TESTED: Hodgdon LEVERevolution Powder

If you want more zip from your lever action 30-30, seriously consider loading with Hodgdon’s LEVERevolution powder! Combining LEVERevolution with Hornady’s pointed Monoflex and Flex Tip bullets results in ammunition that has a higher velocity and flatter trajectory than conventional 30-30 cartridges. 

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About Hodgdon LEVERevolution

This is the same powder Hornady uses in their high-performance LEVERevolution and Full Boar 30-30 ammunition with 160 grain FTX and 140 grain Monoflex bullets at 2400+ fps. Gavin and I have both loaded and fired 30-30 ammunition using LEVERevolution with great results in the Henry X-Model 30-30.

Gavin noted as a spherical powder, LEVERevolution powder meters very nicely from the powder measure, which is particularly important when using a progressive reloading press. I used a single stage Lyman press, but was equally impressed with how well the LEVERevolution powder flowed through the powder measure. 

From Hodgdon.com

HODGDON LEVEREVOLUTION®

Hodgdon® Powder Company and Hornady® have teamed together to answer the reloading question; “Can I buy the powder used in Hornady LEVERevolution factory ammunition?”

This is the same spherical propellant used in Hornady’s innovative and award-winning, high-performance factory ammunition. This fabulous propellant meters flawlessly and makes lever action cartridges like the 30-30 Winchester yield velocities in excess of 100 fps over any published handloads, with even greater gains over factory ammunition. Other cartridges include the 35 Remington, 308 Marlin Express, 338 Marlin Express and the 25-35 Winchester.

The list of cartridges and bullets is limited with this highly specialized powder, but where it works, it really works!

Available in 1 lb. and 8 lb. containers.

Hodgdon’s LEVERevolution 30-30 Load Data

Burn Rate Analysis

LEVERevolution’s burn rate is right in range with some of our favorite 308 powders. 

LEVERevolution Cartridges and Loads

This powder may not be suitable for very many cartridges, but it works especially well with the 30-30, 35 Remington, 308 Marlin Express, 338 Marlin Express and the little 25-35, among a few others. You’ll note some differences between the various data sources: Hodgdon, Hornady and Gavin’s own. That sort of thing sometimes frustrates newer handloaders, but is entirely normal. This is why reloaders should start at a lower powder charge and work up towards the maximum charge, staying at what is a safe level for our individual firearm. 

Gavin looked at the load data from Hodgdon’s website and selected one bullet, the 160 gr. Hornady FTX, and looked at different powders and the velocities they yielded at max load in the chart. 

Gavin’s 37 grains of LEVERevolution with the 160 gr. FTX averaged 2,453 fps, at least a few hundred more feet per second than with other powders! 

30-30 Trajectory with LEVERevolution and 160 grain FTX bullet

Combining this powder with the 160 grain FTX bullet resulted in good external ballistics ideal for hunters! 

I used Hornady’s Ballistic Calculator and was impressed with the reasonably flat trajectory out to 250 yards or so. With a 2400 fps muzzle velocity, I found that when sighted in 3” high at 100 yards, the rifle was zeroed at 200 and had a quite useful trajectory. It hits about 5” low at 250 yards. Thinking back on past hunting seasons, many of my deer, bear, elk and antelope have been taken at 250 yards or closer. 

Powder Comparison

We put several powders useful for the 30-30 cartridge under the microscope for a visual comparison. 

Left to right: LEVERevolution, Varget, Retumbo and IMR 8133

LEVERevolution is the smallest of the powders and this photo/data reveals just how different spherical powders are. At 0.023” in length and diameter, it’s no surprise LEVERevolution meters consistently. Keep in mind though, that powder may stick to cases with excessive lube. 

Related Videos

You’ll want to check out our related 30-30 videos!

Henry X Model

Progressive Reloading 30-30 with LeverEvolution and 160gr FTX Bullets

Conclusion

Hodgdon’s LEVERevolution performs as advertised! If you want to bump your 30-30 loads up to a higher velocity, this powder handily outperforms the more traditional 30-30 powders, with a burn rate near .308 powders. It is also great for progressive reloading. The trajectory can be flattened and downrange performance on game enhanced, particularly when coupling this powder with the pointy tip Monoflex and FTX bullets from Hornady, 

Many 30-30 users are traditional hunters, quite content with their grandfather’s 30-30 and the normal 150 or 170 grain flat nose or round nose bullet, loaded to roughly factory velocity. Some however, long to flatten the trajectory of their 30-30. For those hunters, LEVERevolution powder and the flex-tipped 160 and 140 grain bullets from Hornady are attractive options. 

Get the Gear

Find LEVERevolution at Midsouth Shooters Supply. As of June, 2022 1-pound containers were shown as in stock and listed at $33.98, while 8 pound jugs were $249.22, but out of stock. 

Midsouth Shooters Supply also  carries Hornady MonoFlex and FTX Flex bullets. 

30 Caliber .308 Diameter (30-30) 140 Grain MonoFlex 50 Count by Hornady (midsouthshooterssupply.com)

30 Caliber (30-30) .308 Diameter 160 Grain FTX Flex Tip 100 Count by Hornady (midsouthshooterssupply.com)

*Note that Hornady produces two different 30 caliber, 160 grain bullets. The one listed above is for the 30-30, the other is a bit different and is intended for the 308 Marlin Express cartridge. Hornady also makes two different versions of the 30 caliber, 140 grain Monoflex bullet. The one listed above is intended for the 30-30 cartridge. 

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Thanks,
Guy Miner

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