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30-06, Cast Bullet, Unique

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Hungry1, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Well-Known Member

    Anyone have information about 165 gr RNFP Cast Bullet, plain base, over Unique in 30-06?

    I bought some Missouri bullet .309s for my Marlin 336 Micro Groove. I need .311s and am considering loading these up in my Springfield 30-06. The Powder I have on hand is Unique.

    Any information appreciated.

  2. blarby

    blarby Well-Known Member

  3. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Well-Known Member

    I've loaded gobs of 30-06 with cast bullets and shotgun/pistol powder (Bullseye, Red Dot, AA#7, AL2400), and they all worked very, very well, but never used Unique. I have however loaded quite a bit of it in the .303 British with cast and jacketed bullets. 12.0 grs. gave really good accuracy. That load will be quite light in your 30-06.
    My RCBS Cast Bullet manual for the 30-06 lists a 175 gr. bullet with 15.0 grs. of Unique for 1607 fps and 17.0 grs. for 1735 fps.
    Good luck
  4. A Pause for the Coz

    A Pause for the Coz Well-Known Member

    I use Unique some and it works fine. But If I may suggest, try 2400 with cast.

    I have used Unique, Universal, Bluedot, Herco, pistol powders in my 30 cal rifles and have found useful loads to shoot.
    But none of them compare to the groups I get with 2400.
    Ok maybe I should not say groups. i get real tight groups with my 30-30 using 8.5 gr Unique. But they only go about 1200 fps.
    I get the same group with 16gr of 2400 but they are zipping in the mid 1700 fps range.

    One other thing to note. What is the hardness of those cast bullets you have?
    I have some 170 gr .310 lazer cast. They are 23bn.
    I could not get a hard cast bullet to fly with any pistol powder loads. The bullets just dont expand to fill the bore properly.( too hard)
    They shoot just fine gas checked ahead of Rifle powder like H4895 Just need to kick them in the butt.

    They do shoot accurately ahead of Trail Boss. Trail Boss has some VOODOO going on for cast bullets.
    It blasts hard but pushes soft.

    I have found the same results with what ever rifle I have tried.
    30-30, 308 win, 8mm Mauser, 7.62x54 and 7.62x39

    Softer lead, WW's works good for pistol powders,
    Harder lead for Rifle powders.
    Trail Boss is the wild card. it shoots them all well, just not fast.
  5. wgaynor

    wgaynor Well-Known Member

    Load Data from Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook:

    160 gr (#2 Alloy) 3.050" OAL BC .245
    Unique 18grains @1853fps starting load

    170 gr (#2 alloy) 3.013OAL BC .202
    Unique 12 grains@1508fps starting load
    MAX LOAD IS 16.5 GRAINS @1842

    Hope that helps. It will give you a place to start.

    I recommend slugging your barrel first because an undersized projectile can cause leading (along with other contributing factors.
  6. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info fellas. I appreciate the powder recommendations too. :)

    A Pause for the Coz, the box is labeled Brinell 18, optimized for .30-.30 lever guns.
  7. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Well-Known Member

    Awesome just what i was gonna ask about, i got a bannerman mosin in 3006 and have unique and cast bullets laying around.....
  8. wgaynor

    wgaynor Well-Known Member

    I can't recommend enough the importance of slugging your barrel first. It saves you from experiencing an exercise in futility and in scrubbing lead out of a barrel.
  9. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Well-Known Member

    Too late, thanks though. :)

    All part of my learning curve I guess. The brush wrapped in Chore Boy helped. :D


    I'm thinking of using a different powder. One that will give me a little more velocity and help seal the bore. I'm thinking 2400 or maybe IMR 4198. I have no experience with either.

    I'm not using gas checks with these bullets.

    Any advice, criticism or suggestions?

  10. wgaynor

    wgaynor Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't worry about switching powders yet. First, do you know your bore size? Did you size your bullet (if cast yourself)? If you cast your own, did you apply the right type and amount of lube?

    Keep in mind that an undersized bullet is one of the biggest factors in barrel leading. The others are: too much pressure/velocity, copper fouling in barrel, out of round bullet, wrong type or not enough bullet lube.

    Edit: Just reread your original post. Did you slug your barrel?
  11. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Well-Known Member

    Yea, I got a measurement of .3095. I ordered some Hunter Supply .311 bullets to try out. I haven't started casting my own yet.

