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170gr 30/30 FP on a .308

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Deaf Smith, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. Any of you guys know of a good load to use with a Hornedy 170gr 30/30 FP bullet?

    I'm going to be in some woods this weekend and I want a load that will be less likely to exit the deer than a standard .308 load. So I figure my 170gr flat point 30/30 slugs might do the trick.

    The powder I have on hand is Varget.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. Frizzen

    Frizzen NRA Benefactor

    Oct 27, 2005
    North Louisiana
    The 170 gr. Flat Nose bullet is designed for 30-30 velocities. Pushing them to .308 velocities will cause over expansion and even bullet failure along with too much penetration.

    I would suggest using .307 Winchester data. The .307 Winchester is identical to the .308 Winchester except the .307 is a rimmed case and was designed for use in lever action rifles. The .307 calls for flat nose bullets which are mostly designed for the 30-30. Velocities around 2200 to 2400 fps will be ideal for the 170 gr. FN bullet and falls within the .307 Winchester parameters. Following .307 load data will keep you away from reduced load problems. The .307 cartridge was introduced in the early 1980's in the Winchester M94AE.

    Speer and Hornady manuals as well as others list good .307 data. Varget is too slow and not listed for the .307. Faster powders such as W748 are ideal.

    Good luck,
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010

  3. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    Hodgdon's website has reduced recoil loads on it that should be good for what you want to do. So does Speer 13, and probably later Speer manuals.
  4. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004


  5. Cause I want a load that will be less likely to exit the deer than a standard .308 load!

    Where I hunt my shooting options are very restricted due to a new outer loop highway. So I want that bullet if possible to not exit the deer!

    Now today I used 41.5gr of Varget and that Ruger shoot real well at 25 yards. I've now upped the load to 43.5 and will test tomorrow. If the groups are still dime size I'l stop there. I'll be hunting in woods as the shot will be at 50 yard or less shot.

    My Ruger compact .308 has a 16 inch barrel. I suspect the 170gr FP should exit out at 2400 to 2500 fps. Higher than the 2100-2200 fps from a 30/30 but not real high.

    At least from the other web boards I've checked a few who have done the same have had the deer drop right there when hit.

  6. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    This is not a place I would like to hunt.

    But if I had to.....

    I think I would go with Hornady 30 Cal .308 110 gr V-MAX. They shouldn't exit the deer. But will they get sufficient penetration.

    I think the 170gr flat point for 30-30 may exit like a round lead ball not stopping in the deer and not be a stopper either.
  7. phonejack


    Jun 28, 2009
    +1 for "deaf smith", been using it for years
  8. NonPCnraRN


    Aug 6, 2010
    The best bullet for what you want is the Sierra 125 gr FP HP. Load your 308 with up to 38 gr of H4895. This is from the Hodgdon Youth Loads but they used a 125 gr Nosler Boattail bullet. The Sierra HP will probably not penetrate but you might lose the deer if you hit it in the shoulder. This would be for a heart lung chest shot only. If you anticipate a shoulder shot then the 125 gr Sierra FP soft point is the one you want. Hodgdon recorded a velocity of 2592 fps with the Nosler bullet. Note: If this velocity is too fast, Hodgdon has a 60% rule for H4895 powder only. You multiply the max load of H4895 for any given bullet weight by 60% to get a reduced / target/ plinking load. Using the Hodgdon manual the max charge for the Sierra 125 gr FN SP is 49.0 gr. So, 49.0 x 0.60 (60%) = 29.4 gr of H4895. So the load you want is somewhere between 29.4 gr and 38.0 gr of H4895. Again, the 60 percent rule is to be used with H4895 only. I would try for about 2300 fps using a chronograph. If the velocity is too fast the bullet will fragment instead of mushrooming. Being a FP the trajectory will be more like a 30-30 than a 308 Win. Hope this info helped. Good luck.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010