30-06 Plain Base bullets and loads

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Scearcy posted this 12 March 2017

I rediscovered an obvious fact while playing with my 243 this last 2 months. It is beneficial to shoot one of my hunting rifles literally hundreds of times. I have a scoped 3006 and an iron sighted 3006. I don't shoot them much because they are not my cast bullet match rifles. It is embarrassing to admit but the last few years I have actually been using factory ammo for deer hunting.  It is time for a change of attitude.

I like the whole Bunny Gun postal match concept.  I was going to use 22 LR guns this year because I have never fired a PB cast bullet in a centerfire rifle - again an embarrassing factoid. You see where this is going. I want to use the 2 - 3006 rifles and I am hoping to make it a fairly painless exercise in load development by taking advantage of the expertise here.

I already have a mold for the Harris 160 gr bullet and a mold for the NOE 160 FN 30-30 bullet.  Either of these look like good candidates. In addition some research I have done lead to the Accurate 31-155 D which is a PB design for the 3006.  A new mold is always good. My other 30 cal molds are all for longer heavier designs than seems to be needed at 50 yards.

I have several powders on hand but  I have no experience with powder selection for a PB load.

Thoughts, input, help?

Jim

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Scearcy posted this 12 March 2017

One other question: I have a buddy (handgun shooter) who has gotten very good at coating (Hi Tek) his bullets. Do you guys think this might be a better way to prep a plain base bullet. I know millions have been shot with regular or tumble lubes.

Jim

onondaga posted this 12 March 2017

Jim, it really is just a matter of bullet fit for the 30-06. They like heavy bullets to shoot well and matching the rifling twist is not critical at all with heavy bullets in 30-06. Alloy strength is very important when shooting plain base bullets and the Lee recommendations for load pressure  to alloy strength originated for plain base bullets works well. Lyman #2 alloy or Hardball Pistol, both at BHN 15 are ideal for the load level that will shoot well in a 30-06 with plain base cast bullets.

The powder specifically engineered for the 30-06 has a soft start pressure curve that works best with cast bullets in 30-06 and that is H4895. Plain base bullets in 30-06, cast in #2 alloy that fit well to the chamber and are shot at velocities hovering at under ~2,000 fps with H4895 prettily easily group under 1&rdquoat 50yards.

Consider the 31-165 D from Accurate it is a fine Deer bullet and kills better than lighter ones. I shoot the GC version in 30-06 hunting at 2055 fps with H4895. I'd go down 10% in velocity with the plain base and expect equal accuracy under 1&rdquoat 50 yards. Seat the bullet to engage the Leade and size to an ink test verified slide fit on chambering. That is as good as it gets.

Gary

onondaga posted this 12 March 2017

Jim, Lube is the least important thing needed to shoot well when the bullets fit and the alloy matches the load level. It is not a step down in quality to use the easiest least expensive lube for the job. Applying warmed Whites Deluxe 45:45:10 to warmed bullets dries clear and tack free, ready to load in minutes and shoots match winning good.

Gary

Ed Harris posted this 13 March 2017

I use the Accurate 31-155D as a plain-based 100-yard plinker in any .30 cal. from 7.62x39 to .30-'06 

Try 5 grains of Bullseye to start in the .30-30up through .30-'06.

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

RicinYakima posted this 13 March 2017

My standard load for the Accurate copy of #311440 plain base (150 grains) has been 10 grains of Unique, but it requires you to point the bullet up, then lay it in the action to load. Powder coating does nothing for accuracy, but you do have to lube them. Plus you can get pretty colors. My normal alloy is WW's plus 2% tin, so it is only strong enough for about 1400 f/s maximum. HTH, Ric

David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 13 March 2017

I have tried the Lyman 311241 (155gr.) in my .30-06 with low velocity loads. I use alox 50/50, with loads between 9-10 grs of Unique or Red Dot. Accuracy has been pretty good, but have not experimented with a wad behind the bullet as yeat. I also use WWs + 2% tin. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
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Scearcy posted this 13 March 2017

I have an ample supply of lino on hand so I am thinking of 50% lino and 50% lead. I believe this is a little softer than Hardball.  Somebody will straighten me out on that. I also have an ample supply of 4759 so I am thinking of 13-15 gr but  am not going to do anything specific before this thread runs another day or two. I am likely to order the Accurate mold that Ed uses today though. No patience!

onondaga posted this 13 March 2017

Jim, there is a specific reason I don't like the Accurate 31-155D. Look forward of the front lube groove. That band specifies .309&rdquoand is NOT a driving band at that diameter for a 30-06. .309&rdquois under diameter for 30-06 chamber. That is not a stable bullet if your chamber is standard 30-06. If that band was .310' like the other bands it would be closer but still small. I size my 30-06 bullets .311&rdquoand they pass the ink test for my 30-06. That bullet would not work well for me.

You have not established what diameter you need for your rifle. I suggest you don't order a mold until you establish size with a chamber casting or a pound casting of your chamber. If you need .311 like me that bullet will not give you maximum accuracy potential at all and will be a crappy plinker instead of a good shooter.

