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Thread: Replicating .30-40 krag service loads with cast bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Replicating .30-40 krag service loads with cast bullets

    I have a US Krag (Springfield 1898) that I am hoping to shoot something similar to the original service load through so around 220gr bullet going 2000 ft/s ish. I don't mind going slower I'd just prefer to not be using a super downloaded plinking round. Does anyone shoot something akin to the service load through their Krags and if so what kind of powder and bullet do you use?

    Where I am in the UK we don't have a huge selection of bullets so not sure I could find anything appropriate which is why I'm thinking cast bullets. I was planning on using this mold:

    https://www.castbulletengineering.co.../779-313-215gc

    My bore slugs at .309 though so will probably need to go for something different.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    I would size that boolit to .311 and find data for a powder in the 4895 burning range.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    I use this bullet http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_...bullet=31-215B sized to .303 and then paper patched to .312 and charged with 42 grains of Reloader 19 in my 1895 Winchester .30-40. The 26 or 28 inch barrel gives about 2200 fps and provides 300 yard hunting accuracy while being easy on the brass. The bullet is made for gas checks but I have shot it both with and with out checks with satisfactory results though it does better with a gas check. The mould can be ordered without the gas check cut and what ever dimension you want. Good luck.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  4. #4
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    That bullet mold looks to be suitable for your stated purpose. IMR 4895 is a good powder choice. It almost goes without saying that you should slug your bore to be sure of its measurement, then size to .002 - .003 over for a good fit with a cast bullet. .311 may prove to be just right, but the possibility exists that your new mold will drop larger bullets and sizing a bit may be necessary. I think you'll want to use gas checks to prevent leading.

    DG

  5. #5
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    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    The Lee 309-200, gas-checked, powder-coated, and sized .311, weighs in at 202 gr from my alloy and, loaded over 36.5 gr. IMR4350, chronos at 1910 from my '98 carbine 'sporter.' Not quite 'ball ammo' ballistics but no problem hitting an IPSC silhouette at 300 yds, either.

    Bill
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Should work okay, you are very near max ctg OAL but should feed through the magazine. Unfortunately there is not a lot of cast bullet data for the Krag and what there is only lists a few powders. Assuming you have had it checked by a gunsmith familiar with rifle and had the locking lug inspected for cracks. Had two Krags in the past and they were fun shooters although we did not use full power loads in deference to our shoulders and 120 year old metallurgy.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    sfwh,

    For my Krag carbines and rifles, my best cast boolit is the Lee .312-185 RN GC.

    Adam

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Those long-nosed bullets have to have the nose diameter large enough to actually ride on the lands, or they'll not be accurate. The canonical test is to try inserting a bullet into the muzzle of your rifle. It must not be loose at all.

    If it is loose, use pin gages to determine the bore (not groove) diameter in your rifle. Accurate and NOE can make you a mould that will have the nose diameter you need. Or you can lap out the nose section of any mould you already have.

    Old rifles will have a larger bore diameter close to the breech. This is the diameter your bullet nose must fit.
    Cognitive Dissident

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks for all the advice guys. Reloader 19 and IMR 4350 are much slower powders than I was expecting people to be getting good results with. I assumed everyone would use relatively small charges of slightly faster powders like IMR 4895. I have quite a lot of vitavhouri N140 the burn rate of which seems to be about halfway between IMR 4350 and 4895. Has anyone had any good results with VV N140 or something with a similar burn rate like Reloader 15?

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master uscra112's Avatar
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    N140 is mighty close to 4895, not very close to 4350. I'd try it. It's been a looong time since I shot any of my Krags, but the last sessions I did I'm pretty sure I would have been using XMP5744, which is a lot faster than anything mentioned so far. Bullet was almost certainly the 311291 - about 170 grains. (Those were the days when Mike Venturino was touting 5744 in the gun rags, and when it was still relatively cheap. I tried it in everything.)
    Cognitive Dissident

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Also a user of A5744 or now , Shooter's World Buffalo. My Krag sporter #311284 or Lee C312-185-1R .

