Any Source of 180gr and Up .307 Diameter Jacketed Bullets?

Ammunition, reloading, shooting, etc
Y2K-WS.6
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Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:59 pm

Any Source of 180gr and Up .307 Diameter Jacketed Bullets?

Post by Y2K-WS.6 »

Hello board new member first post.
As the title states I'm looking for more than carbine weight .307 diameter jacketed bullets. The groove diameter of my recently aquired 1903 vintage Model 1898 rifle is exactly .307" and .308 diameter bullets leave serious fouling in the barrel that takes a lot of work to clean. Lead bullets aren't a practical solution either as they are .309 diameter and foul even worse trading one problem for another.

Based on research I've done and antique ammo I own it seems that around the turn of the last century .307 diameter was the standard for 30 caliber ammo. Early Winchester 30-30 is one of my examples and both surplus and UMC 30-40 ammo I have are all .307 diameter. Also 30-03 and pre WWI 30-06 rounds I have are also .307 diameter. By our entry into WWI .308 diameter apparently became the standard and has remained to this day. I have read .307 diameter reloading bullets were available but disappeared before I started reloading in the mid 80's...of course.
Any input or sources will be appreciated. Thanks, Bill

FredC
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Re: Any Source of 180gr and Up .307 Diameter Jacketed Bullets?

Post by FredC »

I am surprised that .0005 inches per side would make much difference. Also think that .307 would be within acceptable tolerance for a 30 caliber.
I am also curious how you measured the .307 diameter?
I am a machinist by trade and do not have much experience with shooting slight mismatches on bore diameter, so please treat these questions as a conversation starter till others with more experience on this chime in.

Also see that you are a new member. Welcome to the KCA!

Y2K-WS.6
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Re: Any Source of 180gr and Up .307 Diameter Jacketed Bullets?

Post by Y2K-WS.6 »

I slug the barrel on all my rifles Fred. Tap an approximate size greasy lead slug through the barrel with an appropriate rod.
As a machinist you'll appreciate this, mic the high spots which are the grooves and caliper the low spots which come from the lands. The max diameter of the high spots was .307" which was the norm at the time. A .308 diameter bullet passing through a .308 diameter barrel leaves fouling due to heat expansion. Now imagine that scenario on steroids by passing a .308 diameter bullet with the same conditions through a .307 diameter barrel. Adds up to the better part of a day alternately scrubbing and soaking. Takes a lot of the joy out of using my second most accurate milsurp. Love shooting hate cleaning!

FredC
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Re: Any Source of 180gr and Up .307 Diameter Jacketed Bullets?

Post by FredC »

In the process of slugging were there any tight and loose spots? Not even sure what it would mean if there were, just want to know.
307 diameter bullets do sound familiar, maybe some are still out there. A couple of the members are real up on stuff like this.

Normally I do not like the idea of fire lapping, we will keep that in the back pocket till other ideas are exhausted. You ever done conventional lapping with pulling a charged lead slug and cord? It might make the finish better besides enlarging the bore a smidgen. I bought a couple of barrels from a famous barrel maker and they mentioned lapping being the final process before shipping.

Other things to kick around are coated bullets or swaging 308s down to 307?

I would expect Parashooter and others here to have more helpful ideas.

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butlersrangers
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Re: Any Source of 180gr and Up .307 Diameter Jacketed Bullets?

Post by butlersrangers »

'Y2K-WS.6' - Welcome to the KCA Forum. It appears you have a bit of reloading knowledge and experience.
I can offer no source for .307-inch diameter bullets. Actually, I never knew they were once offered!

If you shoot a lot of cast bullets, a .307" Swagging Die would be a good investment.

I am curious about your barrel. Is it an original Springfield Armory Krag barrel or is it something newer, exotic, or by a commercial maker?
What is the bore condition and number of lands & grooves?

Gun cleaning certainly loses its charm! I prize excellent bores because they are so easy to clean.

My Krag rifle and carbine barrel experience has been different than yours. I have routinely found good condition Krag bores, when slugged, to give a minimum measure of .3085 to .3095".
(FWIW - I have found it common for a Krag barrel to vary in bore diameter and show the greatest constriction in about the last four or five inches near the muzzle).

I just measured the diameter of the projectile in some old loaded .30-40 cartridges, that I have. This is of dubious value, because I was just getting the maximum diameter of the exposed part of the bullet:

A Frankford Arsenal and a Kynoch made military round, both from 1898, measured .307" diameter, just in front of the case mouth.

