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

  1. #21
    Super Moderator

    Buckshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    So. California
    ...........edwin41, one problem I see, and it's probably your MAJOR problem is that the nose of your slug is engraving in the leade. For a bore rider, a small bit of marking by the lands is fine, and desirable. However it is very important that the leading edge of the paper patch isn't getting rucked up when the slug hits the lands.

    This is a 420gr pure lead slug for a .43 Spanish. The leading edge of the patch is just over the turn of the ogive. The slug is swaged, hence has no lube groove to accept the leading edge of the paper, so it's patched over the ogive.

    The above 577-450's are loaded with 405gr soft cast Lee slugs. The leading edge of the patch is OVER the top drive band. The nose is short and does not touch the lands. Helpfull also is the fact that the chamber and leade are designed for PP'd ammo.

    LEFT: This is a 38-55 and as you can see, the lands engrave the slug AND impresses on the patch when chambered. Since the lands immediately engrave upon the paper, the leading edge isn't damaged. On the right is a closeup of another slug (a lube grooved design) patched for use in the afore mentioned .43 Spanish. As you can see, the leading edge of the patch is tucked into a lube groove. The leading edge cannot become damaged.

    The above are 530gr grain soft lead HP cup based swaged slugs for use in a long range muzzle loading rifle. Since the entire boolit is in the barrel sitting on the powder charge, there is no need for any special care required for the leading edge of the patch as it's already IN the barrel

    A good 30 cal slug for sizing down and then paper patching is the Lyman 311284. At 210grs it might be too heavy for your purposes, but what makes it a good design for paper patching (which I've used it for before) is that it has one of the old fashioned 'So called' dirt scraper groove in front of the first drive band. Convenient place to tuck in the leading edge of the patch.

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  2. #22
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Good info buckshot, but this isn 't my load.
    I patch the 6,5 mm loverin style bullet and yes,
    I also leave the nosesection of this boreriding design bare..

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
    barrabruce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Far Nth Qld Australia
    Well I reckon that youís Are All right on the money
    Ac ww for core.
    I recon that his dies are to small or needs a bigger expansion ball on his die.
    Especially for a marlin.
    If he pulls a bullet I bet his pp is being compressed to 308-9Ē
    The ring if upset lead from seating reveals that it is a tight squeeze into the case neck me and he could be puckering the bottom of the patch out.
    Annealing the case may help too.
    If you twist the tails you donít get that but it still remains that the patch will size down

    If he seats a few in unsized cases and single loads his groups should shrink dramatically.

    My 2c worth.
    Hey Iím still learning the basics
    Last edited by barrabruce; 05-16-2018 at 11:56 AM.

  4. #24
    When sizing down cast bullets to .301, is that allowing for the bullet to obturate to slug up in the bore? I have used the Lee lead hardness measurement to get regular cast bullets to shoot good in my rifles. I'm wondering if the initial pressure shock of powder ignition is causing the bullet to swell to a diameter greater than the cast diameter and as it enters the lead and begins its travel into the lands it gets swaged back to bore diameter. So, should the bullet be cast smaller to allow for this swelling upon firing?

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy Old Coot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Edwin, If you are patching to .308" you may be shooting a bullet that is a bit too small. I like to patch to +- .002 to .003 " larger than the throat (or leade) of the barrel. When fired to bullet will size down easily, also at .298" you may be starting a little too small. The rifling must engrave (lightly) the bullet as it goes down the barrel. This is why we usually size to .301 to .302 for a thirty caliber barrel ( 3030, 308, 30/06 , 300 Win Mag, etc.). Your core may be rattling ( a funny term for one to two thousands of an inch less than the bore diameter of the barrel) down the barrel. Or, the patch may not be completely cut through by the lands. This could lead to all kinds of fun as the bullet with half a patch travels toward the target. Good Luck Brodie

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Cast Boolits library is full info concerning how too cure bewildering patching problems .
    Just a few suggestions.
    1. Slugging of barrel is recommended.
    2. Powder section is paramount.
    3. Near soft lead BHN is recommended. {If wanting to use clip on wheel weight or Lyman #2's BHN's} Its possible too. But plagued with problems.

  7. #27
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Castlegar, B.C., Canada
    I am certainly no expert here but have done some paper patching for .30 cal. with good results in .308 and poor then decent results in .303 British.

    I made a push out mould that cast a 0.301" boolit then paper patched to just over groove diameter for my .308 and got good results right off the bat. Then I tried the same boolit wrapped with thicker paper to suit the groove diameter of my Lee Enfield but got poor results... very poor!

    So I looked at differences and the most obvious is core diameter which is 0.301" and right at bore diameter of the .308 but about 0.002" to 0.003" under bore diameter of the .303. So, I kurled the core up to 0.304" then paper patched t groove diameter and found success.

    Have you slugged your barrel?

    I have read that the core should be at or slightly larger than bore diameter and my results concur with that! Using an undersize core did not work for me.

    Another difference I noted is that the rifling in the .303 is noticeably deep than in the .308 which may also be a factor.

    Something to look at anyway.


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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