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Thread: Need Help loading 30-06 in 1903 Springfield

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy


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    Unhappy Need Help loading 30-06 in 1903 Springfield

    Sirs,

    I have a 1903 Springfield rifle in military configuration that will not shoot a cast boolit worth a ****. I have had great success in the half dozen Krag rifles I own, and the -03 Springer will stack any 168 grain bullet cursed with the dreaded metal patch. The barrel is a 4 grove 1942 Springfield that slugs out right at .308.

    I have tried any number of Lyman molds, all powders from IMR 4198 to Alliant 2400 and I still can't get this thing to group under 8 " at 100 yards. What am I doing wrong?
    Last edited by ShooterAZ; 03-12-2018 at 10:05 PM. Reason: language censor violation
    ...Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent...
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    Is the throat rough? How much boolit jump until it engages the lands?

    Plain base, gas checked, both?

    What is your as-cast and sized boolit width?

    Not sure but depending on your answers, this might be a real candidate for throat sizing.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
    The BHN Deformation Formula, and why I don't use it.
    How to find and fix sizing die eccentricity problems.
    Do you trust your casting thermometer?
    A few musings.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    What bullets?
    Alloy, sizing,lube, GC?
    What loads?
    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 Buddy


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    HangFire,

    I am using both the Lyman 311284 and 314299 sized to .310. Both of these boolits are gas check designs. I use Lyman "style" gas checks because they seem to seat more squarely on the base of the boolit. I am seating the bullets so that the case mouth just covers the top grease grove. I notice a slight witness mark from the rifling when I extract an unfired round from the chamber. Also I am careful to adjust the seating die so it just squeezes the case mouth chamfer back down to size without crimping. Ugh... Also I have scrubbed this barrel for hours with J.B bore bright to get rid of any cursed jacket material. I see no leading after my cast boolit experiments but I just can't get the any groups you could cover completely with a size 7 1/4 campaign hat.

    As far as lube goes I like this stuff I bought on ebay, "Jake's Scarlet Ceresin " It is pretty stiff and I must use a heater to get it through my SAECO lubesizer. As I noted I am not getting any leading and my velocities are in the 1750/ 1800 FPS range. ( 25 grains IMR 4198) WLR primer.
    Last edited by Seabee1960; 03-12-2018 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Add Lube discrption.
    ...Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent...
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Lyman molds are notorious for being undersized in the forepart and oversized on the driving bands.

    Try poking the NOSE of each of your bullets into the muzzle and observe whether the forepart is large enough to be visibly marked by the rifling, or if the nose is too small and simply falls in up to the first driving band. If the bore-riding nose is too small to be guided by the tops of the lands, the bullet won't shoot for sour apples.

    As to sized bullet diameter, what matters is the diameter of the throat, or the unrifled portion ahead of the case mouth before the rifling actually starts. You want the bullet to enter the throat without forcing it, but it should "fit" or be about 1/2 thousandth smaller. Ignore the groove diameter of your barrel. Fit the bullets to the throat.

    Most '03s which have been shot much at all with jacketed bullets will shoot best with bullets sized .311", a worn barrel may need .312", a brand new unfired barrel .310".

    If you have a #311299 try that first, as it shoots in most rifles. It should group well for you cast in wheelweight alloy and can be loaded without the GC using mild loads from 1000-1300 fps with either 7 grains of Bullseye, 9 grains of Unique or WST, 10 grains of Herco or AutoComp or 12 grains of Alliant #2400.

    With the gascheck you can step up the load to 16-18 grains of #2400, 24-26 grs. of 4198, 26-30 grs. of RL7 or 30-36 grs. of either 4895, 4064, RL15 or Varget. With these powders a 1 grain, weighed, tuft of Dacron, tucked loosely into the base neck, NOT down against the powder, will take up some of the excess airspace in the case and improve ballistic uniformity.

    With bullets which "fit" and are properly lubricated, your '03 should be able to shoot 100-yard groups like these:

    Attachment 216281Attachment 216282
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    J.B. Bore Paste isn't very good a removing metal fouling. Two or three application of the new foaming cleaners like Wipe-Out will make short work of the fouling.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy


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    You are the man.... Thanks Brother. This is the advice from a knowledgeable shooter I needed. I will cast and load some up this evening and reply after I get to the range this weekend.
    ...Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent...
    --ADAM SMITH

  8. #8
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    Char-Gar...
    Thanks for the tip. I have never used this product but I just ordered a can from Midway today.
    ...Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent...
    --ADAM SMITH

  9. #9
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    Seabea,

    At those velocities and a gas checked boolit, you probably won't see any leading, even with a too-hard lube. I'm not familiar with your lube, maybe it's fine.

    I do know I was shooting .309" sized boolits in a .310" barrel with zero leading and indifferent accuracy (some OK some poor). Once I slugged the bore I went to .310" boolits and still no fouling but accuracy improved across the board.

    I've found "the load" of 13 grains of Red Dot in 30/06 will shoot any normal weight for bore size boolit accurately, if not, there are other problems to sort out (damaged muzzle, bedding, loose sights, rings or mounts, or bad scope).

    https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/curi...ads-t2704.html

    On that other topic, since you mentioned extensive cleaning, please inspect your muzzle crown carefully for cleaning rod wear. Even one edge ground down slightly will tip all boolits on the way out.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
    The BHN Deformation Formula, and why I don't use it.
    How to find and fix sizing die eccentricity problems.
    Do you trust your casting thermometer?
    A few musings.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy


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    HangFire,

    I took the great advice of both you and Outpost 75 and loaded up 20 rounds of .30-06 last night using the Lyman 314299 mold I bought to cast for a Belgian 7.65 Mauser. I sized the bullets to .312 and chambered it to get a good OAL. I found that at 3.300 " long I got a nice engraved mark on the nose and top driving band of the bullet. ( see photo) At this over all length the rounds will just feed from the magazine and the bolt handle will close with just a little bit of resistance at the bottom of the stroke. Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	216318 I cant wait to go shooting this weekend.

