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Hornady LEVERevalution & FTX Bullets??

15283 Views 27 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  dinger1
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.
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are you using lvr powder??
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.
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.
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.
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.

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.
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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.

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?
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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