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Thread: Browning B-78 in 30-06 for cast boolet shooting

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Cool Browning B-78 in 30-06 for cast boolet shooting

    I managed to come a cross a B-78 a few months ago, and it was in basiclly brand new condition! The stock was refinished with an oil finish. Love the look of it!

    I started shooting this rifle with j-words, and it was a seriously tight shooter! I was very, VERY pleased with my new shooting iron!

    Then I happened to check the barrels twist rate. It was 1:12”! I was quite suprised this see this pitch in a 30-06! I am used to seeing 1:10 in 30-06’s.

    With this newly found information, I plan to implement “operation cast boolet load development”! Wohoo!

    I am hoping to comfortably get well over 2000 fps with a couple cast boolet designs and weights.

    First I will try is #311299, 200 grain bore rider.

    Then the 311644, 190 grain.

    This rifle will most definitely be used for hunting. I hope to smash a big old bull elk with this rifle! The shot will most likely be inside 100 yards.
    I will likely use 18lbs WW + 2 lbs lead free solder tin/copper.
    This alloy has worked well on deer sized game, and bears (in 45-70).

    I am really pumped to see this rifles potential!

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Yqv71udsn5Nhv3tH8

    Hope the pictures work out!
    Last edited by Dthunter; 10-12-2019 at 08:49 PM. Reason: Spelling

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    historicfirearms's Avatar
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    Ive got a b78 in 30-06 too. I love the rifle, very trim with its tapered octagon barrel. Its one of my most accurate rifles with J words. Unfortunately I haven't had time to try cast in it yet. But now that I know its 1:12 twist I will give it a try.
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    That sounds like a fun endeavor! I've been studying on an 1885 chambered in .308 with a 12" twist also. The mix you mention is very heavy in Tin, about 10%. 6 ounces of Tin (solder) with your 18 pounds of wheel weight metal will just about balance the Antimony in the wheel weights giving a good alloy and not wasting expensive Tin. Just a thought to share with you.
    Good Luck,
    Rick

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Interesting, I have a B 1885 straight stocked 06 as well. Put a few deer in the freezer with it and have been considering it trade material. Perhaps I should play witg it a bit more. Watching to see what loads you like, shorten my process you know.
    “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

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Let me know if you decide to let that 1885 go. A highwall in ‘06 is my fantasy.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Well todays shooting went fairly well!

    Some basic standard loads with Unique and the 311299, & 311644’s were darn accurate combos!

    My high velocity tests with the 311299’s

    (sized to .310”, Hornady Gas Checks, and Lyman Super Moly Lube) federal 210 Match primers for the standard loads, and Fed 215 Magnum primers used for the high velocity loads to drop the SD and get a more consistant ignition/pressure curve

    went fairly well as well.

    My maximum loads with H4831, clocked in at 2540fps! Yikes!
    No high pressure signs on the cases or extraction, but my Lab Radar chronograph picked up something interesting!

    The last two loads I tested chronygraphed averages of 2504 & 2540.

    My Lab Radar measures velocities at preset distances all they way out to 100 yards.
    What was very interesting, was that upon looking at my chrony velocities, I noticed two muzzle velocities that are about 80fps different, but the 100 yard velocities match.
    Hmmmmm!

    At this point, all I can surmise is maybe the boolets are getting a bit damaged on one max load and a “damaged boolet/ slumped nose or something” lost velocity faster ( due to form factor differentials) than the lower load pressure, and arrived at 100 yards with less velocity.

    I dont know if that was the case, but the higher charge did have a bigger group by an inch or so horizontally. No bullet holes seemed out of round.

    So I will drop my charges a bit and look over my targets and numbers, to see if there is any improvement.

    Once my groups on my high velocity loads are more stable, and my targets show groups less than 2”, I will put some of them through some water at varying distances just to see what they tend to do.

    Lotsa fun this stuff!

  7. #7
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    I've got a B78 too!

    Hi all!
    I've been watching this thread with interest as I also have a B78 in '06 and thought I'd share a some of the loads that I've found are working very well. The Ideal 311413, Lee 200RNFP-GC, and Lyman 311299 PB (NOE Version) all worked very well, and seemed to do best around 1500-1700fps. I probably wouldn't use the 311413 for hunting due to it's spitzer nose, but I think the other two would work very well depending on the alloy. Ed

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Standard disclaimer for load data applies. This works well in my rifle, use the data at your own risk.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Nice shooting! Those groups look nice and consistant!

    Is that IMR 4895 you are using?

    My phone screen cannot see the data specs.

    My groups are showing some promise at 100 yards as well.

    I just need to sight my rifle in properly, so I can use a proper fine hold on my center diamond aiming point.


    I have used the standard 311299 for hunting deer for awhile. They sure seem to knock them down and kill reasonably quick.

