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Thread: Best cast boolit "battle rifle"?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Best cast boolit "battle rifle"?

    Which typical semi auto rifle gives the best performance with cast? Any caliber reasonably available without resorting to custom work or extensive work/parts swapping to ensure reliability. Reliable, accurate, and flat shooting as possible. Weight of rifle and ammo a consideration as well.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    My M1 Carbine shoots cast really well. I don't remember the mold number but its the Lyman 131 grain round nose.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    my 2 cents - FN49 the adjustable gas rod gives you a lot of flexibility in operating pressures.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    My RIA 1903 gets nothing but cast. It shoots better than I can with the Lyman 311299 and H&G #20. My Garand does well too but as previously mentioned, the M1 Carbine is no slouch either. I like Lymans 311359, or 311576, with a suitable charge of H110 in mine.

    With the plethora of bullet molds available, I think you can find a good shooter with just about any milsurp.
    Semper Fi


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  5. #5
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Lots of AR-15 shooters out there.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    What JonB said. Any AR Ive had gets fed cast boolits.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    My FN FAL shoots sub MOA with 1 cast bullet
    But to do it , I have to turn the gas system off to get the groups to shrink

    John
    Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    And I carry a SIG

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy DAFzipper's Avatar
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    300 blackout is a lot easier to get cast bullets to shoot well than 5.56 in a AR. Since building mine I rarely shoot 5.56 any more. Can shoot subs or NOE 130 RN. Have pushed it to 2000 fps powder coated. It's a plain base. No gas check cost or trying to get them damn tiny gas checks on 22 caliber bullets just for range blasting.

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  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    The good old M1 Garand with a 200 gr. cast bullet, standard primer and 42 gr. of IMR4831 with a Dacron filler in a GI case is awfully hard to beat in my humble opinion.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    I'll judge this on the ability to beat standard issue ball ammo with cast bullets ,For me I'll say the M1 Garand was pretty easy to get to work with cast ,.same with the SKS and AK 47 pretty easy to find a load that will beat the standard ball loading . The AR onthe other hand I tried but could never beat surplus ammo with a functioning load with cast
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master




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    M1 carbine with Lyman 311359 does great for me.
    God Bless America
    US Army, NRA Patron, TSRA Life
    SASS, Ruger & Marlin accumulator

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    The 30 Carbine as mentioned with 100 - 120 gr cast w/GC. Any 7.62 NATO M1A, FN-FAL, CETME or HK91, 30-06 in M1 Rifle or FN49 in '06 or 8mm, 31 cal or 8mm semi auto RMAKs and real Degerov's in 7.62x54R with 170 - 210 gr cast with GC. SKS and AKs in 7.62x39 with 130 - 160 gr cast w/GC.

    In my opinion the M!A fits ts the bill as a "battle rifle" being the performing best with cast bullets.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy Win94ae's Avatar
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    My AK shoots the Lee CTL312-160-2R at 1MOA and hits higher than the tulammo 122 or 124gr bullets at 250 yards, (harmonics.)



    The only problem I had, was after a few years, lube, fouling and lead accumulated on the piston, and made it cycle irregular, but a little clean-up and all was well again.

    I just shoot Tulammo now, it is cheap and shoots well enough.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Sig Saur 716 Patrol Rifle (AR10) or the Springfield M1A both shoot quite well with the NOE 310-150 SP GC at roughly 2250 FPS with IMR4227. I normally ASBBPC but I actually ESPC for the 308 W. It took me some mixing to get a 'FMJ' color but mostly I use jet black.

    I also have a Mossberg Scout Rifle that takes either the AR10 or M1A magazines. Although a bolt action, it probably gets taken to the range more than the others. I mounted a long eye relief 4X fixed scope and love it. The Mossberg hasn't seen a single round of factory or copper. I have loaded some lather turned copper HPBT projectiles, I just like shooting cast boolits, they kill tin cans dead!
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

    Is taught at the Range!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Most responses have not really addressed the combination of "best performance" and "Weight of rifle and ammo a consideration as well" part of the OP.

