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30 Luger Reloading

dfletcherdfletcher Member Posts: 8,154 ✭✭✭
For no good reason I bought a 30 Luger barrel for a recently bought Ruger P89 9mm - makes a good "odd ball" reloading companion to my 41 AE Tanfoglio I suppose. I've bought some basics for reloading and am looking for a tip or two.

I have a few hundred Starline brass, Hornady dies and a 500 count Penn Bullets 90 grain, .309 diameter RNL (hardcast) bullets. I plan on sizing the case body with my 9mm carbide resizer, then neck size & expand the case mouth with the 30 Luger sizer. That seems to be the preferred method and avoids the need for lubing the case.

I went with the .309 diameter bullet because the 30 Luger original was .3095, but I assume Ruger went with a .308 bore. Do dies resize the case neck to .309/3095, or .308? I have some Hornady 85 JHP that I'd like to use, so long as the case neck tension is OK.

The RCBS dies are "roll crimp" but I presume they can be set to crimp the case mouth just a tad.

I'm not finding a great deal of reloading data out there. I'm looking for a load that does about 1,200 fps with the 90 grain bullet.

Comments

  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,346 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Measure the expander ball and slug the barrel for real answers. Lyman 49th edition has data for the 30 Luger. Their 75 and 85 gr cast bullet was sized .309 311252, 313249 The pistol used was a P-38 Walther 4 15/16 barrel.

    They load 700X, PB, SR-4756, Bullseye, Red Dot, Green Dot, Unique and 231. Light bullet max about 1400 fps heavy about 1250 fps.
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,649 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The only time I ever had problems with reloads that were roll crimped, was in a Model 25. Trying to shoot 45 ACP's, without half moon clips. The roll crimp, screwed up the headspace dimension.

    In a control feed semi-auto. The rear face of the extractor, holds the case against the breech face of the slide. The roll crimp can be as heavy as you like, as long as you don't deform the cartridge case.

    I bought one of the P 89 Rugers, back in the early 90's. Didn't care for the trigger pull. Ruger wouldn't sell replacement parts, at that time. So I didn't want to screw with it, in case I messed something up. Got rid of it, after a while. Hopefully your P 89's trigger isn't as bad as mine was. And/or you can get a upgraded trigger from Ruger.
  • dfletcherdfletcher Member Posts: 8,154 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I bought the P89 in part because they're a little difficult to find in CA, I already had +10 round mags for it and the thing is brand new. And a friend of mine has one, it got stolen and left in the woods of San Fran (fog, rain, wet leaves) for about a year. When he got it back we field stripped it, cleaned and oiled and it shot fine. I figure if it works after that it's fairly durable - although, it is pretty ungainly and built like a brick.

    Thanks for the Lyman advice, I have the Lyman 46 and it lists loads. Also found another an old "Handloading" book that lists some Unique, BDot loads. Pays to hang on to all the old books. [:)]
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,346 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    FYI the current Aliant Blue Dot is not the same as the older Hercules Blue Dot. In 44 Rem Mag its a full grain+ less at max. Start at the starting loads in the older books is what I would recommend.
  • dfletcherdfletcher Member Posts: 8,154 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    ^
    Thanks for reminder.

    I had a bit of a "brain fart" regarding case mouth - since this is a bottle necked cartridge I suppose the shoulder will do the work, not the case mouth.
  • tsr1965tsr1965 Member Posts: 8,682 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Doug,

    Glad to see you got that crimp thing figured out. You can use a moderate roll crimp, just as long as it is not bulged.

    I might be a tad bit careful about getting to speedy with the hardcast, unless they have gas checks on them too. Seems a good powder for them would be Winchester 231, as you are looking for enough of a pressure spike to cycle the gun, but then drop off, to prevent leading the bore.

    Not sure about what Ruger is using for a bore/groove diameter, but back in the day, a lot of the American 32's were 0.310-0.312". The best way is to grab a 32 cal. round lead ball, or pure lead conical and slug the bore, which is easy enough.

    The JHP loads are self explanatory. That Ruger should be able to take a pretty warm load.

