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Thread: Developing a .308 hunting load with noe 311-175, thoughts welcome

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    Developing a .308 hunting load with noe 311-175, thoughts welcome

    Tomorrow I'm doing my first bit of load testing for my .308 hunting load for this year. Season starts this saturday so as usual I'm way behind but I have lot of time this week so I hope to get it ready in time to hunt with. Posting this to get advice and catalog the results of my process & the discussion in case they are helpful to someone in future.

    Mold I'm using is a 311-175 NOE based off the saeco 315, I cast up about 150 or so bullets 3 weeks ago to let them age and I'm just sizing/lubing in small batches out of that as I test. Bore slugs .3085-.3095 so I'm sizing .311. Brass is federal match brass since I have a bunch of it, all of it at least once fired in this gun.

    First batch of 20 I prepped yesterday: I lubed with white label 50/50, I'm hoping that gets me up to hunting velocity since that's what I had in the sizer at the moment and I figure softer is better during the cold of hunting season, if it works. Can also use white label 2500 without too much trouble as I have another sizer already set up with that. Sized to .311 and seated/lightly crimped at the band that leaves 3 lube grooves showing outside the case. Lubing all but the front 2 grooves, could lube more if needed but wanted to avoid having to worry about too much gunk getting on the exposed part of the bullets since they are for hunting. Here's a link to the mold if it helps: http://noebulletmolds.com/NV/product...ear1s0fajlv5k7

    Gas checked with gator gas checks, starting with the base load of sr4759 (believe it was 21.5gr but manual is out in the shop) and will work up towards the max in 1 gr increments until I see accuracy drop off or get leading.

    Rifle is a 50's era savage 99 with a pretty short throat

    Any thoughts on lube choice? Temps here during hunting season run 0-50F, part of the reason I'm waiting late to test it. Any thoughts on what muzzle velocity I need to reach in order for this bullet to be effective on whitetail deer at 25-150 yards? Alloy is 49/49/2 pure/coww/tin, air cooled.

    Thanks,
    Andy

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    Boolit Master
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    I run about that same alloy in a 311041 between 1700 and 1800 in 30-30,30-40 krag and 30-06. We've taken in excess of 10 deer with these loads and terminal performance has been superb.
    Some people live and learn but I mostly just live

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    My Savage 99 did quite well with the Ranch Dog 165 grain .30-30 bullet using 28 grains of IMR 4895 and a tuft of Dacron, lubed with LLA. Alloy was Larry Gibson's 50/50 COWW and pure (I think I used FMJ pistol range salvage so not quite pure) and 2% or the wheel weights weight in tin added. Makes for a malleable alloy at that velocity range and still penetrated about 3 feet of deer. Range was about 60 yards, easy shot. He made it maybe 40 yards, but there was no blood trail to speak of.

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    your gonna be effective at anything from 1800-2,000 muzzle velocity.
    you don't need fancy and you don't need cutting edge accuracy.

    the 4759 will get the job done no problem.
    just sight in to your first cold shot at 100 yds, then note where the group goes from there.
    now think about whether another 50 yds is gonna make those 2 shots be far enough apart to miss a deers vitals.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

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    I'm a fan of 99s and have found all the ones I've shot that are .30 and bigger do well with cast. That .308 was scoped and putting together a deer load was a no brainer. I've also used a 99EG in .300 Savage with the NOE copy of the 311041 and that same 28 grains of 4895. It also worked fine. Just make sure you know the limitations of your rifle and load and work within them, the way I deer hunt tends to make for close shots, I really can't remember when I shot one at much more than 50 yards. Cast works great for me.

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    Thanks guys, I'll be testing it in a few hours and will post back here with results. Glad to know you're having good success with velocities in the 1800-2000 range, I'm sure that will be fairly easily attainable. The meplat on this isn't as wide as the 311041 (tried that last year but didn't work well for me) so I'll try to get up as high as I can velocity wise.

