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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been 30 years since I did any reloading. Most of my reloading was cast bullets in .357 and 9mm handgun rounds.

I note that my local shooting emporium has 30 cal moulds on sale- .308" 165 grainers in the flat point style. With a couple of 7.62 N rifles in the vault, I am curious about Whelen's efforts with the 30 cal on small game.

I'm after a low pressure, low velocity round for small game. Would it be worth my while to buy these moulds, a scale, press and dies? Lead isn't a problem- I've been scrounging it for years, "just in case". Anyone who has gone this route is more than welcom to chime in here...

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 

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casting

Doc,

I would say so. I have an affinity for M95 Steyrs in 8X50R & 8X56R. Bullets are a little pricey, so I broke down & bought a mold & sizer for them & re-learned casting. It's also easy on the gun & shoulder.

The project wouldn't cost a lot. Lee molds are not bad at all price-wise. For lubing, I melt SAECO NRA formula lube in a small cast iron container I got at a garage sale for 10 cents. I just dip the bullet in the melted lube to cover the grooves & sit them on a sheet of waxed paper to set up - takes very little time. Then I run them through the Lee sizer - about 11 bucks and am ready to load them.

It's like any other part of being a gun nut. It doesn't have to be expensive at all, but it can sure get that way! I'm off to work now. Don't ya just love the night shift? :D SW
 

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Doc, I have done a good bit cast bullet shooting and a little bit of small game hunting with .30 cal rifles. One problem I have run into is that most 30 cal moulds are GC design and I have never been able to get them to shoot worth a whoop without the GC. GCing them adds a step to the process and nearly 2 cents a shot to the cost.

One solution for you takes no casting. Hornady sells swaged .314 SWCs very cheaply. A quick pass through a Lee .311 sizer and a light coat of Liquid Alox and you have a fine squrrel bullet. The rifles I have shot them in have held 1" groups to 25-35 yards. I'll take the range limitation to avoid sending heavier bullets off into the wild blue younder.

Lyman 311410 is a PB 130 RN that does a good bit better at longer ranges. RCBS makes a 150 for the CAS crew that I have not shot. You just missed out on the group buy six holer 160 PB custom design. I have done only a little shooting with this one so far, but it has exceeded my expectations and may be the best there is for the volume .30 can plinker.

When I am looking for a plinker/small game load, I break out my inventory of fast pistol powders and and start looking for 1050 fps. It's always been easy for me to find a very accurate load at that velocitiy. I have often found an accurate load at 1400 fps or so, but that takes more work.
 
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Doc, That's what I was wondering, if the molds were gas checked or not. I've had good results with my gc'ed bullets in 30 caliber but I cast a hard bullet and clamp on a Hornady gas check. If the bullet is designed for a gc, it won't work that well without one. Lee's sizer die is a cheap way to clamp on a gas check and comes with some liquid alox. Also, the Lyman reload manuals are good for data for about any rifle and, sometimes the same or close to bullet weight, depending on how fast you want the fps to be. WW's are hard enough usually but pure lead will need a little tin and antimony. I mostly use ww's, range scrap, a length of lead free solder (95% tin and 5% antimony) and sometimes add a handfull of magnum shotgun shot (6% antimony). For slower speeds the swaged or softer lead will work OK. BM

Bill
 

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Doc Sharptail said:
I'm after a low pressure, low velocity round for small game. Would it be worth my while to buy these moulds, a scale, press and dies? Lead isn't a problem- I've been scrounging it for years, "just in case". Anyone who has gone this route is more than welcom to chime in here...

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
Doc, you can dink around with this without buying any of that stuff. All you really need is a box of primers, a can of Unique, and some lead .32 pistol bullets. Knock the primers out of a box of fired cases with a punch, prime by placing the primers on a flat hard surface and tapping on a rod that goes down into the case, charge with a .32 S&W or .32 ACP case full of Unique and thumb press the bullet into the neck. I've even used the .314 Hornadys I mentioned earlier, but I am happier using .311 or .312 when the necks are tight enough.

The pressures are so low that it is almost impossible to get into trouble. You do have to stick with lead bullets because jacketed might hang in the barrel and are very hard to get out.

