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Old October 16, 2018, 10:46 AM   #1
Grant 14
Join Date: February 10, 2018
Posts: 47
30-06 with Oregon trails bullets

I tried reloads in my 98 Mauser and ended up all over the paper. Background being that the rifle had not been fired in years and the scope had been changed. I have convenient spots at 30 yds and about 60 yds to shoot from. I shot a few rounds of commercial ammo (150 gr) at 30 yds and got the gun roughly adjusted. Went back to 60 yds and tuned it to shoot in the bullseye for 4 rounds. Then I took the reloads that I had made up. Oregon trails hard cast 165 gr .310 with 34 gr of 4064. 3 rounds and things didnt look right. walked to target and I didnt even hit the paper. I tried 3 rounds of the bullets sized to .308 and the same thing. Went to 36 grs 4064 with .308, same result. I had also loaded some with 3031 and fired a few rounds of .310 bullets and 308 bullets and also 2 grs more of 3031. I am thinking that I had banged the scope or screws had come lose so I fired a couple of commercial rounds right into the red. I went back to 30 yds and discovered that all of my various loads shot to the right and were erratic. some high and some low. At 30 yds most were 6 to 8 inches from the bull and not at all a group. I expected a different POI from the commercail ammo but this seemed so far out that I need to know what I am doing wrong. I want to find a moderate load that will shoot close enough to Commercial ammo that I can use them without readjusting the scope. Long range isnt important since my property is mostly thick brush and trees. IDEAS? Thanks Grant.
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Old October 16, 2018, 10:52 AM   #2
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Cast bullets have a learning curve and require more than just finding a load to try. It involves slugging your barrel and finding the correct diameter bullet for your gun. At that point you're left trying a lot of different bullets and powders to try to find something that will work in your gun. I shoot cast bullets in some guns, but it's a hobby that requires a lot of time and effort to get successful. If you're just hunting deer and want something that shoots, just by some factory jacketed rounds and sight in. Most any will shoot better than you need for they type of hunting you're describing. Good luck.
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Old October 16, 2018, 11:11 AM   #3
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I started loading cast bullet rounds for antique rifles a few years back. So far there have been a few solid success.

Cast bullet loads have rather narrow window in which they work well. In order words everything has to be just right, or it will be rather disappointing. First thing is to slug the bore to determine the bullet diameter. I can't cast my own, so the next step is to find a commercial caster who can accommodate my needs. This turned out to be the most difficult step. I went through different suppliers, Oregon trail included. Finally I found the perfect guy. It is a small shop up in Montana.

Honest man, impeccable quality, reasonable price. Most impossibly wide range of available bullet diameter.

For me, things became much easier after these two steps. Certainly there are still a lot more to take care of afterwards, but we can talk about it when you reach that point.


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Old October 16, 2018, 11:36 AM   #4
Gary Wells
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Have you talked to Oregon Trail yet. They might be able to shed some light on the subject.
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Old October 16, 2018, 12:00 PM   #5
condor bravo
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My guess is that you are not getting sufficient velocity from your cast bullet loads. Note that 4064 is not even listed in the Lyman cast bullet handbook for any cast bullet weight. For a 160 gr bullet, 3031 is shown as 32 to 43 grains and 3031 is the fastest powder listed for that bullet weight and '06 caliber. You didn't indicate your 3031 charge for the 165 gr bullet. 4198, a faster powder, is shown as 27 to 37 grains for the 160 cast. I would perhaps increase the 3031 charge if appropriate to see if that will improve the grouping.

I shoot cast bullets with a number of calibers up to .458 with good success but using Trail Boss powder which is a different breed of powder.

Your factory rounds seem to be hitting about dead center. To check your scope, you could see how it bore sights at 30 or 60 yards. With the bore centered on a target, how close do the scope crosshairs also center on the target, or close to it.
Ouch, the dreaded "M-1 thumb", you just know it will happen eventually, so why not do it now and get it over with??
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Old October 16, 2018, 12:02 PM   #6
Jim Watson
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Buy some jacketed bullets.
Shooting lead in a copper fouled barrel or vice versa seldom works as well as sticking to one bullet type.
Clean thoroughly and start over.
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Old October 16, 2018, 01:16 PM   #7
44 AMP
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cast 165 gr .310 with 34 gr of 4064.
Note that 4064 is not even listed in the Lyman cast bullet handbook for any cast bullet weight.
Note that IMR 4064 is listed in the RCBS Cast bullet manual, and for .30-06, 165gr bullet 34gr is the listed MAX load, giving 1863fps from their test gun (22" barrel).

