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 308 Win..cast bullets
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determined451
Advanced Member

973 Posts

Posted - Feb 03 2008 :  10:46:15  Show Profile  Click to see determined451's MSN Messenger address  Send determined451 a Yahoo! Message Send determined451 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am thinking of starting to cast for my 308 Win. rifles..maybe for hunting, sure for targets....am looking for a good bullet in the 150-170 wt.range...what bullets do you like, what lube, and why...thanks, D-451

The Second Amendment.. America's Original Homeland Security

vinconco
Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - Feb 03 2008 :  20:50:40  Show Profile Send vinconco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Years ago I spent a lot of time working up cast bullet loads for a 30-06. What you learn first is to keep the lead out of the barrel. If your going to approach 2000 FPS then you will have to use a good alloy, no wheel weights unless alloyed with tin. Best thing is to buy ready made HARD alloy. As for bullets, use a gas checked design. The best shooting bullets will have a bore riding fore section measuring .300 . This is hard to find in most bullet molds made for .308 bullets. The best accuracy I got was with a lyman bullet mold made for the .303 British #311299 (I think) The bore riding section on this one is .299. It is important for accuracy for the bore riding front section to align itself properly. The down side for this bullet was that I had to reduce the groove portion of the bullet from .313 to .308. So what I did was moly the bullets first then size / lube / seat gascheck. I'm not sure what lubes are available now but what I used then was ALOX Lots of smoke but no leading.




Oh yeah, leading.... There are a few things you can do to keep it under control.
1. Clean ALL copper fouling from the barrel before you shoot cast bullets. Lead sticks to copper.
2. Use HARD alloy, Linotype minimum.
3. Gas check
4. Velocity 2000 or less
5. Get a bore guide for cleaning,
6. JB compound will remove copper and lead
7. Have fun because it's a lot more involved than what I detailed above.

I've used many different bullets but will have to go through my old notes to get more details. The 311299 sticks in my mind because I got the bet performance by far with heavy loads using this bullet.
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Paul B
Advanced Member

3324 Posts

Posted - Feb 17 2008 :  17:30:05  Show Profile Send Paul B a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"what bullets do you like, what lube, and why...thanks, D-451"

OK, let's keep this simple. For bullets, the Lyman #311291 roughly 175 gr. Usually the nose will be large enough to be at .300 to .301".
The RCBS #30-180-FN usually casts out at about 190 gr. in wheel weight metal. Again, the bullet nose wll probably be the right size.
Most of the time, straight wheel weights will work out just fine. However, as has been suggested, ading a little tin makes the bullet fill out the mold a bit better. Bullet hardness is a factor. Wheel weights that have age hardened will usually run about 12 on the BHN scale. Water dropped will age out to about 18 or 19 on the scale and a proper oven treating can get it slighly harder than new linotype metal.
Bullet diameter size is important. My personal preferance is .002" larger than groove diameter, so for the .308 Win. they should be sized to .310" Some guns may require them sized to .311", but .310" works almost all the time. Get the Lyman "M" die to properly prepare the neck to take the bullets. Trying to squeeze a .310" bullet into a neck sized down to hold jacketed bullets will only result in messed up bullets that won't shoot worth a damn. I use the RCBS competition dies to make my loads.
I have shot the .308 with cast at 200 and 300 yards with fairly decent result, 1.5 MOA at 200 with one rifle and 2.5 MOS with another.
The loads I prefer for targets are 16.0 gr. of #2400, 17.0 gr. of IMR-4227 or 25.0 gr. of either IMR or H-4895. You can try them with or without a one grain tuft of dacron fiber set lightly onto the powder charge to see which method your rifle likes best. Mine prefer the dacron but my shooting buddy's rifle, also a .308 does not. You can vary the charges up or down about a grain in order to see what works best.
I've never bothered to work up a hunting load with cast for the .308 as attaining a full .308 power load that would be accurate and not lead the heck out of the barrel would not be asy to find. I have had good luck in loading the 30-30 up to full power though, so you might try making a load at that level and possibly a hair higher. I think that for those, I'd use either one of the 4895s or maybe IMR-3031. No filler would be needed. I shoot the RCBS 30-180-FN from the 30-30 to 1950 FPS and it's a darn good killer of deer and is now the bullet of choice in my 30-30.
Paul B.
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determined451
Advanced Member

