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Thread: 4759 and the .30 RanchDog Bullet

  1. #1
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    Default 4759 and the .30 RanchDog Bullet

    I had been hearing great things for years about 4759 and cast bullets and when it was still available in surp about ten years back I got a couple of 8lb jugs. My Swiss K31 loves it with certain bullets, so as I was finally getting around to testing hunting bullets for my .308 I threw 4759 in with my other usual test powders and I got around to firing the first of them yesterday.

    The .30 RanchDog is a 171gr (cast in wheel weights for expansion) FNGC bullet designed for clean feeding in lever action hunting rifles and optimal terminal performance on deer and hogs within 200yds. I can describe it best as slightly more tapered than the standard Lyman 311041 and less likely to hang up when feeding while it still has a good wide meplat for better energy transfer. It feeds cleanly in the throatless K31, where the 311041 does not, (and neither does the 120gr soupcan, though both of them print sub MOA loaded singly) as well as cleanly feeding in Win94's, Marlin 36's and Savage 99's and any .30cal bolt, pump, or semiauto action. I love this bullet. I got a 6cav .30cal mould when RD was still in business after using the 180gr .35cal version in .357mag and .35Rem Contenders. I have been mostly loading it in .30-30's and 7.5Swiss with fine accuracy and good performance reports.

    First tests in my .308 Rem 788 deer rifle for the bullet matched it with 4759.
    Three charge levels, 1800-2000fps, 8-10" 100yd shotgun patterns from each level, POI 12" low and 8" left from normal with it's favorite jacketed load, but the target board is big enough to see where the "groups" centered. Dismal.

    Next test with 4895 & 3031 will determine if it is the powder or the bullet the rifle doesn't like, or both.

    I am hoping it's just the powder, but some barrels are very picky about the bullets they like best, cast or jacketed. This one is the most accurate .308 bolt I have ever owned and I put peep sights on it and sighted it in with it's favorite load for deer hunting almost forty years ago. I have hunted with it almost every year since, in all kinds of weather. The rifle is sniper accurate and I have never moved the sights since I got them deadnuts right on for my eyes @150 yds. I'd like a cast hunting load for it if I can find one that's up to my accuracy standards, that means finding the bullet the barrel likes best. Ideally I'd like to see at least a 2-3" load at 75yds close to the same POA/POI for jacketed at twice that.

    I have seven more to try if it doesn't like the RD's, but one poor test doesn't eliminate them. Two more powders, four if necessary before I will give up on this one. The rifle is capable of subMOA with the right cast bullet load. Patience should be rewarded eventually. I'm in no hurry. I have cast hunting loads for several rifles all worked up, sighted in, and ready to go, but inevitably I always carry the old 788 when I go out. Maybe next week I will discover the right combination for it.

    The largest and smallest cast rifle groups I have ever shot were with the same rifle and bullet and two different powders on two consecutive days. 95Mauser in 7x57, the Lee 7mmRNGC bullet, surp860 and surp4895. 860 is a super slow .50BMG pull-down powder that some rifles love for low vel cast target loads. The old Mauser didn't like it at all. Five shots at a target in the center of a 4' square backboard gave me a measured 48" 5shot group @100yds. Some of them went through sideways, unstabilized. Too slow. I almost stopped testing 7mm right there, but I had already loaded some with 4895 that I hadn't had time to shoot and I had time the next day. Five charge levels, #1 went into two 3" 5shot groups, #2 they were down to 2", the third load gave me a pair of 5shot groups just a hair over 1/2", #4 around 3", and at #5 they opened way up to 6-8". That rifle taught me important lessons about powders and bullets and how they stabilize, finding a powder/bullet's nodes or nodes of accuracy on a testing ladder, and not giving up when one test is dismal. But I had slugged that bore and made the sizer accordingly, so I knew there was a perfect fit. It was my first test with a 7mm bullet and the first powder sucked. In any event I had to shoot the rest of them up because you never want to pull gas checked bullets, too often the gas check gets left in the case neck. I was pretty happy with the results. Patience pays off.
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

  2. #2
    NRA Distinguished Life Kirbydoc's Avatar
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    Very interesting Versifier, thanks for your post and I apologize again for goading you into that long article a while back!

  3. #3
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm almost caught up on small writing projects for now. These days I get more time to write than to shoot, so it's no bad thing.

    If anyone is interested in playing with some of those .30RD's we will do up some extras next casting day and I can size them however you like. Just to try some on paper or especially anyone who'd consider hunting with them. Mike? Oscar could load them in the .300Blackout, they will feed and they will penetrate and kill pigs and deer. John could try some in his .30-30 Contender Carbine on deer. I am still trying to get a good one recovered from a deer or a pig, all have exited so far but killed cleanly, heart/lung shots, exit wounds .35 to .40", no meat damaged, just a rib or two. I want to know actual expansion numbers in real deer from a recovered bullet as water filled milk jugs only tell you so much. That's worth the time and effort to make the bullets to get some real data. We have moose and turkeys, black bear, snowshoe hare, damned few deer. Picklehead needs to try some as he has enough deer around his parts to thoroughly test them. He got deer with 311041's and with the 120gr soupcans. I think he'll like these too. His deer rifle is a natural cast shooter. I have yet to see about mine.
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

  4. #4
    NRA Distinguished Life Kirbydoc's Avatar
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    Hmm, what would you want for 100 of those Vers?

  5. #5
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    A mailing address and what I should size them at, $6 for postage (small flat rate box). If your rifle gets addicted to them, Q would be happy with enough cash to take my daughter out for pizza.
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check        

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