Ed Harris articles for reduced loads

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Ed Harris articles for reduced loads

Registered Member
Joined: 23 Aug 2005, 07:14

02 Nov 2006, 02:08 #1

Here are some articles I pulled from the internet. Sorry about the length but folks have been asking for info like this.


"The Load" is 13 Grains of Red Dot"
(If you missed this when it appeared in Handloader's Digest, 10th Ed. here it is again...
By C.E. Harris, Revised 2-16-94
My success in economizing by using up leftover shotshell powder has changed my approach to handloading. I had a caddy of Red Dot, and no longer reloaded shotshells, so asked myself, "what can I do with it?" My shooting is now mostly high-power rifle. I needed several hundred rounds a week to practice offhand, reloading, and working the bolt in sitting and prone rapid, but didn't want to burn out my barrel or my wallet. Powder used to be cheap, but today is $20/lb. (or more), so cost is a factor in component choice.
I used to ignore pistol or shotgun powders in reduced rifle loads for the usual reasons: the risk of accidental double-charges, fears of erratic ignition, and concerns with maintaining accuracy, and reduced utility with a low-power load.
Still, the caddy of Red Dot kept "looking at me" from the corner. Would it work? Looking at data in the RCBS Cast Bullet Manual No. 1 and the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook suggested it would, so I tried it, much to my delight! Red Dot is bulky, compared to the usual rifle powders used in .30-'06-size cases. It occupies more powder space in typical charges than common "reduced load" rifle powders, such as #2400, IMR4227, IMR4198 or RL-7. The lower bulk density of Red Dot adequately addresses my safety concerns because it makes an accidental double charge far less likely.
After considerable experimentation, my friends and I found "The Load" IS 13 grains of Hercules Red Dot, in any FULL SIZED rifle case of .30 cal. or larger."The Load" has distinct advantages over more expensive alternatives, within certain limitations, which are:
1. The case must be LARGER than the .300 Savage or .35 Remington.
2. The rifle must be of MODERN (post 189Image design, suitable for smokeless powder, with a bore size of .30 cal. or larger.
3. The bullet weight must be within the NORMAL range for the given cartridge.
4. Inert fillers such as Dacron, kapok or are NOT RECOMMENDED! (Nor are they necessary).
Within these restrictions I have now engraved in stone, "The Load" works!
The bullet may be either jacketed or cast. Gaschecked cast bullets required in the .30 cals., otherwise you will get leading, but plainbased ones work fine in the 8mm Mauser or larger.
"The Load" has shown complete success in the .30-40 Krag, .303 British, 7.65 Argentine, .308 Win., 7.62x54R Russian, .30-'06, 8x57 and .45-70 (strong-actioned rifles such as the 1886 Winchester or 1895 Marlin -- 12 grs. is maximum for 400 gr. bullets in the Trapdoor Springfield -- Ed.) Though I have not tried it, I have no doubt that "The Load" would work well in other cartridges fitting these parameters, such as the .35 Whelen, .358 Winchester, .375 H&H or .444 Marlin, based on RCBS and Lyman published data.
"The Load" fills 50% or more of a .308 Win or .30-'06 case. The risk of an accidental double charge is greatly reduced, because the blunder is immediately obvious if you visually check, powder fill on EVERY CASE, as you should whenever handloading! A bulky powder measures more uniformly, because normal variation in the measured volume represents a smaller percentage of the charge
Red Dot's granulation is somewhat less coarse than other flake powders of similar burning rate, such as 700-X, which aids metering. Its porous, uncoated flakes are easily ignited with standard primers. So-called "magnum" primers do no harm in cases larger than the .30-'06, but are neither necessary nor recommended in smaller ones. I DO NOT recommend pistol primers in reduced rifle loads, because weak primers may cause erratic ignition, and their thinner cups can perforate more easily, causing gas leakage and risk of personal injury!
The velocities obtained with 13 grs. of Red Dot appear mild, but "The Load" is no pipsqueak! In a case like the .308 or .30-'06, you get (from a 24" sporter
barrel) about 1450 f.p.s. with a 200- gr. cast bullet, 1500 with a 170-gr., or 1600 with a 150-gr. cast load. "The Load" is fully comparable to "yesterday's deer rifle", the .32-40, and provides good expansion of cheap, soft alloys (10-13 BHN) at woods ranges.
Jacketed bullet velocities with "The Load" are about 120-150 f.p.s. less than a lubricated lead bullet of the same weight.
Regards, Ed

