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Discussion Starter #1
Shot some NOE 279-124-FP (128.5 grains when checked and lubed) today from my T/C 23” Carbine. I got them from a regular poster on this site—they were very good quality boolits. I don’t mention people who send me reloading supplies as sometimes they don’t want mentioned for various reasons. But, if that person wants to “chirp-in” and reveal their identity, he certainly is more than welcome. I sized and checked them to 0.278” in a push-through Lee die and then lubed them with White Label Lube using my LAM 2…

I started out with fast burners—Trail Boss and TiteGroup. Also tried was IMR-4895 at a greatly reduce charge. There is no published data for any of these powders so the charges were determined by the 60% rule for the 4895, and the 70% rule for the Trail Boss. TiteGroup and other fast burners are just a matter of charges between 4-7 grains depending on case size. I have had good luck with it in the 30-30, and the 7-30 Waters and cast boolit. Again, none of these powders are actually in published data for the 6.8mm. So you are on your own with any of these powders…

Groups were shot at 50 yards and ranged in size from 1.37” and 1.95” for the 4895 and Trail Boss. Neither of those 2 powders will be tried again. The TiteGroup powder gave a group with all 3 slugs touching. The problem with these loads is they are all 5” to 6” below point of aim with the TiteGroup closer to 7” low. This is the problem shooting cast in a rifle that is sighted-in for bullets for much greater velocity. Extreme ‘scope adjustments are required—something I have never cared to do...

No Chrony was used today as I was trying to get a “feel” for that boolit, but I suspect they were running over 1000 fps, but less than 1200 fps…

Those were tried yesterday.
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Today I tried XMR-5744 (.85”), 4198 (1.0”), and WC-860 (.65”)…

The group size is shown after the powder used. Groups were shot at 50 yards again. The P.O.I. was getting closer to aim point as the boolit was going faster with the 5744 and 4198. Impact with the WC-860 was about 7” low—that could be predicted as that powder is slower burning than wet newspaper! But as I have mentioned, I have real good luck with it in the 30-30 and 7-30 Waters…

I guess to try to get them closer to the same P.O.I. as the jacketed bullets, greater velocity will be needed. Seems that 322, 10x, 8208, and a couple of others might be needed—although I don’t know that these are “powders of choice” for cast boolits…

Anyone else using those powders and cast boolits—especially the NOE 279-124-FP.

One other thing is that I am using the Hornady dies. After the case is belled to allow the checked boolit to enter, the bell hangs up on the alignment sleeve in the seating die and requires a bit of force to get the case mouth to enter the sleeve. Although Hornady might be great dies, I certainly would have gotten an RCBS if one would have been available. Another quark with the seating die is the fact that when seating a 90 grain to much over recommended maximum case length and trying to put just a “touch” of crimp on the mouth, the seating stem is moved out of the alignment sleeve and needs tapped to drop back down—but that is not the point of this post!!!...

Good-luck…BCB
 

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Outstanding, BCB. Now, please tell us where'd you get that .278" die? Lee's site says, "coming soon". We know what that can mean. I want to go into production on that 124g too.
Thanks for your info and I've got an idea on that NOE info giver. He's been helpful to me, too, I think. Just sayin'.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Outstanding, BCB. Now, please tell us where'd you get that .278" die? Lee's site says, "coming soon". We know what that can mean. I want to go into production on that 124g too.
Thanks for your info and I've got an idea on that NOE info giver. He's been helpful to me, too, I think. Just sayin'.
My Lee .278” push through die came directly from Lee in 2004—I still have the invoice! It was just one that no one stocked, not even the big mail order companies. That may have been one of the last years Lee offered that die. The .277 caliber has never been a real “in demand” cast boolit caliber. Or at least that is the way I found it to be about 15 years ago when I was reloading for several 270 Winchester rifles I have. I now have a Model 700 Remington (I won it at a raffle) that is dedicated to cast only. A real good shooter. But, the Lyman 280642 (150+ grains) that I shoot from it are too heavy (my opinion) for the 6.8mm. Mine is a 1:10 and it has trouble shooting them well at all…

Whoops sizing dies!!! I run the longer .278” boolits through the Lee first to set the check and to size it. I then size and apply lube using my LAM2 sizer. Extra steps, but I have found that sometimes sizing longer boolits by pushing them from the nose rather than the bottom of the boolit can “bend” them a bit. I learned this with the Lyman 311041…

Regardless, good-luck getting the sizer. I am sure Lee will get it on the market if they say they are going to. I really can’t picture a big run on them as the .277 caliber is still not a most popular cast boolit shooter. I doubt the 6.8mm will do much to make it a cast boolit caliber either…

Good-luck…BCB
 

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I pick up my Lee style 278 from a gentleman on Castboolits.gunloads.com that goes by Buckshot . I received it about 2 years ago . It is very good quality and worth every penny. His punch fits tightly probably about 2765 ,I didn't ever have to measure ,it leaves no edge marks on the check .

