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Old December 9, 1999, 01:34 PM   #1
Jack Straw
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I have a supply of Mid Kansas cast bullets in .30cal (165gr,FN, non gas check). I want to work up some reduced loads for .308 and 30-30, but being of non-gas check design and unknown hardness, I want to keep velocity under 1600fps to avoid any leading. I am looking at getting a pound of Accurate XMP5477; it advertises itself as THE powder for reduced loads. Can anyone suggest any other powders or pet loads that I might try?

Thanks,
Jack
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Old December 9, 1999, 02:25 PM   #2
Robert the41MagFan
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If you wish to stay under the 1600fps range, use powders commonly use in handguns (Herco, Unique, Red Dot, Green Dot, X700). Those velocities will range from about 1100 to 1600 fps. If the goal is to work up over the 1600fps range, use something more traditional like 3031. Velocities range from 1600 to 2000 fps.

Robert
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Old December 9, 1999, 02:29 PM   #3
CapeFear
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Two of my favorites are Red Dot and Green Dot
The Lyman #47 manual lists these and lots of other choices. Beware this is addictive! I started looking for a squirrel load and now have been loading almost nothing but subsonic and reduced loads for six months.
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Old December 9, 1999, 03:45 PM   #4
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ADDICTIVE isn't the word for it! my favorite cast powder for rifle is 4227 (h or imr). my favorite lube is lyman super moly. i do not clean the bore in my 03 with over 1200 rounds since last cleaning (which i should not have done). otherwise i would be approaching 2000. accuracy is exceptional, to say the least. my next powder of choice would be unique. stay away from ball powders. sundog

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Old December 10, 1999, 03:49 PM   #5
Jack Straw
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I looked back into my the Lee manual and found an article in there about calculating reduced loads. Has anyone tried Lee's formula? It seems rather complex, but if it works, it works. The only problem I can see with it (just from reading it, not trying it), would be the possibility of starting out with a charge of a powder that is below published minimums for that powder.

Thanks again,
Jack

[This message has been edited by Jack Straw (edited December 10, 1999).]
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Old December 10, 1999, 05:27 PM   #6
Sport45
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i tried using Lee's formula to get a 1000 fps load using H4895. It went bang when I pulled the trigger and a hole appeared not too far from the center of the target. Only problem was that about 15-20% of the powder was still in the case and barrel unburt. I'll try a small dose of 231 next time.

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Old December 10, 1999, 05:45 PM   #7
Jack Straw
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Sport45,

Thanks for that tidbit. I'm inclined to stick with Unique since I already have it on the shelf; your experience kinda helps cement that idea.

Jack

[This message has been edited by Jack Straw (edited December 10, 1999).]
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Old December 12, 1999, 11:50 AM   #8
flatlander
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Although Red Dot is a very fast powder, it's bulky. I've used it in loads for 45 Colt which I wanted to keep down in the 800fps region. Don't know if Blue Dot bulks up as well as Red Dot does, but it's a lot slower, and might work if you can locate some data for it. Most regular rifle powders need lots more pressure than you're going to be running to burn cleanly - which is the reason 4895 left so much partly consumned powder in the bore.
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Old December 15, 1999, 12:29 AM   #9
Paul B.
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Jack. I would try Unique. It has worked well for me in both the 30-30 and .308 for light loads. E-mail me and I'll pass some data along. I don't give load data over the forums.
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Old December 15, 1999, 01:15 PM   #10
sundog
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sport45, i use lee's formula all the time. in fact, i set up a spreadsheet to do the calulation for me. all i do is enter the data, and viola! i think 4895 is on the slowest end of burn rate for using reduced loads. i am aware of at least a couple of instances where slow powders were used in reduced loads and blew up the gun. using faster powders will yield better results. lee talks about this in his book. a fellow shooter uses unique in his krag and arisaka with excellent results. mv is around 1200. nice thing about this is the brass lasts just about forever (well, at least alot of reloads). sundog