From : Ed Harris 1:109/120.3006 12 Mar 94

Subj : Red Dot Rifle Loads, Pt. II
"The Load" is 13 Grains of Red Dot"
--- continued from previous message --
Longer-barreled military rifles pick up a few feet per second, but "The Load" starts to slow down in barrels over 28", such as the M91 Moisin-Nagant and long Krags or 98a Mausers.
My preferred alloy in the .30 cals. is a mixture of 3-5 lbs. of .22 backstop scrap to 1 lb. of salvaged linotype. Wheelweights also work well, as do soft "Scheutzen" alloys such as 1:25 tin/lead. in bores of 8 mm or larger. "The Load" drives soft- cast .30-cal. to 8 mm bullets fast enough to get expansion,but without fragmenting. These out-penetrate factory .30-30 softpoints, and kill medium game up to 150 lbs. well at short ranges up to 100 yards, when placed accurately. In medium and large bores like the .375 H&H or .45-70, "The Load" gives typical black powder ballistics for the bore. A 255-265 gr. cast bullet in the .375 H&H approximates the .38-55 at 1330 f.p.s. Soft 300- 405-gr. cast bullets are pushed at 1300-1350 f.p.s. from a 22" barrel .45-70, sporter are very effective on deer at woods ranges. Cast bullets over .35 cal. do not have to expand appreciably to work well on game if blunt and heavy for their caliber.
The Load" works well with jacketed bullets, giving somewhat lower velocities than with cast lead, due to less effective obturation and greater friction in the bore. The 85-gr. or 100-gr. Hornady or 90-gr. Sierra JHP for the .32 H&R Mag. revolver, or the Remington 100-gr. .32-20 softpoint bullet become mild, but destructive varmint loads at 1600 f.p.s. from a .308 or '06.
If you substitute a stiffly jacketed 110-gr. .30 Carbine softpoint bullet, designed for higher velocities than imparted by "The Load", you have a
non-destructive "coup de gras", small game or wild turkey load which shoots close to your deer rifle's normal zero, but at 25 yards! A more accurate and effective small game or varmint load uses a flat-nosed 150-gr. pr 170-gr. 30-30 bullet instead. These don't expand at the 1400-1450 f.p.s. obtained with "The Load", but their larger frontal area improves killing power compared to roundnoses or spitzers.
I have use pulled GI .30 caliber Ball, and Match bullets with "The Load" for cheap 200-yd. NMC boltgun practice. Accuracy is equal to arsenal loads, but I use my 600-yard sight dope at 200 yards. I expect 5-6" ten-shot, iron-sight groups at 200 yards using M2 or M80 pulled bullets and about 3-4" for the M72 or M118 Match bullets. I use these mostly in bolt-action rifles, but they can be single-loaded for offhand or slow-fire practice in the Garand as well.
These .30 cal. pulls shoot fine in the .303 British or 7.62x54 Russian, despite their being a bit small, because the fast-burning Red Dot upsets them into the deeper grooves. The 173-gr. Match .30 cal. boattail bullets may not shoot as well at these low velocities as lighter flat bases in the 12" twist .308 Win. barrels, but they do quite well in ten- inch twist barrels such as in the '06, 7.62 Russian, .303 British and 7.65 Argentine.
The longer bore time of these 1400 f.p.s. (typical 170-180-gr. jacketed load velocity) practice loads makes errors in follow- through apparent, a great practice and training aid. The light recoil and lower report of these loads helps transition Junior tyro shooters from the .22 rimfire to the service rifle without being intimidated by the noise and recoil.
Zeroing is no problem in the M1 or M14, because "The Load" shoots into the ten-ring of the reduced SR target at 200 yards from your M1 or M14 rifle at using your normal 600 yard sight dope! The somewhat greater wind deflection blows you into the "8" ring at 200 yards with the same conditions you would expect to do so at 600 yards with M118 Match ammunition. This provides your Junior shooters some useful wind-doping practice.
The economy of a lighter charge is obvious. A full power .30-'06 load using 50 grs. of an IMR powder like 4064 costs 10 cents a pop, just for powder, at 140 rounds per pound (if you are lucky enough to find new powder for $14/lb.). Substituting 13 grs. of Red Dot gets 538 rounds per pound at a cost of 2.6
cents which is a savings of over $7 per hundred rounds in powder alone! Greater savings are possible if you get the best price and buy powder by the caddy.
Velocity and point of impact of "The Load" is not noticeably affected by varying powder position in the case. I shoot them either slow fire, or clip-fed and flipped through rapid-fire in the boltgun with equal accuracy. Red Dot is very clean burning and is economical both on the basis of its lower charge weight, and its lower basic cost per pound compared to other "rifle" powders.
Best of all, using a shotshell powder I already have reduces the kinds of powder I keep and eliminates the need for a special "reduced load" powder. This approach is ideal for rifle shooters who are also shotgunners, since almost everybody who reloads for 12-ga. probably has a keg of Red Dot already!
I now realize it is foolish to use heavier charges of more expensive powder for routine practice, varmint or small game loads in my center-fire rifles. I seldom shoot at over 200 yards, and don't enjoy wearing out expensive target barrels unnecessarily. Since I already have good sight dope and need to work more on technique and save my remaining barrel accuracy life for matches.
I am glad I found the way to get alot more shooting for the dollar. Economical powder choice IS possible, and my reloading has become less complicated and more enjoyable simple since I realized I could do most of my rifle shooting with 13 grains of Red Dot!
In Home Mix We Trust, Regards, Ed

