View Full Version : Best 308/30-06 mold

b money
03-02-2011, 01:59 AM
I want to get a 30cal mold to use in a 308win rem 700police(26in heavy contour 1:12 twist) and also in a M1 Garand(no clue on the specs) that I plan to get tis summer. To start off I want to get ONE mold to work in both and go from there. Im thinking something in the 150-165grn rage because M2 ball had 150grn bullet but then again as I understand it the 1:12 twist of the 700 perfers a heavier bullet. Also would it be better for the Garand to have a pointed bullet? This would be used for targets, maybe a match or two, and who knows I might take it hunting but probably not. Please let me know what you think.

Lead Fred
03-02-2011, 02:18 AM
I use the Ranch Dog 165 in my bolt guns.
Will never shoot cast though my Garand

b money
03-02-2011, 02:45 AM
Is there something wong with using lead in a Garand?

Idaho Sharpshooter
03-02-2011, 02:51 AM
NOE 311284.


03-02-2011, 07:52 AM
You may never find one boolit that shoots great in both. Depends of what size your barrels/throats are. Standard designs like the Lyman 311284 or RCBS 30-180 often give good results.

03-02-2011, 08:49 AM
Starting from scratch I would choose the Lyman 311672, or RCBS 165 grain mold. They have a short body section that works well in the 308, and a tapered section ahead of the body to fit the throats well. Reported accuracy with both molds has been very good in both calibers. If you decide to go with a heavier boolit, I would look hard at the 311299 instead of the 311284 though the latter is more popular in bolt guns. It too has a shorter body section to better fit in the shorter .308 Winchester neck, and a somethat more pointed profile to perhaps feed better in your Garand. I believe that RCBS also makes a 180 grain mold with a profile similar to their 165 for an in between weight. Good luck with your choice, and good shooting. Keep us posted on how you make out! I've just started using the Lyman 311672 in my .308 bolt guns with a 1-10" twist, and have only tried one load so far, but it looks pretty promising. I'm also trying it in my old 30--30 for the 1-12" twist loaded single shot since it's pretty pointed. First 5 shot group with the old gun was just over an inch at 50 yards with the iron sights so that shows promise too.

03-02-2011, 09:07 AM
Is there something wong with using lead in a Garand?

Some will tell you that you'll foul the gas system beyond hope when shooting cast bullets in the Garand. All I'll say is that is not my experience with them, and refer them to this thread: M1 Garand Loads?? (http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=27055). I'd also suggest doing a search for 'M1 Garand + cast' here on this board. A lot of folks are shooting cast bullets through their Garands, M1As, SKSs, etc. with success.

That's not to say that developing a successful cast bullet load for your Garand will necessarily be easy; just that many have succeeded. You'll need the proper hardness of bullet alloy, gas checks, and the right powder(s). There's a lot of information available here on the subject, though.

03-02-2011, 09:37 AM
311284 or 311299 depending on the throat. I've seen short throated 308s that dont like the 299.

03-02-2011, 10:43 AM
Is there something wong with using lead in a Garand?

Not that I know of. I have probably close to 1000 rounds through my two Garands. I get accuracy similar to or better than Greek surplus ammo.

I am cheap when it comes to molds.

Lee 309-200 runs great in my Garands and in my Remington 700 300 Win Mag.

I recently added a Lee 309-160 but have not been to the range yet to put it on paper. I am paper patching these rounds and loading them up pretty stout.

03-02-2011, 12:04 PM
Ginger or Maryann? Laverne or Shirley?

That posed, I'll offer this. I have a 12 twist heavy barrel 700 in .308. It's a good shooter. It was a good shooter right from the box. It likes Nosler 125 gr Ballistic Tips real well - problem with that is they are pricey. To date, the best cast boolit load is RCBS 30-180-SP and 5744. I've tried probably a dozen or more different boolits and as many powders. I didn't pick this load, the gun did. The gun also picked the best velocity.

03-02-2011, 12:25 PM
I use the Lee C309-160-1R. Very close to the Lyman 311672 and you can buy 3 for the same price as 1 Lyman. If your gonna want to cast alot of them you can run 3 molds at the same time without a problem.
They are short enough to miss the rifling on all my 30cals.


03-02-2011, 12:30 PM
Has anyone here tried the Lyman 311644? I've experimented a bit with it in the .30-06 but didn't get good results [smilie=f:

03-02-2011, 12:58 PM
Yes, I have. That boolit is very gun/load dependent. The design is correct enough but needs a longer bearing (shorter nose in effect) to be more general purpose in accuracy. But then, it would not fit the shorter throats. ... felix

Lead Fred
03-02-2011, 01:18 PM
Is there something wong with using lead in a Garand?

Nope, I have way to much invested in my M1, Its personal preference.

I have 1000s of mil surp bullets for use in the M1, no need to use cast

Larry Gibson
03-02-2011, 01:40 PM
Concur with 311299. This heavier bullet will give the best accuracy in both twists with medium and slower burning powders. You should get excellent accuracy upwards of 2100 - 2200 fps with the .308W and upwards of 1950 fps with the '06 M1. 311299 will also provide reliable functioning with in an accuracy range with the M1. Suggest you initially start at 28 gr of 4895 in both with a 3/4 gr dacron filler and work up in 1/2 gr increments until accuracy goes south. That will give you a base line for accuracy that you can then tweak using slower burning powders for perhaps a little higher velocity if wanted.

