Ok chaps - another week, another question.
I am a curious person and I've decided to direct that curiosity once again at reloading, so I've decided to load up some cast bullets for my .308 at subsonic velocity.
There is no particular reason for doing this other than that I can and I want to see what I can come up with. Specifically, I am not:
a) looking to emulate the practices of early bullet makers in times of yore
b) trying to achieve anything more than hitting some sort of large-ish (8-12") target from some sort of short-ish (25-50m) distance
c) going to attempt any kind of hunting with the resulting rounds.
With those factors in mind, you'll understand that I'm not looking to become any kind of expert in using or loading cast bullets (at this point, at least) - I'd just like to put some rounds together safely, then fire them down a range and see what happens.
Some of you are, I believe, experts at using cast bullets, so it's to those people I'm addressing my questions.
I'd like to order some cast bullets from these people: http://www.shellhousebulletcompany.co.uk/productslist.htm
I've got some IMR Trail Boss powder on order from a friendly RFD. A relative has offered to order me a Lee Lube & Size kit for Christmas.
The questions I have are threefold:
1. Which Lee Lube & Size kit should I tell my relative to order? A riflesmith I greatly respect (but haven't lately been able to get hold of) has suggested that .310 is a good starting diameter (even if it doesn't turn out to be the best for my rifle). The Lee kits are only available in .308, .309 or .311, so I need to pick one - which should I choose? (Invitations to spend more than £20 on "better than Lee" kit are not welcome at this point.)
2. For this round, I'm aiming for a velocity in the 1000-1100fps range. I think I've understood correctly that the faster you push them, the harder the bullets should be. By that token, I think the BHN = 15.4 bullets advertised on the Shellhouse website are the ones to go for - the others will (I assume) be too hard. That probably means that the 165gr bullets listed for .30-30 with a diameter of .309" are my only option. Do those with experience of using cast bullets agree with that assessment?
3. To use gas checks, or not use gas checks, that is the question? I'm happy to buy these - I might buy harder bullets and push them faster at some point - again, just because I can - so they'll get used if I buy them. Really, all reloading experiments that I can conduct with a reasonable certainty of survival are on the cards at some point...
Thanks for any guidance the reloading gurus can give,