And one more article

Cast Bullet Basics For Military Surplus Rifles
By C.E. Harris Rev. 9-6-93

Cast bullet loads usually give a more useful zero at practical
field ranges with military battle sights than do full power
loads. Nothing is more frustrating than a military rifle that
shoots a foot high at a hundred yards with surplus ammo when the
sight is as low as it will go!

Do NOT use inert fillers (Dacron or kapok) to take up the excess
empty space in the case. This was once common practice, but it
raises chamber pressure and under certain conditions contributes
to chamber ringing. If a particular load will not work well
without a filler, the powder is not suitable for those conditions
of loading.

Four load classifications from Mattern (1932) cover all uses for
the cast bullet military rifle. I worked up equivalent charges
to obtain the desired velocity ranges with modern powders, which
provide a sound basis for loading cast bullets in any post-1898
military rifle from 7 mm to 8 mm:

1. 125-gr., plainbased "small game/gallery"
900-1000 f.p.s., 5 grains of Bullseye or equivalent.

2. 150-gr. plainbased "100-yd. target/small game",
1050-1250 f.p.s., 7 grs. of Bullseye or equivalent.

3. 150-180-gr. gaschecked "200-yard target"
1500-1600 f.p.s., 16 grs. of #2400 or equivalent.

4. 180-200-gr. gaschecked "deer/600-yard target"
1750-1850 f.p.s., 26 grs. of RL-7 or equivalent.

None of these loads are maximum when used in full-sized rifle
cases such as the .30-40 Krag, .303 British, 7.65 Argentine, 7.7
Jap, 7.62x54R or .30-'06. They can be used as basic load data in
most modern military rifles of 7 mm or larger, with a standard-
weight cast bullet for the caliber, such as 140-170 grains in the
7x57, 150-180 grains in the .30 calibers, and 150-190 grains in
the 8 mm. For bores smaller than 7 mm, consult published data.

The "Small Game or Gallery" Load

The 110-115-gr. bullets intended for the .30 carbine and .32-20
hester, such as the Lyman #311008, #311359 or #311316 are
not as accurate as heavier ones like the #311291. There isn't a
readily-available .30 cal. cast small game bullet of the proper
125-130-gr. weight. LBT makes a 130-gr. flat-nosed, GC bullet
for the .32 H&R Magnum which is ideal for this purpose. I
recommend it highly, particularly if you own a .32 revolver!

