The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 12, 2013, 09:43 PM   #1
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 3,045
Loading down for various purposes

The thread on 7x57 Mauser vs. 7MM Magnum for deer hunting prompts me to ask how many here rely on only a few-or perhaps on only one-caliber for various types of hunting and simply reload a less powerful charge for each application?
SIGSHR is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 08:13 AM   #2
pmeisel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 30, 2008
Location: WV
Posts: 271
I have a 444 Marlin that I only have a couple boxes of ammo through.

I am going to load up some lower power rounds (approx. 44 mag level) so I can get some extra practice without beating myself up. About 10 rounds per session of the big ones is all the fun I want. I figure, take the velocity down from 2300 fps to about 1300, and the recoil will be much tamer.

Yet that load would still be satisfactory for short range deer hunting....
__________________
Paul
pmeisel is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 09:43 AM   #3
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,331
About the only loading-down I've ever done has been for an '06. I've used a 169-grain gas-check ahead of 20 grains of 2400 as a plinker load for practice in eye-finger coordination. I've used the same powder charge with half-jacket 100-grain for the same purpose.

Otherwise, the only load changes have been of bullet weights at full charge. 110 for coyotes, 150 for deer.
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 11:02 AM   #4
L_Killkenny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,676
I've did quit a bit of testing with the .30-30, it is definitely doable. I used BlueDot, SR4759 and H4895 for various loads across the board. Bullets anywhere from 100gr to 170gr.

Perhaps the best 2 powders are H4895 and Trailboss. Hodgdon's has formulas on their website for using either for reduced loads.

Overall though, using various loads in the same gun is a hit or miss proposition. POA won't be the same so you have to have intimate knowledge about your guns and loads. Not only is elevation effected but often times POA will shift horizonally too. IMO, it's fine to create and learn POI for some close in bunny loads but when you're stretching the range beyond those measured in feet instead of yards your best bet is to work up ONE compromise load and dance with who brung ya.

All that is mute if your willin to site in your gun every time you switch loads. Then the same gun, even centerfires, can be used for anything from small game season, to varmint season, to big game season. All with a change of loads and a quick trip to the range to adjust your scope.
L_Killkenny is offline  
Old April 13, 2013, 12:53 PM   #5
Salmoneye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 31, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,317
I 'download' my levers in .44 Mag, .35 Rem, and .30-30 most of the time...

I just don't need full-on loads for varmints, and rodents out to 100 yards...

Also allows me more quality time with each...
Salmoneye is offline  
Old April 14, 2013, 09:52 AM   #6
pmeisel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 30, 2008
Location: WV
Posts: 271
Check this for loading down -- round balls for small game in a 30/30....

http://www.castbullet.com/shooting/rb30.htm
__________________
Paul
pmeisel is offline  
Old April 14, 2013, 10:18 AM   #7
Malamute
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 2004
Location: Rocky Mts
Posts: 820
I've used round balls in 30-30, 45-70, and 348. They make great small game and grouse loads. I load about 3 grs Unique, or Red Dot (just starting to mess with it), or 4 grs in the 348, and 6 1/2 grs in the 45-70. I shoot all directions, up and down, so use a tiny bit of dacron pillow stuffing to keep the powder close to the primer, I've had erratic ignition otherwise, and one 45-70 round ball that bounced off a snakes head with no fluff in the load. The 30-30 load are about as loud as a 22 standard vel load. Planning a similar load for '06 and 35 Whelen.

I do it much the same as Junior, but seat the balls to have the widest part just barely into the case, with a very gently crimp to hold them. The Lyman 310 tool is good for seating and crimping, and has the "M" expander die that is good for soft lead bullets or general cast loads. I've use both .310" and .315" round balls available from Hornady. I have a new mould to try, the 311252, its a 77 gr bullet orginally meant for 32 auto and other 32 cal pistols. Should make a dandy small game bullet. Old Ideal manuals showed it being used for that very thing. They called them cellar or close range loads.

A 115-120gr cast bullet @ 1200 fps in the 30-30 makes a good small game load also, but makes more noise than the round balls. I've also used jacketed bullets in various rifle rounds, including the 200 gr flat point 33 bullet in the 338 Mag for a medium light load at about 1500 fps. I used a different type bullet with the jacketed so it wa instanly obvious it wasn't a standard load. Flat point 30-30 bullets would be great for various 30 cal bolt guns, as are the half jacket or 110 hollow point Speers or carbine bullets.