Larry Gibson

03-02-2011, 01:43 PM
311284 for a heavy bullet, 311414 for a light one.

03-02-2011, 02:21 PM
311291 @ 173gr should work fine for what you want. NOE had a GB on them, maybe you can find one. The 311041 (don't know about feeding in the garand though). BRP makes good moulds. His 311-180 sil might be the ticket. A group buy is going on now for the 311299

03-02-2011, 03:48 PM
Has anyone here tried the Lyman 311644? I've experimented a bit with it in the .30-06 but didn't get good results [smilie=f:

I shoot the 311644 in my 7.5x55 K31. It has a nose diameter that might be a bit small for lots of 30cal rifles.

My Rem 700 30-06 really likes the Saeco #301 200gr. The Saeco #311 170gr is a tapered "silhouette" design that should be good in both the 308 and Garand. The Saeco #315 175gr is a multi-groove, tapered design better suited to manually operated arms, but is very accurate in my 30-30, 7.5x55, and 30-06.

03-02-2011, 05:39 PM
I've found either the Lyman 311332, (180gr. spitzer) and the Lyman 311299, (200gr. rn) to give good and easy to obtain accuracy in my .30-06's-.308's-.30-40 Krags. They're not the only .30 molds I use, but I can always count on them.

03-02-2011, 06:30 PM
I have been shooting my M-1 for about two years and have pretty much used only cast boolits in it. It likes the 311284 lubed with carnuba red from white labe and over 29-33 gr of 4895 and a tuft of dacron or 14 gr of Unique w/o dacron or even 13.5 gr of Red Dot. They all work well. Low recoil and fully functional. With the 4895 I am running about 1800 fps and I know I can bump the powder charge up from 29 grains but I have not bothered yet.

The gas pistonl does not clog up and the Garand seems to like this boolit and powder. The warning about slow powders in the M-1 bending the Op rod applies only to J word bullets. With cast you are in a different ball park.

b money
03-02-2011, 07:50 PM
Well it seems the general consensus is a 200grn bullet seems to work well, but from all my j word bullet reading I've learned that 200grns is for the most part too heavy for the 308 and it on the higher side for 30-06. Is there something different about cast bullets?

03-02-2011, 09:22 PM
Anything weighing 150-200gr. should shoot well in either of your guns. All you need to do is fit the boolit to the throat and work up an accurate load.

Larry Gibson
03-03-2011, 01:19 AM
Well it seems the general consensus is a 200grn bullet seems to work well, but from all my j word bullet reading I've learned that 200grns is for the most part too heavy for the 308 and it on the higher side for 30-06. Is there something different about cast bullets?

Don't know where the idea ever came that 200 gr bullets are too heavy for the .308W. Fact is the .308W handles appropriate 200 gr bullets very well, the factories loaded 200 gr bullets for the .308W. The difference between J and cast in these two cartridges is the effective velocity range with cast bullets vs j bullets. With heavier bullets slower burning powders can be used with efficient ignition which gives smaller extreme spreads within the most easily attained accuracy/velocity ranges. Also the heavier bullets in the M1 are going to attain the needed port psi for functioning with appropriate powders while keeping the velocity within the best accuracy range.

Additionally several bullets mentioned have design problems with the .308W in that the GC will have to be seated down below the case neck. This generally is not condusive to best accuracy I've been shooting cast bullets in both cartridges with those twists for a very long time. 311284 is great in the '06 but not so great in the .308W. The 311299 has the weight and design to work well in both cartridges. My M70 Target .308W with a 26" twist 26" barrel shoots the 311299 excellently as do my 12: twist M1As. The same 31299 does equally well in my '06s including several M1s over the years. The real difference between the 2 is with the twists. You will get excellent accuracy at 2100 -2200 fps with the 12" twist .308W and excellent accuracy at 1850 - 1950 fps in the 10" twist '06.

When you learn about cast bullet loading and shooting you can push those a bit with different bullets but that is not what you asked for ("To start off I want to get ONE mold to work in both"). You requested one cast bullet for both. The 31299 is the bullet that will get you started with easily attainable sucess (that means accuracy) in both rifles/carridges.

Larry Gibson

03-03-2011, 01:26 AM
i would go for the heavy boolits , as you will want to shoot cast slower than fmj's so you will still have the heavy knockdown of the heavier boolit imho..

03-03-2011, 08:30 AM
I have to agree with the above, I've had good results in both the '06 and .308 with the Lyman 311299. I've had better results on paper with the Lyman 311332 in my '06s, but have yet to try it in my .308s.

The LEE 170gr. flat nose is also another boolit that seems to shoot well in just about any .30 rifle. I just last fall bought an RCBS 30-180-FN for cast boolit hunting, I'm still developing loads for it in several guns, but it shows potential in .30WCF, .30-06, and .308.

I guess if I had to choose just one cast boolit for .30-06 and .308 it would be the 311299, and yes, I do shoot a Garand with cast, and it's pure joy!

b money
03-03-2011, 03:26 PM
Ok thanks for the input guys, lyman 311299 it is.:Fire: