Setting Up A 91/30 For Cast

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  • Last Post 10 March 2019
x101airborne posted this 06 March 2019

Hey All. 

I don't have many rifles that I can dedicate to cast, but one I think will be fun is a pristine 91/30. Ideally, I would like to find a load around 2200 fps with a gas checked bullet that shoots to any of the sight settings. I would like to get it accurate enough to shoot the matches and maybe do some light hog hunting and brush busting. Before getting into loads, I think there is a lot to do to the rifle.

1. Definitely need to do something with the trigger.

2. The bore is near perfect but will get a thorough scrubbing.

I am sure someone has been down this road before so I am looking for any help with the rifle or load. I will be using brand new Lapua brass but that is all the prep I have done so far. 

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onondaga posted this 06 March 2019

The 9130 is caliber 7.62X54R. The best generalization for cast in 30 Cal is that heavy for caliber bullets are the easiest to get shooting well. You need the bullet to fit well for accuracy so a choice that has the diameter to stabilize itself in the chamber is the best. An as cast selection that fits is good and also one that is big enough to be sized to fit.

Making dummy rounds to check fit with ink and evaluate for slide fit on chambering works excellently. I have a wide selection of size/check dies for 30 Cal from .309-.314 in half sizes so I can do that.

My first choice is the bullet that shoots best for me in 30-06. The Lee C312-185-1R may fit as cast with a slide fit. A good slide fit needs 1-2 pounds more push to chamber than a drop in jacketed bullet fit. It is also big enough to fit by size/checking.

A well established powder selection for cast bullet accuracy in the caliber group is H4895 because of it's pressure curve that is gentile to cast bullets.

I don't think there is a better route to match accuracy for the 7.62X54R than that Lee bullet and H4895 route and it is the first choice. You will need to cast in BHN15 alloy like Lyman #2 or Hardball Pistol for the 2200 fps load level.

If you don't have the size check die assortment, modifying the Lee Lube and size dies is the easiest by honing with a trial procedure to check along the way to a fit.

Gary

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onondaga posted this 06 March 2019

Your velocity selection of 2200 fps is likely a total pipe dream for match accuracy in 30 cal. Research match winning loads and you will see 1400- 2000 fps is what wins. Sure you can shoot them that fast, but fit becomes more critical and alloy selection to load level becomes more critical as velocity increases. It is not a game, it is scientific procedure to achieve match accuracy and 2200 fps has never worked well to win.

You said your bore is excellent, so if your bullets shoot all over the place that leaves 2 reasons causing that -- your bullets don't fit or your alloy is wrong for the load level. Lube is the least important factor and simple tumble lube is just fine.

If your bore is really good but not excellent, my polishing method will bring it to excellent for cast:

https://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/thread/8364-my-bore-polish-method-to-shoot-better/

Your goal for a load that matches the military sight settings is folly unless you use military ammo, so forget that! You might get close, that is the best to hope for.

You mention hunting, I am very happy with the Forster Hollow pointer used in a drill press on loaded ammo with the Lee bullet. It doesn't change my POI and works very well self centering ammo on a drill press:

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/371968/forster-universal-hollow-pointer-1-8

 

Gary

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x101airborne posted this 06 March 2019

Great wisdom. Thank you.

I have several pounds of H4895, so that is easy. 

I have the NOE sizing die system so for 10 bucks I can get inserts in any diameter I like. I just re-cleaned the barrel and looked at it, it looks like it will work well. I have a NOE mold, 316-155 I will try it but I wish it was heavier. Good thing about it, the gas check will still be in the neck. My alloy that I usually use is 50/50 clip on / stick on wheel weights water dropped. This alloy works great out of my 375 H&H which is my only other dedicated cast rifle. 

I will certainly look into the Lee offering. Can I tell my wife you said I need another mold? LOL.

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onondaga posted this 06 March 2019

Don't handicap your accuracy with your 50/50 alloy, it is too weak for the load you desire. Use the Lee hardness chart to match your load level or Lyman recommendations. the 50/50 is fine for very low load level plinkers, not match or hunting level loads.

I shoot 375 H&H also and use Lyman #2 for hunting, it does match my load level and groups 1" @50 Yards from my pre-64 Mod 70 with a Lee 379-250-RF bullet.

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x101airborne posted this 06 March 2019

onondoga, you misunderstand about the sights. I don't care if the rear sight says 400 when I am shooting 100. I care that the rear sight is bottomed out and still shooting 18 inches high at 100. I don't need the sight to move at all for the distances I plan on shooting with this weapon, so I am not worried about the range settings on the sight, so long as the sight can be zeroed to the load. That is what I am getting at about the sights. 