    Reason I'm asking for powder recommendations is that I ordered some Unique from Midway a while back that was "lost" (stolen) in transit. They'll most likely end up sending a replacement out after UPS "looks" for it :rolleyes: and I'm thinking of giving another a try as I'm set with about 4.5 lbs of Unique.
  12. wgaynor

    wgaynor Well-Known Member

    You'll have good results with the .311 sized bullet. Give me a few and I'll look in my load book for you on the powders. I'm casting bullets right now.
  13. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks. No rush. Appreciate the input. I've got a couple books too. :)
  14. wgaynor

    wgaynor Well-Known Member

    160 grain #2 alloy 3.050" OAL
    IMR 4198
    Starting Load: 27.0 grains @ 1940 fps with 19,600 pressure
    Max Load:37 grains @2421fps with 36,000 pressure
    No loads with 2400 listed under this one

    170 grains #2 alloy 3.013" OAL
    IMR 4198
    Starting Load: 25 grains @1729 fps
    Max Load 38.5 grains @2501 fps

    Starting Load of 18.5 grains@ 1635 fps
    Max Load of 29.5 grains @2296 fps

    Some friendly advice here... If you are using a plain base bullet (no gascheck), you'll want to keep your velocities below 1500 fps for the best success of having no leading and good accuracy. If your velocity is above that, the bullet construction is not strong enough to keep it from just skidding down the barrel instead of having a spin put upon it.

    Another school of thought is that the increased pressure that is associated with those velocities above 1500fps will deform the base of the bullet too much and cause gas to pass along the side of the side of the bullet. This can also cause leading.

    Rule of thumb... plain base should be kept below 1500fps

    I also highly recommend the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook. While it is not the complete source for cast bullet loads, it is more than enough to get you started with techniques, info, and load data.
  15. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member

    I'm evaluating Unique with 130 gr cast WW's in 7mm-08. No leading, at all, so far. But accuracy has been pretty sucky. Not sure if it's the velocity or the lack of gas check. I've tried from 4 gr - 12.5 gr. The min suggested on Castpic for a 168gr bullet is 13 gr, or so, so maybe I just need to bump it up a bit. But then I'd probably start using a gas check, and I already have a good load for that; 24.0 gr H335 groups nice and tight.

    But I hear ya. Even though I have way more H335 on hand than Unique, I'm tempted to continue playing with Unique. Even with a gas check, 14-16 gr of Unique is a lot cheaper than 24 gr H335. :)
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  16. wgaynor

    wgaynor Well-Known Member

    I don't see any load data here for the 7mm-08 remmington. I'll have to look in the other books. Do you know the velocity that you're pushing the bulelt?
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  17. GLOOB

    GLOOB Well-Known Member


    This was the hardest data I was working off of, and it doesn't list my bullet weight or my powder. I don't have a chrono. With my H335 load, I'd guess 1800-1900 fps, mebbe? That seems to be the sweet spot, looking at these figures. When I bumped the charge up to 25.5 gr, I couldn't even keep them on a 10"x10" box at 40 yards. (And curiously, there was no leading at all, even though I shot up all 40 of these duds). At 24 gr, I was pegging golf balls out to 40 yards. I only put up one paper target at roughly 35 yards, to verify POA. I was shooting from a chair, no bench. First two shots were touching, a half inch below the bullseye. Third shot was right on the upper center of the bullseye, but I thought it was a flyer, so I took a fourth shot; it cloverleafed with the first two.

    With Unique, they only list a load for a 168 gr bullet, 13-15 grains. (NOT 145 gr boolit! Sorry, bad memory/info on my previous post. Edited). That might give you a clue for your rifle. At 12.5 grs, I was probably well short for a 130gr boolit. But like wgaynor recommends, I was trying to keep my velocity low, using no checks. At 4 gr, I can't even start to guess velocity. I was just trying to see if I could shoot without ears on, but I chickened out and never found out. I still remember that one time when I thought to myself, "how loud can a 22 pistol possibly be without ears..."

    Check out the 7x61 Unique load on that page. 2016fps! It looks like Unique can be used for full velocity cast loads in the right chamberings.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  18. trixter

    trixter Well-Known Member

    I have the 155gr version of that same boolit, and I have been using 12 gr of Unique. So far so good.
  19. wgaynor

    wgaynor Well-Known Member

    Unique is a unique powder isn't it :neener: !
  20. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Well-Known Member

    It sure is! I'm new to reloading and have used it exclusively for .45 acp, 9mm, 38/357 and .30-.30.

    I got my .311" 30 cal bullets in today, they worked great in the Marlin .30-.30. Had to crank up the elevation and still don't have enough though. Needed to use some "Kentucky Elevation" by aiming at the orange sticky :)

    50 yards sitting at a picnic table, iron sights, hasty sling.


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