modern rifles

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Ross Smith posted this 20 June 2017

Just curious. After 7 molds and several powders, I was wondering if this is a ritual that we all have to go through?

I have an older Rem 700 in 30-06, great rifle, no complaints. But it sure didn't like some posted loads that were great for someone else. So, limiting to just rem 700's, is there really that much difference from one to the other? I already accept that part of the "experience" is me.   Ross

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BigMan54 posted this 20 June 2017

I have experience of 6 different REM 700. Made from 1972-2007. Calibers; 270Win(2), .30-06(2), .35 Whelen & 7X57. 

The .270'S were a RT & LT purchased from the same dealer on the same day from the same shipment in Aug 1974. They both shoot well with the same load of LYMAN #280442 & a light charge of UNIQUE.  With Jacketed slugs it was a whole different story. One load would give 1 1/2" 5 shot groups in one rifle & 3" groups in the other. Ended up with 2 completely separate loads for jacketed & just 1 load for cast.

The ought 6's (1972 & 2007) both shot well with #311291, #311407, 311413 & 311329. With a #311407 sized .309 cast of LINOTYPE & lubed in EVERY groove coming out the best. A light load of UNIQUE shot best, with SR4759 for a heavier load.   1 1/2" - 2"  3 shot groups being the average for either gun.

The 700 Classic's were a different story. The .35 Whelen shot well with both bullets cast of LINOTYPE,  sized .358 DIA. 50yds with a #358429 over a light charge of UNIQUE . It made a good bunny load with one hole groups at 50yrds. For a heavier load , I found an old Lyman small block single cavity mold; #358009. Dropped at about 240grs. I used H4895 behind it to start. Decent 3 shot groups  2-3" at 100yrds.  But only on good days & from a VERY CLEAN barrel.  Every gun is a law unto itself.

The 7X57 Classic; my tried & true #287405 failed me completely. I had that very Kind & Extremely Knowledgeable Gentleman,  Mr. Joe Penny make me up 4 different cast bullets. I tried at least 4 different powders, including my favorite Unique.  Couldn't find a cast load that would group 3 shots under 4 inches. It shot OK with jacketed but I never found a cast bullet load worth an ounce of lead.

There's my experience,  just don't ask about Model 70'S,  pre or post. Shot just a couple when I was a kid. Never had Ruger M77's in a caliber that I had molds for at the same time, so I never tried cast in one. I learned all this from my Dad, with old LYMAN manuals, supplemented by the newest LYMAN manuals available.  

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 20 June 2017

it is probably harder to establish "" the load "" for rifles with varying chamber dimensions ... such as factory deer rifles  ...  and cast bullets seem to be very sensitive to these small differences ...

.... it is more a statistical probability that a cast load will shoot well in different rifles .... so at least there are " likely " loads to start with .  311284 bullet in a 30 cal is likely to get you a good load reasonably quick ....2 or 3 sizers and 2 or 3 powders  and 2 or 3 seating depths ( g ) ....  and :: bean cans beware !!

as opposed to those expensive j bullets that have loads that are almost sure to shoot great in even factory rifles ... remember 20.5 gr. 4198 and any 50 gr.j bullet in a 222  rem. ?   boring ( g ) .

ken

 

 

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onondaga posted this 20 June 2017

Ross, you said,

"Just curious. After 7 molds and several powders, I was wondering if this is a ritual that we all have to go through?"

7 molds and several powders is a symptom that you should reexamine the basics. Unless your rifle really stinks, the 30-06 caliber isn't the problem. Heavy for caliber cast bullets shoot best regardless of twist. My favorite and most accurate bullet for 30-06 is nothing fancy but is heavy and casts large enough that it has to be sized to achieve a pass on the ink test showing that bullets on loaded ammo slide into the chamber on chambering and that fit gives the bullet a stable start. Anything less subtracts from accuracy potential.

