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Light rifle loads jacketed/cast

jaegermisterjaegermister Member Posts: 692 ✭✭✭✭
Are light rifle loads restricted to cast bullets only? Due to cost ?
Can you load similar weight jacketed bullets with same published results as cast?

Comments

  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'm not sure I understand your question. Cast bullets in rifles are usually limited to less than 2000 feet per second. Large cases don't do well light charges of slow single base powders, so smaller charges of faster often double based powders are used. Lead bullets have a different slipperiness than gliding metal jacketed ones. The safe way is to find published data for the bullet/powder you want to use.

    I like big bore stuff the 45-70, 44 R Mag function just fine and at full potential with cast bullets, my 7mm R Mag gives up a lot when dropping back to cast bullets.
  • SoreShoulderSoreShoulder Member Posts: 2,567 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you go very low on the velocity there is a risk of sticking a jacketed bullet in the barrel. It's never a perfect seal.

    You may get better results with cast if the velocity is very low or you choose a long weight because the jacketed bullet will be pointier and less stable at a lower spin. The stability goes up faster with FPS than the force trying to turn the bullet around.

    Cast bullets can do a bit better than 2000fps without any special measures.
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    Lyman Is the KING of manuals for lead loads in Rifles. Look at Trail boss powder or other powders that Lyman has in their manuals. DO NOT USE 4831 or other slow powder.
  • AmbroseAmbrose Member Posts: 2,704 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    "Can you load similar weight jacketed bullets with same published results as cast?"

    I think the short answer to that is "no". charliemeyer & SoreShoulder touched on that when they mentioned "slipperiness" and sticking a jacketed bullet in the barrel. You can, of course, download jacketed bullets for your rifle. Most loading manuals I am aware of list starting loads that would probably be close to what you are looking for. I think it was Remington that produced "low recoil" loads that contained lighter than normal bullets at lower than normal velocities for some cartridges.

    As an experiment I once loaded some .325 WSM cartridges with 150 gr. 8mm bullets and 50 gr. of H4895. Velocity was 2571 FPS, about the same as factory .300 Savage loads, and they shot very well.
  • jaegermisterjaegermister Member Posts: 692 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    For example a reduced load for 06 lists a cast bullet and unique. Can you safely use a similar weighted jacketed bullet with a small charge of unique or other such fast burning powder?
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It used to be common to have a "small game load" for one's big game rifle. A lot of people used jacketed bullets so they were not in the position of firing jacketed bullets over lead or lead over copper by using both jacketed and cast.
    The usual reduced load bottoms out around 1600 fps.

    There is rifle load data for Trail Boss in the 1100 - 1500 fps range.

    Lower velocity is specialty reloading and while it is possible to load subsonic, you do have to be careful.

    Cast bullet loads do not translate directly to light jacketed, the friction of copper on steel is greater than greased lead and there is a risk of a stuck bullet if you go too light. A partly filled case can be very position sensitive, too.

    Ed Harris said The Load of 13 grains of Red Dot would work with jackted bullets, such as the 173 gr M1 FMJ BT, in .30-06.
    As he says, if you are trying to go subsonic, keep your ramrod and hammer handy.
  • navc130navc130 Member Posts: 753 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As stated by Hawk, The Handloaders Digest, 12th ed., has a very enlightening article by C.E. Harris called THE LOAD. It is 13 grains of Red Dot powder in .30 to 8mm calibers behind both lead and jacketed bullets 110 to 150 grain weight. THE LOAD produced velocities of 1400 to 1800 fps and proved satisfactory in all the calibers tested.
  • SoreShoulderSoreShoulder Member Posts: 2,567 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by jaegermister
    For example a reduced load for 06 lists a cast bullet and unique. Can you safely use a similar weighted jacketed bullet with a small charge of unique or other such fast burning powder?
    Why not back off the charges a bit and work up, stopping when the primers look about as flat as full charge ammo?

    You definitely can use pistol powders with jacketed loads. I've done it with 22-250 and various military calibers.

    C.E.Harris, in his famous piece on "the load," gives recommendations for it, but I think he went down a little on the bullet weight, but that may have been to stick with the low cost 147gr 30 cal boattails, or to not have to reset his powder measure which was one of the goals of his load.

    The hurdle is that the pressure will probably be just a little higher and the data is probably not always pressure tested so you don't really know how close you are to a KB.

    I'd say right charges for pistol powder and jacketed loads should be CLOSER to cast data if anything though, because the powder is closer to burning up completely before the bullet leaves the case mouth. So it doesn't matter so much how easy the bullet is to engrave.

    However, that also means the charge weight may depend more on the case capacity than the bullet weight, because how far the bullet moves while the powder burns just doesn't matter as much. So don't just increase the charge of Red Dot when you go lighter on the bullet, just because the manuals do that with rifle powders.
  • jaegermisterjaegermister Member Posts: 692 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thankyou all. One other issue, should cases be kept separate or can they be reloaded as normal?
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I keep most of my brass organized in plastic boxes. In the lid I keep track of the reloading history and case prep operations on a 3x5 index card(s). Once the round count is high enough then its get used for cast bullets just for trigger time. Those are just kept in a Ziploc.
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    Short answer: Yes. The chances of 'sticking' a jacket are pretty remote and one of those things that looks great on paper but doesn't really happen. Not saying you couldn't find a load that it wouldn't, but that it isn't an issue with any reasonable load.

    SR 4759 has produced outstanding results for me, often in guns that wouldn't group with textbook normal loads. For a 30-06 for instance, with bullets in the 150-200 range, 16-25 gr produces low recoil, low pressure, low velocity- and often very accurate results. Either with cast or jacketed.
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Very light loads can set back the shoulder of the brass. It is wise to keep your powder puff cases separate.

    The risk of sticking a bullet shows up down around the "cat sneeze" level with very ultra light loads. Ordinary light load shooting is not a problem.

    SR 4759 is made for the purpose of reduced loads. You will curse its coarse granulation but it will do the job. 5744 is also promoted as a light load powder.
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