Also saying anything is "pipe dream", well, that's why people climb Everest, go to the Moon and shoot cast bullets in modern weapons now isn't it? I am not saying I can absolutely do it in any weapon you hand me, but the effort is worth it to try. I don't see 2200 fps to be all that unattainable, I am sure someone somewhere has done it, and for me it is a goal. If I find it wont work for this rifle, then fine. I will try again in another.

I will look at your polishing procedure. Couldn't hurt anything regardless of condition of the barrel.

I also would be happy with 2 MOA. I don't need it to shoot much tighter than that.

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x101airborne posted this 06 March 2019

And by "match" accuracy, I meant for the standing 200 yard coyote mail in targets and such. I am not about to get into benchrest.

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x101airborne posted this 06 March 2019

What is your velocity for your 375? I have mine running somewhere around 2360 for 10 round average although I do get some high SD numbers. I don't have my exact figures here, but that is off the top of my head. I was looking for an easy to scope 375 Winchester and wound up going with the CZ550 in 375 and loading it down. Even at 2360 it can thump me well enough. Wild hogs down here HATE that rifle as do coyotes. I didn't set out to shoot a coyote at 250 yards with the 375, and it took me 3 tries before I connected, but that is what was in my hands at the time so that is what I worked with. The rifle will hold a 5 inch pistol target at 250 if I do my part and that is good enough for me.

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onondaga posted this 06 March 2019

You will also find that the Lee bullets designed for the 7.62X39 are excellent for accuracy in your caliber when sized correctly. However the cast spires stink for hunting. I put 2 of the Lee CTL312-160-2R bullets through a Deer heart at 200 yards and the Deer still went another 200 yards from the pierced holes of the spire cast bullet. They don't hit very hard! They are horrible for hunting but group well under 1" @50 yards with a 2170 fps load of H4895 in my 30-06 1903A3.

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x101airborne posted this 06 March 2019

I have long heard spire points are not good for hunting although I have never tried them myself.

I did manage to kill a large sow pig with a 308 pistol and a 311-041 once.  Now if I had an oversized 311-041 to play with, I might be in business!

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onondaga posted this 06 March 2019

The Lee Mold I recommended , the C312-185-1R in #2 alloy is heavy for caliber and when hollow pointed is a formidable bullet for hunting Deer, Pigs and even Bear. It arrives big enough to size for any 30-31 Cal. It is simple and cheap and on sale for $21.99 :

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/562844/lee-2-cavity-bullet-mold-c312-185-1r-303-british-312-diameter-185-grain-1-ogive-radius-gas-check

Fit this bullet to your rifle and it will easily become your best shooter also. I use it with aluminum gas checks from member Sages Outdoors:

https://www.sagesoutdoors.com/

They are even available in small quantities to try:

Sold in 4 quantities: 100 for $3.95, 250 for $5.75, 500 for $10.25 and 1000 for $18.50.

I use Lee LLA tumble lube or Whites Deluxe 45:45:10 that I prefer because it dries clear and non tacky:

https://lsstuff.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=13

 

Gary

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onondaga posted this 06 March 2019

If you are set on using a 173 gr FNGC like the 311-041 oversized, I have a suggestion that will mimic that. I honed larger the Lee 170 gr FNGC 30-30 bullet to .312 to use in 7.62X39. It goes 173 gr in #2 for me. I do a little better with the RD 165 FNGC in that rifle and nailed one this season:

https://castbulletassoc.org/forum/thread/rem-spartan-7-62x39-opener-harvest/

Pic:

https://scontent-ort2-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/46479673_10212943624217683_2391393479235207168_n.jpg?_nc_cat=105&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-2.xx&oh=50e325d93e070b25f9f42baeefaf8e1f&oe=5CB033D7

Gary

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JeffinNZ posted this 07 March 2019

Like X101 I'd recommend .316 at least.  You can size down but going up is tricky.

Measure you throat/leade.  How about this from NOE?  Flat nose at .308 for military leads.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Wineman posted this 07 March 2019

x101, Gary has a unique way of giving the facts. Most people kind of get their neck hair up when he presents his findings as actual, "I've done this", "watch out for that" information. Many moons later, they come to realize that his wisdom was the way to go. Everest is cool, but less than 0.000,001% of the world's population has gotten to the top. I am sure that with a box of jacketed and a 2,700 fps load that rifle would shoot 2 MOA all day long, assuming you could master the trigger and your eyes were good enough for the sights. After 10 years of cast shooting in military rifles, I have a combination that will give me 2 MOA on a consistent basis. These loads are doing 1,600 fps (311284, M1903A4 Springfield). I am not saying that 2,200 fps is impossible as there are folks here that do it, but not many. I hope you will be one of them. If that MN can not shoot a slow load accurately, it will not shoot a faster one accurately. You are spot on with hunting accuracy vs bench. If you only need one 2,200 fps shot or two at the most, you are probably in business. A string of 10 might open up a bit. You will need some Jedi mindset to get there, but have fun doing it.

