Your Most Frankenstein Load

DMW1116

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I have a couple I was thinking about and they’re the most cobbled together stitched up mess. On the other hand they work.

One is a 75 grain Hornady HPBT developed with Lyman data for a 77 grain SMK. It uses CCI BR4 primers and IMR 4064 powder, both rather unusual for 5.55/223 loads. It shoots great from my 16” mid length rifle but not so much from my 20”. It is fully a product of the beginning of the component shortages during 2020.

The other is more intentional. I wanted a cheap target round for my JM era Marlin 30-30. I started tinkering with cast bullets, then pistol powders, then different diameter cast bullets, etc. It has finally settled on a few grains of W231 powder, a cast and coated Acme 135 grain RNFP seated to the crimp groove, and set off with a large pistol primer. It works with a LRP too, but those are harder to find. This is also a product of at least the primer shortages and the sharp rise in 30-30 ammo cost.

So, what have you sewn together like a reloaders patchwork quilt?
 
2.3 gr. Unique/ standard primer/ 357 brass/ 158 gr. cast SWC/ 9:46 A.M. / 76 degrees/ Wind: light and variable/ 2 1/4 in. of a 4in. barrel.😱
 
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I have a couple I was thinking about and they’re the most cobbled together stitched up mess. On the other hand they work.

One is a 75 grain Hornady HPBT developed with Lyman data for a 77 grain SMK. It uses CCI BR4 primers and IMR 4064 powder, both rather unusual for 5.55/223 loads. It shoots great from my 16” mid length rifle but not so much from my 20”. It is fully a product of the beginning of the component shortages during 2020.

The other is more intentional. I wanted a cheap target round for my JM era Marlin 30-30. I started tinkering with cast bullets, then pistol powders, then different diameter cast bullets, etc. It has finally settled on a few grains of W231 powder, a cast and coated Acme 135 grain RNFP seated to the crimp groove, and set off with a large pistol primer. It works with a LRP too, but those are harder to find. This is also a product of at least the primer shortages and the sharp rise in 30-30 ammo cost.

So, what have you sewn together like a reloaders patchwork quilt?
I played around with .30-30 Short Range and .30-30 Miniature loads a few years ago. You can find those with a Google search. As it turns out, .30-30 loaded with a 110 gr 30 carbine bullet and about 7-8 grains of most fast pistol powders makes a pretty neat load at around 1400-1500 fps (depending on powder and seating depth).
 
I've had great success with cast bullets and mild charges of 4895 in my M1 Garands. Just enought powder to cycle the action, and they're wonderfully accurate out to 100 yards.

Super easy on the rifle, the brass, and my shoulder, and no leading in the gas cylinder whatsoever, contrary to some internet claims.

For my 1903 Springfields I also like the same cast bullets over about 20 grains of 4227 for a great plinking round. These also shoot well through the Garand, but require manual cycling of the action.
 
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Years ago, like 1965, Bullseye was used in 12 gauge trap loads to produce a very soft 16 yard trap load which was very effective. Problem was Bullseye was selling for $8 to $9/lb. while
Red Dot could be had for only $4.50/lb.
I still have a pound of PB and I have used that for 12 gauge trap as well as .38 Special, 9mm and .357 mag.
Back with the shortage of powders during the Obama era, many people got creative in using hunting shotgun powders for trap including Unique and Herco.
I have successfully used a mortar and pestle to make my own "FFFF" from either Pyrodex or 777 because of the lack flinter Goex powder.
Longshot can be loaded down to produce nice 20 gauge skeet loads as well as load "full boat" .357 mag. loads.
If you haven't heard, Reloader Magazine has now called Red Dot "the new Bullseye" for handgun target loads.
 
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I had an abundance of inherited Red Dot, and some Alcan, Herco, and Rx11. I've got Red Dot loads for just about every pistol cartridge I own. My 45colt silhouette load for pistol cartridge matches is 7.2gr of red dot and 200gr cast. For rifle matches its 230gr cast and 11.2gr of Red Dot.
 
6.0grs bullseye with 165gr MBC .311 sized coated Bullet works great in 30/30 as well. Very fun to shoot.

Never tried large pistol primers
 
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I don't think I have any normal loads.... there is zero load data for a 154 noe 35 caliber bullet, and it only gets more Franken from there. How about 357 loads with ramshot Silhouette, or 38-44. Probably the only book loads I have are 308 or 223 and I'm not seeing rmr load data for their 69 or 75 grain .224 bullets.
 
On the other hand they work.

That's sometimes the only thing keeping these loads in use.

Mine would be my "cat sneeze " subsonic loads for use with my suppressed .308 bolt rifle.

