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res45
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 7:14am | IP Logged Quote res45

As an annual gift to myself around tax time I purchase
myself a new mold of better quality to replace some of
my older Lee molds that I have had for many years. The
new mold is a Arsenal 4 cavity 170 gr. .311" Ranch Dog
clone that I had cut 50/50 two with gas checks and two
plain base bullets for plinker loads since I don't use a
gas checks for those anyways. I really like the nice
large meplat as it will make a great hunting bullet,
can't wait till next weekend to cast up a bunch. Should
keep my Sav. 170 pump gun fed for years to come.





Edited by res45 on March 16 2018 at 4:19pm


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richhodg66
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 7:43am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

You'll like the Ranchdog as a hunting bullet. Mine is an original with the tumble lube grooves and I usually dip them in liquid alox, but I also run some through a .311 sizer in a Lyman 450 and those small grooves hold standard lube just fine too.

Terminal performance is good even at fairly low velocities.

http://forums.handloads.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=31828&KW=ric hhodg66

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res45
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 7:53am | IP Logged Quote res45

Thanks I started to go with the original TL groove version
but since I have a RCBS Lube A Matic an plenty of 2500+
lube as well as can powder coat my bullets I went with
the stand grease groove version.

Around here long range shooting isn't much of a necessity
100 yds. and close range plinking at best so I've started
adding bullets with large meplats to my collection.

Edited by res45 on March 16 2018 at 7:54am


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richhodg66
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 8:05am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

The deer in that thread I posted was maybe 60 yards, load was 28 grains of IMR 4895 and a tuft of Dacron on top in a .308, not a hot load by any means and the bullet still went through about three feet of deer, granted, it didn't hit any bone.

What it didn't do was leave a blood trail. This seems to be a problem with cast sometimes. Fortunately, I knew I had hit him hard by the flinch, had a good fix on where he was and the direction he had gone, even though he ended up in some thicker stuff, he didn't go far and was pretty easy to find.

I have pretty much standardized on either standard NRA formula lube if using a sizer luber or Lee liquid alox (I buy mine from White Label lube, but it's the same stuff). Never tried the powder coating and doubt I will, nothing against it, just don't need another process at the moment. I have read it doesn't hinder expansion at all and in fact, may be helpful in that it can allow softer alloys to be pushed faster.

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res45
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 8:34am | IP Logged Quote res45

I just use the PC as a form of lube and for long term
storage of bullets I want to have ready to load without
having to worry about how cold or heat effects
traditional lubes as I keep my bullets stored out in my
workshop,powder and primers stay in the house till
needed.

It does allow me to shoot a softer alloy a bit faster,
how much I don't know as I don't push those bullets hard
anyways, but I shoot lots of 50/50 coated with no
issues.   It's not having to solve a leading problem
anyways as I've never had that problem before I started
powder coating bullets.

I may at some point get me a Foster HP toll and put a
shallow HP on those bullet to aid in expansion.

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richhodg66
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 10:08am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

In a .30 with a decent meplat, I don't think you need to hollow point. It probably won't do any harm, but I doubt it's necessary. Read up on it, seems most hollow pointed molds have too deep a hollow cavity for optimum performance.

Another option is to do the soft nose casting thing. It's a PITA, but you can do it and it will solve expansion problems for hunting bullets. It works best with a single cavity mold. I have some I cast that way with the RCBS 180 grain FP which actually comes out closer to 195 grains. I want to duplicate the performance of the original factory loading in my .303 Savage for deer hunting.

Ain't this casting thing fun?

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res45
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 12:07pm | IP Logged Quote res45

richhodg66 wrote:
In a .30 with a decent meplat, I
don't think you need to hollow point. It probably won't
do any harm, but I doubt it's necessary. Read up on it,
seems most hollow pointed molds have too deep a hollow
cavity for optimum performance.

Another option is to do the soft nose casting thing.
It's a PITA, but you can do it and it will solve
expansion problems for hunting bullets. It works best
with a single cavity mold. I have some I cast that way
with the RCBS 180 grain FP which actually comes out
closer to 195 grains. I want to duplicate the
performance of the original factory loading in my .303
Savage for deer hunting.

Ain't this casting thing fun?


It is and I enjoy casting about as much as I enjoy
shooting them. The Fosters tool will allow you to drill
the HP as shallow or deep as you like. I was thinking
just a shallow HP much like a cup point would let the
nose expand somewhat while the main body of the bullet
stayed much as it is. You can get 1/8 or 1/16 versions.

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Tom W.
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 1:55pm | IP Logged Quote Tom W.

