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dmdracer
06-18-2005, 06:03 PM
Hello all, I'm new here but have been ready this site for a while trying to learn about this casting addiction you all are hooked on.
I purchased 500 cast bullets from leadheads on line a month ago and as his suggestion used IMR 4756 powder, I used 9 and 10 gr on some loads and they shot really well in my Marlin 30as 30-30. these were 149 gr. gc. at .310 dia.
What I have read is that the Marlin needs the .310 to .311 size to shoot good.
Well Midway is having a fathers day sale and I'm going to order some handloading supplies for my Savage and AR15 Varminter addiction and thought I might order a mold and bottom pour funace. I was looking at the Lee bullet# c309-150f, it shows dia. of .309 so I assume I need a sizer to go up to the .310 size but do not see any. What am I missing here to cast in the .310 dia. size? I see a Lee lube and sizer die for .311 dia.
What mold, etc do you all suggest I purchase? I still need a few other things I realize but have to start somewhere.
thanks for your help and patience with this new guy, I have a lot to learn.
Dave
btw, my wife does to the garage sale thing all the time and I tell her to look for "gun stuff", well she came back with a cast iron large pot today :) I'll use it to melt lead into ingots. she was so happy to finally find something I can use...bless her heart.

David R
06-18-2005, 09:19 PM
I am sorta new too, at least to this site and cast Rifle shooting. You need to slug your bore and find out the true size. If its a 30-30, its SUPPOSED to be .308 give or take. That is why Lee says thier mold will throw 309 boolits. I have a lee 309-113 that makes boolits from .313 to .314. If I size them to .308, it squishes em pretty good. My Lyman mold makes them almost .310. You can vary the size a little by changing the alloy. A sizer relly won't make a boolit bigger. you can get a .310 or .311 size die and just lube them or "oversize" them which means it puts lube in the grooves but doesn't change the size of the boolit at all. Sometimes this works really well. Sometimes if the boolit is bigger than its supposed to be, it won't chamber because the case neck is too fat.

Buy a mold, get the melting pot. I use a bottom pour, but some disagree with that. It works great for me. Once you are hooked, you will be glad you did. Be prepared to do a lot more shooting which will improve your skills as a shooter and reloader.

Welcome to the hobby and this message board.
David

Wayne Smith
06-18-2005, 09:27 PM
Lots of issues, and I'll just get you started.

One, you size down, not up. Some say you can bump a bullet up, but I've never tried it.

Two, to some degree size is determined by the alloy you use. You won't use pure lead for anything except muzzle loading or cap & ball shooting or special projects. Others can give you specifics on alloy and size, I can't.

Three, begin to collect wheelweights. You will use and shoot lots of them. That pot will get lots of use just melting wheel weights down to alloy, and if you get a bullet ladel, you can pour out of it as well. I do.

Four, you sound like a canidate for the 'mold of the month' club. Unless you are independently wealthy, start looking on eBay and compete with the rest of us.

Five, check on the group buy site and see if you can still get in on the 311466(?) six cavity Lee mold buy. There may be one or two unbought. I think the order has gone in, but he can add to it until it's cut. There are perodic .30 molds on the group buy site, so keep an eye out if you miss out on this one.

Six, get the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook and read it. I've read that Richard Lee's book on cast bullets is good as well, but I don't have it yet. Other books had priority.

Seven, the gentlemen here have a reputation of generosity, being willing to send samples of bullets to people who are interested in them. If you don't get in on that buy I'll send you some of mine. PM me in the fall.

Welcome to your new addiction!

Wayne Smith
06-18-2005, 09:29 PM
I knew that number was wrong. It's the 311440 on the group buy site.

dmdracer
06-18-2005, 10:25 PM
David R, I have slugged the bore and yes it is a couple tenths over .308. thanks for the welcome and sharing.
Wayne, thank you too for sharing, I have the Lyman book and yes it is good. I looked at the group buy and appears I'm too late, the extra ones are spoken for.
I have around 400 lbs of lead, mostly WW's from my racecar days, I used it as ballasts and melted lead in bread pans to bolt to the car, some is plumbers lead and I have no idea which is which now.
Sounds like it's a **** shoot as to what size you end up with, lots of mixing to get the right dia. is that a safe assumption?
No, I'm not wealthy, hence the $15.00 lee mold interest.
I appreciate you guys response, but I'm still confused as to what to get mold wise, sure wish someone here as "been there..done that" and would tell me to buy this mold and it will cast bullets in the .310 dia. probably too much to wish for huh? but maybe :)
Wayne, I assume you are in on the group buy for the 311440, I'll keep your offer to share some of those this fall if I haven't figured something out by then.
maybe I should put this back on the shelf untill I can figure out the answers to my concerns for this size thing.
thanks again
Dave

Slowpoke
06-18-2005, 11:28 PM
appreciate you guys response, but I'm still confused as to what to get mold wise, sure wish someone here as "been there..done that" and would tell me to buy this mold and it will cast bullets in the .310 dia. probably too much to wish for huh? but maybe :)
Dave

Your 149gr bullet looks to me to be the Saeco 316.

