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Thread: Round ball loads?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Round ball loads?

    Anyone out there have any plinking/gallery loads for round balls in military rifles?

    I'm particularly interested in your rifle RB loading methods, such as:

    Alloy type

    Bullet lube type

    Sized or unsized cases?

    Filler used?

    In other words, what works best for you?




    Was also wondering what the practical range limit was with these?

    TIA ,

    mosinman
    Last edited by mosinman; 07-24-2011 at 11:14 AM. Reason: Added more detailed questions

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I have shot single 0 buck in my SMLE .303.
    I used 6.5 grains of HS-6 with the ball press fit in the neck with my thumb.
    At 50 meters the holes were close but not quite touching.

    Tomorrow, I am going to try the same load in my Ruger #1 which is in the same caliber.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    My Lee .310 mold drops a .313 RB. I load these in my Mosin 91/30 with 5-6 grs. of Red Dot or Trail Boss. The ball is seated flush with the case mouth and a little lube smeared over the end. At 25 yds. it shoots like a 22 rifle.

    Dave

  4. #4
    Boolit Master frnkeore's Avatar
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    One thing you can't do is pump them up. There is very little bearing area in the groove so, if pushed to fast, they will strip in the rifling. You can how ever get them going faster if you resize a larger ball (say .35 down to .313 or what ever size will fill the neck) and use more lube over the end of the case. I do that in my 45 by resizing .490 balls down to .452.

    Frank

  5. #5
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    I dont get the whole Idea about shooting a RB when you can down load a regular cast bullet to similar speeds and better accuracy, I keep a box of squib loaded 30-06 for my back yard pests that consist of a 185 gr and 3.0 grs of Bullseye that will shoot as well as I need it to at 50 yds and is quieter than the RB loads I have tried .So why use a RB?

    Tim
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master frnkeore's Avatar
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    Tim,
    About the best reason that I can give you is that it saves about 150gr of lead per shot. 200 shots per pound of RB and less than 38 with a 185 gr bullet. Personally, I use a 22rf for short range stuff (even cheaper than just the primers in most cases so, you get the lead,case and powder free) but, you can go subsonic with your own loads with a RB. That doesn't help revolvers very much though. So, my guess is that it's because that "you can do it" and reloading is just fun that way.

    Frank

  7. #7
    Boolit Master HARRYMPOPE's Avatar
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    this is from a post of mine last year on another forum-

    I recently had to work up a silent load for some aggressive feral dogs that cost me $1600 in vet bills.(dont worry,i live in the country and its legal to shoot out here)As it turned out it ended up being a very nice gallery load for the shops 10 meter pellet gun range.I played with lighter bullets like the 311008 but on advice from a buddy settled on 150g-190g bullets.My silent load ended up being the ideal 308241 Plain base (150g) and chronographs @ 500 fps.I used 2.5g(.3cc Lee dipper) of a surplus flaky pistol powder similar in speed to Unique(and also Unique).The load penetrated 1"-1.5" into dry Doug Fir at 30 feet.it is sighted dead on @ 30feet, is about 1/2" low @ 15 yards,2" low at 25 yards and 16" low @ 50 yards.Accuracy at 30 feet is little cloverleafs,15 yards was 1/2",25 yards was 2" and 50 yards I never found them all.

    Same loads work in the 30-06 and 303Brit.Just de-prime,re-prime(no sizing of case at all),dip powder,finger seat a bullet and shoot to your hearts desire.if shooting indoors dont lube them and you will be smoke free and not have any leading either.

    Glad the dogs never came around again,i was too busy shooting offhand by the wood stove anyhow.

    I used a Russian Mosin with an older 1.3X Bushnell pistol scope in a cheap import rear sight Weaver style base.

    George
    Last edited by HARRYMPOPE; 03-03-2012 at 11:03 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Man matm0702's Avatar
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    Roundball

    I use Hornady .31 Cal round ball. Mic out around .315 and used over 3 grain of
    Reddot. Nasty at 15 yards and would penetrate a bag of potting soil and flatten out on the cinder block supporting the bag. Groups were nickel size. Used cases already fire formed so no sizing required. Report was no louder than a pellet rifle. This was out of a 91/30 mosin.

    Mike

  9. #9
    Boolit Master







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    Have shot round ball in numerous rimed and belted cases including multi ball loads in 444 and 4570. With a slightly oversized ball rolled over mule snot and heat dried have had more than respectable accuracy with small charges of fast pistol pdr. You might want to reference Beagles article of round ball loads and multi round ball loads. They can be fun, and they are cheap.
    1Shirt!
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by RU shooter View Post
    I dont get the whole Idea about shooting a RB when you can down load a regular cast bullet to similar speeds and better accuracy, I keep a box of squib loaded 30-06 for my back yard pests that consist of a 185 gr and 3.0 grs of Bullseye that will shoot as well as I need it to at 50 yds and is quieter than the RB loads I have tried .So why use a RB?

