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Thread: sizing down a .30 cal.... how is it done?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    sizing down a .30 cal.... how is it done?

    I've seen it commonly noted that a .30 cal projectile be sized down to .298" for wrapping. I have a lathe, and while my skills are not stellar, "they ain't bad either". I made a simple sizing die, it measures .299". I'm casting pure lead 150 grain (lee FN) for my 336. I ran a few through my Rockchucker and die, and it wasn't easy. I did in fact wipe the drive bands off, and leave a ring of lead around my pusher rod.

    I know buckshot makes a sizing die, as I've seen it mentioned in more than one thread. I now suspect however that this much reduction should be done in stages, or is tapered or some such other black magic...

    Any one care in enlighten me?

  2. #2
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    I have have used Dillon's lanolin/alcohol spray lube to lube 30 cal boolits before sizing them down. It's still a lot to size down. To make things easier, I bought a purpose designed PP mold from Accurate http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_...=30-190P-D.png. and a .301 sizer from Buckshot. Sadly, Buckshot is no longer making custom size dies. You could go in stages depending on how fat your boolits are dropping.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The trick to sizing down CBs, with grease grooves, is to end up with grease grooves that are uniform in width around the whole circumference. If the grease grooves end up missing on one side of the CB and wide on the other side-you have an imbalance/off-set CG (i.e. off-set center-of-gravity) problem. Meaning, when that CB is fired it will be imbalanced and inaccurate. I resize my CBs in 0.002" increments; i.e. 0.312"D to 0.310"D to 0.308"D etc., etc. This sequence of resizing tends to swage the CB down more uniformally and eliminates any existing air voids in the CB, which is good!. Since the resizing process anneals the CB, I then oven heat-treat them before PP and then do a final "gentle resizing " of the PP to slightly less than groove diameter. Occasionally, I strip off a PP or two and mike the CB diameter to make sure the CB wasn't resized smaller/annealed again when I final sized the PPCB (to slightly under groove diameter). When you're pushing 150 gr. PPCB to 3000+fps and 200,000+RPM, CB imbalance does make a big difference and opens up the groups. Bullet quality, i.e.zero CG-offset (i.e. balance), is everything in obtaining accurate jacketed bullets and accurate CBs at high velocity.

    Best regards,

    CJR

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I'd be inclined to just make a push out mould like the old Ideal smooth bullet moulds. I make mine out of 1 1/2" round bar so much beefier than the old Ideal. They are easy to make and work well. Not a lot more to them than making a sizing die or two or three as required for staged sizing. I bore some in larger calibers or make D bits to ream them in smaller calibers like .30 cal. However, it turns out that an "N" reamer is perfect for standard .30 cal. So for the cost of a reamer (cheap) and a bit of cold rolled steel you can make a bunch. Depends on the style as to whether you get adjustable weight or not. I've done through reamed with an adjustable nose form/ejector and done shaped cavity with HP pin.

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I use the Accurate mold designed for paper patching. Made a push thru sizing die at .300 and size with a little lube from Lee. Paper patch and size to .309 after applying the same Lee lube to the patched bullet. Load with the same powder used for jacket bullets, bullets shoot fine and are accurate. M
    Look at the Accurate molds designed for paper patching.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    I had a pretty much new Accurate mould that dropped .312 x 215 gr bullets when paper patching caught my fancy. I size that bullet in a .303 push through die made by Buckshot using an old Herter press. The bullets are sprayed with lanolin based case lube from Sagebrush and wrapped back to .312-.313. The shoot like champions in my .30-40 Krag Win 95. The propellant is per jacketed bullet loading for the same weight. My castings are relatively soft at 16:1 and kill like finger of God. The sizing effort is less than neck sizing the brass.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Noe molds makes a tool to resize bullets smaller. Tool itself is universal for most calibers simply by changing out its push through resizing die or band.
    Lee Tool makes Pass-thru Dies also.
    I bought my pass-thru dies from Buckshot. {.301 .302 .303.} for my swagging 311041s down to .301 from .310 raw dropped cast. Done so to patch and shot out of my Win 94 30-30.
    Trick in using Pass-thru's . One best re-size cast having a near soft lead BHN. Otherwise there's a good chance in developing a hernia swagging higher BHN cast bullets.
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    I have sized 357 pistol boolits down to 315 in one pass. Without lube they came out smooth sided and with lube they came out with lube grooves.
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

    ''Assume everything that moves is a human before identifying as otherwise''

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy Old Coot's Avatar
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    Try lubing the cores with dish soap. It will wash off easily later.
    Did you polish the inside of your die? That will make it go easier. What alloy are these cores cast in?
    The softer the easier they will size down. You could also size the cores to say .308 or .305 as an intermediate step. Brodie

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    +1 on the polishing that old coot mentioned , it really makes a difference !

    i am currently shooting with unsized cores with good results , so i take the bullets as they come out of the mold , wrap them twice
    and then run them through my lyman lubrisizer with a 50/50 beeswax -vaseline mix.
    i shoot these through a husqvarna rifle in 6,5x55 mm.

    if you are somewhat handy on the lathe you could easily make a sizer like mine .
    pictures of this sizer is in the 6,5x55 mm thread if you are interested , these are also highly polished and size down a bullet from about 6,7 mm
    to 6,55 mm in one stroke , i soak the bullets in gearoil by the way.

    give the unsized core idea a try , its working for me so far !

