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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reloading for about 35 yrs but most of it has been for straight sided revolver and rifle cases, minimal experience with an AR.

What I am confident that I should always do is full length resizing and ensuring as with any firearm, that the primers are seated below flush with the base of the brass.

Are there any unique practices that should be applied to reloading for the Mini30? I will be using once fired Fiocchi brass. Thanks for any advice that you may offer. Don
 

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I can't think of any other must do rules for loading for gas guns other than those two. Everything else is preference. Some will tell you that you must crimp, but not so.
 

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The Mini really slams the action home. So much so that it has been known to destroy optics. If you do not have enough neck tension the bullet can creep forward or even come completely out of the case when it is slammed into the chamber. To prevent this I use the Lee Factory Crimp Die. It keeps the bullet secure during the violent cycling of the action and it can be used with or without a cannelure.

Run a test for yourself. Handload a few rounds and measure the OAL of each round. Load up the mag and fire one round, remove the newly chambered round and measure OAL again, see if it has become longer.

Stay away from really fast burning powders like 4227. Fast powders have less port pressure(gas) and may not cycle the action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Steve4102, what powder do you like? 4227 is one that shows up in reloading data. Thanks, Don
 

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Friend of mine has cooked up a round that my 581 Mini-30 is very happy with:
150 gr Sierra Match King BTHP .308
29.1 gr hodgdon BLC(2)
Case 1.520"
Overall 2.210"

rounds were made with once-fired Winchester white box brass. I belive he used CCI primers.
 

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not a 'must' but fast powder is best.
I disagree. Certain guns (think M1, M1A, mini 14,etc.) require a particular range of gas port pressure for optimum reliability and in some cases to prevent damage. Medium burning powders are by far your best choice here. Here are some that work very well:
IMR 4064
IMR 4895
H4895
H322 - meters well. less temp. sensative
W748 - meters well
Varget - less temp.sensative

Try to keep the burn rate somewhere between IMR 4198 and IMR 4350.

Give the crimp vs. no crimp a try. I've shot a lot of full power loads using bullets with no cannelure. Very rarely have I had a problem with bullet movement, but it does happen. The Lee factory crimp die does works well but I use it more on hunting rounds and lightly crimp for more consistent neck tension and (hopefully) more accuracy.

Some great bullets for the mini 30 that hardly anyone knows about can be found at Graf & Sons. They are Hornady V MAX 123 grain .310 caliber with cannelure. These are made exclusively for Graf by Hornady and available on their website.
 

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Friend of mine has cooked up a round that my 581 Mini-30 is very happy with:
150 gr Sierra Match King BTHP .308
29.1 gr hodgdon BLC(2)
Case 1.520"
Overall 2.210"

rounds were made with once-fired Winchester white box brass. I believe he used CCI primers.
Is that a compressed charge? I forget the capacity of the 7.62 x 39 case. Cause I'm looking into developing a load for my "30" but with a Barnes bullet. (They are recommending 4227 as well) Thanks!
 

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Winchester loaded their X39 ammo with 680 and I have loaded many handload w/it.
also used Varget, 4895 (both too slow IMO) and 322 (does OK but I prefer 680)
Lapua uses a fast powder (VV but can't recall the # of) in their X 39 cartridges, this is the best shooting factory ammo I've shot. but admittedly my M30 is nowheres near 'match' grade, just stock bbl and hand fitting mods.
 

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Winchester loaded their X39 ammo with 680 and I have loaded many handload w/it.
also used Varget, 4895 (both too slow IMO) and 322 (does OK but I prefer 680)
Lapua uses a fast powder (VV but can't recall the # of) in their X 39 cartridges, this is the best shooting factory ammo I've shot. but admittedly my M30 is nowheres near 'match' grade, just stock bbl and hand fitting mods.
Marlin 45,

According to VihtaVuori's lit. they recommend N120 for 123 gr (24.7 grs.) and 125 gr (23.9 grs.) bullets. ( It seems odd to me that they would want less propellant for a heavier bullet... But I'm on a steep learning curve.)

Is this the powder you're thinking of? Doesn't it have about the same burn rate as IMR 4198?
 

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yes, that's the one. It's even faster than 680. I think I'll check to see what AA is close to it, that's mostly what the gunshop nearest me stocks - VV is expensive.
 

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Steve4102, what powder do you like? 4227 is one that shows up in reloading data. Thanks, Don
I use a lot of different powders in my Mini-30. For lighter bullets(125gr and under) I like AA 1680, N-200, H-4198, AA 2015. For bullets 130gr and up I like VV N-130, H-322 and AA 2015.

I have tried IMR 4227 in my Mini-30 when it was in it's original form. It would cycle the action, sometimes. I installed an ASI adjustable gas block. With the gas block wide open it would cycle the action, sometimes. I had a custom barrel installed with adjustable gas block, again, cycle sometimes. IMR 4227 is just to fast and does not produce enough port pressure to cycle the action in MY rifle.

The data for IMR 4227 is all over the place. For a 125gr bullet Hodgdon lists 18.5gr, Speer #13 list 21.0gr, Sierra list 23gr for both their .308 and .311 diameter bullets.

I have a couple of pounds of VV N-120. I have only loaded and tested about 50 rounds and so far it will not cycle the action on my Mini with the factory gas port bushing installed.

Is that a compressed charge? I forget the capacity of the 7.62 x 39 case. Cause I'm looking into developing a load for my "30" but with a Barnes bullet. (They are recommending 4227 as well) Thanks!
Yes it is compressed, I like compressed loads. In many instances compressed loads are more accurate and more consistant than non-compressed loads.
Here is what QuickLoad says about your load.

