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Thread: Boolit Size 303 Br.

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Boolit Size 303 Br.

    Hi all,
    I've been lurking here for a couple of years and finally registered today. I need some advise.
    I am playing around shooting PCCL boolits out of a P-14. The barrel slugs out at about .306 and .312.
    Been casting with a Lee 312-185 mold. Alloy seems about the same as Lyno #1, about 45% CWW-55% SWW,
    plus 1-2% pewter. After PC boolits were sizeing out about .314, home made sizeing die. 50 yd. groups-
    183.2 gr. boolits, 11.1 gr. Green Dot, 4/5 shots = .79" group, 5/5 shots = .88". I PCed these boolits two
    times to get them to .314. For my next test I PCed boolits 3 times to get to .315 unsized. 184.2 gr. boolits, 11.1 gr. Green Dot, 4/5 shots = .57" group, 5/5 shots .72".
    Soo, I opened my die up to .315 and made a .306 nose die. Problem is when size before PC I get .315
    and .306, then after PC and sizeing they come out at .316 and .307. After the boolits sit for awhile they
    measure from .317 to .319 and .3075 to .3085.
    The question is: Are these boolits safe to shoot?
    These boolits will slip into a fired case from this rifle.
    Should I make smaller sizeing dies?
    Sorry about the long storey. Just wanted to give as many details as I could.
    Thank you in advance.
    Rod
    Sorry for

  2. #2
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Old Ugly, welcome to cast boolits

    If they chamber I'd shoot them.

    Spend some time browsing http://www.lasc.us/

    there is a lot of good information there.

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
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    Conditor22,
    Thank you for the welcomeing, your response and the link.
    When closing the bolt with a fired case with a bullet in it the crimp grove is right where it should be. The OAL is about 2.807".
    Unless someone comes along and says "DON'T DO THAT" I'll do a ladder test starting at 10.2 gr. of Green Dot working up to about !!.2 gr. checking for pressure signs. I'll also load 5 worm up rounds with 10.2 gr. and fire them to check pressure signs. I'll do this without my face behind the bolt.
    Thank you again for you input.
    Rod

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    IME, if you've actually got a .312" groove, you've got a tight one. I've got three .303's - one of them a P14 - and .316" was the mold and sizer diameter I settled on for all. As I recall, the smallest of them is .314??? on the groove diameter I bought both of NOE's options - the 314 and 316299, and it seems like the .314" version is going to be a "reserve" mold. I don't recall the actual nose dimension on my slugs off hand, but NOE's print says .305" - and that's on a 213 grain pill. Reading between the lines on some of the old manuals, it looks like they tended to be generous on the groove diameter on a lot of the WWI-era rifles, and were counting on displacement from the lands and pressure from the case to cause the bullets to plump up to diameter.

    But it sounds to me like you were doing just fine with your unmodified .314" sizing die. Your increases of diameter from there are entirely of paint, and if your chamber is allowing expansion of the brass neck to over .319", you shouldn't have a problem. I think the final determination on function in your case will be whether or not the fatter noses hang up in the throat on chambering and extraction of a loaded round. I'd likely test the theory by loading up some dummies with your fattest slugs.
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Bigslug, thank you for your input.
    I think you are probably right about the grove diameter being larger than .312 considering the difficulty measuring a slug from a 5 grove barrel.
    Since my last posting I found a different nose punch that allowed me to push the bullets further into my home made sizing die and they came out measuring .315 on the driving bands.
    I've loaded 50 rounds for a ladder test. 10.3 gr. to 11.2 gr. Green Dot, .1 gr. steps, 5 each. Plus 5 warm up rounds at 10.2 gr.
    Plan on shooting these this Friday. Supposed to be about plus 3 c. and sunny.
    Forgot to mention that bullets are seated to the crimp grove and all rounds chamber nicely.
    Will be back with the results.
    Thanks to all.
    Rod

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
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    So I went out and tried to do a ladder test but things didn't go well. The weather wasn't very good, cold and over cast, below freezing and my eyes wouldn't stay focused on the targets. After a second or two the targets would go blurry, the more I tried the worse it got. Total wast of time. Will have to wait for warmer weather and hope my eyes will do better then.
    Thank you all and bye for now.
    Rod

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Yeah. . .if you're going to shoot Enfields, Smith revolvers, or anything else with offset lands, the V-anvil micrometers that let you measure a 5-groove slug on 3-points of contact creep from "luxury" to "necessity" pretty fast.
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    And it continues to be a puzzle. . .

    Tried to run a mad minute yesterday with my No. 1 MkIII with my .316's and had the noses jam up in the lands. Did some measuring and found some noses north of .307", so it seems the .314" version of the mold is going to get some play after all. Might be a product of alloy growth over time. Thought I had it licked. Phoo!
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Markopolo's Avatar
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    @bigslug.. looks like somebody reopened a can of worms.... time changes everything it seems.
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    My old Enfield III takes a .316
    You could PC those and gain .002 pretty easily, just a thought.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markopolo View Post
    @bigslug.. looks like somebody reopened a can of worms.... time changes everything it seems.
    If nothing else, proof that little with Enfields can be assumed, given that just the production history covers the black/smokeless transition, and all the experimentation with that and jacket materials. Then all of the development, upgrading, retrofitting, Marks, Stars, and arsenal rebuilds to new standards. My No.1 MKIII* is a 1918 reciever, but a 1953 rebuild. Sometimes I think it's more Korean than WWI.

    Measure 20 times, cut twice anyway.
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  12. #12
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. I gotta say, though, with that kind of accuracy from a military surplus rifle, I think your search is pretty much over.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

  13. #13
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    Since these usually have either 2 grooves or 5 It can be difficult to measure the groove dia. However most of the 5 groove barrels I have seen have grooves that are .005 deep per side.

    So if you stick a .303 plug gage in the bore and it fits or whatever size goes + .010 and you've got your Groove dia.

    The 2 groove barrels are a completely different story. My 2 groove barrel was .312/.316 and a .312 bullet physically got Swaged into the grooves during firing. The grooves were very thin so that the metal displaced could easily fill the rifling and impart spin. This was on my Longbranch Gun and since I didn't agree with the Canuck Solution to wartime expedited production, It got bored out and re rifled to .35-303.

    It was rifled to .358.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

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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