This topic contains 33 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Izzyjoe 2 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #26223
     Remmie 
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    I have been thinking about loading some low velocity 30-30 rounds for plinking on the back yard range. I only have 2 powders that seem suitable, Unique and 700x. I was thinking about starting with about 7.5 gr and working down. I have read that the flash hole needs to be drilled out for true cat sneeze loads and I was wondering if anybody had any idea how low I could go before drilling them out. The boolit will be a 170 gr Lee fp without a gas check, CR lube with a top coat of BLL just cause I like that dry finish. Thanks for any help. Jack

  • #26232
     ken campbell iowa 
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    both 700x and unique will get a little dirty at low… very low … pressures … at that point you should really switch to bullseye … also at low pressures check after every shot that the bullet cleared the barrel … as a guess, anything under 700 fps with unique … or even bullseye …. is approaching a possibility of a bullet stopped in the barrel … the rimmed case will stop the primer shoving the case into the chamber which is one reason for the drilled out primer holes ….imho if you need the extra ignition you are too close to sticking a bullet …

    ken

  • #26233
     VANN 
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    Larry could tell you how to do this much better than I could, but if I was trying your project like the above post stated a faster powder may do better. I probably would just use the 700x and a tuff of polyfil to keep the powder in place. I doubt you’ll get below 5 grains before you start sticking bullets but you never know.

  • #26236
     gwpercle 
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    No the flash hole does NOT need to drilled out and the Unique powder will work just fine. For the 170 grain cast bullet Lyman shows a starting load of 7.0 grains of Unique @ 1211 fps and a max load of 10.6 grains @ 1568 fps.
    After trying several loads and cast bullets I have settled on the Lee 170 with GC and 7.5 grains of Unique for short range plinking and 10 grains for longer range shooting 50 to 75 yards.
    If you groups are not adequate, attach a gas check. I’ve never had a load shoot worse with a check .
    Gary

  • #26239
     Remmie 
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    If only I could find Bullseye! Gamaliel Shooter supply where I usually drive to to get my stull never seems to have it.

  • #26240
     Remmie 
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    Thanks. Now I won’t worry about primers backing out. After I get my check I plan on ordering some gas checks from Blammer. I actually own the Lyman book but haven’t seen it since we moved to TN 2 years ago. Guess it is time to bite the bullet and buy another one. Now if Gamaliel will just get some Unique in life will be great, only have 1 lb. left.

  • #26241
     gwpercle 
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    If your old Lyman book is the Cast Bullet 3 rd Edition , try and find it. The 4 th edition has a lot of new stuff but it comes at the expense of a lot of still relevant “older” information. The #3 Edition is still my first go-to.
    I just discovered two pistols in a box in the bottom of an old closet . They had been missing for about 2 years and I couldn’t find them anywhere ….I swear I don’t remember putting them in that box, that is , until I opened it ! Time to look in them boxes !

    Gary

  • #26242
     goody 
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    couple years ago I really got into the subsonic thing. I would slow a slug down till it stuck in barrel and then I knew the bottom load. When playing with this always make sure barrel is clear before firing and these slugs really skip and bounce around if they hit the ground. A lot of fun but can get ugly real quick if you do not respect the power of these projectiles. Its fun watching them fly looking thru the scope if sun is at right angle.

  • #26246
     Goodsteel 
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    goody;n4771 wrote: couple years ago I really got into the subsonic thing. I would slow a slug down till it stuck in barrel and then I knew the bottom load. When playing with this always make sure barrel is clear before firing and these slugs really skip and bounce around if they hit the ground. A lot of fun but can get ugly real quick if you do not respect the power of these projectiles. Its fun watching them fly looking thru the scope if sun is at right angle.

    Very very well said. In this age of warp speed bullets it’s easy to sink into the belief that a cat sneeze load is pretty much as dangerous as a pop gun compared to a 28 Nosler. This is completely false. A bullet is a bullet and they do what they were intended to do. We can hagle over expansion and impact energy till the cows come home, but never forget there’s going to be a hole in something and a slow moving bullet that does not deform on impact can have tremendous penetrating power.

