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Thread: New caster here, questions about 30-06 for a 1903a3

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    New caster here, questions about 30-06 for a 1903a3

    Hello everyone,
    This is my first post on this forum. I've been lurking here for a few months, taking notes, accumulating supplies, etc.
    I'm getting ready to load up my first batch of cast for my 1943 Remington 1903a3. I love this gun to death. I built it from a stripped receiver, got most of my parts from estate sales, and built a complete, period-correct rifle.
    Here's where my doubts come in.
    I've been abusing the poor search button for a while now, trying to find out the scoop on reduced loads with IMR 4895 powder in 30-06. My very old NRA Handloader's Guide (so old it doesn't have an edition. Looks to be 1968?) lists loads of 37 grains of IMR 4895 with a 180 grain cast boolit. I'm using a Lee C312-185-1R.
    The problem is, I've had it pounded into my head to never go lower or higher than the manufacturer suggests. The Hodgdon site lists 45 grains as the starting load for IMR 4895.
    Here's a statement from Hodgdon about reduced loads that worries me. I emailed them myself this morning, and they told me that they've never heard of detonation actually occurring in "small arms". Odd to me, seeing as I've read several accounts of it. Perhaps they think they're illegitimate?
    I've also read that, as long as you're above 60% case capacity, you'll be fine. QuickLOAD gives me a case fill of 64.5% with 38 grains.
    So here's my questions:
    1. Has anyone here done loads as low as the NRA book suggests?
    2. Do I need a dacron filler?
    3. What BHN should I shoot for?
    4. Does the 60% case fill thing have any credence?
    5. Am I over-complicating this?

    Thank you all very much. I apologize if I've missed similar threads, there's just so many posts on this site it can be hard to find relevant info with a search. If someone has relevant links saved, I would appreciate it.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Eddie17's Avatar
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    Welcome to the site! I have loaded IMR 4895 1 or 2 grains below minimum in a 30/30, 223, and 348 Win. No problems! Trying to shoot lighter loads. My opinion!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Hodgdon's 60% rule basically applies to jacketed bullet use. Note the technician responded with;

    "It is very likely that a primer will blow the bullet out of the case. It is almost a certainty......The problem comes when the loads are so light that the pressure remains very low in the case causing the powder to have trouble lighting and continuing to burn. This allows the bullet to stop."

    That is the precursor to an SEE. (Secondary Explosion Effect) Also smokeless powders do not "detonate" in small arms ammunition. What you have read is a theory of old trying to explain why guns blew up sometimes with reduced loads.......it is a myth. SEE has been reproduced in the laboratory and elsewhere. I almost had one a couple weeks ago.

    So here's my questions:
    1.Has anyone here done loads as low as the NRA book suggests?


    I load 4895 (H4895, IMR4895 and milsurp 4895) lower than 60% in in numerous cartridges including the 30-06. In the 30-06 with C312-185-1R I suggest a start load of 26 gr 4895 and work up to 31 gr or 1940 fps whichever comes first.

    2.Do I need a dacron filler?

    No, but if you want the best accuracy you'll want to use a Dacron filler.


    3.What BHN should I shoot for?

    Since the best accuracy with 4895 and that bullet you'll want a BHN of 14 - 16 minimum. COWWs +2% tin is fine and even better if you WQ it right out of the mould for a 18 - 20 BHN.

    4.Does the 60% case fill thing have any credence?

    Only with H4895 and jacketed bullets to keep Hodgdon's lawyers happy.

    5.Am I over-complicating this?

    Yes.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    I also have a Springfiels 03 with a late model 4 groove barrel. I did extensive testing some years ago trying to achieve a 10 shot MOA group with cast bullets and after 100's of rounds, shot 2 groups such groups on the same day! My boolit is a Lyman 311284 sized to 0.310" with 31.5gns 3031 and no filler. This load chronographs at 1734fps ave.



    Last edited by Bad Ass Wallace; 10-19-2017 at 07:34 AM.
    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Welcome to CB MrChefur, reloading is an addiction that's supposed to save money and eventually you do per round BUT --- You end up shooting more so you don't.

    There's nothing I can add after Larrys answers.

