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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used Laser-cast from the Oregon Trial Bullet company...http://laser-cast.com/.
170 grain sized .310, no gas check. Tried Unique at 8,9,10 grains, then spent about 3/4 of an hour cleaning the lead out of the bore. Total 30 rounds fired.

All at 50 yards: 8 grains loads were very random, lots of horizontal and vertical dispersion, no real group to evaluate; 9 grains had a semblance of a group, about 4" at best; 10 grains had 3 bullets hit the 8x11 paper at 50 yards and I think this is what caused the barrel leading. Company claims they won't lead the bore of your money back.

I started with a squeaky clean bore.

I've been reading everything I could find on loading lead but obviously I'm missing something to get such poor results.

Next outing I'll be starting at 7 grains and going up to 8.5 max by 1/2 grain steps.

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(with my head hanging low in embarrasment).......
 

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My first thought would have been to get the gas checked bullets. My next thought would be to email Oregon and tell them your experience and see if they have any advise.
 

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I'd suggest another powder, like 2400, 4227, 4759, or similar. Try for the 1300 to 1400 fps range and go from there. Oftentimes the faster pistol/shotgun powders do not bring out everything the cast bullet has to offer.

I'm not sure I'd waste any more time on Unique. If anything, try the seven grain load and if that's no joy, try another powder. There's a few things you may do to improve results, but the first of them would be to try another powder.

Insert the bullet nose first into the muzzle. Is the forepart a tight fit, or is it rather loose? Is there any engraving of the forepart? What does it measure?

If you have a bore riding bullet that isn't bore riding, groups are often miserable.
 

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There is a learning curve with cast bullets, same as anything else.

Try 2400. A faster acceleration powder can make soft bullets strip off the lands, leaving the bullets undersized. That allows gas cutting and that will coat a bore with molten lead... fast.
 

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I just looked at the laser cast web site. The picture looks like those 170's are a gas check design with no gas check. Is the base rebated like this:


Or square like this:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Definitely a rebated rim, as though one could put a gas check on the heel.
 

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In my experience gas check designs never shoot worth spit without the check. I've seen others report success, but I'm not sure exactly what witchcraft they employ...
 

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I looked at the site you referenced and read their information. I think you had two things working against you. First the bullet you purchased, if it was the 170g RN FP is definitely a gas check design. Second, they claim they have 7 different metals in their alloy with silver being one of them. Plain old wheel weights only have four which are lead, antimony, tin, and arsenic. It is only a guess but their bullets sound to me to be pretty hard. My info indicates your test loads were running from about 1300 fps to 1500 fps. At these low speeds and with a hard bullet, the bullet is probable not going to bump enough for a good gas seal, especially without the gas check installed......thus leading of the bore.

What I would recommend is get some gas checks and a Lee .311 sizer and install the checks and then try those same loads again if you wish. I've had good luck with using H335 with a Lee mould of pretty much the same design as the laser casts you have.

note: Just found on the Laser-Cast site where they said their bullets had a hardness of 24 BHN. That is pretty hard stuff. Again just my opinion but that kind of hardness is something I might consider in a 30-06 and full speed. In a 30-30 I don't see a hardness of more than 17-19 max with 14-16 preferable if gas checked and driven at full speed. My loads for my 30-30 are 13-14 BHN, gas checked and driven to just above 2000 fps with no leading. Good luck.............
 

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I think imashooter and Gohon nailed it. That's what I get for not looking at the site and assuming "no gascheck" meant "ordinary plainbase."

Your bullets are probably gas cut all to heck.

Put the gaschecks on, for sure.
 

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Another reason I don't shoot cast. ;D
 

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Halwg said:
Another reason I don't shoot cast. ;D
Halwg, you do shoot a .22 so you do shoot lead bullets.... ;D

I would say that 7/Unique would just about be the limit with a cast bullet without the gas check in the 30-30. I might even try 6 and 6.5 grs.

As 35remington indicated, I have gotten my very best results with the slower powders 2400, 4227, 4759, 5744, 4198 with 170gr plain based bullets. Favorite is 12.5/4227 or 15/4198.

w30wcf
 

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Try this site for some good information on cast loads, http://www.gmdr.com/lever/lowveldata.htm its from RCBS and I have used it for several rifles and never had the results you have had.
A couple of questions:

1) Did you measure the groove diameter of your rifle?
2) Did you buy cast bullets appropriate to the groove diameter?
3) Say .001 over the groove dia or .002 max.

