Make your choice!

  • Last Post 14 April 2008
Mauserman posted this 02 March 2008

"If'they passed a law today that you could only own one rifle to hunt with and you had to use a cast bullet , what would the rifle and bullet be?  To make this interesting this gun will be use for *all game” up to and including white tail...  And tell us why it is your choice! :D MM

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JimmyDee posted this 02 March 2008

I'm glad you brought this up; I'll enjoy reading what other have to say.

My 45-70 lever gun is the only hunting rifle with which I shoot cast bullets.  It's fitted with an aperture rear sight, brass bead front sight, and handles easily.  I'm completely confident with it at any range less than 100 yards.

This past year I thought about shooting cast bullets from my 308 in the field - but I don't feel comfortable using that beyond 100 yards because of bullet weight.

The next significant step-up is a 35 caliber.  The 35 Whelen is popular, but I think it has more case capacity than cast bullets can use.  I'm interested in 358 Winchester because I think I'll be able to get cast 250 gr bullets moving at (more than?) 2200 fps and give me something I'd be comfortable with out to 200 yards.  Alloy is a concern but I think Ed Harris's “heat treated, dilute wheel weights” might be the answer.  Powder and loading density have to be worked out -- I haven't found very much cast bullet data for that cartridge.

Larger bores are certainly capable but their low velocity, for me, at least, limits their range in the field.

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Lefty posted this 02 March 2008

I have a Husquavarna 9.3X57.  It shoots plain base bullets very accurately over a modest charge of 4198.  It also shoots a 265 gr GC bullet at near full power (1900 fps) over a stout load of 4895.  While I never considered it to be a one rifle candidate, it actually would serve very well.


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Scott Merchant posted this 02 March 2008

Hey Mauserman

I'll play along, My first choice would be a 45/70, I would use a light weight button nose or round ball load for small game. For big game the RCBS-325-FN up to deer but does work for Elk. Alloy for these bullets doesn't need to be any harder than 1 part tin to 20 parts lead, but I have used 1/2 wheel weights to 1/2 pure lead with good results. The load I use  for my 1886 Win is 51 grains of IMR 3031 with a velocity of 1750 fps USE THIS LOAD ONLY IN MODERN GUNS !!!

Second choice would be a 35 Remington. For small game a 150 to 158 grain bullet at about 1000 to 1200 fps. For big game the RCBS-200-FN around 1900 to 2100 fps. My alloy for the 200 grain bullet is 3 pounds of lino to 17 pounds of wheel weights. This has proved its self very deadly on everything from Coyote, Deer and Pigs. Just my take Scott

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Ed Harris posted this 03 March 2008

I'd pick a .35/.303 British, to have case capacity similar to a .35 Remington, but using common brass, and a rimmed case which won't set back with light loads. 

A Long Branch No. 4 with side mounted, offset detachable scope and battlesight filed in for my my hunting load would work just fine.  My .303 is set up this way, but if it would be the only rifle I'd have, bigger in the bore is better.  And the 10-round magazine capacity is a plus in a defensive situation.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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CB posted this 03 March 2008

One rifle? The 700 Remington with 4 different bolts/faces and 28 different swap barrels ranging from 22 Hornet to 45-70. (would that infringe of the hypothetical 'one gun' law?)

The cartridge; 30-06   The most well rounded cartridge in the USA. Plentiful brass. Plenty of choices of CBs from 90gr to 220gr.

The rifle; M1903-A3 Springfield because of its dependability, looks, and nostalgia. The rifleman's rifle of the many soldiers who made it back from WWII (like my father) and to all of those soldiers who didn't make it back, to keep the US free. That is why I'm privileged to hold my 03-A3 in my hands now......................Dan

Oh, nothing against the Mauser, mauserman. Just about every one of my firearms is special to me, they have their own story. A value no idiot-anti could never imagine when suggesting guns be sheared into a scrap heap.

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devin1955 posted this 03 March 2008

Sorry, but I don't even want to think about that senario...   :( -Don

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JimmyDee posted this 03 March 2008

Ed Harris said: “...a rimmed case which won't set back with light loads."

That's a good point; light loads would be part of the mix if we were down to one.

What's the alternative?  Work-up all loads using cases with enlarged flash holes?  Risky, perhaps... unless I had only one and knew there would be no others and knew that only cast bullets were going to be used.