I shoot the Lee C312-185-1R, sized/checked for that slide fit at .311 for my rifle. It fits so well that lube is not important and I tumble lube per Lee instructions for rifle bullets, once before size/check and twice after but I use White's Deluxe 45:45:10. I seat the bullets so they engage the throat .010". My H4895 charge yields 2055 fps and the load consistently groups 1/2"@ 50 yards. For Deer hunting, I use the load hollow pointed with the large Forster bit in a drill press on loaded ammo. It smacks meat humanely well to 150 yards with ease.

A good rule of thumb that eliminates bore condition problems is that if your rifle has ever coppered up at all from jacketed ammo that it should be bore polished for shooting cast bullets. My simple effective method is in the accuracy section of the forum:

https://castbulletassoc.org/forum/thread/8364-my-bore-polish-method-to-shoot-better/

 

Gary

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Eutectic posted this 20 June 2017

Chasing other shooters cast bullet loads only leads to frustration. There are three secrets to cast bullet accuracy Bullet Fit, Bullet Fit and Bullet Fit. The bullets must seal the  throat and fit the barrel. There is a wealth of information on the forum about how to do this. A well fitted bullet and a light cast bullet load will usually shoot to the capability of the rifle.

You do not mention which molds you have, please tell us.

Steve

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Scearcy posted this 20 June 2017

This past winter I did a project shooting 3 different 243s. I didn't own a mold or a sizing die when I started. Now of course I own several. First the rifle that was most accurate with jacketed bullets was also most accurate with cast. That said I had little difficulty getting 2 1/2" 100 yard 10 shot groups with the two lesser rifles. The more accurate rifle would shoot 1 3/4 - 2" 10 shot groups. Now when I say little difficulty, I purposefully shot 6 different powders and 4 different bullets. With at least 2 - 10 shot groups per rifle- load combo I rapidly reached my second box of gas checks.

Once I concentrated on one rifle, two bullets and two powders, smaller groups soon followed. BTW your definition of accuracy is important isn't it. I have been shooting the better rifle in matches this summer. My average for all of the groups year to date is just over 1 1/4". This included both 5 shot and 10 shot groups. 

Now for the punch line. When I started this project several members offered their "best" loads. When all was said and done, I have now shot almost 2500 rounds, my best two loads were very similar to a couple offered to me on day one.

Fit is important of course. Alloy is important if you wish to "go small" as is a chronograph. Both of my go to loads had standard deviations under 10 fps. Fat, slow and soft is not a bad place to start.

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Ross Smith posted this 20 June 2017

Thanks All once again. I recounted my molds, can't trust memory any more. I have 9 .30 cals. Some were just a what the heck give it a try, 2 were ok as in 2-3" at 100yds, and I have 4 that really do well as in flirting up and down with 1 " at 100yds. My best molds are 4 different hoch molds 3 nose pour and 1 base pour. They vary in weight  from 194 to 214 grs. and all are bore riders. I'm still working with the .310 185( casts .3105 at 194 grns) gas check. i'm going to do a side by side with it's near twin .309 185 gas check. So far my rifle likes 30 grns of h(or imr) 4895 or 19 grns of 4759. I still haven't found the sweet spot for unique or trailboss.

My question is, is all this experimentation be necessary? My ulterior  motive was can I buy another rem 700 30-06 and expect similar results? And After reading all the replies, I would say yes, and maybe. The qualifier being you all can point a guy in the right direction. By the way, it's been fun, and will continue to be fun. Some of you are by far more serious about the quest for accuracy. That's what's nice about this, there's room for us all.  Ross      ps. I'm just starting on my 3rd bag of 30 cal gc's, long way to go.

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Scearcy posted this 20 June 2017

Hi Ross

21 gr of 4759 with a 190 gr + bullet has long been considered one of the classic 3006 loads. As I mentioned there are loads that are good more often than not. This is one of them.

You should be able to buy another 3006 and approach 2" easily. The 1" you have gotten is much tougher. The proviso is that the rifle should shoot a high quality jacketed bullet into something under 2" with minimal load development. Try the same two powders for the jacketed loads.

