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QC4thee
07-07-2010, 10:01 PM
I am getting ready to start loading for my new (old) 1903A3. I shot some HXP today and the recoil is not severe but I'm 66 and I've already been beat up a few times in my life...no need to make it self-inflected....:)

Anybody shooting a bullet in the 120 - 130 grain range in their bolt guns??

And if so what powder and minimum load do you use ??

99% of my shooting will be from a bench and I want to have fun without having to deal with the recoil from 50+ rounds....

I have read about shoulder pads that people use but I have no experience with these so my first choice is to load low...

Your experiences and advice is appreciated...:)

budseven
07-07-2010, 10:40 PM
One of my ways to deal with a lot of different loads in rifles is to use one of the several rifle cradles which use lead bags or sand on the cradle to soak up the recoil. I believe one of the more common cradles is called the "lead sled". Using this type of recoil reduction, I can shoot as much as I wish without knocking my shoulder off. Hope this helps. Bud

QC4thee
07-07-2010, 11:18 PM
I'll check into those, Bud. Thanks.

Every now and then I do like to shoot standing for a while at 50 yds. just to see how bad I have become. It's not so bad with a Garand with the extra weight but I'm new to 1903's and I was surprised at how light they are.

I have seen some posts where people have loaded 125 gr. bullets for their Garands so I am sure a lighter load would be more comfortable in a bolt gun...

JohnF
07-07-2010, 11:40 PM
Do yourself a favor. If you are going to reload, why don't you shoot reduced loads with a good 150 grain bullet. One of the best reduced loads listed is 20.0 to 24.0 grains MAX of IMR SR4759 powder for a 150 grain bullet. This load is easy to shoot and is accurate. It was last listed in the #12 Speer manual.

In my 1903A3's, for target work, I shoot 24.0 grains of IMR SR4759 behind a Nosler 155 grain HPBT, Lake City brass, and a WLR primer although any primer will do. This load measured 1875 FPS, SD = 9.0 and ES = 33.0. It's a delight to shoot and you can do it all day. I put 100 rounds of this load down range today at a SR-1 target. Try it, you will like it.

wrwindsor
07-07-2010, 11:43 PM
Easy answer: Get a Hornady or Speer cookbook and use some of the recipes listed.

Eventually you'll find a pet load that works well for you.

cfullgraf
07-07-2010, 11:44 PM
I have seen some posts where people have loaded 125 gr. bullets for their Garands so I am sure a lighter load would be more comfortable in a bolt gun...

With a bolt gun, you have all sorts of options for light loads with light bullets, 110 grain and 125 grain.

You can get some reduction in felt recoil using the lowest loads listed on the various manuals. Some of them may also have a true reduced/light loads.

Lyman publishes data for use with cast bullets. By their nature, cast bullets cannot be driven as fast as jacketed, so the loads will have lower recoil.

Use only data from reputable sources. I would not trust any loads posted on internet forums.

Edward Ludwig
07-07-2010, 11:46 PM
Try cast bullets, they can be vary accurate and can be low recoil. There is lots of loading information for the 06 using cast bullets and can be habit forming. Good luck.

Ed

VMFn542bob
07-08-2010, 12:35 AM
I am getting ready to start loading for my new (old) 1903A3. I shot some HXP today and the recoil is not severe but I'm 66 and I've already been beat up a few times in my life...no need to make it self-inflected....:)

Anybody shooting a bullet in the 120 - 130 grain range in their bolt guns??

And if so what powder and minimum load do you use ??

99% of my shooting will be from a bench and I want to have fun without having to deal with the recoil from 50+ rounds....

I have read about shoulder pads that people use but I have no experience with these so my first choice is to load low...

Your experiences and advice is appreciated...:)
Forget the shoulder pad and load with cast bullets.
http://www.westernbullet.com/
Lyman #311291, .309" diameter, 170 gr. RN GC, 100 bullets per box.
Bullets are lubed, gas checked and sized. Advertised at $15/100
Don't know how up-to-date this site is but that is the price I would expect to pay. I have always made my own.
This is an exceptionally good performing cast bullet in the 1903-A3 and can be loaded with a variety of powders.
The $7 One Book / One Caliber load book for the 30-06 has load data for this bullet using 15 different powders with velocities ranging from 1307fps to 1733fps.
Every one of these loads will be mild enough for a child to shoot.
The performance of this bullet will give you great pleasure. I use 12gr Unique with a puff of kapok behind it or 24gr 2400 and no kapok.
You only need the kapok to fill the case and hold the powder against the primer to increase consistancy. The fuller the case, the better the group. Some use a single square ot toilet paper to do the same thing.
Once you've shot cast bullets you may not go back to jacketed bullets. And then you may decide to make your own.

