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  #1  
Old 08-01-2001, 02:35 PM
MikeG's Avatar
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Howdy folks,

Just got back from the range for my first ever experience shooting cast bullets in my .30-06.  I got a box of .30 cal 170gr. LMNGC's from "Outback" and thought I'd give them a try.

Anyway the most recent edition of Handloader showed, of all things, several cast bullet loads with Varget for the RCBS 165 Sil bullet.  I use a lot of Varget, so thought this would be great if I could avoid buying another powder.

The load data was from 30 to 34 grains, Winchester Large Rifle primer (which I also have).  I expanded the case mouths with a Lyman "M" die for the 7.62x54 Russian, which works perfectly.  There is just barely enough case neck tension that you can't pull the bullets out with your fingers.

I set the OAL so that the bullet just made contact with the rifle's throat when the bolt closed.  Loads were 6 bullets each at 30 - 34 grains, going up a grain at a time.

Now for groups - I got several 3 inch groups at 100 yards with the lowest powder charges (5 and 6 shot groups).  The last two powder charges, 33 and 34 grains, put them all over the target.  But the barrel was pretty warm by then.

As I really don't care what the actual velocity is, I'll just tinker a little more and can probably improve on these group sizes.  BUT - the groups were all 8-10 inches low at 100 yards (windage OK).  At 2.5 power, the thick part of the bottom post makes an OK aiming point, but I'd really really really like a load that shoots closer to point of aim, plus I'd like to be able to shoot without worrying if the power dial is in the correct spot (it's a 2.5x8).

I know it isn't always possible to get this, but this gun has been remarkably tolerant of different loads with jacketed bullets, and would probably put 3 rounds of any jacketed load I ever shot in it into a 6" group at 100 yards, without changing the scope.  A real keeper in that respect.

So..... anyone have luck with cast bullet loads in the .30-06 that have similar point of impact with their jacketed loads?  Or am I just looking a gift horse in the mouth here?  I really don't care what the velocity is.  It would be nice if the recoil was somewhat less than full-power loads, but I'll take those to.  

Your thoughts please.....
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2001, 04:56 PM
IDShooter's Avatar
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MikeG,
       I have tried loads with velocities from 1600fps up
through 2600 fps, and unfortunately ALL of them shoot lower in my '06 than jacketed loads. The 2600fps load shoots higher than the 1600 fps load and so may get you close enuff. I had trouble getting accuracy at higher velocities too, but I tumbled some bullets in Lee Liquid Alox and that helped. The bullets I used were Laser-Cast 170gr FNGC. They come pre-lubed, but I lubed them again to size them in the Lee sizer die. I used H4895 for the higher velocity loads, and it's so similar to Varget I would expect you could get a workable load with that powder, too. I have just sighted in for the cast bullets because that's what I'm mostly shooting now, and I'll  re-zero for hunting season should I elect to hunt with jacketed bullets. I haven't decided yet!    ID
PS- I was able to get just under 2 MOA at the higher velocities, around 1 MOA at 2200fps and below.
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2001, 06:31 AM
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MikeG,

For the best accuracy with cast bullets, the base of the bullet must be inside the case neck. If the base of the bullet you are using is below the case neck, *inferior accuracy would be the result, especially *when you increased velocity and ended up with much larger groups.

The 165 gr. RCBS bullet which, when seated, is well within the .30-06 case neck and is made from wheelweights and heat treated, can be pushed to factory .30-06 velocities with good accuracy and the same point  of impact at 100 yards.

(Edited by John Kort at 9:33 am on Aug. 5, 2001)
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  #4  
Old 08-07-2001, 01:24 AM
Marshall Stanton's Avatar
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Mike,

I've used Varget in .30-06 cast bullet loads, and at least in my rifles, have found that each has it's own distinctive tastes.  My son has a Ruger KM77MkIIRS in '06 that loves the 160g WLNGC's using Varget, but won't digest the same powder when coupled with either the 140g FNGC's or the 170g LMN's.  On the other hand, I have an old, well used, rough bore barrelled Springfield with Lyman reciever sights that will shoot 1.5 MOA with the same load using the 170g LMN's that the Ruger won't shoot into 7"!  

It sounds like all your loading techniques are right on the money... just play with the powder selection a bit.  If you aren't interested in top velocity, try a load of H4227 with your '06 and those bullets.  We have at least three guns here that like that bullet sized .310" and loaded over 26.5g H4227 with a WLRP in most any brass.

One quick question!  What diameter are those bullets?  It can make a big difference in both their accuracy and velocity potential!

Let us know!

God Bless,

Marshall
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2001, 07:41 AM
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Thanks for the tips guys.

John, the bullet bases were well into the case neck, so don't think that this was a problem.

Marshall, these bullets were .309" - I have ordered some .310" bullets but found these on Outback so went ahead and grabbed them, just to experiment with.  I think that the barrel is around .3085" - I slugged it several years ago.  I know it's over .308".  So that might explain the 3" groups.  Still, I've shot worse groups with jacketed!

