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Thread: .30-06 and Unique

  1. #21
    Boolit Master

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    Some years ago my dad loaned me his sporterized 03A3, his deer rifle in the 60s and 70s. I remember him working on loads and then going to the range to test them out. He had a load that would put 3 190 gr Boat Tail bullets under a quarter all day long, 3 under a dime on a good day. I remember the first time I shot the rifle and I was warned about the kick and scope bite by my friend's dad. It didn't kick any more or less than a 12 gauge (Dad had me shooting his old Ithaca since I was 8) and I had already read that scope bite can get you more shooting prone. I hit what I aimed at w/o a scope bite. Beautiful rifle, hand checkered by my friend's uncle.

    Anyway, I asked Dad 8 years ago if I could try some cast boolits through his rifle and to my surprise he gave me the go ahead. The only mold I had was a Lee C309-150 RF I had bought to load for my wife's 30-30 Winchester 94 she inherited from her grandfather. I should probably bought the 170 RF but the 150 was on sale for 12.50 so what the heck. I first loaded with loads laddered up from 10 to 18 grains of Unique with great success. Well, my measure of success is hitting 'minute of soda can' at 100 yards, off hand. I could not miss all day. BTW, this was lube/sized .310 with Javalina.

    This was before I got into powder coating, mostly for 300 BO at the time. Along the way, I bought an NOA 309-150 Spitzer using gas checks I made from aluminum flashing. My powder of choice was IMR4227 for the BO as it fully cycled the BO. The a year or so later I bought a Springfield M1A, and then a Sig 716 Patrol rifle, and a year later a Mossberg Scout Rifle. M1A fully cycled at 24 grains of IMR 4227 which a book load max was 30. I laddered up to 28 grains with consistent accuracy in all 3 308 rifles. Then, I decided to run 28 in the 03A3 knowing the pressure would be less due to the larger case capacity. Same 'minute of soda can' off hand.

    I know this is about 30-06 and Unique, and I know I never have to worry about cycling a bolt gun. I will probably go back to Unique for my next 30-06 loads. I might also try Unique in a recently gifted 7.65x53 Argentine Mauser. Bore is pristine, stock has a couple of dings, bluing has a couple of worn spots, but all serial numbers match. I had it checked out, action is sound with no appreciable wear on the bolt and action which I was told it has not been cycled much. That coincides with the previous owner's claim that his brother in-law had only fired about 20 rounds, having purchased the rifle from importer in the mid 1950s supposedly unfired.

    None of my load manuals list pressures for the 7.65, but plenty of resources indicate the case capacity is substantially similar to the 303 and 308, and that loads can be worked up using those loads as a starting point. I also know that most cast boolit loads are lower pressure than copper condom loads. I'm sure Unique will be to my go to for for the Argy with little worry of going overboard pressure-wise. Unique just works.
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

    Is taught at the Range!

  2. #22
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    I don't have one in front of me, but I'm sure the older Lyman manuals I have include cast bullet data for the 7.65 Argentine. It ought to be great with cast, seems most oversize .30s are.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    That's some great shootin'. I have had good luck with the Lee 170 in 308- 30-06 rifles and 2400!

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    Attachment 253859

    Been messing with a custom target rifle built on a '98 Mauser action in .30-06, which I got an excellent deal on, apparently no one else wanted such a rifle and I got it for the opening bid. So far, I'd been rather unimpressed, but started working with the 311284 and shot this target this afternoon at 100 yards using it, sized to .309 with 12 grains of Unique.

    That's a nine shot group, the bullseye is a Xerox copy of a standard 10 meter air rifle target, the black is probably a one inch circle.

    The bullets I used were some I cast years ago, not sure how many more of them I have, gonna have to dig out that mold and get to work, I think.
    Where's some nice pictures of the Rifle?

    I'd like to see what it is!

    Great Target!!

    I am soon to be loading .30 '06 and I'll keep in mind to try some Unique.

    What weight is that Bullet?