    I sought advice from Larry Gibson when I was doing the XCB project and firing low speed bullets into my bucket-o-wet-sand. I was using Bullseye to push every 30 caliber bullet in the shop, and each one did about the same: About the time I got them out of the barrel, they were making it within 2″ of hitting the floor under the bucket! That’s over 12″ of wet clay ridden sand.

    Point is, don’t underestimate it.

  • #26250
     Remmie 
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    Doesn’t matter to me whether I am shooting 180 gr SMK in the 03a3 or 230 gr rnl in the .45 acp. A gun is a gun is a gun. I don’t think I could live with myself if I shot one of the grand kids or great grands because I was careless. Something that always stays in my mind when they are here, or for that matter when ever I shoot. I have a 4’x4′ bullet trap with 12″ of sand and 4 layers of rough sawn oak on the back at 25 yds for a pistol and small rifle target. Even full house .44mag don’t go through. Or factory 30-30. 50 and 100 yd targets are slightly down hill with a steep rise behind
    the 100 yd target. But when the farmer is mowing hay on top of the hill I still won’t shoot. I guess what I am saying is after 50 years of shooting with safety constantly hammered in it is hard for me to dismiss any gun just because it is “low” velocity. My old .50 cal Kentucky Pistol was “low velocity, low power” but man would it explode a full milk jug of water.

  • #26256
     Anonymous
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    I have loaded Lee 90 grain SWC over three grains of every powder I have in the Bullseye to 800X range in a model 94. I prefer GreenDot, but they all go bang. But you do have to make sure they exit the barrel. I would not want to be on the receiving end of them at any rate. That being said 6 grains is probably a better place to start with a 90-115 grain bullet.

  • #26294
     Rattlesnake Charlie 
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    The old Lyman manuals list the original .30 W.C.F. Short Range load as a lighter than normal bullet loaded over 6 gr of pistol powder. Using a Lee 170 gr GC bullet, I have used 6 gr of Red Dot (nice and fluffy). It still had plenty of zing, but definitely was subsonic. I’ve not tried 700x.

  • #26599
     Remmie 
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    I think I may abandon this project. The rifle has a Williams aperture sight and the 7.5 of Unique are hitting so low that I don’t have adjustment room. Wife ran me out of the house for a while today so I loaded up 10 for a quick test drive. It isn’t like I have to worry about noise levels or anything, it just seemed like an interesting project but I have no intention of changing that old Williams Sight.

  • #26600
     Goodsteel 
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    No problem Remmie. Just get a shorter front sight insert!

  • #26605
     Remmie 
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    Thanks Tim, I hadn’t thought of that. My mind has been kind of scrambled lately, if you know what I mean. Any idea where to look for one and a rough price? My budget is about to be sharply curtailed for several months due to non- covered medical co-pays.

  • #26611
     Larry Gibson 
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    No need to drill flash holes with rimmed 30-30 case. However, if you have some dedicated cases for such loads drilling the flash hole out with a #30 drill will improve ignition and lesson powder position sensitivity.

    Use the 700X and start at 6 gr and work down. No need for a filler. I’ve found that Bullseye is the best powder for such loads (cat’s sneeze, mouse fart, squib, etc.). BE ignites and burns more efficiently at such low pressures in large volume rifle cartridge cases (7.62×39 and larger) better than any other powder I’ve tested.

    Cast the bullets very soft and leave as cast. I prefer 40-1 lead-tin alloy but soft range lead or COWWs mixed 30/70 with lead works fine also,.. A potential problem is that a bullet cast of a harder alloy may stick in the barrel with a really low load developed with the softer alloys.

    TL them with a very light coat of LLA and let dry.

    I’ve down loaded my own 311041s using the above (with BE powder) down to 200 fps in own M94 30-30. However, it was getting very chancy on sticking a bullet in the barrel based on powder position in the case at the time of firing. I found loading down to 300+ fps was close to 100% getting the bullet out of the barrel. The big problem with such loads is enough elevation capability in the rear sight for even a 50 ft zero. I ended up with a compromise load at 650 fps which gave a 50 ft zero with close to max elevation on the Lyman aperture rear sight. I’ve also loaded heavier 6.5, 7mm, 30/31 and 8mm cast bullets down to those velocity levels. Milsurp rifles with the flip up longer range rear sights work best.