I have two of those molds and they both drop right at .310 with WW plus 2% tin.

Goodluck

floodgate
06-19-2005, 12:42 AM
dmdracer:

"I have around 400 lbs of lead, mostly WW's from my racecar days, I used it as ballasts and melted lead in bread pans to bolt to the car, some is plumbers lead and I have no idea which is which now."

DON'T wait; you're already an "honorary" caster; now you have the melting pot, all you need is a stove (if OK with mama-san; if not, a Coleman or propane stove, also a yard-sale item), a candle-end for flux and a big spoon or ladle. And a matching Lee "liquid Alox" sizing kit. From what I hear here, most Lees in that weight range will make 310" in WW alloy: if you can shave it with your thumbnail, it's the lead - if not, it's the wheel weights. Toss a bit of lead-free solder in (for the tin) if they don't cast clean. Start casting and let us know how it goes; you'll get all the advice you can stand here - and more!

floodgate

David R
06-19-2005, 06:27 AM
Yeah, just go for it. Does your marlin have a micro groove barrel?

For the cost of one mold to try it, just see what happens. I will send you some home cast boolits to get you started if thats what it takes.

Its not a hobby, its a life long addiction.

I have been casting boolits for almost 20 years. I am still learning a lot esepcially since I found this board.

kenjuudo
06-19-2005, 08:13 AM
dmdracer,
I'm getting good results in a 30AS with the RCBS 30-150-FN and Lyman 311291. PM me and I'll get some in the mail for ya to try.

jim

imashooter2
06-19-2005, 08:44 AM
The 309 designation in the Lee mold number signifies "nominal" diameter. Typically the bullet drops larger than that number. My Lee C309-150F drops bullets at .312 diameter using wheel weights plus 1% added tin. I size them to .311 with Hornady gas checks and load them over either Alliant 2400, Alliant Reloader 7 or IMR 3031 depending on whether I want full power loads or plinking rounds. I have used both conventional lube in a Lyman 45 lubrisizer and Lee liquid lube with the Lee push through system. Either way they shoot just fine with no leading in my microgroove Marlin 30AS. Get the Lee mold and give it a try.

kenjuudo
06-19-2005, 08:54 AM
The 309 designation in the Lee mold number signifies "nominal" diameter. Typically the bullet drops larger than that number. My Lee C309-150F drops bullets at .312 diameter using wheel weights plus 1% added tin. I size them to .311 with Hornady gas checks and load them over either Alliant 2400, Alliant Reloader 7 or IMR 3031 depending on whether I want full power loads or plinking rounds. I have used both conventional lube in a Lyman 45 lubrisizer and Lee liquid lube with the Lee push through system. Either way they shoot just fine with no leading in my microgroove Marlin 30AS. Get the Lee mold and give it a try.

Care to share your 2400 data?

jim

dmdracer
06-19-2005, 10:38 AM
Wow.. you guys are great, I was going to shelve this project for awhile but with all your encouragement, you have motivated me to go ahead and get the Lee mold and give it a shot ! I'll order later today.
Ok, now, little more confusion...which lee sizer? might as well get it all in one shipment....one of the above replys said something about sizers not really sizing...but just puts lube on it, did I read that wrong? I do not see a .310 lee sizer, you think I would be ok with the .311?
Yes, my Marlin has the microgrove, never had a lever gun b4, I purchased this last year from a friend's...friend's brother who passed. It had a 2x scope on it. I purchased some commercial 150 and 170gr ammo and could not hit the side of a barn, others at the range tried this too and no one had any luck, we finally figured the scope was the culprit, iron sites was not that much better, I put it in the safe, lost interest.This spring, after finding this site I begin to get interested in the reduced loads I read about and as they say...the rest is history.
My wife, who btw kicks my butt in accuracy on paper sometimes, did I really admit that? would not shoot it because of recoil, she now likes it with the reduced loads. I put a 4x scope on it and have shot around a 2.052" 5 shot group @100yds. not sure how that compares to avg. but hey, I was impressed from previous attempts...ok I'm hooked... again.
thank you guys for the kind and encouraging replys, this board is so refreshing than some others I frequent, they are so rude sometimes that you don't want to ask a question for fear of their rude, belittling replys.
thanks
Dave

imashooter2
06-19-2005, 02:29 PM
Care to share your 2400 data?