973 Posts

Posted - Feb 17 2008 :  20:12:33  Show Profile  Click to see determined451's MSN Messenger address  Send determined451 a Yahoo! Message Send determined451 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Guys...Paul what the hell is age hardened? that is a new term to me..On the RCBS 30-180...is that a gas check design..I'm thinking..although more efficient...I want to stay without one...If times get hard...I will be lucky to just find wheel weights..D-451

The Second Amendment.. America's Original Homeland Security
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Paul B
Advanced Member

3324 Posts

Posted - Feb 18 2008 :  17:26:30  Show Profile Send Paul B a Private Message  Reply with Quote
All the bullets I mentioned are gas check designs. A non checked bullet will not work too well past about 1400 FPS as they will start to lead the barrel.
Age hardening is simple. Using current wheel weight metal, as dropped from the mould will be about 8 or 9 on the BHN scale. After about two weeks to maybe as long as a month, they will harden on their own to about 11 or 12 on the BHN scale. Add a bit of magnum bird shot (about 1/3 cup will do) and they'll age to a bit harder, about 14 on the scale. From there water dropping or heat treating in an oven will make them even more hard. I make up my own alloy that when over treated and water quenched will age harden in a month to 31 to 32 on the BHN scale. That's 50 percent harder than brand new pure linotype which is 21 to 22 on the scale. I use those very hard bullets strictly for serious longer range target work.
Frankly, I cannot think of any plain based bullet that could be pushed fast enough to work at more than one hundred yards and maintain stability.
Now if you're more into gallery type loads at shorter ranges, there are quite a few bullets you might choose in the 100 to 115 gr. range. I have a 120 gr. SAECO mold that drops a 120 gr. bullet that is plain based. It shoot good with a light chatge of Unique to about 35 yards. I use it to plink and shoot rabbits.
Paul B.
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determined451
Advanced Member

973 Posts

Posted - Feb 18 2008 :  18:05:05  Show Profile  Click to see determined451's MSN Messenger address  Send determined451 a Yahoo! Message Send determined451 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
thanks Paul,,,I am kind if ignorant on the cast stuff...D-451

The Second Amendment.. America's Original Homeland Security
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Tomygun
Senior Member

USA
476 Posts

Posted - Feb 18 2008 :  21:29:16  Show Profile Send Tomygun a Private Message  Reply with Quote
D-451, The guys pretty much said it all but I will just ad an emphasis to what has proven important to me. Gas checks in a perfect bore above 1400fps. Chemically clean any copper residue. Carefully control your lead temperature. Control your mold temperature by using a steady pace. Harden the outer shell of your cast bullet either by dropping into cold water, or oven annealing. Use a bore size or .001 over bullet sizing die. Lube choices are all over the place but I always seem to go back to 50% alox and 50% beeswax to ovoid leading at velocity. Lastly, proper case neck flaring, and seating to remove the flair without damaging the bullet. oops, I got long winded while trying to keep it simple. Have fun. Tomygun

Tom
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Paul B
Advanced Member

3324 Posts

Posted - Feb 19 2008 :  16:49:08  Show Profile Send Paul B a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tomy. Good points, although I disgree with one point. I prefer my bullets sized .002" over groove diameter. For example, in the .308, bore diameter is .300" and groove diameter is .308". (I know, Marlins with Micro-groove run .3085") I have gotten my best accuracy with bullets sized .310". My friends and I shoot at 200 and 300 yards with cast bullets most of the time and 1.5 to 2 MOA at 200 yards is what we get. At 300 yards, 2.5 to 3.5 MOA is the norm. I don't think any of out loads go any faster than 1550 FPS, if that fast.
I believe I mentioned the loads I used in an earlier post on this thread and all were originally designed for 300 meter shooting by, IIRC, C.E. Ed Harris. They work.
Most of my shooting has been with a Winchester M70 Youth ranger in .308 that I won in a raffle. it was restocked to fit me in a ramline stock and shot as is.
I'm currently getting ready to work up some serious loads for a Savage 110S silhouette rifle for my bench rest shooting. It was the rifle I shot at 300 yards and got the 2.5 MOA groups. I am considering having it throated to use a 220 gr. bullet for better wind bucking ability but that's down the road.
Just too many projects, too little time and money.
Paul B.
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