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Old 08-31-2016, 10:32 AM
Adam Helmer Adam Helmer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Mansfield, PA
Posts: 3,865
Cast Bullets for military surplus rifles.

I like to shoot old military rifles on my farm ranges. The days of cheap military surplus ball ammo are over and also over is the usually corrosive ammo involved. I have used old wheel weights and a dash of tin to cast my rifle bullets. I drop my bullets from the moulds into a bucket of water to increase the Brinell hardness. I lube with Alox lube, install gas checks on all bullets that call for same.

I found out that finding a proper cast bullet for bolt action 7mm arms up to the 8mm and including the .30-06, .303, 7.65mm, 7.7mm and Russian 7.62mm was rather easy. The Lyman bullets of 170 to 190 grains were fine. In all cases the cast loads using Unique, 2400, IMR4198 and 700X produced fine accuracy. The only difference from ball ammo was an increase in elevation was needed on the sights to get 100 yard point of aim/point of impact.

The M1 Garand was a challenge that was finally accomplished. While the Lyman bullets were fine, the Lee C312 185RN bullet proved to be best, not only in the Garand, but in the 7.5 Swiss, the .30/40 Krag and the .303 British.

My Garand load of 36 grains of IMR4895 and the 185 grain Lee bullet sized .309" functions all my Garands and shoots to the same sight settings as with Ball ammo. I can load my cast Garand loads for about $.15 each. So if you cannot get cheap ball ammo, try cast. I recommend the Lyman "Cast Bullet Handbook" for load data.

Adam
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