    I did inspect the muzzle for wear but I am fastidious about cleaning from the breach end never let the brush or jag get too far out. I like the way you think however; the crown looks an awful lot like a 60 Deg. lathe center used in the barrel manufacture. Maybe I should get a professional to recrown the barrel? Click image for larger version. 

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    I am sticking with 25 grains of 4198. It seems to shoot the best in all my .30 Call and 8MM rifles with aprox 190 grain bullets. As an after thought Some years ago A gentleman published an article in Hand-Loader. with a table for using AA2230 for .30 CAL. cast bullets. I duplicated some of his loads in .30-40 KRAG and got good results but they never panned out in my 1903 Springer.
    Last edited by Seabee1960; 03-13-2018 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Add rifle pic and load data
    ...Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent...
    --ADAM SMITH

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    +1 on Wipe-out. Good product.
    It ain't rocket science, it's boolit science.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Nice pics. Love that scope, Unertl?

    Let us know how it goes. Hold off on the recrown, also double check your mounts and bedding.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
    The BHN Deformation Formula, and why I don't use it.
    How to find and fix sizing die eccentricity problems.
    Do you trust your casting thermometer?
    A few musings.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Your engraved #311299 looks great and 25 grains of 4198 should work well.

    The NEI plainbased bullet I have is no longer made but NOE makes a clone .311-155FN in either plainbased or gaschecked. Here are some pics of how they engrave in my '03 and Winchester Model 54:

    Attachment 216353Attachment 216354Attachment 216355
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    Seabee1960

    Try a 1 to 1 1/2 gr Dacron filler with that load.

    Does that lube work well in your 30-40?
    Larry Gibson

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

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Seabee1960

    I know this is rather basic, but make certain the action screws and scope mount screws are tight before sending lead down range. I have neglected to check these things and the result is a pattern and not a group on the target.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^^^^ +1^^^^^^^^
    Sometimes it's the simple, most obvious things that mess you up the most.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy


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    Mr. Gibson,

    The "Jake" brand lube works ok but it is pretty stiff and won't feed through a Lyman or SAECO Lube sizer without using a heater. I took the advice of the fine community here and ordered some red carnauba from "White Label" lube because they advertise on this site. I am not yet sophisticated enough in my casting to discern the difference in bullet lubes as long as I don't see lead-cicles in the barrel after shooting. I like the scarlet and purple wax lubes because they look neat on the bullet. 50-50 Beeswax-Allox I find to be messy and the Rooster Laboratory lubes at $8 a stick seems pricey to me.
    ...Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent...
    --ADAM SMITH

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy


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    Char-Gar, Grumps,

    This rifle will stack Sierra and Hornady 155 to 168 grain jacketed boolits out to 500 yards. I know I will start a controversy here but... The rifle is a lower serial number Springfield receiver (SN # 348,XXX) and even though it has a 7/42 Springfield barrel with the "Hatcher" hole on the right side of the receiver ring and even though I read this excellent article on low number Springfield receivers http://m1903.com/03rcvrfail/ , the most informative article this side of Hatchers Notebook, I am thinking this will be a cast boolit gun from here on out. Note. this rifle was made in 1908 and there isn't a single receiver failure in rifles made in the 1908-1911 time frame. The Unertl is too nice to see it become a shrapnel magnet. I have put a thousand rounds through this rifle since I bought it. it came with the receiver sight installed and a few other goober modifications so I didn't mind putting the target blocks on it. I have noticed that I hesitate now when pulling the trigger on a full power round and the recoil is such that I have to put a piece of Duct Tape on my nose to keep from getting a " Unertl Bite" when I shoot from the bench.

    The things we will endure just to shoot. Ugh.

    I value your advice. I went back and made sure all the scope block screws were tight and that the scope was sighted to the bore. It looks good. I will know if I am on the right track Saturday. I will keep you all posted.
    Last edited by Seabee1960; 03-14-2018 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Ad yar of rifle MFG.
    ...Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent...
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  19. #19
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    Seabee1960

    Some lubes that prevent leading are also inhibiters of accuracy on some bullets, especially the harder ones. White Label's Red Carnauba is a proven lube with the bullets you're using but does, most often, also require a heater. I prefer 2500+ and their 50/50 as they require no heater and perform extremely well on almost all cast bullets from a very low velocity to very fast velocities. Yes, they can be "messy" but I've developed methods of handling them that negates that. Just a matter of what we like is all as long as it works.

    Frankly if the Red carnauba doesn't give better results, even with the Dacron filler in the load, I'd look for a mechanical problem as previously mentioned. However, having said; "I have put a thousand rounds through this rifle since I bought it" barrels do get shot out. If the leade is washed/eroded then that may be the problem with cast.
    Larry Gibson

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

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    I've used both 'Jake's Ceresin' and Lars' 'Carnuba Red' and, in terms of what a good lube is supposed to do, can't discern any difference between the two. Properly sized boolits and a bore free of copper fouling equal no leading up to around 2250 fps...and that's as fast as I push anything out of my .30 cals.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

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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