View Full Version : Thoity-thoity
04-04-2005, 05:14 PM
Good evening from the left.....and I do mean the left..........of center.....
Back on the other board I posted a topic regarding the use of original antique cartridge firearms. Well, I drove to Philadelphia (3 days to, 5 days back- found some golf courses) and worked out the disposition of a large and very fine collection of rifles and carbines, all circa 1850-1895. What followed me home included a Winchester '94 with a serial of 64,XXX as well as a Winchester '73 in excellent shape.
Those who recall- I (usta) be a pistol-only shooter- but the '94 is screaming for cast bullets. I've cast many, many thousands of pistol bullets but it's been 25 years since I reloaded for rifle- and never with cast bullets save a 50-70 with no sizing dies. Soooo......I'm here begging your wisdom.
First issue is what bullet to select. I'm a hole puncher so accuracy is the priority- energy deposit and those things that hunters look for don't mean anything to me. Lyman currently has a few blunt-nose bullets- the 311291, 311672 and 311041. I don't know the twist of the '94- I'd imagine 1-12" is a good guess. Anyone out there have a preference for either of the 3?
Second issue is what powder to select. I'm interested in keeping pressures low for obvious reasons- the rifle is old. Lyman's cast bullet guide lists a handful of pistol powders- Red Dot, Green Dot , Unique etc. Preferences? Pressure spikes?
If I remember correctly there is no such thing as a carbide rifle die right? Do I need to modify my Lyman 450 sizer to crimp gas checks?
Many thanks all, I can consider myself a newbie to casting for these enlongated fire sticks......and am delighted to have a new avenue of experience. I think I'm in good shape for the 44-40 'cuz I know what I'm doing (at least I lead myself to believe I do) with pistol cartridges.
Many thanks and regards....................................
04-04-2005, 05:55 PM
Take a look in the Molds section at the thread "Want one? (311440 Preview).
04-04-2005, 08:00 PM
Hey feller...glad to see you back in the fold again. Been a while since we talked.
You have a good one on the .30/30 sounds like. I'd go for a 30-150-FN RCBS as it shoots real well in my rifle.
No carbide dies for the .30/30 but after the first firing, you're down to neck sizing and that's no chore.
Any of the Lyman loads will probably serve you well. I shoot a lot of WC820 loads in my .30/30 for plinking. It will give you 1600-1800 FPs with no strain and is economical.
If you're stuck with those three bullets, my nod goes to the 311041. Works fine in my rifle but is a bit heavier than you need probably.
The 311440 is a good bullet in the .30/30. You have to be careful with seating the GCs or you'll bump the nose too big to chamber but that's the only drawback with it./beagle
04-05-2005, 06:03 PM
Thanks Beagle- nope I'm not married to any particular style. I'll prob'ly try 3 or 4 moulds because that's what we do. Appreciate the help!
45 2.1, I'm in- thankya!
04-05-2005, 07:06 PM
Well, I'm thinkin' that a few of us ought to help this poor feller out by sending a handful each of what's worked for us afore he sheds hisself of hard earned bucks buying about twentyseventeen moulds. Kain't speak for anyone but myself, but if'n ya PM me with yer home 20 I'll ship some 31141s. You want them plain vanilla or dressed in Hdy GCs and FWFL? sundog
04-05-2005, 07:46 PM
I got some 311291s in the raw in about bhn 20 or so. I'll go along with sundog and send ya some for testing . Shoot me a PM if intrested. ...buck
04-05-2005, 07:50 PM
I would suggest powders on the slow side to keep the old girl tight. I like H414. I'll donate some LBT 150 if you want to try some. It would be a good idea to slug bore and and do a throat impression to find out what for sure size/length bullet you need. Here is a good 30-30 article.
Paco is a levergun nut and loves the 30-30. Hope this helps. Jay
04-08-2005, 11:58 AM
Based on the #64,XXX, that rifle was made about mid 1896, a real oldie. Most of my cast bullet shooting in 30-30 has been with the Lyman #311291 with the bullet seated to just touch the lands. Most of my loads have been in the deer hunting range, so may not be appropriate for that old rifle. The RCBS #30-180-FN is now my choice for a hunting bullet. (190 gr. at 1950 FPS)
For some odd reason, I have never gotten #31141/311041 to shoot worth a damn in any 30 caliber rifle I own, including the 30-30. I have two mold for that bullet by Lyman and an NEI clone of the same bullet and none will group worth beans. With eight diffeent 30-30 rifles, you'd think that they would work in at least one of them. Just my bad luck I guess.
Personally, I don't much care for using pistol powders in rifles for most of my shooting purposes. I haven't tried it, but SR-4759 might be a choice for lighter loads suited to the rifle. My oldest 30-30 M94 is a bit newer than yours, made in 1911. I load it just a bit lighter than factory with cast bullets only, but then, I don't shoot any condom bullets in any of my 30-30 rifles. I do load them to full factory power though.
Lee makes a 150 gr. flat nosed bullet that I've just started playing with and it seems to want to shoot. I've only done a couple of trips to the range with it, so don't have any meaningful data yet.
I do have some plinker loads (gallery loads) using 110 to 115 gr. cast bullets. Good for 25 to 40 yard plinking, and will do small game without blowing it to pieces as well. it's the one time I use a pistol powder in the 30-30. With a Lyman #311316, 5.0 gr. of Unique held in place with a quarter square of toilet paper, velocity is roughly 950 to 1,000 FPS (estimated) and it rolls tin cans nicely. The nice part about that load is, if you do mess up and get a double charge, it's still within the limits for the cartridge.
