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Thread: Casting for 30-06?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man brewer12345's Avatar
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    Casting for 30-06?

    I get the feeling that I will be inherently limiting my rifle buy using cast since I am guessing most cast loads will be a lot slower than typical factory j-word loads of 2800+ FPS. Nevertheless, I am thinking that in the coming year I will want to fool around with cast for this cartridge. Is there a mold that is considered "the" boolit for 30-06? Guessing I will be doing gas checked. Is there a typical diameter to size to? Other words of wisdom? My rifle is a Tikka T3.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I'm looking forward to this read. I use Lyman 311467 and upside down size the front bands down to fit as needed ( nose first). Also Lyman 311291. Since your going slower, you can go heavier, like 220 and up. You are right about "limiting" your gun. People talk mostly about pistol or black powder bullets. But, cast bullets in some platform have taken everything on the planet at one time or other ranging from record target groups that have stood unbeaten for over 100 years to killing grizzles, lions, and such. You don't hear of cast in a 220 Swift. Mach4 requires a rather hard bullet.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Just search the site for ".30-06" and I am sure that you will find plenty to keep you occupied for quite some time. Cast bullets in no way limit the .30-06, however. There is no one bullet. I load bullets from 112 grs (Lyman 311008) at subsonic speeds to 223 grs at 2000 fps (NOE 311331) to 165 grs at 2400 fps (NOE 310-165 XCB). You can always load jacketed bullets too, but you may not want to.
    USMC 6638

  4. #4
    Boolit Man brewer12345's Avatar
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    I say limiting because I have looked at the Lyman cast bullet loads and it looks like 30-06 loads top out at 2400FPS or so. I am going on my first elk hunt next week with an experienced group and they have told me that most shots are 200 to 300 yards. Using Barnes TTSX, but I would love to use cast in the future if this is a realistic proposition at such ranges.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master dh2's Avatar
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    http://accuratemolds.com/img/bullets.../31-180B-D.png
    I am using an Accurate 31-180B mold for .308 Win., 30-06, and .300 Win. Mag. all pushed with IMR4198 and sized .310
    slug your boar for best results on size

  6. #6
    Boolit Man brewer12345's Avatar
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    Looking at Lyman's offerings, 311041 looks like the right shape and size. Any comments?

  7. #7
    Boolit Man leadhead 500's Avatar
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    I have (9) 30 caliber Moulds and the 2 that really shine for accuracy is The
    Rcbs 180 sp and the Lyman 311299 or the Noe copy of the 311299. There are so many options with the 30-06 and so many very accurate loads for cast. I have come down to the Rcbs 180 sp loaded with 4831 powder, I have a older Remington 700 adl that loves that one Very Very accurate and I also deer hunt with the Rcbs 180 sp and have awesome luck with it hunting

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    The 311041, 311299, and RCBS 30-180-SP are all great bullets and all will be accurate at 1800 to 2000 fps. The first was designed for the 30-30 and the other two are bore riders.
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    If you want to shoot 200-300 yards you need fast and the 310-165 XCB is what you want but the limit in a 1-10 twist is going to be ~2450 fps with accuracy.
    Read this: http://noebulletmolds.com/smf/index....pic,533.0.html
    If you want faster that that you will need a slower twist barrel. 3000 fps is attainable, but not with production rifles. I am building a 1-17 twist .308 Winchester for that purpose. I have achieved 2400+ fps in a 1-12 twist .308 Win using the Accurate 31-160G (his version of the XCB bullet):
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    NOE 310-165 XCB on the left, Accurate 31-160G on the right. Sized 0.310" & 0.311" respectively.
    Last edited by oldblinddog; 11-11-2017 at 11:37 PM.
    USMC 6638

  9. #9
    Boolit Man brewer12345's Avatar
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    Sounds like the RCBS SP may be the best place to start (plus a lee soup can mold to play with). I don't so much care about velocity as the ability to reach out and touch an elk at up to 300 yards without having to aim two feet over the animal's body. No question that a lead bullet with any kind of flat point and a tin-rich alloy will seal the deal.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man leadhead 500's Avatar
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    The Rcbs 180 sp that I cast comes out to a .301 nose and .311 body, I size it down to.310 and use Hornady gas checks and Carnuba Red lube and load it with IMR 4831 and it will print a 3 shot group at 100 that is under a inch

  11. #11
    Boolit Master trixter's Avatar
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    I've been casting Lee C309-150-R for my 30-06, A3-03. I coat them with Lee Liquid Alox apply gas check run them through a Lee 309 sizer and lightly coat them again. They are very accurate to 200 yards, but then fall off a little. Mostly I kill paper, but they sure are fun to shoot. I follow the load data from the Lyman 3rd edition Cast Lead Handbook for Unique.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    RCBS 180 my go to bullet.
    Leadmelter
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  13. #13
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    So much depends on what you want to do with it. The Lee 113 fp soup can will punch holes in paper and jackrabbits all day long. I like the Ly 311466 or the NOE version as well as the Saeco 315 which has done well in every 1 in 10 twist I have used it in. NOE also has a good copy. For a heavy bullet try the RCBS 180 fn or the 311284.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  14. #14
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    To the OP:

    I need to step on some toes here, so don't take too much offense guys.

