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Thread: Which Luber / Sizer to Buy? Gas Checks?

  1. #1

    Which Luber / Sizer to Buy? Gas Checks?

    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:

    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,


  2. #2

    Can anyone help me with some advice on the questions I put above? Any and all guidance welcome.

    Many thanks.

  3. #3
    Have a look on there's a guy that hangs out on there called Dromia he is the one to speak to about cast bullets or as he calls them boolits.
    I am still in the early stages of casting for my doubles and am trying to extend my knowledge on the subject myself.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  4. #4
    Thanks - much appreciated - I'll check it out. "Boolits"??

  5. #5
    you might be overcomplicating things a tad. suggest buying the latest Lyman handbook. You'll find the bulk of the 308 loafs a bit faster around 1600fps. try 309 or the 311 but before that what rifle? what bullet?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Barkingsnake View Post
    try 309 or the 311 but before that what rifle? what bullet?
    Well, yes, exactly. I'm trying to match one of the available bullets (see linked page) to a Heym SR20 and one or other of the sizing die / lube sets, but I don't know which one would be best particularly. If you can tell me that bullet XYZ from that page with sizer / luber in ABC diameter would be a workable combination, that would be very helpful...?

  7. #7

  8. #8
    I've owned a number of the Lee sizer setups . Bought them all brand new and resold them the same way . I have a pair of Lyman 4500's and fairly old Lyman 45 . I like the 4500's more because they have electrode heaters for the hard lube .

    As to gas check versus plain base I prefer gas check molds as I usually run the lead bullets just as hard as jacketed bullets .

    As to checks I use Lyman , Hornady or Gator checks whatever I can get . To be honest Hornady makes all the checks Lyman sells anyway .

    At the moment the only thing I cast for are 444 lever actions . However last summer I was shooting a 308 bolt gun with lead bullets at subsonic velocities and getting three shots in about an inch and a half at 100 yards .

    Just because you're shooting cast bullets don't think the rifle won't shoot them well . In the past with 30-30 to 45-70 bullets in leveractions with normal velocity loads 3 in an inch at 100 yards from the bench was no great feat !

    The biggest thing for making cast bullets to shoot decently in any rifle is to make sure the bullet is large enough to fill the bore . I generally sized all my 30 cal bullets at .312" and typically got very good accuracy . In my 444's I now size at .433" , over the course of time I used .430" , then .431" , then .432" and I have finally settled on .433" . Now bear in mind all the bullets I cast are no harder then 12-14 on the Brinn hardness scale . Oversize hard cast bullets you don't want a whole lot larger then the bore and by hard I mean something of about 21 on the Brinn scale .

    While some may or may not agree with what I say , it has worked well for me .
    GO Manny Pacquiao !!!
    Doubles , 6.5mm' s , 444 Marlin's , cast bullets , Sika Deer and the Philippines

  9. #9
    The website others make reference to is ,
    GO Manny Pacquiao !!!
    Doubles , 6.5mm' s , 444 Marlin's , cast bullets , Sika Deer and the Philippines

  10. #10
    Another site you may or may not want to visit is ,
    GO Manny Pacquiao !!!
    Doubles , 6.5mm' s , 444 Marlin's , cast bullets , Sika Deer and the Philippines

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