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Old December 17, 1999, 01:49 PM   #11
Paul B.
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Sundog. I agree that the slower burning powders should not be used for reduced loads. However, IMR-4895 works well for such use. If you are not a member fo the cast bullet association, it is well worth joining up. Their magazine, THE CAST BULLET, has good data to work from. They have bench rest matches, and the load data used by these shooters is included. I looked up the data for 4895 in .308 Win. to see what worked for these shooters. I averaged the loads and used that. Velocity is about 1800 FPS and I am getting good groups. Lack of time has prevented me from working further on these loads, but I'll get to it. I get very little powder residue from these loads. Just something to think about.
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Old December 17, 1999, 04:37 PM   #12
sundog
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paul, have you seen anything from these guys slower than 4895? a cast load is not necessarily 'reduced' just because of a slower moving lead bullet. it's a cast load. the characteristics of a given set of components will dictate its development. i think you will agree that anyone who does not understand the reduced load concept should stay with published data. again, a good read on this is richard lee's reloading book. this is a good thread. anyone who is willing to do a little work to find a good cast load will be justly rewarded. lyman's cast load book is good, although it has many of the same loads as the 47th, but it does include alot of other data. sundog

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Old December 18, 1999, 01:58 PM   #13
Paul B.
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Sundog. Yes. I have seen loads using
IMR-4320 and H-4831. Some were in the NRA's book CAST LEAD, and there was some in an article in I believe either RIFLE or HANDLOADER magazine. I think it was the latter. The article was by Al Miller, an extremely knowledgeable cast bullet shooter. His article concerned the 30-06, and his attempts to reach full power loads.
Not germaine to the subject huh?
In my opinion, based on better than 40 years of fighting with cast lead bullets , I would not use any powder slower than
IMR-4895 for reduced loads in a .308 Win. IMR-4320 may be OK, but I have not used it.
I don't shoot reduced loads in 30-30, nor do I shoot jacketed bullets in 30-30. Cast lead kills deer very well thank you very much. I get full power factory duplication loads with WW-748. I use a reduced load in the .308 for practice and plinking and small game. A 170 gr. bullet at around 1800 FPS. Bullets for the .308 are heat treated. For the 30-30, cast of wheel weights and not treated for Winchester rifles and heat treated for a Marlin with Micro-groove barrel.
I also load a 190 gr. cast bullet in 30-30 that duplicated the old .303 Savage in power. I haven't had a chance to try it on deer yet, but is is supposed to be quite a killer on larger game. (I have all 3 of Lyman's ast lead manuals. The first one is a treasure of info gathered when cast lead for hunting was a lot more popular.) Some old timers I have talked too lament the passing of the .303 Savage as they felt it killed larger game better due to the 190 gr. bullet Winchester loaded in it. We'll see.
For reduced loads, you should try IMR-4759. This powder was specifically developed for cast lead. It was discontinued, but enough people squawked so it was brought back into production. I use it in the 45-70 Marlin.
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Old December 19, 1999, 08:32 AM   #14
sundog
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paul, interesting, and no, it's not really off the subject even though the original post concerned .308 and 30-30. there's alot to be learned, me included. i started casting in early seventies and still learning. i have not been able to get 4759 to work well in any of my applications yet even though i have some and always try it as one of my work up loads. a friend does exceptionally well with it in his 03A4. i guess what we are both beatin' around about is that there is a multitude of combinations, and it takes alot of testing to find the right one for a particular gun, huh? had another friend tell me yesterday to join cast bullet association. guess i'll have to look into it. thanks.
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Old December 22, 1999, 11:36 AM   #15
Paul B.
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Sundog. I recommend joining the Cast Bullet Association. I'm starting my second year.
You have me wondering about your friends 03A4. A lot of the WW-2 03A3's had two groove barrels. I've heard it said that they will shoot some cast bullets very well with two groove barrels.
Which bullets do you use? I've had good results from Lyman's 311291, sized to .310, and Lubed with lyman's Magic Orange. I load the .308 to about 1800 FPS with IMR-4895.
I load the same bullet to full power in 30-30 with WW-748.
I use IMR 4759 primarily in the 45-70 with the Lyman 457122 Gould hollow point bullet.
It does 2 to 2.5 inches at 100 yards in a Marlin micro-Groove barrel. Bullet is sized to .459 inch.
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Old January 11, 2000, 12:28 PM   #16
labgrade
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Good idea when loading for cast rifle bullets is to seat them out far enough that they are touching the rifling firmly. I seem to get better accuracy this way. Sometimes, the catridge OAL is too long to fit in the magazine though. Depends on the rifle & bullet combo.
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Old January 12, 2000, 06:23 AM   #17
Bud Helms
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Excellent post.

Paul, is the Cast Bullet Assoc online?

Sundog, I don't think I've seen the Lee formula for calculating reduced loads. Did you use Excel for the spreadsheet?

Sensop

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[This message has been edited by sensop (edited January 12, 2000).]
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Old January 12, 2000, 11:32 AM   #18
Paul B.
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Sensop. Yes they are online. Go to (www.castbulletassoc.org).
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