Thoughts,,,, Good or Bad?

  • Last Post 26 February 2019
x101airborne posted this 25 February 2019

Evening all.

I bought a rifle some years ago, (don't get excited till you read the details) a pre-64 Winchester 70 action, PALMA benchrest 1 in 14.5 inch twist heavy barrel (I think it is a 24 inch), super heavy maple stock and chambered in 308 Winchester. It came from Ohio Ordinance Works as used condition. No round count, no information, no nothing. I thought of using the action for a custom build, but I just cant think of anything I want in short action. I was wondering if anyone here thought there would be anything wrong with trying this for a maximum velocity cast bullet rifle? Something 180 grain range or 200 grain range and run it till it don't?

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Mike H posted this 25 February 2019

Lucky you,go for it,should be excellent.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 25 February 2019

great idea ... high velocity with cast is always interesting.  most of us fizzle out at about  2200-2400 tops with standard molds, gas checks, greasy bullets, and linotype or softer alloys.

and also of course because cast at those velocities do the job we ask of them just fine.

there was a good effort with good results discussed here in this forum a couple years ago can * search * the old posts for those reports.


if you are not sure of your barrel, i would " freshen up " the barrel with a match chamber and cast bullet throat before starting ...  since it is a heavy barrel there should be enough metal to easily do that ...

and of course consider your barrel twist ...   it might like 165 gr ( length ) bullets better ... again, quite a lot of discussion on twist rates here the last year or so ...


when i see results of cast bullet tests, .... i always wonder how a similar mj load .... and a similar paper-patched load ..... would have done ....

looking forward to following what you find ...


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x101airborne posted this 25 February 2019

Im hoping Mr. Gibson will look at this thread when he gets a chance. I have been a fan of his since Cast Boolits and I read his thread "High velocity with cast" and as I remember this is basically the rifle he built and successfully took at least one 'chuck at something like 400 yards. I know it probably took him 3 years to get there, but he seems to have this shooting cast thing down to an art and knows barrels like I know cows. He knows if they are in a bad mood just by walking in the room. 

This barrel has been thoroughly cleaned, is mirror bright (no frosting in the throat) and so smooth I have to giggle every time I look down it. Rifling is crisp. Knowing competitive shooters buy only the best, I have hopes. 

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Brodie posted this 25 February 2019

101 Airborne,

You might look up posts on the 243 Win.  I think that Jim Scearcy and another member (mountain molds) have done quite a bit of shooting at high velocity.  My memory is still good, but my filing system ain't.








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Scearcy posted this 25 February 2019

I shoot the 243 win but at or below 1850 fps. Dan at Mountain molds and Larry Gibson are the guys you want. I believe Dan had an article in the last issue of The Fouling Shot.


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Brodie posted this 26 February 2019

Senior Brain, senior moment.


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Ross Smith posted this 26 February 2019

I'm having some good results in my 30-06 that was re-barreled with a 14 twist using the NOE 311-165-fn  xcb bullet and 17-18 gr. R-7. I using an alloy of 3ww-1 lino. You could check the NOE forum, I know some guys were trying to push this bullet to 3000fps, can't remember how that worked.

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BigMan54 posted this 26 February 2019

I have a Sporterised  M1917 that has been passed down in My Family for 3 Generations. My Grandfather carried one, fighting in France in WW1. It was restocked in the 1920's, with a Sporter style stock. Although without sling swivels or checkering.

Then professionally Converted in the late 1930's to .257Rob'Ts as a gift for A friend of My Grandfather. When that friend passed after WW2, his wife returned it to My Grandfather. Some where along that Friend's time with it he engraved a pattern with His initials in it into the floorplate.

My Oldest Brother took his first Deer with it. As did The rest of his 6 grandsons. My Father passed that Rifle to me a few years before he passed.  

My Son took his first deer at 12yrs old with it. I passed it on to Him on his 18th Birthday. He died Serving HIS COUNTRY in Iraq.

Now it is mine again. I am the last, all my Family has passed. 

Is it wrong to Sporterise old military bolt rifles.

No, NOT THIS ONE. I Pick It Up, And the hands of my Blood touch mine AGAIN.

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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x101airborne posted this 26 February 2019

I don't want to make this thread anything negative, but my God, I am sorry for your loss. I haven't lost a loved family member like that, but I did go when told and I just don't have words for you. Eventhough I went, I cannot imagine your loss. I am sorry. Please know I take this to heart and mean everything I say. I will pray for your strength and recovery of not only you but your family. 

If I could salute you and your son over the internet, believe me I am.

I preserve military rifles. The only ones I have that are sporterized I bought as actions only. I have never butchered a good military rifle with an even fair condition pipe. 

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Larry Gibson posted this 26 February 2019


My deepest condolences.  Having a long service career and having been in 2 wars and a lot of rat holes in between I've seen many good men die and have lost many a friend.  The tears I shed on memorial day and a few 'special" days every year will also be for your son.  I salute him and he will be remembered......."Lest We Forget"........


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

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Larry Gibson posted this 26 February 2019


That sounds like a very nice rifle you have, especially for venturing into high velocity cast bullet shooting.  With the 14.5" twist bullets longer than about 1.03" will not stabilize well until you get well above 2000 fps.  I've found, after extensive testing and a bit of frustration, in my own 14" twist Palma .308W rifle that bore riders of about the length of the 311041 and MP 311-180 (170 & 180 gr) are about the heaviest that can give very good accuracy upwards of 2500+ fps.  I did work with the 311299 and found it gave acceptable hunting accuracy when pushed hard upwards of 2400+ fps.  How well your slightly slower twist rifle would do with those bullets remains to be answered.

