This topic contains 16 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Larry Gibson 3 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #27807
     Larry Gibson 
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    Many years ago, back in the mid ’70s I picked up a Lee C312-185-1R from a sporting good store going out of business in then Baker, Oregon. I recall paying $5.95 for the single cavity moulds, I also got my Lee C457-500-FN at the same time for the same price but that mould is another story for another time. The C312-185-1R served me well for many years using bullets cast from it in a Finn M91 and a M91/28 I had. I also used it in several M911 and M1909 7.65 Argentines that were going through my hands at the time and an occasional 7.7 jap and SMLE .303 that came along. It was a very good bullet in all but the occasional oversized 7.7 and .303s. In the Finn M91 (I subsequently traded for a pristine M91 Argentine) and M91/28 (Bring back from SEA war games) the Lee bullet excelled. I shot many a load with that bullet over 28 gr of various 4895s with a Dacron filler w/o much load development. When I picked up an Ishevsk M91/30 sniper and then the Finn M39 I also picked up a single cavity 311299 which also shot okay in both those but not well in the M91/28. Point is after you get used to 2, 4 and 6 cavity moulds using a single cavity is about like watching slugs race……..I got a CBF group buy C314291 and it is a good mould. I also got a new Lyman 314299 and it does extremely well in the Finn M39 and M91/30 sniper. Still I longed for the old Lee 185 which ad done so well so while placing a Midway order a couple months ago I saw the double cavity C312-185-1R was in stock so I got one.

    I really like the new design of Lee’s double cavity moulds. The bottom now fits the slot in the Lyman Mag 20 mould guide perfectly. Wasn’t long before I pulled the Lee mould out, disassembled it, deburred it, cleaned it thoroughly, lubed it and re-assembled it. While doing that a Mag20 pot of #2 alloy was “brewing”. I cast up a bunch and WQ’d them. Using the mould was a dream, I encountered no problems what so ever. The bullets dropped out in excellent condition 2 after 2 after 2 after………..First thing I noticed while doing a visual cull was the new bullet was different than the original. The original had a long GC shank and a shorter nose with longer bearing surface. You can see that on the old cull original C312-185-1R which is the top bullet in the photo. I was somewhat concerned the new bullet wouldn’t shoot well. I shouldn’t have been concerned. I could find no dimensional difference between bullets out of either cavity nor was there any weight discrepancy. For practical purposes the bullets from each cavity were identical……..doesn’t get any better than that. 😀

    Still not being certain about the performance of the “new” C312-185-1Rs I did not weight sort the bullets as I had never weight sorted the “original’s” either. I loaded 4 test strings over 28 – 31 gr milsurp IMR4895 with a 3/4 gr Dacron filler. Testing in the Finn M39 with the Weaver T-6 scope did not let me down. The accuracy of all 4 test loads is excellent with the 29, 30 and 31 gr loads in need of further testing at 200 yards. All 3 would have scored 100 on the CBA 100/600 target. I was very pleased with the new bullet and will be doing more testing in the Finn M39 and the M91/30 sniper.

    Larry Gibson

  • #27809
     reloader762 
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    I was wondering what the differences were between the two moulds from different periods. Thanks for clearing that up as well as the info and you take on the new version of the mould an it’s performance.

    Here are a few I cast today wearing a check.

  • #27814
     Rattlesnake Charlie 
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    The old version previously worked well in my .303 Brit.

  • #27835
     badbob454 
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    Another great article larry . the nose on the lower bullet looks a little more narrow than the top pictured bullet is this correct ? my eyes are getting older .. ha ha

  • #27836
     Larry Gibson 
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    Nope, they both mic at .303. I think the nose on the new bullet looks narrower because it is longer……optical illusion I guess so nothing wrong with your eyes…….or maybe both our eyes………:confused:

    Larry Gibson

  • #27838
     badbob454 
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    ok i thought it may have been an illusion , thanks for posting so quickly …:o

  • #27841
     reloader762 
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    badbob454;n6838 wrote: Another great article larry . the nose on the lower bullet looks a little more narrow than the top pictured bullet is this correct ? my eyes are getting older .. ha ha

    Looks to me like the gas check shank is shorter on the newer version vs. the old,I have old eyes as well so I could be wrong.

  • #27858
     Screwbolts 
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    Larry actually writes that the GC shanks are different lengh as your eyes seem to be seeing also, Well written post of all the differences in the boolitz, it is in Post #1

  • #27867
     reloader762 
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    I’m sure it was screwbolts as Larry always cover the bases. I probably missed it as I have to read things multiple times to get all the details

  • #27891
     reloader762 
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    Larry I’m in the process of working on the seating depth with the above bullet and loads you prescribed and I didn’t see where you mention any crimp. I going to assume your not crimping and just allowing neck tension to hold the bullet in place as I’m getting between .002 & .003 neck tension using my NOE expander plug to expand the case neck. It appears that final seating depth may place the case mouth somewhere on the first driving band off the nose end of the bullet.

