Low Pressure Cast Loads

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Low Pressure Cast Loads

Postby Macd » 23 Dec 2018 21

After the holidays I want to work up some cast loads that stay below 1200 FPS. Calibres are from .308 Win to 8 mm Mauser. Need a load that will obturate bullets and expand case necks to get good gas seal. I have only GC molds but want to try them without checks. Will use wheel weight lead with stick-on weights added to melt to reduce hardness. Anyone have suggestions or comments that will get me on the right path?
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Re: Low Pressure Cast Loads

Postby farmerjim » 24 Dec 2018 07

I have made a bunch of these in 308, 223, and 22 hornet. All my load data is down in my barn. Basically you use light loads of one of the fast pistol powders. I have used 700x and bullseye. There are many loads out there on the internet. Keep reducing the loads till you get down to where you want. Do not reduce any of the rifle powder loads below the minimum. Be sure that the bullet is not still in the barrel with these reduced loads. I have a article on reduced loads somewhere on this computer, but can't find it. If somebody else here doesn't send you a place for some starting loads, I will keep looking.
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Re: Low Pressure Cast Loads

Postby RBHarter » 24 Dec 2018 20

What bullets do you expect to use ?
I have PB'd a couple of Lee moulds for this type of application . NOE makes mixed and GC and BP moulds of nearly every mould they make .

Unique is good as is Red Dot for this sort of thing .
I've shot as little as 2.5 gr Unique in 223 cases and 3.5 in 30-30 . In 06' with a 200 gr bullet 8.0 gr worked well . There is something about 10.0 Unique being the go to answer in 06' cases so probably around 8.0 is it in the 308 clan .

I have a 97 gr 32 pistol bullet I use in 30-30 for a squirrel slayer . Under 1200 fps no checks on check designs aren't a big deal .

50/50 will get most of what you want out of these kind of loads .
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Re: Low Pressure Cast Loads

Postby GasGuzzler » 25 Dec 2018 03

RBHarter wrote:Unique is good as is Red Dot for this sort of thing .
I've shot as little as 2.5 gr Unique in 223 cases and 3.5 in 30-30 . In 06' with a 200 gr bullet 8.0 gr worked well . There is something about 10.0 Unique being the go to answer in 06' cases so probably around 8.0 is it in the 308 clan .

10 Unique is said to be a good place to start for all .308 reduced loads but I'm sure I learned that here.

RBHarter wrote:I have a 97 gr 32 pistol bullet I use in 30-30 for a squirrel slayer . Under 1200 fps no checks on check designs aren't a big deal .


^^^ Sounds like a good bullet for .32WFC.
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Re: Low Pressure Cast Loads

Postby RBHarter » 25 Dec 2018 21

Probably is , it's a 313??? Lyman for the assorted 32 pistols .
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Re: Low Pressure Cast Loads

Postby Macd » 21 May 2019 13

Wanted to revive this thread. I somehow missed responding back when it was fresh. I haven't got any further with the .308 calibre so that is a good reason to start it up again. I have three bullets I am going to try. The first is the Lee LH-309-150. The second and third are are 160 and 185 grain ones resized to .309 from 311-312. I salvaged these from my LGS when they were remodeling the store. All three are checked, lubed and then tumble lubed. I have on hand IMR4227, Bullseye, H4895, RL7, W231, Clays, Trail Boss, IMR3031and N340; all which I have seen mentioned in reduced loads for 30 cal rifles. I will also consider other powders like Unique and 2400 but I will have to order them in. I will be loading for a Savage 99, a Parker Hale 30-06 and, depending on results, a K31 7.5 Swiss.

Looking for people's experience and suggestions
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Re: Low Pressure Cast Loads

Postby Jeff H » 21 May 2019 16

I have not loaded the 308 with cast but the "low end" cast is my favorite part of shooting cast in rifles.

