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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought some what I thought were 170 gr. .308 lead flat nose gc bullets from a private party over the internet. The bullets look flawless and I really wanted this load for my 30-30 for some hog work. But after loading some rounds, I tried to cycle them through the action. The bullets press against the rifleing and will not chamber. I re-checked the OAL and it's fine. I checked the bullet diameter and it appears to be .308. I checked my factory jacketed bullets and they read .302 or .303. I checked my micrometer by reading drill bit diameters and it seems calibrated okay. Because the lead bullets are so much larger than the factory bullets, I think the bullets must be for the .303 Brittish rather than the .30 cal .308. I also checked them against some factory .303s and they are more consistent with that round. Since they are lead (represented to be water quenched WW at around 18 BHN), I can sand them to chamber okay. However, the tail of the bullet that's still in the case cannot be reduced. I don't know if the bullet will swag down to barrel diameter without raising pressures too high. I only loaded a few so I could pull the bullets. And I have an Enfield I could load the bullets for, if I break down and buy a die set for the .303. The die set would probably pay for itself fairly quickly with just the 100 bullets I have. But just wondering about the pressues created if they were fired in the 30-30.
I also seem to never mic a bullet at the same diameter as the specs I see in the books. Could a weak battery give me false readings? I would accept that I may not be using the proper technique in measuring but there seems to be very few variations that can be used in micing.

Thanks for any suggestions.

BearBear
 

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Cartridge OAL can vary appreciably depending on the bullet. What is right for one may be too long for another one to chamber. Often, a different bullet shape means a full-diameter section of the bullet may be closer to the tip than other bullets you have used, and if loaded too long it will hit the rifling. Perhaps this bullet just needs to be seated a hair deeper.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Pisgah. I thought about doing that. The bullet shapes are quite different than jacketed and remain full diameter farther past the crimps. I used the Lee 170 grain OAL and these are Lee mould bullets. Maybe I ought to give Lee a call.

BearBear
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input. I measured everything again and am sure these are .30 cal bullets, not .303 (I'm almost disappointed as I thought I had an excuse to get some .303 dies and start loading for that Enfield I have).
The measurements for the lead bullets is about .310, which is fine. The gc is .308. The Sierra Pro Hunter jacketed 170 gr. bullets are all about .308 or a tad under. The corelock 170 gr. factory ammo is the same.
What is different about the lead bullets is that the sides remain relatively straight longer. It's as if it has a bit of shoulder, which is where the rifling bites. That shoulder is about .2" past the crimp. I can seat them another .1" without the base going past the neck. I don't know whether this will be enough to avoid contact with the rifling.
The unloaded bullets and the loaded bullets are about the same. However I did put a "factory crimp" on them using Lee dies. If that bulged the bullet it did not do so by much. I'll try seating the next without a crimp and see what that does. But, with a tubular magazine I am afraid that the recoil will seat uncrimped bullets further and that could be a problem.
Should I try fitting a dummy round with just a started bullet in an empty case and let the chamber tell me where the bullet should be seated? That sounds right in theory but I could get the bullet hung up on the rifling too.

BearBear
 

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You're approaching the problem from the wrong angle. I assume you don't have a lot of experience loading cast bullets in rifles; my apologies if that is incorrect.

1. Figure out the max length that the bullet will just chamber and leave rifling marks on the ogive.

2. Seat all your bullets to that length and ignore the crimp groove.

3. Crimp your bullets with a Lee Factory Crimp die. It will crimp just fine, wherever you need it to.

4. Go to the range and enjoy.

OAL is not a real meaningful number with cast bullets in rifles when you pick it at random from a loading manual. You need to find the OAL that is correct for your rifle and use that.

"Oversized" cast bullets will not hurt a thing.

Hope that helps.
 

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Mike is correct.

Just another note here, I'd be surprised if .310 cast bullets will shoot well from the Enfield. I'd suspect it could lead up fast and degrade accuracy. Slugging the clean bore would tell you the story.
 

