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Thread: Best Mold for .30 Carbine

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Best Mold for .30 Carbine

    Apologies if this is an often discussed topic but I've had a look around and the consensus seems to be that the Lyman 311359 mold is the best one for accuracy out of the M1. As far as I can tell thought the 311359 has been discontinued? I don't know if that's the case or if it's just out of stock everywhere.

    Assuming that the Lyman one can't be found are there any other good suggestions people have? I was intending to gas check and powder coat.

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub


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    I have used the RCBS 30-115-SP to good effect and also used Saeco 254F6L.

  3. #3
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    ShooterAZ's Avatar
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    The 311359 is a good one in the 30M1. I'm also very partial to the RCBS 30-115-SP. The Lee C30-120-R should also work well if you can find one.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I have tried multiple cast bullets in the carbine including 311359 which works quite well.
    The best and my go to bullet for my M1 Carbine is the NOE 311-121-RN-H5 GC.

  5. #5
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    georgerkahn's Avatar
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    My go-to mould for my US 30 calibre M1 is a Hensley & Gibbs #250. Listed as a 113gn mould, mine drop at 110gns. A round nose, they feed perfectly, and have a gas-check base. I do not powder coat -- I still use a Lyman 450 with H&I dies at 0.312"; COA is jusssst a smidgen less than 1.680". (Or, perhaps better writ, 1.680" is my maximum COA and I seat to a "blonde hair" under ).
    Using that blue lub from Magma (the Star people) I do watch for lub gumming things up -- I've read of others having this challenge -- but, either I shoot too little or have been lucky using this lub. If I were younger, I'd surely look into Powder Coating as a way to readily alleviate this possible consequence of shooting lub'd bullets.
    (I also have a Lyman 311410, and, a couple of the old Ideal 311359GC moulds, but my (made by Quality Hardware) M1 seems to "prefer" the H&G offering!)
    Good luck!
    geo
    Last edited by georgerkahn; 10-19-2021 at 09:00 AM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    The 311359 has not been discontinued; Lyman lists it, like most molds, as "out of stock, available for backorder".

    I have shot several different cast bullets through a lot of of M1/M2 Carbines over the years [had25 of them in my Special Forces arms vault]. I've found the 311359 to be consistently the best cast bullet to use, both for reliable functioning and accuracy. I most often use COWWs + 2% tin and let them AC. I GC, size at .310 and lube with 2500+. Some Carbines with some brass require a .309 sized bullet for 100% reliable cambering. I load them over 13.5 gr of H110 for 1875 - 1890 fps out of the M1 carbine. Properly zeroed with a regulated front sight that load is regulated to the range settings on the M1s rear sight. This is my most often used and my load of choice for general shooting in my own M1 Carbines.

    While I also use the 313631 and the 311316 for hunting/varmint use The Lee C309-113-FN and the RCBS 30-115-SP are also excellent choices. There are similar designs available for those three bullets from the custom makers. I tend to prefer cast bullets in the 105 - 118 gr ranges as they can be loaded within pressure to 1850 - 1940 fps which regulates to the rear sight setting out to 300 yards.

    The M1 carbine is more than a "plinker" for me. I use mine M1s not only casual shooting but also for serious purposes; hunting and social as in SD.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    I gave brother #1 my M1 carbine.
    Recently I loaded up some powder
    coated NOE 311-127 RF plain
    base with IMR 4227. He says they
    shoot better than any of the j-word loads
    I've made for him.

  8. #8
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    The RCBS 30-115 has been accurate in all three of my carbines.
    Life is a journey, death is the destination.

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master




    bruce drake's Avatar
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    in order of accuracy for lightweight 30 caliber bullets, I say 311359 and the 311410 for my Lyman molds and then I put Lee's 130gr RN and then their 113gr FN mold. I've used all four in my 300BLK rifles and that is what I found for best accuracy. The 311410 is not gas checked so you have to keep the velocity lower than the other three designs. If you don't expect to need a high velocity bullet, look at LEE's 100gr RN and 93gr SWC .312 pistol bullets for easy plinker bullets as well.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by nicovanj View Post
    Our South Africans only get the Lee molds so I guess C312-155-2R
    That bullet will not stabilize in the M1 carbine's twist.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master rondog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicovanj View Post
    Our South Africans only get the Lee molds so I guess C312-155-2R
    Yeah, no. Too large diameter and much too heavy. That mold is for 7.62x39 ammo.

  12. #12
    I think a Lyman/Ideal 311441 would work well. It's the best shooting light bullet in any 30cal I have. Nominal 117g.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by dale2242 View Post
    I have tried multiple cast bullets in the carbine including 311359 which works quite well.
    The best and my go to bullet for my M1 Carbine is the NOE 311-121-RN-H5 GC.
    I second the NOE 311-121-RN-H5-GC motion ... it might be easier to get one .
    Request a Shop Run at the forum ... I just checked the shop ... there are one :
    2 cavity w/ 3 pins for HP , cup point and solid ($103.00) and one 4 cavity solid point moulds ($93.00) in stock ... both are aluminum ... move fast if you want one !
    Gary
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    " Let's Go Brandon !"

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    sfwh - over the decades GONRA loaded lottsa M1 & M2 Carbine with
    Lyman 311359 (gas check) with great results!

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5614estell View Post
    I think a Lyman/Ideal 311441 would work well. It's the best shooting light bullet in any 30cal I have. Nominal 117g.
    It does, but that mold is fairly hard to come by. I have a similar mold, a Lachmiller, IIRC that I have not seen since the move last year. Mine worked well in my old Inland, but I only fired a couple boxes.
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  16. #16
    Boolit Mold
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    Hey guys thanks so much for the info I'm glad to hear the Lyman is not discontinued it must just be out of stock everywhere. It certainly seems like that's the best choice from what everyone says. I'll have to just keep my eye out for one.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy SoonerEd's Avatar
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    I picked up a new old stock 311359 for $45 as it said it was for M1 Carbine. Haven't tried it yet as I'm in the middle of deer season. Looks like I might have lucked out and got the right mold even though I didn't know much about it.

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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