QC4thee
07-08-2010, 10:05 AM
Thanks to all of you. Excellent advice and information.

I had no idea loads for an '06 would be so low. None of my older manuals list much lower than the low 40 gr. range. And I'm going to pick up some cast bullets.

Thanks again...I've got some research to do....:D

jonk
07-08-2010, 10:18 AM
The sky's the limit. I often shoot a 130 gr cast bullet over 5 gr of bullseye. Recoils and sounds like a .22. That's an extreme of course.

SR 4759 will usually give excellent accuracy with jacketed reduced loads; several of my 30-06 guns like an M2 bullet with 22 gr of SR, often shooting better than full power loads. About 1/2 the recoil.

HughUno
07-08-2010, 10:32 AM
I use a past-pad with .308 and .06 etc. especially helpful with 03 Springfields also (even with a scant or C-stock).

likewise, I have loaded 125s (IMR 3031 seems to work well here, but 4895 likely will work fine also). The Nosler BTs are very accurate in this scenario and recoil is significantly less.

for NO recoil at all, you can load up ANY bullet you like with 13-15 grains of Red Dot pistol power. Very accurate, no recoil, much less noise. Will not cycle action of course. crank up the rear sight 13 clicks and go from there.

VMFn542bob
07-08-2010, 11:10 AM
Thanks to all of you. Excellent advice and information.

I had no idea loads for an '06 would be so low. None of my older manuals list much lower than the low 40 gr. range. And I'm going to pick up some cast bullets.

Thanks again...I've got some research to do....:D
Good decision and I recommend adding one more tool to your tool chest. Get yourself a Lyman "M" die. Why? Read this.
http://www.lasc.us/Brennan_LymanMDies.htm
M dies come in short (for pistol) and long (for rifle).
The M die permits the cast bullet to be seated without shaving it or tilting it and the bullet does not need to be crimped after seating, a plus for improved accuracy.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=129697
If you are reloading cases that have only been fired in your 1903-A3 once, and you do not plan to shoot your cast bullet reloads in any other rifle, you do not need to full-length resize the cases again. You only need to resize the neck and trim to length if needed.
I do not have any experience with the relatively new RCBS X die but RCBS makes good stuff and they claim their X die restores the overall length of the case after the initial trimming. I believe it is a full length sizing die.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=246515
Life is good. :p

QC4thee
07-08-2010, 12:05 PM
More great stuff !!!!! Thanks...

I'm off to my local reloading shop in little while (after I check my bank balance..:D) to see what they have in the way of components and literature....

Might not be too expensive since I have loaded smaller rifles calibers and a few pistols and have several cans of this and that powder sitting around. I believe I will go for a good manual first and see what I already have...

This is starting to be FUN !!!!!!:)

Hank

lapriester
07-08-2010, 12:18 PM
I've been shooting 110 gr spire points with 14.5 gr Unique and a mag primer. very accurate out to 100 yards when there's no wind. I got the load from a guy that's been shooting it for about 20 years in local competition because he can't handle the recoil with a bad shoulder. At one time he held a course record using the load.

Larry

captaincalc
07-08-2010, 12:34 PM
Another option is call the tech support guys at Sierra with the question (800-223-8799). They're great at the advice thing re: special loads.

USSR
07-08-2010, 01:34 PM
...I recommend adding one more tool to your tool chest. Get yourself a Lyman "M" die

+1. Also, definately get this die if any of you are reloading the .30 Carbine. Makes loading those small, nonboattail bullets a WHOLE lot easier.

Don

QC4thee
07-08-2010, 09:25 PM
I bought a # of SR-4759 today and a box of Speer 110 gr. bullets. Bullets are so short I'm afraid they will start tumbling before they reach the rifling..:D I also have Sierra and Hornady 150 gr. FMJ BT's.

Also went throught my powder supply and found the following:

IMR-4895
BL-C(2)
IMR-4064
A-2460
A-2400
RL-15
H-322
Varget
HS-6
W-748
W-231
Unique
Bullseye
Titegroup

Are any of these absolutely not acceptable for working up reduced loads?

Also bought a Speer #14 manual..which has several reduced load recommendations. But, in reading a lot of posts here, I see that people are using loads much lower than this manual list. So, my next big question is:

How low can you go and not have to worry about detonation. Or, is that not an issue with this caliber or rifle cartridges in general?

