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300 win mag lead loads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by moooose102, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. moooose102

    moooose102 Well-Known Member

    i am thinking about doing some lead bullet loads for my 300 win mag. but i have never shot straight lead rounds through a rifle other than my .22lr. what do i need to know about doing this? i assume i have to keep the loads down to prevent leading in the barrel. also, from what i have seen, most 300 caliber lead bullets are .309", is this so it bites into the barrel better, or do they need to be resized down to .308"?
  2. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Well-Known Member

    You'd want a .309 for most .308 rifles. Hopefully you're looking at gas checked. You'll be fine if you don't push them beyond what the metal (hardness) and lube are rated for.

    Leading only happens if you're pushing a bullet too fast, using the wrong lube, or have a bullet that's not hard enough (or soft enough) for the speed you're using.

    I can shoot up to about 2000fps in my .308 using gas checked cast lead slugs and carnuba red lube. (others push them faster) FWIW

    Have a good one,
  3. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Well-Known Member

    in 30 cal, I shoot nothing less than .309", and prefer .310" or .311". Never have tried .312" yet, but if it would chamber well I would try it too. In my experience, go with the largest diameter you can and let the rifles chamber and groove diameter determine this. Not to say one diameter is better than another as every barrel is a world unto itself, and only experimentation and bench time will find the sweet spot.
  4. Wiljen

    Wiljen Well-Known Member

    Shooting lead is a bit different than jacketed bullets. You need to decide what your intended use is. For 1400 fps or so or less, a plain base bullet will probably work. For above 1400 or so, you'll need/want a gas check design. Next comes powder selection and it is complicated in this case by the case capacity of the 300 Mag. Cast loads tend to use smaller charges of faster powders, this can leave way too much empty space in the case and result in inconsistent ignition or odd pressure excursions. I'd look at something like IMR-4198, Alliant 2400, or Sr-4759 that can fill a good bit of the case without producing pressures that cause problems with cast bullets.
  5. moooose102

    moooose102 Well-Known Member

    when you say gas checks, are you talking about a bullet design, or the little copper things that go behind the bullet? and by the way, how do those little copper gas checks stay on the bullet?! i have not studied this. like i said, no experience with cast bullets. by the way, the intended use is simply for cost savings shooting those horrible, tough to kill paper targets!
  6. snuffy

    snuffy Well-Known Member

    BOTH. The bullet has to be designed to take a gas check. There's a reduced diameter shank on the base of the bullet, that accepts the gas check. You can NOT gas check a bullet that does not have the shank.

    The Hornady gas checks have a "crimp on" feature, the top inside of the check is thicker, that grips the shank to crimp it on so it stays on the bullet. The check is crimped on during the installation of the check, which happens as the bullet is being sized.

    The best alloy for rifle boolits is linotype. It is from the old letter press machines primarily used for printing newspapers. Is is a very hard lead alloy, and can be driven to 2200 - 2400 fps without leading.

    You do run into powder position problems with lead bullet loads. Meaning that if the small charge of powder is laying on the side of the case, or not covering the flash hole, ignition can/will be erratic. Fillers, like kapok, or fiberfill, can take up space to keep the powder at the bottom of the case no matter the position of the rifle.
  7. Wiljen

    Wiljen Well-Known Member

    I'd recommend you study up on use of Filler materials before trying it. Leaving airspace in front of kapok or dacron fillers has ruined more than one good rifle by ringing the chamber. I'd prefer to use powders that do not require fillers or be absolutely certain that filler takes up all the space. I like cream of wheat for that as I can mildly compress it with the bullet when seating to be certain no airspace remains in the case.
  8. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    Might want to invest in a copy of Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook

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