    The zero problems and saving lead and powder were the main reasons I switched to light weight PB’d cast bullets for such loads. In 30/31 cal rifle cartridges I use the Lee TL314-90-SWC over 2.7 gr in cartridges up through 300 Savage in case capacity and 3.2 gr in .308W up through 30-06 capacity. Accuracy is excellent and I’ve not had any zero problems. Obviously getting twice as many + bullets per lb of alloy and getting 2,333 +/- loads per pound of BE are a real incentive. If you can find any of the Hornady 32 cal swaged 90 gr SWCs they do as well.

    Larry Gibson

  • #26622
     VANN 
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    As always I’m in awe of Larry’s knowledge. I was hoping that he would eventually post on this thread.

    Thanks for the insight Larry.

  • #26631
     lar45 
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    http://www.brownells.com/rifle-parts/sights/front-sights/rifle-fire-sights-prod16338.aspx
    Brownells has a large selection. The Williams with the fiber optic sight are about $15.99 . Seems like they should be cheaper.
    http://www.brownells.com/rifle-parts/sights/front-sights/rifle-sight-bead-prod16221.aspx
    The regular ones are $11.99

  • #26658
     Remmie 
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    WOW ! You guys are great. Larry, thanks for some great info. And Lar 45 thanks for where to get a shorter front sight. I already need to order a new sear for my grandsons 1911 build so I can combine shipping.

  • #26660
     Goodsteel 
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    While you’re at it, pick up one of these Birchwood Casey Presto bluing pens.
    http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/metal-prep-coloring/metal-bluing/touch-up-pens/presto-gun-blue-pen-prod24775.aspx
    Drift your new sight in with an aluminum punch, and use the pen to literally dissolve the aluminum marks off the sight. Works amazingly well.

    Also, the new sights are designed to fit any 3/8 dove tail slot from .364 to .395 just by filing the bottom of the dove on the new sight. Don’t file the sides of the dovetail on either the sight or the barrel. Just file off the bottom of the new sight till you get the perfect fit. I think alot of people make installing those new blades much more difficult than it has to be.

  • #26708
     Screwbolts 
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    Remmie;n5287 wrote: WOW ! You guys are great. Larry, thanks for some great info. And Lar 45 thanks for where to get a shorter front sight. I already need to order a new sear for my grandsons 1911 build so I can combine shipping.

    Remmie, My brother’s favorite Coyote hunting dog goes by that name!

    Back to subject, if youin can measure the hight of your front sight and tell me how you are measuring it. ( ex, from barrel, from bottom of dovetail. ) I have a good selection of old Remington inserts. If one of my stash is lower than your current, I will send it to you, but we both need to measure using the same standard.

    Ken

  • #26712
     Remmie 
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    Screwbolts;n5351 wrote:

    Remmie, My brother’s favorite Coyote hunting dog goes by that name!

    Back to subject, if youin can measure the hight of your front sight and tell me how you are measuring it. ( ex, from barrel, from bottom of dovetail. ) I have a good selection of old Remington inserts. If one of my stash is lower than your current, I will send it to you, but we both need to measure using the same standard.

    Ken

    I will measure and get back to you. And you are right we both need to use the same standards for measurement.
    As for that name people at on of the shooting groups I used to run with started calling me that because of the Remington Rand pistol I used to shoot a lot. It is in the safe, well oiled and put away now. Now I have a Remmie slide on a Caspian frame with all Wilson internals and match grade barrel and bushing with tolerances just loose enough for 100%% reliability. And Trijicon Nite sights.
    Even in the daylight my old eyes pick them up better.

  • #26741
     Remmie 
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    Screwbolts, I measured from the base of the dovetail to the top of the sight and got a measurement of 19/64 using my machinist pocket scale. Thought I would get it done yesterday but ended up answering a boat load of questions for 2 young men (22-24?) who are friends of my grandson. The one who had been over here shooting is the son of a local state trooper and had seen my loading and casting stuff and they wish to start reloading. Every time I thought I had answered all questions, they had new ones. And you should have seen their eyes when I told them how cheaply I am shooting .45 acp cast. But when I told them about slugging the barrel with soft lead they acted like I was commiting heresy. All in all a very good afternoon and I think well spent. If it slows down my project so I can help younger shooters that is fine with me. Let me know if you have a sight that will help and I will PM my address.