Hornady brass, primer hole drilled to 9/64, to prevent primer setback.
180 Sierra round nose Gameking, moly coated.
8.0gr Titegroup Velocity~900fps
Exceptionally accurate.

I tumble the bullets 100 at a crack, with molybdenum disulfide and steel airgun BBs, effectively impact plating the bullets.
 
I forgot about my Titegroup load for my 308. I tried it in an AR10 with a closed adjustable gas block. Whatever the Hodgden website said for charge weight, 168 grain Speer match bullet, and a Winchester LRP. It shot ok. I only tried it at 25 yards. If I had a bolt gun, I'd have a subsonic 308 load with the heaviest bullet I could find. I don't think the 220+ grain 300 BO bullets will stabilize but I'd try a few just to see.
 
Oh, I also do a .223 load with IMR 4227 and a 55 gr bullet for my AR-15. Just enough gas to cycle the action and a powder puff recoil.
 
I'm working on one of those now. It's a gentle shooting load from my 20" barrel but won't cycle my 16" barrel. I just ordered a bunch of 55 grain Hornady bullets and found some Fiochi SRPs, so I may load a magazine or two for practice purposes.
 
Some years ago, IMR-4064 was all I could get in a powder suitable for .223/5.56.

I developed several loads using 55 and 60 grain bullets that seem to perform consistently from my Mini-14 as well as my sons' AR-15s.
 
Some years ago, IMR-4064 was all I could get in a powder suitable for .223/5.56.

I developed several loads using 55 and 60 grain bullets that seem to perform consistently from my Mini-14 as well as my sons' AR-15s.
That is almost an ideal powder wit 77 class bullets. Not off the reservation imo.
 
.38S&W 148gr Speer HBWC, 2.0gr Bullseye, seated to first lube groove and lightly roll crimped. In a Iver-Johnson Cadet that’s one stylish target load.
 
163grwbasecons.jpg

This was one of the furthest off the reservation I did. Working with a guy over at Shotgun World forums we came up with the above 410 slug load. He had a swaging machine and had the above custom dies made. I machined the UHWPE attached bases on a small CNC mill. The rest of the load was standard 410 wadding (card, felt, gas-seal). Most commercial 410 slug ammo weighs in between 90-114 gr. You can buy Thug Slugs from Ballistic products at 127gr for reloading but we wanted heavy. The problem was a foster slug hollow-base mass-forward design only works for slugs up to ~1.4-1.7 diameters long and by the time we got to 163gr they were too long to stabilize the way a standard foster slug does so I created the attached bases. This made them fly like a Brenneke slug gaining addition aerodynamic stability from the polymer "tail"

I work up the load data from scratch using a very old internal ballistics software from Fabrique Scientific call NAMB (Similar to QuickLoads but free and I was poor at the time). The software does not run on anything newer than Windows 98 and is no longer supported. I got the slug up to ~1666fps or right at 1000 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. Accuracy was never great but we are talking about 410 slugs and they were on par with many of the commercial loads. Shortly after I ended up moving out of the slug only state I was in to the south and my days of hunting deer with a 410 slug gun came to an end and so did the development.
 
7.62x54R with 49.5 grains of WC846, Lehigh defense 150 grain, .311 diameter solid copper match grade bullets, CCI #34 primers, PPU brass

Just a bunch of forgotten stuff (other than the WC846..been screwing around with that in 308 win)I had laying around.
The bullets are actually for 303 British...

I shoot these out of my orginal Mosin Nagant 91/30 sniper..and they work just too good. Super fast..3050 FPS..but shows zero signs of pressure. My 91/30 is a fast bore in the first place. I get 2900 fps with Soviet scam can crap ammo, while every other 54r I have inly yield 2750 fps.
 
I've got Red Dot loads for just about every pistol cartridge I own.

I think RedDot is an underrated powder. I wound up with 2# of it during the Obama Shortage, just to have something, as my Unique supply was dwindling... and found it was a very versatile handgun powder. I know some use it for low velocity cast rifle as well... but I'm not that brave. I used mine up, but if there was some reason I would be reaching for a different powder... RedDot would be my first pick.


As far as a FrankenLoad, I try very much to color between the lines. Having said that... I was having some pressure trouble with my Browning 71 .348WCF and my handloads. I found out that the Browning specifically has a very short rifling leade, and it was spiking my pressures with jacketed loads. My solution was to trim my expensive, Unobtanium .348WCF brass back to an even 2.200" (from a published trim to of 2.245") It made me cry, trimming all that brass off my valuable .348 brass, but in the end, I got brass I can handload with jacketed bullets without fear of pressure issues.
 
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