A UMC commercial round projectile measured somewhere between .3085 to .309" diameter.

A Remington-UMC projectile measured .307" diameter.

A Remington-Kleenbore bullet, probably from the 1960's, measured .306" diameter.

With these loaded rounds, it is quite likely that the greatest diameter of the projectiles was contained within the case necks.

I have a stash of Frankford Arsenal .30 cal. M2 projectiles that were made in March 1949. They weigh 152 grains and measure .309" diameter near the bullet base.
These bullets shoot very well in the four Krags that I have tried them in.

I have had no difficulty with the accuracy of .308" diameter bullets in Krags nor have I encountered any difficulty in cleaning the bores of powder residue or jacket material.
My experience suggests that .308" bullets are maybe a 'hair' undersize in many 'very good' to 'excellent' original Krag barrels.
Jacketed Bullets that approach .309" diameter might be optimal in some Krag bores.

A good Krag bore is normally a very easy clean.
Rough Krag bores may still shoot well, but never get clean. My Two Cents.

FredC
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Re: Any Source of 180gr and Up .307 Diameter Jacketed Bullets?

Post by FredC »

I am getting old and could not remember the name of the barrel maker yesterday. It was Pacnor. I did make a call when the barrel was due to ship and talked to a fellow in final processing and inspection. He did mention that he was lapping my barrel at the time. So it is a process that is still done today. I have never done it myself and do not know what skill level is involved and the answer to the question "what can go wrong?".
In the shop i really do not like sanding parts to final finish. There is uncertainty on the final size you get plus the cleanup of the abrasive particles that can keep on doing damage if not cleaned carefully.
Conventional lapping or fire lapping will remove small amounts of metal from both the lands and grooves, which can be a good or bad thing. If you have some pitting that is hard to detect it might be the answer. Another thing to consider is consider cupranickel fouling. Original Krag bullets were all cuprunickel alloy. Spell check does not like either spelling. This jacket alloy caused severe problems at 06 velocities and the problems did not go away till the modern gilding metal alloys were developed. Cuprunickel fouling was exceedingly hard to clean. If you got an odd barrel that someone experimented with high velocity original cut down Krag bullets it could be part of your problem. Grasping at straws here because the problem you are having is not normal even with somewhat rough bores.

Doubly Reincarnated
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Re: Any Source of 180gr and Up .307 Diameter Jacketed Bullets?

Post by Doubly Reincarnated »

.307 bullets were standard for the .30-30 and maybe the .30 Remington before WW2. Phil Sharpe's "Complete Guide to Handloading" (1937) discussed them. It's in the public domain and you can find a digital copy on line.

If you have a very sturdy press and bench, it is possible to resize .308 flat-based jacketed bullets to .307 and still have an accurate bullet. The metal displaced must go someplace. A flat-based bullet will be slightly longer after sizing. Such dies are or can be made, although you may have to pay a bit for one.

There are a few custom bullet mould makers who are capable of making a mould that casts a heavy flat-based or gas check .307 bullet. Lyman once produced bullet moulds listed with a U-prefix, indicating that they were made undersized.

Y2K-WS.6
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Re: Any Source of 180gr and Up .307 Diameter Jacketed Bullets?

Post by Y2K-WS.6 »

FredC wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 3:02 am In the process of slugging were there any tight and loose spots? Not even sure what it would mean if there were, just want to know.
307 diameter bullets do sound familiar, maybe some are still out there. A couple of the members are real up on stuff like this.

Normally I do not like the idea of fire lapping, we will keep that in the back pocket till other ideas are exhausted. You ever done conventional lapping with pulling a charged lead slug and cord? It might make the finish better besides enlarging the bore a smidgen. I bought a couple of barrels from a famous barrel maker and they mentioned lapping being the final process before shipping.

Other things to kick around are coated bullets or swaging 308s down to 307?

I would expect Parashooter and others here to have more helpful ideas.
No there weren't any loose or tight areas in fact if there were I definitely wouldn't shoot it that would be an indication that it had a barrel blockage and was fired which equals a barrel bulge. No I wouldn't lap a barrel this old on a rifle in such beautiful condition. I have a vast milsurp collection and at least 4 of them are MOA shooters they don't all have to be however this one is excellent as well. I may consider swaging but that's more stuff to buy and I'm not there right now.
I have fire lapped but only brand new barrels never hand lapped.

I brought it to the range today with a couple others and had lots of fun and it did excellent with the 180gr loads that were my standard however it did really really well with some 165gr loads I threw together just to see, wish I did more of them.