Closest I can come is the 222 Remington and 30-30, am just getting started with the 7.62x39, but some of it may be useful to you. You probably know about all of the things I'll mention, but this combination of otherwise well-known methods is what's working for me in the low end.

I shoot plain-base when I have them, but haven't shot GC bullets w/o GCs extensively. Since I make GCs for both the 22s and 30s, I use them on loads from 450 fps to 1850 fps anyway because they're already 'checked, sized and lubed.

The things I have found to be common to good shooting in the 222 and 30-30:
Neck-size fire-formed cases with a LEE Collet Neck-Sizing die backed off a bit. Set up as explained in the instructions and then backed out and tested by seating a bullet, pulling it and measuring its diameter. When the neck holds the bullet without re-sizing it, I stop. These cannot be turned by my fingers and hold up to being run from a magazine.

I flare case mouths as little as possible with a LEE universal flaring die and leave the flare on these loads.

Bullets are straight wheel weights or 50/50 wheel weights/Lead - pretty soft.

Lubed once before sizing/seating 'checks (when used) and again after sizing with BLL or 45/45/10. Haven't been able to see the slightest performance different between the two in my loads.

I'm using a 165 grain Ranch Dog mould, and a de-gas-checked LEE C309-113 for the 30-30. Both print very small fifty yard groups. The Lee casts .311" to .312" in the front and .313" to .313" in the new long base band. These both size nicely to .310" and work well in my .308" bore.

Powders I use are limited to Unique and HP38/W231. For either, I have been able to start with 6 grains of Unique or 5.5 grains of W231 (for cast) in the 357 Mag, 45 ACP, 223, 222 and 30-30. Most times I can stick with that charge but have boosted it to 7 to 7.5 grains in the 30-30, but I think that's getting me above 1500 fps in the 30-30. 7 grains of Unique seems to be a sweet spot in my 30-3o for either of the bullets I'm using for such loads.

I do use rifle primers in both, because the pressures shown in the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook show pressures above typical handgun pressures using handgun powders in the rifles I'm shooting. I have not experimented with pistol primers at all in these cases.

I use no fillers and take no special care in positioning powder.

I have loaded very small amounts of HP38/W231 for really quiet loads (where the 35 cal seems to be easiest to get quietest) but you really have to watch because less than two grains of that powder, with whatever bullet will clear the muzzle in one gun and not in the next - same length barrels too.

I've also used as much IMR4350 in the 30-30 case as will fit (several grains less than the manuals say will fit) and have gotten impressive accuracy, but have not chronographed those. I'm hoping to set the chronograph up this summer to see what some of my accurate loads are doing.

I know it's not a 308, but maybe something in there will help. Good luck and have fun! I'd love to see your results here because i have a 308 in my safe I'm not sure I'll keep. If I do, it'll be a CB gun.
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Re: Low Pressure Cast Loads

Postby Macd » 23 May 2019 08

Thanks Jeff
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Re: Low Pressure Cast Loads

Postby Macd » 23 May 2019 21

First batch of reduced charge. 19 to 22 grains of IMR 4227 in one grain increments, 185 grain bullets seated to just engrave lands in the 30_06, CCI 200 primers and Remington 1x fired with freshly annealed necks. Going to repeat charges for 150 and 160 grain bullets. Won't get to the range till after end of June as going to Europe for an extended vacation.

EDIT: I repeated the above exactly but with CCI 250 magnum primers. Be interesting if they make a difference in ES as I have read that IMR4227 is position sensitive.
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Re: Low Pressure Cast Loads

Postby Macd » 25 May 2019 10

Perhaps this thread belongs in the Rifle Reloading section.
When getting ready to load up some Lee 309-150's a bottle of Trail Boss caught my eye so I decided to load a stack using this powder. I had reasonable success using it in 8mm Mauser so I ran up 20 for the '06 using RP brass that was neck sized with the Lee collett die. 14 to 15.5 grains, CCI 200 and seated to just engrave on the lands. I took out the mouth flare with the FCD.
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