  • #26751
     bjornb 
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    Just to add to the subject, I took the liberty of copying one of Larry’s posts from another forum. It goes into detail about low velocity loads, and explains everything you need to know about flash hole drilling:

    That load data was known as a “Guard” load. If you read many of the old writers they used around 6 gr in the 30-30 under a 311291 or similar PB”d cast bullet or 6.5 – 7.5 gr in the ’06 for use as a “foraging” or practice load. Whelen had a load he used in the M1903 with the 311008 loaded with a Ideal tong tool that was very similar.

    As to a “rule of thumb” having shot lots of such in rifles over the years I’ve found that lighter weight pistol bullets most often shoot more accurately at 800 – 950 fps with such loads. Thus I use 2.7 gr Bullseye in cases from 7.62×39 to 300 Savage in capacity with 90 – 118 gr PB’d pistol bullets. I use 3.2 gr Bullseye in .308W to ’06 capacity cases with the same bullets. Those 2 loads have always worked in any .30 or .31 cal rifle. In .35 call rifles I’ve found that 120 – 160 gr pistol bullets also are the most accurate in the 800 – 950 fps range. I use 4 – 6.5 gr with those in the .35 Rem, .358W and 35 Whelens. Case that show that speckled crack around the web expansion ring signaling incipient case head seperation that haven’t actually seperated yet are great to use with these loads. There is no real psi and these cases get a new lease on life and last practically forever with these 2.7 – 3.2 gr Bullseye loads under a 90 gr SWC or even the HBWCs sold by Hornady and Speer.

    With low end loads rifle cast bullets I’ve found they shoot very accurately if cast soft and PB’d or GC’d at 1050 – 1200 fps, most often right around 1150 fps. I use Bullsey with those also using 6 – 8 gr depending on what it takes to get into that velocity range. Above 1200 fps Unique most often works better.

    I also use light weight PB’d cast bullets in the 8×57, the .375 H&H and the 45-70. I use 6.5 gr+ depending on what is also needed to get the bullets to 1050 – 1200 fps. I do use 4 gr Bullseye in the 375 H&H with a 375 RB lightly lubed with LLA for 900 fps and a very deadly small game load to 50-75 yards.

    I also have used 200 gr .30 and 8mm very soft cast bullets loaded down to 300 fps with success although it takes about 500 fps to get to 50 yards with the ladder milsurp sights. Using 1.5 to 2.7 gr bullseye gets you to those low end “cat’s sneeze” velocities. Bullets must be cast of pure lead or 40-1 or they may stick in the barrel. A ight coat of LLA is all that’s need for lube. Also if a rimless case is used you might consider well fire formed cases with the flash holes drilled (#30 – 28) to avoid the shortening of the cases headspace.

    I shoot many thousands of squib/cat’s sneeze loads in various calibers but mostly in .30s. Many of these are rimless cartridges; 30-06, .308, .308 CBC, 7.65, 7.62×39 etc. The squib loads I shoot most often is a Lee 314-90-SWC-TL over 2.7 to 3.2 gr of Bullseye depending on the cartridge. Velocity is around 800 – 875 fps. I found a long time ago the shoulders do in fact get set back with light loads such as those. With many cast loads that use normal weight bullets in the 1600 to 2000 fps range there was little setback. Measurements of shoulder set back or increase are easily taken with a Stoney Point tool. There have been basically the two theories regarding the cause; the firing pin blow theory and the primer theory. I ran the same tests with a fire formed case and inert primers; headspace was not changed. I then used the same fire formed case with live primers. In as little as two firings there was a measurable decrease in headspace. After five live primers the fired primer was noticeably backed out after firing. NOTE: this increase in headspace was with case taking LR primers. I never experience the problem with the .222 Rem or the 5.56 Nato.

