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Thread: Loading for auto's and lever guns

  1. #1

    Default Loading for auto's and lever guns

    I have loaded several thousand rounds for bolt guns and single shot rifles. Several rounds for revolvers in 44 and 41, and 357 but have never loaded for a lever gun or a auto. I have a 30-30 lever gun and a semi auto 30-06 that I have dies for but have never loaded for these guns. What do you do different when you load for guns other than a bolt gun or a single shot? The dies I have are just standard RCBS dies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cast Iron View Post
    I have loaded several thousand rounds for bolt guns and single shot rifles. Several rounds for revolvers in 44 and 41, and 357 but have never loaded for a lever gun or a auto. I have a 30-30 lever gun and a semi auto 30-06 that I have dies for but have never loaded for these guns. What do you do different when you load for guns other than a bolt gun or a single shot? The dies I have are just standard RCBS dies.
    Most literature will tell you to full length resize all cases for an auto, RCBS makes some special dies labeled "small base" which are suppose to be even better for auto rifles, thats what I use for my AR and i've yet to have any feed problems in probably 300 rounds. Can't help you with the lever.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    I load all my lever guns like any other rifle. The only exception I can think of would be if you are using Hornady FTX bullets. They are longer than RN bullets so they hang up in the magazine when you try to cycle them through the action. You have to cut the cases a little bit shorter than normal, or buy Hornady Leverevolution brass.
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  4. #4

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    Occasionally you can find levers or autos in "rifle" calibers with chambers that are a little oversize or something. In any case, using a conventional sizing die won't size them enough to rechamber. Savage 99's were once famous for this, but I've seen other models. I have a 250 now that is this way, and I had a 308 the same way years ago.

    RCBS has the answer in their special order SB or "small base" dies, at an extra (very much extra!) cost, of course. My suggestion is to shoot and reload with regular dies and if at some point you start experiencing chambering difficulties, look into SB dies. I can size my 250 cases 4 times using the regular die before they've finally expanded enough to need a pass through the SB die. That old 308 required the SB die every single time.

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    Member Armymark's Avatar
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    One thing to remember is, if your loading for a rifle that has a tube magazine, don't use a sharp pointed bullet. Use a round nose or flat point bullet. As mentioned, full length sizing is best and crimp them. The FTX bullet is the only cartridge that you need to trim differently and I think that is for the straight walled cases only.

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    is the autoloader 30-06 the Remington woodsmaster? I have reloaded for a couple of those. They did fine with full length resizing. They would jam up if the there was too much or too little powder. I guess I could fix that with a spring upgrade, but they work fine without too much tinkering. The biggest problem was probably with the aftermarket magazines. I actually quit reloading for my old 30-06 742. It shoots factory corlocs best, and they are almost as cheap as I can make them.

  7. #7

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    I just got back to this thread today. Yes, the autoloader is the 742 woodsmaster. I have been buying factory ammo for both of these guns as I do not shoot them much. I have the brass and dies and was thinking of loading a few rounds for them in case it got hard to find them later. The other gun is the Marlin 336 in 30-30. Both guns shoot very well, don't know why I don't use them more.

  8. #8

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    In my experience with several of each of those models, I never needed SB dies.

    One thing to watch with the 30-30- Case stretch will become an issue after a few loading in terms of "hitting" the crimping grooves in the bullets. Count on having to trim the cases to length every 2 or 3 loadings. I was able to minimize it by minimally sizing cases (just enough so they'd feed freely into the chamber, but not all the way back down to factory specs). Kind of have to fiddle with the sizing die, but do-able with only a little fiddling and worth the effort. My Woodmasters have been real fond of IMR-4064 powder, but that might or might not hold true for yours. But I'd sure put it on the list to try.

  9. #9

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    I have some IMR-4064 on hand. What bullet are you loading? Thanks also.

  10. #10

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    It was two guns over the years, and I don't either now. But at that time I moved back and forth between 165's and 180's, both Speer and Nosler Partitions. Neither gun seemed to care which bullet was which, liking them all.

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