  9. #9
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    Hi. Thanks. No, it's H4895, but the powders are very close so if you're using IMR you should get very similar performance. Once thing to note is I use either a Dacron fluff or eco-packing peanut (i.e. starch based) as filler to keep the powder down in the case. Remember its a filler, so if you decide to use it, make sure not to tamp it down on top of the powder like a wad. I'm subscribed so I can see how you come out in this, and would be happy to answer any specific questions. Ed
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  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    With the light loads using “Unique”, I donot use a filler. This powder is not position sensitive.

    If I try a medium burn rare like H or IMR 4895 I always use a dacron filler. ��
    I found out years ago that the filler noticably improves the load stats. SD is almost always lower when using a medium burn rate powder, low volume to case capacity ratio.��

    The load I am using for max velocity is at the max charge for jacketed at the moment, so no filler needed here.
    I will try a couple more lower charges in 1 grain charge weight increments to see if the group tightens up, and I can maintain at least 2400 fps velocity.

    I want to have the foot pounds for elk hunting. In the area I intend to hunt, shots will not be beyond 150 yards. If my groups stay within 2-2.25” max at 100, and under 4 1/2” at 200, it should be a slam dunk.

    My lighter loads that are at or near MOA, I will love to take out onto the gopher fields in southern Alberta! ����


    I am having so much fun with this, but I donto have allot of time to complete my tests in quickly.

    I should have a chance to reload 4-5 more test loads of light and high velocity types.

    One thing for sure, I didnt expect to get 2500fps + so easily!

    I will certainly keep you posted Ed, and others as I progress.
    I am hoping to get light 1600-1800fps, consistent MOA’ish or less load (may have that already). Fingers crossed! Lol!

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Load development Updates:


    I have completed a few of the lower velocity cast boolet loads the last few days.

    I have had some mixed results, but accuracy is acceptable in a few of the combinations.

    Here are a few pictures of my adventures:

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/rgm9XSaaFGdT5fYo7


    The charge that worked best in my rifle, and gave me the lowest Standard Deviation values were the 13.5 & 14.0 grains of UNIQUE in both boolet types.

    The day was a “little” cool. Only -3 degrees Celsius, (26F). I Actually had to wear a jacket! Lol!

    My concentration was not great that day. I was able to totally focus on a few complete groups, but had a couple left to right spreads that were primarily my fault.

    Hope you like the pictures!


    With that being said, it gave me the realization that this rifle is capable of printing some Pretty respectable cast boolet groups! Off to a great start!

    The diamond shaped point of aim below the square has a 1/2” (white part).

    All the load information I shot in my rifle is recorded on my targets for you to see.
    As always, this combination works in my rifle, and if you want to use this information, work up to these charge weights carefully.

  12. #12
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    Hi. Very nice! In your previous post you were saying about lighter loads staying at or near MOA, and it looks like you're easily there. Kinda of disappointing results from your lab radar. Any idea why it was missing all those shots? Now all you gotta do is work up your hunting loads and keep them at/below 2 MOA. Ed
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  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    I am not positive, but I may have had my barrel too far from the Lab Radar unit to reliably trigger it.
    With the velocities hovering around 1500fps, I wasn't sure which velocity range to use (handgun/rifle). I elected to record in rifle setting.

    I have one more set of tests to complete before I lock onto my favourite combinations with the lighter loads.

    I am going to use some Aluminum Gas Checks I made with a Free Chex tool, and also a load seated about 0.030” deeper on the 311299’s. I am hoping the accuracy will stay nearly the same with the top lube groove covered in the case neck. But I highly doubt it.

    After the next tests are complete, I will likely load up 2-300 rounds for some plinking and small game use.

    Then it is on to the higher velocity combo for the 200 grain 311299 boolets.

    I will back down the charge 3 grains in 1 grain increments and see if my groups shrink. If I can get it under 2” I am golden!

    I am really enjoying this!

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had to set my Lab radar on “handguns” to get it to record at that speed.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    I did try the handgun setting for one string, but that setting never registered much at all either.

    The Lab radar is a funny unit. 9 out of 10 times I go out, I have no issues and am able to line up the unit to record my shots, but every now and then I have a bugger of a time to align it!

    I even installed a small 1/8” piece of stainless tubing in the top groove to make a handy peep sight to align the unit.

    This is my favourite Chrony, but I hope it doesn't do this often!

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I made a peep sight for mine too. You might try changing the sensitivity setting. I shoot at my Private place so I don’t have to worry about interference from other gun fire so I increased the sensitivity and things worked better for me. If you’re at a public range you may not have that option.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I usually have the whole country side to myself out there. I have the sensitivity set to 1.

    Strange isnt it? Yet I can shoot any other standard jacketed load with no problems.

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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