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Hmmm. As "Buffalo" has the price become more reasonable?
    Cognitive Dissident

  13. #13
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    Last time I even saw any 'Buffalo', I paid something like $35/lb for it as opposed to $40-something for 5744 but that was over a year ago and, lately, I haven't seen ANY variety of Shooter's World powder available, anywhere. Btw, I opened my last pound of 'Buffalo' last week to finish out a batch of .45-55-405 for my Trapdoor carbine so if anyone knows where it's in stock, please drop me a PM.

    Bill
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  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy todd9.3x57's Avatar
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    i use 165gr ranch dog(.311"/real weight 173gr) and h4198 or rel 7.




    7-10 is the group at 100 yards using h4198 that is going 1926fps. 1-6 are sighting the rifle in
    I was in uniform for four years, and I know that heroism doesn't occur from taking orders, but rather from people who through their own willpower and strength are willing to sacrifice their lives for an idea.

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  15. #15
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    I have had really good luck with that RD boolit in .30-06 with 4198 and 4895.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy todd9.3x57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumbcocker View Post
    I have had really good luck with that RD boolit in .30-06 with 4198 and 4895.
    i did this with open sights, now i have an 102k Redfield aperture sight. this was all 100 yards with the 165gr RD and 30-40.







    this was about 12ish +/- years ago, my eyes ain't that good anymore, but i have glasses.

    since i hunt with the krag, the RD is the only thing i've fired. i have shot(102k) one 3/4" +/- group at 100 yards(5 shots/bench) but usually it measures 1 1/4 - 1 3/4" at 100 yards.

    i have a 30 rem(m14) which i would like to shoot the RD, but the throat and freebore are non-existent. i took the case and boolit and i tried to chamber it and when i did, the boolit was pushed into the case body. i'll have to take her to gunsmith and ream the throat/free bore to accept a boolit.

    i have an '06 that is an early Arisaka Type 99. it will be sent to JES and its caliber will either be 338-06 or a 9.3x62, someday.
    I was in uniform for four years, and I know that heroism doesn't occur from taking orders, but rather from people who through their own willpower and strength are willing to sacrifice their lives for an idea.

    Thor Heyerdahl

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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I don't know how obtainable Hodgdon H4895 is in the UK, but I think I would want to use it to work up loads. The usual procedure is to find the maximum charge weight of H4895 used for the projectile weight of interest and multiply by 0.6. This gives a mild load that generally develops 60% to 75% the velocity of the maximum load. The charge weight that gets you the velocity you desire should be somewhere there between.
    Oddly, Hodgdon does not list data for 220 gr. projectiles using H4895. You may want to inquire of them about how to duplicate the old service round with 220 gr. cast projectiles.
    Hodgdon DOES list 33.0 gr.(2.14 g.)/H335/220 gr. (14.25 g.) Hornady Jacketed Round Nose as giving 1974 f/s muzzle velocity. This is a maximum charge, and should be worked up from 30.0 gr. (19.44 g.). Nearly identical performance can be obtained with Hodgdon H322, using exactly the same charge weights. With this in mind, the use of H4895 may not be at all necessary, nor even beneficial. E-mail Hodgdon. They've forgotten more about their rifle powders than I'LL ever know. They've never been shy about helping on projects like yours.

    Cheers, and God save the Queen!
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    This was with my 1917 at 100 yards.

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by uscra112 View Post
    Hmmm. As "Buffalo" has the price become more reasonable?
    Actually noticed it late one night looking at Powder Valley , pre scare prices , plus hzmt & shipping , I think I paid $238.00 delivered fpr #8.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've had good results with sierra 220 RN bullets and IMR 4350. I guess it depends on the rifle. A couple of guys I know at the Krag Collectors Association forum like Hornady 220 RN with 4350. Feel free to stop in. They may have other loads for you that I am not aware.

    https://kragcollectorsassociation.org/kca/phpBB3/
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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