jim

Alliant lists a maximum of 16 grains of 2400 with a 152 grain lead bullet. My C309-150F drops at about 156 grains with my alloy. After adding a check and lube, that is well over 160 grains. I have shot 2400 loads from 12.0 through 15.5 grains. The rifle starts to group nicely at 14.0 grains and works well right up to 15.5 grains. The 14.0 grain load was used to shoot the winning 10 shot 50 yard group in the Aloha Match. (OK, maybe just because of the light entries, but a win is a win :)) The 15.5 grain loads give 5 shot groups of about 2.3 at 100 yards. I have a chronograph, but haven't run any of these plinking loads over it. Muzzle blast and recoil are mild. Good loads to let the children try Dad's hunting rifle.

imashooter2
06-19-2005, 02:42 PM
Wow.. you guys are great, I was going to shelve this project for awhile but with all your encouragement, you have motivated me to go ahead and get the Lee mold and give it a shot ! I'll order later today.
Ok, now, little more confusion...which lee sizer? might as well get it all in one shipment....one of the above replys said something about sizers not really sizing...but just puts lube on it, did I read that wrong? I do not see a .310 lee sizer, you think I would be ok with the .311?
Yes, my Marlin has the microgrove, never had a lever gun b4, I purchased this last year from a friend's...friend's brother who passed. It had a 2x scope on it. I purchased some commercial 150 and 170gr ammo and could not hit the side of a barn, others at the range tried this too and no one had any luck, we finally figured the scope was the culprit, iron sites was not that much better, I put it in the safe, lost interest.This spring, after finding this site I begin to get interested in the reduced loads I read about and as they say...the rest is history.
My wife, who btw kicks my butt in accuracy on paper sometimes, did I really admit that? would not shoot it because of recoil, she now likes it with the reduced loads. I put a 4x scope on it and have shot around a 2.052" 5 shot group @100yds. not sure how that compares to avg. but hey, I was impressed from previous attempts...ok I'm hooked... again.
thank you guys for the kind and encouraging replys, this board is so refreshing than some others I frequent, they are so rude sometimes that you don't want to ask a question for fear of their rude, belittling replys.
thanks
Dave

Sizers make bullets smaller by forcing them through a tapered hole. This i done to ensure that loaded cartridges will chamber in the firearm (i.e. a .312 diameter bullet may expand the case neck too far to allow the cartridge to chamber in a tight rifle). Sizers can apply lube (RCBS, Star and Lyman lubrisizer presses) or not (the Lee push through system), either system will crimp on gas checks. The cheapest way into the game is to buy a Lee push through sizer die and their liquid alox. I suggest you buy their .309 die as you have slugged your bore at just over .308 and bullets sized that small will be easiest to load without shaving lead off the sides of the bullet. If you find that you need a larger bullet, the Lee dies are very easy to enlarge by spinning a "flapper" of 320 grit sand paper on a drill motor and honing thousandth or so out.

Leftoverdj
06-19-2005, 03:17 PM
.311 should be fine. You could also get the .309 and we'll teach you to lap to .310. You can sort out which of your ingots are which by smacking them with a ball peen hammer. You'll get a bigger dent in the softer ones.

Lee specs are nominal to +.003, with the majority running .001 over. There are ways to get them to cast a little bigger, and we'll help you with that if you need it. I don't expect you to.

I'm with the other guys. Don't worry about it, just do it. You can add on more stuff later.

I'm in on the 311440 deal and I'm good for samples when it gets in. I was also in on the .30-30 plinker deal. That's a plain base bullet that would probably make your wife very happy. It's only good for .22 lr velocities, but it's a cast, lube, and shoot proposition and very accurate at .22 lr ranges. Let me know if you want some of those.

Watch the future group buys. Outstanding designs are coming out of that process. It takes 25 casters to agree to get a deal going. That's a lot more thought and experience than goes into the commercial designs. I don't think a single dog has slipped through, and some have been way above any reasonable expectations.

kenjuudo
06-19-2005, 08:58 PM
Alliant lists a maximum of 16 grains of 2400 with a 152 grain lead bullet. My C309-150F drops at about 156 grains with my alloy. After adding a check and lube, that is well over 160 grains. I have shot 2400 loads from 12.0 through 15.5 grains. The rifle starts to group nicely at 14.0 grains and works well right up to 15.5 grains. The 14.0 grain load was used to shoot the winning 10 shot 50 yard group in the Aloha Match. (OK, maybe just because of the light entries, but a win is a win :)) The 15.5 grain loads give 5 shot groups of about 2.3 at 100 yards. I have a chronograph, but haven't run any of these plinking loads over it. Muzzle blast and recoil are mild. Good loads to let the children try Dad's hunting rifle.

