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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about to start loading cast bullets for the 30-30, and have never loaded cast bullets into bottleneck cases before. Done plenty of jacketed bullets, just no cast bullets to date.

The completed rounds will be fired from a Marlin lever action, likely at about 2000 fps.

My bullets are larger in diameter than the opening in the sized case neck, and I understand the the M-Die is made by Lyman for expanding the case neck for cast bullet insertion. Are there other methods of expanding or slightly belling the case neck, or is the M-Die the only way to go?

I haven't run the deburring tool in the case necks yet, but I believe that this will not make enough room to seat the bullets without shaving them.

Thanks for your input...

The Blade
 

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if you have anything in a larger cal. 38/357 you can use the expander die
from that set to bell the case mouth just remember set up is critical you
just want to start the 30/30 case mouth on to the ball.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Greyghost,

That's a great idea. I had been considering using my .32 H&R mag die set to expand the case mouths on the 30-30.

Thanks - The Blade
 

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seating

If you need to load cast bullets now and don't have an expander die, you can use a spitzer bullet of a slightly larger caliber to flair the case mouth. In the case of 30 caliber, use a .338" bullet. Put the nose of the .338" bullet into the case mouth and give the base of the bullet a few light taps with a hammer.
If the cast bullet works good and I'm going to use it a lot, I make a seating punch that is a prefect fit. I take a standard seating punch and use my lathe to open it up untill the edge of the mouth of the punch contacts the bullet on the ojive. The cast bullet is carefully seated into the the case by hand. I hone out the neck with sandpaper so I can seat the bullet by hand with out damaging it. You don't want it too loose, you need some tension on it. Then coat the nose of the bullet with a light coat of car wax, or the release agent that comes with Brownells Acraglas. Then I fill the cavity in the seating punch with epoxy. I like J+B Weld. Put the punch in the die and wind it up as far as you can. Put the die in the press. Place the case with the bullet in the ram and run it carefully up into the die. Then screw the seating punch down untill it contacts the bullet. Leave it set overnight. Then pull the case out, the bullet usually will stay in the punch. Screw the punch out of the die. Pull the bullet free of the punch. File off the excess epoxy. You will now have a perfectly fit seater punch. You can now seat the bullets with little or no distortion. 8)
 

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Lyman M dies

My Lyman M dies work very well for me.
 

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lead bullets

There are other 30 caliber rifles with slightly bigger bores, particularly European, and for them you can find neck expander dies in diameters like .310 or .315. You might want to get a .310 with a belling flare on it to keep from shaving lead. I used the expander from the Russian 7.62 which is for a .310 bullet for my lead loads in 30-30.
 

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Blade and Flint

Blade: There was an article recently in one of the major gun mags about reloading cast bullets in the 30-30. I think it was Shooting Times or Guns and Ammo and I can't recall who wrote it but it was a good one. I'll try and find it for you.

Flint: The correct bore diameter on the Russian 7.62x54R is .308. The expander ball for that cartridge should be .308 diameter, not .310. Some of the bores on those older rifles may be worn enough to accurately shoot a .310-.311 bullet but the chambering is the problem.

Mikey.
 

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Re: Blade and Flint

Mikey said:
Flint: The correct bore diameter on the Russian 7.62x54R is .308. The expander ball for that cartridge should be .308 diameter, not .310. Some of the bores on those older rifles may be worn enough to accurately shoot a .310-.311 bullet but the chambering is the problem.
Mikey.
It depends on where the rifle was manufactured. If it is Russian of origin, or any of the old "satellite" countries, the bore will be between .309 and .311. If it is one that was made here in the States by Westinghouse, it will be .308.
 

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The "M" die is absolutely marvelous. Loading with it is a breeze. But, if you chamfer heavy, and don't mind shaving lead, you can get away without it for a while. I presume you are using hard lead, so be prepared for some crumpled cases if you try it.
 
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