I have some of the same NOE bullets loaded over some 10x at start loads and up in .5 increments. I keep looking at them on the bench and thinking it only takes 30 min down and back to shoot those ....
:) I had good luck with the 140s and 10x but not sufficient function or velocity.
 

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I was able to shoot the 1st 3 steps today of 10x .

The groups are still closing with 20,21 and 22 gr of 10x under the 279-124 @129 gr . There aren't any amazing groups to brag on but the bbl is clean and the Blackthorne 6.8 SPCII did lock back when empty and drop the cases into a 5 gallon bucket size space at 2:00 . It appears that the seating needs to be a little deeper as the bullets are being fully engaged by the rifling on the nose making ejection of a live round a 50/50 chance of powdering the action.
Load more ,shoot more ,cast more ......

An interesting note the 22 gr load fully penetrated 1 inch of plywood and a 1/4 inch HRS steel plate . I didn't expect that with such a soft alloy .
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was able to shoot the 1st 3 steps today of 10x .

The groups are still closing with 20,21 and 22 gr of 10x under the 279-124 @129 gr . There aren't any amazing groups to brag on but the bbl is clean and the Blackthorne 6.8 SPCII did lock back when empty and drop the cases into a 5 gallon bucket size space at 2:00 . It appears that the seating needs to be a little deeper as the bullets are being fully engaged by the rifling on the nose making ejection of a live round a 50/50 chance of powdering the action.
Load more ,shoot more ,cast more ......

An interesting note the 22 gr load fully penetrated 1 inch of plywood and a 1/4 inch HRS steel plate . I didn't expect that with such a soft alloy .
When you say "no groups to brag on" what do you mean?...

At what distances are you testing those loads?...

I was thinking of trying some 10x or some of the other powders that are "the" powders for the 6.8mm--But cast boolits is a different ball game...

Thanks...BCB
 

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I'm still hunting down that elusive .278" sizer...SOL so far. My plan is to get a whole pod o' hogs to stand in line at my favorite blind's feeder, Cornholius, at which point I will verify hard cast lead's supersonic penetration qualities. Then perhaps I'll try sub. Maybe both, shoot, if the piggies cooperate. Fat chance on that one.
 

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I had the 21s at 4" and the 22s at 3" . Shot from a 1 knee field position 70yd . I didn't have time to put up the bags and Chrony . I'll brag when I can bag it and get it down to 1.5 .

I was setting up for a BP shoot that seems to be washing out .....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My goal is 1.25” at 100 yards—that makes it “beer can” accuracy at 150 yards. So far, 5744 and WC-860 are accomplishing this at closer ranges. But WC-860 velocity is SLOW and much too low at 50 yards to really consider it—too damn much ‘scope adjustment…

I am going to try the “standard” powders for the 6.8mm, but I am a fan of the powders that fall in the burning range near SR-4759 and 5744 OR the super slow burners where you fill the cast to the bottom of the neck, seat the boolit, and drop the hammer. With the WC-860, I simply dip the case into the powder, tap it to get the level to the base of the neck and seat the boolit. Yep, that is the procedure! A 5”x11” steel target is dead at 200 yards using this “Neanderthal” method when shooting the 30-30 and the 7-30 in the Contender—Super 14”…

That is not to say that the other powders won’t work O.K. But, I am able to seat the 279-124-FP to touch the rifling in the single shot Carbine. This may be an advantage over the magazine firearms…

So far, I am interested in the boolit, but time and groups will tell the tale…

Good-luck…BCB
 

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Discussion Starter #11
http://leeprecision.com/.278-lube-size-kit.html

Lee's got them in and one's incoming. I can at least size and gas check some boolits. Gonna do the B.tooth to start:


http://beartoothbullets.com/bulletselect/index.htm
Don't know what molds they use, but their alloy's pretty hard. Gonna check some 120s and see.
Lee size kits come with a container of liquid Alox...

You can use it to lube your boolits...

It actually works very well, but is messy to apply...

Still that will get you shooting...

Good-luck...BCB
 

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Use the blue stuff, like Beartooth uses, melted down and roll 'em first then dry, then size. I have not figured out a use for the bottles of ALOX from Lee I've got stacked in the reloading room. Bearing grease, or would the stuff dry up and seize? Maybe a waterproofer for my wood deck?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Use the blue stuff, like Beartooth uses, melted down and roll 'em first then dry, then size. I have not figured out a use for the bottles of ALOX from Lee I've got stacked in the reloading room. Bearing grease, or would the stuff dry up and seize? Maybe a waterproofer for my wood deck?
Reckon so...

But, before I got the LAM2 sizer, I used lots of Alox...

Messy, but a very good lube...

I still use it with the Lyman 280642 cast for the 270 Winchester. It seems to out perform the Red Lube used in the LAM2. Not so much for lube purposes, but I think the accuracy is better--strange days indeed...