    Let us know how you make out, and how much fun you are having.
  • dfletcherdfletcher Member Posts: 8,154 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    ^
    I was given 8lbs of WW 231 about 10 years back, I think I'm about halfway through it - these 3 and 4 grains at a time loads are sure more cost effective than the 338 LM and 378 WBY loads, that's for sure.

    I've used Penn Bullets for a while, they have a 370 grain spire point that is just great out of everything from a T/C 45/70 pistol to "plinking" loads from a Gibbs bolt to a 458 No1. So long as I stay around 1,700 fps no leading problems. Same results on their other offerings so I should be fine. I'm told a 9# recoil spring should be used instead of the 9mm factory 11#. Even if Ruger uses .308 I think the .309 will be fine - so long as the Hornady sizing button isn't +.310 - which would be just my luck.

    Will keep you posted, thanks to all for the help. This reloading is an expensive way to save $$$. [;)]
  • 62fuelie62fuelie Member Posts: 1,068 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    For my 1920 commercial DWM I have been using the Hornady 90 grain HP/XTP, it is .309, but does not have a crimp groove or cannelure. Hornady says it is really intended for the Tokarev and the C96. I have been using 5 grains of Unique and it functions my pistol just fine. After I load the rounds I take the decapping spindle out of the sizing die and run the rounds SLOWLY up into the die until I just feel the slightest engagement of the case to the die. I think this gives me just a touch of a taper crimp. Finally, I run the cleaned and loaded round into my 9mm Luger carbide sizing die to be sure the case head hasn't swollen at all from all the manipulation. The rounds function just fine. Typical Luger, it sprays the brass everywhere so I have no real idea of what my case life is as I only recover 30-40%.
  • dfletcherdfletcher Member Posts: 8,154 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by tsr1965
    Doug,

    Glad to see you got that crimp thing figured out. You can use a moderate roll crimp, just as long as it is not bulged.

    I might be a tad bit careful about getting to speedy with the hardcast, unless they have gas checks on them too. Seems a good powder for them would be Winchester 231, as you are looking for enough of a pressure spike to cycle the gun, but then drop off, to prevent leading the bore.

    Not sure about what Ruger is using for a bore/groove diameter, but back in the day, a lot of the American 32's were 0.310-0.312". The best way is to grab a 32 cal. round lead ball, or pure lead conical and slug the bore, which is easy enough.

    The JHP loads are self explanatory. That Ruger should be able to take a pretty warm load.

    Let us know how you make out, and how much fun you are having.


    Well, here's what I've figured out -

    In addition to the RCBS 2 dies set (same as a bottleneck rifle) I bought a Lee 3 piece and a RCBS neck size only die. The Ruger slugs .308, I'm tending to use .308 jacketed bullets (Hornady 86 grain) and a .309 (90 JHP) and .309 RNL from Penn Bullets. I suppose the decision I should have made, and can still make, is one of "lead vs jacketed" and "case mouth expand vs chamfering".

    Using jacketed bullets (308 or 309) I don't need to flare the case mouth - just chamfer the inside neck as you would a bottlenecked rifle cartridge. Can't quite do that & get away with it using lead, you still sometimes get a little ring of lead when seating. The down side of this is that unless I keep my "lead vs jacketed" cases segregated I have to chamfer all of them.

    I can crimp the lead and the cannalured jacketed bullet, noncannalured - not so much. So I'll use the RCBC to seat jacketed and Lee for lead/cannalured.

    My next interest is finding out if I can skip the FL resizing and neck size only. Resizing the base using a 9mm Luger carbide, then sizing the neck separately with a FL die backed off would work but that means 4 steps with lead, 3 with jacketed - case size, neck size, flare mouth and then seat.

    I probably could have bought 300 - 400 rounds of ammo for what I spent for dies & bullets and that would have lasted me a long time. But this was fun learning.
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 13,200
    edited November -1
    NRA article Sept 1998 by John Kronfeld gives loads from 1050 fps to 1490 fps for the 30 Luger.
    If you need article contact [email protected]
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