I see that I have rambled on a bit here so please feel free to reply to or comment on any portion of this post..........:)

I am fishing for information and at this point, everything goes in the cooler...:D

HughUno
07-09-2010, 06:12 AM
I

How low can you go and not have to worry about detonation. Or, is that not an issue with this caliber or rifle cartridges in general?

:D

much debate about detonation, but I would worry almost as much about lodging a bullet down the barrel from too whimpy a charge.

with some kind of toilet paper, dacron, etc. wad(ing), I suspect you can go pretty low, esp. with some of the pistol powders in your list. I have not, personally, ever been all that enamored with the idea of making up 'gallery loads.'

here is more info on very low power loads from a highly knowlegeable cast bullet guy.

http://forums.handloads.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=17872&PN=1&get=last

I like my CE Harris inspired (i.e. "The Load") based upon Red Dot. Velocities run around 1500-1800+fps, case volume is well over halfway, accuracy is excellent. The Harris article is probably the single most well-known and most read article on reduced loads of all time!

http://members.shaw.ca/cronhelm/TheLoad.html

PS, is "Central NC" somewhere close to Lillington, Coats, or Dunn?

mopardoctor
07-09-2010, 12:46 PM
The Hodgdon Reloading Annual suggests that IMR Trail Boss can be used for bottleneck cartridges. It is a bulky low velocity powder used mostly for lead bullets in cowboy action instead of black powder. They don't have a load listed in the load charts but the article on it says start at 70% of case load density. It is a light and bulky powder that cannot be double charged unlike some regular pistol powders. Try it with regular jacketed bullets (150g FMJ) and you won't have any freebore gap. They show a 30-30 load with a 160g cast bullet and using 6.5 g of Trail Boss gives a velocity of 997 ft/sec

Mopar Doctor

VMFn542bob
07-09-2010, 04:36 PM
The Hodgdon Reloading Annual suggests that IMR Trail Boss can be used for bottleneck cartridges. It is a bulky low velocity powder used mostly for lead bullets in cowboy action instead of black powder. They don't have a load listed in the load charts but the article on it says start at 70% of case load density. It is a light and bulky powder that cannot be double charged unlike some regular pistol powders. Try it with regular jacketed bullets (150g FMJ) and you won't have any freebore gap. They show a 30-30 load with a 160g cast bullet and using 6.5 g of Trail Boss gives a velocity of 997 ft/sec

Mopar Doctor
Trail Boss Rifle Load Data on line
http://www.imrpowder.com/data/rifle/trailboss-oct2005.php
http://www.imrpowder.com/PDF/Trail-Boss-data.pdf

QC4thee
07-09-2010, 07:43 PM
Actually, central NC is more like the Salisbury area.

And thanks again for all the info...I am on a borrow computer; lightening strike last night fried lots of my communication/entertainment stuff..

I will do more checking on the links provided when I get my replacement PC up and running...

Mad_Gorilla
07-10-2010, 04:32 PM
The Hodgdon Reloading Annual suggests that IMR Trail Boss can be used for bottleneck cartridges. It is a bulky low velocity powder used mostly for lead bullets in cowboy action instead of black powder. They don't have a load listed in the load charts but the article on it says start at 70% of case load density. It is a light and bulky powder that cannot be double charged unlike some regular pistol powders. Try it with regular jacketed bullets (150g FMJ) and you won't have any freebore gap. They show a 30-30 load with a 160g cast bullet and using 6.5 g of Trail Boss gives a velocity of 997 ft/sec

Mopar Doctor

+10, Mopar. You beat me to it. Whatever powder you end up using, try to use one that is bulky enough to overflow the case if you accidently double charge one. Low velocity loads with fast burning powders in fairly large cases have at least the potential for serious trouble if you aren't vigilant. Use your loading manuals and don't load below the recommended minimum with any powder.

douglas34474
07-10-2010, 11:17 PM
If all you are shooting is 50 yards or even 100 yards, 10 grains of Unique under just about ANY cast bullet will give you good accuracy and a very reduced recoil.

These are safe to shoot and really easy on the shoulder.

Do some research and you will find verification of this data.