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I load those same bullets in my '06 (gc, run them out to 2600 fps). Just to reiterate, get them as close to the rifling as you can. If you have too big of a gap, accuracy will degrade somewhat (in my experience).
 

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Bore Riding bullets should contact the rifling , if that is what you have?? The .310" diameter is correct. If not a bore rider, than try seating deeper/shorter col. Use a Lyman "M" die to open the case mouth & neck to the correct diameter. It would help to know the mold number/make used.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Mike G,

Yeah this is the first time I tried lead bullets for a rifle. Since the OAL was listed for the bullet I used that. What you describe to do makes a lot of sense and was kind of what I was going to try. The tip about it leaving some rifling marks would not have been what I would have done on my own, so I appreciate it. I think seating them another .05 to .1 inches will do the trick.

Monty F.,

After I re-measured and realized they were not .303 bullets, I also realized I didn't have the excuse to get .303 dies. But if I get the hang of loading lead in the 30-30, I might break down and get a set and some .303 bullets, what are they, bout .313? and load those too. I think the Enfield would be perfect for reduced loads and be so much cheaper so I can fire it more than once a decade. I suppose the .310 would receive the rifling but probably not obdurate sufficiently to prevent excess leading and poor accuracy. In any event I will use .303 bullets if I reload for the Enfield.
I'll slug the bore for the fun of it. I understand there may be a lot of variation and I haven't attempted to discover the country of manufacture.

243Winxb,

I'm not sure what you mean by "bore-riding". Also, it was not my mold. I just know the bullet is a Lee because it has the microgroove lube grooves for liquid Alox. I will be seating the bullets to a depth where it just contacts the rifling and not worry about the OAL.


To everyone, thanks a lot. It sure helps to have all the experience to lean on when trying something new. This is a great site.

BearBear
 

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I do not know if this is the generally accepted definition of "Bore Riding" but here is my 'take':
A bore riding bullet is one that has an extended cylindrical section ahead of the first driving land and behind the ogive that is either an exact match to the bore diameter or at most about .001" smaller than the exact bore diameter. This is intended to allow the long nose to ride on and be centrally guided by the rifling while not requiring engraving, which costs power from the Powder and would slow the bullet's transit of the barrel.
Best Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, ChevWilliams

I wouldn't think any lead bullets would fit that definition, then. In any event, the bullet diameter I have at the section below the start of the ogive is .310 and the bore is .308, so certainly does not fit the definition.

BearBear --- loving the education
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I re-set the cartridges I had loaded about .05" deeper and they cycled fine. I've gained a new skepticism for OAL maximums in the loading manuals. Thanks for the help.
 

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I'd pull them and take out the primer pin and resize the neck and reload them...I never shoot someone elses reloads unless I know them real well and then its a big maybe....jsut not a good practice.
 

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BearBear,
You got it right. OAL is not the be all and end all to seating bullets, especially cast . The way you determined how deep to seat the bullet was exactly how I was taught back in 1967.
I think OAL hadn't been invented yet and all we had to measure with anyway was a yardstick . Keep on...your doing just fine.
Gary
 

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The ogive is way different on cast than jacketed. Depending on how deep the go into the rifling would dictate whether I shot them or not.

Often just shortening the case by say .005 may make all the difference when you seat them.
 

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Seating the bullets deeper may not be the answer. If you seat them too deep two rounds will be released from the feed tube. Seat them too long and round won't clear the feed tube. The 30-30 and 35 Rem both have very short throats. I wanted to load 180 Sierra FMJ .357 bullets in my 35 Rem for cheaper shooting and the bolt would not close as the area in front of the cannelure jammed in the throat.When I saw the prices for 200 gr 35 cal bullets and compared them to the 357 bullets it was a no brainer what needed to be done.

Not to be dissuaded I pulled the bolt assembly out and ran a 35 cal throater in and cut a throat a little at a time until the rounds loaded to the published OAL would just close and it has worked fine ever since.
 
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