YOU CAN specify band diameters to Accurate for any of their molds. I recommend you specify .312&rdquofor all 3 bands on that bullet and then it will be big enough to size to fit your rifle. Also, specify your alloy to Accurate,it matters.

Gary

gnoahhh posted this 14 March 2017

Knowing your throat diameter is fairly critical, as is having the bullet match it. That said, I have shot a bazillion Lyman/Ideal 311241's through a multitude of .30 rifles in my life, of a mind boggling variety of throats- by merely using soft alloys (bhn 11 and less) and sizing/lubing to .311/NRA formula. Red Dot, Bullseye, Clays in charge weights of 5 grains in .30-30 to 6 grains in .30-40 & .30-06. I expect keen accuracy at“plinking&rdquoranges, and get it.

 

When I make my way down the“Road to Tinkhamtown&rdquoI hope to end my journey with a sack full (or one of Frank Marshall's Mill's belts full) of those loads and my trusty M1903A1- for that is my idea of a heavenly Sunday afternoon!

Scearcy posted this 14 March 2017

gnoahhh,

Well written indeed.

Jim

max503 posted this 14 March 2017

What is a Bunny Gun Postal Match?  Sorry.  Not meaning to be off-topic.  I have a 357 Handi Rifle that I cast for.

Scearcy posted this 14 March 2017

max503

There is going to a series of sort of informal matches conducted by mail. the unique feature is that the targets are life size rabbit targets.  Also the bullets employed must be plain base. No bench rests, etc allowed.  50 yards. There are a couple of threads back in January that went into great detail.

Perhaps Tom, Ed, or someone can provide more detail about the process

Jim

max503 posted this 14 March 2017

That sounds right up my alley.

Scearcy posted this 14 March 2017

OOPS! max503's question about the Bunny Gun matches caused me to go back and look at the rules again.  If I am looking at the correct set of rules there is a 7 1/2 # weight limit on the bunny guns. My two Remington 700 3006s won't make the weight.

I am NOT complaining about the rules but merely commenting on my own deficiencies!

 

I am still going to pursue PB with the 3006.

 

 

 

SierraHunter posted this 14 March 2017

One other question: I have a buddy (handgun shooter) who has gotten very good at coating (Hi Tek) his bullets. Do you guys think this might be a better way to prep a plain base bullet. I know millions have been shot with regular or tumble lubes.

Jim

 

I wouldn't say better, and its not really faster. It is cleaner, and that is why I use it for hand gun rounds and that kind of stuff, because I can throw a bunch in my pocket, and not worry about dirt getting into the lube, or the lube rubbing off in my pocket. Or, if you are like me, I fill the cup holder on my truck with ammo, and again don't have to worry about the lube getting all over everything. PC also does not build up in your dies.

SierraHunter posted this 14 March 2017

OOPS! max503's question about the Bunny Gun matches caused me to go back and look at the rules again.  If I am looking at the correct set of rules there is a 7 1/2 # weight limit on the bunny guns. My two Remington 700 3006s won't make the weight.

I am NOT complaining about the rules but merely commenting on my own deficiencies!

I am still going to pursue PB with the 3006.

 

I ran into the weight problem with my 300 blackout too. And the wood stock only rule. I don't actually own a rifle under that weight.

Scearcy posted this 15 March 2017

I dug out my old kitchen scale and my Remington 700 with iron sights weighs exactly 7.5#.

Scearcy posted this 16 March 2017

I was considering shooting a gas check bullet with the check left off. The two I liked the best both have extremely narrow lube bands in front of the gas check shank. This looks like a poor design to shoot plain base. Will these narrow (1/16") bands simply melt away regardless of fit?

Jim

onondaga posted this 16 March 2017

I was considering shooting a gas check bullet with the check left off. The two I liked the best both have extremely narrow lube bands in front of the gas check shank. This looks like a poor design to shoot plain base. Will these narrow (1/16") bands simply melt away regardless of fit?

Jim

 

Jim, the basics answer your concerns about the possibility of narrow bands melting away. Alloy too soft for the load pressure or less than  an ink checked bullet fit to the chamber will allow the narrow band to erode or abrade away causing gas jetting loss of accuracy potential.

Using GC designs without a gas check works fine at low pressure gallery load level. Higher than that sends the bullets wobbling down the bore and shooting all over the place without a gas check even if the bullets fit. Don't waste your money on that poor of a choice.

Gary

Scearcy posted this 21 March 2017

This should work

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onondaga posted this 21 March 2017

Jim,  that is a nice looking bullet. You are all set if the fit checks. Do recall that shiny pretty cast bullets are not the maximum size that your mold will cast and if your bullet is undersized that you can increase the diameter of that bullet simply by changing your casting cadence. Usually all that is needed is to increase your drops a minute to cast a little hotter and get bullets that have the all over velvety appearance that indicates the maximum diameter your mold will cast. A gain of up to .002&rdquofor that bullet should be expected if they are cast to maximum diameter potential. I'd sure shoot them that pretty if they fit but don't hesitate to change your cadence if you need to. It works.