    Using #’d drills I gradually increased the flash hole diameter with a progressively larger drill. Using a different fire formed case with each larger drill and firing 5 primers I then measured the headspace before firing and after. As the size of the flash hole increased the headspace decrease lessoned. With a # 29 drill I no longer got any decrease in headspace. I dedicated five .308 cases and five 30-06 cases that were well fire formed to their respective rifles chambers and drilled the flash holes with the #29 drill. Over the next few days I fired 50 shots with each case. There was an indoor 50″ range where I was stationed so it wasn’t all that bad. After the 50 firings there was negligible change in headspace with any of the five cases of each cartridge. The results of my test firmly demonstrated to me that it was the force of the primer explosion that drove the case forward and set back the shoulder. The squib load does not have the pressure to expand the case out to fit the chamber. By drilling out the flash hole the force of the explosion mostly went directly into the case as there is little rim left to contain it. Two other side benefits that were unforeseen; the extreme spread and standard deviations of the velocity readings improved and the case position sensitivity of the small charge was greatly reduced.

    As a result of the above tests I dedicated fire formed cases for squib loads for each rifle in rimless cases and drill out the flash holes. I have fired them many, many times now with no further change in headspace. Besides the squib load mentioned I also use 311631 (# may be wrong but it’s the 118 gr GC 32-20 bullet) with Unique in the above cartridges loaded to 1400 fps or so for a little more powerful small game load. The flash hole drilled cases work just fine for those. I now use the flash ole drilled cases for all my rimless cartridges with squib and really light loads.

    Undrilled cases fired in CF rifles will onlyhave the headspace shortened until the extracor holds the case back. Normally the firing pin protrusion is enough with CF rifles that misfires do not occur. With PF rifles it is a different story, these are where the most problems with misfires occur because the ejector also pushes the case forward. Soon the headspace of the case is such the firing pin does not hit the primer enough to fire it and/or the case is pushed far enough forward the extractor doesn’t slip over the rim and extraction is then with a cleaning rod.

    Of course with Rimmed cases the shoulder sets back only as far as rim headspace allows. I will many times use rimmed cases with drilled flash holes any way because the larger flash hole lets the flash into the case much quicker for more positive ignition.

    Caveat; I still use normal sized flash hole cases for loads with medium to heavy (for caliber) cast bullets with velocities from 1800 fps and up.

    Larry Gibson

  • #26753
     Larry Gibson 
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    In the above “CF” means Controlled Feed and “PF” means Push Feed”.

    Thanks for posting here Bjorn.

    Larry Gibson

  • #26756
     Screwbolts 
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    Thank you for the measurement. 19/64 is .2968, it appears all of my sights are higher than that. Please go back and read Tim’s post #18 and verify that "the Base of the dovetail" is also what Tim explains needs to be filed some to make fit.

    Or in our case, so we are on same page, the overall height of the sight from the very top to the very base of the dove tail.

    Ken

  • #26779
     Remmie 
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    I got lucky today. My grandson came over to shoot and he had been to Cabelas in Bowling Green. He gave me a lb.of Bullseye, said it was for me reloading all that .308 for him,LOL. He has a 10 twist Remington 700 AAC that I worked a great load for the 180SMK he started with but then decided to try 175SMK. 44.6 grs of Win748 seems to work best so far but I wish he would just go back to the 180’s. I can’t wait for my new sight to arrive and load up some BE and give it a whirl. Course as slow as I am it might take me a while to fit the sight. You know, file slow,check often.

  • #26943
     Remmie 
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    While not exactly low velocity I had a lot of fun today. Used 12 grs. Unique under 170 gr gas checked and CR lubed boolit. Did 10 for a test drive and went back and did 50 more. Oh, this was in the 1903 03A3. At 50 yds the bottom BDC reticle was spot on. 5 were dead in the bull,first 2 were at bottom as I figured out how low and the rest of the first 10 were inside the 9 ring. Then I started on the other 50, cut out the bull and made a mess of the 4 corner bullseyes. What a hoot, no recoil and super accurate. And about the time I was finishing shooting the mail ran and I got my new sight in for the 30-30. Maybe tomorrow I can get some time in on that project. I have to say I am amazed at the accuracy of that old 30-06 with cast! I think I will get some 4198 and try for some hundred yard loads. Would love to outshoot my grandsons fancy rifle with SMK’s with an old milsurp and cast!

  • #27508
     Remmie 
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    Just a little update. I finally got the new sight filed down to where it needs to be for 4gr of Bullseye and those 170gr LeeFN boolits. I had went down to 3 gr but 4gr seemed to be the best compromise between noise and accuracy. And there a lot of 4 gr loads in a lb, LOL. I wish to thank all of you for the help and getting me to the point of a really cheap and fun to shoot load. And that pen for the aluminum works great!

