I am new to reloading. I am trying to find out what mold i should use for 30-06 bullets. I have a Springfield 1903 i am wanting to reload for. If anyone can help i would be very greatful.
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- Last Post 06 March 2012
I have a springfield and the Lee 170, 180, and 200gr. all work well. I have gotten 2” groups with all of them. Start there.
Best way to go is to get a throat slug kit from Veral smith, follow his instructions and get a mold cut to fit your rifle. If you want to shoot mild loads of soft alloy without a GC keep the bullet weight under 170 grains. For heavier GC loads anything from 170-200 or so will work fine. As a general-purpose bullet I would use one of his LFN designs with GC base, about 180-190 grains.
73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia
I'll second what Ed just said. Springfield barrels can vary all over the place. Some are a perfict .300/.308 (bore/grove) and some are as much as .003 to .004 over sized. Many have warn throats which must be accounted for. If your gun has an over sized bore or a warn throat you won't be happy with the results from a bullet that is under sized for your gun.
Most springfields will shoot great with the right bullet.
In my old days of shooting 30-06 in competition I used a Lyman 311466 single cavity mould with a gas check. My shooting friend and I worked up a load that would shoot X ring at 200 yards with ten shots consistently. It is an accurate bullet and very easy to cast.
The lee bullet meant for the 303 Brit.(C312 185 1R) is large and fits most worn 30 caliber military throats well.Its also a cheap way to go.The 170-200 lee are good as mentioned,but some Springfield's are too large up front an won't shoot them quite as well as the bigger Lee but accuracy will still be decent.
I have a fairly new (past 4-5 years) Lyman 311284 mold, and an OLD 311299 mold - from back when Lyman marketed that bullet for .303 Brit and 7.7 Jap. It actually casts the bullet they now market as 314299. I run them both through a .311 lube/size die and my Issue class 2-groove 03-A3 shoots them both quite well; better than I can hold, actually. I have not had as much success with the Lyman 311679 in that rifle, but maybe I just haven't tried enough combinations yet.
(I've been retired for almost 20 years, now. How come I still don't have enough time to do all that stuff?)
There are many good moulds available. My favorite is the Lee 312-185 made for the British .303. I size mine for my 03A3 to .311 which fits my rifle.
i have a springfield 03-A3. for years i shot 311466 lyman, at the time all i had was 309 sizer, GC and lub was lyman black lube (THIS WAS 1959)anyway my rifle at best got me 1 and 1/4 inch group at 100 yds. at the time we all bought 4831 powder from hodgon in kansas. i used 54 grains at the time.. do not do this now , every thing has changed as fae as powder goes. cjs
I use the Lyman 314299 in my 03A3. Its barrel is 300/308 but the throat is 310. So I size the 314299 to 310. It shoots very well with 9 grains of Red Dot. My mould throws a bullet that is a full 314 on the major diameter but the nose is 303.
My 2 groove barrel engraves this bullet all the way to the ogive break.
In the 03 aned 03A3 rifles, I have had good luck with;
RCBS 165 Sil
There are probably many others, but those have all done well for me. I have never been fond of Lee molds, they will cast good bullets, but are short lived compared to other makes.
Just got home from the range shooting first trial loads in a new to me 03a3 in a sporter stock. 2 groove barrel, 6X Weaver, 50 yds. for starters: Old Lyman mold 308334, beagled then sized .312, oven HT, 42 grains WWII 4831 all holes touching(8 shots) at 50 yds, no leading. This may be my 500m ram load. Two loads that bombed were the NOE 316299 (sized .312) and 311284. Too soon to tell yet, but a good start for the old 308334(later named 311334). The 308334 was ww+ tin, oven HT, then sized/lubed in a Lyman 450 .312 die, then tumble lubed in a LLA mix. Nice clean load, kicks a touch.
I've got a really nice 03A3. The original barrel was very worn at the muzzle- no rifling in first half inch. It shot 311291 sized 311 into an inch and a half at 50yds with mid range load of H4198. Wouldn't do 3 inches with jacketed. I came across a brand new 2 grove barrel. After the switch I'm getting around an inch at 50yds with 2400 and the same bullet.
Hello, copas88. I use the same bullets I use for my 1898 Krag..Ideal/Lyman 311467 (177gr.) & 311413 (169gr.) These are no longer produced, but good used can be found. I use IMR4227 around 19grs. Not high velocity..but very good target accuracy.
I am the usual dog barking at the moon. I have a collection of 30 caliber molds, and a lot of them I have traded away.And a large amount of money I have wasted.
To get one with correct diameters is like to get the winning lottery ticket.
The big ,and some small mould makers usually make molds that chamber in most rifles and shoot.
They think that if they lead or shooy poorly they can blame the client.
Follow Ed Harris 's advice,spend once and get one well made custom mold from LBT.(a four cavity at that)
It is an advice for people who like cast bullet shooting.
A lot of people loves collecting moulds, buying dozens of cheap moulds, single cavity moulds, and then tinkering the bullets.it is not illegal nor immoral,but in my opinion it is meaningless.
As is advanced case prepping,weighing the powder,trimming revolver brass, using small base sizing dies.
Do not use the methods for making winnig rounds for 100 yards bench rest to 50 yards plinking.
With a gang mould you cast large amounts of identic bullets ,bringing consistency to your shooting experiments.
One custom design is the name of my game.
A partial exception to a custom mould are the Ranchdog moulds,as they are studied to RANCDOGS OWN MARLINS,but he explains clearly what model of Marlin they are for ,
they are a kind of semicustom molds.
PS I do trim the cases of rifle dies ,seldom,but for safety's sake I do it.
Mostly I use Lee decapping and neck dies,avoiding the expander decapping stem of normal dies.
Giorgio gave good advise. The only thing that I might add would be to have two gang molds. Things happen in a hurry with eight bullets dropping to a cycle. The only thing nicer than good bullets are LOTS of good bullets.
That is my philosophy.
I see that I can do my casting alternating three aluminium gang molds.
better if the bullets are of similar mass,for the hardening times of the sprue must be similar ,to be able to get an uniform movements in th castin process.
That is humbling! What are the bricks for? Not to keep the bench from floating away I hope.
Looks like counter balance to keep the bench from toppling forward when he amasses a pile of bullet shaped ingots. :dude:
I tend to be old school and like good bullets. I don't blame a bullet for poor accuracy, I blame the guy who loaded it.
I just got a 1903A3 also. One of the bullets I am going to try is the Lee CTL-312-160-2R. I cast some in Lyman #2 and sized/checked them to fit the rifle.
They look like this:
Gary, What kind of a box is that you have your cartridges in? I don't think I ever saw one with a perforated metal separator in it.
The lighting just makes it look like metal. The shell box is an MTM Case-Gard R-100 Series for magnum calibers. The big green boxes hold 100 rounds and fit my .458 WM and 30-06 Springfield ammo nicely.
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