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RicinYakima posted this 03 March 2008

Well, guys, it would have to be “The Junkyard Dog". Five years ago I was bored and on my own for a week while the wife make her annual trip to Reno with her mother. :D So I decided to make a rifle out of the parts from the Springfield footlocker and junk under the work bench.:idea1:

Action is a NM 1926 vintage Springfield Model 1903 that has been drilled for two sets of side mounts over its life. It now has a Weaver side base with quick detachable rings that hold a Leupold 2 1/4 Pioneer scope. The Lyman 48 lives in the hollowed out butt under the Winchester 52 steel butt plate. Barrel is a SC 4 groove that someone cut off with a hack saw and I restored the receiver 7 or 8 years ago, when 03A3 prices reached $250. Barrel is now 20 inches and has a Redfield Sourdough front sight. Stock is walnut, very straight grained, that came off of a target rifle made in the 1950's, much modified with action and mag assembly glass bedded.

It is plain, not very attractive, but it will shoot! Its favorite load of 42.0 grains of Ball C2 and the DCM match or other high quality bullets, will shoot 1 MOA ten shot groups ON DEMAND! The most accurate 30 caliber rifle I have every owned or shot.

With cast bullets, it is just average. Lyman 311284 with 32 grains of H4895 is just 1 1/2 MOA, but very consistent. With Lyman's 311316 and 8 grains of Unique it is a one holer at 25 yards at the same sight setting as the jacketed bullet load.

Note, I don't have issues with case set back. I use Imperial Sizing Die Wax for lube on resizing. Don't wipe it off, the case will not stick to the chamber and expand to full headspace length.:sbox:

If I could have just one, that would be it.


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Tycer posted this 04 March 2008

Winchester 94 360 Dan Wesson.

110-207 grain cast bullets from quiet sub-sonic thumpers to zippy 110s to respectable 1875 fps 207s

But if I had to choose just one gun and rimfire were allowed, my Marlin 39 Mountie 22LR would be the choice. Accurate enough to spine a deer and ammo does not weigh much.

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6pt-sika posted this 08 March 2008

I wouldn't follow the law ;)

They'd just have to try and catch me .>

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cityboy posted this 08 March 2008

RicinYakima wrote:

I do  something similar,I spray the cases with silicone.  I have been doing this for years and it works fine. The shoulder on me 30-06 cases never set back. Just don't do this if you are shooting anything close to full power.

Cityboy Note, I don't have issues with case set back. I use Imperial Sizing Die Wax for lube on resizing. Don't wipe it off, the case will not stick to the chamber and expand to full headspace length.:sbox:

If I could have just one, that would be it.


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44 Flattop posted this 29 March 2008

Man, am I torn over this scenario, but I'll play!

After a bit of thought I narrowed it down to my 24” Marlin CB in .44 or else my 1936 Model 71 .348. 

The .44 will handle most everything I have to shoot around here, but will not always have the range I sometimes need.  The 348 takes up that slack. 

I have a Saeco mould that throws a 265gr bullet from WW's for my 348 and with 60grs of 3100 it will go 1 1/2 MOA at 2100fps.

Yep, no doubt about it, I can't cut it back to just one rifle!  I'll just have to be a lawbreaker.......>


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galenaholic posted this 08 April 2008


A difficult choice. I could pick my .308 which is accurate with just about anything I cast. There's my custom 30-06 with the 1 in 12” twist barrel that shoots cast bullets well. I could even pick on either my .358 Win. or .35 Whelen that I'm just starting to play with cast bullets.

Where I live, I could hunt anything from Cottontail Rabbits to Elk and Black Bear which would incline me to go toward one of the .35s. I have moulds for them ranging from a 150 gr. semi-wadcutter to a 280 gr. roundnose.


The .308 would probably be the easiest on the powder and lead supply, but I would have to be extremely careful with my shot placement on bear and elk. For those, I would be a lot happier with one of the .35s.

Guess I'll just have to join ranks with the rest of the scofflaws. .>

Paul B.

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Mnshooter posted this 13 April 2008

I think for that choice it would be a 30-30 as it can be loaded up plenty for whitetails, would work well on smaller stuff and is easy to load accurately and can adapt to a wide range of bullets choices.  Another choice if it counts would be a 45 cal muzzleloader.  They have taken a lot of critters.


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cityboy posted this 13 April 2008

Ed Harris wrote: I'd pick a .35/.303 British, to have case capacity similar to a .35 Remington, but using common brass, and a rimmed case which won't set back with light loads. 

I get around the setback problem with my 30-06 by spraying the cases with a silicone spray purchased from Wal-Mart in the auto section. I have used it for years an it works fine. The head-to-cone distance does NOT reduce.Jim

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billwnr posted this 14 April 2008

If I had to pick one rifle I'd make one just like the automobile Johnny Cash sang about in his song about taking spare parts from Detroit.

I'd make a .22-25-30-348-12 gauge/06 Rem-ug-chest-erby-arlin that is a bolt-pump-lever-auto rifle.

Oh yeah...and I'd want a spare clip for it.

Seriously, I'd make my own and bump up a .308 to .35 so I could shoot pistol bullets also.

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