    Since weight of ammo was mentioned, you need to assume toting an ample supply is part of the equation. All of the 308 and bigger rounds miss out when you have to consider weight with gun + ample ammo.

    M1 carbine is good for weight, but comes up kind of short for effective range.

    The AK in 7.62 x 39 has the potential, but I am not sure how to go from average to good for accuracy (part of performance) without "custom work or extensive...".

    The 300 BO in an AR probably qualifies as a "battle rifle" to most folks. With a pistol brace and a 7.5" barrel the gun can be real good on weight. However most have a twist intended for heavy bullets and using heavies will mess with the weight part of the equation. Finding a 300 BO with a slower twist gives you a chance at decent performance with medium weigh bullets. Given that lots of folks have been disappointed in 300 BO accuracy with cast in this bullet range, I would try to find a vendor in your price range that will talk to you, understand your objectives, and try to get you the right parts and pieces. If your purchase does not do well with either cast or J words, see if your vendor will make things right. If it does good with J words but not cast, sell the upper and try again. I know this sounds like more effort than it should but it is what it is.

    The 7.62x39 has the potential to have the longest effective range (part of performance) of the guns that also need to think about weight. However, I have no clue how to get an AK (the standard choice) that is accurate with full power cast. They are also making AR platforms for the 7.62x39 round. One of these might work for well with cast, but I think you would really be taking your chances going with this option.

    If you are willing to go with the AR platform in a non-military round, talking to the folks at Wilson Combat may be your best bet for happiness at first try. They can probably get you an upper in 300 Ham'r (their current darling round) or 7.62x40 (probably more flexible and better for cast). If you are willing to go with the 7.62 x 40, there are probably a few other suppliers out there than may be more cost effective even if you end up using a "custom barrel" option. With ammo that does not involve heavy bullets, both of these options are much more likely to shoot well and have a better effective range than the 300 BO.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master



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    FWIW, when the SHTF, I will be grabbing my TAPCO'd SKS, my ruck with my supplies already loaded, and hitting the road.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the SKS. Mine is a yugo with the grenade launcher, ladder sights.
    Biggest drawback is iron sights and old eyes.

    Don't own an AR of any kind.

    But I have a pair of Hipoint Carbines that do very well with cast. The best of the bunch is also the only one I ordered new, in .45acp.

    Even with a Red dot sight it stacked them up very nicely at 100 yards with 230 gr truncated cone cast lubed with BLL over modest amounts of Red Dot.

    Cheap to load and shoot I have yet to have a failure of any kind with it.

    20 round double stack to single stack mag gives me plenty of stopping power without reloading. Compare to the Rem 870 12 ga where I only get 5.

    If it came down to brass tacks I think the .45acp Hipoint would be first choice. The advantage the shotgun has is I am less likely to kill/wound a family member or a neighbor with my choice of ammo. Its just less likely to go through walls and still do damage.

    Either way head shots are the order of the day.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Dapaki's Avatar
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    I would recommend the AR platform chambered in 7.62X39, using the LEE TL312-160-2R and PC them. My loads function 100% and runs a 30 round mag-dump with no miss-feeds. I missed the GC's on a batch I cast and PC'd, they all functioned normally and accuracy was on par with the Wolf 154gr SP.

    BCA uppers run around $200.00, you can maker a lower yourself and the mags are coming down in price. Ammo is easy to load, brass is plentiful, smallish powder loads and large rifle primers are available (around me) still.

    Good luck!

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Thinking about it, are carbines, AKs, ARs and SKS rifles "battle rifles"? I thought they fell into the "assault rifle" category.....any clarification from the OP as to what you meant?
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  20. #20
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Thinking about it, are carbines, AKs, ARs and SKS rifles "battle rifles"? I thought they fell into the "assault rifle" category.....any clarification from the OP as to what you meant?
    That's what I was thinking. M1 Garand, 03A3, M14, etc.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

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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