Dave

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x101airborne posted this 07 March 2019

I have no neck hair on ends. I am cool as cucumbers about the whole thing. 

I did a pound cast of the throat on my "beautiful barrel" and it is rough as a county road. I am so disappointed. I bought the thing because the barrel shined the entire length. Now to find the throat is that rough just peeves me off. Unfortunately, this was my best looking mil-surp and I don't know of another rifle in my collection to work with. I am still going to try for a load but I don't have very high hopes anymore. 

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delmarskid posted this 07 March 2019

They built those things in a hurry. I bet the roughness is reamer tracks. I'm thinking it will make your 2moa with a good fitting hard bullet at 2000 or better. My Springfield did well enough on the coyote targets at 1800.

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onondaga posted this 07 March 2019

x101airborne,

My polishing method will smooth the sharp edges of the country road potholes in your chamber throat. Make no substitutions and take no shortcuts with the method and it will shoot cast bullets that fit as well or better than a new rifle does. Just get a VERIFIED fit with ink and feel to a 1-2 pound force needed to chamber your rounds. Stability in the chamber is where cast bullet accuracy comes from.

Measuring your slug only gets you acquainted with the neighborhood and is not the last word. A tactile fit may put you into a bullet with a surprising diameter for your caliber. Ignore the numbers and get the fit. That will put you where the highest potential for accuracy is. Consider the definition of the word "is". You are not headed for disappointment if you get the fit to what you have.

If your bullets don't fit the chamber well to stabilize them on ignition, they will wobble down the bore and shoot all over the place from an unstable start. Also, when you get the right fit, don't be chambering and unchambering them. The good fit only lasts once and played with rounds don't fit anymore and will also shoot all over the place. Cast bullets should be deformed by the chamber fit when chambering the round and held firmly by that fit on ignition. Un-chambering them gives you a bullet with a loose fit the next time you chamber the round and they should be expected to shoot all over the place. Use a simple kinetic bullet puller to remove bullets with a compromised fit and replace them if you want to shoot well. 2MOA and under with modest loads is easy when you get the fit right and use the alloy that matches the load level. That 2MOA or under is the same 1" @ 50 yards I get with all my firearms and I shoot only cast in many calibers. It is not an unreasonable goal or standard.

Gary

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Wineman posted this 08 March 2019

X101,

In this order: M1903A3 Springfield; M1903A1 Springfield (both have sights adjustable for elevation and windage); M1928, M1928/30, M1939 Finn Mosins (ditto); Swiss M1896/11, M1911 Rifle and with the right bullet K31 (windage is adjustable but not as easily, K31 throat issues), Swede Mausers (6.5's are a love hate with cast). With scopes, M1917, SMLE #4 (watch bullet fit); M1891/30 Mosin (trigger is a heap); Most K98 Mausers (again bullet fit is critical with 8 mm, less so with 30 cal).

Gary's polishing did help my M1917 shoot cast better. It loves jacketed but now cast are not that far off.

Go get it done.

Dave

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onondaga posted this 09 March 2019

x101airborne,

I shouldn't have been so discouraging about your 2200 fps goal. It can be done well but needs precise technique. I got my grandsons Savage 11/111 in .308 shooting under 1.5 MOA with a Lee 170 gr FNGC at 2320 fps using H4895. It is a fine Deer load that has done well for him. here is what was needed:

1) Polish bore

2) Hone mold driving bands to over .3105", this gave a 2 pound chambering force to chamber rounds sized/checked at .3105"....A very noticeable 2 pound push to chamber rounds.

3) 45:45:10 tumble lube was used, once before size/check and twice after. Bullets and lube warmed before application.

4) Load workup in 1% increments to see how long accuracy would last by velocity. 4 - 5 shot groups at each increment with clean dry BoreSnake pulled once every 5 rounds.

I had a 1 MOA accuracy node at 2170 and wanted to stop but the boy has slight velocity disease so we kept going and found a sort of node at 2320 with 1.5 MOA accuracy that I did not expect. The next increment was 3 MOA so we went back to 2320 and stayed there.