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've made a couple sizing dies and have had some success. Sizing from .3115 to .304, and then to .3015.

    I plan on making another die down to .299" for experimentation. I used lanolin as a sizing lube. Should this be removed prior to wrapping and sizing?

  12. #12
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    You can remove it easily with soap & water, but I don't bother to do it. Good work on getting them sized down.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    I went to the range. The results were less than spectacular. I couldn't get a entire magazine on paper at 50 yards.

    How does this look. I wanted to show the engagement to the rifling. The wrapped and sized bullet is .310....


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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Keep at it, might try seating the bullet a little deeper with less engament in the rifling.
    My best results were with the bullet just touching the rifling. Paper patching takes some trial and error experimentation. I foung not to load too hot in powder weight for best results.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Elginrunner,

    Since you've cast "pure lead" CBs, what is your velocity and estimated pressure. It makes a difference. If the pressure/velocity is too high, you may need to get them lower. Or, the other option is to use harder heat-treated lead-alloy CBs.

    Likewise, if your groove diameter is 0.308"D then per the NRA's PP advice, the final sized PPCB diameter should be 0.308"OD or slightly less. Why? When your 0.310"D PPCB enters a 0.308"D groove diameter it can get stripped/cut-off and a bare CB(less PP) goes down the barrel and most likely leads the bore. Not good for accuracy.

    Best regards,

    CJR
    Last edited by CJR; 05-06-2018 at 02:02 PM. Reason: add final sizing comment

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I loaded and shot some more today. I seated deeper and changed powder. I used cfe223. 30 grains should have been about 1900 fps. (Unless i looked it up wrong). It chronographed at 2160. I shot three groups of five at 80 yards. They averaged about 8 inches. Much better than before. I think i will scale back another grain of powder and see what happens.


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  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    Try loading a round with a very small charge of fast powder so you capture the boolit and see what is happening. It will show whether the boolit is being impressed by the rifling and what the patch is doing. Of course, it will not represent what happens with a full power load but it gives you a starting point.

    That loaded round looks good by the way. I would keep it at that engagement. What lube are you using on your patched boolit?
    Rest In Peace My Son (01/06/1986 - 14/01/2014)

    ''Assume everything that moves is a human before identifying as otherwise''

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by 303Guy View Post
    Try loading a round with a very small charge of fast powder so you capture the boolit and see what is happening. It will show whether the boolit is being impressed by the rifling and what the patch is doing. Of course, it will not represent what happens with a full power load but it gives you a starting point.

    That loaded round looks good by the way. I would keep it at that engagement. What lube are you using on your patched boolit?
    50/50 vaseline/beeswax

  19. #19
    Hummm.....
    Pure lead and a paper patch.

    Yur bullet is going to "slump," at velocities over about 1000 fps.

    By "slump," I mean the lead will be accelerated soo fast by your powder charge, that , that bullet which exits the muzzle, will be a blob of lead, going erratically, somewhere, fast.
    .
    .
    Paper patches work well, but you need to use an alloy which will support the desired velocity,, IE: wheelweights.
    .
    .
    As for trying to squeeze down a bullet so it fits a patch, hum, you might actually consider to use a big ball expander in your reload die, then paper patch the standard diameter bullet to a caliber over !

    ............!

    ............!

    IE: to shoot a .312, .313 or .314 paper patched bullet, down a 308 barrel....
    On ignition, the oversize bullet will squeeze down in the chamber throat, and shoot normally.

    It's not new science, it has been done before.
    .
    .
    So, my suggestion is:
    Cast your bullet from air cool wheel weights.
    Wrap your paper patch, lube as necessary.

    A big oversize ball expander in your reload die... ( Make it on your lathe... )

    Load the oversize bullet deep in the ctg., case, so it fits the throat,
    and, start with a reduced load, then work up.
    .
    It will work.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    My alloy is lead with a little tin in it, So is very soft.
    I shoot these through a swedisch mauser
    With no problems, So it can be done!
    Velocities are well over 1600 ft /sec
    For sure.

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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