I'll try the H4227.  I think on the Varget loads, I let the barrel get too hot near the end of the range session, which might explain some of the really wild groups.  Gonna retry with 3 shot-groups, letting the barrel cool a little more, just to be sure.

Good news was, no leading build-up that I could detect.  Just a uniform grey wash, for lack of a better term.

All in all I'm pretty excited for those being the first results of cast bullets in a rifle cartridge.  I've certainly had worse experiences in pistols, I can tell you that!  If I can get the point of impact moved up, that'll be great.
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  #6  
Old 08-08-2001, 08:51 PM
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Mike,

I shoot a 180 grain cast cast bullet
with Hornady gas check in an 03A3 Springfield. I get very good results using SR4759 powder.

God Shooting, Mike Magnuson
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  #7  
Old 09-26-2001, 08:13 PM
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Cast bullet .30-06
*I have been using cast bullets in my 30-06s from thetime I got my springfield from the dcm in1949. I have *agood assortmet of them including an 03a3, an Enfield, aGarand and an Arginetinian Mauser converted to an 06. I have used loads of 120 grains bullets to 200grain bullets in velocities from1400fpsto 2500fps. I have worked out a way to use 180 grain bullets for hunting big game animals(elk,deer,oryxe)with a nose at 8.9bhn and a base of 22 to 24bhn at 2500fps.
* *I have even shot in the Nationals at Raton N.M. with cast lead bullets.I never set any records ,but John Kort did . I was very proud to have the honor of shooting at Raton when John was there.
* * I have used many ,many powders over the past 51 years and if they worked for copper clad bullets they will work for cast. I think my success with lead bullets is based on the fact I always used wheel weights or lead alloys with 3% antimony and oven heated my bulets to 450 degrees F and quenched them and sized my bullets to fit the GROOVE on the bases and the BORE diameter on the nose This takes a bit of doing using military fire arms .I have not shot any jacketed ammo since 1977 You are on the right track useing cast bullets in any fire arm you reload for.
*thebulletcaster
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  #8  
Old 09-26-2001, 08:48 PM
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Mike,

Marshall is right on when suggesting go a tad bit larger. Throat diameter is more important than groove diameter. You want the bullet to have every chance to get a good gas seal as soon as possible. The faster powder you chose will make this more important because pressure that can cause cutting and other accuracy detriments. Another possible concern is whether the bullet is a bore ride design and if so is the fit to land diameter a good one. If a bore ride nose type bullet is undersized in the nose section, it lends itself to slump as pressure and speed of acceleration increase. If there is too much slop in the nose it can slump more to one side and cause imbalance. This would not be as obvious as pressures were reduced.

What slower powders do you have on your bench. As I get better at this cast bullet stuff I am beginning to see a pattern of good results appearing from slow burning powders that fill the case to slighly compressed. My 03 loves 39 gr of H4831 with 1.5 gr of dacron fluff filling the air space completely without being packed tight. It will shoot 1.5" groups with RCBS 180 FN at about 2000 fps. Higher velocity with this rifle was not needed as I wanted it for informal plinking and a little competition now and then.

Another slow powder option is the surplus powders such as those offered at www. gibrass.com. WC860 burns just a tad bit faster than shredded newsprint and works like a charm in my 338-06 with 250 gr LBT WLNs at about 1950 fps. I will have this round in my chamber while elk hunting this Nov. I will also have some partitions or a frames along just incase the distances stretch, but prefer to bag him with a bullet that I made myself up close and personal.

enough gabbing for one post
ammohead
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  #9  
Old 09-26-2001, 09:29 PM
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I'll have to check the loading manuals for 'shredded newspaper' - good one!  Got a laugh out of that.

Have some more bullets on order, will post an updated when these show up and have some results.  Slowest powder that I have is H4831 I think.  Don't believe that Varget is going to do it in my gun, based on what I've seen.  A friend has powder for the .50 BMG, might try to talk him out of a little - just one caseful in the .50 should be enough for a box of rounds for the '06.

Gonna try Col. Whelen's "Small Game load" if I can remember what it is.  Seems like it was maybe 4198 in the '06 case?  Bet there's 10 people on this forum who know... one of ya'll please post.  Marshall's load's w/H4227 deserve a try also.
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  #10  
Old 09-29-2001, 10:57 AM
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Mike,

Just loaded up some .310"-140g FNGC's for my son to plink with before deer season.  Loaded them for his Ruger KM77MKII in .30-06. these hummers shoot under an inch at 100 yards and are some fun!

.310-140g FNGC/12.0g Blue Dot/WLRP/Any Brass

Loaded these up just for fun, and haven't even cronographed them yet, but they are accurate as can be, and shoot about 3" lower than with his regular hunting ammo.  Since he's sighted in 3" high at 100 yards with hunting ammo, it puts this load exactly to point of aim using this fun load!  

Just for fun!

God Bless,

Marshall
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  #11  
Old 09-29-2001, 12:38 PM
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Hot dang, I've got some Blue Dot!!! (as well as the same primer)

But I think that my bullets are 170gr, any suggestions for a starting point?  Same charge?
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