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Thread: *Best* all-purpose cast cartridge?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy davidheart's Avatar
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    *Best* all-purpose cast cartridge?

    Loaded question time! I'm saving up for a new rifle and I'd like it to be designated for cast boolits and handloads only. Problem is I can't decide what to get...

    I don't want a cartridge which would make significant gains from j-words. I'd like it to be powerful enough for deer and eastern black bear but not overpowered for squirrel and rabbit. Gun needs to be about 6-7lb and 16-18" barrel.

    I feel like I'm pigeon holing myself into the 30/30 but I'm hoping there's something better... What is y'all's favorite all-purpose?
    Last edited by davidheart; 02-24-2019 at 10:23 PM.
    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. -Psalm 91:1

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    I am not sure I understand your wish list.

    You want it for cast only. Got that.

    Are you wanting it low velocity? And able to be down loaded for small game?

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy davidheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    I am not sure I understand your wish list.

    You want it for cast only. Got that.

    Are you wanting it low velocity? And able to be down loaded for small game?
    Gotcha, so powerful enough for deer & eastern black bear but able to be down loaded for small game too. I guess the ideal cast boolit velocity for large game is 1800-2100 but hitting a squirrel with a 35 or 45 caliber projectile at 2100fps isn't going to leave much pot meat!
    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. -Psalm 91:1

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    If you are thinking 30-30 maybe consider 32 Winchester special. 32 WS is just a 30-30 case necked up to 32 caliber. 30-30 has a 1:12 twist, while 32 WS has a 1:16 twist. The slower twist makes it easier to drive a cast bullet without stripping in the rifling. 32 WS rifles are very, very good cast rifles.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    Almost any caliber can do that. All your responses are going to highly opinion based. With that though. I would recommend a barrel in the 1 in 10 twist rate. You can down load accurately to 1200 and shoot up to 2100 fps. Just change powders for deifferent pressures.

    Caliber wise, i would say .357 would be too much for a rabitt. Would be limited to head shots only. But some older gentlemen swesr by the 38special with a wad cutter. I like a bit more than .22 for deer though. So i would recommend a bullet diamter 6mm to .357.

    With thay that said I can do anything rabbit and squirrel to hog or deer with my .270 Win or 30-30 Win. I havent been able to get my other guns that a versatile. But thats because of twist rates and bullet selections.

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  6. #6
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    Winchester model 70 featherweight, I have it in 30-06. It's surprising how good it was with a 180gr cast bullet right away with a load suggested by an accomplished cast bullet shooter. (Thanks Jeff Bodine)The range of bullet weights available in 30 cal is impressive.
    Jeff

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy davidheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hick View Post
    If you are thinking 30-30 maybe consider 32 Winchester special. 32 WS is just a 30-30 case necked up to 32 caliber. 30-30 has a 1:12 twist, while 32 WS has a 1:16 twist. The slower twist makes it easier to drive a cast bullet without stripping in the rifling. 32 WS rifles are very, very good cast rifles.
    I never heard of the 32 Winchester Special. That sounds really appealing... and it uses common 30/30 brass? I'll check it out.

    Maveric I'm looking for opinions. And I agree... anything larger than .357 would be a no-go. I already have a 30/06 and I could get it to shoot cast, but all of my testing with cast has been poor so far. It'll shoot j-words within an inch but cast is all over the place.
    Last edited by davidheart; 02-24-2019 at 10:52 PM.
    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. -Psalm 91:1

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    I’m partial to 35 calibers for no particular reason. 357 mag for me. And then 30-30.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy davidheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    I’m partial to 35 calibers for no particular reason. 357 mag for me. And then 30-30.
    There's also a JM stamp 35 Remington at the gun shop... but I wasn't sure how the 35 Remington would perform for small game. Ruger makes the 357/77 which is a ~5.5lb bolt action in 357 magnum.
    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. -Psalm 91:1

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Well 3030 is the obvious choice, 357 mag or max too. 35 Rem maybe. I am enjoying a NO1 in 7.62×39, 98 gr RCBS jor little edibles uo to a 160gr Harris bullet for deer. I can shoot a 200gr k31 bullet well, but it is way to long for typical x39 rifles, and might be a bit light for bear. Hard to beat 3030 or 30 Remington for what you describe.
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  11. #11
    Boolit Master flyingmonkey35's Avatar
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    As for a rifel I reccomend a 30/30.

