Lee 309-230–BTF

Spindrift

Active Member
The Lee TL309-230-5R is an unusual and intriguing bullet design. So intriguing, in fact, that I bought one a few months ago, even though I have no Blackout or similar fast-twist rifle for which it is designed. It looks like a flying pencil; long, slender, pointy- and with a boat tail. You can crimp a gas check there, if you want.
All my .30- cal bores are 1:10 twist. Trying to stabilize this bullet at subsonic velocities from these barrels would probably make Mr. Greenhill- not only turn, but positively twist in his grave.

But what if..... I flip it around, and shoot it back-to-front? Then it would be a heavy-for-caliber, WFN bullet with a looong boat tail, and the center of gravity in the front half of the bullet. Should be more inherently stable (and interesting, from a terminal ballistics perspective).

I have decided to try this in my R700, .30-06. As you can see from the photo, the bullet heavily intrudes into the boiler room of the cartridge, restricting powder space (and theroretically increasing pressure). To start with, I shot a few rounds over the chrono today. My ambitions were only to get a few data points, anf not blow up the rifle. Success!
Viht N32c powder, Norma cases, WLRP. Single (slightly patchy) layer PC. Loaded to light jam fit.
7grs: 840fps
8grs: 912 fps
9grs: 984 fps
9,5 grs: 1017 fps

Next, I am going to shoot some groups, se what this puppy can do. If any of you have this mold, and feel the spark of inspiration, feel free to load, shoot and contribute your experiences!
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462

California's Central Coast Amid The Insanity
Hmmm . . . very interesting, and a seemingly original concept.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
I have out close to 5,000 of those downrange, but pointy-end first. Here's a witnessed two-shot group at 80 yards (to prove my load has no cold-barrel flyer) using a suppressed .308 Winchester bolt-action with 10" rate of twist. I wouldn't be concerned about stability in your rifle, either.

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6.4 grains of Hodgdon Titegroup for about 950 fps muzzle velocity. Striker is louder than the report.
 
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Spindrift

Active Member
Well, then I shall definately try some load development with the bullet in the more conventional orientation!
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
I'm not trying to interrupt your interesting experiment, only to share that I know it works the normal way also. I get some yawing at times from my Blackouts, but all three of them group extremely well out to 200 yards even with eccentric bullet holes (extremely well for self-loading rifles, ammo loaded for very loose fit, and not a very high degree of care in bullet sorting.) I also have loaded a 12" R.O.T. .30-30 with the NOE 247-grain plain base bullet/7.0 grains of Unique and blasted cow pies off the 100-yard berm offhand with open sights, so maybe Greenhill is more of a "suggestion" than a rule? 220-grain bullets won't stabilize in my .35 Remington below about 900 fps, though (16" R.O.T.), so everything does have limits, you just have to actually do the work to find out what they really are.
 

MW65

Wetside, Oregon
Thanks for the post! Very interesting! I have this mold as part of a bulk mold purchase I made a couple years ago. Will try it conventionally, and see how it performs in .30-06.
 

Spindrift

Active Member
Thanks for the input, Ian! I will shoot them both ways, to see how they compare.
It is so easy to overthink with load development. I spend as much time as I can on the range (couple of hours a week, maybe). But I spend more time thinking about load development. I agree that the Greenhill formula has limited interest for us. A marginally stable bullet can be accurate. And if it shoots, then Greenhill-Schmeenhill.
 

Spindrift

Active Member
For the purposes of further discussion, I will refer to loads with back-to-front bullets as «BTF», and pointy-end-forward as «PEF». Loaded a few rounds today with n32c, and «guestrapolated» loads with universal, and Vectan Prima V which is probably in the same velocity area, both BTF and PEF- loads. Will hopefully get to shoot them next week.
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