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Thread: Started loading .308

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Started loading .308

    My deer rifle of 20 yrs. has been an original Model 7, 18.5" with a 1/10" twist rate. Has a Burris scout scope and mount. I've been casting this boolit http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_...=31-165D-D.png
    for my 30-30 so I figured I'd try some in the 7. Shoots great out of the 30-30 but with the wide meplat it won't feed out of the 7. None the less I loaded some for single shot experimentation with 2400 powder. Ran into a snag with my Hornady .308 seating/ crimping die as it did not like the flared case mouth. Easily fixed by giving the floating crimper a more generous entry radius.

    Heading out in a bit and will report further.
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  2. #2
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    Well, I should have loaded the boolits unsized. They drop from the mold at .311 but I sized them to .309 which resulted in the barrel quickly leading. Got 1865 fps with 18 grs. of 2400. This was 2 parts lead to one part lino water quenched so they were hard enough.

    Clean the barrel, melt em down and recast them and give it another shot.
    Ordered a .310 & .311 sizer bushing from NOE and also a .311 & .312 case neck expander. That should straighten things out.
    Last edited by Cosmic_Charlie; 03-19-2018 at 01:03 PM.

  3. #3
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    Yodogsandman's Avatar
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    You're well on your way! Good job!

    Try not crimping at all, your larger diameter boolits should have plenty of neck tension. Just reduce the flare to the mouth back to straight.
    A deplorable that votes!

  4. #4
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    I size to .311 for all my .308 rifles. I would agree, crimping won't likely help and may be detrimental.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodogsandman View Post
    You're well on your way! Good job!

    Try not crimping at all, your larger diameter boolits should have plenty of neck tension. Just reduce the flare to the mouth back to straight.
    I am starting to think Hornady's New Dimension rifle die might not be the best for cast boolit reloading. That floating collar that does the seating and crimping is not designed for oversize boolits. I cannot seat my boolits without the first driving band being downsized by the crimp part of the collar. One can understand why they designed it this way since the die bodies can all be the same and only the floating collar needs to be machined for the specific caliber. Perhaps a 7.62 x 39 collar would work better........

    I made up 10 rds. so I'll give it a whirl.
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    NOE might be able to improve on the collar by offering a straight walled seater which would accommodate the case neck without squeezing it. The entry into the collar could remove the bell without crimping. Maybe I could drill mine out and polish it.
    Last edited by Cosmic_Charlie; 03-21-2018 at 08:32 AM.

  6. #6
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    Lee Rifle die seaters do not crimp. Where I can, I use the Lee collet sizer (no case lube) and the lee seater (no crimp). Also they are not expensive and can be bought individually or as a set.

    My 2 Cents...

    rch

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhouser View Post
    Lee Rifle die seaters do not crimp. Where I can, I use the Lee collet sizer (no case lube) and the lee seater (no crimp). Also they are not expensive and can be bought individually or as a set.

    My 2 Cents...

    rch
    Thanks.

  8. #8
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    I also like the flexibility of the Lee dies. If you decide you want a crimp they make the collet style crimp die as well.

    I have found some loads that like to be crimped. 55gn or lighter bullets in my .223 work better when crimped. Heavier bullets, eg, 69gn, do not like to be crimped. These are jacketed.

    I only crimp cast bullets when loading in pistols or tube fed rifles.

  9. #9
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    I agree also,,,,don't crimp if you are loading .311 dia.
    also some chambers are tight and the .311 may increase the overall OD of the neck to where it will not chamber....load a dummy round just to make sure.
    Death to every foe and traitor and hurrah, my boys, for freedom !

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by atr View Post
    I agree also,,,,don't crimp if you are loading .311 dia.
    also some chambers are tight and the .311 may increase the overall OD of the neck to where it will not chamber....load a dummy round just to make sure.
    Yes, once you get more than .002" over nominal bore diameter you can run into chambering issues. If your particular firearm is too far out of spec on bore or throat you probably are better off resigning it to j word boolits.

  11. #11
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    I slugged the barrel this afternoon. Yes, I should have done this before ordering a mold and casting a single bullet for the rifle. Muzzle end is .308, but as I tapped the slug towards the chamber it got easier and easier until at about the half way mark I could push the bullet all the way through with just my hand. I've got a gas check type mold coming and I can size those boolits to .311 and see how they do. Well, I need .30 cal. Boolits for my 30-30 so I can use all the stuff I got for the model 7 for that rifle.

  12. #12
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    Well satisfied!! Plinking paradise is mine!!!
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  13. #13
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    I'd be happy with those results. Now move back to 100 yards and give it a go.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kungfustyle View Post
    I'd be happy with those results. Now move back to 100 yards and give it a go.
    Ya, soon come. Too much snow to trudge out that far now. But I may just zero this load at 50 yds. and call it good. Good practical distance for putting meat on the table. Now I wonder if Lyman #2 will mushroom at 1500 fps?
    Last edited by Cosmic_Charlie; 04-08-2018 at 06:38 PM.

  15. #15
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    18 grains of 2400 Lee 180gr GC boolit I max crimp with LCD boolits sized 309 works for me .308 is a very flexible cartridge .

  16. #16
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    My gas checked boolits @ .311 are leading close to the chamber (Lyman #2-17gr. 2400) so I opened up my NOE sizing bushing enough so .311 boolits pass through it. The boolits drop from the mold @ .3125 so i will only be sizing enough to crimp on the GC. I could also try a lower pressure loading I suppose, Unique maybe. Accuracy is quite good.
    Last edited by Cosmic_Charlie; 04-21-2018 at 10:37 AM.

  17. #17
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    So, Charlie,

    Did opening up the sizing die to increase the diameter of the gas check solve the leading problem? Lemme know.

    Happy trails,

    -- Cary Gunn --

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary Gunn View Post
    So, Charlie,

    Did opening up the sizing die to increase the diameter of the gas check solve the leading problem? Lemme know.

    Happy trails,

    -- Cary Gunn --
    Have not been out yet. Loaded some 3031 and Unique so we shall see. They are coming through the modded sizer at .312 so that worked as I 'd hoped. They chamber fine too.

  19. #19
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    I got a nice 1" group at 50 yds. with 30 gr. of 3031. 1850 fps. But I still had some leading. The throat erosion on my model 7 may be too great to overcome. .312 is as large as I care to go on boolit size. Could try powder coating some boolits. More experience and a proper pound cast may have warned me off of attempting to make this rifle shoot cast boolits.
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    Last edited by Cosmic_Charlie; 04-27-2018 at 05:58 AM.

  20. #20
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    My Thompson center compass in 308 win shoots great with cast it’s a 1/12 twist. It’s bran new never had a jacket in it. The lee 312-155 sized to .310 with a aluminum gas check over 13 grn of 800x did this at 50 yards. This is 15 I repeat Fifteen rounds at 50 yards

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    Last edited by 43PU; 04-27-2018 at 06:36 AM. Reason: Forgot to add the powder

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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