Cartridge : 7.62 x 39 (.308) Russ.
Bullet : .308, 150, Sierra HPBT MatchK 2190
Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 2.210 inch or 56.13 mm
Barrel Length : 18.5 inch or 469.9 mm
Powder : Hodgdon BL-C2
Predicted data by increasing and decreasing the given charge,
incremented in steps of 2.0% of nominal charge.
CAUTION: Figures exceed maximum and minimum recommended loads !
Step Fill. Charge Vel. Energy Pmax Pmuz Prop.Burnt B_Time
% % Grains fps ft.lbs psi psi % ms
-20.0 82 23.60 1613 866 19512 3934 70.4 1.557
-18.0 84 24.19 1656 913 20764 4101 71.9 1.516
-16.0 86 24.78 1699 962 22105 4269 73.5 1.476
-14.0 88 25.37 1744 1013 23554 4437 75.1 1.437
-12.0 91 25.96 1789 1066 25109 4605 76.6 1.399
-10.0 93 26.55 1834 1121 26785 4772 78.1 1.361
-08.0 95 27.14 1880 1178 28592 4937 79.6 1.324
-06.0 97 27.73 1927 1237 30545 5100 81.1 1.288
-04.0 99 28.32 1974 1298 32656 5261 82.5 1.252
-02.0 101 28.91 2022 1362 34944 5418 83.9 1.217
+00.0 103 29.50 2071 1428 37428 5572 85.3 1.183
+02.0 105 30.09 2119 1496 40128 5721 86.6 1.147
+04.0 107 30.68 2169 1567 43069 5865 87.9 1.112
+06.0 109 31.27 2219 1640 46287 6003 89.2 1.077 ! Near Maximum !
+08.0 111 31.86 2269 1715 49808 6135 90.4 1.044 ! Near Maximum !
+10.0 113 32.45 2320 1793 53673 6260 91.5 1.012 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
Results caused by ± 10% powder lot-to-lot burning rate variation using nominal charge
Data for burning rate increased by 10% relative to nominal value:
+Ba 103 29.50 2224 1647 45452 5928 93.4 1.084 ! Near Maximum !
Data for burning rate decreased by 10% relative to nominal value:
-Ba 103 29.50 1891 1191 30534 4962 74.3 1.296

According to VihtaVuori's lit. they recommend N120 for 123 gr (24.7 grs.) and 125 gr (23.9 grs.) bullets. ( It seems odd to me that they would want less propellant for a heavier bullet... But I'm on a steep learning curve.)
You will find that the heavier the bullet the less powder used in just about ever cartridge out there. It's all about pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Steve, are the powders you listed in the first part of the post ones that function the Mini with a stock gas block assembly? Mine is stock and I think I'll keep it that way. Thanks, Don
 

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Steve, are the powders you listed in the first part of the post ones that function the Mini with a stock gas block assembly? Mine is stock and I think I'll keep it that way. Thanks, Don
Yes, and they are listed in order of preference. Oh, I forgot to mention R-7, It's another good powder for the Mini-30
 

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the .310 Vmax bullet that Graf's carrys evidently has been discontinued but last I checked they still had some. Cabela's did carry it at one time not sure about now. It's a flat base polymer tip 123 gr. shoots good for me.
 

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So What's Your Secret Brew......

the .310 Vmax bullet that Graf's carrys evidently has been discontinued but last I checked they still had some. Cabela's did carry it at one time not sure about now. It's a flat base polymer tip 123 gr. shoots good for me.
I just bought 500 today!:D Now how do you load yours for your "30"? Thanks M45C!
 

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I got a 'flyer' from Graf's awhile back saying that these slugs were limited to stock on hand and I ordered 500 myself, they shoot good. I use 680 (my supply is dwindling as this powder was discontinued) to load them.
I wish these were produced in 150gr weight and sent Hornady an email months back asking them to do so - no reply.
 

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Hornady #7, 123gr bullets, COL 2.190

VV N-120 21.8gr 2200fps

H 4198 25.7gr 2400fps

AA 1680 23.9gr 2200fps

IMR 4198 24.6 2200fps

RL-7 26.6 2300fps

AA 2015 28.5gr 2400fps

H 322 28.5gr 2200fps

Lyman 48, 123gr Hornady , COL 2.200

IMR 4227 22gr 2204fps

N-130 28.6gr 2391fps

AA 1680 25.7gr 2412fps

IMR 4198 24.6gr 2307fps

RL-7 26.8gr 2376fps

N-335 34.5 2363fps

Since you already have IMR 4198 I would start with that. BTW all of these loads are Max according to the manuals, back down 10% to start.
 

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Here is data from Speer # 13.

125gr .311 Speer bullet.

AA 1680 28.0gr 2544fps

RL-7 27.0gr 2429fps

AA 2015 28.5gr 2410fps

IMR 4198 26.0gr 2402fps

VV N-120 24.0gr 2350fps

H 322 29.0gr 2343fps

H 335 31.5gr 2325fps

AA 2230 30.0gr 2308fps

BL-C(2) 31.5gr 2250fps

IMR 4227 21.0gr 2214fps

IMR 4895 29.0gr 2198fps

Notice the increase in charge weights for some powders. I have loaded my Mini with 26gr of IMR 4198 with no problems. I have also gone all the way to 28gr of AA 1680, I would suggest you keep 1680 down to no more than 26gr.
 
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