The "100-Yard Target and Small Game" Load

I use Mattern's plainbased "100-yard target load" to use up my
minor visual defect culls for offhand and rapid-fire 100-yard
practice. I substitute my usual gaschecked bullets, but without
the gascheck. I started doing this in 1963 with the Lyman
#311291. Today I use the Lee .312-155-2R, or the similar tumble-
lubed design TL.312-160-2R. Most of my rifle shooting is done
with these two basic designs.

Bullets I intend for plainbased loads are blunted using a
flatnosed top punch in my lubricator, providing a 1/8" flat which
makes them more effective on small game and clearly distinguishes
them from my heavier gaschecked loads. This makes more sense to
me than casting different bullets. Bullet preparation is easy.
I visually inspect each run of bullets and throw those with gross
defects into the scrap box for remelting. Bullets with minor
visual defects are tumble-lubed in Lee Liquid Alox without
sizing, and are used for plain-based plinkers. Bullets which are
visually perfect are sorted into groups of +/- 0.5 grain used for
200 yard matches. Gaschecks pressed onto their bases by hand
prior running into the lubricator-sizer.

For "gaschecked bullets loaded without the gascheck," for cases
like the .303 British, 7.62 NATO, 7.62x54R Russian and .30-'06 I
use 6-7 grains of almost any fast burning pistol powder,
including, but not limited to Bullseye, W-W231, SR-7625, Green
Dot, Red Dot, or 700-X. I have also had fine results with 8 to 9
grains of medium burning rate pistol or shotgun powders, such as
Unique, PB, Herco, or SR-4756 in any case of .303 British siz
e or

In the 7.62x39 case use no more than 4 grains of the fast-burning
powders mentioned, or 5 grains of the shotgun powders. These
make accurate 50-yd. small game loads which let you operate the
action manually and save your precious cases. These
plinkers are more accurate than you can hold.

Repeated reloading of rimless cases with very mild loads results
in the primer blast shoving the shoulder back, unless flash holes
are enlarged with a No.39 drill to 0.099" diameter. Cases which
are so modified must NEVER be used with full-power loads! ALWAYS
identify cases which are so modified by filing a deep groove
across the rim with a file and label them clearly to prevent
their inadvertent use. For this reason I prefer to do my
plainbased practice shooting in rimmed cases like the .30-30,
.30-40 rag, .303 British and 7.62x54R which maintain positive
headspace on the rim and are not subject to this limitation.

The Harris "Subsonic Target" Compromise

Mattern liked a velocity of around 1250 f.p.s. for his "100-yard
target" load, because this was common with the lead-bullet .32-40
target rifles of his era. I have found grouping is best with
nongascheck bullets in military rifles at lower velocities
approaching match-grade .22 Long Rifle ammunition. I use my
"Subsonic Target" load at around 1050-1100 f.p.s. to replace both
Mattern's "small game" and "100-yard target" loads, though I have
lumped it with the latter since it really serves the same
purpose. Its report is only a modest pop, rather than a crack.

If elongated bullet holes and enlarged groups indicate marginal
bullet stability, increase the charge a half grain and try again.
If necessary increasing the charge no more than a full grain from
the minimum recommended, if needed to get consistent accuracy.
If this doesn't work, try a bullet which is more blunt and short
for its weight, because it will be more easily stabilized. If
this doesn't do the trick, you must change to a gaschecked bullet
and a h
eavier load.

The Workhorse Load - Mattern's "200-Yard Target"

My favorite load is the most accurate, Mattern's so-called "200-
yard target load". I expect 10-shot groups at 200 yards, firing
prone rapid with sling to average 4-5". I shoot high-
Sharpshooter/low-Expert scores across the course with an issue
03A3 or M1917, shooting in a cloth coat, using my cast bullet
loads. The power of this load approximates the .32-40,
inadequate for deer by today's standards.

