cart SHOPPING CART You have 0 items

Discussion Forums

Search forums
Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > .30-30 Loading for Savage 99

.30-30 Loading for Savage 99

04 Sep 2022
@ 07:42 pm (GMT)


I'm looking at loading for a Savage 1899 in .30-30 (20" barrel), and I would like to take advantage of the rotary magazine and use high-BC bullets. I would like to settle on one load for logistical reasons, for hunting deer and antelope in the western US at up to 300+ yards. I'm currently looking at the Speer soft tip boat tail 165 grain, #2034. Ballistic coefficient is claimed to be .52. From my reading it appears to be a pretty soft bullet, which I understand to be desirable at .30-30 velocities for this size game. Maximum COAL seems to be about 2.6 inches. This looks like it would put the 2034 far enough into the case neck to give good concentricity, and not protrude too far into the powder space. This could result in a fair amount of freebore, which may not be a bad thing according to

Does anyone have experience with this bullet at these velocities? I understand that I am never going to get hydrostatic shock out of a .30-30 with an appropriate weight bullet for medium size game, so I'd like to vet my bullet choice before I start purchasing supplies and playing with different powders.



05 Sep 2022
@ 06:50 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: .30-30 Loading for Savage 99
HI K, the best bullet for this job is the 168gr ELD-M. I have discussed this in great detail within my book series. If you can find this, it will do all that you want. The trouble is, this projectile is very hard to come by at this time of writing so you may indeed need to go with the Speer projectile. The Speer is slightly tougher and you will see slightly longer dead runs, but is nevertheless an effective projectile. This was also discussed in the book series. You are on the right track.
11 Sep 2022
@ 07:15 am (GMT)

kevin yestrage

Re: .30-30 Loading for Savage 99
Thanks Nathan!
I have ordered your books, and I look forward to reading them.
I stumbled into your website a few weeks ago, and I have been quite impressed with your depth of research and all the independent testing you have done. Keep it up!

18 Sep 2022
@ 06:51 pm (GMT)

Kevin Yestrage

Re: .30-30 Loading for Savage 99
The books arrived today, and I've done a good bit of reading already.

I also managed to get a hold of some 168 grain ELD-Ms, and put together some dummy rounds to see what kind of space there was to work with. Loaded in once fired and neck sized cases so they just barely fit in the magazine, the ogive is below the case mouth. However, there's still at least .3 in. of engagement between the case neck and the bearing surface of the bullet. On page 146-147 of the reloading book (in reference to the .300 Winchester Magnum), it says that seating the bullet so far into the case mouth is unacceptable because it results in poor bullet grip and concentricity, and that it is a no-go situation. However, the .300 Win Mag only has .264 in. of neck length to begin with, while the .30-30 has close to half an inch. Given that there is still so much bearing area, would it be safe to load like this, or are there other concerns with the brass or internal ballistics that would make this inadvisable? A quick and rough measurement showed the freebore at this depth to be around .213 in.

If it is fine to load this way, would it be a good idea to trim the case necks back to the ogive for smoother feeding? Or should I leave them full length with the assumption that the extra neck length will help to maintain concentricity on the bullet's long journey to the lands?

Also, seated to this depth the base of the bullet is about .32 in. below the neck/shoulder junction, with the front end of the boat tail sitting as far back as the middle of the shoulder. Given this powder space intrusion into the low volume case of the .30-30, I'm guessing I would need to use a powder with lower bulk. Am I correct in assuming that lower bulk would mean I need to look for a faster burning powder?


22 Sep 2022
@ 09:22 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: .30-30 Loading for Savage 99
Hi K. A 150 grain, flat base, Nosler Partition is .172 shorter. It would impinge less on precious powder capacity, while still providing low-velocity frangibility. The BC of .387 isn’t great, but at 200 yards, who cares?


We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.