  • #27512
     Goodsteel 
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    You’re welcome. 😉

  • #32642
     popper 
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    Got decent results with 11gr Unique in the 30/30, 170gr win PB. ~1600 fps. Not too bad in a 30 mph wind. Also tried 0.3% Cu/pure in 40 SW. 900-950 fps. BLL coated. No leading, checking expansion, not accuracy. AC vs HT vs isocore. Harder left crisper holes, softer sort of stretched the target, a dimple, then tear then hole. Might try some in 30/30 too. Toss some Zn in pure with sulphate and cast. Save the Sb for ARs.

  • #32648
     kens 
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    Goodsteel;n4775 wrote:

    Very very well said. In this age of warp speed bullets it’s easy to sink into the belief that a cat sneeze load is pretty much as dangerous as a pop gun compared to a 28 Nosler. This is completely false. A bullet is a bullet and they do what they were intended to do. We can hagle over expansion and impact energy till the cows come home, but never forget there’s going to be a hole in something and a slow moving bullet that does not deform on impact can have tremendous penetrating power.

    I sought advice from Larry Gibson when I was doing the XCB project and firing low speed bullets into my bucket-o-wet-sand. I was using Bullseye to push every 30 caliber bullet in the shop, and each one did about the same: About the time I got them out of the barrel, they were making it within 2″ of hitting the floor under the bucket! That’s over 12″ of wet clay ridden sand.

    Point is, don’t underestimate it.

    I was amazed at .45ACP when I monkeyed with it in a little carbine. I was playing with the 100yard gong on a rifle range and got surprised when I started banging it. I was holding high because 45acp is a low&slow round (right?) but I was actually holding over too much. When I got it sorted out only a few inches of holdover was needed, much less than I surmised.
    And they say cast bullets have a big ‘rainbow’ trajectory!! That’s a crock!! It was a torso shaped steel gong and I was banging it enough with iron sights that no Zombie or bad guy would have kept his head up be that him. and this is 45acp we’re talking, not 44mag nor other hot round nor high speed by any means.
    My point is that if a low&slow round like 45acp will bang a gong at 100yds, then the little cat sneeze loads will probably bang it to 50yds.

  • #32770
     Jniedbalski 
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    The load Larry listed for the 308 is a really light and great shooting . It’s like a big 22 no kick little noise and u can shoot them all day long cheeper than 22’s . All my kids love this load out of my savage axis. They shoot like a match 22 . I have only shot them to 25 and 50 yards so far for accuracy.the one time I shot the 160 lee sks bullet and the noe 200 grain bullet sized to 311 that’s what I have to 100 yards they shot about the same groups. I get the occasional flyer of the group but I haven’t weighed or sorted them really good. I have shot some less than perfict bullets small wrinkles or very small voids. They seem to still shoot good at 25 yards but farther I still get the occasional flyer in the groop . Next batch I will sort a lot better and use a softer alloy. I used Lyman #2 cut with a little pure lead. I thank the Lyman cut at least with 50/ 50 will be better for these loads. I have cut down me and the kids shooting way down because I can’t find 22s or when I do it’s 5.99 a box for 50 cheep stuff or higher . This load gets me back to reloading and shooting a lot more. I only have a single stage press but I get all the kids involved one to de prime ,and size one to trim and clean one to clean the pockets..I have wanted to try E C Harris load of 16 grains of 2400 but the gas check adds a lot of price to it and this load shoots so good already. In the spring I will try the 16 grain load since I have 1000 gas checks already installed on the lee 160 grain and noe 200 grainer. Thanks Larry for this great low power plinking/ target load

  • #32810
     Izzyjoe 
    Participant
    • Bronze
    • Posts: 1
    • Comments: 12
    • Overall: 13

    I have shot a lot of the Lee 170’s over 5.5 of unique, fun and very accurate! funny thing is one day I was at the range and run out of those plinking loads, and I remembered that I had some in the truck. Well upon the first shot it startled me, I thought man that ain’t no light load, well no it was some i’d loaded up for deer season, 29grs of 4895. I had forgot about those!

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