    In the past with most cast rifle loads I just seat the bullet to the crimp groove and use a med roll crimp but on this load I want to get it as close to the leads so there is not as much bullet jump. Any info on how you went about determining you seating depth and crimp vs. no crimp would be appreciated.

    I know a few of the tricks to determining what the best overall length is,I’m just interested in your approach,an secondly what was the final BHN of you quenched bullets. Thanks

  • #27904
     Larry Gibson 
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    The OAL with the new C312-185-1R in my Finn M39 is 2.908. I do not use any crimp and do not remove or straighten out the case mouth flare. The .002 – .003 holds the bullets quite well even when fed from the magazine. for best accuracy I prefer to always just bump the ogive or edge of the front drive band into the leade if possible. I use a case (usually one with an already split neck) and size it so it gives .001 – .002 neck tension. Then with a thin cutting wheel in the Dremel tool with the case held in a padded vise I cut the neck twice (along the split if there is one) down into the shoulder 180 degrees apart. The inside and outside of the cut is deburred. The neck is run over a .31 M-die. The sized and GC’d bullet is then started into the case neck a short distance and then chambered letting the leade finish seating the bullet. I then measure the OAL and add.001 – .003″ to that OAL for the finished OAL of the loaded cartridge. With such you can also see exactly where the GC is seated to. I use cull bullets most often for this that are not in too bad condition.

    You see the bullet just started into the case on the right. The left cartridge also has one splite extended down to where the powder will be. That way I can see the load density and make sure the size of Dacron filler I’ve cut is sufficient. There is 29 gr of IMR4895 in the case under the tape. You can see the Dacron filler above the powder filling the case from powder to base of bullet. The bullet is seated to the OAL of 2.908″ for my M39.

    Larry Gibson

  • #28155
     reloader762 
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    Larry I put together a dummy rd. as you suggested using the Lee 185 gr. RN and did a seating depth test in both my M44 and 91/30. On the M44 it appears after several carefully seating and measuring attempts I can set the the OAL to 2.790″ as prescribed in the Lyman Cast Bullet manual putting me about .005″ off the leads. However on the 91/30 it was a different story.

    I made several attempts but the bullet want touch the leads at all. After inspecting the chamber throat it appears I have a rifle with a deep throat that would have been well suit for the heavy 200+ gr. J bullets. However I’m not deterred and I’m still going forward with this bullet an see how it works out as I’m not one to give up easily especially when things don’t always fall in line.

    I guess my main question is how much bullet do I need in the case neck. I’ve always heard to have at least as much as the bullets dia. seated in the case neck so in my case that would be .314″ Any thought or tips are much appreciated.

  • #28170
     tomme boy 
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    Jacketed bullets are not recommended to be seated anything less than 1/2 the diameter of the bullet in the case

  • #28178
     Rattlesnake Charlie 
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    tomme boy;n7228 wrote: Jacketed bullets are not recommended to be seated anything less than 1/2 the diameter of the bullet in the case

    I have not heard this before. I’d like to find the source for the recommendation.

  • #28208
     tomme boy 
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    It was in a Sierra manual. I am not sure which one it was. But it was one I had back in the 90’s

  • #28213
     Kevin S 
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    Larry I thank you on the tip for splitting the case neck. It works wonderfully!

  • #28215
     Larry Gibson 
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    reloader762;n7210 wrote: Larry I put together a dummy rd. as you suggested using the Lee 185 gr. RN and did a seating depth test in both my M44 and 91/30. On the M44 it appears after several carefully seating and measuring attempts I can set the the OAL to 2.790″ as prescribed in the Lyman Cast Bullet manual putting me about .005″ off the leads. However on the 91/30 it was a different story.

    I made several attempts but the bullet want touch the leads at all. After inspecting the chamber throat it appears I have a rifle with a deep throat that would have been well suit for the heavy 200+ gr. J bullets. However I’m not deterred and I’m still going forward with this bullet an see how it works out as I’m not one to give up easily especially when things don’t always fall in line.

    I guess my main question is how much bullet do I need in the case neck. I’ve always heard to have at least as much as the bullets dia. seated in the case neck so in my case that would be .314″ Any thought or tips are much appreciated.

    I’ve run into several such situations over the years. I found for casual and even match shooting at the range where the rounds are in protective boxes and loaded singly it doesn’t matter if the lube grooves stick out of the case. In using such the lube doesn’t collect any dirt. With those I do like to have .002+ neck tension and seat the bullet so the case neck covers the GC, 1st drive band, lube groove and then at least half of the next drive band. I also like all the drive bands to be throat diameter at the chamber end of the throat if possible. On some MNs it’s not.

    For general purpose loads used for hunting, in the field and fed from the magazine I will just seat the bullet (with .002+ neck tension) so the GC is not completely below the case neck and so the lube grooves are all inside the case neck. Some bullet designs have lube groove are of the bullet too long for this. With those designs I use a load with a Dacron filler, crimp on GCs and seat to just cover the lube grooves.

    Fortunately the new Lee C312-185-1R fits the case necks of the 7.62x54R, 303 Brit, 7.7 Jap and 7.65 Argie perfectly.

    Larry Gibson

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