 

Gary

Scearcy posted this 21 March 2017

Hi Gary, 

The Bands are .312 and the nose is .301 as it sits so that should be pretty close size wise. I don't intend to size them. Tumble twice and shoot. I cast them precisely at 700 degrees. It would be easy enough to ramp up to 750 now that I have my PID controller. I have never shot PB. I am excited to try these. Thanks for the input.

Jim

onondaga posted this 22 March 2017

They will look just as pretty if you use warmed 45:45:10 on warmed bullets, then it dries clear and tack free and ready to load in 5 minutes.

 

Gary

Dirtybore posted this 5 weeks ago

Questions pertaining to the 30-06 above.

It's fine to use plain base bullets but a gas check does stop gas cutting.  That is why most shooters use them.  

I'm not going to be very helpful in the plain base bullet selection but have used IMR 4895, IMR 3031, and Reloder 7 in several 30-06''s with good results.  The bullets used were Lyman's #311299, Lee's 200 gr 30 cal. and Lymqan's #311284 bullet.  All of these are gas check bullets.

I consider 25 gr of any of my listed above powders as plinker loads.  I'd have to reevaluate my bullet and powder choice if I were going to hunt deer with it.  for bunnies, anything will do.

 

frnkeore posted this 5 weeks ago

At velocitys under 1600 fps, you do not need a GC, as long as the base of the bullet fills the throat, you won't get gas cutting. The bullet should have a hardness of around 10 bhn. Harder that 2% tin/WW doesn't work as well.

The biggest disavantage, shooting fixed ammo, is seating the bullet w/o shearing the lead. 

Only partial neck size use no more than a .001 fit in the case, with a good bell. Close the bell down so that there is a slight drag when chambering it.

Those grooves in the bullet need to be filled, so that the bullet doesn't deform on ignition. A 50/50 BW/Alox, always works well. If your not going to use the grooves, get a smooth sided bullet.

I've shot PB bullets about 98% of the time, since 1985 and have saved untoll amount, not buying GC's.

Frank

Scearcy posted this 5 weeks ago

Frank

I am having trouble getting my alloy soft enough. Everything I have in the shop is for GC bullets.  Believe it or not I have never shot a PB bullet.

Question: I tumble lubed my first batch of bullets. Are you saying I should run them through the sizer and fill the grooves with lube?

Jim

frnkeore posted this 5 weeks ago

We use 20/1 lead/tin, with a hardness of about 10. Plain WW are about that hardness w/o HT or aging.

Yes, with the grooves filled, the lead can not compress or loose shape in that area if, it's a close fitting neck and not at all in the barrel, itself. Don't size in the lubrisizer, just put the GC on. I would start with a .312 bullet and install the GC's in a .312 - .313 die.

Try .311 & .313 bullets also.

I would use Mil brass, also. They generally have thicker brass in the neck area.

Frank

 

M3 Mitch posted this 5 weeks ago

For a long time I have liked to use the plain base 3118, some time back Lyman was cleaning out some inventory and I scored a 4-cavity for this bullet.  Sized about .310, and loaded in the '06 with a light load of 2400 or Unique, it is a good plinking load. Mostly shooting it at beer-can sized targets out to about 80 yards, offhand in my old 1948 vintage M70 with Lyman 48 sight. 

I wonder if the 3118 and the gas-checked version 311316 have big enough meplats that they, like a full wadcutter, tend to become unstable at longer ranges?  It seems like I can only rarely hit that can out at 100 yards, have always just blamed the loose nut holding the rifle for that, but maybe I should shoot at paper at 50 and 100 yards and see what's actually going on...

Scearcy posted this 5 weeks ago

I am surprised but my bullets are too large to chamber w/o shaving lead as they go into the throat.  Both deer rifles were the same and I could not get them to chamber at all in a Remington 700 Long Range. As a result I have to seat them  almost an 1/4&rdquobelow the neck. I shot 25 of them and they did ok but still chamber only with great difficulty. Which is the greater sin? Seat them too deeply or size down to about .3095 so they will chamber.

They would be fine as cast in an  03-A3 I am sure.

BTW the agg for 3 five shot groups is just under 1 1/4&rdquo(50 yd) so I think Ed Harris's load of Bulls Eye will be more than adequate.

Note THE NEXT MORNING:I just checked my rifle with a bore scope. I have never leaded a barrel this badly in my life. It took nearly 2 hours to clean it up. I hope the leading was a product of the lead shaving in the throat.  I'll know more when I get to try bullets sized smaller.

Jim

M3 Mitch posted this 4 weeks ago

Well, if you have the appropriate sizing die, why not size a few down and see how they shoot?  I have always read that seating a CB deeper than where the base of the bullet is even with the base of the neck has a negative influence on accuracy, but I don't recall any articles where an apples-to-apples comparison was done.

A real purist would get a mold that casts closer to the size you need, up to you if you want to spend the $ to do that.

frnkeore posted this 4 weeks ago

Turn your bullet, up side down and size .308 - .309, w/o sizing the base band, until it will chamber with the base band still in the neck.

Frank

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