Lyman #2 alloy was up to the pressure with the GC'd bullet at 2320 fps. The load has massacred 7 Deer for him with solid performance  to 250 yards. All shots were broadside vital  or quartering with pass through every time and good bleed out. He has never even tried factory ammo with his Savage and really likes cast bullet performance. The test results showed the rifle shooting better at 2200 than at 2320 but we deemed 1.5 MOA acceptable for the 10" vital on Deer. It took an entire summer to work up that l load. We each took 10 shots at every load increment and he had great determination to shoot better than me every time, he does shoot well.

His newest rifle has turned out to be a bad joke. Velocity disease drove him to get a package deal 6.5 Creedmore and it shoots all over the place with factory ammo everything!!!!!! I don't think he will hunt with that one. The Savage does better with cast.

 

Gary

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x101airborne posted this 10 March 2019

Well, some thoughts,,,,

1. I have nothing but love for ya brother. I don't think you were discouraging, I think you didn't know me and under that assumption, didn't know what I knew about looking about barrels, bench work, choosing a mold, etc. With a person new to shooting milsurps, much less for cast at informal match targets, yes, it can be a lot of a learning curve to get there. 

2. You were able to do it with a fast twist 30 cal barrel, so it can be done. Again, earlier I said, Im sure someone has done it, I just don't know if this rifle is capable of it. 

3. Well, I had something for here. just slipped my mind. LOL!

Oh yeah! just in case you are looking to sell an action for a custom build, I might be interested. I have an FFL on tap. 

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tomme boy posted this 10 March 2019

If you want a bullet for the Mosin then order this made for the diameter you need for your rifle. http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_detail.php?bullet=31-215B-D.png

 

I made drew this up from a rifle that had a near new barrel. This was confirmed with a bore scope. I did several pound cast and took the average of them to come up with this design. It has shot extremely well up to 2000 fps. Ed Harris is trying it out as a plain base right now but I have not heard back yet. It also works very well in 303 British. Tom @ Accurate can size it up or down depending on the size of your bore.

The gas check will be in the neck if seated at the crimp. But the design does not take to powder coating unless you seat deeper.  

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Larry Gibson posted this 10 March 2019

x101airborne

I have to agree with Onondaga with "Your velocity selection of 2200 fps is likely a total pipe dream for match accuracy in 30 cal."  However, very good useable accuracy (under 3 moa) out to 100 yards can be had w/o climbing Mount Everest.  Last week I shot a 10 shot group of 2.35" with the C312-185 at 2543 fps out of my test .308W rifle.  The alloy was #2 WQ'd and the psi (measured with Oehler m43 PBL) was 54,000.  Sounds like a great load doesn't it?  Well it is useable and usually stays under 3 moa out to100 yards.  At 200 yards, because it is way over the RPM Threshold in the 10" twist, it will barrel keep 10 shots on a 24x26" target paper and then not always. Thus, while it seems like a very good load it is useable only to 100 yards as past that it goes south very quickly.

However, up through 1900 fps excellent accuracy for 100 to 500 yard shooting with cast can be had without much trouble using 4895 and the 314299 (Lyman or NOE).  It's what I use in CBA military rifle matches in my Finn Sako M39.  I also use a Dacron filler.  The bullet Tomme Boy designed is indeed a good one and I have tested it in the 7.62x54R and have gotten very good results with medium (4895 range) and slower (4831 range) burning powders.  As noted the 314299 and C312-185 are also excellent bullets for .312 - .314 groove diameters.  With the nose riders the nose should slightly engrave when chambering the cartridge as they do need to "ride the bore" from the get go for best accuracy. 

As to the hitting that high I suggest you disassemble the rifle and check to see if there is too much upward pressure on the end of the barrel.  It doesn't take much on the long skinny barrels to warp them.  Many times with MNs people either take out the shims under the front lug or don't put them back in correctly.  When the action screw is tightened it pulls the action down and that warps the barrel up from too much pressure at the front of the stock on the barrel.  The barrel should have only a bit of upward pressure from the stock at the front end.  If that's the problem them properly bedding the action with shims can bring the zero down to where it is supposed to be: Using "L" 7.62x54R ammunition with the rear set at 300 meters the center of the group should be 17 centimeters (6.75") above the point of aim at 100 meters per the Soviet manual.  

If the bedding isn't the problem what you might do is slip one of those little shrinkable plastic tubes over the front sight to make it taller, assuming the pin front sight(?).  Then trim it down to a more suitable zero at 100 yards.  If your rifle has a blade front sight weld it up, reshape and file down for a permanent fix of build it up with JB "Steel" epoxy, file to shape and zero and darken with a magic marker. 

LMG

 

 

Concealment is not cover.........

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