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Discussion Starter #1
I recently swapped a Savage .308 for a new Ruger Hawkeye .308 and have been trying to perfect a good cast bullet load. Here is a report on my progress. I am using Lee molds that drop bullets of 157, 175, and 196 grains when using a 50/50 mix of linotype and plumbers lead. Gas checks of course are installed via the wonderful Lee sizer and bullets are sized to .309. They are just tumble lubed in Alox (before and after sizing). I am using SR4759 exclusively for the moment. Yesterday morning, with no wind and at 60 degrees, I was able to shoot 100 yard groups of .5 inches (3 shots) using 24.5 grains SR4759 under the 157 grain bullets. I got a .6 inch group with 25 grains of SR4759 with the 175 grain bullet. The best I could get with the 196 grain bullet was 1.5 inches with 22.5 and 24.5 grains of SR4759. Still a work in progress, but I think I will concentrate on the lighter bullets. All bullets were plus or minus a half grain and all powder charges were weighed. I was using WLR primers and Federal brass full length resized. All bullets were seated to the same depth, to the bottom edge of the top grease groove, resulting in three different cartridge lengths but about the same jump to the lands for each. That's an area I will need to work on. In any event, after 40 shots, I had no leading, and the barrel was shiny clean after a few passes with bore snake. Didn't take my chrono to the range, but from past experience, I think all of my loads were in the 1900 to 2000 fps range. Cast bullet loads are easy on the shoulder and easy on the barrel. If I can get consistent accuracy like this, who needs jacketed bullets?
 

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Been a fan of Marshall's Beartooth bullet in 160 grain for quite a while now in the .308.
Works really well in the 30-30 too.
Flat nose makes a big wound channel
 

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This is exceptional cast bullet accuracy, even for three shot groups and good shooting on your part. I would not pollute the bore of that rifle with “copper panties.”
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am very happy I have some promising loads. A 3 shot group can be a fluke. So, next step is some multiple groups and see if I can be consistent and maybe a 10 shot group or two to test my old eyes. Will report back probably before Thanksgiving on the results.
 

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impressive

Way to go BYRL, nothing wrong with those groups! I love shooting cast bullets. I got the bug when I was a kid watching my Dad cast for his flat top .357. Now in my mid 50's I've never gotten tired of this labor of love. What's not to like? It's much easier on barrels, shoulders and the wallet. I'm also working up a cast bullet load for a Howa .308 I recently picked up. I'm trying some 5744. Anyway, enjoyed reading your about your success!
 

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byrl :

I have a Ruger # 1, Stainless in .308 Win. It has never had a jacketed bullet through the barrel.

You can see why ?



The rifle really likes the Lyman 311290 HP, these weigh 204 grs. each :



Here is a photo of the mold that these bullets are coming out of :



I'm also experimenting with the 311290 with " Cup Points " , these
weigh 212 grs. each. The hp work on this mold was done by Erik, in OR :



Thanks,

Ben
 

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seating depth

Hi Haysb, sorry for the late post on this thread, but had to reply. Nice job on the bullets, and great groups! How deep are you seating? I'm curious if you've recovered any of your bullets to see how they expand? Again, nice job!
Shootmup
 

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Nice looking bullets and great group also.. Looks like a winner to me.. But also looks to be a slow mold to get bullets out of with the hollow point.. not that it matters much for a bolt gun.. B2B
 

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I am astonished to see cast hollow points shooting that well. I've only monkeyed with a couple of hollow point molds in the past, but neither produced axial symmetry good enough to have that kind of excellent accuracy.

Would you mind sharing the alloy and casting temperature and flux and all that detail? Also, what lube you are using and what sizing/lubing tool, if any?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I am the one who started this thread and it has been great to see others as well making accurate cast bullets for the .308. I promised to get back with further results on my bullets with 10 shot groups by Thanksgiving, but things have come up and I just haven't gotten back to the range on a calm day. I have the rounds all loaded, just waiting for when I can get away for a few hours and for the weather to cooperate. My accuracy started going up significantly when I began aggressively culling my bullets and weighing them all to group them with no more than a grain difference in weight. I weigh them after adding the gas check, sizing, and lubing. Don't know if that is really the best but it works. Hopefully, this Saturday will be a day without honey-do projects or wind and I can do some serious work at the range.
 

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byrl :

The more stringent your standards for bullet to bullet consistency, the better your groups will be.

How are you sizing ? With a nose 1st or base 1st sizing system ? You'll most likely see an increase in accuracy with the nose 1st system.

If there is any misalignment of the nose punch with the sizer die, the base 1st system will size a bullet on one side more than the other ( sizing " Off Center " ) . A great recipe for increased group size.

Can't happen with the nose 1st sizing system, like the Lee Sizing system.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=523184

Thanks,
Ben
 

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The weighing mostly culls bullets with obvious defects, like voids or inclusions. A dynamic spinner is best, but more trouble than most want to go to. Harold Vaughn's book describes one.

The problem with nose punches in sizers is significant. I bought an RCBS lubri-sizer many years ago. The ram's hole for top punches was oversize. At first I sleeved the top punches to fit it, but figured out that still didn't center them perfectly. I finally pulled it apart and ground the hole wider open and to center on a tool room lathe and installed a hardened sleeve that I also ground true, but to fit the top punches closely. Then I made a couple of slow tapered centers that sub for the top punch that line up the dies before I tighten them. Much bother.

Meanwhile, the Lee sizing dies are really simple to use and highly recommended. I chuck them in the lathe and use Dico Stainless Steel grade buffing compound (recommend by Veral Smith for hardened carbon steel; available at Harbor Freight and Ace Hardware stores) on a Dremel felt bob to polish them. They can also be opened up with a little 400 grit wet/dry on a split dowel to get to slightly wider diameters. I did that with the .457" Lee die to get the .459" diameter bullets my 1895 prefers.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I am using a Lee sizer, nose first. Apparently, it works pretty well. My seating die is also a Lee, in which i reversed the seating stem so that the flat end is what contacts the bullet. The other end, which tends to fit jacketed bullets OK, deforms the noses of cast bullets. The flat end, on the other hand, just applies a tiny meplat on the end of the round nosed bullets. Accuracy doesn't seem to be affected.

I have told myself that one day I ought to get one of those expensive nose pour molds, but if I can stay at an inch or so groups at 100 yards with what I have, I don't think it would be worth it.
 

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crimp

Thanks for the photos Haysb! I'm not seeing a crimp on your reloads. Are you just using neck tension? The Ruger #1 is a single shot and no crimp required. Makes me wonder about experimenting shooting single shot in my bolt without crimp. Hmmm, thought provoking. Thanks again for sharing your results.
Shootmup
 

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Only enough crimp used to remove the " soft flare " that I put on the case mouth with my Lyman M die.

Here is another group I fired with my HP's with the same load.....5 rounds @ 85 yards, Ruger # 1
Stainless , 308 Win.



Ben
 
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