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    If the meplat concerns you, another option would be to use the Bruce Bannister method of soft nose casting. It's tedious, but works and you'd only need a few. There's a sticky about how to do it.

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    Boolit Master
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    Your alloy seems just about perfect for your purpose to get good expansion and penetration from a muzzle velocity of 1700 out to 150 yards. My 308's don't seem to like 4759 so be prepared to change powders to ones like RE-7, 2400, or 5744 but every rifle barrel has its own personality. You shouldn't need that large a meplat if the performance on that large deer I got last weekend with a 140 gr 7mm soup can CB from my little 7mm TCU carbine is any indication (from 80 yards and an MV of 1650).

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    I'm not very concerned with meplat size with a soft alloy and 1800 fps. Apples to oranges here but the lee 220 gr 338 boolit with its blunt round nose hammers deer hard. Certainly no recovered boolits but looking at exit wounds expansion was obvious.
    Some people live and learn but I mostly just live

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    Very good to have the further info you guys are providing, I have a question some of you might be able to answer for me. Does expansion with an alloy like this decrease (to a point) as velocity increases? I ask that because some 1400 fps 35 rem loads I shot into the sand backstop last year mushroomed out perfectly (coww +2% tin) and once I got it up toward 1800 they stopped expanding nearly as much. 1400fps it was a perfect mushroom you would make an advertisement over, 1800 just slight tip deformation. Was that a fluke or is that normal for cast bullets?

    Reason asking is that initial testing went well and curious if I get this up past 2000 fps am I going to risk not having it expand as well as say 1700fps?

    Here's my results from yesterday, temp was 55:

    fired one fouler then 3 groups @ 50 yards, shot the 4/5 shots fairly quickly (within 2 min) then let gun rest 10-15 min tool cool while I did something else. Probably not the best testing technique but had another gun to work on. I count all shots (don't allow myself any flyers)

    group 1: 5 shots 21.5gr 4759, .8" with 4 of them touching, avg fps 1742
    group 2: 5 shots 22.5gr 4759, 1.25", avg 1784 fps
    group 2: 4 shots 23.5gr 4759, 1.6", avg 1855 fps

    Hope to get up today or tomorrow to test the next few levels of powder, once I see groups get too wide or leading I'll go back and test the best ranges again with multiple groups.

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    When I first started shooting deer with cast (small bores anyway, had been doing it with muzzle loaders for years), several others on here basically told me to not over think it. I was told to use a heavy for caliber, .30 or bigger cast of that 50/50 COWW to pure with 2% of the COWW of tin, and push them between 1800 and 2000 FPS, then put it through the lungs. Works like a champ. I've never done it much past 50 yards or so, but to be honest, I don't shoot them much farther than that with anything.

    I think you have what you need if you're confident you can hit them where it counts at the ranges and conditions you're hunting. If you can get 2000 FPS and the accuracy is still there, go for it.

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    I think you have a winner with that Group 1 load clearly. As the old saying goes - "If it ain't broke...". Since 4759 is no longer being manufactured, your next goal after hunting season is to find a powder that shoots almost as well.

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    Hoped to get up this week to test the next batches but work flared up and I won't be up there till monday at the earliest at this point. If I can hold 2" at 100yd I'll be very happy, and 3" would feel fine so I'll probably test a little more to see if I can get the velocity up without losing group size.

    One of these years I'll actually have everything ready with my equipment BEFORE hunting season starts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Hoped to get up this week to test the next batches but work flared up and I won't be up there till monday at the earliest at this point. If I can hold 2" at 100yd I'll be very happy, and 3" would feel fine so I'll probably test a little more to see if I can get the velocity up without losing group size.

    One of these years I'll actually have everything ready with my equipment BEFORE hunting season starts.
    Good luck with that goal, I always seem to be playing catch up too. Need to get outside and work with my crossbow, archery season has been going for a while now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    One of these years I'll actually have everything ready with my equipment BEFORE hunting season starts.

