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Thread: cast bullets for 30-30

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    cast bullets for 30-30

    I took the plunge and bought some cast bullets for my 30-30 win. At the time I didn't know a heck of a lot concerning cast bullets and I still don't. I do know that in order to shoot these bullets at rifle velocities and avoid leading I need to use gas checks. When I heard this I started looking into purchasing them. I have since then discovered that the bullet has to be cast to accept gas checks. So here is my issue, I have 500 cast 30-30 bullets that are not made to accept gas checks and I have no idea how to load them to keep the velocities under 1400 fps. I am hoping that some on here has loading cast bullets in a 30-30 without gas checks and had some information on how to keep them under 1400 fps.
    I have had trouble finding a load that does this. Please help.

    I have 100 grain plinkers and 135 grain for hunting.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Sensai's Avatar
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    Tory, without further information, I think that TrailBoss is your friend. You can load those bullets with very mild to moderate loads with TB. That being said, 135 grains is too light for any game other than small game like squirrels and rabbits. I don't know if you're a beginning reloader, or just new to cast, but Trailboss has the added benefit of being bulky enough to prevent double charges. The main thing is NEVER compress TrailBoss powder, it doesn't like it at all! Go to hodgdon.com (they have IMR and Winchester data) and go to their data center. Also look at the Trailboss reduced loads info while you're there. Best wishes
    Gary

    Takeoffs are optional, landings are manditory.

  3. #3
    Boolit Man Keyston44's Avatar
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    I load the Lee 150gr gas checked bullet without the gas checks installed with 10 gr of Unique. I think the size of the bullet will be more important than anything. I size mine to .310.

    Key
    "Hatred is the cowards answer for being intimidated"

  4. #4
    Boolit Master BCRider's Avatar
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    Check out the loading information for Trail Boss. When used in loads like this the pressure tends to be high for the velocity attained. As a result I simply do not think that this is the best way to use this powder. This same high chamber pressure for lower velocity shows up in a pretty wide variety of cartridges. So while TB can be great for some options I avoid it for others that show signs of this oddity in the loading data. Given my options I tend to like the lowest pressure powder that reaches my desired muzzle velocity.

    Hodgdon has a special load data publication out on the web for cowboy action loads that result in slower speeds for use with cast boolits. I found it a while back with a google search for "cowboy action hodgdon" I believe. But it's something like that for sure. If you really get stuck finding it then I could email you a copy of the PDF file I've got on my 'puter. Send me a PM with your email address that'll accept attachments.

    In the meatime for .30-30 it has the following data. Note that Trail Boss is NOT suggested or even presented in this cowboy action load data for .30-30.

    160 GR CAST
    Powder..Min........Vel......Pres.....Max.......Vel ......Pres.
    H4895, 17.5 gr., 1351, 15,200, 21.0 gr., 1562, 23,100
    H4198, 15.0 gr., 1420, 15,000, 17.0 gr., 1616, 20,600
    Witty saying to be plagarized shortly.....

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Try 7 grains of Unique, 8 grains of Herco or 13 grains of 2400 to start under your 160 grain boolits. Then go up a half grain at a time to a max of 8.5 grains Unique, 9.5 grains of Herco or 15.0 grains of 2400. Somewhere along the way you should find a good load for your purpose. Large Pistol Primers will work for these, should you find yourself running short of Large Rifle primers. I shot a fair few 311-245's w/o gas checks over 8.5 grains of Herco, with no leading and fine accuracy..
    Last edited by rintinglen; 05-07-2013 at 04:27 AM.
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    I found decent accuracy from 6.3 gr power pistol , under a lee c309-170rf , I was trying power pistol being close to unique in burn , so i backed it down , 6.3 is what i use under a 170 gr 40 cal boolit in a 40S&W and i already had that powder measure set so i tried it 50 yard groups were as good as i could expect with iron sights and my eyes , at 100 i can ring a steel plate all day long
    those were without gas checks , i have some gas checks now but they ad 2 cents each, and the range only goes to 100 meters , so i will be using them for hunting loads and not target loads

    in cast a heavier bullet is often a better choice

    think of rifling as very long threads

    take what you know about threads , if you have a few threads to hold a lot of pull they will strip , if you make the nut and bold larger around with bigger coarser threads you have more metal to bear the load , or if you use more of the smaller threads over a greater length it can bear more load .

    jacketed bullets use a copper skin that is many times harder than the lead to compensate

    because you are left with 30 cal in a 30-30 you want a longer bearing surface to take the load , the longer the bearing surface the softer the boolit can be or the faster it can go , at some point you reach a pressure limit of the chamber , or a limit of the alloy , but finding the sweet spot where you can get good pressure for a clean burn , alloy that matches the velocity it shows in accuracy

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I think the biggest problem you will have is seating the boolits. Like you, I decided to try my hand with lead in 30-30. I cast my own 150 grain boolits, pan lubed them, and tried to seat them over 8 gr. of Unique. The problem I had was seating the boolit without deforming and cutting portions of the lube grooves completly off. However, the fix is very simple.
    Get a tapered punch and flare the case mouth just a little before you throw your powder. This acts like a Lyman M die, which basically does the same thing. If you are just planning on a little experimentation, I would not purchase an M die until you have committed to cast boolit 30-30 shooting. I would just try and flare the mouth with something like a tapered punch.
    After you have committed, I suggest a 20 dollar Lee dual cavity boolit mold, a 50 dollar Lee bottom pour lead pot, and a lubesizer of sorts. Even the cheap Lee push through tumble lube sizers will help you get accurate boolits. I highly suggest a Star Lubesizer. Once you buy one of those, casting and loading lead becomes a whole lot more fun. Before you know it, you will have 5 or 6 sizer dies and a bunch of lubes to try.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    I use the lee universal expander to open up the case mouth a bit and allow the .310 cast bullet in , then the seating die is set ti just take the bell out and the crimp groove sits up against the case mouth

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by GREENCOUNTYPETE View Post
    I use the lee universal expander to open up the case mouth a bit and allow the .310 cast bullet in , then the seating die is set ti just take the bell out and the crimp groove sits up against the case mouth
    ^^^--- This is what I do except that I use the Lee FCD to crimp. As an aside I use the Lee universal expander as the basis for creating custom M-die equivalents at a low price.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    As long as they arent Lasercast I'd treat them as these guys recomend. If they are Lasercast just treat them like low end jacketed rounds and watch for leading but dont expect much. Those things are so hard I'm not sure even slowing them down will do much. I had a handful given to me and would never use them again.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    Use 2.7 gr Bullseye for the 100 gr "plinkers" and 6 gr bulleye for the 135 gr bullets. The 1st will be very mild and a lot of fun. Still deadly on small game at 800-900 fps. The second will push the 135 gr bullets above 1200 fps and will indeed be good for small game/varmints at reasonable range.

    For commercial cast at full throttle in your 30-30 look at LaserCast 170 gr GC'd bullets.

    Larry Gibson

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I'll have to check out the Lee Universal Expander. I heard they are great. I have so many wants when it comes to reloading that it is sometimes hard to keep a focus.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    My 30/30 loves a TB load that is 90% fill and has an MV of just under 1200 fps. It is a wonderful plinker that my wife enjoys as well and is accurate to 100 yards. Pure fun to shoot.

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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