First step to elimiating trans-sonic effects


Active Member
Borrowed a .30 cal NOE mold from a friend to cast some 196 gr spitzers with an estimated Bc .4218. Cast with 25:1 so will definitely fill my .311 bore. Will work up some 5 round test loads that will keep the bullet supersonic ou to 500 yds. Concern is soft alloy and high velocity will lead the barrel.


Notorious member
Leading would be the least of my concerns.

Mould number?

Throat cast?

Muzzle velocity required?

Why would you choose 25:1 for this?


Active Member
Did not say it was a major concern, just a concern.

Bullet is NOE 311-199-SP-K5

Did it a year ago. Groove diameter is 0.311. Throats on all 1903's are long. Plan to seat bullet to engrave the rifling.

Ballistics calculator shows I should be able to launch at 1800 fps and stay SS out to 500yds. NOE had another bullet that weighs 230gr that would let me lower the MV down to 1700. This is why I'm not overly concerned about leading, but the softer alloy still makes me wonder. Maybe concern was a bit much. It's something I'll be watching for.

25:1 is what I have. Remember, I've only case big bullets for BPCR. Plus, a good friend that also shoot Springfields, including an NRA Sporter with star gauged barrel shoots the same allow with great success using the SAECO 315 bullet. It will also assure that the bullet, which drops out of the mold at about 0.310-0.309 will fill my big 0.311 bore.

"a grey poof,,, well I'd set up the camera so you can catch it and watch it over again."

Huh??? Are you saying that if it is going to lead, there will be a gray poof out the muzzle? Shooting in these temps, I would expect there to always be a gray poof. But honestly never really looked for it. I do have a set up for a web cam mounted to my spotting scope and can video every shot. We use it to watch targets and broadcast on a TV inside the shooting shack so everyone can watch during the .22 winter matches. But nothing says I cannot set it up to video the muzzle. Might just try that. Means a new mount for the webcam.

Will hopefully get to my local range to put test loads over the chrono to find the best from an SD POV. I'll put them on paper at 100 yds, but that really won't tell me much. The best load(s) from an SD perspective will then be tried at 300, 400 and 500 yds to see if I've gained anything with this bullet.


Well-Known Member
I thought you were planning on going whole hog and trying for 25-2600 fps.
I'm betting Ian thought the same thing, hence his comment.
mine is based on a similar effort of wrong,wrong,wrong I made at one point, and the results of that effort.

I see what your doing now,,, carry on.


Notorious member
At 1800 fps he will *just* make it to 500 above the transonic region. The bullet will change BC some when fired so more like 450 in reality, might shoot for 1900 fps. I haven't tried for those numbers with soft binary, should be interesting. I predict scattergun groups past about 1400 fps.


Active Member
Back from the range. Mixed results.

Max load for 2400 witha 200 gr cast bullet in Lyman manual is 24gr for a velocity of 1845 fps. So I loaded 5 rounds each of 21, 22, 23, and 23.8 gr of 2400. Note that the 200 gr bullet is not the same as the NOE I was using. But that bullet is, although an old Lyman design, not listed. It weighed 198gr +/- 1 grain with most within +/- 0.5 gr..

Here are the chrono results.

Charge-Avg Vel-----SD

Yes, I realize that Bc is purely an estimate and will change with both velocity and from any deformation upon firing. But it is the only thing I have to work with so as long as I use the Bc as the basis for any comparisons, I'm at least comparing apples to apples.

The rifle is an original barrel 1903 Springfield made in 1921. Scope is a 10X Lyman STS. Conditions were 39F, bright sun and no wind. Range has high berms on both sides from firing line to target.
Here is the target with all 20 rounds on it. Bullseye is 3 inches in diameter. Distance 100 yds.
1-24-20 NOE 198 SP mult 2400.jpg

Some observations:
-9 of the 20 out outside the black. But 7 of those are in a vertical string within 1 MOA windage.
-The 11 in the Black are within 2 MOA and 2 distinct groups that are 1 MOA or less
- The flyers and the grouping in the black are samples from each of the 4 powder charges. I do recall the low flyer when I saw a higher than normal velocity for that charge on the chrono. At least two others above the Bull were higher than normal in those charges.
- In checking primers for signs of over-pressure, I had several where the primer had backed out a bit past the face of the cartridge base. Never saw that before, ever, with this gun. I know that the bolt had been changed out for a bent bolt to clear the scope. I wondering about headspace. I have the original bolt and swapped it back. It clears the scope so no need for the bent bolt handle bolt anyway.

I had my go-to load of SAECO 315 170gr bullet over 18 gr of 2400 in my ammo box. I was going to use them to warm the barrel and make sure I was on target before shooting the test loads. Turns out my windage was way off. So I shot 10 rounds with the avg speed of 1575fps and SD of 24. Not stellar SD. Original testing yielded an SD of 10. But I shot these at a separate target and the pattern on that target is very similar to the test target, only much smaller.

Here is the target. Note that the group is circled. The shots with the X thru them were me walking the rifle to the center of the target. Cutter X at 11 o'clock was the first of the group. I gave the scope 1 click down and 1 click right and put the next shot at 9 o'clock next to the X. The next three in the group were fired and I did not check where they went until I was done.

What stands out to me, is the pattern of the group shots is very similar to the patter of the testing target shots, just smaller. There is a tight group of 3 shots and 2 flyers in a slightly diagonal vertical string.
1-24-20 SAECO 315 18 gr 2400.jpg

I've seen this before shooting this rifle and experienced it at longer yardages in matches. I'd be drilling a gong and then get a flyer that I cannot explain. Now, it might be the swivel catching on the bag. I've forgotten about this more than once since owning/shooting this rifle. I made a point of not letting that happen today. But I might have let a few slip by. I was screwing with my computer and webcam and it was not cooperating so my mind was a bit over-taxed by that and the damn cold. My other thought is the stock is just touching the barrel under certain conditions. I've checked it with a sheet of paper and it always seems fine. But I've got to take a closer look. The military stock with the front band/lug could be messing with me.
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Active Member
My experience level here is zilch. I'm wondering if with 25:1 alloy and a 1:10 twist, I'm on the threshold of shredding bullets at these speeds. That might explain the nice grouping accompanied by an equal amount of really wild flyers. Just a guess at this point. SD points to pressure variation, but not really enough for those huge flyer spreads, at least not in my limited experience.


Well-Known Member
some of them being high and some of them low is where i'd start trying to track things down.
what conditions caused it, when they happened during the string, those types of things are the clues you need to ferret out.


Notorious member
All on the same target is confusing. Which load grouped the best? I'd go back to that one and work some more with it to get a feel of what it's really doing. Then work back through your loading procedures and try to find inconsistencies like real bad runout on a few of the cartridges. If nothing shows up and you still get regular flyers around a reasonably tight core group, try pushing a dry patch through the barrel after every shot to make sure you don't have lube, metal, or powder fouling doing a purge cycle thing. I think you're going to end up changing to a ternary alloy before it's all over, but a fairly high percentage of the shots you fired wanted to clump up, so it might only be a matter of chasing down the culprit there to get you where you want to be.


Active Member
Yes, I realize that putting all 20 shots on the same target was not very helpful. But my goal was to check velocity and SD in that session and accuracy was secondary. Testing in the winter is not conducive to doing more than the bare minimum. What I did notice is that every load group had flyers.