  5. #25
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Nothing really special about the rifle. I wanted a heavy target rifle in .30-06. Except for the Remington 700 Long Range, there isn't a current offering so I found this one on gunbroker and won it for the opening bid. Whoever built it did a nice job, but it isn't really anything special.

    The 311284 is nominally 210 grains, they usually drop heavier. Very long bullet, and has been a good shooter for me in .30-06, .30-40 Krag and 7.62x54. My mold is an old single cavity Ideal.

    For a 100 yard load, I have doubts I'm going tClick image for larger version. 

Name:	.30-06 Mauser.jpg 
Views:	37 
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ID:	255459o get much better than that 12 grains of Unique. It's at the point where it shoots as well as I can. So far, IMR 4895 looks promising for a more powerful load.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    Sweet rifle! I to have a want for a HB '06, and I have a 98 action, just don't know what barrel to use!

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    Great work. Unique is a very useful powder. My favorite actually.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by big bore 99 View Post
    Great work. Unique is a very useful powder. My favorite actually.
    It's probably the most useful one out there, and fortunately, I have quite a bit of it.

    I inherited a big lot of 700X for free and have been using that in all kinds of stuff and have to say it's almost as versatile, but doesn't seem to give as good accuracy as Unique in this rifle or the .308 I'm working with, but it's pretty much all I use in my 7x57 and works great. I've burned a bunch of it up in that rifle already and plan to use a lot more.

  9. #29
    Boolit Buddy
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    What are you folks using for lead alloy for heavier loads, and the most precise loads?

    ie 30 of 3031 leads badly for me with ww alloy however it was superb at 12-13 unique.

  10. #30
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    These I've been shooting were ones I cast years ago, and it seems to me like I cast them of Lyman #2 or close to it.

    What did you size yours to? That load in a .30-06 shouldn't have been too bad.

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    These I've been shooting were ones I cast years ago, and it seems to me like I cast them of Lyman #2 or close to it.

    What did you size yours to? That load in a .30-06 shouldn't have been too bad.
    l will check that again thanks.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master BigAlofPa.'s Avatar
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    The 1st time i shot cast out of my 30.06. Accuracy was bad. Here i was loading to hot with unique. Lymans cast 3rd edition. The starting charge was 17 grains if i recall right. I backed the load down. Then i was doing well.
    One round at a time.
    Member of Valley Gun & Country Club. Elysburg Pa.

  13. #33
    Boolit Grand Master


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    The starting load was 17 grains? Which edition of Lyman book was that? None of mine (I have several) start at anything close to that.

    It seems ten grains of Unique is a good place to start in any medium to large rifle case with just about any "normal" weight range cast bullet. That would be a bit hot in a .30-30, but a .308 case or bigger, no problem.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
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    Ditto.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master BigAlofPa.'s Avatar
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    It was the 50TH. Under 160 grain cast. 18 grains they have as starting. Sorry for the confusion.
    One round at a time.
    Member of Valley Gun & Country Club. Elysburg Pa.

  16. #36
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    Wow! Wonder what they were thinking? That's a lot of Unique.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master BigAlofPa.'s Avatar
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    I think it was a publishing error. Other loads before and after that bullet weight are much less. I didn't have the cast editions at the time either. I now have the 3rd and 4th.
    One round at a time.
    Member of Valley Gun & Country Club. Elysburg Pa.

  18. #38
    That is one Sweet old rifle. Enjoy it. unclemikeinct

  19. #39
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by unclemikeinct View Post
    That is one Sweet old rifle. Enjoy it. unclemikeinct
    Yeah, like they say, she's built for comfort, not speed, LOL.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    FWIW CE Harris recommended 2400 for cast bullet shooting in the .30-06 and similar cartridges.

    His 'universal' load for ranges up to 200yd was 16gn 2400 behind 170-180gn bullets. For hunting and out to 600yd he recommended 18-21gn of 2400 and 180-200gn bullets.

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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