Author Topic: Use same bullets for multiple ammo types?  (Read 4280 times)

Offline aakelley

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Use same bullets for multiple ammo types?
« on: April 23, 2009, 09:11:45 PM »
On one of podcasts recently Jack mentioned something about being able to use the same bullets and powder in 30-06 and .308 (and I think maybe 30-30?).  What other cartridges share the bullet and power...same primer is even better?  Just trying to think about what I want to add to my safe next and the idea of commonality of parts at the reloading bench is intriguing.

Offline Jack Crabb

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Re: Use same bullets for multiple ammo types?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2009, 02:17:29 PM »
On one of podcasts recently Jack mentioned something about being able to use the same bullets and powder in 30-06 and .308 (and I think maybe 30-30?).  What other cartridges share the bullet and power...same primer is even better?  Just trying to think about what I want to add to my safe next and the idea of commonality of parts at the reloading bench is intriguing.

There are only 5 sizes of primers (not counting blackpowder/percussion caps).  Large and small pistol, large and small rifle, shotgun.  I guess you could add to the mix magnum and match variations for some of those sizes.  To cover just about everything, maybe a dozen varieties.

Most rifle cartridges take large rifle primers.  Pistol cartridges seems fairly evenly split, probably favoring small pistol primers.  If it were me, I would buy rifle primers favoring large to small by a 2:1 ratio, and buy pistol primers favoring small to large in a 2:1 ratio.  Mix in match, magnum, and shotgun as needed for particular circumstances.

One powder can work for related groups of cartridges.  It may not be optimal for any individual cartridge, but you could satisfactorily use one powder for .38, 9mm, .357, .40, .44 spec., and .45ACP.  Likewise, .243, .25-05, 7mm-08, .30-06, .308 will work together with one powder.  Check your manuals for which ones.

Bullets can be more challenging.  The .38 special, 9mm, and .357 are all basically .35 caliber.  But, there are some dimensional and profile differences between bullets for the 9mm pistol and the .38/.357 revolver that make them incompatible with each other.  You can shoot the same bullets in .38's and .357's;  same for .44 spec and .44 magnum; same for .40 S&W and 10mm.

Trying to use common bullets for a variety of rifle cartridges can be a challenge.  The 30-30 is usually fired from rifles with tubular magazines.  The bullets intended for this cartridge are typically flat nose or hollow points, i.e., something without a point to detonate the round ahead of it.  But, flat nosed bullets are ballistically less efficient than spitzer point bullets that you would fire from a bolt action .308 or .30-06.  So, you could use the same 150 grain flat nose in 30-30, .308, and .30-06, but you are giving up some performance in the last two.

Likewise, you could fire a 220 grain round nose intended for a .300 Weatherby magnum but the terminal ballistics may be unsatisfactory when fired from a 30-30 because you can't get the velocity the bullet needs to perform on the target.

In summary, commonality of powders is pretty easy.  In a terribly unfair world, one could probably get by with maybe 3 different powders for everything.  Commonality of primers is not difficult.  But, for bullets, you probably want to stock particular bullets for particular cartridges.

Offline product85

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Re: Use same bullets for multiple ammo types?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2009, 05:09:56 PM »
i can speak on pistol bullet versatility fairly well... for instance the 9mm 38 and 357 you can use the same bullet for all 3 but they should meet  certain specs before i would try it.. first off diameter... i would and do use the largest of compatible diameters.. jacketed - .357 and cast you can go up to .358. Second the weight needs to be considered 9mm won't have any easily found loads for anything heavier than 147 or 148gr. I use 148gr jacketed semi wadcutters in .357diameter in my 9mms 38's and 357 but this is only possible due to the shape of the bullet when loaded in reverse. To use plain RN ammo or a typical hollow point should do the trick and i would say that the best possible weight for universal use would be a 125gr .357diameter projectile.

in summary things to factor in:
1) diameter
2) weight
3) style or shape of projectile.