Now, about your problem, your cast bullet reloads not hitting close to "commercial ammo (150gr)". Leaving aside, for the moment, issues about bullet diameter and bore size, consider this...

150gr commercial .30-06 ammo, jacketed bullet at roughly 2900fps.
Your reloads, 165gr cast bullet at more than 1,000fps SLOWER.

OF COURSE they aren't going to hit the same place, beyond point blank range.

all of my various loads shot to the right and were erratic. some high and some low.
You stated you used two different bullet diameters, (.308" and .310") two different powder charges of 4064, and some using 3031. (IF correct)

You aren't going to see a nice group, even at really short range with that much variation in the ammo.

Every gun is an individual and some can be really "quirky". I once had a revolver that shot perfect point of aim, very accurate at 15yds with .38SPl, 158gr. Same gun, ANY .357 load shot 2 FEET low and left. And it wasn't just me, it did the same thing when others shot it as well.

You might NOT be able to find a cast bullet load that shoots to the same POI as commercial ammo. You might, there are lots and lots of factors involved.

The first step you need to do, is reduce the number of variables, and only change one thing at a time.

Good Luck
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old October 16, 2018, 02:13 PM   #8
T. O'Heir
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30 or 60 yards is too close, but if you're not using proper data you need to stop and get some.
Like AMP says, commercial ammo with 150 grain jacketed bullets will be running approximately 2800/2900 FPS. So does a 165. Plus a 150 and a 165 will not ever have the same POI. Moreso with an over size, cast, bullet going slower.
Going above max with a cast bullet is going to cause leading in your barrel too.
Pick a cast or jacketed bullet of the correct diameter(.310" is too big), find proper data if it's cast, and work up the load.
Spelling and grammar count!
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Old October 16, 2018, 03:18 PM   #9
Don Fischer
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I'd heard with rifle cast rifle bullet's, going beyond about 1800-2000 fps destroy's accuracy. I did some 180gr cast in my 30-06 with Red Dot powder and a wad overthe powder to keep it against the flash hole. Got 1 1/2" at 100yds. similar load in 308 not as good. Tried rifle powder's from the Lee manual and while they didn't lead the barrel, they didn't shoot worth a didly either. Start fooling with the 308 again one of these days and going to try pistol powder's in it too. Probably Red Dot as I have a lot of that stuff. I might mention even with the rifle powder's I put a wad over the powder to keep it in place. 1/4 sheet toilet paper works well and I hear the stuffing from pillow's works well too. Using the 180gr lee bullet. Used both tumble lubed and paint coated, neither have leaded a barrel.
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Old October 16, 2018, 03:41 PM   #10
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I'd heard with rifle cast rifle bullet's, going beyond about 1800-2000 fps destroy's accuracy.
This is a fallacy. If the bullet is sized correctly and the proper lube is used, cast bullets can be shot 2500 fps with no problems. This is using wheel weights.

There is a feller on the CBS forum that tested several lubes and he was shooting >3000 fps in a match barrel using straight wheel weights and all his groups were <2" @ 100 yds.

I think the OP needs to change powders and use something like IMR 4198.

Also, seat the bullets so that they are 0.005" into the lands.

Red Dot is my favorite powder for cast bullets and reduced loads.
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Old October 16, 2018, 05:43 PM   #11
Grant 14
Join Date: February 10, 2018
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My Lyman #44 manual (yes I know its old) gives starting loads of 31 grs of 4064 and max of 41 grs for both 155 gr gas check and 173 gr gas check. I had read that the Oregon Trail bullets could be shot at gas check speeds without any leading. I chose to start with 34 grs 4064 as a sort of middle of the road. 60 yds doesnt seem too close when the bullets are not even hitting the target. When I moved back to 30 yds and shot 3 each and got no sort of group out of each batch I figured something was wrong. I got the same sort of erratic shots using 3031 also from the Lyman #44 book. I used the same powder charge of 3031 since the starting and max were close to the same as what was given for 4064. As far as slugging the barrel goes, the .308 and the .310 seemed to be equally bad. I called Oregon Trails and wont be able to talk to their tech until Friday. Maybe he will have ideas for me. Thanks Grant.
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Old October 16, 2018, 06:02 PM   #12
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Are cast bullets something you just have to shoot ???
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