VMFn542bob
07-11-2010, 01:39 AM
I love Unique but it does have two problems I can think of in the 30-06.
1 - A double charge is very dangerous and It is easily possible to do it, but is also easily preventable. I have never had one.
I now use a Dillon RL550B progressive reloader but when using Unique to load the 30-06 I do not use it in a normal assembly line fashon.
Unique is a flake powder and it does not meter well.
I use the RL550D as a high speed dipper to measure the exact charge into the sized and primed case and then I place the case in a holding tray.
Once I have several hundred cases loaded with powder I pour out each case onto my electronic scale, tap the case with a pencil to make sure no powder remains in the case, and I weigh every charge.
If the charge is too low I trickle some powder onto the scale to bring it to the required amount.
I then return the powder to the case with a powder funnel and move that verified case to a different tray.
I use Winchester's 50 round 40S&W styrofoam trays to hold the 30-06 cases for the entire process until I am ready to seat and crimp the projectiles.
This method is very time consuming but well worth the peace of mind it brings me.
2 - With such a small amount of powder (example 10-12 grains of Unique in a case designed to hold up to 50 grains of powder) it is difficult to keep the power in the same place for every shot. The best place for it is tightly against the flash hole.
Failing to have the powder in the same place with each shot will compromise repeatability and thus accuracy.
But this can be overcome two ways:
either by using a case filler (best) or by holding the "muzzle up" before firing (good).

Mad_Gorilla
07-12-2010, 10:26 AM
I love Unique but it does have two problems I can think of in the 30-06.
1 - A double charge is very dangerous and It is easily possible to do it, but is also easily preventable. I have never had one.
I now use a Dillon RL550B progressive reloader but when using Unique to load the 30-06 I do not use it in a normal assembly line fashon.
Unique is a flake powder and it does not meter well.
I use the RL550D as a high speed dipper to measure the exact charge into the sized and primed case and then I place the case in a holding tray.
Once I have several hundred cases loaded with powder I pour out each case onto my electronic scale, tap the case with a pencil to make sure no powder remains in the case, and I weigh every charge.
If the charge is too low I trickle some powder onto the scale to bring it to the required amount.
I then return the powder to the case with a powder funnel and move that verified case to a different tray.
I use Winchester's 50 round 40S&W styrofoam trays to hold the 30-06 cases for the entire process until I am ready to seat and crimp the projectiles.
This method is very time consuming but well worth the peace of mind it brings me.
2 - With such a small amount of powder (example 10-12 grains of Unique in a case designed to hold up to 50 grains of powder) it is difficult to keep the power in the same place for every shot. The best place for it is tightly against the flash hole.
Failing to have the powder in the same place with each shot will compromise repeatability and thus accuracy.
But this can be overcome two ways:
either by using a case filler (best) or by holding the "muzzle up" before firing (good).

While your method works, it is less than ideal and most people don't the patience to go through all that. Kinda takes all the fun out of plinking when making the loads takes so long.

You'd be far better off and have a lot more time to shoot, if you use something like Trailboss. It would give you the same results but eliminate the possibility of a double charge.

mopardoctor
07-15-2010, 03:36 AM
Ten grains of Unique with a case full of cornmeal and the neck filled with hot glue makes a great blank load for a bolt gun. Has some "kick".

tank mech
07-15-2010, 09:16 PM
dont know if this will help but try 11gr 4759 behind a 110gr frangiable bullet they are 6 bucks a hundred no recoil but will not cycle a garand . In a 1903 should be great also no need for ear plugs,pm me Ill send you a few for .25 cents each and you can try them you do have to raise the rear sight though chet

ceresco
07-18-2010, 05:58 PM
Lyman has a "Cast Bullet Reloading Manual" Buy it. One other phenomenon to mention--Using a rimless case repeatedly for reduced loads will shorten the base to shoulder dimension. Putting a full pressure charge in such a case and firing it effectively creates a potentially dangerous, excessive headspace issue. Good Shooting.......

QC4thee
07-18-2010, 09:18 PM
So, the reduced load blows the case outward to fill the chamber wall but not forward, is that the problem???

ceresco
07-18-2010, 10:47 PM
No--the thrust of chambering and the firing pin strike slightly collapse the shoulder each cycle. The pressure from the reduced loads is insufficient to reform the case. There are lots of variables involved, but the phenomenon actually does occur. A RCBS or other suitable gauge can be usd to detect "shortened" cases. P. O. Ackley's book describes a cartridge case that was progressively shortened to the extent that an elongatd firing pin was needed to continue the experiment. Good Shooting..........

Mad_Gorilla
07-18-2010, 11:12 PM
Ten grains of Unique with a case full of cornmeal and the neck filled with hot glue makes a great blank load for a bolt gun. Has some "kick".

I used to use the exact same load except with a tuft of kapok on top of the cornmeal for fire-forming 30-06 cases into .35 Whelen. Got a perfect case every time without any of the neck thickness problems you sometimes get with mechanical forming. There is quite a bit of kick as you note. I would not try that load with any kind of projectile. Moving that mass of cornmeal runs the pressure up pretty quick.