Marlin 336/30-30 Accuracy

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by hombre243, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

    1,810
    5
    Here's one for you 336 30-30 shooters: I am building low velocity reloads for the 3030 and I also load deer (hunting) loads. I have loaded some plated bullets at about 1550 fps and got unacceptable accuracy...50 yards, 3 inch group. I'm going to keep working on these. I know I can improve but I do not expect much from them.

    But, I did fire some fair groups yesterday with 150 gr blems and some factory 150 flat points. I am wondering just how much accuracy can I expect from these leverguns?

    MOA? Bigger or smaller groups? In general, is a lever gun capable of tight 100 yard groups and can I expect anything better than 2-3" at 100 yards?
     
  2. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

    2,858
    43
    3" at 100 would be good for round nose bullets. Even 3" at 50 is OK for MOD ( Minute of Deer ). What configuration are the Plated bullets ?

    For 100 yards and under you might try some Heavier Bullets, They seem to do better at slower velocities, such as the 30-30 usually gives.

    When I tried the Lever-Revalation Hornady rounds It did improve the groups. Maybe some like bullets in reloads would do the trick. Of course all guns are different, even same model i.e. Marlin 336. Yours may not like that plated bullet, and it could very well shoot great in another 336.
     

  3. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

    1,810
    5

    Thanks SW. The plated bullets are .308/150gr. Not ideal. I would think .001-.002 would be better because of the thin skin and soft lead. The noses are flat like a factory round. I got them because I don't want to mess with the expense of gas checks. But, as mentioned, I may be able to coax a bit better accuracy by speeding them up a bit more.

    I have some LeverRevolution loads with 150gr flat points as well as some 170s. Haven't fired them yet, but next time out I will. If I could find some slightly bigger plated bullets I would grab a few hundred. A little more velocity may help obturate the base of the bullet better for a tighter fit down the tube; but I cannot go too fast because the thin copper skin can degrade and the bullet can slip on the Micro-Groove rifling. Sure do not want to clog the rifling with the copper or lead.

    It will just take time...I will work it out. Now that I know not to get too disappointed with the bigger groups, I can go shoot and have fun, and use KY windage and AR elevation.

    I also did some online researching and most responses say 2-3' @ 100 yards is acceptable, so if that's the case I will whittle the groups down and not be disappointed I can't get sub-MOA groups. Now that I had cataract surgery I am shootin one hole groups...ragged, but all touching, at 100 yds. with the Savage .308. I guess now I am spoiled, huh?

    One thing I did find was that many of these rifles can use some work on the forend stock. Generally, they're too snug on the barrel and the bands are too snug on the forend, which causes the barrel/stock to bind up too tight when the barrel heats up, and we all know how important proper barrel bedding is to accuracy. If the barrel cannot vibrate properly, the dog won't hunt.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  4. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

    2,858
    43
    There is a reason a WHOLE LOT of people shoot the .308 in matches, ect. And a reason NOBODY shoots a 30-30 in the same. ......
     
  5. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

    1,810
    5
    I just wanted to make sure I wasn't beatin a dead horse and wasting components. I already got better than 3" with good bullets. I know I can get at least 2 MOA and maybe 1.5. Already shot a lot of 3030s in TX and was surprised I did as well as I did.

    I will work up a few loads and settle for the best I get, then I will be done, unless I get horrible results. But, Leverevolution powder seems to be pretty good for hunting loads, and the plated ones are slow but Good enuf for now. I have been talkin to the XTreme bullet people and have some ideas.

    One more question...Is a .312 plated bullet too big for the Marlin Microgroove barrel? I got the ok to slim them down no more than .002 but I wonder in a .312 bullet will work. I like the idea of a tighter fit especially for this type of bullet.
     
  6. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

    1,965
    1
    I've loaded for over 45 years and with only one exception have I ever varied from recommended loads. ( I exceeded the Hornady recommended power load for FTX Bullets but was still within the recommendations for other bullets of the same weight - after carefully checking my bullet to lands gap.)(Not something that I would recommend for someone else)
    All of my load data manuals calls for the 30-30 to use a .308 bullet. That is what I would use. Better to error on the side of safety.
    JMHO for what it's worth. The 30-30 is a hunting rifle and not known for it's extreme accuracy. 2" MOA at 100 yards is exceptional for a hunting rifle.
    "It is what it is", enjoy it.
     
  7. SWO1

    SWO1 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporting

    2,858
    43
    My brother-in-law used the criteria of hitting an empty Scoal can at 50 yards with his dads 1957 Win 94. It worked for a lot of years and a lot of deer. The last 10 or so he has went to a .270 with optics, a pump Remington and 16X. And he has missed a few, as we all have .... ;)
     
  8. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

    1,810
    5
    I want to use soft lead/copper plated, as soft as lead bullets. I always read lead bullets should be at least 1-2 thou bigger.
     
  9. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

    1,965
    1
    I've heard that also, but can't say for sure.
    I've always loaded jacketed bullets at the upper range of velocity. My center fire rifle loads are for hunting and they punch paper (mostly) for sighting in or confirming zero. Don't know why I've always considered center fire rifles as a tool for hunting??? Could be the cost per round??
    Most of my target shooting has been with shotguns (for clay birds), handguns (all types & sizes), black powder rifles and 22 rim fire rifles.

    Now a days, with the cost/availability of ammo and my failing eye sight, the amount of my shooting has really been reduced.