Mattern's "200-yard target load" is easy to assemble. Because it
is a mild load, soft scrap alloys usually give better accuracy
than harder ones such as linotype. Local military collector-
shooters have standardized on 16 grains of #2400 as the
"universal" prescription. It gives around 1500 f.p.s. with a
150-180-gr. cast bullet in almost any military caliber. We use
16 grains of #2400 as our reference standard, just as highpower
competitors use 168 Sierra MatchKings and 4895.

The only common military rifle cartridge in which 16 grains of
#2400 provides a maximum load which must not be exceeded is in
the tiny 7.62x39 case. Most SKS rifles will function reliably
with charges of #2400 as light as 14 grains with the Lee .312-
155-2R at around 1500 f.p.s. I designed this bullet especially
for the 7.62x39, but it works very well as a light bullet in any
.30 or .303 cal. rifle.

Sixteen Grains of #2400 Is The Universal Load

The same 16 grain charge of #2400 is universal for all calibers
as a starting load. It is mild and accurate in any larger
military case from a .30-40 Krag or .303 British up through a
.30-'06 or 7.9x57, with standard-weight bullets of suitable
diameter for the caliber. This is my recommendation for anybody
trying cast bullet loads for the first time in a military rifle
without prior load development. I say this because #2400 is
not position sensitive, requires no fiber fillers to ensure
uniform ignition, and actually groups better when you just
stripper-clip load the rifle and b
ang them off, rather than
tipping the muzzle up to position the charge.

Similar ballistics can be obtained with other powders in any case
from 7.62x39 to .30-'06 size. If you don't have Hercules #2400
you can freely substitute 17 grains of IMR or H4227, 18 grs. of
4198, 21 grs. of Reloder 7, 24 grs. of IMR3031, or 25.5 grs. of
4895 for comparable results. However, these other powders may
give some vertical stringing in cases larger than the 7.62x39
unless the charge is positioned against the primer by tipping the
muzzle up before firing. Hercules #2400 does not require this
precaution. Don't ask me why. Hercules #2400 usually gives
tight clusters only within a narrow range of charge weights
within a grain or so, and the "universal" 16 grain load is almost
always best. Believe me, we have spent alot of time trying to
improve on this, and you can take our word for it.

The beauty of the "200-yard target load" at about 1500 f.p.s. is
that it can be assembled with bullets cast from the cheapest
inexpensive scrap alloy, and fired all day without having to
clean the bore. It ALWAYS works. Leading is never a problem.
Once a uniform bore condition is established, the rifle behaves
like a .22 match rifle, perhaps needing a warming shot or two if
it has cooled, but otherwise being remarkably consistent. The
only thing I do after a day's shoot is to swab the bore with a
couple of wet patches of GI bore cleaner or Hoppe's, and let it
soak until the next match. I then follow with three dry patches
prior to firing. It only takes about three foulers to get the
03A3 to settle into tight little clusters again.

"Deer and Long Range Target" Load

Mattern's "deer and 600 yard target load" can be assembled in
cases of .30-40 Krag capacity or larger up to the .30-'06 using
18-21 grs. of #2400 or 4227, 22-25 grs. of 4198, 25-28 grs. of
RL-7 or 27-30 grs. of 4895, which give from 1700-1800 f.p.s.,
depending on the case size. These charges must not be used in
cases smaller than the .3
03 British without cross-checking
against published data! The minimum charge should always be used
initially, and the charge adjusted within the specified range
only as necessary to get best grouping. Popular folklore
suggests a rifle barrel must be near perfect for good results
with cast bullets, but this is mostly bunk, though you may have
to be persistent.

I have a rusty-bored Finnish M28/30 which I have shot
extensively, in making direct comparisons with the same batches
of loads on the same day with a mint M28 and there was no
difference. The secret in getting a worn bore to shoot
acceptably is remove all prior fouling and corrosion. Then you
must continue to clean the bore "thoroughly and often" until it
maintains a consistent bore condition over the long term. You
must also keep cast bullet loads under 1800 f.p.s. for hunting,
and under 1600 for target work.