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
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    Thank you so much for your replies everybody. It means a lot to me.
    I'm gonna get a ladder load started up at 26gr and see what it gets me. It's gonna be a little while before I can get to the range, but I'll be sure to post my results.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I will add if your worried and you want to load safe loads Use hodgdons directions for H4895 or TrailBoss I run 28 grains of H4895 in my cast loads for my 1903a3 BUT I found 16 grains of 2400 with no filler, 165 grain COWW+2%tin water dropped, gas checked and 2500 lube to be my best load for my rifle. Good enough to take a GOLD in cmp 200 springfield match. with a 488/500#62
    mac1911 mac1911 is online now
    Boolit Master
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    Shot a 200 yard cmp match on 8/6 took gold
    Slow fire prone 99/1x prone rapid 91 and off hand 80 = 270/300 1x
    Slow/5x
    Then just a few weeks ago


    I did not see this posted in any thread and would think you have come across this in a search but maybe not.
    This has helped me greatly
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...Rifles-Article

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    No need to hot rod things and no need for "special" alloys...a bullet like NOE's 311 188 FN (Hunter) casted as a plain base with anything from ACCOWW + 2% Tin / Pewter to 4-4-92 will routinely give some surprising results @ 100 YDS.....this is just one group I have many more for the "ya how often does that happen crowd"..


    Here's a heavy with a slow powder and no filler..typical of this load throughout 6 '03's and 03A3's..100yds..this gun has a shot out barrel..shows you what a properly fitted bullet will do....
    ..

    A heavy with a medium burn rate powder..




    Enjoy...KISS and just try a couple of different bullet sizes in you gun.. .310, .311 to start with to see what size it likes the best..
    Last edited by guicksylver; 10-19-2017 at 12:11 PM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have to recommend the NOE 30 Hunter in .30-06 as well. I used 13.0 grs Red Dot for MOA groups.
    USMC 6638

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Check these two links:

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...Rifles-Article

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...30-30-06-45-70

    You will end up buying/using different powders but the low power loads are fun to shoot. With my 03A3, one box of ball is about all the fun I can stand, with my 14 grains of Blue Dot I take 4 or 5 boxes and try and figure out why that is all I brought with me.

    I use either a lyman 311284 or and Rcbs 30-180. About to try a Lyman 170 grain mold, punching paper or dinging steel targets doesn't need a 210 grain bullet. May go down to a 32-20 or 30 carbine bullet just for plinking.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master iron brigade's Avatar
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    14 grains of blue dot, have been shooting that load for years. Recently playing with 13 grains of red dot. 500 rounds to the pound, what's not to like.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use 14 grains of greendot behind a 180 grain sil brp mold. The boolit is lubed with bac lube and sized at .311. It shoots inch groups out of a old mauser action sporter. I got the load out of the old Lyman 45th edition manual and it is listed as a accuracy load.
    the manual says its going 1582 fps and is a pleasure to shoot.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I love 2400 for loads in my 03's.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    Went to a shoot and the guys were using 11 grs. of unique.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Has anybody ran Clays powder. I run it in some power puff 230 grain 45acp loads?

  16. #16
    Boolit Master JMax's Avatar
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    I tried Clays in my 03 and 6.5x55 with erratic results, not like Red Dot or Unique.

  17. #17
    Boolit Man
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    Some recent research into the blowup-effect suggests that the ideal condition is for the powder to lie horizontal in the case at a lower level than the direct primer flash.So tipping up the muzzle is good advice.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Some recent research into the blowup-effect suggests that the ideal condition is for the powder to lie horizontal in the case at a lower level than the direct primer flash.So tipping up the muzzle is good advice.
    Not where I shoot. I would risk loosing my range membership. If such expedients seem necessary, the powder is wrong. I remember the Finnish gunwriter suggesting this trick, and the history of its use in pre WWII Finland. But where I live is a whole lot more densely populated than Finland.

  19. #19
    Boolit Man
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    Ive never shot any where where you couldnt do as you wished,provided you didnt point muzzle at other shooters.Be pretty hard on muzzleloaders.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Some recent research into the blowup-effect suggests that the ideal condition is for the powder to lie horizontal in the case at a lower level than the direct primer flash.So tipping up the muzzle is good advice.
    That is a very old myth on a possible cause of SEE. It has been disproven.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

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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