I haven't had too much trouble figuring out the hold for small game and grouse at close range with light loads. Shoot them a bit, it isn't hard to figure out. I never change the sight zero from my main full power loads, and usually leave the magazine loaded with full power loads, singly loading the small game loads.

I've shot a numer of snakes with the round ball loads, they work great for that!
__________________
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt-
Malamute is offline  
Old April 14, 2013, 03:54 PM   #8
ratshooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 703
Here is a good read for reduced loads in centerfire cartridges.

http://www.leverguns.com/articles/pa...ll_charges.htm

I have used 310 balls with 4-5 grs of Bullseye for years. I don't know the velocity but it shoots pretty hard. I used to shoot it in a 4" thick block of wax I had and it would make 2-3" from 25 yards.

I also like to shoot 360 balls from a 357 case out of my Marlin lever action. I get 1 1/2" groups at 45 yards. I use 3grs of bullseye for this load. If you use 357 cases and set the ball so you have a small amount of the nose showing it will feed through the rifle. A 38 case is too short to feed.
__________________
Some people think an English Bulldog looks great... many more people can't tell one end from the other, even by smell.

A village in Kenya called. They want their idiot back.
ratshooter is offline  
Old April 14, 2013, 05:06 PM   #9
hgmeyer
Member
 
Join Date: February 26, 2013
Location: Elgin, IL
Posts: 95
Look into using Trail Boss powder... They list some loads and give a formula for developing others
hgmeyer is offline  
Old April 16, 2013, 07:17 AM   #10
stubbicatt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 15, 2007
Posts: 1,061
I haven't experimented with reduced loads in many years, but I do remember in an old Lyman manual of the day that if it is a bottlenecked case which headspaces on the shoulder, then you will slowly begin to see the shoulder recede, which can then lead to case head separation when you use reduced pressure loads.

Consequently, I reserved such reduced loadings to rimmed cases. Cast bullets in 7.62x54r rounds were a nice low recoil, low muzzle blast, way to spend an afternoon plinking at cans.

FWIW.
stubbicatt is offline  
Old April 16, 2013, 10:26 AM   #11
Malamute
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 2004
Location: Rocky Mts
Posts: 820
Quote:
I haven't experimented with reduced loads in many years, but I do remember in an old Lyman manual of the day that if it is a bottlenecked case which headspaces on the shoulder, then you will slowly begin to see the shoulder recede, which can then lead to case head separation when you use reduced pressure loads...

Good point, I believe the case headspace shortening is the product of the firing pin blow driving them forward, in effect sizing them in the chamber, without the normal pressure load ironing them back out to full size. However, I believe the main problem would be using the headspace compromised cases for full power load after they had been used for enough light loads to be a problem. I may be mistaken, but it seems that light loads dont have enough power to stretch and separate a case. Alternating cases between full power may help to keep them ironed out, I dont know, or simply keeping cases used for light loads separate. I haven't seen any warnings about it in newer Lyman manuals, even the cast bullet manual, which has many loads at far below normal pressure level.

A case headspace gauge may be useful in keeping track of the case headspace question.