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    Ok so was able to make two trips up there yesterday thankfully, tested out 24.5gr, 25.5, 26.5 and 27.5 5 shot groups. 24.5 was 1.75" @ 50yd, 25.5 was 2", 26.5 and 27.5 blew up to 4+ inches. Had trouble with the chrono for first 10 shots so only recorded the last two groups. 26.5 averaged around 2050 and 27.5 averaged around 2080 if I recall right.

    The 25.5" group was 4 touching and a 5th almost 2" away. Was hoping that was a good load with an errant round so I went back and loaded up another 13 rounds of 25.5gr. That was all I had left for cleaned/prepped brass.

    Went back to the range and shot 3 foulers and (2) 5 shot groups, they were consistently 2" groups so no luck with 25.5gr. Would like to get down to a 3" group at 100yd if at all possible.

    Decapped and pin tumbled all my brass last night so going to prep all that today and load up some more back down in the 22-23gr range and hopefully try those out tomorrow morning.

    Have a high magnification scope on the rifle right now to make load testing easier and will switch back to my hunting scope once I'm settled on a load. Haven't tried this before so not sure if it is worth the hassle but it is nice to not have to set up the spotting scope.

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    Some thoughts;

    Not sure exactly what "49/49/2 pure/coww/tin" alloy is but all evidence (your groups at the recorded velocities) demonstrates it is too soft for the velocities, especially with SR4759 powder. The RPM Threshold with that combination is probably with a 22.0 - 23.5 gr load. Unfortunately that drops the velocity/RPM.

    With it getting close to hunting season not sure if you've time to case more bullets of COWWs + 2 % tin then mix 50/50 with pure lead. With that alloy or the one your using don't shoot foulers and clean every 7 - 8 shots. You will get the best accuracy doing that with that softer alloy pushed hard. It's what I do for my hunting loads and figure if I've not got a deer in 7-8 shots might as well just go home and clean the rifle anyways. For practice just use COWWs + 2% tin alloy. You can shoot them all day long with excellent accuracy.

    Instead of SR4759 I suggest a slower powder so as not to push the softer alloy with as quick a time/pressure curve. H4895 is the fastest I recommend and 26- 30 gr with a 3/4 gr Dacron filler. If you have 4350 (any of the 3 flavors) you might try it. Start at 38 gr and work up to 42 gr with the Dacron filler.

    Your M99 Savage .308W should have a 12" twist so there's no reason with the proper alloy and powder you shouldn't be able to get 2 - 2 1/2 moa at 100 yards in the 2000 to 2250 fps range with that bullet. With that your effective range would be 200 yards.
    Larry Gibson

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    Hi Larry thanks a lot for the info, very glad to have your thoughts on it.

    The alloy is 50% pure lead, 50% clip on wheel weights with 2% tin added on, so I'm pretty close to your recommended alloy. I just wrote it as 49/49/2 so it added up to 100%

    Thanks for the powder/velocity recommendations, I have some other powders I could try for sure. I never thought of trying a very slow powder at full case capacity as a safe method of doing a somewhat-reduced load, that's a creative idea and I may read up on it some more.

    Since I'm right in hunting season now I will probably first just drop it down to the right range for this powder and get it sighted in there for this year and then maybe play with the velocity more in preparation for next year. Very rare to see a deer beyond 100 yards where I'm at so a 150 yard gun is all I need here thankfully.

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    Tested out 23.0gr yesterday and it held 1-1.5" 5 shot groups at 50 yards consistently so I decided that will be my hunting load for the year. Went back up today with my 1-4x scope mounted on the rifle and sighted that in out to 100 yards. It is averaging 2.75" 5 shot groups at 100 yards so that works for me for this year. Might try out a different powder as larry suggested for next year, with the aim of getting a little more velocity without hurting accuracy. Didn't chrono last two trips to the range but should be at about 1820fps with 23.0 based on my first session chrono results.

    Wish me luck! I can finally get out and start hunting now and I have some time available the next 10 days or so.

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