I have used Oregon Trail cast and they are 24bhn hardness and should not have leaded your barrel.


"fk"
 

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Hard plain based bullets + fast burning powder (too much) = gas cutting = leading.

w30wcf
 

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35remington said:
Insert the bullet nose first into the muzzle. Is the forepart a tight fit, or is it rather loose? Is there any engraving of the forepart? What does it measure?If you have a bore riding bullet that isn't bore riding, groups are often miserable.
This is the first thing that I thought about. Most bore riding bullets are designed for regular(ballard) style rifling that is .004" deep, which gives a bore diameter of .300" and a groove diameter of .308". Microgroove rifling uses grooves that are much shallower, but compensates by using many more grooves. If you measure the nose of your bullets I bet they measure somewhere between .299" and .301". Thats the proper size for the bore to help align the nose to the bore, but in a microgroove barrel the nose has room to wobble. By not using a gas check you're also reducing the amount of bearing surface that's engaging the rifling. Microgroove rifled guns have a bad reputation when it comes to shooting cast bullets, and the reason is that they used bullets designed for a different gun. If you use a bullet that's designed for the gun, like Ranch Dog's bullet, you'll be happy with the way it shoots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I did not slug the bore before buying these. I read an awful lot of comments regarding the Marlins and the Micro groove and .310 & .311 being acceptable. Gas checked or not was not too often mentioned.

Described from the bottom up, this bullet has a rebated rim section measuring .283-.284 and its roughly .080 tall. We then have 3 driving bands with 2 lube grooves, with the driving bands at .310 diameter per specifications, then a crimp groove, the a smaller diameter driving band, this one measures .309 diameter near as I can tell, and its about .080 wide as well . Overall length of the bullet is about .950. Length from full diameter driving band to full diameter driving band is about .350. Length of bearing surface from top of 1st driving band to bottom of last driving band is about .456. I think driving band is the correct terminology. Sorry if its not.

Sticking the bullet into the muzzle, bullet nose first, nothing touches until the 1st driving band, which is the smaller diameter one at ..309. Just above that 1st band the diameter of the bullet is roughly .292.

I have other powders on hand including Trail Boss, 4759, Blue Dot, H4198, Herco, H4227 (I think) plus various others too numerous to mention so I'm hoping something I have on hand will be recommended by the company as well as already mentioned above by other helpful posters.

I have an email in to the company asking for help and we'll see where it leads. I'd like to shoot more cast but have no wish to cast my own even though I have a supply of WWM already rough melted. I just don't need one more aspect added to my shooting hobby.

And I'm sure my wife would agree with me on that one! ;)

Thanks for the observations so far, they all help.
 

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Knowing your bore diameter by slugging your barrel is important to know as this will help with confidence knowing, and you can then go with the proper sized bullet from there. I have shot cast bullets without a gas check and had fantastic results with great accuracy but only when making paper patched bullets. I have also shot with a fiber wad on the base with good accuracy. If I could recommend another powder to try it would be IMR3031, and paper patch your bullets. ;)
 

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Check 'em, first and foremost. No pun intended.

You have the powders needed for success. Now you just need to complete the bullet by putting the intended gascheck in place.

If the forepart is indeed .292 that's rather undersized.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have contacted Oregon Trail and they are sending me some load data. I'll see how it compares to what I've tried, and if theirs is way different, I'll give them a call and ask about the adding of gas checks. Seems to me there would/should be mention of this fact if indeed they expect the end user to add their own. I will be looking for another supplier if this is the case or simply not shoot cast bullets.
 

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Less than half of the length of the bullet touches the bore, probably a little less than desireable but I'm sure that it can be made to work. Unique is a good powder, but you might want to try less of it. Start at 6 grains and put a tuft of dacron on top of the powder. Just for the sake of being consistent until you get everything working, weigh a piece that's one grain. Push it gently into the case and make sure that it stays fluffed up, you don't want to push it tight against the powder leaving an air gap between the dacron and the base of the bullet. The dacron will work similar to a gas check and will help with gas cutting. I use Trail Boss also, try 8 grains and you don't need the dacron filler due to the bulkiness of the powder. I would try to get these lower velocity loads working first before moving up to a higher velocity with slow powders.
 
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