A cleaned and restored bore will usually give good accuracy with
cast bullet loads if the bullet fits the chamber THROAT properly,
is well lubricated and the velocities are kept below 1800 f.p.s.
The distinction between throat diameter and groove diameter in
determining proper bullet size is important. If you are unable
to determine throat diameter from a chamber cast, a rule of thumb
is to size bullets .002" over groove diameter, such as .310" for
a .30-'06, .312" for a 7.62x54R and .314" for a .303 British.

"Oversized .30s" like the .303 British, 7.7 Jap, 7.65 Argentine,
7.62x39 Russian and frequently give poor accuracy with .30 cal.
cast bullets designed for U.S. barrels having .300 bore and .308
groove dimensions, because the part of the bullet ahead of the
driving bands receives no guidance from the lands in barrels of
larger bore diameter. The quick rule of thumb to checking proper
fit of the forepart is to insert the bullet nose first into the
muzzle. If it enters to clear up to the front driving band
without being noticeably engraved, accuracy will seldom be

The forepart is not
too large if loaded rounds can be chambered
with only slight resistance, the bullet does not telescope back
into the case, or to stick in the throat when extracted without
firing. A properly fitting cast bullet should engrave the
forepart positively with the lands, and be no more than .001"
under chamber throat diameter on the driving bands. Cast bullets
with a tapered forepart at least .002" over bore diameter give
the best results.

Many pre-WWII Russian rifles of US make, and later Finnish
reworks, particularly those with Swiss barrels by the firm SIG,
have very snug chamber necks and cannot be used with bullets over
.311" diameter unless case necks are reamed or outside turned to
.011" wall thickness to provide safe clearance. Bullets with a
large forepart like the Lee .312-155-2R or Lyman #314299 work
best in the 7.62x54R, because the forcing cones are large and
gradual. Standard .30 cal. gaschecks are correct. Finnish
7.62x54R, Russian 7.62x39 and 7.65 Argentine barrels are smaller
than Russian 7.62x54R, Chinese 7.62x39, Jap 7.7 or .303 British
barrels, and usually have standard .300" bore diameter, (Finnish
barrels occasionally are as small as .298") and groove diameters
of .310-.3115".

In getting the best grouping with iron sighted military rifles,
eyesight is the limiting factor. Anybody over age 40 who shoots
iron sights should to equip himself with a "Farr-Sight" from Gil
Hebbard or Brownell's. This adjustable aperture for your
eyeglass frame was intended for indoor pistol shooters, but it
helps my iron sight rifle shooting, and adds about 5 points to my

So now you have enough fundamentals to get started. If you want
to have fun give that old military rifle try. You'll never know
the fun you've been missing until you try it!

In Home Mix We Trust, Regards,


Registered Member
Joined: 01 Apr 2006, 05:50

02 Nov 2006, 03:48 #2

Great info. Thank you for posting it.

Registered Member
Joined: 29 Jul 2006, 22:06

05 Nov 2006, 22:52 #3

I'll disagree with Mr. Harris' statement that the 110-115 grain .30 calibers aren't accurate. A favorite of the Cast Boolit board members is the Lee "Soup Can" bullet, C309-113-F. It's such a favorite that it's been reproduced in 7mm and 8mm calibers as custom designs. (Midsouth will still sell you a 7mm soupcan.) A few years ago there was a group buy over there for a 6-holer mould in that pattern, and I have one. There's a new order for that mould being taken up over there now, if anyone's interested. Gaschecked, it's a great bullet for .30 caliber plinking and short range target shooting. Some of those "bug hole" groups I mentioned elsewhere have been shot with this bullet.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

Registered Member
Joined: 12 Aug 2002, 13:31

12 Nov 2006, 06:10 #4

I have followed Mr Harris receipe for years with Good Results.Diapers and politicians need frequent changing, and for the same reason
Diapers and politicians need frequent changing, and for the same reason

Registered Member
Joined: 18 Oct 2003, 05:33

12 Nov 2006, 13:30 #5

I'll disagree with Mr. Harris' statement that the 110-115 grain .30 calibers aren't accurate
I suspect that Mr. Harris is operating under the mentality that you've got to get the bullet against the lands. I don't shoot 308 except in my Swiss, but little doubt that the lightweights won't come anywhere near the lands in a rifle designed for 150-200 plus.