    I have never had issuse with cast on that round

    It hits slow and hard.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Forgot, there is the new offering from Winchester, basically a 351WSL redo. 350 Legend, stupid name but a rimless 357max in effect. Will need the throat fixed to use the 200RCBS more than likely.
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    357 Max! But then I have one coming soon. 158 grain pb's for small game, 180-200+ grain gas checked for deer. That's my plan, hc18flyer

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    Davidheart-- For 32 WS you can start with 30-30 brass and the 32 WS sizing die will stretch it out to 32 WS. You can also buy 32 WS brass-- but when I first got my 32 WS I couldn't find a good price on brass, so I just picked up 30-30 and converted it. Interestingly enough, I loaded that converted brass for 15 reloads, then finally found some inexpensive 32 WS brass, so I reconverted the 30-30 brass back to 30-30 and have another 10 or so reloads on it with no cracking or issues.
    Hick: Iron sights!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    30/30, .308, or best of all...30 Br.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidheart View Post
    I never heard of the 32 Winchester Special. That sounds really appealing... and it uses common 30/30 brass? I'll check it out.

    Maveric I'm looking for opinions. And I agree... anything larger than .357 would be a no-go. I already have a 30/06 and I could get it to shoot cast, but all of my testing with cast has been poor so far. It'll shoot j-words within an inch but cast is all over the place.
    Honesty. With the 30/06, you all ready have the gun. We just havent got it shooting right yet. Maybe start a thread on that. See what the collective minds can do. I shoot a .270 Win mostly and it can do all you described. Took me almost a year before o found the right article and started having success. Dont feel bad. It took me 2 years to get my wifes .260 Rem shooting. Also caused me to beleive in RPM thresholds and almost made me superstitious. I actually etched a cross into that cursed guns stock. I still cuss at it every time I take it to the range likw a power control thing.

    Side note, any reason is a good reason to get a new gun. I think the reason some guns are better than others is because of the standard twist rates those calibers come in. If that caliber has standard twist fastee than 9 then its going to give you fits. 35 cals normally come slower because they mostly use short bullets. Slower twist and heavy bullets are always going to work magically well with cast.

    Calibers like 223 and some of the 6mm and 6.5mm that come in with standard twist of 7.... yup good luck. It will be a tack driver at 1000fps though. Those twist are designed around VLD bullets which require that twist. Use that twist on a castbullet and its flight path with be more like a corck screw or unpredictably worse. Physics suck sometimes.

    With that if your going to get a new gun i would get something that you always have brass for. Bullets wont matter because we make those. Powders dont matter because there are enough equivalents now adays we can quickly find a replacement.

    With all that in mind. A 35 whelen comes to mind. We will always have 30/06 cases a plenty. Thats one of my next guns. 35 Rem would be awsome but i dont see much of that brass if ever. Would rather see 35 cal on a 308 case. That 350 Legend has captured my eye. A 357 mag carbine would also be a great idea for off the shelf for cast.

    .277 Wolverine has tickled my fancy for 2 years now and comes with a 1 in 11 twist. Thats for an AR15. Thats my next AR cal. That one has the theory of working grear with cast.

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  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy Randy Bohannon's Avatar
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    One more vote for the 32 Win. Special, it works very well is better suited to your needs than the 30-30 IMO. plenty of nice old Winchester’s and Marlins chambered for it for not collector prices.

  18. #18
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    45 Colt, 45/70 of you can’t do it with either of those, well, you aren’t doing something right.

    I limit my CB hunting to 125-150 yards. More than that it’s a jacketed round specialized to the task at hand.

    I’ll agree and add an honorable mention for the 32 WS.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I'll go out on a stretch. 35-30/30 aka 35-30. It's a stretch because I don't have one so I can only tell you from my research. It's basically a 30-30 that's been necked up to 35 caliber. You get a 30-30 rifle, have it rebored by JES and your in business, well after you get dies. Several companies make dies, CH and I believe RCBS. You can use bullets designed for 35 Remington or download and use 38 special/357 magnum bullets. The rebore cost something like 225.00. The selection of 35 caliber bullets is almost as extensive as 30 caliber, and much more than 32 caliber.

    The only advantage of the 32 special would be if you're wherever on a hunt and need to buy a box of ammo for whatever reason.

    Bazoo

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    358 Winchester or 35 Whelen aren't bad choices either...

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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