    Tim
    I just did it for fun as I had some single aught buck laying around from some other project. I have also been shooting some 32 acp bullets I pulled several years ago out my .303s for the same reason.

    I like to have a squib round with me when out deer hunting in case I see a grouse or rabbit.

    Right now, I am only set up for shooting pp out of my rifles and don't have any molds big enough to fit my bore if I did want to shoot plain cast. I might try some low velocity paper patched bullets in the near future.

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    Round Ball

    Back in the day some folk loaded rounds with "Buck and Ball".
    Today, you'd add the Trailboss, some BBs, then top with that big RB.
    That way, if you shot at a deer he'd drop from the ball.
    Shoot at a pheasant and he'd drop from the BBs.
    The BBs would go under the deer; the ball would go over the birds.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I've seen photos of a prototype Colt calvary revolver chambered for a buck and ball load in a .45-70 casing. I don't know if this revolver cylinder was long enough for a regular .45-70 cartridge, but the cylinder was pretty long.
    The load used a .45 round ball and three buckshot.

    The idea was that should the ball miss the target would still likely catch one or more buck shot, and besides the pain and possiblity of a serious wound, infection would like as not carry him off should he escape.

    They didn't go far with this idea, mainly because Indians were a lot tougher than they had thought, and many survived horrendous wounds with no medical care at all when the average white eyes would have sucumbed despite the best care available.

    In those days the handgun was still a main battle weapon for mounted use, the revolver having more fire power than the single shot carbines, and much easier to fire with at least some level of close range accuracy on the move especially in a melee.

    The British also often used buck and ball loads for the Brown Bess musket, the more lead in the air the more likely to produce wounds.

    Some Irish regiments during the U S Civil War used smoothbore muskets with either buck shot or buck and ball more often than ball loads.
    This did not work out as well in practice when faced by Confederates using minie ball and rifled muskets especially when the Confederates were behind decent cover.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Multigunner View Post

    They didn't go far with this idea, mainly because Indians were a lot tougher than they had thought, and many survived horrendous wounds with no medical care at all when the average white eyes would have sucumbed despite the best care available.

    Good Morning The indigenous tribes all had very good medical care. Herb & mineral compounds were faithfully passed down from previous generations. Every warrior generaly carried a pouch attached to his body with meds ready to be applied to woulds. The medican man was far more than a smoke & feather dancer. Yes they were tough troopers, healthy and knowing the whole tribe would attend to thier wounds and /or their family if he was to die in battle.

    Some Irish regiments during the U S Civil War used smoothbore muskets with either buck shot or buck and ball more often than ball loads.
    This did not work out as well in practice when faced by Confederates using minie ball and rifled muskets especially when the Confederates were behind decent cover.
    When the CW started few U:S: regiments had rifled muskets. Most troops were armed with the caliber .69 smooth bores in storage. Same for the South.. whatever was at home or captured from Federal Arsenals was the mainstay until the ships could bring in European items. Even then many imports were smoothbore muskets of various calibers. In 1863 when rifled arms were finally getting available for most troops in the field some regiments threatened rebellion if they had to turn in their smoothies for the rifled muskets. The standard load for the caliber .69 was a RB seated atop 3 buckshot. Out to 100 yards this load was leathal to any approaching rank of soilders. But as stated the caliber .69 was not designed for sniping at head & shoulders. But for under 50 yard battle conditions a handful of buckshot on top of 80 grains of 2F will sure slow the charge of the opposing force.
    Mike in Peru
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  14. #14
    Boolit Man Me not you's Avatar
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    For several years I was a Revolutionary War reenactor. For targets I tried both round ball and buck & ball. Ammunition was a paper cartridge (paper tube with the ball tied in one end and the powder in the other). During loading the end with the powder was torn open with the teeth, the musket was primed, the charge was then poured down the barrel followed by the ball still wrapped in the paper. The load was rammed firmly, ramrod returned to it's place, and the weapon was ready to fire.
    I could load and fire my Brown Bess (replica) in about ten seconds. It could shoot well enough to reliably hit an individual out to 100 yards. The ball loads would be used for skirmishing. The buck & ball loads would be used for volley firing at closer ranges. It was a powerful, deadly and effective weapon.

    I was also a Civil War reenactor. Note that in major engagements during the Civil War, the opposing lines were frequently about 35 yards apart. The advantage goes to the smoothbore under those circumstances.
    The Republic is ended, our prosperity is gone, our rights are being taken away, we are being put under the control of our enemies.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master tacklebury's Avatar
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    I shoot .457 Round balls in my .45-70 using thermal recept paper to make a cover for the bullet. Helps it grab the rifling better and improved accuracy. I use 10 gr. Unique in my 32" barrelled gun (can use less in shorter barrels). It's a good round to carry around for ground hogs or that skampy squirrel that won't leave you alone in your ground blind. Just use my Lee expander die set out to put it consistently in depth wise and use no filler.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check