Thanks, I'm just getting to the bottom of a can of IMR 3031 but have plenty of 2400, I'll have to give it a go, considering how well 2400 goes through a measure, and all this 30-30 kills is paper and pop cans.

jim

dmdracer
06-19-2005, 09:06 PM
Well again I say thanks....you guys are the best...I appreciate the offers to send me "boolits" to try, I don't know what to say.
I took the advice of "don't worry about it and just do it" I ordered the Lee c309-150F mold, Lee pro 4 20 furnace, Hdy. gaschecks and a Lee .309 sizer and lube, should be here midweek I suspect. Honing the .309, I should have thought of that, will do the wait and see thing there.
I'll give you all a break for awhile and then I'm sure I'll be back asking all the stupid questions us new guys ask...you've been warned ! :) I will try to search for the answers b4 I bother you all.
I'm excited to learn and have some fun with this casting addiction, perhaps I can share some good stories with everyone as I develope my skills and knowledge.
btw...I have a few handguns, DE 44, Ruger 357, colt 9, cap and ball in 44 I think...been awhile?......I hear you can shoot cast in some of these too.... ;-) ;-)

thanks,

humbled
Dave

Wayne Smith
06-20-2005, 07:19 AM
If your reloading retimen hasn't included champhering case mouths and expanding necks it's now time to read up on those. You will have to do both with cast, and Lee makes a reasonable universal case mouth expanding die. All of die sets designed for cast will have an expander button as well.

David R
06-20-2005, 05:05 PM
I don't know about the rest of you, I don't expand, bell or flare my rifle cases for Gas check boolits. I just champher chamfer? the inside more than the outside when I trim em. I don't scrape any lead when loading. I DO expand pistol cases for plain base.

imashooter2
06-20-2005, 11:01 PM
I don't know about the rest of you, I don't expand, bell or flare my rifle cases for Gas check boolits. I just champher chamfer? the inside more than the outside when I trim em. I don't scrape any lead when loading. I DO expand pistol cases for plain base.

My experience is that a Lyman M die makes seating .311 diameter bullets much easier. I guess that's why they make both chocolate and vanilla...

boogerred
06-20-2005, 11:35 PM
leftoverdj-what are the .30 cal plinkers? finally starting to reload and cast for my .30-30 and am mostly looking for light bullets(100-125 grs). will buy a sample. mikejay@sbcglobal.net

Char-Gar
06-21-2005, 11:18 AM
I would strongly recommend Lyman 311291 for your first mold. With this mold, if you are not getting good results it is not the design of the bullelt.

A couple of other suggestion for the 30-30 Marlin.

1) Size your bullets .311
2) IMR3031 is a very good powder for full power loads (26-29 grains)
3) IMR4759 is a very good powder for lower velocity loads (15 -17 grains)

Of course there are other bullets and powders that will do well, but the above are sure fire.

boogerred
06-21-2005, 11:12 PM
i just got a lee 309-113 2 holer that dropped out at 310 to 311. i will admit i wasnt paying a lot of attention to mold and pot temps as the spurs and pistons were just starting game 6, i had to close the bullet factory. i load 5 cals for 4 handguns- 32 s&w long/32 h&r mag in ruger SS,38 spcl in s&w, 38spcl/357 mag in ruger BH and 45 acp in Colt 1991.my 32 ruger does good with 313 cast, the S&W with 357 cast and ruger with 358 cast, the Colt with its 3.25" bbl will need a better shooter than me. im fairly new at casting and can only offer a few "do not do this" and a couple of "this works". do not melt dirty, greasy WWs in your bottom pour( major headache later ), find something else to melt WWs in. get current lyman,rcbs & lee catalogs before you go e-baying. buy some stuff and start, youll have a better idea of what you need

ammohead
07-20-2005, 11:54 PM
I have around 400 lbs of lead, mostly WW's from my racecar days, I used it as ballasts and melted lead in bread pans to bolt to the car, some is plumbers lead and I have no idea which is which now.
Dave

dmdracer, drop your alloy on a concrete driveway or garage floor. Plumbers lead will klunk, WW will ring.

You talk as though you want to get it right the first time. Admirable, but futile. You will be buying casting stuff to try to get it just right for the rest of your life. It is best to resign yourself to this truth right away. We all have. Your hooked, there is no turning back now.

ammohead