Rob's Reloading (


[30 Carbine]
[38 Super]



[Site Map]
[Omit Images]

30 Carbine

30 Carbine

Why Reload 30 Carbine?
Case Preparation
My Recipes


This little 30 caliber cartridge chambered in the M1 Carbine served in WW2 alongside the 30-06 in the M1 Garand.
It got an undeserved reputation as an underpowered round. The real constraints on it were imposed by the mandated
FMJ design that did little to help impart energy to the target. It was intended as a replacement for the 45ACP for
support troops but found many roles including use by paratroopers.

Why reload 30 Carbine?

The 30 Carbine, loaded with modern soft-point bullets has greatly improved terminal ballistics that may approach some
357 Magnum loadings. The usage of powder is on par with the size of some pistol loads. Small to medium game may be easily taken.
At short range, the 30 Carbine can deliver performance equal to or exceeding the 223 Remington thanks to the larger
cross section of the 30 caliber bullets. I have even obtained passable accuracy with .224 bullets loaded in sabots,
though cartridges so loaded will not fit the magazine.

Case Preparation

The cases are trimmed to proper length as necessary. 1.290" is about maximum. Any burrs are cleaned up with chamfer tools.
The sizing/decapping die is screwed in until it touches the shell holder at the top of stroke. The ram is lowered and the
sizer die is turned in about another 1/4" so the ram arm hits bottom with the holder firmly held against the die. This must not
be overdone or the carbide insert can be cracked. The lock ring is set at this time.
Setting the sizer
Even with carbide dies, 30 Carbine must have some lube. At least with carbide, it is maybe every other, or every third case.
Now, I found that the #7 (Lee) shellholder did not hold the cases very tightly resulting in damaged case mouths and
powder loss due to wobbling. I solved this problem by substituting a #7B shellholder from a 32ACP set. Maybe one
case in a hundred is difficult to get into the shellholder, but all are rock solid during processing. Pictured below
are the two shellholders.
ShellholdersShells in shellholders
The cases are then sized and decapped.
Decapping a case
I have found that, for me, nickel plated cases need to have every one lubed.


I clean my primer pockets as necessary. Then, with my too-ugly-for-the-range eye protection in place, I get to priming.
I dump out some primers, preferably not on the carpet and get them all upright and ready for deployment.
PrimersPrimers in tray
A primer is placed in the primer arm, making sure to use the small primer side. The case is then primed firmly.
Primer on prime armPrimer being seated
I check my primers to make sure none of them are protruding. This can cause an accidental discharge. Each primed case is set case mouth
down in the block. No non-charged cases are to be facing mouth up.
Primed casePrimed cases


Powder selection for this mini-firebreather leans toward typical magnum pistol powder speeds like H110, IMR4227, or AA1680.
The powder measure with requisite measuring disk is installed on top of the charging/expander die and filled with powder.
Filling the powder dispenser
I set an empty case on the scale and tare. I throw my powder charge and bring same case back to the scale. Powder weight
only is shown. I do this with every case if I am anywhere near a maximum charge. For plinker charges, I test a few.
The powders I use fill the case so much that an overcharge would be impossible to miss as it would dump on my desk.
Tared caseCharged case


Bullet selection is somewhat slim due to the space constraints of the usual application in the M1 Carbine.
The Ruger Blackhawk in 30 Carbine may allow more bullet designs, but I do not know this as I have only the M1 Carbine.
30 Carbine bullets
The first case is inserted into the shellholder and the ram raised all the way up. I screw the seater die downward until it touches
the case mouth, then back the die off slightly. The ram is then lowered and a bullet is placed on the case mouth.
Bullet on case mouth
I slowly move the round into the die until I feel the bullet just start to seat. I wind the seater plug out until it is touching the
bullet nose the the ram all the way up. I lower the ram and I screw the seater plug downwards slightly (1/4 or 1/8th turns)
I run the round through while repeating the gradual movement of the seater plug until my target OAL is reached. If I am using the
crimp concurrently with seating, I will need to back the seater plug off the bullet and screw the die body in by
1/4 turn increments alternated with running the round through the die until I have the desired crimp.
Then I move the seater plug down to touch the bullet and I'm ready for the next round. I check OAL
after the next round to be sure the crimp isn't causing the bullet to seat too shallow.
30 Carbine with 110gr FMJ RN30 Carbine with 115gr lead RN Checkin OAL
I like to crimp as a separate operation because I feel this yields a more consistent OAL and a firmer crimp.
The application should really be checked before crimp though to insure good fit. Some folks prefer not to
crimp at all. To be sure, not much is needed and I believe it helps with uniform ignition and prevents setback.
Magazine fit

My Recipes

Case: RP Nickel Plated
Primer: CCI SR
Powder: 14.1gr H110
Bullet: 110gr RN/SP .308
OAL: 1.680"
H110 seems very consistent

Case: RP Nickel Plated
Primer: CCI SR
Powder: 14.0gr IMR4227
Bullet: 110gr RN/SP .308
OAL: 1.680"
Slower moving than H110. Comfortable to shoot.

Case: RP Nickel Plated
Primer: CCI SR
Powder: 15.0gr AA1680
Bullet: 110gr RN/SP .308
OAL: 1.680"
Good alternate powder if shared with other small rifles. 100% load density.

Case: RP
Primer: CCI SR
Powder: 11.4gr IMR4227 or H110
Bullet: 115gr LRN .309 (Hunters Supply)
OAL: 1.674"
IMR is good for non-jacketed. The .309 bullets can bulge the nickel plated cases
enough to make chambering difficult or impossible. Regular brass used only.

Case: RP
Primer: CCI SR
Powder: 10.5gr IMR4227 or H110
Bullet: 55gr fmjbt .224 in .308 sabot
OAL: 1.806"
Goofball load. Does not fit magazine; load one by one. Shot straighter than expected.


Last Modified: Wednesday, 19-Aug-2015 01:38:23 MDT

All contents of this website copyright 2007-2011 Rob's Reloading. Use information contained herein at your own risk.
Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional Valid CSS!

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom,
go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -Samuel Adams