I think you will find that it is worth adding the other stuff later. Casting my own, I plink for less than a nickel a pop and do it without annoying the neighbors. I also get a much more effective small game round than anything on the market.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is getting mighty interesting! Thanks for all the ideas guys!

I've got 60 lb of printer's linotype metal, and a couple of pure lead ingots good for another 20 lb or so. It's almost a given that I will be casting something. The 165 grain moulds are sold out with just a rn 180 gr, and a flat point 150 gr ( 30-30 ) mould available. What I should do is look for moulds for 32 pistol or 32-20. I think I would be better off with a 90-100 gr. bullet for what I want to do. I like the idea of 1050 fps....

Thanks for the heads up on the lead free solder as a hardening agent.

Is Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook still in print? I think I should start with that for sure, if I can get my hands on a copy.

The way things are right now, I won't be doing all this at once- pick up a little bit here and there each pay day as I can- maybe the moulds one pay day, dies the next etc. etc.

What brought all this up is a sick puppy Fr-8 sitting in the vault. I managed to split the stock on it with some hot Yugoslav soft point ammo. My gunsmith figgers it to be m.g. ammo with soft points. I've also got an M-95 Chilean Mauser that won't group worth a hoot with factory .308 ammo. The plan is to epoxy the stock on the Fr-8 and use it as a small game gun. I get bruised shooting it with even factory .308- that 18" bbl is quite a thumper. It puts every thing into less than 3" at 100 with irons no matter what I feed it, so the accuracy potential is there....

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 

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Doc,

I hear you about the MG ammo! Last gun show I attended, a vendor had some 8mm Lebel ammo - cheap! I was going to get some & noticed some Hotchkiss trays on the other end of the table. Turns out he had taken the ammo off the trays - it was the hot Syrian 8mm Lebel MG ammo! :shock: Didn't get any. Reason # 417 for loading your own! SW
 

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I heartily recommend "going cast." I simply enjoy casting, handloading, and all the stuff that this entails. It makes shooting fun even on days when you can't be out actually burning powder.

I have had good luck using quick pistol powders as well as heartier charges suitable for bigger bullets and game. In cases like the 30-30 just about anything that works for jacketed seems to work okay - the 4895s especially. You will also not go wrong using SR 4759 as a somewhat speedier load maker if that is something you ever want to do. 1700-1900 fps is easily gotten with gas check bullets in very useful loads. I have used the for hunting in various CF rifles from rabbits to caribou.
 

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Doc, you have your hardening agent. Straight lino is too precious and too hard for low velocity cast. One part of lino to five or six parts of wheelweights is about perfect to this.

You indicate that money is tight so I took a look at the Lee moulds. 311-100-2R is a good bet and should not even need sizing. Put on a light coat of Liquid Alox or Johnson's Paste wax and you will be good to go.

The twist rate in .308s is a bit fast for such light bullets, but they still shoot well enough for small game at 25-35 yards. Maybe 50 yards if you get real lucky.

If you would email me a snail mail address, I'll send you a sampler of the suitable bullets I cast to get you started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for your very kind offer Lefty. With the border situation at the 49th being what it is, there could be some real problems. I had real troubles with my last Numrich order at the border. The mould # is written down, and I will go snooping for moulds on Friday.

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 

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Doc, If all you are going to do is shoot low velocity plinkers don't use that linotype by itself. Mix it with plenty of pure lead, linotype is very hard and will make a bullet much harder than you need. Not really a problem but you can use it to make lead that is too soft into useable alloy.

B.
 

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I'm shooting a LEE bullet (180gr RN) out of my Ruger#3 in 30-40Krag, I use them as cast with the Alox lube! I'm using 3031 or 4064 with very good accuracy @ 1600-1700FPS. I even shot a buck last year with this load, although I wouldn't recomend it. The deer took 3 shots, but really the first one was enough. The bullet went through him like a FMJ, and I would have had to track him down, but got a second one in him right away.
The best thing about casting your own bullets is the extra satisfaction you get when they group nicely, knowing that YOU made it happen! :lol: So jump in with both feet ( or one toe at a time ) , it's only a matter of time befor you aquire lots of stuff! :lol:
 
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