Offline Goju

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Re: Use same bullets for multiple ammo types?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2009, 08:47:42 PM »
I have 3 different rifle calibers that have some component commonality between them. (6.5 Grendel, 6.5 x 55, and .308). I can use the same bullets between the Grendel and the Sweede, Primers are common between the Sweede and the .308, and Powder is common between the Grendel and the .308. With the reduced inventory required, I still have the option of shooting semi-auto or bolt gun.

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Use same bullets for multiple ammo types?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2009, 03:01:30 PM »
I am trying to get some cast bullet compatibility between my 30-30, 30-06, and 7.62 x 54R right now.

I have yet to slug my 7.62, but I fear it is probably .311, making it a hair larger than my 170 gr .309 cast bullet.

My 30-06 should be happy with .309 slugs, but I wont know that for a bit.

All 3 rounds use large rifle primers.
All 3 rounds will work with Varget powder.

Athough, they are not ideal diameters for all the guns, they are still very useable in the meat getting world. Once I get the loads
worked up, the 30-30 and 30-06 should be pretty much dead on, while the 7.62 may have a larger group than liked, but it may work out perfect.
RipT

snakejim

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Re: Use same bullets for multiple ammo types?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2009, 01:50:52 PM »
I am trying to get some cast bullet compatibility between my 30-30, 30-06, and 7.62 x 54R right now.

I have yet to slug my 7.62, but I fear it is probably .311, making it a hair larger than my 170 gr .309 cast bullet.

My 30-06 should be happy with .309 slugs, but I wont know that for a bit.

All 3 rounds use large rifle primers.
All 3 rounds will work with Varget powder.

Athough, they are not ideal diameters for all the guns, they are still very useable in the meat getting world. Once I get the loads
worked up, the 30-30 and 30-06 should be pretty much dead on, while the 7.62 may have a larger group than liked, but it may work out perfect.
RipT

I bought a Lee mold C309-150-F which is a flat point bullet.  It's a great bullet for the .30-30 and .30-06. You can get the C309-170-F if you'd like a heavier bullet and if you don't size them they should work fine in the 7.62x54R also.
IMR4895 or H4895 works great in all three
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 01:54:38 PM by snakejim »

Offline RipTombstone

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Re: Use same bullets for multiple ammo types?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2009, 05:29:01 PM »
Yep, the mold I just got is the C309-170F. Havent fired the pot up yet to  try any. The reason I went with the 170 is that I have 500 Laser Cast 170s sitting on my bench right now, and if I get the load with those, will just continue with these home cast bullets.

I like the Varget powder, as its what I use in my .270, .243, 303 Brit, 7.62x54, 30-06, and soon in the 30-30. Great powder as far as I am concerned. Recoil seems reduced some with it, making it pleasant to shoot, but speed is still there. Accuracy is good as well.

RipT

Offline Duc1

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Re: Use same bullets for multiple ammo types?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2009, 11:22:22 PM »
+1 on Varget, I use it for my 223, 243, and 308. I also like Clay's Universal for pistols.  I use it for my 45 ACP and 40 S&W.  I also reload my 10 mm which uses the same bullets as my 40.

Offline Plainsman

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Re: Use same bullets for multiple ammo types?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2009, 04:55:44 PM »
I have gone with the .44 route!  I reload .44 Russian, .44 Special, .44 Magnum and .444 Marlin!  The .444 Marlin uses different primers and powders typically, but I can reload lighter loads carefully if needed.  All four can use the same bullets and I cast my own as well.  I just need a good stock of primers and powders to keep this series running.

I want to get into .257" again as well.  I had a .25-06 and still have all the components.  I would like to get another rifle in .25-06 and eventually a .25/35 so that I have a lighter brother to the '06.

The .45's don't match up as well as the rifle bores are usually a larger diameter than the pistol so the bullets won't work as well.  This is part of the reason I didn't go with a .45ACP/.45LC/.45-70 setup.  The .45-70 wouldn't like the pistol diameter bullets.  The .44 arrangement is all the same!

I suggest you get a good reloading book or two and do some perusing!  You'd be amazed at the combinations you can come up with when you start looking at the amount of cartridges that are available! :)