new shotty. Hunting is a lot more fun when I can hit what I shoot at.

    I am hoping the 464 will get jealous and start to behave.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016