Out with the Miroku 1895 .30-40

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HawkCreek
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Joined: 06/15/2018

Went out earlier to take advantage of the overcast morning to test my latest load for my Miroku 1895 .30-40 Krag. I'm trying to find something it liked with these cheaper Hornady 220 grain RN before I test out the much costlier Woodleigh version. I'm so smart I forgot to take pictures of the target but the first two 5 round groups were just under 1.5" at 50 yards, acceptable but I'm looking for more. After letting the barrel cool the next group was a bit over 3" and the last group right around 2". I love how thing thing comes up to my shoulder and points but the silly brass blade (remember my complaint about my .45 Trapper?) makes it hard to focus on for shooting groups. 

So since I forgot the target picture here's some beauty pictures:

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The most worrisome part of the day... The Hornady 220's are not a super tough bullet, in an email they told me though should open reliably down to 1700 fps. IF my loads are leaving the barrel at 2200fps then by 50 yards they should have shed over 100 fps in speed. The only penetrate into the dry sand/clay mix that makes up the backstop to a depth of a few inches and the majority are found with separated cores and jackets. I know this is much harder on the bullet than a game animal but it makes me worry about shooting a mule deer with one come the fall. 

Top row: 8 and a half separated jackets

Middle: 6 "intact" bullets

Bottom: 5 identifiable lead cores and 2 other fragments

Note: Some of these separated jackets and cores go together, so somewhere around 12-14 recovered bullets out of the 20 fired.

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Mak
Mak's picture
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Joined: 03/01/2011
Standard Jackets

Nice photos, very nice rifle, all anyone needs for most likely situations.
When it comes to most commercially available bullets, there really are a wide variety of grades and capabilities. These days, .30 caliber rifle bullets have enjoyed the focus and effort of every major and minor bullet engineer, and the 1895 can handle these developments due to its box magazine.
Older designs, such as the cup and core roundnose will work within their rather narrow capabilities, but there really is little need to load them any more. We once used heavy for caliber bullets because all available bullets were pretty fragile affaires, and the heavies came with a better sectional density that gave an edge for less than optimal shots, which are pretty much the de facto shots available in most hunting conditions.
It's a different story today. Bullets, especially .30 cals, can be had in configurations suitable to the velocity and twist of the new 1895. Some of the best choices are offered by Swift, Nosler, and Barnes, and Hornady also has some good choices. I'm as much of a traditionalist as the next levergunner, but really, if folks had premium choices in early 20th century, they would have used them.
No doubt, the 30-40 is slower and older than the wiz bangs of today, but this has nothing in the way of liability within 250 yards, stretch that another 50 if you're good. It takes skill to correctly deploy any cartridge, but the Krag has virtues that offer much, including a more moderate muzzle blast than the magnums, longer brass life, and less recoil. Best wishes with yours.

HawkCreek
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Joined: 06/15/2018
Here's the target from the

Here's the target from the previously reported on range session. It's hard to see but there are several different loads on that target. Just above the receiver you can barely see the pencil mark circling the best 4 round group I've fired from this rifle. The load shows promise but it's not quite "there" ye, I just need to play with seating depth and neck tension to find the "just right" spot. As I said I fired several loads on this target, all hit several inches to the right but all were relatively decent for elevation (so the groups on the left are actually 180 degrees from when they were fired).

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My supply of Hornady 220 grain RN's is for now depleted so todays ammo was playing with the other end of the spectrum.

 

Even at sedate .30-40 Krag velocities there is quite a difference in the recoil when you drop from 220 grains down to 100 grains (they look goofy as heck also).

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As with the other target I'm cheap and reused this one, turning it every so often. So all of these loads shot fairly well for windage (one to two inches right) but were (obviously) very high. One group measured about 3/4" at todays extreme distance of 35 yards which is just fine for barn yard loads. 

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The following two pictures are the only two recovered projectiles next to an unfired bullet. Interestingly the recovered jacket is the only time I've seen this bullet do that. I found bits of green grass as well as old dead grass inside the jacket when I picked it up, so somehow it dumped it's lead core and continued on through the grass still flying relatively "straight" until it came to rest on the berm. Usually (even in soft dirt) these bullets basically disintegrate, the theory is that the jackets acts as a large gas check while the lead is pretty soft. Hence why I like them for the afore mentioned "barn yard load", it's rare in my experience that these ricochet. 

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