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Ross Smith posted this 20 June 2017

Scearcy:   Too bad the 4759 is nearly gone!   I was lucky with this rifle. Out of the box in the 70's It shot sub moa with hand loaded jacketed 165's. But it didn't like 165 grn cast, at least so far. Anyway, what prompted all of this was the ground hog shoot. My 30-30 died and I didn't have anything to shoot in the iron sight category except my 45-70. I would like to find either an 03-a3 or another 700 and put good peep sights on it. Would be really nice if the same loads would produce similar results. But like my gunsmith told me about my model 700, if it shoots that good, don't mess with it.  Ross

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onondaga posted this 20 June 2017

Ross, you still don't mention fit or how you check your bullet fit to your rifle at all. That is your answer. You are not putting in the work to find out. .309" cast bullets aren't big enough for 30-06 rifles, don't even bother with them if that is what they measure.

There are plenty of methods discussed on this forum for checking bullet size for rifles. Ink is the easiest for me, it is visual and tactile and no micrometer is even needed. Ink on the bullet should show a slide fit on the front driving band from chambering a loaded round. The largest bullet diameter that will easily chamber has the highest accuracy potential. If you aren't even acknowledging that you are going the wrong way with cast bullets in your rifle.

.311-.312" cast bullets generally work well with 30-06, but ANY CAST bullet should be positively checked for fit or any accuracy you get is happenstance not skill.

 

Gary

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Scearcy posted this 20 June 2017

Ross: 5744 works really well also.

Jim

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Ross Smith posted this 20 June 2017

Gary: The bore on my rifle is .300 and the grooves are .308, as close as I can measure. I pushed a bullet down the barrel and measured with calipers.The throat I haven't measured but the driving bands on my .3095 bullet don't touch and the .3105 bullet does not slip into the throat. the body on all 3 of my bore riders also just engrave the riflings and measure 308-309.So I'm close. This rifle is not the one in question. My question always was about a second rifle in 30-06 and the likely hood of having to repeat my search for a good load for it. I'm quite happy with  the way my present rifle shoots. There's room for improvement no doubt. I don't always make myself clear. I do appreciate all the advice though, you all posses alot of knowledge.

I have some of the chamber casting metal, just haven't done it yet. And I also haven't tried 5744. My original quest in cast bullet shooting was something more comfortable to shoot than full hose 06 loads. So I have been carefull about what powders I use for reduced loads. I also don't have ready access to a variety of powder so I have stayed with my old and good friend 4895.

 

Once again, thank you all. There seems to be a " core" of very helpful people here, are there others having similar experiences to mine?  This experience with the 06 was not a difficult journey compared to my search for a good load in my .375 m/l schuetzen rifle, that was  pure devilry, and it has yet to have a real happy ending. TYhe 06 always shot inside of 4" no matter what. The schuetzen was capable of 8 feet at 200 yds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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onondaga posted this 20 June 2017

Ross Smith

Consider standing up and walking away from bore and groove measurements. They don't matter if the bullet has a slip throat fit and slip fit is easier to check with ink, Chamber casting and measurements only get you ballpark close with numbers compared to the simple ink test with a loaded round chambered and un-chambered in your rifle. It is time to progress and stop making the repeated errors that have cost you accuracy and eaten up inventory.

If you like to tinker, your tinkering would be best utilized in learning to custom hone bullet sizing dies to get exactly the size that gives a slip fit to your chamber. I have honed 4 - 30 cal Lee Lube and Size dies that give me a slip fit for any 30 cal rifle. I do it with a hand drill, a slotted dowel, emery cloth strip and oil. Test size frequently till you get the size you need for your rifle by ink test. It is that easy to get maximum accuracy potential bullet fit!

