Reloads using Salvaged Loverin Style Cast Bullets
by Colin Riley - June 30, 2012
Some months ago, I was at a swap meet at a local gun club. At one of the tables, there was a fellow selling off the remains of an estate. Looking through the boxes of bullets and other reloading components on the table, my foot bumped into a cardboard box sitting under the table. Pulling out the box, it was filled with at least a hundred loose 30-06 cartridges and some empty cases.
It was obviously reloaded ammunition, some of the cartridges were loaded with cast bullets, some with jacketed bullets. As loaded ammunition, it did not interest me at all as I never, ever fire other peoples reloads. However, I do sometimes salvage projectiles from loaded ammo either to melt the lead down for casting or to use the bullets to reload my own ammunition.
Inventorying the contents, I was trying decide whether or not it would be worthwhile to make an offer. The owner of the table observing my interest in the carton, offered them to me for free. Well the price was right and I was only too happy to take them.
At home, I used a kinetic bullet puller to disassemble the rounds, discarding the powder and saving the bullets and primed cases.
The cast bullets in the lot were of the Loverin style. Weighing 177 grains, they were very likely cast with a Lyman No. 311467 mold. The bullets were sized to about 0.310", had gas checks and were lubricated.
I had read about Loverin bullets before, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to try them out. Most conventional cast bullet designs will have one or more driving bands which are engraved by the rifling on the lower half of the bullet while the nose of the bullet will measure approximately bore diameter. The bullet nose is supposed to ride on the lands of the barrel but is not necessarily engraved upon firing. The space between the driving bands will hold the bullet lubricant and are generally seated completely within the neck of the case. This design generally works well, however if the bore riding portion of the bullet is undersized, then accuracy problems will likely result.
The Loverin design cast bullet on the other hand has comparatively thinner driving bands along most of its length to help center the nose of the bullet in the bore.
I sized the pulled bullets to 0.309 inches and loaded 20 rounds of 30-06 ammunition. I used 21.0 grains of SR 4759 and CCI 200 primers in Remington cases. The bullets were seated so that the lubed grooves just within the case neck for a cartridge overall length of 3.19 inches. This put the gascheck just below the bottom of the case neck.
I fired two 5 round groups from a Remington Model 700 to 50 yards with iron sights. The initial group had some vertical stringing but that was mostly me trying to find my sight picture. The second group measured about an inch. Then I chrongraphed 10 rounds generating an average muzzle velocity of 1735 feet per second, the standard deviation was only 12.2 feet per second. The lowest standard deviation of any of my cast bullet 30-06 loads have achieved.
Lyman Gun Sight Corp "Ideal Hand Book No. 38" Jan. 1951 p. 69