I can only share my experience with the 6.5 at this point. Most 140 grainers will not touch the lands on a Swede, much less the shorter 120, 100 or 85, but I've found they all shoot pretty well in the Swede. You can imagine the jump on those shorter ones. It goes against the logic of "you gotta touch the lands".
"The Nature of Your Faith is Wrapped in the Object of Your Faith"... David Jeremiah

Registered Member
Joined: 29 Jul 2006, 22:06

12 Nov 2006, 21:49 #6

Plenty of Weatherbies shoot mighty well with a lot more freebore than that. Seated to maximum length for the magazine, most spitzers in my .300 Weatherby Vanguard have to jump about 3/8" before contacting the rifling. Early Weatherbies had about twice that much freebore. If the smooth freebore section fits the bullet closely so it can't tip and wobble, it's no problem. It's also worth considering how well a good target revolver will shoot. The freebore in the cylinder is longer than the bullet nose. Getting bullets right into the lands or very close is one way to get good accuracy, but not the only way. "A cheerful heart is good medicine."
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

Registered Member
Joined: 18 Oct 2003, 05:33

12 Nov 2006, 22:25 #7

I think the key is getting the bullet to enter the lands straight. If your sizer is not making straight necks, and if the bullets are the least bit canted in the neck, regardless of jump, I can see a problem. That's another reason I've pretty well set a minimum seating depth. The old "depth=caliber" rule works well for a minimum. If the bullet is not seated deep enough, it's not only a matter of the bullet being gripped, it's also a matter of being canted in the freebore and entering the riflings. The deeper the seat, the better the chance of being straight in the neck, in the freebore, and a straight entry into the riflings.

Now then oldironman, what is a bughole group?ImageD"> Is that like a cloverleaf?
"The Nature of Your Faith is Wrapped in the Object of Your Faith"... David Jeremiah

Registered Member
Joined: 29 Jul 2006, 22:06

13 Nov 2006, 01:18 #8

Yep! Or smaller, where the "leaves" are all overlapped. Image "A cheerful heart is good medicine."
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

Registered Member
Joined: 17 Feb 2004, 11:02

13 Nov 2006, 05:15 #9

Mr Harris recommends the 13 gr load for calibers .308 or >.
Any ideas on an acceptable max gr load for say a 6.5X55?

If you were to work up a practice load using one of these fast powders would you look for all the same signs as when loading for standard powders?
"Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, "Who is the Lord?" or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.". Proverbs 30:8-9

Registered Member
Joined: 12 Aug 2002, 13:31

17 Nov 2006, 07:31 #10

Yes. The same signs of excess pressure would be present but at greatly reduced intervals in increasing the powder charge. A very small increase in powder charge using a fast burning powder like red dot can cause pressure to rise pretty quick as opposed to the same small increase in a charge of 4350 or 4831.

You also want to be sure you have enough pressure to avoid problems at the other end. A Lyman reloding manual is the best source for load data as they have sold molds for cast bullets longer than most of us have graced the earth.

Alliant #2400 is another good powder for cast bullet loads. I have not tried cast bullets in a 6.5 yet as I buy bulk Remington 120 gr bullets that shoot very well. The maximum charge in any caliber will vary depending on bullet weight.

My Lyman cast bullet handbook lists 10 grains of Red Dot with a 129 grain cast bullet and 9.5 if using a 143 grainer as maximum. Do not use less than 7 grains with either bullet.

Molds in this caliber are hard to find. One of our members reported that Lee had made up a special order mold in 6.5 and MidSouth Shooters Supply was carrying them in stock. They only ordered 100 of them and they may be gone by now. You could also check with Lee to see if they are now a catalog item.Diapers and politicians need frequent changing, and for the same reason
Diapers and politicians need frequent changing, and for the same reason