From what you have said, your best chance is to take the bullet you have that is too big and size it to fit and ignore all the molds that cast too small. The small ones only shoot all over the place and lead up your bore because they wobble down the bore from a poor, not stable start. If they are too small they are junk for your rifle and don't have a chance for maximum accuracy potential.

Gary

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Larry Gibson posted this 21 June 2017

"But it sure didn't like some posted loads that were great for someone else."

 

Sad to say but a lot of "recommended" loads are made more by wishful thinking or very limited testing.....most of those are based on one or two lucky 3 or 5 shot groups. 

 

Having said that I a couple standard cast bullet loads for the '06 that have worked very well over the last 40+ years in many different '06 of many different makes.  They revolve around several cast bullets; the 311291, 311/314299, the 311041, the 311466 and the NOE 30 XCB. The 1st three bullets over 4895 (28 - 30 gr) and the last two over 2400 or 4227 now that 4759 is discontinuedcranky.  All of the loads use a Dacron filler.  Any '06 that is 1 - 1/2 moa capable with quality jacketed loads will shoot these cast loads 1 1/2 - 2 moa.  I'm referring to 10 shot groups btw.

 

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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Ed Harris posted this 22 June 2017

My experience parallels Larry's.  Of the readily available off the shelf bullets NOE versions of the Lee C312-155-2R and #311299 seem to produce the best results with the least load development.

I had made a solid brass rotor for my RCBS Little Dandy made which meters about 38 grains of 3Fg black for my .44-40 and .45 Colt cowboy guns and Ruger Old Army cap & ball revolver.  That same measured volume is my "Go-To" gaschecked cast bullet charge for either the .303 British, 7.62x54R or .30-'06, depending upon powder chosen metering 24-30 grains of either 4198, RL7, 4895, 4064, RL15 or Varget, using what is on the loading bench at the time...

My usual HillBilly load technique is to run RL7 first, fire two ten-shot groups, and adjust to another powder thrown from the same rotor as those preliminary results indicate.  K.I.S.S. principle!

RL7 almost always works! 

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

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Ross Smith posted this 23 June 2017

Ed: I've only seen 4895, trail boss, unique, and a few others as listed safe for reduced loads. Should I regard 4198,rl7,4064 ,rl15 and varget(some of which I have) as safe for reduced loads?    Ross

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SierraHunter posted this 25 June 2017

Wow. If I can't get a rifle to shoot under 1 inch at 100 yards (jacketed), it goes down the road pretty quick. I'll usually try a couple cast loads and if I can't get it under a inch, I just shoot jacketed in that gun.

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 25 June 2017

BIGMAN54  - I have experience of 6 different REM 700. Made from 1972-2007. Calibers; 270Win(2), .30-06(2), .35 Whelen & 7X57. 

...both bullets cast of LINOTYPE,  sized .358 DIA. 50yds with a #358429 over a light charge of UNIQUE . It made a good bunny load with one hole groups at 50yrds. For a heavier load , I found an old Lyman small block single cavity mold; #358009. Dropped at about 240grs. I used H4895 behind it to start. Decent 3 shot groups  2-3" at 100yrds.  But only on good days & from a VERY CLEAN barrel.  Every gun is a law unto itself....
I'm very interested in your loads for the 35W - with the 358009.  1:16 twist is marginal and I've never gotten past the shotgun pattern.

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Ross Smith posted this 25 June 2017

All: Well I'm getting the idea that each rifle is an individual and I can expect to do some experimenting even with "twin" rifles. Ross

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onondaga posted this 25 June 2017

Ross, you said,

"All: Well I'm getting the idea that each rifle is an individual and I can expect to do some experimenting even with "twin" rifles."

It is more than an idea and has been true for well over 300 years. Welcome aboard.

Gary

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Scearcy posted this 25 June 2017

Ross 

I use IMR4198 and Rx7 both for reduced loads with cast bullets. Very flexible powders. I know Varget was popular with the 308 shooters a few years ago. 28-29 grs as I recall. The data sheets in the back of the Fouling Shot would have alot of info.

Jim

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