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View Full Version : New Experiment: Casting for Rifle (308?)



thegreatdane
01-02-2011, 09:46 PM
Hello everyone.

I've been successfully casting for several pistol cartridges for a little while now and am read a new experiment. After much research (forums and manuals), I've settled in on the 308.

In the next few weeks I'll be purchasing a Savage 308 and all the required peripherals (brass, dies, rifle primers and powders).

My goals are to broaden my casting and reloading experience while creating an economical target shooter and potential hunter.

I've pretty much settled on the 308 due to brass availability, case dimensions, ballistics, and cast versatility. I've closely considered the 30-06 and remotely considered the 45-70. :?:

Currently I'm casting loads for 380, 9mm, 38 special, 357 mag, 10mm, and 45acp.

I've heard the stories of the lee soupcan accuracy, but I'd like to launch some heavier loads as well.

In conclusion, I'm consulting the wisdom of all you cast-rifle masters. Is my 308 decision logical? Is it a rifle cartridge you'd consider versatile, accurate, and powerful in a cast boolit project?

All commentary and advise is welcome.

Doc Highwall
01-02-2011, 11:27 PM
My target shooting bullet is the SAECO #315 175grTCGC and AA5744 powder.

thegreatdane
01-03-2011, 12:05 AM
Thanks Doc, but my question is more along the lines of best cartridge for cast bullets. Would you say the 308 is a solid decision?

NickSS
01-03-2011, 08:15 AM
I have and use several 308s and one in particular was bought exclusively for cast loads. They work quite well in it and I have tried several bullets and powders and have had good results with all of them. I will say that in my opinion for 30 caliber cast loads a 30-30 is a better choice as velocities you can reach with cast bullets makes it a full power 30-30 but a down loaded 308. That's not saying you cant get good results in the 308 because you can and with paper patched bullets you can get jacketed perfomance as well out of the 308 if you want to go through the work of paper patching.

1Shirt
01-03-2011, 11:23 AM
Have a heavy bbl Sav that I use almost exclusively with cast, and a Stevens (which is basicly just the old 110 Sav) that I bought as a hunter. Both shoot cast better than I can hold. The Stevens was quite a suprise as it has a lousy trigger that I need to have work on. I keep brass seperate for the two, and also seperate cast from jacketed brass. Both of these 308's shoot very decently with most all of the cast that I have. The most accurate in the Sav is 311332 over 20 gr. of 2400. (Am partial to 2400 and shoot it in most every thing I cast for.) The Stevens also shoots that same load well, but seems to like 311291 and 31141 a bit better on paper over 20-22 gr. 2400. Have the 31141in HP also, and would probably use it if I were going to hunt deer with the Stevens.
1Shirt!:coffeecom

thegreatdane
01-03-2011, 12:37 PM
Thanks guys. Good info here. Shirt, I am also partial to 2400, as I've been very impressed with its performance in 357 mag. I can't wait to try it in 308 cast.

Char-Gar
01-03-2011, 05:10 PM
The .308 Winchester is a good choice for an all around hunting rifle and a cast bullet shooter. Many of these rifles come with 1-12 twist barrels which help them be cast bullet friendly. I have four rifles in .308.. A Savage bolt, A heavy barrel Remington bolt, and two Winchester 88 leverguns. They all do well with cast bullets, but some are a little better than others.

The only fly in the .308 ointment is the short case neck. If you want to keep the bullet base out of the boiler room, it limits your choice of bullets. I have found RCBS 165 Sil to be an idea bullet in the .308 and very accurate to boot. It's very small meplat does not make it a good bullet for hunting deer size game.

A Savage bolt gun in .308 would be an excellent choice. Good rifle..good round!

Uncle Grinch
01-03-2011, 09:35 PM
The .308 Winchester is a good choice for an all around hunting rifle and a cast bullet shooter. Many of these rifles come with 1-12 twist barrels which help them be cast bullet friendly. I have four rifles in .308.. A Savage bolt, A heavy barrel Remington bolt, and two Winchester 88 leverguns. They all do well with cast bullets, but some are a little better than others.

The only fly in the .308 ointment is the short case neck. If you want to keep the bullet base out of the boiler room, it limits your choice of bullets. I have found RCBS 165 Sil to be an idea bullet in the .308 and very accurate to boot. It's very small meplat does not make it a good bullet for hunting deer size game.

A Savage bolt gun in .308 would be an excellent choice. Good rifle..good round!

Charger makes good sense and I agree with him, especially on the short neck issue. The only thing I see that may alleviate this is to consider the 30-06 over the 308. Even then it's not a real big gain in neck length.

You make a very good decision.

thegreatdane
01-04-2011, 01:18 AM
Thanks all. I appreciate your .02. I'll let everyone know when I purchase the rifle.

NHlever
01-12-2011, 02:09 PM
I've shot a lot of cast in both the 30-30, and the .308. I currently have 2 308 rifles, and am looking at a third. If you want to shoot light .30 caliber loads, and make good use of the lighter boolits, the 30-30 case, being thinner forms a gas seal in the chamber with much less pressure than the .308. You can get good results with the .308, and it is a better all around caliber, but it takes more pressure to make it work. For example, 7 grains of Unique is a good load with the soupcan in the 30-30, and the case will seal with as little as 5 grains of Red Dot, and give good accuracy. It will take at least 12 grains of Unique in a 308 to keep from smoking up your cases, etc. Actually, I have found the 30-06 to be better than the .308 in this regard because the case is thinner, and many factory rifles have tighter throats than the same line in .308. Using our previous example, I have found many 30-06 rifles I've worked with will seal the case wtih 10 grains of Unique behind the soupcan. For a while many factories were putting the 7.62 Nato chamber in many .308's to be on the safe side with those who shoot a bunch of milsurp ammo, and I think that was the problem. I am out of the gun industry these days so I don't know if it is still common practice, or not, but it does make a difference with cast boolits especially.