04-08-2005, 02:12 PM
If'n you want to try some Saeco #315 in that 30-30 send me your addy and I'll get some to you. They shoot very well with 15-16 gr of either 2400 or WC820 out of my Sears 94 clone.
04-08-2005, 07:13 PM
For maximum variety with minimum cost, go to MidwayUSA or Southern Shooter's supply and look over the Lee molds.
I have the c309-113f, c309-150f, c309- 200r and ctl312-160-2R, you would likely prefer the c309-170f rather than the last two, I reload for a .'99 in .303 Savage, for all practical purposes, the same as a .30-30, except the '99 has a rotary magazine so pointed bullets are not a problem for me.
I use Herco and IMR 4227 with the 113gr bullet, makes it a .32-20 , more or less, IMR 4198, Varget, BLC2 and H 4895 do fine with the heavier bullets, if you want some light loads , check out Reloder7 in the Alliant manual. I have given no loads as the model rifle you have is with the carbon steel barrel and really should be used with cast bullets and moderate loads.
I have a 1900, '94 in .32sp, but it is the second model with the nickle steel barrel for smokeless powder and jacketed bullets.
04-08-2005, 11:41 PM
.................My old (my BROTHER'S old) 1893 Marlin just loved the Lee C309-160R and 21.0 H4198 + dacron so much, that 's about all I ever shot through it. Some 50 yards groups would be a quarter sized hole. Enough Oomph to knock over the 200 meter ram, too.
04-09-2005, 11:23 AM
Drinks. Try the RCBS #30-180-FN in that .303 Savage. Cast from Wheel weights, it runs real close to the 190 gr. weight of the original Savage load. In the batch of WW I have, average weight is 189.5 gr. (Close enough.) I use it in the 30-30 with 28.0 gr. of W-748 for 1950 FPS from a 20" barreled 94.
FWIW, I don't think any of the M94s chambered for either the 30-30 or 25-35 had carbon steel barrels, at least none released to the public. Winchester delayed releasing the M94 in 25-35 and 30-30 until they could use the nickel steel barrels because the softer carbon steel barrels would not hold up. This delayed release of the two cartridges until sometime in 1895.
04-17-2005, 09:43 AM
Thanks gents, for the more than generous offers! By the time I saw the replies, I'd already bought two single cavity Lees- in .309 150g and 170g respectively. The nice thing about the Lee moulds is that once you've figured out if a particular bullet design works in whatever application, you can now comfortably spend more money on a Lyman or Saeco in the same design. The Lee can then be given to the next person in line who wants to try those designs.
I forgot how fussy those Lees can be! I went through my normal routine as if I were preparing for a pistol casting session with the 6 and 10 cavity steel moulds- the little Lee moulds would have none of it. Seems those little tiny aluminum mould blocks dissipate heat reeeeely quickly. To learn that, I spent about 10 minutes going from grossly frosted and shriveled bullets to bright, shiny wrinkled ones. Then I got it- can't leave the moulds sit for any time- as in running two or three steel moulds simultaneously. But, after the short trial-and-error, they did suprisingly well once they each received 100% of my attention. They are fond of ladle-casting as opposed to bottom pour; they behave best when the sprue plate is cooled conosiderably by being touched with a wet rag prior to the next pour (which one of us came up with that one? we'll have him bronzed and canonized) and they prefer a higher tin ratio- about 1:15 or so.
Next week I'll try to see if they (and I) can shoot!
04-17-2005, 05:45 PM
Every .308 cal shooter should try the "Lees soup can" 113 fp bullet. Great small game getters and fun plinkers. think a 113 gr bullet at 22 velocities and have fun. Gianni.
04-28-2005, 01:45 PM
I did it....it happened. Headline: Pistol Shooter Goes Cast Rifle
After a bajillion years of casting and shooting pistol rounds, I finally made the leap. The low-serial 1894 was the first victim of my 'sperimentation. I started with two Lee moulds- a 150g FP and a 170g FP. Both shoot very well; I'm confident about purchasing a #311041 now. And I still have the Lee moulds to give away to the next person that wants to start loading .30 caliber.
With the old buckhorn sights on the .30-30, the first groups out measured 1.5" at 50 yards. Both the 150 and the 170 performed well at about 1,200 fps (7 to 7.5g Unique, Lyman check, water dropped 15-1 ww/tin alloy). As I pushed to 2,000fps, the groups opened up to a maximum of about 2.25". There's more experimenting to do; I know that there's no reason that I can't get the same accuracy out of a 2,000fps load that the 1,200fps load provides. I went as high as 26g of IMR 3031, keeping in mind the age of the rifle (105 to 110 years).
One thing that I did notice with the faster loads- the Lyman gas checks were separating just at the 50 yard mark- as they are designed to do (according to the Lyman cast bullet handbook). The gas checks were cutting .30" holes immediately adjacent to the bullet's impact- at about 5 o'clock. I'm wondering if the gas check separation is contributing to the loss of accuracy as velocity increases. I understand that Hornady's check crimps onto the bullet shank- can this be a better way to go? In addition, I'm using Lee's stick allox and sizing to .309 in a Lyman 450. I've not yet adjusted the seating depth to a slight rifling engraving. I think playing with these variables will get me where I want to go. Other variables include new powder- H322 and a can of IMR 4320 that I forgot I had from my 8mm condom bullet loading days- 20 years ago. That can of 4320 relocated with me nine times in that 20 year period....across country and down the left coast and I never knew I had it. Talking about being a potato head........
....as always, thanks and regards.......
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