    First; the guys on this thread are very experienced boolit casters and shooters. The results they get are probably not going to happen for you right out of the gate. In fact the results shown in this thread are exceptional, and not the norm for the vast majority of us.

    Second; Don't shoot an Elk at 250 yards with any .30 cal. Cast Boolit. At best it will poke a .30 cal hole in the animal and not have sufficient energy to do that much damage to the animal unless you hit the thing perfectly and the animal drops in it's tracks. At 250 yards the boolit may not even have enough energy to completely penetrate and if it does will only leave a 5/16" hole behind. If that hole isn't thru the Lungs or Heart you probably won't find the animal.

    Driving a Cast Boolit at anything above 2000 fps requires some development to make happen correctly. Lead alloys and loading techniques are going to be critical. Fine if you already know how to do this, but not that easy to learn and translate into ethical ammunition right out of the gate.

    If you were shooting a .45-70 within it's effective range, I would say go for it and I would do the same. However Cast .30 cal. boolits are not going to have the energy to do the kind of damage to a large animal that needs to be done to bring it down ethically,,, Unless you hit a sweet spot and the animal drops DRT.

    A .45-70 with a 400 gr boolit will not only completely penetrate a large Bull Elk in any direction at 12-1300 fps, if it hits anything major on the way thru it will probably drop the animal in it's tracks. A .30 cal. boolit at less than half the weight is not going to be anything close.

    I personally would not use any .30 cal. cast boolit on an Elk at more than 100 yards and then only if I could guarantee a neck shot or head shot, and HAD NOTHING ELSE TO SHOOT! Plenty of Elk have been killed with .30-30's and the like and I'm not saying it can't be done, but in the vast majority of cases those .30-30's were shooting jacketed bullets of 150-170 gr at 2000 fps (factory ammo) plus, and there is a substantial difference between a 170 gr Jacketed bullet and a 170 gr cast lead boolit as far as terminal performance is concerned. The Jacketed Bullet transfers it's energy to the animal by expansion, and the Cast Boolit simply punches thru and doesn't expand much, if at all. (HP's not included.)

    I personally would not shoot any Elk with any .30 cal. cast boolit, but I would not hesitate to shoot one with my .45-70 with a 350 400 gr. Cast Boolit. There's a world of difference.

    I think you would be better off using jacketed bullets for what you want to do.

    Just my .02

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    The 30-06 has been almost the national standard for 114 years and has been shot with cast bullets the entire time. There are so many bullets that work and work well with this round. I have had good results with Lyman 311467, 311466, 311291, 311284, 311334 and a number of others. I have also used RCBS, NEI, SAECO, Cramer, Belding and Mull and several others makers, also with good results.

    Is there one "go to" mould? I don't think so...just pick out a design you like and get to loading. The round and rifle will be your teacher. Spend a couple of decades with the combination and you will know your cast bullet stuff and be a heck of a good shooter in the process.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  16. #16
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    It is a very forgiving cartridge to load for. The neck is long enough to not have to seat gas checks below the neck. My experience is that the best accuracy with a 1/10 twist will be between 1800-1950 fps with standard lubed boolits. My favorite molds are the Lyman 311299, 311041, and the RCBS 30-165-SIL not necessarily in that order...but depending on the rifle. I have got up to 2300 fps with decent accuracy before but had to do a lot of work to get there. Paper patched I have been to the 2700 fps realm with excellent accuracy, but that's a whole other ball game.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master WRideout's Avatar
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    I shoot an older Interarms Mark X in 30-06. My preferred boolit for it is the Lyman 311284, which is a 220 gr, gas checked and sized to .311. It can be finicky about powder. A lot of the cast boolit recipes call for shotgun and pistol powders that may not give adequate velocity or accuracy. I would try several of the powders in the slow-pistol to fast-rifle range. I am thinking about IMR 4198, Alliant 2400, or IMR 4227. My latest attempt was the above boolit propelled by 19.0 gr (old) Hercules 2400. It gives adequate 100 yard accuracy for deer in the woods, although I have not taken game with it yet.

    Wayne
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
    I say limiting because I have looked at the Lyman cast bullet loads and it looks like 30-06 loads top out at 2400FPS or so. I am going on my first elk hunt next week with an experienced group and they have told me that most shots are 200 to 300 yards. Using Barnes TTSX, but I would love to use cast in the future if this is a realistic proposition at such ranges.
    Take what Randy posted as gospel. Respect the animal and use the Barnes bullets.
    More "This is what happened when I,,,,," and less "What would happen if I,,,,"

    "Control the things you can control, maggot. Let everything else take a flying (leap) at you, and if you must go down, go down with your guns blazing."- The Dark Tower, Steven King


  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    I'm following this with interest. What alloy are you guys using?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I use an alloy made from Rotometals Hardball and 16-1 that results in ~ 93.0/3.5/3.5. With the 31-160 G, pictured above (post #8), it is air cooled. First shot always lands in the same place at 100 yards and I consider the maximum hunting distance for this load to be 150 yards for deer. For an elk, I would go to my .338-06 shooting a 250 gr. Lyman 33889 cast from the same alloy and going about 1900 fps and limit my shots to 100 yards.
    USMC 6638

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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