Belted cases should be the same as rimmed regarding the shortening effect, if indeed its still considered to be a problem.
__________________
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt-
Malamute is offline  
Old April 16, 2013, 12:21 PM   #12
Nevmavrick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2010
Location: Sparks, Nevada, near Reno
Posts: 156
I'ver used reduced-load ammo for quite a while, with almost all my guns. I don't in my .22s, mostly because I don't have any molds.
The vast majority of my guns use cast bullets, but some like .30s, and 7mms also use FMJs for use where legal. I test until I get the cast at 25-50yds to shoot the spot with the full-power load's point of aim. The full-power will hit at 3" at 100yds, and the mid-range will hit at aim or up 1" at 50yds. I have a lot of pistol-shotgun powders to try with different bullets, and with/without fillers, usually dacron.
For my .30s, I have 88gr (for .32 Autos) 100gr RNGC, 125gr, 150gr 180gr and 200gr spGC. When I figure a load, I get 5-6 rounds and drop them in my pocket if I go hunting for big game for a week or more.
It's just one more reason to shoot, and a lot of fun, too.
If it's not fun...don't do it!
Gene
Nevmavrick is offline  
Old April 16, 2013, 06:04 PM   #13
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,979
Reduced loads? Not me. I like recoil!
csmsss is offline  
Old April 16, 2013, 06:22 PM   #14
TX Hunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 11, 2010
Location: East Texas USA
Posts: 1,776
I have been told that going below the published starting load for a Cartridge can cause unsafe pressure. I use the starting load for a reduced load. I love the IMR 4895 150 grain 8x57 Mauser starting load from the Speer Reloading Manual. Cases hold up well, low recoil, plesant report, and still perfect for hunting Deer sized Game.
TX Hunter is offline  
Old April 16, 2013, 11:32 PM   #15
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,355
5744 makes some excellent reduce loads. I'm moving from trail boss to 5744 for a lot of my reduce rifle loads using cast bullets.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old April 17, 2013, 08:27 AM   #16
Jevyod
Member
 
Join Date: May 5, 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 94
I have loaded down a 300 wsm to more acceptable whitetail levels! Using the H4895 I was shooting 150 grain Hornady Interlocks chronographed at 2,550 fps. Here in Pa where the average shot is often way less than 100 yards, it works perfectly on deer! No need to use an elk load on deer! Plus, it saves on the powder!
Jevyod is offline  
Old April 17, 2013, 09:30 PM   #17
Malamute
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 2004
Location: Rocky Mts
Posts: 820
Quote:
I have been told that going below the published starting load for a Cartridge can cause unsafe pressure. I use the starting load for a reduced load. I love the IMR 4895 150 grain 8x57 Mauser starting load from the Speer Reloading Manual. Cases hold up well, low recoil, plesant report, and still perfect for hunting Deer sized Game.

That is correct. Most reduced loads use a different powder than is used for full power loads. For light last loads I (and most manuals suggest) using a pistol/shotgun powder for lower end to medium velocity loads. For lighter loads with jacketed bullets, I use IMR 4759 powder. It works great for lighter loads, though is not well suited for full power loads generally.

Your lighter loads do what you want, but most that fool with lighte rloads are looking for lighter yet than starting loads. They arent usually used for the same type game as full power loads, but for small game, grouse, close range or indoor practice (yes, some people shoot in their basements or barns), etc. The old Ideal loading manual had loads in many calibers that they termed "cellar loads", very light bullets and loads for shooting in the basement, or close range practice.
__________________
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt-
Malamute is offline  
Old April 18, 2013, 08:45 AM   #18
Tortuga12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Posts: 197
I'm currently using 7.5gr of Bullsye under a 165 gr lead FP in my K31. Since the longest bay at my range is only 100 yds., I figure theres' not much point to shooting a round developed for 400+!
Tortuga12 is offline  
Old April 18, 2013, 02:22 PM   #19
Picher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2004
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,719
The only reduced loads I do these days is using a mild charge of IMR 4895 behind a 90 grain Sierra HP in my .270 Win. That shoots to the same POI at 100 yards as my heavy load with a 130 grain bullet.

I've shot reduced loads in other rifle calibers, but changes in POI at regular shooting ranges limit my desire to use them extensively. I don't mind being an inch off another load at 100 yards, but don't want to be 2" or more away.
__________________
People are like rifles. Some are tried and true, having great eyes, personality, and fun to be with. Others never seem to hit the mark with you. Still others go off half-cocked. Still, it's nice to know most of them.
Picher is offline  
Old April 18, 2013, 09:19 PM   #20
Major Dave (retired)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2008
Location: Between Dallas and Shreveport, LA
Posts: 552
I loaded down a .243...

to use for fall turkey hunting.

Using Trail Boss powder, I developed a very accurate load using 90 grain FMJ bullets. My chrony says it produces a MV of 1510 fps. Shoots about 3/4 MOA @ 100 yards.

Haven't hunted with it yet, but I have visions of shooting a Tom in the eye

Lots of luck with that, as turkeys seldom stand stock still without moving their head
__________________
Artillery lends dignity to what would otherwise be but a vulgar brawl.
Major Dave (retired) is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11399 seconds with 7 queries