I have an original w/2 cavities. I wish it was one with the large lube grooves, but the t/l does fine. I use it mostly for my 30/30 and fire forming for my 30-06 A.I.
With a lot of hold over I can hit a 2x4 @ 200 yards with the FF loads. The 30/30 is a NEF single shot and it's fine tuned for that bullet. I haven't shot anything with it, but my youngest son has taken quite a few with it, as well as my late hunting buddy who I loaded two boxes a season for. He thought only copper clad jacketed bullets would kill deer.

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res45
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 2:13pm | IP Logged Quote res45

Thanks for the info Tom, sorry to hear about you hunting
buddy,I've lost quiet a few myself over the year many way
to early for the time. The mold I purchased above only
cost me $87 shipped to my door so it was very affordable
by custom mold standards.


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Paul B.
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 3:19pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

It's been years since I hunted deer with cast bullets. Back then it was
with the Lyman #311291 cast from straight wheel weight metal with just
enough tin added to aid in mold fill out. Cartridge was the 30-30 in an
old 1911 M94 carbine and that old gun accounted for better than half
the 15 deer killed with that bullet. The rest was with a 1981 issue M94
which also took two deer with the RCBS #30-180-FN. It came out at 190
gr. in my alloy.
I never had any luck with the Lyman #31141 now call 311041 to make
their computer happy. I have two of the Lyman's and one clone by NEI.
My rifles just don't like them.
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RECURVE
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 3:59pm | IP Logged Quote RECURVE

I can run my PC bullets hotter than I did with alox wheel
lead and some tin and lot less mess.
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richhodg66
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Posted: March 16 2018 at 4:51pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

res45 wrote:
Thanks for the info Tom, sorry to hear about you hunting
buddy,I've lost quiet a few myself over the year many way
to early for the time. The mold I purchased above only
cost me $87 shipped to my door so it was very affordable
by custom mold standards.


This is the best time ever to be a caster. I have several NOE molds, semi custom. Cost a little more than an RCBS or Lyman but cast like a dream and have a much, much better selection of bullet designs.

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LAH
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Posted: March 17 2018 at 6:37pm | IP Logged Quote LAH

Tom how does your NEF rifle handle that bullet? I'm
shooting an NEF in 30-30 also but mostly with the Lyman
311440.

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Gunzee
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Posted: March 29 2018 at 9:14pm | IP Logged Quote Gunzee

Wow, nice one
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res45
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Posted: March 31 2018 at 8:39am | IP Logged Quote res45

Cast up a little over 300 bullets yesterday, around 150
each of the plain base and gas check version of the
bullet. They drop .312" from the mold and will be sized
to .311" I plan on powder coating the plain base bullets
for my plinking and small game loads and gas checking
and using traditional lube or PC for my full house loads
in the 30-30.



While I was at it I cast up a small batch of my NOE 220
gr. cup point bullet that I will be powder coating in
clear gloss for loading in some nickel 45 ACP cases I
recently acquired for long term storage.


Edited by res45 on March 31 2018 at 8:40am


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richhodg66
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Posted: March 31 2018 at 9:12am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

They look great!

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: March 31 2018 at 12:14pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Very nice bullets. I am envious for sure. It would take me a long casting session to crank out that many with my single cavity Ideal 31141. I like the generous grease grooves of your bullet. It can not help but be a winner.

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richhodg66
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Posted: March 31 2018 at 12:33pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

My ranchdog mold is an original and as such, is all gas checked and all tumble lubed, but it is a good shooter in most of the rifles I've shot it in. He designed it around the MArlin microgrooved lever guns, but I've had good luck with it in .308 and .300 Savage model 99s and a few .30-06 bolt guns.

Seems like Ken Waters pet load for the .30-30 and Lyman 311041 was 26 grains of IMR 4895, which I have shot with good results, but you may want to start a few grains under and work up. With the plain based ones, I think 7 or 8 grains of Unique will be a pleasant, accurate plinking load. I think you're going to like that mold.

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res45
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Posted: March 31 2018 at 12:51pm | IP Logged Quote res45

For my plinking load I've been using 7.0 grs. of Red Dot
with the Lee 150 or 170 gr. RF bullet with the gas check
left off. It's shoot really well in my old Sav. 170 pump
gun hope this one does as well.

For full house loads with the Lee 170 gr. bullet I was
using 28 to 30 grs. of H-335. I have some load data
from RD using Reloader #15 I want to try as well.

Thanks for the tip on the 4895 I have both the IMR an H
version of that powder as well.

Got the plain base bullets powder coated today, going to
run those loads in Carolina Blue and clear coat the full
house loads.


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RECURVE
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Posted: March 31 2018 at 4:03pm | IP Logged Quote RECURVE

Res45 how do use the clear coat? your blue looks like
Eastwood.
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