Good-luck...BCB
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I had the 21s at 4" and the 22s at 3" . Shot from a 1 knee field position 70yd . I didn't have time to put up the bags and Chrony . I'll brag when I can bag it and get it down to 1.5 .

I was setting up for a BP shoot that seems to be washing out .....

Did a bit of testing today using 10x…Loads were using 20.0, 20.5, and 21.0 grains…

Velocities ranged from 1860 fps to 1998 fps. These velocities, especially that of the 21 grain load were literally within a few fps of what QuickLoad predicted…

Groups for this powder were in the 0.50” range. The 21 grain load produced a 0.45” three-shot group. These were fired at 50 yards...

Impact for the 21 grain load was ~2” low at 50 yards. QuickLoad Target predicts it will be right at -5” at 100 yards so I am going test it to see if accuracy continues to maintain at or less than M.O.A. If so, that will be my accepted load—at least for now…

An interesting note concerning XMP-5744 powder. The load I started with showed real good potential. I upped the charge .5 grain to test again. QuickLoad said that an additional grain, from my starting load, would begin to show pressure problems. I found this to be true with just the .5 grain increase and not going another full grain. I was seeing a blue-gray smoke about 10 feet in front of the muzzle. Might not mean a thing, but I have seen this before with cast boolits heading toward the pressure zone where it might be getting iffy. Especially for cast boolits. I don’t know if the smoke is lead mist or lube burning or what, but for me, that is a signal. XMP-5477, won’t be used in my 6.8mm, at least with the NOE 279-124-FP…

These velocities are from a 23” Contender barrel. And the O.C.L. is much greater than will work in a magazine…

These recipes are not listed in any manual that I have seen. SO anyone trying them is on your own if you try these powders without published proven data…

Semi’s may be a different ball game than single shots or bolt guns…

Good-luck…BCB
 

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Hey thanks, BCB. I look forward to doing a full-tilt boogie with AA2200 with this 120g Bear Tooth after I gas check it. I may stop short of a max load, but I will find a new max load for sure I can tell you. At only .868" in length, they're short enough that they should be able to take a fairly beefy charge. I'll start at a start load for a similar length 120g. As with my pistol cast boolit adventures where I have driven them past 1300fps in 10mm, I bet I find these rifle boolits probably have significantly less resistance than jacketed bullets of similar mass. But light is always best at first. It's new to me.
And yes, of course the Astros will win the Pennant and the World Series. Absolutely.
 

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I have the same mold, bullets drop right about 126gr. I am powder coating, so far 1 1/2" 50yd groups but that was prelim to see if it was worth the effiort. Now to push them out to 100.
I am using the FB version, no gc, running right @ 2000fps using LT32 & IMR4198. Just looking for a viable cheap 200yd plinking bullet. I had a machinist buddy open a Lee 0.243 die to 0.279" for sizing. Buckshot on the Castboolit forum can make one for you too.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've tried to post pics using the "Manage Attachments", but when I click on that, I get a black screen that doesn't allow me to post a pic, or anything for that matter...

What might the problem be?...

Thanks...BCB
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)


This is the groundhog-size pendulum I shoot at my range. It is life size…

Note the 7 blue dots. I touched the center of the impact points with a magic marker. I apply a coat of fresh spray paint before shooting each time and it leaves silver spots at impact points…

I shot this with the NOE 279-124-FP at 150 yards using 21 grains of 10x. The group is about 2.5” in diameter and about 8” low of aim point…

This load shot groups at 50 yards of ±0.5”, but opened up to nearly 2” at 100 yards. Although not many groups were shot at that range. I also noted that some of the holes in the targets appeared to be a bit oval shaped indicating some stability in flight?...

With some fine-tuning, I think this boolit could be an M.O.A. shooter at 150 yards. At least from my T/C 23” Contender Carbine…

If that image won't open to a larger size, I can try to post one that will...

Good-luck…BCB
 

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Pictures 0310141545a.jpg
I'll try....Yeah here's a bad memory from back in the day. Generous Glock chamber, bad brass. You figured pictures out, BCB, I guess. "manage attach." then "from computer" then "select" and then do your selecting. That's what worked here. I think...Can't magnify yours. Mine's fuzzy.
 

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I have the same mold, bullets drop right about 126gr. I am powder coating, so far 1 1/2" 50yd groups but that was prelim to see if it was worth the effiort. Now to push them out to 100.
I am using the FB version, no gc, running right @ 2000fps using LT32 & IMR4198. Just looking for a viable cheap 200yd plinking bullet. I had a machinist buddy open a Lee 0.243 die to 0.279" for sizing. Buckshot on the Castboolit forum can make one for you too.
Keep us updated on your results. I am looking at going the pc route once I have all my supplies. Just lacking a bottom pour pot and moulds now.
 
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