If you want the best accuracy at high velocity (I'm talking 2500 to 2700+ fps) then the bullet of choice needs to have these attributes;

Bearing surface with GC top not below the neck/shoulder junction to the ogive just touching the leade.

A short nose with no bore riding section.

Minimal groove width and depth with just a sufficient amount of lube capacity.

There is one bullet that was specifically designed to meet those requirements.  That is the NOE 310-165-FN (30 XCB).  It has been thoroughly tested from "normal" cast bullet velocities in the mid teens up through 3300 fps.  In my own 14" twist Palma rifle I shoot it at 2600 fps and maintain excellent accuracy to 600 yards with it.  At 2600 fps 10 shot groups hover around 1 to 1.3 moa out to 300 yards and 1.5 to 2 moa accuracy out to 600 yards. Pushing a cast bullet that fast is hard on the bullet and the best accuracy is in the 2300 - 2400 fps range.

The second best bullet I like to use is the 311466 which fits the criteria with the exception of the lube groove size.  I have a 4 cavity Lyman 311466U that casts perfect bullets for such HV use in the 308W cartridge.  These day, again, I would look to NOE as their 311466 is an excellent one. 

For an alloy I have found Lyman #2 to give the best consistent accuracy, even over straight linotype.  I also WQ the bullets which runs the BHN up to 22 - 24.  The bullets are cast in lots of 600 - 800 at a session and then inspected and weight sorted.  A close visual culling for any defect no matter how small is done and the sprue is cut off smooth with a sharp knife.  The bullets are then weight sorted.  I used a different weight sorting method and it has been posted here on the CBA forum and I suggest a thorough read.  The GC (Hornady) are seated separately then the bullets are lubed in a Lyman 450 with an H&I die of "as cast" diameter.  The GC'd and lubed bullets are then Sized in a Lee push through that has been honed out to give the proper size wanted (to just fit into the throat of the chamber).

I have thoroughly tested 13+ lubes at high velocity and found 2500+ to be the best of currently available lubes. 

The cases used must be of one lot and uniformly "match prepped".  I use Winchester .308W "PALMA" cases (marked on the head stamp) and Some LC 72 Match (M118 White Box) cases. The necks are lightly turned/reamed for concentricity.

Powders;  You'll want to use a slower burning powder that gives close to, if not 100% load density.  I've found AA4350 to work best in my .30W and 30x60 XCB rifles with either the 30 XCB or 311466 bullets.  However, RL15, RL17, IMR4350 and H4350 also work well.  To get velocity you must have pressure.  You will be pushing 40 - 50,000 psi to push either bullet into the true high velocity range.  The trick with the powder used is to use the slowest burning powder that gives 100% load density and the velocity desired......and is accurate.  I have not had very good results with any ball powder.  LeveRevolution also works well but does not give 100% load density at 2600 - 2700 fps so a small Dacron filler was used with it.  As with most firearms your rifle may show a preference for a particular powder but one of these mentioned is going to work the best for your rifle.

I've not found much difference in primer choice except that the load must be worked up with the primer used.  Switching to a different primer most often isn't hazardous but it can alter the time/pressure curve which can have an adverse affect on accuracy.  I use Winchester WLR primers.

As far as loading technique I suggest a technique that gives the most consistent and concentric rounds.  I NS so the neck is a hard fit onto the expander mandrel in my .31 caliber M-die using a Redding bushing die.  The M-die then irons out and expands to the correct neck tension for the .311 sized cast bullet. 

I seat the bullets so they just are a tight fit onto the leade just as the bolt closes.

That's a quick glimpse at what I've learned to do to shoot exceptional cast bullet accuracy at high velocity.  It definitely is a learning curve and can be frustrating.  From experience the worst hold ups to success was when I listened to advise from "experts" on how it should be done even though they'd never actually done it.  It took me 10+ years to figure it out and thousands of test groups  There was success by a few in the past and it was from them that myself and several others learned from them stumbled ahead and figured it out.  It is "rocket science".  You can vary technique and still be successful.  However, you will not be successful thinking you can bend or ignore the laws of physics and ballistics regardless of the "expert" advise given.  I do not claim to be an expert by any stretch.  However, I have been there and done that (high velocity cast bullet shooting with accuracy to extended ranges) and have learned what it really takes to get there. 

Keep a shot count record as with those loads the barrel will get eroded.  I have over 3000 full throttle (53 gr AA4350 under the 30 XCB with 48 - 50,000 psi) rounds out of my 30x60 XCB and can see, with a bore scope, some erosion in the leade and just ahead of it.  As they say; "If you're going to dance, you have to pay the band."

I've found shooting cast bullets at HV to be very rewarding.  This last spring I shot PDs from 300 to 500 yards with a 70+ % hit ratio with the 30x60 XCB bullet at 2900 fps.  I've shot numerous 600 yard 1 to 1.5 moa 10 shot groups with it also.  I've also shot 1.5 to 2 moa groups at 600 yards with the Palma .308W.  Recently a Canadian friend shot 1.5 moa at 550 yards with his own 30 XCB bullets.  So, welcome to HV shooting.  I'll be glad to answer any questions and help any way I can.






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

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