Y2K-WS.6
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:59 pm

Re: Any Source of 180gr and Up .307 Diameter Jacketed Bullets?

Post by Y2K-WS.6 »

butlersrangers wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 3:05 am 'Y2K-WS.6' - Welcome to the KCA Forum. It appears you have a bit of reloading knowledge and experience.
I can offer no source for .307-inch diameter bullets. Actually, I never knew they were once offered!

If you shoot a lot of cast bullets, a .307" Swagging Die would be a good investment.

I am curious about your barrel. Is it an original Springfield Armory Krag barrel or is it something newer, exotic, or by a commercial maker?
What is the bore condition and number of lands & grooves?

Gun cleaning certainly loses its charm! I prize excellent bores because they are so easy to clean.

My Krag rifle and carbine barrel experience has been different than yours. I have routinely found good condition Krag bores, when slugged, to give a minimum measure of .3085 to .3095".
(FWIW - I have found it common for a Krag barrel to vary in bore diameter and show the greatest constriction in about the last four or five inches near the muzzle).

I just measured the diameter of the projectile in some old loaded .30-40 cartridges, that I have. This is of dubious value, because I was just getting the maximum diameter of the exposed part of the bullet:

A Frankford Arsenal and a Kynoch made military round, both from 1898, measured .307" diameter, just in front of the case mouth.

A UMC commercial round projectile measured somewhere between .3085 to .309" diameter.

A Remington-UMC projectile measured .307" diameter.

A Remington-Kleenbore bullet, probably from the 1960's, measured .306" diameter.

With these loaded rounds, it is quite likely that the greatest diameter of the projectiles was contained within the case necks.

I have a stash of Frankford Arsenal .30 cal. M2 projectiles that were made in March 1949. They weigh 152 grains and measure .309" diameter near the bullet base.
These bullets shoot very well in the four Krags that I have tried them in.

I have had no difficulty with the accuracy of .308" diameter bullets in Krags nor have I encountered any difficulty in cleaning the bores of powder residue or jacket material.
My experience suggests that .308" bullets are maybe a 'hair' undersize in many 'very good' to 'excellent' original Krag barrels.
Jacketed Bullets that approach .309" diameter might be optimal in some Krag bores.

A good Krag bore is normally a very easy clean.
Rough Krag bores may still shoot well, but never get clean. My Two Cents.
I'll try to do this in order!

Original Springfield barrel with Mauserish type rifling 4 narrow lands 4 wide grooves.

From what I have gleaned it seems the older models 92 & 96 have wider bores than the 1898's and the 20th century made 98's are the tightest of all. I have read of some 96's that get as wide as .309 to .310 mine is nothing like that.

Several of my early rounds Frankford '01 to '07, Rock Island '00 to '11 and undated UMC's all with cracked necks that easily give up their heads all mic at .307 exactly case neck rim to base.

The accuracy of this rifle is fine even when heavily fouled however the barrel gets very hot very quickly once heavily fouled.

I'm considering trying match bullets as they are slightly undersized compared to standard hunting bullets. If they don't work well then I'll have to spring for a swaging die.

The barrel when loaded with the cupro-nickel fouling was a bear too clean and took the better part of 6 days to do between soaking swabbing and scrubbing. I haven't cleaned it since and it's nice and fouled now from today's shooting session. We'll see how that goes.

Y2K-WS.6
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2022 1:59 pm

Re: Any Source of 180gr and Up .307 Diameter Jacketed Bullets?

Post by Y2K-WS.6 »

Doubly Reincarnated wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 4:09 pm .307 bullets were standard for the .30-30 and maybe the .30 Remington before WW2. Phil Sharpe's "Complete Guide to Handloading" (1937) discussed them. It's in the public domain and you can find a digital copy on line.

If you have a very sturdy press and bench, it is possible to resize .308 flat-based jacketed bullets to .307 and still have an accurate bullet. The metal displaced must go someplace. A flat-based bullet will be slightly longer after sizing. Such dies are or can be made, although you may have to pay a bit for one.

There are a few custom bullet mould makers who are capable of making a mould that casts a heavy flat-based or gas check .307 bullet. Lyman once produced bullet moulds listed with a U-prefix, indicating that they were made undersized.
Swagging will be my next step if I don't get decent results with match bullets.
I prefer not to move into lead bullets and all the extra work that goes with them. I already load lead bullets for my trapdoor and that's the only one in my collection I really want to do that for it's not something I enjoy.

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